Thursday, September 27, 2007

off radar

In Morocco using a keyboard that deletes everything i type as fast as i type it; staying at the hotel foucauld; have asked a few loyal readers to send in guest posts so i can see read the news in my blog when i get back


"Post-Google" by TAR ART RAT said...

the old invisible ink keyboard trick again, -huh? nuts. all the more reason to lay off ye olde internet for a few days, eh?

Anonymous said...

Is this you? Really? It can't be this easy.
I once wrote to Jonathan Safran Foer's cover artist to please send me his address because publishing companies have such large mail rooms and I couldn't really send him letters there. Then I thought I could be stalker-like and called his mobile in London, but I hung up at the last moment.
IF this is you, (how could it be) I want you to know that I have three over-used paperback copies of your book. I read it when I am sick (not dying sick? just sick sick) and I read it in the bath and I read it right and left. I learned japanese because I was reading this book on a train to Quebec. I saw a billboard advertising some Japanese technology and remembered that the language school I was attending in Montreal had a 3:1 Japanese student ratio.
I've written you before on bits of Ptolemy drawings and odd-shaped napkins from bistros in Madrid, so there are letters from me to you floating around out there...
I wonder who you are (not presently, more like cliff's notes) and perhaps we can meet like in That Summer In Paris and I could be writing a book and you just happen to be a lesbian.

It's late here and I have the flu. Please come to Alaska -
Always and forever reading your books.


Languagehat said...

There's something Borgesian about that keyboard.

Helen DeWitt said...

tar art rat - i am in chefchaouen which has a medina of white plaster painted pale blue and bright blue and turquoise, and it has a traditional moroccan internet cafe with bright blue plaster partitions between the terminals, whose screens are embedded in slanting wooden cases, so i now know that you know what fraternisation means and that you have been engaging in this anti-seussian activity with nadine.

anon. I think Bertrand Russell and Lord Russell once issued a joint announcement to the Times stating that each was not the other. There is in fact another Helen DeWitt, who I believe specialises in film studies at Central St Martins (if you look at pipl you will find they have conflated us). Neither of us is the other. I'm very glad you liked my book (if it wasn't in fact one of hers). If you are an Alaskan, you may be the cold-resistant subletter I have been looking for: why don't you come to Berlin and I'll spend the winter in Morocco.

langugage. i think Borges would have loved that keyboard, not only for its propensity to delete but because the keys were French and Arabic. (I now want one of these as a souvenir of Morocco.)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the real HD did fall into the Falls. There could be this whole subterranian culture of HDs spreading like the borg accross the globe, producing copies of copies of themselves, like the three different overused editions of TLS sleeping on various nooks in my house. They could also be stealing various keyboards. Not the editions, the actual HDs.

Sadly, I am a poor, undeducated, and extremely caucasian young lady living with roommates in the side of a mountain in Juneau, Alaska. If you were even a smidge serious about subletting to me (oh my god) I wouldn't couldn't afford it. But I'll be dreaming of that for the next week, at least.

Is this what fan mail is? Maybe different if I weren't so feverish...

Please take care, take care and write more things.

-Achoo (Girl from before)

Anonymous said...

What Helen should do is assume the guise of one of her alternate selves and send herself a postcard so she can have some existentially confusing piece of evidence waiting for her when she gets back to Berlin, or perhaps the postcard could be written as if Helen was still in Berlin; the doppelgänger in Morocco writing to the original in Berlin, or perhaps the original in Morocco writing to the doppelgänger in Berlin, or possibly even the doppelgänger writing to her doppelgänger about how she left Berlin to follow the original to Morocco. Variations upon variations upon variations.

Is a doppelgänger's doppelgänger the original?