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As I was reading The Atrocity Exhibition, I kept confusing all the different names and identities of the characters. He was called, in each successive chapter, Travis, Talbot, Traven, Tallis, and Trabert. Between chapters I thought that I had started reading a new story, or perhaps this was a new character that was being introduced. However, this is more than that: in the chapters Travis et al. dismantle several concepts or ideas into displays or exhibitions, ranging from the World War III in his mind to the sexually charged violence of a car crash. In the dismantling of these concepts or ideas Travis is trying to portray the many aspects of it: a car crash and a pornographic image of a woman are the same exhibition because they relate the same concept of stimulation and arousal in his mind. In the same way, each of these characters can be understood as a different part of the composite Travis/Talbot/Traven etc. Each is a part of his fragmented identity, just at different times or in different scenarios: it?s just how you look at it. A closeup of a person?s hipbone could, seen from the right angle at the right time with the right lighting, be mistaken for a sand dune. Similarly, in regards to identity, when observed and experienced during a certain time in a certain scenario, two, three, four snapshots of an individual could all be the same person.

-Rana

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