Friday, 2 May 2008

Lesbians; Rome and science fiction

I'd love to write an elegant demolition of this absurdity (Campaigners on the Greek island of Lesbos are to go to court in an attempt to stop a gay rights organisation from using the term "lesbian" - apparently it 'violates their human rights'). But I have no time. Instead I'm going to use this space to jot down some thoughts about the SF paper that started forming in my brane on the walk to work.

-- Rome as transtemporal site (passim in Western culture eg Philip K Dick Valis, Martindale 'The Ruins of Rome', Freud on Rome as city where all times present/accessible.)

-- time travel and the passage in 'Aetiology of Hysteria' about speaking stones, labour of technological mediation which enables direct communication with past

-- obviously we already have these technologies (reading and writing, but esp. audio recording, already disorder time) - 'The Fires of Pompeii' as elaborate argument about history and access to the past (Pompeii as 'fixed point' - b/c always-already 'fixed' in stone?) - but then the people turning to stone before the volcano, and the Doctor being commemorated in marble in the last shot, getting into the historical record - also elaborate argument about the learning of Latin as transtemporal connector (family from Cambridge Latin course, running joke about translation-as-technology [TARDIS translation device] and situatedness [Latin = Welsh, ref to Cardiff as site of Doctor Who, though of course in this ep dislocated into Rome-I-mean-Pompeii [Tony Keen talks about this play on the siting/setting of the ep]).

-- Stone circuit/stone prophecy in 'The Fires of Pompeii'. Stone as recording device. The Stone Tape. Stones speaking in the De Bello Civili, also site of set of meditations on the relationship to the past. Stonesyayy.

-- Necromancy - The Resurrection Glove and Erichtho. Technologies of communication with the dead. Circuit of history. (I always decide to write on the necromancy in DBC and I never do, it's something I've been circling around for like five years now...)

1 comment:

Anna said...

This looks awesome. You've read Carolyn Dinshaw's 'Getting Medieval', right? She talks about queer temporality and touching across time.