When he woke up he thought he’d dreamed about a movie he’d seen the other day. But everything was different. The characters were black, so the movie in the dream was like a negative of the real movie. And different things happened, too. The plot was the same, what happened was the same, but the ending was different or at some moment things took an unexpected turn and became something completely different. Most terrible of all, though, was that as he was dreaming he knew it didn’t necessarily have to be that way, he noticed the resemblance to the movie, he thought he understood that both were based on the same premise, and that if the movie he’d see was the real movie, then the other one, the one he had dreamed, might be a reasoned response, a reasoned critique, and not necessarily a nightmare. All criticism is ultimately a nightmare, he thought as he washed his face in the apartment where his mother’s body no longer was.
- Roberto Bolaño, ’The part about Fate’, p.234, 2666
This was originally notionally a piece called ‘Justify yr pull-list’, but I can’t seem to think of a more absurd enterprise than that, on reflection.