Writing of a place and time, from beyond that place and time is irredeemable. It is something backwards that cannot be brought back. It is writing from a place that gives away its distance in every letter and word. It means nothing of the place and time described, only of the place from which writing takes place. So, of Paris and the twenty-seventh of March, two thousand and nine, this says nothing. Of this unnamed date in Berlin, from which I write to the past, it says everything.
That day, I spiralled the city in large 'O's, psychogeographic circles, like those sacred drifts of old times. Without money, I simply walked to see, without ambition or destination, stumbling near-blind past nameless monuments, round corners to find yet another magnificent sand-coloured building with columns and statuettes. Starting in the 11éme, I walked down through Montmartre's winding alleys and overhanging, balconied streets towards the Seine, passing shadowy squares, bustling commercial boulevards and sleepy cafes. Reaching the Pompidou by mistake, I tried in vain to avoid it, to set out into the alleys and passages once more, but no sooner had I left the thing, when I returned, its unmistakable shape and surroundings appearing from nowhere once more. Heading in an opposite direction, determined to find the river, helped nothing – I arrived once more at the only place in Paris I remembered from a previous daytrip. It was as though the resonance of this place, which held no real depth in my affection, kept drawing me back to it, a recollection aided through repetition. The act of my being lost was compensated for by an accidental return to the same site, like something buoyant righting itself in water.