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Geographic Proximity

“You used to read dictionaries like other people read novels. Each entry is a character, you’d say, that might be encountered under another rubric. Plots, many of them, would form during any random reading. The story changes according to the order in which the entries are read. A dictionary resembles the world more than a novel does, because the world is not a coherent sequence of actions but a constellation of things perceived. It is looked at, unrelated things congregate, and geographic proximity gives them meaning. But in a dictionary, time doesn’t exist: ABC is neither more or less chronological than BCA. To portray your life in order would be absurd: I remember you at random. My brain resurrects you through stochastic details, like picking marbles out of a bag.”

-Eduard Levé, Life in Three Houses


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