Although the moment of time travel in literature is known to be a solitary experience, the distance and movement is always measured face to face. In a sense, a conversation always occurs, whose aim is to corner an object, as if turning around it made the object appear.
More concerned with the movement and duality of turning around the object, the book takes the reader and writer on two opposite journeys, from the preface and in reverse from the postface. Each frame, or briefly meet halfway, a central discussion with the anthropologist Maurizio Gnerre about a ceremonial dialogue between two people of a Jivaroan tribe performed when a man visits another member of the tribe. During the ceremonial dialogue the two participants barely listen to each other but speak almost from the others point of view, creating a rhythm, and a game. The slippages, gestures, duality and rhythms are replayed in the preface and postface in which two voices appear, drift apart into two columns, run parallel then syncopated, before slowly merging again. Here the movement and the turning around is the purpose of reading, the reminder that we have already started to forget, or as Gnerre puts it, our effort to understand it becomes irrelevant.
The Curve of Forgotten Things is commissioned as part of The Time Machine, selected and edited by Francesco Pedraglio from open submission. The Time Machine is a project that asks us to forget about archives and embrace the confusion of the present, in order to consciously experiment with all our imaginable histories and expected futures.
Mark Geffriaud is an artist, occasionally based in Paris.
Preface and postface of The Curve of Forgotten Things is translated from the French by Catherine Petit & Paul Buck.