“(‘A book is a box full of words,’ the O’ had said. ‘Some books are boxes full of boxes – Chinese boxes.’ ‘An effect resembling the circus clown car.’ ‘Yes, some books are just one big box with five sides that you put over a trapdoor in the floor of the world – and up comes everything until the box bursts.’ The story within the story within one of Marco Polo’s Chinese boxes – and whether or not he ever went to China, I certainly went to Washington.
Or as my favorite exhibit at the LC, Keith Smith’s ‘string book’ – instead of a written story, the reader follows strings shifting into suggestive patterns as they travel [like the ropes the Norns pass back and forth in Götterdämmerung] through the pages. Not knowing from page to page what form the strings will take creates numerous narrative yarns and multiple variations on the theme of loss.)”
(James McCourt, Delancey’s Way, pp. 206–7.)