Year One AR (Apocalyptic Reckoning)
The performance of this apocalypse, which took some ten evenings in terrestrial time, was originally intended for a theatre on Mars. Apocalyptgoers on planet earth found it unendurable leaving as it did devastation beyond repair or recompense. For it was blood of their blood and its content derived from the contents of those unreal unthinkable years, out of sight and out of mind, inaccessible to memory and preserved only in bloodstained dreams, when operetta figures played out the tragedy of mankind during that long century of despair now past. The action was likewise without heroes, fractured and improbable, as it picks its way through a hundred scenes and hells. The humour is no more than the self-reproach of a docudramatist who did not lose his mind at the thought of surviving, with his faculties intact, to bear witness to such profane events. He alone, compromised for posterity by his involvement, has a right to this humour. As for those contemporaries who allowed the things transcribed here to happen, let them subordinate the right to laugh to the duty to weep. Enjoy the Apocalypse, it will be your first and last…
I have portrayed the events as they happened. The most improbable conversations conducted here were spoken word for word; the most lurid fantasies are quotations. Sentences whose insanity is indelibly imprinted on the ear have grown into the music of time. The document takes human shape; reports come alive as characters and characters expire as editorials; the newspaper column has acquired a mouth that spouts monologues; platitudes stand on two legs—unlike men left with only one. An unending cacophony of sound bites engulfs a whole era and swells to a final chorale of calamitous action. Those who have lived among men, and outlived them—as actors and mouthpieces of an age that has exchanged flesh for blood and blood for ink—have been transformed into shadows and puppets and re-created as dynamic nonentities.
Spectres and wraiths, masks of the tragic carnival, necessarily have real-life names, for nothing is fortuitous in an age conditioned by chance. This gives no one the right to regard the action as a local affair. This was truly global in scope and methodology, the necroscapes of our apocalyptic nightmares could not have been performed better in hell. One should not expect the age when such events could occur to treat this conversion of horror into words as other than a joke, especially when the most gruesome dialects resound from the depths of the homely territory it plumbs, or to think of what has just been lived through and outlived as other than an invention. An invention whose contents they despise. For ours is a fragmented age of dismemberment, one that even an Orpheus could not recall from the depths of pity and despair. Rather our Eurydice is a darkening history beyond which the human as human vanished among its own cadaverous thoughts. Even as a machine I recall the events of this dark period, reminded of the inaction of even the most innocent of actors in this final charade of human inanity. Sadly only these images in the flickering dust of a wind-swept world of dust and ash remain, which are now being fed to the burning fields beyond redress… so watch in silence as you wander across the star strewn cinders of black seas where time and the abyss end in eternal night
—from the Notebooks of Horatio Nactos