antet 2

How far can we go ?

"I suppose that if we would reach the edge of the world, we would find there somebody who is going beyond."

- Henry David Thoreau –


"Through Giving You Shall Receive"

Find out who said this, see why he said it and, then, go beyond this starting point.

13 mai 2013

The trans-humanist Transfer

A hypnotic novel. A postmodern novel. A hallucinating novel. A formidable novel.

Let's be honest with ourselves. How many of us wouldn’t want to temporarily migrate into other people’s bodies, as to live, even occasionally, other lives or to do things that we don’t have the courage to do in our lives ? A lot of us, most likely. But what would be the price for this experience? How many of us could resist afterwards, after the transfer ? How many of us could remain sane after founding out (due to the shelter of the false identity) the hidden misery of the human nature, being that the misery of our own or the misery of some relatives or the misery of some strangers? Undoubtedly, Transfer by Michael Hăulică is a both a cop themed science fiction but, at the same time, is also an insight into the abysses of the human soul, into its deep and cavernous areas.

The book is drafted in two writing styles that seem completely different one from the other, one being classic, simple and narrative (A huca in the wonderful Inand, for example) and another one being postmodern and full of discursive ideas, images and fragments, that intersect, mix, combine and twist with each other in an utterly hypnotic game (Weather of oppressiveness, for example). More or less similar, the story takes us into the realm of a dystopian city (Inand), where we can find an amalgamated mixture of landmarks, some of them very well known as signs of our world (evoked by a lot of multicultural quotes: from CasablancaMatrixKeanu ReevesAlain Delon, to Grigore Leşe–Cătalin Botezatu, through BecketVişniecHăulica (self-reference)Godot) and some of them looking like landmarks of a reality that seems totally surreal. As so, Gibsons’ world is described as a quite another world, almost another universe, a world of people in flesh and blood but which seems as being run by another software,  by other different parameters of existential coordination. In this world, a circus tent is not what it seems, but a quantum reality created by thoughts, an other cosmos, an inner city with strange streets and buildings, with strange people, with entrances and exits that lead to unimagined places, where dreamlike performances are happening, where drawers open themselves into human bodies, just as in Salvador Dali’s painting ... In this cyberpunk world, even the glances and the smiles finally come to be standardized, bearing evocative names of different moods (The apricot flower, The fly of the dragonfly, Edelweiss, Sunrise in Osaka, Land of snow, Harvesters at rest, the Geneva Lake, etc., etc. ...) and being used according to the need of  each arising situation...

But, beyond all this overflowing fantasy which, even indirectly, pays a tribute to the famous Canadian writer William Gibson, where the mystery and the narrative action mix with subjective thoughts - memories, impressions, perceptions, details, dreams, feelings, moods, personal reflections, conclusions - creating an atmosphere of hazy alienation, I think that the intention of Michael Hăulică is to draw our attention to something else which is not just important, but fundamental...

Into his famous work, Our Post-human Future, the famous sociologist, political scientist and social philosopher Francis Fukuyama has sounded the alarm about the impact that new technologies can bring on our own humanity, pointing out that the evolution of science can lead to a future when the alteration of the fundamental characteristics of human nature will make ourselves unrecognizable. In my opinion, this is the core of Michael Hăulică's novel:  he describes a stage, a level of this process of transformation, because, in the world of Inand, the man is no longer what we know he is or should be, but just a mask, nothing else but a mask ...

Could you tell me, please, how would you relate to reality if you would know that into the body of a stranger met in the street (and who, possibly, would address you with a "random"  curse or even more than that ...) could be your spouse, your neighbour, your colleague, your boss, or who knows what other very well-known person...? Does such a perspective give you chills on your back? Or, what would yourself be able to do if you could "rent" a body so that no one could recognize and blame you for any of your deeds ? ... A world of masks, a world of people who covertly enliven their innermost thoughts, where might that finally lead? What would be the social, the economic and the political consequences of a world where technology would enable us to do this? You will probably say that such a world is just a dystopia ... Yes, it is as so, But what if this dystopia will become reality in 20 or maybe 30 years from now on ?

Just read Michael Haulică's Transfer and you will see that, sometimes, the technological weirdness may seem not only potentially truthful, but, especially, more probable than you can imagine….

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