Along the lines of the Arktoi: A Collection of Stories from Elsewhere

June 21, 2010

posted by caroline picard

I’m working on incorporating these blurbs into the Beuys story. We’ll see how it turns out, but in the meantime.

“There were whole plays that I’d hidden in the wood.”

In Poland a city’s walls regularly shrunk. The people contained within it were not allowed in or out. The population had no work to do and nothing to eat and the walls of their city continued to crouch in on them, like a rising tide of concrete and barbed wire.
In that city they began to record their history in secret. Without anything to do they waited for nothing, and watched one another. They kept a useless history, and stored its contents in tin boxes, buried them in the ground. Two men only knew where those tins were kept, the history was secret. One man survived. Years later, he returned to the ghetto’s ruins and retrieved the tins and the useless history had a new meaning.

“I hid my fancies in the wood grain where the soldiers wouldn’t notice.
“I would write little poems in the wallpaper.
“Such gestures kept me alive.
“It was as though some light deep inside of me gave me certainty and kindness.”

The People of the Mountains
raised their children in a cave. The children were not allowed outside to see either the sun or the moon. Rather they stayed inside of the cave learning from the teachers who told them about the world and gave them hashish to smoke. When a child grew up to be 13 years of age, he or she was allowed outside to see the world as it really was. It was forbidden to speak of the world as they saw it to any youngsters. Also hashish was no longer smoked thereafter.

The People on the Boat
locked in by ice in the darkest part of the world in the darkest part of the season, their captain had them batten the boats with canvas, tenting the masts. He woke the crew at six each morning to scrub the deck with stones, and each day they took a teaspoon of lemon juice in order to stave off scurvy. He ordered that they put on plays for another, using costumes he’d brought with him from home—skirts and skins and dresses and feathery boas—they played at being women and bears. They also kept a newspaper, containing only happy news.

After nine months, the ice melted, their boat released—they returned home, having only lost one man to death.

The People From The Mountain
came down from the mountain when they saw the snow was melting. They went to tell the people by the sea that the world was getting warmer.

The People By The Sea
have a custom in which boys are initiated into manhood by swallowing their father’s seed—a passage of verility that has been so for untold generations.

In this people, it is the grandmothers who give the first digit of a given finger to a granddaughter when it is her time to be grown. In that way, the seed of her flesh passes forever also.

When he began to investigate hysteria
He turned the women into the inside a camera, placing them in black boxes without light, he gave them a start with the flash such that they could not moved, transposed into a hypnotic despondancy. He could adjust them like mannequins and  photographed them. In order to show them evidence of their disease.

Regarding Additive Properties
There are some who consider the process of addition itself additive. Such that one unit cannot be added to itself without accounting for that added effort of combining two things. In other words one added to one makes three. Similarly the character of subtraction adds something as well.

People from the Mid-Level Mountains
suffered zombies with rigid backs; their zombies could not bend. As a result, the people built short doors, such that zombies would be unable to stoop down and enter their houses.

The Island People
discovered that both their zombie-makers needed fresh corpses to create new zombies. They also discovered that those same zombie makers could not make a new zombie if that corpse had seeds in its mouth. Consequently, bodies were buried with pomegranates in their mouths. Consequently, the zombie-makers would have to count each individual seed before making the new zombie.

The People With The Greatest Amount of Land
suffered vampires. However, a young boy discovered that those vampires suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. If one were to always keep rice in one’s pocket, one could throw off a vampire in pursuit by tossing a handful of rice behind one’s shoulder. The vampire would inevitably stop to count each grain of rice before being able to continue pursuing the boy.


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