February 23, 2018

"The book described the water as text; the drops were signs."


Hausen wrote a book that everyone was reading. It went that way with men, and yet this was a book that meant a lot to me and led to a book of my own. Hausen wrote a book in the time before the crisis and people carried it around; it was mass produced. In the book, a man walked over a bridge and entered a building, where he jumped into a pool with a mineral-green bottom. He swam back and forth. He did a breast stroke, he worked from his back, he banged his body against the water, he sang, he shouted. He climbed out and exited the building, leaving a trail of water. The book described the water as text; the drops were signs. They doubled the story of Hausen’s character. He was a man who swam at night in empty buildings. The man went home to someone who did not seem quite like a woman, but who also was not identified as a “man.” The man coming home lay on top of this person and swam and told a story, which was a confession, and the body gasped, but we did not know if the man’s story was causing his gasping or whether the cause was his writhing. The reader couldn’t hear the story, but Hausen had the language around the story crack and drop heat on us. And the body writhed on top of the other body and whispered to it about something done and undone in the city, something sitting under water, something terrible.

- Renee Gladman, Ana Patova Crosses a Bridge


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