A kabalistic definition of fin de siecle ennui
by Jacques Servin

 
 

"'It is unavoidable that as the efficiency of the means of production (Marx) and promotion (Debord) increases, the level of accuracy with which the man in the street can shoot for his goals will decrease.' After proving this relation with an obsessive thoroughness, Breyer states a result: that if achieving is the same as living, then life will ultimately, and almost certainly within the next twenty years, slow down and finally stop, except in pockets the irrelevance of whose present-day prototypes--arts communities--is already in its tenth year of being narrated ad nauseam.

"Here is of course the guts of dystopia wrenched from its palatable (or, equally valuably, totally uncomestible) romanticism. What, Breyer asks, might be done with a nightmare scenario that could be digested and analyzed, even proven to a truism? Archives is a simple and seemingly complete validation of the simple disgust with the present and horror of the future that have informed, consciously or discreetly unconsciously, so much of art since the Industrial Revolution--impulses which are considered so tacky in scientistic, instinct-despising academia as to be unworthy of consideration, let alone experience.... For those unwilling to feel with the times, Archives is trouble: it is eating your own indigestion."

--Parabola review of The Archives of Saturday Night by John Breyer (Vantage, 1998)

Here is the story of the remarkable conjoinment/disjuncture troubles of Pores and Lint Wilcox. It is mostly the narration of a verbal attack on their person/s from on high. It finishes with their successful rebuttal of said malediction, of which it can be said that it was the chunkiest of maledictions, one that lurched and lolled off the tongue, such as it might be, like so much homeless pantomime off the backs of urbane but cheery young Doctors of Freedom; it can be said as well, in contrast, that it was the very least chunky of maledictions, one that fused itself with the governing malady and, through ministrations dexter and sinister of fluidsfervid and lax, excreted itself (calling into question any agency, ever, of doctor, politician or priest) in damaging, noisome gushes:

"You fucking drain on the socialist fervor of our forebears, the descendent more moderate fervor for simple joys on the part of those catapulted to stardom, and the eternal and unchanging fervor of mean machines for their meanness!" yelled the fully automated, articulated and self-realized voice.

Pores and Lint Wilcox were surrounded by fields of hospital machinery and potency tests, midriff-swathing devices and photos of shoulder-length tears, and they could see no orifice in the stretches, there was nothing emitting anything and in fact nothing capable thereof, so Pores and Lint looked up, they raised their chins to the distances and their eyes to the zenith, so that while their chins gazed forward their eyes gazed up, and the voice repeated itself but in bas-relief, with visual references designed to keep the subject thread clear on through to the twenty-first century:

"You may look to all the world like Siamese twins, you may enjoy a communication in the torsi (PDR-IV), your fluids may join and part like so much spaghetti in the dining halls of a sinking Michelangelo, but there is nothing shielding me and my eyes from the fact that you are a difficulty for the proper functioning of our world. That is what you are and that is your relation to the world. It is the world's you and you are that to the world. Because of conjoinment, trouble. As a cause for trouble, conjoinment."

Pores and Lint turned their eyes as far as they would go towards each other and expressed certain things in great rambling sentences. There wasn't anything holding them back, they were hooting and yacking and shoving this monkey down that there camel's benignity, there was sameness all over, there was a sheer stretch of uninhibited revelry between those two fellows, who also, it must be said, communicated in the torsi.

"Perhaps," said Pores, "it really doesn't matter."

"Right," said Lint, "I'll bet you're right about that."