Everybody’s Automat by Mark Gurarie
The Operating System, 2016
From the publisher: Everybody’s Automat, Mark Gurarie’s debut, invites the reader to hear the discordant, decadent music of the collapsed marketplace of language, assembling from its wreckage a sense of identity as collage-like imprint, as misplaced nostalgia and porous memory. Here, colonized by empire, the naïve optimism of the 20th century collapses into its dystopian, contemporary reality; the city is revealed to be its own kind of forest; broadcasts and commercial lingo echo back, distorted and weaponized, and sounds—the rumblings of chaos and chance as much as the mathematical order of a melancholy tune—coalesce into gritty song. What arises is an artifact assembled of disparate but connected idioms, each strategy carving a discrete, cubby-like space within an interconnected whole.