[NetBehaviour] book question

Max Herman maxnmherman at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 16 01:54:22 CET 2020

Hi Johannes,

My book club was also very intrigued by the door image, which at one point in the novel was described as pure darkness, "the heart of darkness." Then somehow we morphed into a discussion of whether Nadia's robe was a door.  After some wrangling a few said yes, it too was a door.

I had an image of nested spheres rotating on various axes, doors alinging to open briefly then closing, leading to others a la the garden of forking paths.  The group was talking over a rather marvelous carpet at the time, of Persian design it seemed to me and very delicate, filigreed, such involutions of tracery.

It made me wonder, is the book a door, even a labyrinth?  Is the world, language, time?  So many choices, some forward some back, but time still irrevocable in what occurred to me as its "ambiguous benevolence."

I haven't read the second half of the book yet, looking forward!

All best,


From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf of Johannes Birringer <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk>
Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2020 4:45 PM
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] book question


Ahmed Saadawi’s hallucinatory novel Frankenstein in Baghdad, and Mohsim Hamid's Exit West,
i have to say I was impressed and mesmerized reading these novels
The "Exit West" intrigued me much, as I started to read it during what was called the "refugee crisis" in Europe,
basically a large wave of migration, partly caused by the sectarian and military conflict in Syria, well, refugees
were all over, and when I tried to imagine what it must be like to live in a war torn land, or city, i got captivated by Hamid's story of
the two young people who come to imagine fleeing. the image that I told my theatre students to explore and work with
was Hamid's metaphor of the black door.  This door idea is wonderful, a rumor spreads in the city that people are seeing black doors
, or door frames, and when you walk through them, you exit, so to speak, and you end up in a very different place, california,
miami, stockholm, berlin.......  What a strange and interesting magical realist image.

Johannes Birringer

From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf of Max Herman via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Sent: 13 February 2020 18:02
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
Cc: Max Herman
Subject: [NetBehaviour] book question

Has anyone read Exit West?  It was the last selection in my local book club and pretty interesting from the standpoint of networks I think.

I've only read half of it so far though.  🙂
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