Friday, March 22, 2013

PARIS





Plot Plan no. 13005
Via R. Vaneigem

MAPPED TEXT FROM THE ESSAY
NOTICE TO THE  CIVILIZED CONCERNING
GENERALIZED SELF MANAGEMENT


Monday, March 4, 2013

PARIS



INCIDENT NO. 4

COMPULSION DRIFT

 
Filled with a nervous energy, I felt compelled to walk briskly south. My conscious mind speculated where my desire might be pulling me – I suspected it would be in the area of Jardin du Luxembourg where an emotional incident had occurred years ago. I set off without a map, letting my impulses guide me.

I became caught in a sort of cultural/spiritual vortex around Pantheon and experienced strong emotions. A quick circuit around Pantheon placed me in front of l’Hôtel des Grands Hommes, where a plaque by the entrance indicated that Surrealism had been invented inside. I smiled inwardly and headed onto rue Clotaire, which led to a maze of narrow streets behind the hotel.

I sensed that I was very near to Luxembourg, but something was pulling me in another direction. When I looked at my route on the map afterward, I had been only a few blocks east of Luxembourg, where I thought my subconscious would take me. At one point I think I even glimpsed a tree-filled space ahead of me. But I had somehow turned south instead of west. Toward Place Monge, and then south of it, tracing a half circle around it a few blocks wider than the Place itself. It was at that point that I lost all sense of direction.

In one of the winding streets I was overcome by a foul odor. As I walked, it became stronger, almost unbearable. I rounded a corner and nearly stumbled over a homeless man lying asleep face up on the sidewalk, his bags arranged around him in a kind of ritualistic circular pattern. Shaken, I quickly crossed the street and turned sharply right, altering my route. Later, looking at the map, I see this unexpected detour had been a correction, and if I had continued in this direction I would have come to Jardin du Luxembourg. But instead (was I motivated by some kind of subconscious rebellion?) I turned left on Gay Lussac, unknowingly headed southward again.

At Boulevard de Port-Royal, the atmosphere changed, becoming perceptibly bleaker. I didn’t know it, but I was directly on the border between 5e and 13e. I headed for small streets, becoming lost in what felt like a meaningless complexity. I suddenly felt lonely and far from the center. I knew I was reaching some kind of endpoint.

When I emerged from the maze of streets onto Rue de la Glacière, I knew I had almost arrived. I somehow headed northward on Glacière only to head southward again on rue de la Santé. Unbeknownst to me, I was tracing the border between 13e and 14e. Across a vast intersection, I saw my destination – a well-proportioned, rather nondescript looking four-story building that had probably once been a private house. I can’t say what drew me to it – only that I felt a sense of recognition.

I crossed the Boulevard St.-Jacques and stood opposite the building. The address was 56 rue de la Santé. Looking at the map afterward, I saw that it sat just on the borderline between the two arrondissements. A dirty looking sandwich shop occupied the ground floor. The upper floors appeared to be apartments. I took a photo and turned back in the direction of the nearest metro station.