What was I going to say next?

Posted on September 8, 2009

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The things that we do, the automaton-like routines. The unrecollected repetitions. I lock the front door before leaving. (I stop.  “Did I do it? Maybe I did – didn’t; can’t remember.”)

What was I going to say?  “It is as if it never happened.” – I can remember nothing. But why call this robot behaviour?

In his novel, Night Work, Glavinic’s protagonist drives round a Vienna empty of people; the transport he decides on, given the way that he can take his pick in the empty city, is a Mercedes.  He decides on the best technology; if he is to be guided it must be by satnav.  Satnav presents him with a kind of shield against reality: it can hide the world from him, give him back a life over which he has control, since his life has been emptied of all meaning why not operate in these terms.  He puts on goggles with black tape over them as a final touch; they allow only a thin vertical strip of the world to be seen. thus is he guided by the satnav in a manner akin to a robot, unconscious of the landscape through which he is moving and yet still registering it at a mechanical level. It might be said that he wants reality to be manifest as what it is: as invisible. Everything is machinery. There are no people. There are no living things whatever. In Blindness, Jose Saramego (?) has everyone go blind as a result of a mysterious plague. They can see nothing at all – apart from a bright all-encompassing whiteness. Of the actual world itself zero is the marker.

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