(Look, I wrote my own novel!!! Probably not as fun to read as this book, though. Sorry. Also, crap, it looks like Mel posted while I was writing this and we say the same thing. ^__^ But....I WIN CAUSE I SAY IT A LOT WORDIER!!!! I almost wrote “What the hell!?” too, actually.)
With such interesting material in plot and characters I feel a little lame talking about pronouns, but why fight yourself? ^_^ So... The narrator's use of “we” confused me at first. I wasn't sure if this was the “I, the narrator and you, the reader/society” “we” or what, especially when he uses “you” as well, but looking back through it must be a reader-not-included “we” since it talks about “when we decided to write this story” on page 17. ...Only, wait, then later that paragraph I could swear the usage changes. No perceptible point, but “we want him to become the Hero” sounds to me like it's including the reader. Ah, and “we shall see how he lends himself to this.” The narrator/writer “we” can't be the one there, the writer can't “shall” see, they already know the story. (Haha, I wonder if there are writing teachers who would slash those pronouns to bits if they saw such a mobile “we” in just a single page, but a single paragraph ^_^)
Who the heck is this “we,” anyway? Maybe they'll be revealed later, maybe we'll never find out... They certainly have a voice... I wonder do they have a personality? I've actually been wondering similar things about Querelle as well (I'll get to that later, but to me some of the things that make a Character-with-a-capital-C are...MIGHT be absent in him). And then it talks in that paragraph about him being “already contained in our flesh,” “beginning to grow in our soul,” and about “our despair at not being in any way inside him, while having him inside of ourselves.” And then about “the event which revealed Querelle to us” on 18. I toyed for a moment (jokingly, jokingly! ^_^) with the idea that “we” was a person with multiple personalities, with this Querelle being one that surfaced after the others, heheh.
As for Querelle seeming un-character-esque to me... It may be just because I find such a ...being...so un-human that I can't see him as a, er...true character? (Mind, if you're wondering, I'm not even sure myself what I mean by “true character.” But...well, you (we? Heheh) might understand more what I mean from the rest of this...) Still, I think it's more than him being too inhuman/unfeeling to be human. He barely seems to have personality beyond the awful things he does and his sexual desires. Things like the imaginary trial...at first I think, “Well, that's...eccentric. If he can be eccentric...that must be personality, right?” But this trial he creates...has no, er, personality whatsoever. It's full of the obligatory steps of the courtroom drama, complete with a courtroom 'incident.' It's extremely trite. And I think it mentions him going through an imaginary cemetery after the first murder as well, right? There it explicitly called the thing 'trite.' Quirky though the activity of these...hallucinations of a sort may seem, they've got no quirk to them at all.
My thought was that thinking about the consequences is of murder is rather a...necessary/unavoidable step after the act. This trial is a way of him doing that while at the same time leaving character/personal stuff out of it. I mean a trial? If you murdered someone, you might think about the trial, but you'd also think about...I don't know, the family/friends/people's reactions (even if you were evil and didn't feel guilty about it, you'd probably still THINK about it more), getting arrested, jail? But Querelle does the trial, the part of the whole process that to me seems the most disconnected from personal character. It might come into play in them sometimes, but mostly they're about motivation (of which he has none) and facts, right?
It's a shame the multiple personality thing doesn't work (or is it? Wow, that would be a horrible ending ^_^), because Querelle could be the....personification (...if that's an appropriate use of that verb? ) of....immorality of man? Baseness? Not that he has to be a multiple personality to be such a thing, of course. Anyway, it makes sense kind of, because he is therefore in us but us not in him, he has no character because while you may or may not agree it's probably arguable that baseness has no character, while at the same time consequences is an un-detachable part of doing immoral things, so they must be dealt with (as in the trial), but our immorality isn't the part of us that feels shame or adds...our own personal quirks to the dealing with of these consequences. If Immorality-the-Person had to deal with it...It probably couldn't give a crap. ...And actually I'd forgotten this but looking at the “we” stuff again I saw this on page 18: “To become visible to you, to become a character in a novel, Querelle must be shown apart form ourselves.” I think the first time I saw that I read it as the narrator talking about Querelle as a real person (as he is in the narrator's world) and was talking about the process of taking a real person and turning them into a character in a novel.....The last part I just plum didn't understand, in that kind of reading. Makes sense this way, though....
....Much as it sounds like I'm building a case for some big theory I'm fixed on or something, though, really it's just been stuff I'm considering as I read... I wouldn't be horribly surprised if Querelle just needed more time to become a character to me than 70 pages (...This novel of course brings to mind Dostoevsky, which brings to mind The Brothers Karamazov, another novel you should probably not judge too much by its first 80 pages. Blech. ^_^; Gets better, honest). Then everything you just read goes out the window. Haha, what a waste of time you just spent reading that. I bet you're almost as annoyed as we will be when we get to the end and find out Querelle is a multiple personality of The Floating We.