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The top row of the table must contain underlined cells that give the names of the columns. We will get to that in a moment.

It would cause problems if, for example, the inner cell of an underlined cell was changed, at which point the size of the underlined cell should also change. This approach has the downside that you will end up writing—and reading—a lot of additional methods. We can specify properties that, from the outside, look like normal properties but secretly have methods associated with them. When a getter but no setter is defined, writing to the property is simply ignored. It helps readability to right-align columns of numbers. But prototypes may themselves have prototypes, and this allows us to do something clever.

It allows us to build slightly different data types from existing data types with relatively little work. Once this constructor has been called, we can assume that all the fields that the old object type is supposed to contain have been added.

Finally, we can override some of these properties by adding them to our new prototype. But while the latter two are now generally regarded as wonderful ideas, inheritance is somewhat controversial. I am not going to tell you to avoid inheritance entirely—I use it regularly in my own programs.

But you should see it as a slightly dodgy trick that can help you define new types with little code, not as a grand principle of code organization. You can make good use of this by putting the properties that all values of a given type share into their prototype. It is very useful. This gives you an object type similar to the old type but for which you can add and override properties as you see fit. An object that provides this interface represents a sequence, and the interface must somehow make it possible for code that uses such an object to iterate over the sequence, looking at the element values it is made up of and having some way to find out when the end of the sequence is reached.

You could store a counter that indicates how far the sequence object has advanced. Your interface will need to expose at least a way to get the next element and to find out whether the iteration has reached the end of the sequence yet. It is tempting to roll these into one method, next, which returns null or undefined when the sequence is at its end.

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But now you have a problem when a sequence actually contains null. So a separate method or getter property to find out whether the end has been reached is probably preferable. Another solution is to avoid changing state in the object. In these slim offerings, Raffel has approached mortality from an array of oblique angles, that never-timely end setting in motion a revolving succession of fathers, mothers, children; observing their arcs and pulls, Raffel refuses to simply set down what happened, refuses to dutifully record what happened next.


Time oscillates. Dialogue elides.

Secret Life of Objects

Constellating, Raffel pinpoints a field of luminous instants, leaving the lines between to the open destiny of imagination. Showing not what she sought but what she kept, Raffel ultimately reveals far more than she could in volumes of tell-all telling.

Because she had been an artist, her house was filled with dozens upon dozens of sculptures, in clay and in wood, paintings and drawings, in oil, in acrylic, in charcoal, in pencil, of water and trees and women — so many women from so many angles, clothed, nude; their faces, their bodies, the suggestion of the inner life. Unlocking a drawer of his private effects, amid mementos and clutter, Raffel discovers her father had kept his childhood prayer book:.

The prayer book is old school, insistent on the literal resurrection of the dead, where more reform prayer books lean toward the idea that the dead live on in the living. Ill-fitting blades, a series of wobbles and clutchings and falls, flickering in and out of these sessions are lifts from ballroom dance classes, spins from father-daughter promenades, an arch, a clasp, a veil, flashes of weddings and passings, a breathtaking montage captured first in the sparest suggestion, then born again in Objects. Turned loose like that, I looked at everything he had done.

It felt like meeting relatives. It was a lesson in revision and amplification, in devotion and experimentation. There were, writes Raffel in the novel, as a matter of possible record, a number of fine things still in the house. At least, not yet. Your email address will not be published.

Q&A With Dawn Raffel: The Secret Life of Objects | Psychology Today

Look closer. Our father has left or is leaving again. He is up in the air. He is standing on a wing in an aviator jacket.