Chronic City Excerpt Commentary

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Chronic City Commentary The narrator of this extract was a once popular child actor, who now is living on the periphery of the New York party scene in a shallow existence. The scene takes place in the office of a film restoration company, which feigns class and prestige, but actually is a bit of a sham. It is here where the narrator meets with Perkus Tooth, who becomes a central figure in the extract. The description of Perkus Tooth takes on multiple implications, of initially creating an image of the character, but also to help the reader understand the parallel nature between Perkus’ life and the narrator. Utilizing a large paragraph to describe and create a mental image of Perkus Tooth, we are given to understand that Perkus Tooth has a false sense of importance with his minor job in a huge world wide industry based on glamor. The descriptions of Perkus point to everything the opposite of glamor, as described by Tooth’s “turtle posture and the utter slackness of being” and his lazy eye. In an industry based on glamor and surface beauty, Perkus exists forever on the outside, yet works as one of the many propping up this industry. The narrator’s life has an uncanny parallel to Perkus’ elipsistic moods. The narrator was once important, but has now reached a plateau in his career without reaching true stardom. His career is in a physical ellipsis compared to Perkus’ mood, which is described as, “a species of blank interval a nod or a fugue in which he was neither depressed nor undepressed.” This related directly to the narrator’s life, because he starts out famous, but then enters this “blank interval” where he is living the ellipses of his life. The ellipsistic nature is shown also in the structure of the piece where Perkus is introduced in the first line, but then disappears until three paragraphs later, where he is described in detail. This instance

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