The Vulnerability of Withdrawal
Between the Sentences of the Early Prose of Tao Lin
Keywords:Tao Lin, vulnerability, incomplete information
In Tao Lin's early books Eeeee Eee Eeee (2007), Bed (2007), Shoplifting from American Apparel (2009), and Richard Yates (2010) vulnerability is linked to a lack of context. Passages and sentences are semantically removed enough from each other that a space of vulnerability opens in which the unexpected can happen. Using the work of Quentin Meillassoux, Judith Butler, Jacques Rancière, and Levi Bryant, among others, this sense of vulnerability is argued to be the primary experience of our lives, but we often forget it. Lin's work makes this primary vulnerability visible in the three works analyzed using three different techniques: incomplete information, withdrawn context, and a monstrous vulnerability. In this sense, the author makes his writing vulnerable to the very problems that it foregrounds.
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