Memory Eternal (Wenckheim IX)

…they didn’t need any prayers, because they had their own…

Neg 2

The two images I am using today were taken in 1992 in Budapest with 35mm film, scanned at 9600 dpi (which is a silly thing), and cut apart.

Gen neg 3 95

In László Krasznahorkai’s Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming, the chapter Losers carries out a similar dissection. We revisit most of the previous characters in separate paragraphs (in fact, sentences), which are dedicated to memory in one way or another.

Gen neg 4 90

In the time of film, the detail of a printed image was determined by many physical factors — the format of the film, its quality, its grain, the quality of the equipment, lighting conditions, magnification, and the skill of the photographer. Today, grain has been replaced by noise, which has a different character, but the problem remains the same: outrageous enlargement will result in artifacts.

Gen neg 5 80

He was out by the train stop at Bicere and trying to dissect what he was seeing down to the minutest elements,
because while he thought the bikers’ suspicions were exaggerated, he still couldn’t completely let the matter rest, because that’s how he was — …

Gen neg 6 70

Does this frighten us? I think so, as the megapixel wars between smartphone makers indicate. We believe to be safer with more megapixels.

Gen neg 7 60

… this matter, then, had no meaning, cause, or goal, and this in fact might have been the essence of that matter, if words themselves hadn’t given up the ghost in the mind of an eyewitness (one, moreover, not even present at the scene), because words would have come to a dead halt in this brain, …

Gen neg 8

Is it the fear that our reality itself is like this, too, that if we look too closely, it will dissolve?

Gen neg 7 40

The people who met the Baron now want to forget him. The city photographer gets busy in an unusual way:

… for the naive ones, I just delete the pictures they want me to, the pics from the train station or the entertainment events, I do it in front of them, I look for the memory card, put in the camera, and together we look for the pictures they want me to erase, and I delete the pictures in front of them; then they ask me, and I tell them that no one will ever see these pictures again, well of course, no one ever will see them, never again, rest assured, and this is all so much work that I can’t keep up with it …

Gen neg 6 30

I think this is what Krasznahorkai tries to accomplish in his books: slowing down time and thus expanding the monologues of his protagonists, while they are desperately trying to remain themselves.

Gen neg 5 20

Reporters and politicians deny that certain events have happened:

…and now he was volunteering to completely erase the speeches in question from the offices’ computers and destroy every such trace of any one of these speeches…

Gen neg 4 10

We insist that reality is more than that, but in trying to prove it, we follow always the same process of dissolution. Can we find an answer if we just zoom in a bit further?

Gen neg 3 05

Finally, there is the Baron’s funeral, the cheapest available.

…but still, as he stood behind the coffin, about to commence the service, he felt the cold sinking into him, what should he do now, he reflected, while — his head lowered — he recited Psalm 119 to himself, should he go back for another layer,…

Gen 2

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