Levi Asher writes:
Edward Champion writes:
To jump from Jessica's point, one thing we haven't talked about is how Savage presents the world of rats. Firmin, for example, is unapologetically scatological about lusting after his sister. In exploring the vicinity outside of the bookstore, he is quite familiar with the nooks and crevices that have been placed by previous generations of rats. And he expresses some disgust over how the rats are ignoble scavengers.
And yet Firmin also makes reference to people he has talked to in bars and presents us with details that often wane as swiftly as Scollay Square: Where, for example, does Firmin's family, featured in the beginning, disappear to? Why do the items in Jerry Magoon's apartment disappear?
If we consider the possibility that Firmin himself is not a rat, that this identity is a fictive construct he clings to like a poor man's palliative, then we must consider that the universe around Firmin is also a fictional construct. And yet, if fiction stems from some kind of inspiration from the real world, what (if we are to accept this "Firmin ain't a rat" hypothesis) is real?
To jump back to Mr. Asher's observations, is the rat just as much of a triggering point for fantasy as the books are?