Registration Caspar

Registration Caspar

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Author: J. Gordon Faylor

Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (2016)

Caspar, a non–gendered entity, only has five hours left before it is executed by its employer. Though it remains to be seen if this execution is biological and programmatic in nature, it's clear that money needs to be made for the two partners Caspar leaves behind. Enter Registration Caspar, at once a log of Caspar's life within the strangulated housing market of Ceaurgle–where it has taken on a second job as a farmhand in order to supplement another in the meteorological sequestration industry—and the hectic structuration of an income source. It's already too late for the log, however, infiltrated as it has been by said employer, and so made inextricably more dizzying and deranged than the original. The money is gone.

"It was the worst of times; it was the first of times. Registration Caspar is a resolutely unnovelistic work that lures us with storytelling that drifts in and out of the sumptuous, filthy dreamspace and stark waking life of a biopolitical cipher—an entity that is and is not like us: a thing named Caspar. As if an heir to the unlived lives of the liminal and amorphous biotechnological subjects of Samuel Delany and Joanna Russ, Caspar's bizarre eloquence records the hours prior to its execution. This is the final log of a creature whose great crime is allowing its own entrapment in a biopolitcal quagmire in which execution (of jobs, tasks, schedules) has led to its own execution.

The language of Caspar's log is water-resistant and rebuffs attention, and reading this book calls for an attunement to language that skims and dips—like Barthes' swimmer—so you can drown in the pleasures of this text. And yet, this is also the story of day-in, day-out struggles in a labor market built for lifeforms sublimated into massive task-zones; into lives lived out at dystopian velocity, break-neck convenience.

Resisting both narrative linearity and readerly mastery of cause and event, Registration Caspar is anti-specialist fiction. Through the tradition of sci-fi, it invents its own lexicons, but, through the practice of poetic innovation, it disputes their usefulness. Gordon Faylor's picaresque pursuit of genre tropes that both compose and convict its users recalls Flaubert's confession to George Sand, when he was writing his beloved Dictionary of Accepted Ideas: 'To dissect is a form of revenge.' This is genre gone rogue. It is as if all of Samuel Beckett's unfulfilled plans and undeployed scenarios have come back to haunt and enthrall us under a 'a bleary science genre sky.'”

–Divya Victor