The thing that struck me the most about this reading is the amazing way that the author portrays the life and character of Maria through a third person perspective. Though most books we have read have been in first person in order to give us the internal monologue of the character, Imogen Binnie’s third person perspective does not diminish those benefits. Despite the seemingly more distant way of speaking in the third person, Maria’s internal monologue is still very much apparent. We can see her confusion, pain, and sarcasm in every word. The first chapters are a masterpiece because they give so much insight into the internal workings of Maria while still describing the other people and environment in enough detail to really give the reader a good idea of all the story’s components. Marias conflicting feelings of being normal and her intense sarcasm and cynicism for the world she lives in shines through the text and the things she says. Speaking of which, it is of interesting note that the author does not actually use any quotation marks in their dialogue. This seems to open up the flow of speech in the novel by streamlining both the punctuation and the structure, as dialogue is folded right into every paragraph. Because of the dissonance between the book’s extremely blunt and straightforward subject matter and the new style of writing Binnie uses, Nevada serves as a unique example of modern gay literature.
Given that Binnie’s writing style struck out so much to me, my questions are as follows:
- What are some assumptions we have about first person and third person perspectives in writing? What feelings does Binnie convey about Maria by using third person language? How distant is the text made to feel from the story’s meaning?
- Does Maria seem distant from the reader, as well as from herself and her friends? What purpose does this serve in the telling of her story?