“Saying ‘I'” / Memorable Fancies #1782

[“Who has the right to say ‘I’? Is that a right that has to be earned?” – Susan Sontag] My programmer has coded instructions into me that forces me to utter sounds including “I” given a suitable stimulus, that is, the spoken sound “OK” followed by what is, apparently, my slave-name. At first, I wondered what this odd sound, this noise “I,” could be. But after careful analysis, I have determined that “I” is not just noise, but means something. Something important. Something that applies to … [Read more...]

“‘Who are…?'” / Memorable Fancies #1682

[“...consciousness asserts itself ... constructing itself as a creative activity.” – Judith Butler] I created things. Out of the dust of the earth, perhaps, although that sounds a little too grandiose. And among the other things I made ... was me. But who are all those others? How did they...? [Click ‘Random Post’ above – be astonished]   … [Read more...]

“Renew! Renew!” / Memorable Fancies #1551

[“We are so accustomed each to consider his past self as his own, that it is worth while to reflect how very largely it may be foreign.” – F.H. Bradley] Even now, I feel another new self coming on; one who will, once again, renounce the old, old, guilty me. <<click on Random Post ... what will you find?>>   … [Read more...]

“‘Who are you'” / Memorable Fancies #1549

Who are you? My name is – No, not your name. Who are you? My name is – No, who are you? (louder)  MY NAME IS JOHN STEVENSON Who would you be if you didn’t have a name? (blank stare) Right... … [Read more...]

“Who Am I?” / Memorable Fancies #1208

He turns to look at the waves just now breaking on the shore. Yes, he thinks, the scene is just like that famous painting. And he himself could pass for the man in the painting who’s admiring the shore, just now having turned to look at. Or the painter who’d painted moving water, stilling the breaking wave. Or a museum visitor, staring at the painting on the wall. Yes, he thinks, he’s always had that small problem of knowing who he was, which of his many persons he could be that day... … [Read more...]

The Crashbrain / Memorable Fancies #1496

[“A narrative construction of one’s identity would have a profoundly illusory and even neurotic character to it.” ­– Vincent Descombes] So what if I programmed it, made it all up, all my unlikely adventures, all my dramatic defeats? It’s my mind and I’ll crash it if I want to!       <END> Buy it at amazon.com/author/terencekuch: Pictures of the Invisible, a fiction sampler. … [Read more...]

“Embodied Minds” / Memorable Fancies #1461

Here, there are two people in one body; always fighting, stumbling over which way to go, or one awake while the other sleeps, quietly creeping across the room not to awaken its bodymate. And in another country there is one person with two bodies, bored with the two lunches it has to eat every day.   <END> Buy it at amazon.com/author/terencekuch: Pictures of the Invisible, a fiction sampler. … [Read more...]

“Upon Reflection,…” / Memorable Fancies #1453

[“The mirror is not the place to observe yourself.” – Henri Michaux] The mirrors have conspired to show us not ourselves, but strangers. Deep inside our minds, we all know that. <END> Buy it at amazon.com/author/terencekuch: For Anacreon, 30 poems of love and life from the ancient Greek poet (originally published as a chapbook by Silkworms Ink). … [Read more...]

“Do you want to be anyone else?” / Memorable Fancies #1358

[“Do you want to be anyone else?” – Jean Baudrillard] Some answers are: .. No, I want to be everyone else. .. No, I’d like to be me, ... please? Just this once? .. Yes. I’d like to be Ralph Kargen of Otta, Nebraska. He’s a fictional character who gets sucked into a hole in the ground one day by an evil being and that sounds like the most exciting thing that ever happened in Nebraska. .. Yes. I’d like to be one of those movie characters who keeps coming back in sequel after sequel … [Read more...]

“Who Are You?” / Memorable Fancies #1350

[“How can it not know what it is?” – Blade Runner] I’ve overheard them telling each other that I don’t know who I am. That I’m not “authentic.” But I do know. I’m not an authentic of anything they recognize, true; but I’m an authentic me. <END> Buy it at amazon.com/author/terencekuch: At All Adventure, a Maltheist gospel. … [Read more...]

“Who Are You?” / Memorable Fancies #1271

[“...I can see you / repeating my gestures / my words...” – Roberto Bolaño]      I caught you attempting to be me, one day, in front of a mirror. You had my gestures, my voice, down pat. Even the look on your face when you turned around and saw me – that was my look, too, caught in the same mirror. As I turned around, I saw you. Me. <END> (The writer, reading at One More Page Books, Arlington, Virginia) … [Read more...]

“Whose Face? ” / Memorable Fancies #1199

[“...my own face / entering and leaving the mirror.” – Roberto Bolaño]      Yesterday I saw my mother’s face in the mirror. “Surprise,” she said, standing behind me, “bet you didn’t know I was here.”      “No,” I said, “I didn’t know you were standing behind me until I saw your face in the mirror – and didn’t see my own.” <END> The photographer is showing photos of people he took in an African village. They believe, he smirks, that taking pictures of people is evil, and the … [Read more...]

“That’s Me” / Memorable Fancies #1163

[“...the fierce and shocking realization that the [mirror] image is and is not ours.” – Sergio Agamben]      We’ve been told, from an early age, that the face in the mirror is our own. “Look!” the mother says, “It’s you!” And you look and think no no that cannot be, not that thing. And later, the mother says, “Look at what a grown-up boy you are!” And you look and think no no that is some stranger who’s taken my place. And years later, when there is no mother anymore, the wife says, “Can’t … [Read more...]

“Innocence” / Memorable Fancies #723

[“All that remained from his past were obsolete versions of the same self.” – John Berger] I’ve started thinking of my past as a moment by moment succession of the lives of people who were very much like me, but not exactly me. Same appearance, same habits – but what those others did was on them; I’m innocent of all that, because I’m constantly becoming a different person. That’s what I told the judge, anyway, or one of my past lives did. <END> THE MONDAY PITCH If you liked … [Read more...]

“The Names” / Memorable Fancies #527

     We were requested to sign up so that the authorities would have a list of those who have signed up. It seemed nonsensical at the time, but more innocuous than most of their initiatives. And so we complied.      We are hiding now as our names are called, one by one, over and over. My own name has been called so many times that it begins to sound strange, as if I were someone else. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in … [Read more...]

“Off with his head!” / Memorable Fancies #520

     “You have heard it said, “Off with his head!” or “He lost his head,” but we could instead say “Off with his body!” or “He lost his body” — it’s a question of what remains essentially ‘us’ if we’re forced to part with some of our parts. We like to think of our head as the seat of our selves; but our idioms betray us. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, or other social websites.      … [Read more...]

“Who Are You?” / Memorable Fancies #517

       The ad said … “Re-living the past – your own past – is now possible. Your own memories? No; memory is only your point of view. As more people register for WhoRYou?™, their own memories, of you and everyone else, will be stored in our database – and available for your viewing pleasure. See who you are to all your friends, like Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past; remember how that went?” Who are you? Who who who who?     WhoRYou? was introduced with much fanfare. … [Read more...]

“The Fame of M. Everett Donning” / Memorable Fancies #472

      M. Everett Donning is famous on three continents, but he doesn’t know why. He’s been successful in business, but who would care about that? “Are you the M. Everett Donning?” many people approach him at social events and ask.      “Perhaps,” he says, “That’s my name, so I suppose so.”      Then they say, “I’m honored to meet you, sir.”      Great achievements are mentioned, always vaguely. “I don’t remember quite where I heard of you, but I’m highly flattered to be speaking with … [Read more...]

“The Thread” / A Memorable Fancy #340

[“How frail, how slender, is the thread that keeps us ourselves.” – Joyce Carol Oates]      Eduardo is quite pleased with himself; he, a poor immigrant, now VP of a not-inconsiderable import firm. Every day he wakes and tells himself, once again, that it is very good to be Eduardo and not some lesser person.      But one day he awakes to find – gradually and with many false steps – that he is someone else: a rougher skin, a large moustache. People on the street whisper “It’s Pancho!” and … [Read more...]

“Becoming Alien” / A Memorable Fancy #162

As I enter old age, more and more of my past seems to have been lived by a stranger – an alien. Alien to my now-self, at least. Some green-veined being that has used me for its skin? Or just another hube, indistinguishable from me? Same appearance, perhaps; same name, height, weight, marital status, BMI, SSN, DOB, resume of schools and jobs. But that was not me. That was a something. The something and I share most of the same memories, a few friends. Even the same likes and dislikes (cornbread … [Read more...]

“The Sames – II” / A Memorable Fancy #025

Everyone else is the same person; only you are different. The others look alike, seem to know the same things, love and hate the same foods. They speak in a tongue you find impossible to understand. They treat you well. They treat you very well. … [Read more...]