Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gravity's Rainbow: A medium contacts Walter Rathenau

"If you prefer to call this a liaison, do. I am here for as long as you need me. You don't have to listen. You think you'd rather hear about what you call 'life': the growing, organic Kartell. But it's only another illusion. A very clever robot. The more dynamic it seems to you, the more deep and dead, in reality, it grows. Look at the smokestacks, how they proliferate, fanning the wastes of original waste over greater and greater masses of the city. Structurally, they are strongest in compression. A smokestack can survive any explosion - even a shock wave from one of the new cosmic bombs" - a bit of a murmur around the table at this - "as you all must know. The persistence, then of structures favoring death. Death converted into more death. Perfecting its reign, just as the buried coal grows denser, and overlaid with more strata - epoch on top of epoch, city on top of ruined city. This is the sign of Death the impersonator.

"These signs are real. They are also the symptoms of a process. The process follows the same form, the same structure. To apprehend it you will follow the signs. All talk of cause and effect is secular history, and secular history is a diversionary tactic. Useful to you, gentlemen, but no longer so to us here. If you want the truth - I know I presume - you must look into the technology of these matters. Even into the hearts of certain molecules - it is they after all which dictate temperatures, pressures, rates of flow, costs, profits, the shapes of towers...

"You must ask two questions. First, what is the real nature of synthesis? And then: what is the real nature of control?

"You think you know, you cling to your beliefs. But sooner of later you will have to let them go..."

A silence, which prolongs itself. There is some shifting in the seats around the table, but the sets of little fingers stay in touch.

"Herr Rathenau? Could you tell me one thing?" It is Heinz Rippenstoss, the irrepressible Nazi wag and gadabout. The sitters begin to giggle, and Peter Sachsa to return to his room. "Is God really Jewish?"

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