Inge Baxmann (ed.), Timon Beyes (ed.), Claus Pias (ed.)
Social Media—New Masses
Human Terrain System
Irina Kaldrack, Theo Röhle
Creating Subsets of the Masses
“So many egoists call themselves artists,” Rimbaud wrote to Paul Demeny on May 15, 1871. Even though that is not always obvious, ‘I’, the first person, is the most unknown person, a mystery that is constantly moving towards the other two, the second and third persons, a series of unfoldings and smatterings that eventually gelled as ‘Je est un autre’. That is why ‘apocryphal’ is a literarily irrelevant concept and ‘pseudo’ a symptom, the very proof that life, writing, is made up of echoes, which means that intrusions and thefts (Borges also discusses them) will always be the daily bread of those who write.
Words from others, words taken out of place and mutilated: here are the alms of time, that squanderer’s sole kindness. And so many others, mostly others who wrote, and many other pages, all of them apocryphal, all of them echoes, reflections. All this flows together into—two centuries...
J.G. Ballard’s self-declared ‘Immodest Proposal’ for a global war-alliance to exact the destruction of America demonstrates the provocatory zeal of his last fiction plans, as well as their enduring prescience.
Externalized memory had always proceeded by contractions, summaries, reductions, selections, breaks in flow, as well as by organization, classification, boiling down. Card catalogues reduced thousands of works to a few key notions; tables of contents contracted the hundreds of pages in a given book. The sign itself was the first abbreviation of experience. An epic stitched of words was an abbreviation of the war, the long years of which were reduced to a few nights of recitation; the written text that recorded the epic was a contraction of the oral narration which pushed aside its sensory richness, melody, life in a thousand details. In accumulating, every level of abbreviation reconstituted an infinite flow, a new dilation that would be contracted in its turn. From the plurality of pages to the index and the table of contents; from the plurality of books to card catalogues.
The abbreviated elements were further arranged, situated...
– In what way are you a communist – since we need to define this: someone who is convinced that a totally different form of organization of communal life would be good for the human race, –
– Isn’t that equally true of monarchists and leaders of sects?
– ...with a focus on justice.
– but the people should behave differently, right?
– They should be totally different.
– Are you not simply a misanthropist?
– No, because there are people that I like, very much even. And I understand all the less why most people feel compelled to be so nasty.
– Most people don’t seem to be quite as bothered by this as you are.
– Oh really? In my perception, most people are pretty bothered by anything that is different than themselves. That is why we need rules that define how to behave toward people we can’t stand.
– You have just been suffering in a...
In another era, the mish-mash presentation of Africa would have been the focal point of criticism. But this is not the age for facts.