sweet emptiness

an essay on Dukla, Andrzej Stasiuk’s ‘book about light’

Dukla is not, after Flaubert, a ‘book about nothing.’ Such modernist moves belonged to the last days of literature, whereas Dukla reunites literature with its prehistory. It is not that nothing happens in the world, but that the novel must eradicate itself if it is to capture what happens. Fiction threads itself over the real ‘the way cotton candy is wound around a wooden stick,’ but once it’s finished ‘there’s only a sweet emptiness.’ What is a novel worth, anyway? Next to a film, a photograph?  Precious little, unless it’s no longer a novel, more a ‘magic lantern, a camera obscura, a crystal ball in which snow gently falls.’ In the same movement that Dukla destroys the novel, it comes close to uncovering its condition. What is erased is retrieved as unwritten.

read the rest at 3:AM Magazine

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