Saturday, August 15, 2009

The New York Trilogy - post II

The story changes tack in the sense of timing. You can imagine the first story being set in the 1980s but this second section is clearly earlier. The subject is again a detective but in a clever play on words the main characters are White, Black and Blue.

White hires Blue to watch Black and send back weekly reports. All Black seems to do is sit in an apartment opposite Blue’s building and read and write. For the detective usually used to tracking down criminals and working on dynamic cases the ongoing assignment becomes frustrating.

He follows Black, gets to know his routine and starts to become changed by the experience with his appreciation of language increasing. That makes it not only more difficult for him to think and write in a limited police-speak type way for the purpose of his reports but also starts to open his eyes to beauty.

With a poetical yearning developing in Blue he starts to appreciate the local landscape. But his instinct and training remain intact and eventually he tires of the watching and as he meets his ex girlfriend and realises that his former way of life has ended forever he becomes slightly resentful.

Forcing the issue through disguised conversations with Black and attempted meetings with White he realises that he has been used and resorts to the sort of violence that you thought he had perhaps left behind.

You can see the links in terms of language, identity and the question of truth but because the stories felt disconnected by time it is with some trepidation that you turn to section three…

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