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Do you want to believe in language?

Dietmar Dath

Your Sprache Never Was
A Defeat

Published: 11.12.2017

DE

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 the neuron’s intracellular communication.

Patrick feels chilly from his feet up.

He wants to stay with Renate, not fly to America, to non-swimmer Kerstin.

Renate is 30 years old. She’s a stable person. Non-swimmer Kerstin on the other hand, has been alive as long as Patrick, 52 years already, and her terrible genius has nothing stable about it.

Renate is fit, has long, ash blond hair, and a musical laugh. She thinks that how Patrick on the one hand has remained loyal to his dodgy friend Karel Landau and on the other doesn’t cover up what he’s done is “heroic.” A word from literature. She reads novels. In contrast, Kerstin hates novels, is bony and pale, has buzzed hair that’s already gone grey at the temples. Three millimeters long Patrick guesses, from when they last saw each other on Skype. When she laughs it sounds dirty and all-knowing. A harsh tear in an inner smirk. At least she reads poetry.


It’s been 16 months since Kerstin was last here in Frankfurt, passing through after the conference in Berscia. In the time since, the foundation upon which Patrick had tried to support the information that she has divulged to him has collapsed. She told him not in a cemetery or underground parking garage — but in a pizzeria — a joke. Foundation?

His team, the one waiting for nighttime ideas to spruce up the unplanned paper, researches in the real; but that groundwork is a...

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.

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Dietmar Dath

Dietmar Dath

is a writer, translator and film critic for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He has published numerous books.
 

Other texts by Dietmar Dath for DIAPHANES