Satin Island by Tom McCarthy (Jonathan Cape)



“Turin is where the famous shroud is from, the one showing Christ’s body supine after crucifixion: hands folded over genitals, eyes closed, head crowned with thorns. The image isn’t really visible on the bare linen. It only emerged…”

U is an anthropologist. The Company anthropologist. The Company is a mystical modern accumulation of the kind you might overhear being talked about in marketing-speak in a coffee bar or a Japanese restaurant. U’s task is, notionally, to articulate its form.

We are very, very up to date here,  we are the contemporary, a connected universe of images, texts, Skype, the chapters organised as sound bites, his boss Pyeman speaks in paradigms like a Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page. Each numbered section might be another web page.

U’s role is to think. What he thinks about is partly top secret and partly on the same ground as Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens, notably the idea of the company as a self invented fiction, notably also Schrodinger’s Cat, is it alive or dead?

“Shapes were happening inside my thought: or, rather shapings, a preliminary set of shifts and swirls, coherences and separation…”

Unfortunately, U has also got writer’s block. Or as he might speculate, the block has got him.

In a sense this is psycho-geography tracking the familiar digital imagery of what he calls the Amazon of new corporate culture. It improves when he meets some real people but eventually it is a smart-arse game which as he acknowledges the critical reader can entertain him or her self tracking some of them (borrowings, echoes references)  down. Thanks. Tom.


About drewsmith28

Words, words, words...
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2 Responses to Satin Island by Tom McCarthy (Jonathan Cape)

  1. Silvia Langford says:

    I thanks drew. Is satin island an imaginary place or world ? Xxx

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. drewsmith28 says:

    It is in his head…but a play on staten

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