Monday, June 9, 2008


The unbuilt is characteristic of those arts whose realization requires the renumerated work of many people, the purchase of materials, the use of expensive equipment, etc. Cinema is the paradigmatic case: anyone can have an idea for a film, but then you need expertise, finance, personnel, and these obstacles mean that ninety-nine times out of a hundred the film does not get made. Which might make you wonder if the prodigious bother of it all -- which technological advances have exacerbated if anything -- isn't actually part of cinema's charm, since it gives everyone access to moviemaking, in the form of pure daydreaming. It's the same in the other arts to a greater or lesser extent. And yet it is possible to imagine an art in which the limitations of reality woudl be minimized, in which the made and the unmade would be indistinct, and art that would be instantaneously real, without ghosts. And perhaps that art exists, under the name of literature.

Ghosts, Cesar Aira

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