Sunday, December 13, 2015

"Here Is My Thinking on a Situation That Affects Us All" by Rahul Kanakia

The cutesiness announced by the title is present and I wish it weren't, but so is the lightness — and it's the latter that moves me, because the "situation" here is death, or life, or existence. The rambling narrative of a spaceship that is (or was) the earth's core, its only purpose to travel billions of years to die and, with the matter-energy it brings, give "the creators" a few more decades of (we're told) blissful existence — but who first spends some time observing, with both enjoyment and sometimes a "cold aesthetic distaste," the dance (with missteps) of human life (the aside about the girl who says "Hellooooooo" then grows into a life of misery somehow redeemed from mawkishness by the ship's combination of attention and inattention [though it is also mawkish]), and becomes fond of a human it talks with about epistemology, consciousness, and telos:
And when I ask him the basis for his statements, he speaks twice as fast and lays gibberish on top of gibberish. With Abhinath, it is not the words that matter. The words are meaningless. It is the way he says them. He speaks with such passion that he creates his own truth. In that, he is like the creators, and if I did not have their voice singing inside me, then perhaps I would be able to . . .
— the story flits from level to level, time scale to time scale, skimming the surface, touching what it touches only lightly, in so doing staying truer, despite its own missteps, to the depth and weight it pursues than many a self-serious treatise.

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