But though this all plays in to the wonder that is this story, to talk about it all in the ways I as yet know how to risks too much suggesting that what is to be praised is the writer's mastery over their material, their artful arrangement of the elements into an attractively moving whole. And although the mastery on display is considerable, what really amazes me here is not mastery-over but vulnerability-to: much like its narrator every element in this story is in a precarious state, close to collapse or self-contradiction or suppression in the face of hegemonic certainties, always in danger of becoming disastrously unbalanced, always under threats both internal and external, intellectual and physical. But it does what it must: it remains aware, it balances, it finds strength — eventually — not in aggression and certainty but in openness (albeit an openness that knows it cannot be open to everything, that some things must be rejected, that it will often be difficult to figure out which things these are). And when it collapses — and collapse it does, collapse it must — it does so with a trust that does not cancel but coexists with, or incorporates, mistrust.
As must be apparent, I am not equal to the task of describing what it does: which is to be profoundly political while at the same time allowing itself merely to be: which is to be not the juxtaposition or the integration of opposites but the refusal of this kind of binary categorization in the first place, while at the same time presenting the struggle, the difficult and dangerous work, that this turn to a new kind of openness demands of those already damaged, already in pain, led by boundless knowledge to hopeful fear, fearful hope.