12 thoughts on “XX by Rian Hughes

  1. After some thoughts on a committee’s instructions on how to verify and then impart info to the public about – evidence of extraterrestrial life …
    …we reach a poem that seems to address the gestalt real-time reviewer, like me, who has always sought triangulation, with other readers, of the coordinates of a fiction work, including this stanza that embodies, after 72 years, my philosophy of life …

    “Should one take ideas on faith?
    Or turn them on their head?
    Look at them from all angles?
    Think the opposite instead?”

  2. BOOK I: ANALYSIS

    INTELLIGENCIA: MEMETIC ENGINEERING

    BUSINESS PLAN

    “Other eyes, other minds, other languages . . .”

    A folie à trois, a triangulating of Nixon, Jack & Harriet, setting up business in a period piece SF before Covid, I guess, as they are setting it up without social distance in an office overlooking Liverpool Street. Know the place well. Like them, I need to drill down into symbols, what IS their business? Introducing perhaps alien life or AI life to us, to me, to hopefully un-solipsistic YOU. So not a folie at all? Just me harvesting possible permutations, and me trying to make this book have an INSTINCT unto itself that it didn’t have before, or some similar ‘pattern recognition’, building a gestalt gradually, judging by the size of this book as a black box in disguise, one that keeps most of its cards (or ‘idea fires’) close to its chest so far. My naïve insight perhaps, or is it the ‘hunch’ described by itself to itself as “a pareidoliac confluence of certainty.” I have, I think, long been a pareidoliast to the extent of it becoming a mental disability.

  3. Email exchange …

    “Maps of maps of maps of territories.”

    This stuff is gesta(l)ting as sweetly as a nut!
    Backstory to backstory between individual characters, with business and science containing the same synchronised shards of random truth and fiction!
    This now seems to be a novel novel as tour de force feeding off real-time book reviewing! As if I somehow started these coded processes in 2008 as a retrocausality of my future reading of this book!

    As a momentary aside:
    XX is one plus 19?
    COVID itself already a mixed up Roman numeral of sorts where O is zero?

  4. THE CARTOGRAPHY OF LUST

    “…a tendency to see meaning where there was none, to imbue the everyday with a sense of the numinous.”

    …. and/or the nemonymous?
    I wrestle with such matters everyday.

    Meanwhile, I am utterly inspired by this section’s serial skeuomorphs of an old-fashioned camera click as the sporadic ignition for Jack’s episodic Proustian cartography by walking through the streets of East London near the City of London… via a club, towards his painterly girl friend’s flat?
    I used regularly to wander these same streets in the early 1970s, at a whim, when skiving off from my financial office/sales job based in Queen Victoria Street. Spending, likewise, my time in the byways of the mind whereby events threw shadows before them. And the Proustian theme is continued at the end of this section by subtle reference to the nemonymity of customised Proustian ‘selves’ with Jack seeing Jack in a mirror.
    I hopefully will not continue to itemise this book so closely, for fear of future spoilers…

  5. 00BB937B-47C2-4C07-A424-6BA703560C73MESSAGES FROM IDEASPACE

    “Earth’s slowly downspinning crystalline inner core”

    An infection we call life, I think it says somewhere, and also, inferentially, that my Nemonymous Night and its Earth’s Coronus as SunNemo and its ‘Covered (Covid?) Market Core’, has been hacked from nearly ten years ago, as I have now hacked, in retribution, this book to garner its “signal”! A signal as a shared memory of a Proustian self reflected back at me? I had no idea this section of XX would contain the word “coordinates” when I used it above a few days ago. Brick Lane as the obvious place to think of the weight of the world “cradled” beneath one’s feet, I guess. And another email exchange, one this time of which I shall not divulge its contents. Nor the two perhaps crucial words as descried from the random-generated photographs that Jack click-shuttled as part of his skeuomorphic ‘petite madeleine cake dunked in tea.’ I perhaps should not have read so much Rhys Hughes fictionatronics! Literature is music just as much as the slightly mis-recurring signals of Philip Glass minimalism are?

  6. APOPHENIA

    I have quite often mentioned the word ‘Apophenia’ in my gestalt real-time reviewing of fiction books over the years, e.g. this one dealing with Jeff VanderMeer’s DEAD ASTRONAUTS:
    https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2019/12/05/dead-astronauts-jeff-vandermeer/#comment-17531
    Meanwhile, I suffer strongly from apophenia and various forms of confirmation-bias, as I have frequently confessed, to the extent of idiocy or genius — or both of these … or neither.
    Today this passage from this APOPHENIA section I read from Rian Hughes:

    46E605E3-233B-40E2-8DCE-806B26DAF77E

    created apophenia in me with two stories by Corigliano and Heuler that I read, by chance, earlier today, respectively here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2020/10/04/nightscript-6/#comment-20071 and here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2020/09/16/strange-tales-tartarus-press-at-30/#comment-20069

    Self as medium, but medium what? Medium FOR what?

    “— two Xs for eyes.”

  7. HUMAN RESOURCES

    I really think I know Harriet now, with this her backstory, as well as with the “process of osmosis.” And the accretive ‘Danielewski HOUSE of Leaves’-like Daedalus Footage Wikipedia. The DNA code concept of alien signals as messages within messages, too. I often tap into the human resources of osmosis in my reviews, by the way. This mighty book feeds me good and proper with durable doses of it. 🙂

  8. UNDERGROUND ARTIST

    “Given his proclivity to see patterns and connections….”

    …into one’s current Proustian self as well as into the nature of Nature itself… flirting with art-for-art’s-sake mandala overlapping as freed patterns from iPad to iPad, creating chat up lines as physical social media, in a gallery beneath the Brutalist streets: art that can be coded and recoded and code-looped! This book is literature’s ground-breaking version of all this? The Discovery Channel of a ‘virus’ is mentioned. Fractals, too.
    Now, a PULSAR: another Wikipedia entry, this time redacted by the exegesis of a media blocking from an old-fashioned slide or Jack’s business calling card. Patterns and connections thwarted? This book simply knew I would be reviewing it, I guess!

    I am actually writing this on my own iPad. The only code I know is html. My email is hotmail, and has been the same address (dflewis48@hotmail.com) since April 1999.
    48 is my year of birth.

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