Sunday, March 11, 2007

Chapter 44: On the Road to Kashgar


This chapter adds new meaning to the Theme of Excluded Middles so important to V. In many ways this detour into mathematics is clearly about another binary, this one between the “real” and the “unreal”—whether numbers, or knowledge, or matter, or time. Yashmeen, Gunther, and Kit are all leaving Gottingen, the place where they can philosophically ponder these binaries, for the real world of excluded middles, which as V. reminded us, are “bad shit.” Their visit to the strange mathematics museum accentuates this issue—its use of objects which generally transform themselves from the two-dimensional to the three is illustrative of this. For example, a column in a two dimensional mural merges with a real 3D column in the museum display space.

Gunther is off to Mexico, to “manage one of the family coffee plantations” (635). T.W.I.T. is sending Yashmeen off on a mythical elopement to Switzerland, from which Yashmeen will head East, to places yet to be revealed; and Kit, running from Foley and Vibe’s murderous forces now on his trail, is off to Shambala, the mythical center of Buddhist-Grecian mysticism, or Kashgar, a real city in present day China close to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and all the other –stans, where Yashmeen’s father was last known to be. On a mission for T.W.I.T or some other mysterious force—perhaps even the Godlike voice that speaks to the three as they leave the Museum.

A great meditation on Kit’s itinerary, and the whole notion of this binary:

“As for what lies beneath these sands, you’ve got your choice—either Shambala, as close to the Heavenly City as Earth has known, or Baku and Johannesburg all over again, unexplored reserves of gold, oil, Plutonian wealth, and the prospect of creating another subhuman class of workers to extract it. One vision if you like, spiritual, and the other, capitalist. Incommensurable, of course” (631).

OF COURSE???????

Towards the end of the chapter, a great quote from Gunther, which is going on my office wall, and eventually on my website:

“Fate does not speak. She carries a Mauser and from time to time indicates our proper path” (635).

3 Comments:

Blogger Douglas Lannark said...

Sorry, I'm overworked too and a bit confused. Doesn't that *excluded middles are bad shit* come from COL49 (p 150 in the Perennial Classics 1999 edition)and not V.? Or did you mean something else?

To jump forward -- On your Blog Chapter 46 comes after Chapter 44. Should read Chapter 45 unless something invisible is going on here.

Salute

6:53 AM  
Blogger Stevens said...

Sorry Doug!

Likely you are right--I didn't look up the reference like a good scholar should, and faulty memory says it might be COL49.

I'll fix the numbering! What a lousy editor I am lately!

12:28 PM  
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10:49 PM  

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