January 28, 2018

The sands

Simple line from Foucault's Pendulum:

... you, too, are trying to leave footprints on the sands of time

I can't get out of my head the idea that (unrelated to the story?) you could alter the laws of physics and leave your mark not on human history but on the universe. Contributing to the human race is no longer the goal. Those ambitions can only create something to be forgotten in a dozen or hundred or thousand years. Altering the "sands of time" alters the page and not the text.

But then taking the full quote from FP, that grandiose tangent may not be far off. The idea of stepping-outside-of-the-system, and the system re-asserting itself, may be the intent.

But redemption from what, old Rocambole? You knew better than to try to become a protagonist! You have been punished, and with your own arts. You mocked the creators of illusion, and now--as you see--you write using the alibi of a machine, telling yourself you are a spectator because you read yourself on the screen as if the words belonged to another, but you have fallen into the trap: you, too, are trying to leave footprints on the sands of time. You have dared to change the text of the romance of the world, and the romance of the world has taken you instead into its coils and involved you in its plot, a plot not of your making.
posted by sstrader at 11:17 PM in Language & Literature | permalink