“A myriad of scenes reveal / a void forever / Simultaneous flames / no antecedent / for hearts and knaves” — Namdak, Swiftly to the Hills (trans. Bradley Rodier)
Sayings and customs were constructed and reconstructed within the gloom of the reader’s chamber. Although they had been spied in the square on the night of the execution, the reader, a sentient creature, had not been found in contravention of protocol.
Reality was once heroic, something like dying for one’s country. A great enthusiasm was shown for productivity and innovation. The illusion that the free market would labour for the crime of supply and demand gave total satisfaction, but the collapse of the real had already taken place decades ago and an idealistic fanaticism had given in to cynicism and lassitude. Eventually, the heroes of the ideology of reality would realise they were victims of the myth of creativity, but still they would imagine it was preferable to destruction.
Only the likes of Montague, Tanigawa, Shamoon, Bellevue, Anikulapo-Kuti or perhaps Seymour recognised the allure and necessary bedevilment of anti-creativity and non-productivity. Only they appreciated the sleek veneer of the austerity of criminality.
A pernicious disease had affected the most courageous. Descriptions of facts tended towards statements of the obvious yet were presented as if they were important scientific discoveries or proof of psychological phenomena. Imperialist logic and the ownership of facts had become moral imperatives, although they were merely re-interpretations of material outcroppings and the furthering of data.
In short, desperation as a way of life: Panic as the default emotion, the irrepressible need to state facts, yet without insight applied either to their origin or artefacts.
It was as if information could be something more than obvious when the presiding mode of systemic abuse was exposed wherever the property of any given object was awarded evaluation by the property drivers. It had been assumed that productivity, innovation and creativity were the same thing as imagination, when “in fact” they only appeared as such within hyperreality.
This was precisely how fiction got valued or devalued. If wisdom had been appeased then Nas’s job had been done, all moving parts supplied. His mission was already accomplished.
Nas was the main character in this irrepressible fiction, and as he overlooked the facts in the past tense he nursed a vodka and tonic in a bar in the old town. He’d purchased a ton of fabrics and herbs and leafed through them as he would a newspaper while trying to ignore the sounds of some tourists squawking in the background. Like so many before them, they took photographs of war victims and places of remembrance. One or two of the security guards had an air of importance about them which suggested they were among the more productive of the crowd. Later they would eat a meat broth.
Belladonna, a desert song refrain, carved the pattern of a geographical space into her bifurcated consciousness as she dreamed about the collapse of the real. Interpolations of televisual data collided, crashed over her head. Her body had been consecrated by the service industries, like a wafer. She was divine providence, no longer just a chance operative.
A lucid dream cracked open B’s brittle, winged headdress with hermeneutic bliss. She was a warrior nomad wandering through the vaults of grace and damage. Curses and blessings of her lucid brain at once combined and recombined to snap the iron grip of Leaphonine, Vastar and other totalitarian entities.
Being pro-consumer in those days offered so many options. You could even delete your own personality. After de-constructing, analysing and re-configuring your personality it could eventually be replaced with another model.
Being pro-consumer, you could pay to have others train you in how to alter actions and speech so that you could proceed safely in the knowledge that automatic behaviour under the gleam of the logos of Leaphonine, Vastar and other totalitarian entities, could take over and live your life for you.
Appealing directly to the ego which had been re-made to pertain to the property of an object which psychologised itself to no end other than the fact of itself, in and of itself, inevitably meant that any social or political concepts or problems were reduced to personal issues of the individual, which was rationalistic bullshit.
B walked on to the balcony and looked back at her doppelganger standing on the opposite balcony. Her eyes went into the scintillation of flight as the logos fled from her scream, which you can read like the scream of a Siouxsie banshee not Munch. The logos folded in upon themselves like butterfly wings, crackling into slivers of pencil-thin lines, mere data affects unfolding like concertinas or kirtans or symbols of ancient emperors or despots. Burning with the fire emitting from the archetypical plane, in the gothic horror scene of the self-immolation of her theatrical double, B was sublimely poised at the end of all control by pattern and image, the end of coercion by the logos.
Poetry was never poetical, just as the novel was never novel. They were designed and managed to facilitate a sense of achievement gained through creativity and cohesive narratives, theories and schools of thought served to be of use in passing time between social mobility and the exchange of binary code.
Something had to be done.
The fact that in N and B’s world fiction was not factual seemed to have escaped that reader who had assumed fiction was a device to communicate.
Fiction was simply not factual, but neither was it narration, and in this situation would be used to communicate nothing short of anti-narrative.
“You could not discern pure fiction if it slapped you in the face,” said B rhetorically, and N recalled that in the abuse system of propaganda they were personally subject to, they’d been wrongly associated with beliefs to which they did not subscribe.
The reader complained that it seemed I had dispensed not only with narrative but any sensible commentary whatsoever. However, I was merely trying to stay true to the truth of fiction and in so doing had strayed into unknown territory.
It appeared that a normally rational subjective focus had been unceremoniously rejected and passed off as objective, but there was no evidence for objectivity, subjectivity, inter-subjectivity or any such psychological contrivance.
N twitched. He had followed the routines of certain of the conglomerates in a series of news articles over some months and found himself nauseated by their constant appeals to self-abnegation and demands for worship.
The season changed. A grey mist was palpable. Slight rain coated the streets. Instead of brown the over-riding colour was an alien grey. A newspaper stand got damp.
As N trudged through the intricate streets flagged by drab corporate buildings and sparkling curios he could smell mulled wine wafting out from the taverns. Blue eyed Sally was travelling in Dimitri’s Circus gathering in a large stone warehouse at long, brightly lit oak tables.
N’s affectations of interpretive responses were attempts to decipher the meanings of meanings. Essentially, narration was supposed to be a method employed to communicate the sentient, but all a narrator would do was dictate linear descriptions of seeming facts, whether true or false. The narrator cultivated a mood, some qualities or flaws, emotions and some banal or remarkable observations. Whether this was the result of a chance process or technic, it was too unreal.
The reader and I did not concern ourselves with dead reality, only the capacity to fabulate more non-factual content: fiction.
As the main protagonist, N would be at the centre of this novelty item. He was independent of all narrative and existed as a pseudo-identity, nevertheless directing an apparition of action. His characterisation would become more lucid and palpable in later episodes.
The centre of this novelty was indestructible. It had a presence about it which was essentially absent, with the discontinuity of absurdity, and it posed endlessly profound and open-ended philosophical and existential questions.
Narrative involved the self-aware formulation of assumptions, proposals, projections, made subject to linear and rational mental events. It often asserted itself as a type of allegorical observation, question or opinion, but in this novel we were not concerned with the relative accuracy or inaccuracy of such illusory properties or proposals. No heed was paid to whether or not there was a coherent plot or idea, and none of the statements therein were considered as authentic opinions, social comments or observations.
The outward form of experience was the living body of a work that had a novel strategy, and its properties would be increased by the reader by means of certain practices that had to go unnamed as they were always bound to chance future events.
As the primary vehicle of perception within this data flow, the reader took the chance to utilise certain useful chance operations — nuanced effects that achieve pure fictionalisation, not of facts but context, un-meaning and imagination — which is to say, the error of truth just happened to have been dismantled for good.