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Embers of the Twilight Rune: Cotard, the Loop and Listening Futures


Embers of the Twilight Rune is a portrait of a certain apprehension of time that, since the late 19th century, has treated the future as an already-obliterated rather than as a yet-to-be-realized state of affairs. The text proceeds as an unearthing of this morbid (and loopy!) temporal schematism within an array of novels, films and sonic theoretical treatises: Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York, and MIT Press // Urbanomic Art Editions’s edited volume of sonic and musical oddities, AUDINT - Undead / Unsound. Coordinating all of these texts is the figure of Jules Cotard, a neurologist whose clinical research came to focus on "delusions of negation"--most notably, the condition of living subjects who reported that they were in fact dead. Instead of balking at this delusion or treating it as an bizarre footnote in a history of madness, EOTTR will treat it as fully resonant with the economic and cultural logic of modernity, such that Cotard's Syndrome (as these delusions came to be called) ought to be appreciated as an interpretive key to the present (sensed a site of foreclosed possibility).

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