Christina

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A History of Chri...
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The Thousand Autu...
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The Bilingual Edge by Kendall King
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The Bilingual Brain by Arturo E. Hernandez
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Multiple Voices by Carol Myers-Scotton
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Mothers in Academia by Mari Castañeda
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
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The Madame Curie Complex by Julie Des Jardins
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Orientalism by Edward Said
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Wasted Lives by Zygmunt Bauman
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What We Owe to Each Other by T.M. Scanlon
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More of Christina's books…
David Mitchell
“We are only what we know, and I wished to be so much more than I was, sorely.”
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

David Mitchell
“Books don't offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.”
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

David Mitchell
Exposition: the workings of the actual past + the virtual past may be illustrated by an event well known to collective history, such as the sinking of the Titanic. The disaster as it actually occurred descends into obscurity as its eyewitnesses die off, documents perish + the wreck of the ship dissolves in its Atlantic grave. Yet a virtual sinking of the Titanic, created from reworked memories, papers, hearsay, fiction--in short, belief--grows ever "truer." The actual past is brittle, ever-dimming + ever more problematic to access + reconstruct: in contrast, the virtual past is malleable, ever-brightening + ever more difficult to circumvent/expose as fraudulent.

The present presses the virtual past into its own service, to lend credence to its mythologies + legitimacy to the imposition of will. Power seeks + is the right to "landscape" the virtual past. (He who pays the historian calls the tune.)

Symmetry demands an actual + virtual
future too. We imagine how next week, next year, or 2225 will shape up--a virtual future, constructed by wishes, prophecies + daydreams. This virtual future may influence the actual future, as in a self-fulfilling prophecy, but the actual future will eclipse our virtual one as surely as tomorrow eclipses today. Like Utopia, the actual future + the actual past exist only in the hazy distance, where they are no good to anyone.

Q: Is there a meaningful distinction between one simulacrum of smoke, mirrors + shadows--the actual past--from another such simulacrum--the actual future?

One model of time: an infinite matryoshka doll of painted moments, each "shell" (the present) encased inside a nest of "shells" (previous presents) I call the actual past but which we perceive as the virtual past. The doll of "now"likewise encases a nest of presents yet to be, which I call the actual future but which we
perceive as the virtual future.
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

David Mitchell
“Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies, an' tho' a cloud's shape nor hue nor size don't stay the same, it's still a cloud an' so is a soul. Who can say where the cloud's blowed from or who the soul'll be 'morrow? Only Sonmi the east an' the west an' the compass an' the atlas, yay, only the atlas o' clouds.”
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

David Mitchell
“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

3828 The Black Tower — 353 members — last activity Jan 16, 2016 04:12PM
Wheel of Time complaints. thoughts. discussions. this could be fun.
42960 Future Survivors, the Apocalypse Group — 3965 members — last activity Aug 20, 2017 09:00AM
For readers and writers of apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, or dystopian novels, and fans of the dystopian genre of movies. NOTICE: This group recently ...more
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