Week Twenty Four (pg. 403-414 Hilaritas edition, Chapter 19&20 Part III all editions)By Gregory Arnott
Special guest blogger
Once learned men knew that things fell because it was in their nature to fall, according to the Peripatetic. Once a man was burned at the stake for saying that there might be other Earths that were perhaps themselves inhabited. Once a man knew that the world had begun precisely on an October day in 4004 BCE based on his study of a bastardized translation of a bastardized translation of a bastardized translation. Once a poor engraver’s poetry was said, in the only review of his lifetime, to be “the ravings of an unfortunate lunatic.” Once man said he could split the atom, knowing full well that this was a lie because the idea of an atom was smaller, much smaller, than our primitive tools could ever discern. Once a man thought that he’d explained away consciousness as the meat sweats of glands and pulse. (I do not mention Woman because She was never given enough of a platform to be as Wrong as He.)
Mankind’s wrongness is a blessing in disguise. Because the world that mankind builds always seeks to be correct and being such a flawed Being mankind’s idea of what “correct” might be is almost always so heinously incorrect. Humanity never really shook the stupid so its a good thing our “best and brightest” are usually proven to have a bit of egg on their face. It makes way for the Future, which is where our hopes lie. And someday, perhaps, the last shall be first and this whole barrel of babbling apes will burst into something better.
A smart guy, by my estimation, wrote a few years ago that everyone else was writing history so he better get in on the game. He titled his work True History and it was entirely composed of lies. Partially because of a trip to the moon atop a waterspout, it makes a better case for one of the first works of science fiction than anything by Margaret Cavendish or Voltaire. Our lies often turn out to be better than our truths. We did go to the Moon- we did that against all odds. Once another dude, who I think was pretty smart, wrote that “all art is quite useless,” but another guy, considerably weirder but perhaps as smart, crossed that out and pointed out that “nothing that is useless can continue to grow and thrive.”
Both of our protagonists are at a loss. Sir John is arguing with human arrogance and God/Author even knows what is happening to Sigismundo at this point. But at least he gets a pleasant show in the best of RAW fashions: the set dressing should be familiar. The light-skinned blond and the darker brunette- his affection for coitus reservatus, the hanged man and ejaculate. Lovely, old-fashioned stuff just like Grandpa’s stories.
We all live in different worlds. De Selby was right.
I don’t have much else to add this week. You all have been doing an excellent job in the comments picking up the piece I’ve still dropped.
From Eric: “This week’s soundtrack, a version of the EU theme song, comes courtesy of Toby Philpott with the caption, “BREXIT, Stage Left”. I think it fits in with the absurd nature of some of the footnotes in the novel.”