11 November 2010

Death, Beautiful Death

So, there's been quite a lot said about Tom McCarthy and his necronautical postures and impostures over the last couple of years. Much of it interesting, even if the Booker nomination did have the air of an establishment apologizing for having been caught out - we know you know we know you know Remainder had to go via an arthouse publisher, etc - because C was never going to win.

I didn't actually know Necronauts launched, a la Futurists 90 years earlier, with an ad on the front page of the Times. And I didn't, therefore, know how beautiful what Necronauts had to say about death was.

We, the First Committee of the International Necronautical Society, declare the following:

1. That death is a type of space, which we intend to map, enter and, eventually, colonise.

2. That there is no beauty without death, its immanence. We shall sing death’s beauty – that is, beauty.

3. That we shall take it upon us, as our task, to bring death out into the world. We will chart all its forms and media: in literature and art, where it is most apparent; also in science and culture, where it lurks submerged but no less potent for the obfuscation. We shall attempt to tap into its frequencies – by radio, the internet and all sites where its processes and avatars are active … Death moves in our apartments, through our television screens, the wires and plumbing in our walls; our dreams. Our very bodies are no more than vehicles carrying us ineluctably towards death. We are all necronauts, always, already.

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