We, the lower life forms from which they evolved.

The Familiar opens with a few pages filled by the thoughts of a people that live at the end times in the expanding universe. Their description of the fading stars takes the theory discovered by Edwin Hubble in 1929 to a possible conclusion in which mater has spread wide and stars can no longer be sustained. However, this entity turns its attention away from the impending demise, and instead focuses on identifying with mankind in this time frame by speaking to “you”.

The being cryptically states, “You are all we once were but vastness of our strangeness exceeds all light-years between our times.” (15). This and the surrounding text implies that the people of the VEM5 Alpha System are the final evolution of man. They are what we are to become right before the universe can no longer sustain us. Our present, their past. The message they chose to hand down is that two things will remain our commonality across the time that divides us. Death and War will be present from here until the end times.

These four pages are at great odds with many of the pages that follow, yet this is how the book opens. There seems to be no mention of them for at least 200 pages. The people of the VEM5 Alpha System say nothing after declaring a dreary future, or do they? Are they always watching as the text rolls on through the pages? Do they make corrections, comments, or even sensor information from the reader? ⠮Does he know?⠝ ⠮No, this is speculation. He has not read far enough yet.⠝ The text appears to promise the reader that there will be more encounters with the future dwellers since this introduction is Encryption 1/5.

If these beings are connected with the other stories from the book then that fact would only begin to raise more questions. However, questions seem to be The Familiar’s biggest export thus far.


One response to “We, the lower life forms from which they evolved.”

  1. xoebien says :

    Bravo, friend! You have put into perfectly concise words what I have been feeling towards those epically dark pages. We know that this book provides multiple time frames and locations, but just how vast is the frame of narration?
    It’s not just until the end of human experience for Mark Z.
    There are these characters that are outside of clocked time (there is no dog-eared time stamp on these sections) because they have a sort of meta cognition, or an overarching knowledge that goes beyond what the other characters seem to be aware of.
    The Narcons: I want to say that there is some authorship to these narrators, like they are the ones telling the whole story because they are the ones that have compiled enough data and they can lay everything out, side by side.
    The Narcon on page (just kidding there are no page numbers marked) follows page 562 and continues till the regular narration picks back up on page 580 (the pages do in fact exist in that they take up space, but they are not marked by digits (not counted if you will (raindrops if you will))).
    Anyway, this TF-Narcon^9 fellow is quite pleasant and friendly, if not a bit elusive and ominous. We step into memory that is larger even than 243,243 years ago and larger still than the folks at the four black pages writing the end of human existence. This Narcon is a computer, (or maybe a computer-like Orb???); it’s knowledge is incomparable to mortal beings, but it’s range of connection and communication is lacking–“Not that I can year you say Hi back or register how or if my friendliness was received” “Though I can feel it. Kinda. Sometimes it makes me dizzy, or like right now, off, in a breathless sort of way.” (where 566 should be)
    Is Danielewski bringing awareness about robot morality and emotive capacity? Do they have an opinion about War and Death? They can die, as Narcon9 explains, but what about fight, what about fear, what about flight??

    Constellations of connections are becoming closer to clear. But still…


    This Narcon likes Xanther like I like Xanther and so we must have some similarities in personality preference. The questioners and quandary keepers, the ones who love to listen, but spend too much time thinking to speak very clearly. The ones who know the questions and answers are endless and will never be enough to fill the empty spaces of the universe, but they wouldn’t give up their wonderings for the world. (or a different world for that matter).

    I could go on in this same manner of questioning collecting and colliding words and meanings, but I’ll wrap up with a beautiful quote from the lovely TF-Narcon^9, or rather “As the old Narcons put it: “There is not space in the universe to tell the universe to the universe. Therein lies the peculiar beauty and sadness of stories: to tell it all without all at all.”” (p. 568 if it were there)

    Yeah, I like that.

    Thanks Mark Z. Danielewski, for speaking towards the void of unknown, while never letting go of the people who matter today. All of them having a story, which you have begun to tell.

    It’s a collective collaboration until the end of time; speaking to each other by any means necessary.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: