Friday, September 10, 2010

Labor Day Weekend, 3

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I'll let you in on a secret.
Benjamin himself is aware that his memories are characterized by a remarkable absence of people, and he tells us of a sudden epiphany that revealed to him in what way modern cities take their revenge upon the many claims human beings make upon one another. Memory ruled by the city does not show encounters and visits, but, rather, the scenes in which we encounter ourselves or others, and such an insight betrays an entire syndrome of Benjamin's ideas about life in the modern world...[emphasis mine]
(Peter Demetz's introduction to Reflections)

Well, two secrets. One - something that you'll never see explicitly written anywhere else - that Portsmouthwerk of mine is defined by the veil between narrator-as-spectator and the other-as-performer. If I pull it off, we'll not be meant to focus on the disconnect itself, but just to feel its presence; it's tangible; it's a dreamscape.

The second is that the whole time I was in the city I couldn't bring myself to get excited about taking pictures of buildings. My cities have stopped being devoid of people. My Animus said, "Maybe 'Frozen Icarus' was a period, and you are rewriting that script, and you have to figure out where you're going next."

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