Thursday, April 26, 2007

from PAMELA: A NOVEL by Pamela Lu

“…since the main challenge of contemporary life rested not in going out and identifying the “there,” which was everywhere, but in discovering a “here” that wasn’t “there,” for this “here” was slippery and always seemed to be somewhere else” (21).

“For what other reason would cartographers design a building map with the highlighted phrase “You Are Here,” accompanied by a large arrow indicating the place you were supposedly standing…Where does this map get off, telling you where you are or aren’t at the moment…Or consider the point itself: Where exactly is “Here”? At the exact point indicated on the map?...And consider the ever-present tense of the phrase “You Are Here”: If you walk away from the map, are you still “Here,” as the sign says? If you leave and come back in a week, does this mean you’ve been “Here” all along?” (22)

“…we continued to examine the situation from all points of reference while we were still inside that very collision and even after we escaped it, which in actuality we never did, since we were perpetually moving from one near-collision to the next, or finding ourselves in situations of existence which, no matter how hard we tried, made no sense at all. This sensation of whiplash suggested that we were moving much faster than ourselves when in actuality we could barely keep up with ourselves, and when in fact our generation was, by all popular accounts, going nowhere” (23).

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