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The Museum of Vestigial Desire


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One affect that reading produces is friction. The construction of a sentence, the placement of one word after another essentially produce friction. Now, what kind of friction is this? Isn't friction a force of the physical world? How can the word be applied to something experiential like reading?

We will explain.

Friction prevents slippage.

Here, the kind of slippage we are talking about involves human attention. Attention shouldn't slip away. And this is a simple idea. There is nothing in what we are stating here that can be argued against (yet).

But yet, friction is also causes corrosion. Because slippage and friction are opposing forces and in this opposition there is a cost involved. Corrosion is of the surface but also of the grip, the potential to hold. Crispness over time becomes a violent act.

There is calibration required at both sides. One, the force of friction binding the object to the surface works in spite of the corrosion and searches for a grip. Two, the corrosion on the face of the object and on the surface, both strive to slip away.

The net experience of this process on the mind of the reader is violence. Reading operates through violence. This violence operates in and on the mind of the reader.

This is a standard tool available to the writer. But it should be used sparingly. It is like grinding, if you grind too much you do not have a surface anymore. If you grind adequately, you get a shine.

Friction can be controlled by lubricants. Lubricant operates by making the touch-points between the face of the object and the surface. These touch-points are covered by films of fluid. The fluid is thick and viscous and it reduces the friction by reducing the corrosion. When sentences are constructed for the friction there is one range of corrosion that's possible. When the lubricant becomes a parameter also, this range increases.

Lubricants control friction. They elongate the life of the surface as well as the face of the object.

Sentences can be constructed to lubricate and control the corrosion as well. Doing this limits the violence that the reader has to be subjected to.

Without being subjected to violence, readers can read more and be exposed to the material for longer.

To control the duration for which readers expose themselves to the text, the friction has to be controlled. Sharpness needs to be calibrated. Else it will be blunted.

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