Sunday, October 18, 2015

"Glaciers Made You" by Gabby Reed

A message that is directed — that is directions — but has no knowably concrete origins or ends, only infinite suggestion, predecessors, consequences. The writing is in her skin, but only appears when she pulls that skin off of her body. What did this story make this reader think of? Sofia Samatar's "Skin Feeling", which I had just read the day before, in so many ways, in every way, with endless differences. Samuel R. Delany's offhand comment (somewhere — it's so offhand I can never find it in indexes) that all writing is automatic writing, because who is to say where all these words come from, who is to say that it is from us, that we chose these words? (What is a choice?) Maurice Blanchot, everywhere, always, on the silence and emergence of writing. The Crawler in Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation, before subsequent volumes domesticated it, traveling along blindly in the dark underground, writing a sentence it cannot read (Blanchot here, again), that never ends and is literally alive. (The uncanny encounter with wildlife at the end, too, put me in mind of that novel.) And it made me think of "Glaciers Made You" by Gabby Reed, which resonates with all of these other things (and many more, some along the same lines, many along lines parallel, perpendicular, orthogonal...) not by being constructed from them, not by being like them, but by being constructed out of and like itself.

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