The Human Genre Project


A cloudy day in the city. A city full of clouds. He trailed his hand across the black iron fence railings, collecting dust and dirt. Clouds, without definite edges, vague things whose temporality could be deceptive — what was the speed at which they travelled? He took his own insubstantiality as a given, as a perspective that circumstances had given to him. He had tried and failed to train his mind out of the unhelpful habit of referring to itself with the personal pronoun. He saw all of his own lack, as he saw what he was given, his amorphous range, the gestures of his parents, the prising out of his genetic core (a penumbra shape) through the unique experiences of his particular life. Clouded parts of isolated infant afternoons and apparetnly endless travel, clouds of friends and lovers, the conditioning of his body through months in the gym with his iPod at full-volume, everything he had read and every sound he had ever heard, the politics of the day, all cloud parts of vague relatedness floating in the air, collecting the dirt and dust off the black iron railing fronting the row of private medical practices, etchings of other people and things, other clouds.

'... a short paragraph from a book I've been writing for the past 18 months or so (on the changing appearance of social behaviour in the context of the increasing transparency of the body.)'

Martin MacInnes