Read ☆ E-book, or Kindle E-pub È Jayinee Basu
Jayinee Basu È 9 Free read Read ☆ E-book, or Kindle E-pub È Jayinee Basu The City of Folding Faces Download ↠ 9 “After returning from the system each morning Mara forgot who she had been the day before Every day showed her a new world”At the mysterious research facility known only as the Casino anyone can play Roulette but it’s not a game for the faint of heart Those who upload themselves into the system expand their consciousness far beyond natural human limits But when they return to their bodies and the everyday world they struggle to function finding their memories their speech and even their dreams c. A phenomenology of contemporary reading Oscar Wilde said that only shallow people do not judge by appearances In the library I plucked a strange little book from the new shelf It s glossy white and almost hand sized It has a strange bluish orangish Rorschach design on the cover It feels and looks like some device from the future I love the title The City of Folding Faces As a JoyceanWoolfean I prefer city novels to any other kind and the title s hint of surrealism intrigues I am hooked by label and design alone The first paragraphMara was underwater suspended and swaying marinely in a light green broth of plant matter her body getting progressively lighter nearly floating off the slippery plastic seat of the chair The water felt cool around her face as her eyelids drooped Everything was muffled except the muffled glubbing of her heart Eventually a flutish tone sounded followed by a male speech emulatorOn the one hand this paragraph indulges a bad habit of contemporary prose that I strive mightily and often fail to correct in my own work the sentence that drifts weakly to its conclusion on a train of progressive verbs Or so John complained tapping his keyboard furiously drinking his coffee googling the correct grammatical terms Such lists of ongoing actions blur the image blunt the action Then again perhaps the effect and affect are justified in so oneiric a text And could I improve on marinely or muffled glubbing I could not The verbal originality and observant sensibility they portend almost guarantee I will read this short book poet Jayinee Basu s first work of fiction to the end I did and I recommend you do tooThis science fiction novella s speculative premise which the back cover does its best to convey remains mysterious for much of the narrative My own best effort to explain it is as follows In the near future a corporate research scientist develops a technology that can harvest a person s memories and then show them as a visual display or VR immersion A person s life when seen from the exterior looks a tubeform the worm or snake we form as we pass through time When this technology becomes commercially available many people sign up for the experience as a kind of psychological extreme sport its purveyors openly use gambling metaphors calling the experience Roulette and their business The Casino and it does pose a risk it often leaves its subjects in a state of dimensional dysphoria bereft of memory and unable to live within the fourth dimension after having seen it from a higher planeThe preferred medical treatment for this dysphoria is a futuristic surgical intervention that renders the faces of the dysphoric into hyperexpressive visages capable of creasing and folding into supersubtle expressions of nuanced emotion well beyond what language could convey as befits their transdimensional sensibilities This class of the surgically altered called the Ruga from the anatomical term for a fold or crease is a new minority within a society marked by growing ineualityBut The City of Folding Faces is a non linear and psychological narrative a novella of inner life Basu does not give pages and pages of exposition and the book has in common with the semi surreal world blocking techniue Tyler Malone observes in Anna Kavan s Ice than it does with conventional worldbuilding science fictionIts real narrative is the fraught love story between the novel s Ruga protagonist Mara and her non Ruga boyfriend Arlo or rather the love uadrangle among Mara Arlo Arlo s colleague and lover Hanne and Mara s Ruga friend George who is eventually disclosed to be central to Roulette than he at first seemed And its real theme is how people do and do not connect in a society where personal identity is ever complex and social experience ever fragmented As Basu comments ambivalently in an interviewEveryone wants to find their people the ones who have experienced similar traumas and have a shared language with which to discuss that trauma But no one will ever understand your trauma in all its subtlety in all the little details of it that really make it yours and realizing that is a disturbance in and of itselfDimensional dysphoria and Ruga identity are usefully flexible metaphors for any number of contemporary social phenomena the author s own back cover author bio suggests that one real world analogue might be the immigrant experience andor the multi professional artist scientist experience while much of the novella s language also evokes the complexities of genderBut metropolitan life in general is ever cut off from memory in the sense of stable traditional meaning and value and most of us are concomitantly afflicted often lyrically with an immobilizing disjunction between the expansiveness of knowledge and possibility on the one hand and the narrow strictures of everyday life on the other At one point in the novel a character listens to an old speech from a corporate guru Over the last century religion has all but disappeared from the lives of Americans and people the world over God has been dead since the advent of modernity The last major victim of our culture s process of ruthless illusion shattering has been romantic love We can see the negative impact this has made People are crying out for something to worship Are such feelings as love and awe still possible in a society so secularized and atomized If so how will they be transformed As a portrait a phenomenology of the urban self in the 21st century The City of Folding Faces is laudable and convincing Its fragmented dischronology its uick but dense metaphorical descriptions of inner states answer our mindset as stream of consciousness once did for the metropolitan readers of a century ago When a mouse from Arlo s lab turns up dead in his and Mara s apartment George places it on a table with an apricot and a mushroom an allusion perhaps to Lautr amont s Surrealist rendezvous of umbrella and sewing machine on a surgical table and Mara reflectsMara looked at the table and suddenly understood People always talk about the importance of knowing who you are and writing your life story But her life did not seem to her like a story It seemed to her like this dead mouse a deteriorating fruit and a mushroom lined up in a row Purposeful meaninglessness The she focused on this the it produced a sensation of both fear and relief which resulted in a burst of laughter that sprang from her lips in a sharp bark The idea that there might be agents in the world whose only goal was to slow the human race s suicidal sprint toward a pinprick of ultimate complexity by producing meaninglessness disguised as information became supremely comical and Mara began to laugh even harderOn the one hand such agents of purposeful meaninglessness are writers especially writers of imaginative fictions like this one On the other hand fiction does provide information does confer and complicate identity and so adumbrates our ever infolding and therefore perhaps terminal complexity The novella is caught between the old humanism and the new materialismThe technology that gives rise to futuristic identities in this narrative come from the same commercial and corporates forces that make its San Francisco like city setting increasingly unlivable for masses of people There are feces everywhere enough is enough yet the identities themselves are beautiful and in their way natural Mara desires to be like a plant immanently meaningful A plant s body is nothing but a map of its decisions Not to mention existentialNo one ever touches anything It s always just electrons interacting at surfaces that makes it appear as if our tissues have bridged the gap between us and other things But there is always a space and we have always begun to feel from afar Mara wanted to say but didn t have the wordsThe novella implies by its conclusion that the Ruga products of the system will be the system s undoing in other words that history is dialectical that capitalism produces its own gravediggers This prophecy has failed before and anyway the delicate love story at the narrative s center is rendered persuasively with texture sexy and irreal surprisingly transformative imbricated with markets and exploitation yet no less transcendent for that than its fashionable political divagationsShe pulled into her driveway and rubbed rose cream blush onto the apples of her cheeks Her wan olive features suddenly looked alive with the shifting iridophoric gleam of a cuttlefishTime is ualitative not uantitative Many works of fiction have been published in the last two decades but not all are what The City of Folding Faces undeniably is a 21st century novelReview The City of Folding Faces
Jayinee Basu È 9 Free read Read ☆ E-book, or Kindle E-pub È Jayinee Basu The City of Folding Faces Download ↠ 9 Hanged beyond recognitionLike many who have played Roulette and fallen into a state of profound dimensional dysphoria Mara chooses to undergo a cutting edge body modification surgery which by changing the very structure of her face promises to give her a language for expressing the inexpressible And so she joins a growing subculture the Ruga who thanks to the surgery can communicate with each other through infinite permutations of facial colorations and wrinkles Among themselves the Ruga can express w.
Read ☆ E-book, or Kindle E-pub È Jayinee Basu
Jayinee Basu È 9 Free read Read ☆ E-book, or Kindle E-pub È Jayinee Basu The City of Folding Faces Download ↠ 9 Ith satisfying clarity the way they now experience the world with the side effect that they are increasingly cut off from the rest of humanityBut Mara still wants to communicate her experience to the non Ruga people who matter most to her especially her boyfriend Arlo As she feels him slipping away she undertakes radical changes in her life in order to hold on It is through her struggle to remain connected to him that she at last discovers a way to adapt living with a divergent psyche in a linear worl. Incredible exploration of affect and renewal
- The City of Folding Faces
- Jayinee Basu
- 09 April 2019