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“Obsessed with buffering”
“Obsessed with buffering”

Tom McCarthy

Recessional—Or, the Time of the Hammer

Towards the end of Thomas Pynchon’s mammoth 1973 novel Gravity’s Rainbow, the stumbling ingénue of a hero Tyrone Slothrop sets off on a commando raid. The territory he and his cohorts move through is a giant ­metropolis, a “factory-state” in which capital, technology and power, perfectly co-calibrated, send airships drifting through urban canyons, past chrome caryatids and roof-gardens on skyscrapers that themselves shoot up and down on ­elevator-cables: a conurbation ­Pynchon calls the “City of the Future” or “Raketen-Stadt.” The...
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Jean-Luc Nancy

Des zétrangers des zah des zuh

Etrange extraneus du dehors pas du dedans (intraneus) pas de la maison unheimlich pas du heim pas du foyer de l’autre côté des portes – fores, foreigner pas dans le rythme en trop, odd pas régulier pas ordinaire rare singulier seltsam bizarre besherat vaillant élégant fantasque tordu verschroben de travers surprenant extraordinaire étonnant

 

C’est étonnant comme nous sommes riches en mots formes façons pour tourner autour de l’étrange étranger de l’ausländer hors du pays pas « pays avec nous » comme on disait jadis en France « c’est un pays à moi » pour dire quelqu’un de mon village de mon coin ma province mon bled

 

Riches à profusion pour tout ce qui n’est pas proche et propre, approprié, convenant, mitmenschlich ce qui ne fait pas mitdasein

 

Parce qu’on présuppose que mit avec with est consistant, plein, solide et solidaire et ce qui est without avecsans mitohne avec hors ou hors d’avec la proximité

 

Mais avec même proche exige...

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Jochen Thermann

Jamais je n’aurais dû l’embaucher.

Jamais je n’aurais dû l’embaucher. Il avait pourtant l’air d’avoir toutes les compétences requises pour remplacer mon cuisinier habituel. Schneider s’était mis en arrêt maladie pour ce qui menaçait de devenir un temps indéterminé, et c’est comme cela que je me suis retrouvé tout naturellement à embaucher ce petit homme trapu qui parlait un allemand approximatif. Les affaires devaient continuer à tourner, après tout, les clients avaient faim.

Souvent, les relations complexes que l’on entretient au quotidien et qui s’accompagnent d’un code indéchiffrable ne sont pas suffisamment claires. C’est seulement une fois que les choses nous ont échappé que l’on comprend comment fonctionnaient leurs mécanismes de régulation : comment Schneider organisait ses achats, comment il donnait ses indications à ses aides-cuisiniers, comment il composait ses plats et avec quelle fidélité il s’efforçait de faire avancer mon affaire.

L’aide-cuisinier travaillait en apparence exactement comme lui. Il faisait aussi ses achats lui-même. Il cuisinait de...

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Dietmar Dath

Do you want to believe in language?

Asleep, Patrick sees what he doesn’t believe while he’s awake.

The index calculates everything. Announcements of awards, mostly false, light up then die. His dopamine balance feeds the list. Limbic structures support it. Brain means house, should have windows. But they’re slow shutter pictures of the past.

 

Five minutes past four, Patrick is woken up by a noise. He’s lying in the small room. Renate is sleeping in the big one.

“Maybe I’ll get an idea during the night,” he had justified his move to the couch, “Then I’ll have to send it to them. We’re sending the thing off tomorrow.” He was afraid of saying what he knew about Kerstin in his sleep, while lying next to Renate. In the darkness he feels the room buzzing at him. His brain answers the hum, singing sugar and protein, talking perineural network that controls the form and function of the synapses which guide all...

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Axel Dielmann

“Can you imagine something like that?”

The curators were probably worried that someone would stumble carelessly up the stairs while looking at the exhibits—could I simply have gone past the first object at the bottom? Number 1, “Formless Veil, curtain” Must have been attached to the wall just between the entrance and exitus … “My dear colleague …!” and staircase. “… curtain, height 310 cm, width 475 cm.” I must already have seen it in the previous section, wall-high thing. What I’m overlooking, it occurs to me, is what’s essential. Which is the simplest form of analysis. I should actually go back down the gently curving stone stairs. But it’s over. Before me the Anatomical Theatre opens up along a last flat landing. Lights …

Set into the rectangular space is the oval of a gleaming brown wooden balustrade. From here you look down. Someone is whispering. The funnel of the auditorium declines in three narrowing...

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Time Probe Zero Synthesis
Time Probe Zero Synthesis

DIAPHANES MAGAZINE No. 3

Where is the present when the computer pulses at the wrist every day, when we’re globally interconnected in real time but don’t take in our ­selves for a single moment, just bits and pieces, just snatching a few intensities, when neurons plus communication already makes a consciousness? Is it nothing but a hallucination, in permanent crisis? Does it stand still, get wider, poorer? How does the past change when systems record every second, saving them for the right moment or for...
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Jochen Thermann

I really should not have hired him…

I really should not have hired him, but he seemed like he could fill in for my regular cook. Schneider had called in sick it seemed like it could drag on, so I took him on without too much fuss. He was a stocky, small man who could speak only broken German. At the end of the day, business had to go on, and the guests were hungry.

The complex relationships that you maintain often are unclear, even to yourself. So too the code that goes along with them. It is hard to decipher. It is only when things go off the rails that you recognize how well the self-regulation mechanisms were working: how Schneider would organize his purchases, how he would talk to the staff, how he put together the ingredients, and how truly he was interested in keeping business humming.

On the surface, the assistant chef worked in the same...

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Angelika Meier

Your story begins with a tunnel.

I’m standing in my perfectly fitting uniform with its freshly-pressed swastika armband in a long line at an American office. I’m waiting to submit my Application for Total War. Then, after standing in line for hours, the friendly clerk tells me that I need The Application for Foreign Aggressions in the next office over. Since I’m a depressed fascist, I don’t keep my chin up for long—despite my spiffy brown uniform—so I decide that’s enough for today and to try again tomorrow. The very next morning, I’m valiantly standing in the correct line, but then I’m missing some paperwork for the correct submission of my Application for Total War. Besides a birth certificate (the original, no copies allowed!), I’m still missing two recommendation letters from American citizens. Five are necessary. But—I thought just three… No, five in total! With a smile, the clerk raises her right hand, her fingers spread...

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