I happen to be reading a serious novel, Silent House (1983), by a serious author, Orhan Pamuk (a translation, of course; unfortunately, I don't know Turkish). The other evening I also happened to be tired and somewhat distracted. Suddenly, I couldn't seem to follow the story line Long, rambling sentences were broken in the middle, apparently new paragraphs began with a small letter… What was going on? This continued on and off for a couple of pages, in the following manner:
... How can a person be OK when she is going to the graves of her husband and her son, all I
"Look, Grandmother, we're going by Ismail's house. There!"
feel is sorrow, but listen to what they're saying, my God… here's the house of the cripple, but I'm not looking, do they know that, I
"Recep, how is Ismail?"
know and listen
"Fine. Selling lottery tickets."
carefully, no, you don't hear, Fatma, I…
He handed me back the book and I read the lines again – and once more. Light dawned. How stupid I was. There are two processes going on in this scene that takes place in in a moving car: the train of consciousness of an elderly lady, the grandmother, and a conversation among her grandchildren which intrudes on her thinking and distracts her for a moment before she returns to her memories. That explained the broken lines and the seemingly illogical flow of the text. It was perfectly logical – if interrupted logic – and brilliant.
Needless to say, I trashed the scanned pages and silently apologized to the publishers (and to Pamuk).
What is the moral of the story? you ask. Don't read serious novels when you're tired; you might do the author or publisher an injustice. And, look before you leap!