The voice of time spirals

W.G.Sebald (nb. Iian Sinclair bbc iplayer) excavates time through a wandering/lost haunting voice: Austerlitz, The Emigrants, On the Natural History of Destruction: each text, each line a movement over time….

As I passed through the stations, I thought several times that among the passengers coming towards me in the tiled passages, on the escalators plunging steeply into the depths, or behind the grey windows of a train just pulling out, I saw a face known to me from some much earlier part of my life, but I could never say whose it was  – W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz (2001), p.179

The spiral is a danger sign. A recognition. An alarm leading to evacuation….a detective (investigator!) lead to safety as each station has a spiral staircase to lead us out….. We lived with a spiral staircase for four years. In New X.  We couldn’t get the mattress up it……later, one evening, the police alsation got stuck on the way down.

We spiral out of control. We say things like: sister. you have spiraled into madness. Robert Smithson mysteriously spiraled to his death. He was in a helicopter viewing his Spiral Jetty. (Tacita Dean..Entropy and the new monuments (1966)….Donald Judd…time going nowhere… this sentence?/us/ commuters in stations….? Is this the waning of space? Quasi-infinities? Now. The spiral is the internal projected into the external. Like we drain a swimming pool. At least the way Ballard does. With toads. Bacteria remnants. Viruses. Multi story Car parks….sign-posts. Each a Repetitive danger sign. Antennas twitching. The spine of the external world. Spiral Galaxy….echo / ache of exile.

The voice of time spirals Image 1

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