Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Goat-God's City Cousins

 was always easy, in open and lonely places, to be visited by Panic wilderness fear, but these are the urban fantods here, who come to get you when you are lost or isolate inside the way time is passing, when there is no more History, no time-travelling capsule to find your way back to, only the lateness and the absence that fill a great railway shed after the capital has been evacuated, and the goat-god’s city cousins wait for you at the edges of the light, playing the tunes they always played, but more audible now, because everything else has gone away, or fallen silent ... barn swallow souls, fashioned of brown twilight, rise towards the white ceilings ... they answer to the new Uncertainty. Ghosts used to be either likenesses of the dead or wraiths of the living. But here in the Zone categories have been blurred badly. The status of the name you miss, love and search for now has grown ambiguous and remote, but this is even more than the bureaucracy of mass absence – some still live, some have died, but many, many, have forgotten which they are. Their likenesses will not serve. Down here are only wrappings left in the light, in the dark: images of the Uncertainty. Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow, page 303.


Anonymous said...

Love de Chirico. This one serves as a good illustration for Pynchon's words.

Alasdair said...

I finally had time to look through some books locked away in the attic, so i changed the image to a page from Dr Seuss - who is after all the children's de Chirico!