I am currently reading Berg by Ann Quin, a famous British experimental writer, and having a hard time understanding some of her prose. Although I realise that it is written in a vague, stream-of-consciousness style, using poetic/abstract language, I’m unclear about certain bits as to whether they are supposed to be taken literally, or are metaphors that I’m simply missing. Either way, their meaning evades me.
Here are some examples (I’ll try to provide as much context as possible):
Time meaningless for you exploring the mysterious regions of mountains, lakes, jungles within a blanket territory. I pull my eye through a keyhole, on a string the days are declared; thoughts are switchbacks uncontrolled.
I’m sure the surreal image of pulling one’s eye through a keyhole is conjured up for some poetic/semantic effect (unless it’s a phraseologism I’m not aware of), but I’m missing what it is, same for the days on a string.
Here’s another example from the beginning of the book, describing the main character and setting:
...Alistair Berg, hair-restorer, curled webbed toes, strung between heart and clock, nibbles in the half light, and laughter from the dance hall opposite.
English is not my first language, but generally I don’t have any trouble comprehending literary texts, even the more nuanced bits. It is my first encounter with experimental literature however, so any advice would help.