I always wonder why these pieces get so few comments, but I guess it's because they're so idiosyncratic people don't really know what to say. I have a few thoughts: First, I'm reminded of the first page of "In Search of Lost Time," when the narrator is drifting off to sleep and mentions how "my thoughts had run into a channel of their own, until I myself seemed actually to have become the subject of my book: a church, a quartet, the rivalry between François I and Charles V." I see you've updated "the rivalry between François I and Charles V" to "the vibe between Madonna and Britney"! Too good, man, too good. Another book that does this is Teju Cole's "Open City."

My other thought: I've been reading some contemporary novels that are referred to as "internet novels," which try to capture the consciousness of a person addicted to the internet, social media, and/or smartphones. I haven't really read one that succeeds yet, but I think you capture it here, especially the paragraph starting "But the structure of my recurring memory..." Not sure if this was your intention, but by connecting the ability to know everything and inhabit any viewpoint along with the loss of a stable identity, plus the feeling of loss/melancholy, I think you've nailed it.

Would love to read other people's thoughts and/or reactions if they're out there...

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Oct 22, 2023Liked by Justin Smith-Ruiu

The human species in real and irreal labyrinths of forking paths... Borges would have loved your story. Always great reading—and re-reading you.

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