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Eric Husch

Full name: Nicodemus John Husch 1) A main character. One of the two people following Straka. He writes alongside the margins (the capitalized letters) with Jennifer Heyward. He has been writing in the book since age 15 2). He is being pursued and must solve the mystery before his old professor, Dr. Moody, does. He attended Pollard State University as a grad student but was “expunged,” which means they erased Eric as having been a student at PSU and, as he says, erased part of himself. At one point after his expulsion, Eric goes into the hospital under the care of Dr. Brand.

Eric also mentions making a Decoder Wheel when he was in high school in order to crack some of the codes relating to Straka.

Margin Writing

Eric writes in all capital letters with printed letters and black ink. The pen used looks to be felt-tipped. Eric's marginal commentary also appears in red and green ink, such as after thoughts or future conversations. The black ink looks to be his original conversation with Jen. Eric also writes in pencil, which appears to be notes and thoughts he has while studying/reading the novel before Jen joins becomes involved with Straka's text. Eventually, Eric and Jen begin using what is assumed to be the same felt-tipped, black ink pen which appears for the first time on the page listing Straka's other works, which may also mean they are together when using it. Eric believes in the facts, evidenced by the way he constantly fact checks,3) the footnotes and tells Jen she should not jump to conclusions regarding the authors intentions.4)

Connections between S. and Eric

There are many connections between . and Eric such as being “overlooked,” or invisible. Also, part of Eric's life experiences are erased while the memory of S.'s as part of his life is blotted out as well. Like S., Eric takes on another identity by using the ID card of Thomas Lyle Chadwick. S. takes on many identities just in the first couple chapters by wearing their clothes, including that of the sailors and then the clothes given to him by Stenfalk. Also, the relationship between S. and Sola and his need for her as she is the only person who may know who he is 5) relates to the unfolding relationship between Jen and Eric especially as Eric feels that Jen is the only person who can understand him and his work, or at least tries 6). There is also a connection wiith the religion of the two men. There is belief that S. is atheist based on when he was falling into the water and had no gods to pray to on page 39. On page 93, Eric talks about a “book” his parents are passionate about and that they do not talk to people who don't agree. He says it is the product of centuries of effort. He also says that he knows Straka's book is fiction, unlike his parents who do not know their book is fiction. It is presumable that the “book” Eric's parents love is the Bible, and he does not agree. Another possible connection includes the “failure to connect” experienced by both S., with Sola, and by Eric, with Jen. Eric and S. are also both extremely lonely, isolated and distrustful of others. Stenfalk tells S. that he is now one of them whether he likes it or not, and Eric is told a similar thing by the people at Desjardins's secret meeting in Paris.7)

Relationship with Jen

Eric first comes to know Jennifer Heyward when he leaves his book in the library, and upon retrieving it, finds that she has made several notes in the margins next to his own. They continue this correspondence for a while, exchanging the book without meeting and communicating only through notes written in the book, and occasionally pieces of paper inserted between the pages. Eric feels he can trust Jen, and he tells her about his troubled past and current struggles with Professor Moody. By chapter 3, the suspicions that Jen and Eric may have a connection on the romantic side are affirmed with the purple and red conversation that comments on Jen's statement in blue: “Interesting - affection between them is immediately apparent - even in such a strange context.”8) Then later in the chapter, Eric writes in huge letters “JEN: I LIKE YOU,” confirming his affections even at this earlier stage. 9). On pg. 281, Eric tells Jen he's “never gotten so close to loving someone before.” Jen and Eric have also slept together as we see on pg. 290.

On pg. 318, we see Eric has written a paper for Jen on “Rain.” The only author for this poem (if that is what it is) is by Shel Silverstein.

1)
as revealed in his letter between pages 202 and 203
2)
page 65
3)
pg. 49, Eric's note: “I have to be really careful that what I say is true, meticulous about sources, etc. If I get careless, I'm screwed.”
4)
Eric's black felt tip pen note on page 35, “Again: you have to be careful. Not everything a writer writes is about the writer.
5)
pg. 97, Eric's black ink notes
6)
pg.??, Eric's black ink notes
7)
pg. 120
8)
pg. 76
9)
Bottom of pg. 83
s/eric.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/29 02:48 by amartin6