In these stories and even more so in ‘I’, Hilbig’s sentences wrench themselves along with the aid of dashes and ellipses. Never quite finishing but soldered to each other with intrusive punctuation, disjointed clauses coagulate into paragraphs. The sentences seem to sprout and branch, copulating like the nefarious bottles. In service of a landscape or a character sketch, the language collects its fragments with a layered complexity. An unheated apartment, a bathrobe, the tattered hair of a woman just released from prison — these are described thoroughly, the eye returning to textures, colors, and patterns. These stuttering, throttled, circular sentences take us through explicit arguments and positions on the surveillance the narrator of ‘I’ is forced into. Here Hilbig’s labyrinthine syntax embodies the ambiguity of the collaborator’s situation. The narrator begins in first person, randomly switches to third, then back to first.