We cannot pretend. This spring, we saw it, and what we saw reminded us of something. Of course the man will come out, of course he will forget, of course he will not want to look back on his dead nor on these months of silence. But Man, it’s not us. No matter how much he forgets, how to get lost in his human world, to come back to him like an addiction, something will keep us from closing this spring.
The little old men of Bergamo suffocated with the same evil that suffocates the corals. There is no choice between them. It’s the same disease that kills people and the earth, it’s the same disease that spreads viruses and debrides cyclones. Ehpademia and geocide are two words for the same thing. Life dies before us. – Despite the beauty of the sky, despite the innocence of the beasts that come out of their dungeon and dare to live in broad daylight, there is no reason to rejoice in this terrible spring.
One morning Pandora untied the skin of the plagues and spread them in the wind. All the evils confined to it were released to the world, but Hope remained at the bottom. As France emerges, we launch the Pandemonium to bring this hope to life. We throw the Pandemonium so that something in us withdraws from the race and continues to observe its vow of containment. So that something in us continues to cultivate, confined in its cabin or locked up in its room, the silence of this spring. We are launching the Pandemonium because in the age of pandemics and the sixth extinction, the religion of the living is an office of the dead.
At the origin of this collective writing project, there are the spectral images of cruise ships refused by all the ports in the context of a pandemic. Behind these marine paradises, pride and metaphor of our petrosphere, changed into floating hells, loomed the memory of cursed navigations: from Ulysses failing from island to island to the curse of the flying Dutchman, of Old Sailor from Coleridge to Fitzcarraldo from Herzog.
“When the university lowered the curtain, we were reading The wild dog by Debbie B. Rose, – under title: Love and Extinction. The coincidence struck us as striking: love against extinction. Then came this idea, since we would never see each other, to embark all together on a writing cruise. Everyone would write from their home the diary of a passenger confined to the cabin of a liner wandering on a sea without ports. The PANDÉMONIUM 1 was this ocean liner. For those who wanted to talk about their own containment experience, their cabin would be their bedroom. For more than eight weeks, each being both the author isolated from his own text and the reader of all the others, the stories contaminated each other and wove a network of correspondences between the cabins.
This Monday, May 11, the day of deconfinement, we open to everyone this writing cruise. Anyone can book a cabin on the boat and confine a text like a time capsule. It takes a lot of stories, testimonies and fictions peddled from room to room to collectively understand what to give up and what we need to save.
Pandemonium is a Pean for the dead of this spring and for the world’s agony. Each and everyone is invited to write their part, utter a cry of hate, throw a burst of laughter, let their tears flow or sing their love there. Everyone is invited to make a fuss of this silent spring.
We asked Frank Smith to come aboard with us and recite at the bow as we leave the harbor. Let him be thanked for his text. The proper names encyclopedia is our only world tour. The jumble of the old atlases is no more than an empty word for word. Much more and long before being an accident, containment is our condition.