I want to think more about the concern with matter in John Barth’s Lost in the Funhouse:

“One manifestation of schizophrenia as everyone knows is the movement from reality towards fantasy, a progress which not infrequently takes the form of distorted and fragmented representation, abstract formalism, an increasing preoccupation, even obsession, with pattern and design for their own sakes – especially patterns of a baroque, enormously detailed character – to the (virtual) exclusion of representative ‘content’.”

“Try to fill the blank. Only hope is to fill the blank. Efface what can’t be faced or else fill the blank. With words or more words, otherwise I’ll fill in the blank with this noun here in my prepositional object.”

“No. The only way to get out of a mirror-maze is to close your eyes and hold out your hands. And be carried away by a valiant metaphor, I suppose, like a simile.”

“‘You say you lack a ground-situation. Has it occurred to you that that circumstance may be your ground-situation?'”