(“We no longer believe in a primordial totality” quotes a student from a book.)

To that I would add that we no longer believe in a primordial absence, either. The absence I pursue is continuous across time, although it tends to make itself available through subjective concentrations (scholars of narrative discuss focalization, and this is exactly the “point,” forgive the pun). When he later talks about “caverns endlessly contained in other caverns,” this should help us think about the nature of those non-historical points.

For those of you who would like to claim that the alters are time travelers, I would call into question your notion of travel. Any schoolchild knows a journey requires a destination. What manner of scientific instrument could measure the destination of an alter? And yet its velocity and position are no less real for being speculative.

Take, for example, the events at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, winter of ’75. The appearance, in apparent conjunction with the psychokinetic nuclear tests, of a disincarnate arm, in levitation, no mere hologram. The bafflement of an unidentified nuclear scientist. Take this arm as a kind of point, better known among some of the initiated as an Indicator. A subtle mind recognizes in this puzzle of a missing body the same continuity as the ground he walks. Oh, that way, to the West, a horizon! Yes, surveyor, a horizon, no mere mirage.


April 1, 1876

Coppe’s return . . . . . . . pseudo-Frederick . . . . . . . second law . . . . . . . guide to roping

at Mainz . . . . . . . horizons . . . . . . . at Banbury . . . . . . . Rabelais his mark . . . . . . . twice divested