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Steven Earnshaw

, refusing to expand on the hinterland of Ben’s life, and in implicit opposition to most novels where such experiences are regarded as primary encounters (for example in Ironweed when Francis is in the attic and goes through objects from his personal history). Ben is ‘empty’, and this is replicated in the novel’s treatment of Ben’s meeting with his past life. A more salient correlation between art and Ben’s life than this encounter is perhaps his description of his life as a piece of performance art, which would also have the effect of diminishing the importance of an

in The Existential drinker