In many ways, Oedipa is a play on the archetypical character of the detective. The narrative acknowledges her position as “the private eye in any long-ago radio drama, believing all you needed was grit, resourcefulness, exemption from hidebound cops’ rules, to solve any great mystery” (124). She becomes an expert on the minutia of many things, from Jacobean plays to stamp collecting, but remains on the outside. By the end, however, her crack investigative skills that led her to publishers and professors and other people in positions of authority to confirm her clues have dissipated. Given one more article on Tristero, she has no ability to follow up when Professor Bortz says, “That ought to be easy enough to check out… Why don’t you?” But Oedipa is no longer investigating, now only relying on coincidences, which are anathema to real detective work. The one last coincidence she awaits (literally) is the mysterious bidder. Whereas before, coincidences led her to find symbols all over the city, now, within the context of the book’s lack of a decisive ending, they have no conclusion. The consequence is that grit and resourcefulness may not lead to anything at all, but luck might (and it might not). Cause and effect are unlinked. I recall the part in Todorov on how the construction of character is a consequence of the reader accepting that cause (character trait) leads to effect (character action). This conclusion upsets the process of construction of character for a post-modern novel, and for a post-modern world.