BARBARA CASAVECCHIA and PETER BURLEIGH
Texts by Barbara Casavecchia and Peter Burleigh found somewhere in the Castle
From chapter 23
On â€œBlocks Series Intensitiesâ€ or getting lost in a castle or getting on in the internet
A scroll, scrape or shred. A continuous roll of single-sided writing material: a simple plateau. Reading a scroll is a continuous singular event. You roll out you roll back in. There is no discontinuity, no block, no series, just one unit of continuous pendular rolling. Take the codex, the common form of the printed book. Now a codex generates discontinuities in the physical structuring of the content. You can jump from one point to another regardless of their position in the whole structure. In the codex, reading sequentially is merely a special case of discontinuityâ€”that is, where discontinuity tends almost to zero (the pages must be turned). The facility of the codex to fast information retrieval oversaw its supersession of the codex within two centuries in 4th to 5th century Egypt. Where the scroll is a physical text, the codex is structural. Now, a third structuration appears hypertextâ€” driven by algorithm. In its manner of reading, we find no discontinuity: a text rolls in front of us; yet every text is also intrinsically discontinuous with in-built, internalized lines of flight (possible deterritorializations), hyperlinks.
A castle, a web of patterns and paths a place to get lost and ret(h)read history:
â€œhe thought he (K) remembered roughly whereabouts in the corridor the door was, and decided to try opening a door that in his opinion was probably the one he wanted. The venture couldnâ€™t be too riskyâ€¦he looked to right and left down the corridor again, to see whether, after all, anyone was coming who could give him informationâ€¦ but the long corridor was quiet and empty.â€i In fact for P it is true that each block-segment has an opening or a door onto the line of the hallwayâ€”one that is usually quite far from the door or the opening of the following blockâ€”it is also true that all the blocks have back doors that are contiguousâ€¦Itâ€™s the same in two blocks on a continuous and unlimited line, with their doors far from each other, are revealed to have contiguous back doors that make the blocks themselves contiguous. And even here, weâ€™re (D&G) simplifying things: the hallway can be angled, the little door can be connected to the line of the hallway, in such a way that things become all the more surprising. The line of the hallway, the unlimited straight line, can hold other surprises, since it can connect to a certain degree with the principle of the discontinuous circle and the tower (as in the Castle, which includes a tower as well as a group of small, contiguous buildings).â€ii
Fosdinovo infectious stones: posturing, imposing, staged on a hilltop seen only from inside itself (having arrived at dusk). Inside, a circuit of meaning in the movements through around over its steps and polishes, losings and findings: voices, traces, perlocutionsâ€”where do you go, who do you find? Consequentially inconsequent: in the castle there is no going back spatially, there are only lines of confusion that in their density make tracks of sense, a creasing of footprints in hard stone and marble. But to retrace is redundant, so the castello despite its ancientness is an embodied experience of todayâ€™s algorithmic screenworld.
I sway (often) back to those days, before the viral world of internet, when we made sense by digging deep and then digging out, the same way we went in, or even the long way round. But in either case, we got back to the beginning by the way we went in or by its spatial or temporal equivalent around about. Not so now in the brotherhoodâ€™s milieu (I straddle both worlds, perhaps). In EIB there are two levels of informational architecture: actual real sets of passages, connections, thresholds crossoversâ€”here the grey silver Macworld, underlinings, mousings, jumps and leaps; and also, facing that plane the virtual flows, fluxes and dynamics of a viral world. No sense in returning, only sense in looping round and around in continuously interrupted contiguities.
Like losing yourself in the castle of the bothersistermotherhood.
i â€œchapter 23â€ Franz Kafka The Castle.
ii â€œBlocks, Series, Intensitiesâ€ Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari Kafka: toward a minor literature.