I could not help but find correlations between The Raw Shark Texts and Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey’s characters of Clementine Kruczynski and Joel Barish in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind. I have always found this concept of forcing psychological dissociative disorders on characters as a tricky clever tool. The reader knows more about the past of the characters before they have forgotten, so they feel more omniscient. Yet, at the same time, the reader has to piece together facts just as the character is trying to piece it together. Eric Sanderson, like Joel and Clementine, become new people after their transformation, and instead of beginning a new life, which one would think after permanently losing memory from the dangerous conceptual fish, they’re like becomes haunted with these hints of their past life. This tool is so popular in modern fiction, in films like The Matrix, Inception or Shutter Island or popular soap operas like Days of Our Lives, that it seems less experimental and more of a reoccurring theme. As a book published in 2007, I do not find the story line of “amnesia” experimental or new; I did however find that Steven Hall wrote, “for each chapter in The Raw Shark Texts there is, or will be, an un-chapter, a negative. If you look carefully at the novel you might be able to figure out why these un-chapters are called negatives… The negatives are not deleted scenes, they are very much a part of the novel but they are all splintered from it in some way” (The Raw Texts Foram, Hall). This would make the book much more intriguing.
Here is a link to one of the negatives from the foram: http://forums.steven-hall.org/yaf_postsm68_Negative-11–Clio-Conversation.aspx and here is a link of “amnesia” in the similar love story of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: