, ,

I really enjoyed The Raw Sharks Texts, it was extremely entertaining, unique, and clever.  When reading the first few chapters it immediately reminded me of Memento, like many people in class mentioned.  Yet this text really allowed the reader to connect with Eric Sanderson in a way that Memento and the short story Memento Memori didn’t allow.  Eric wakes up alone and with no memories, he does not know who or where he is( like the protagonist in Memento).  He relies on his past self’s letters and writings to piece together his identity.  Yet, Eric is rational, calm, and trusts those around him.  I never once doubted his sanity.  Eric, unlike Memento’s protagonist, is searching for not only meaning and truth but human connection.  He wants his old memories and the truth in order to find Cleo (or what is left of her in his memories) and to be with her.  While in Memento the protagonist is untrusting, irrational, and is motivated solely by revenge.  For Eric, identifying him and discovering the truth brings him closer to other humans.  His trust and rationality allow him to make connections with others, which is what life is all about.  I felt that this is what made him such an interesting and convincing protagonist. Despite his lack of identity he still was a human being you could relate to; he felt fear, had a sense of humor, and found goodness in others.  In the end, it seemed like Eric did find Cleo through the Ludovician.

Another thing I found really interesting that was present throughout the novel was the contrast of the conceptual with the mechanical.  Throughout the story, many characters and scenes were described mechanically.  I found this interesting because when I think of the mechanical, I immediately thing of the tangible and scientific world.  Ideas and objects that are mechanical usually have from and are physical.   Yet Hall uses both mechanical languages while describing many of these conceptual scenes especially in the scene on pg.408-409 where the shark is attacking the conceptual boat.   The style of language hall uses in this scene almost reminds me of Morse Code, it was short and to the point.  I liked this a lot because it illustrates the intensity of this scene and brings life to Eric’s battle with the conceptual shark.  At the end of the novel what was real and what was conceptual didn’t seem to even matter, because Eric seemed to find what he was looking for and he found happiness.

-Shelby Muchamuel