ON CONTEXT


Perhaps the most horrifying difficulty of adaptation lies in the philosophical implications, as opposed to the social, or economical. This is the genre of fragmentations, a paragon of post-modernism, but unfortunately can strike as a physiological condition, the shattered nerves and instantaneously erased multitudes of self-awarenesses. Overly complicated text, bitterly indescribable topic: a mathematical impossibility. Interestingly enough, the theory of varying infinities could easily apply, not being called the theory of varying infinities, but something else: where in any series a number can be counted and given an order based on its consecutive standing this is not the case for all numbers taken from a segment- say, from one to ten- there being an infinite amount of numbers between five and six, any number of that set between those two puppies cannot be found to order since an infinity cannot be consecutively determined. This amounts to the theory of amounts.

At any rate, this kind of fragmentation, whose internal numerical amount is infinity, occurs between, say, people, the tarantinoish conversations about nothing, once again, a fragment taken out of nothing, understood as nothing.


"So a person that becomes a word does not change by his own accord, but only in context.
So I see how text can ultimately be replaced by context,

So I see that the possibility for any pattern of a logical chain between a word and a person approaches infinity,

So I see how a person in a coma within a matter of six hours can become an entirely different person in context

That language isn't text but context

That changing hemispheres language is helpless and useless

That snow doesn't melt on a puddle and sparkles only when air temperature falls below zero

That snow cannot be drawn or photographed

That by integrating the Moscow Subway to fill the whole globe, approaching an infinite number of stations, each singular station approaches nonexistence

That someone said that we spend our lives in the subway

That taking the trolleybus is more confusing than taking the subway

That by fascinating people one alienates oneself

That alienation is the key to being a good writer, only at intervals between submersion

That a legal alien pays taxes but doesn't vote

That it would be cool to take advantage of religious contradictions

but dangerous

and maybe the ambitious flight into the infinity

within each tiny point leads to madness

and maybe regression leads not to nonexistence but

to the point from which one started, circling thus a thousand times.

As a subway train leaves from one station and passes to hell and back five thousand times in one instant

But we don't see that because time is defined by context and does not apply to the theory of amounts.

....and something is happening to me, but I'm not quite sure what...."

ە, ˕˗ , ˕˗, ӕ ԕ • · ˗ ԕ “ ˗ , ӕ, Ӕ˒ҝ ԕ”˜ ӷۜҝ ͕˝ θ ̚ Ӓ- ԕ•: ̝˝ ϝ ԕڕڒ- ˗ ԕ˝, Ϛ Ϛ ӕ, ڸ .

The mysterious barrier in question seems to be of a sort of a wall or a net, that same so-called brick wall whose brick allows a physical body to pass through, but traps its metaphysical accessories, which, according to my half-proven definition, form as a crystallization of several multi-layered contexts. For example, the ideas of time and space are metaphysical concepts, dependant upon a system of coordinates, which is in itself a context.


It is too bold to say that through the culmination of my no-longer interesting experiences I realized that time is partially dependant on space since any abstract concept is a function of a concrete concept. But I also know that I can prove it, according to the laws of a particular chosen logic, which might not work in your location. Since space differs from one location to the other, the coordinates within which it is described also differ, and since the coordinates of an abstract concept are built according to a model of the coordinates of a concrete concept, then time is modeled after space.

But this little example of circular logics and phenomenological failures drew three pints of blood from my system in the course of two weeks. Since from the beginning of this and other failures I chose to watch and wait, collecting with a pen-knife the bits of a snail-trail left by my wandering, no matter how much skin and flesh it scraped off my feet and hands, how in despair, in October, I called Aram and told him that I was a sponge. But if I am, so I justify past and upcoming sentimentality by this: to describe or attempt to describe a phenomenon in a half essay and half melodrama there has to be a victim of a phenomenon.

When you fly in an airplane from the east to the west many strange things happen. The most immediate has to do with Time, which I will henceforth capitalize since I recently stated that it is a function of space. But because of this, to capitalize Time is misleading, like capitalizing space, which exists many times in many variants. The well-known paradox is that if a flight leaves from Moscow at 10 am, on July 24th, and takes eleven hours, it will arrive in San Francisco at 10 am, on July 24th. What happens in between is a chasm, a lapse, a void and black hole. Technically you gain eleven hours in your life, but only in one coordinate system- in another you utterly lose those eleven hours, because time spent on such a flight is like death. Of course this leads to thoughts like that 7-up commercial where someone runs around the globe at such a speed that circling it enough, he goes back in Time, which is also logically justified if we measure Time according to a single system of coordinates (if we integrate other systems of other locals, the scheme, of course, falls apart). So it is happens that the trauma of being transferred into another coordinate system is either lulled or heightened (depending on your point of view, which I will be sure to tear to pieces in a little while) by default, and as you arrive, sleep-deprived and horrified already by the surreal bureaucratic universe of customs, you have been made empty, blown out, a shell of yourself because your identity has been drained and flattened.


Is this done necessarily by the airplane? This is a mystery to me and to everyone who has traveled. Collectively it has been called that very brick wall, which is unfortunately too subjective to be defined. Because when you fly to Paris for three days to stay in a hotel in Montmartre your perception remains unharmed, as does your own system of coordinates. You will not measure Parisian sights by Parisian standards, you will not view matters in Parisian context, no matter how objective you are, it is physiologically impossible. Nor was my seven-day stay in Prague marked by a change of value-systems- I combined all my standards like the languages I spoke and compared everything to those. The reasons, of course, at first hand are obvious- I am not fluent in French and do not speak Czech. I also never "lived" in either of these places, though "live", like "love" and "soul" is a four-letter word, a curse, and utterly indefinable, and the physicality of daily routines and real-estate problems, as well as employment and social contact, had not had time to grow familiar enough to where I could detect it by a second of smell or sound. It appears that in order to pass through that "brick wall" of context, several things have to happen. It must also be taken into account that the existence of that "wall" is a spectrum- it has unquantized levels of strength of influence.

The mysterious barrier depends primarily on the traveler's fluency in the language. From this everything else follows- how familiar he is with the mentality of the country, if he has lived in it before- in a word, if he has learned this language artificially (from native-speakers while in another country) or naturally (living in the country itself). This knowledge and familiarity consequently influences the degree to which you are brainwashed and your personality drained along with blood and sleep as you cross the border.


But I can arrange a mind-blowing time-lapse artificially if I so wished, or our friend Stas Stassych, who very gallantly but politely offered an acid trip when he saw me gazing with a film over my eyes at the huge neon Pepsi commercial on Pushkin Square at one in the morning- that is not the most horrible and indescribable part- that forgetfulness of Rip Van Winkle when you wander in to wherever you're going to be staying after the airport, or especially the unreality of the huge stretch of highway that you see before you in a car. You don't believe in it, it does not fit with your understanding of what the world is like, and though you perfectly comprehend that simple, transparent language on the billboards, and its meaning vaguely familiar to you, the luridness of that familiarity is covered partially by a haze- you don't catch all the nuances straight away, taking in everything with exaggerated scorn because inside you lack a point of view to judge from, your aggressive cynicisms are only to fill that searing emptiness left.

Before arriving in the United States, living in Russia for a year, and writing this Lexicon, I knew that by immersing myself so fully into one world only to suddenly disappear into another, I would find myself existing without a personality, as it so happened during my first few days in Russia. But in Russia I was still inexperienced, and when people told me things about myself that couldn't have been true because they never had been true, I didn't believe them, until once I saw myself finally through their eyes, and realized they were right, not because I had changed, but because my context had changed. In very simple terms, I behave differently in English than I do in Russian. In English I am confident, arrogant, very talkative, and entirely independent from point of view. In Russian my voice shakes, I tend to listen more than speak though I may be just as confident of my opinion and how to articulate it. But to generalize these moments is banal, because the most important and unnoticeable change that comes over you is your perception. Having held a point of view that has earned you perceptiveness and accuracy, you believe in your own system of logic as an objective one, you consider yourself intelligent because you are able to understand and predict things easily in most situations- you are used to walking in the street with your head held high because you know what the clothes that you are wearing will evoke in the eyes of the student with orange hair carrying a copy of Nietzsche over on Bleeker Street, that although you have never had a direct confrontation with a municipal authority figure, you can predict how you should most likely behave.