Illustration: Gustave Doré “The Apparition”, Met Museum
Entry #2 22.09.2021

PANIC: Economy Past its Limit

Owen Steinberger

After reading for some time, being absorbed in the play of language, when we close our book, we might look up to see a room we no longer recognize. Transformations have taken place in our absence; our eyes have already adjusted to the page, and we will often need to readjust to differences in lighting, and dimensions, with an involuntary reorientation of the pupil and engagement of different photoreceptors. It is as if we have gone out of focus and are sliding back into place, rather than our image of the room. But the room itself has also changed. Not only has the planet been rotating and “sliding” through space at extreme speeds (which go unnoticed as constants, not unlike gravity, conspicuous in their absence only in our dreams, in this instance reading being a kind of day-dreaming) altering the coordinates of the room, our body not excluded of course; there has also been at work, and unavoidably so, the deleterious effects of time, the slow work of decay and death.

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