24 kart, blyant på papir, 74*71cm
... At some point your shadow has quietly slipped away. You pretend you don't notice, but you have, you're missing your fucking shadow, though there are plenty of ways to explain it, the angle of the sun,
the degree of oblivion induced by the sun beating down on hatless heads,
the quantity of alcohol ingested,
the movement of something like subterranean tanks of pain,
the fear of more contingent things,
a disease that begins to become apparent, wounded vanity, the desire just for once in your life to be on time.
But the point is, your shadow is lost and you, momentarily, forget it. And so you arrive on a kind of stage, without your shadow, and you start to translate reality or reinterpret it or sing it.
The stage is really a proscenium and upstage there's an enormous tube, something like a mine shaft or the gigantic opening of a mine. Let's call it a cave. But a mine works too...
-Amalfitano's tale - Roberto Bolaño, "2666"
Foto: Kjell Ove Storvik
On reading (or drawing) a map. Or reading words in literature. Always words and names,- and the links between them. Between places on earth. The source of rivers and the source of words. Take, zum beispiel, the word Columbite-Tantalite, Coltan for short. The Tan is Tantalum, the metal known for its extremely high melting point and conductivity. Important in the Great Rift Valley, the Silicon Valley, Shenzhen, Nokia(?), Seoul and every place a smartphone is in use. Tantalizing!
Tantalus was an intimate friend of Zeus. He was a greedy guy, a mortal among immortals. His wealth derived from the mines of Phrygia and Mount Sipylus. His reign was marked by violent earthquakes in Lydia and Ionia (Strabo). Tantalus was punished for his crimes with the ruin of his kingdom, and after his death by Zeus own hand, with eternal torment in Tartarus, in the company of Sisyphus and others.
Now he hangs, perennially consumed by thirst and hunger, from the bough of a fruit tree which leans over a marshy lake. It's waves lap against his waist, and sometimes reach his chin, yet whenever he bends down to drink, they slip away, and nothing remains but the black mud at his feet; or, if he ever succeeds in scooping up a handful of water, it slips through his fingers before he can do more than wet his cracked lips, leaving him thirstier than ever. The tree is laden with pears, shining apples, sweet figs, reep olives and pomegranates, which dangle against his shoulders, but whenever he reaches for the luscious fruit, a gust of wind whirls them out of his reach. Moreover, an enormous stone, a crag from mount Sipylus, overhangs the tree, and eternally threatens to crush Tantalus's skull.
- EBL/Robert Graves. The Greek Myths, 1955