- Herge, The Castafiore Emerald
"So anyway, I was lying on the floor observing this phenomenon - speculating, you might say - while the piano music looped and repeated in the background when I saw the pianist walk up the stairs towards me.
This, of course, was physically impossible: I was listening to him practising his Rachmaninov two floors above me at this very moment. But impossible or not, there he was, walking up the stairs towards me. As soon as he caught sight of me he jolted to a standstill, then started to turn - but it was too late: he knew the game was up. He became static again. His eyes scampered half-heartedly around the floor's maze as though looking for a way out of the quandary he found himself in while at the same time knowing that they wouldn't find one; the bald crown of his head went even whiter than it usually was. He mumbled:
'What are you ... ' I started, but, I couldn't finish the sentence. A wave of dizziness was sweeping over me. The piano music was spilling from his flat into the sunlit stairwell.
'I had an audition,' he murmured.
'Then who ... ' I asked.
'Recording,' he said, his still moping at the floor."
- Tom McCarthy, Remainder
"As Freud knows all too well, whatever is suppressed repeats. Haddock suppresses the hand-biting episode from his account to Miarka's family of his encounter with the gypsy child and so the episode repeats, again and again; the parrot bites him twice and a bee stings him for good measure. The Castafiore Emerald is obsessive. The whole book runs on its loops: falling down the stairs, phoning Bolt the builder, scales, scales, scales. It runs with the regularity of a machine - so much so that parts of it can be replaced by a cassette and the characters can take a break, wander offstage. There is a huge self-consciousness about it: 'MERCY! MY JEWELS!' 'There she goes ... She's lost her geegaws again.' 'MURDER!' "You hear?' 'Yes, yes ... don't worry: she'll find them in a minute or two,' "MY EMERALD!' 'THUMP' 'Someone's missed that step again.' Those who can discern the rhythms can step into them and operate in their blind spots: Wagner, the photographer, the magpie ... "
- Tom McCarthy, Tintin and the Secret of Literature
UPDATE: Bonus link - McCarthy interviewed at Bookninja.