A Thousand Pieces

Online and editorial project

A Thousand Pieces is a story about writing, understood as an experimental process that wanes over time, fuses with life, and populates the text with hyperlinks; reading is conceived as an excavation in which the reader must adopt different active positions to unbury possible meanings from a work filled with layers, strata, quotes, and illustrations. In 2014, the chance to publish A Thousand Pieces online came about in a joint project with RV Studio. As in the original published support on paper, textual strata are used to organize the different layers of text and image in a never-ending scroll down the webpage.

About this project the Boston University lecturer Jonathan Snyder had wrote: “In a concluding remark, I should like to propose that the political character of Mil pedazos resides in its critique that passes itself off as innocent play, without making reference to a politics proper, at all, which is rather the subject of the next section. Instead, Mil pedazos situates the reader’s activity of reading alongside the narrator’s own interpretive work within the short story, and it is this playful duality from which its critique arises. Its form, in other words, points towards the activity of mapping interpretation itself, with critical thought, as one that is capable of changing desire. And it does so in ways that consistently call attention to process as a form of politics, in the legitimation of certain procedures and knowledge revered as science or truth, in which given practices and methods are underwritten by the powers of consensus. To repeat practices knowingly and uncritically (mimesis), in other words, is to reenact their legitimacy. Within this break from consensus, readerly desire, pleasure, and seduction are laid bare, not uniquely as mediated feelings per se, given that the narrator rejects ‘intuition’ in her analysis; but, when questioned critically, they are revealed as produced in part by the underpinning powers and possibilities for change implicit in the process of critical activity itself. The process of interpretation for the narrator, in her trial and error, proves capable of producing this change in desire, articulated in the narrative (and thus realized once spoken) as a desire for an alternative approach capable of mitigating her disciplinary methods wherever they serve a repressive function. More importantly, what Mil pedazos accomplishes in form and content, is the creation of an imagined world in which experimental alternatives to scripted practices bear the possibility of transforming the sayable and the doable for the narrator (or, her address and procedural action) once the latter are identified critically for the limitations they place on her desire. That seems to me to be a potentially political question, which deserves further attention here.”

Online Project Available online