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Indecision and agency

I recently read Indecision by Benjamin Kunkel. It was hilarious–I can’t wait to read more by him. Beyond this, I noticed two thing about the book that I didn’t see mentioned in any reviews:

1. The book reminded me a lot of the work of Philip K. Dick, in particular that all the characters had agency. That is, each character had his or her own ideas and seemed to act on his or her own ideas, rather than merely carrying the plot along or providing scenery. Not to many books (or dramatic productions) have this feature. The funny comments by the various characters (while just “being themselves”) contributed a lot to the book’s humor.

2. Much was made of the main character’s indecision, and how he finally becomes more decisive. But, reading between the lines, it’s clear that indecision has been good to Dwight. He likes to be with women but is never quite sure he wants to be with whoever he’s with, and (in the context of the book, at least) this just draws them in. It’s the indecision–the not needing it–that makes him so appealing to these women. But then, at the end, when he decides he really does want to be with a particular person, she tells him no. At least in this aspect of Dwight’s life, indecision worked better than the alternative.