Sweet Spoonfuls of Nothing

Nutella, the modernist’s spread, can be served many ways — but we know the canonical Nutella delivery system is the spoon. Yes, you can put it on other things, but it’s the individual servings taken from the whole in the jar which deliver the individual half-quenelle of sweetness.
 
 Which I suppose is why Agustin Fernandez Mallo’s book is called Nocilla Dream — Nocilla being a kind of Spanish market Nutella.
 
 The narrative is a sprawling, branching even, set of vignettes or prose poems, set around the poplar that found water in the Nevada desert. The tree, nearly halfway along the stretch of road which contains nothing at all and is bookended by a brothel on either end, is one that people stop at to throw their trainers over. Or pass by in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe, or make love under, pass in a hurry or lose your briefcase full of found pictures beside.
 
 Here’s a few snippets:




The stories are universally pleasant brain ticklers — there’s no page that doesn’t provide some sense of hope about it. Each is a portrait of a character or characters initially set against the endless nothing of the desert and equational skyline, which soon morphs into the ways in which people form connections and define their own meaning.
 
 There are grander visions here when the subjects shifts slightly to not just communities and the internet, but also micronations — small organisations of people search for their own kind of liberty away from the rules presented by their current state. Individuals congeal into pairs and small groups to start, forming their own way of seeing the world, and then eventually organise organically into their own discreet societies.
 
 Every story starts from a grain of the material world. It is sort of a way to say that every object contains a story and every one of those stories links people to other people by the physical world we’re in. Our existence is non-negotiable, but whether we see ourselves connected to one another through atomic-level baton handing that leads to shared stories is all in the way we look at things. Which I would say is the most optimistic way to approach a book made up of fragments.
 
 Buy it from Fitzcarrado here.


Emotions, I’ve had a few, but then, too many to really categorise prop-er-ly — oh, hold on. There’s this.



Obligatory Anne Carson snippet of the week:


It’s from FLOAT, by the way.


I’ve been on another one of those YouTube abseiling afternoons where I just listen to covers of one song — and that song is Redbone by Childish Gambino.
 
 This cover has a lot of beard
 
 This cover has a kazoo
 
 This cover has a guzheng
 
 This cover once told me
 
 I have not included all the earnest teenagers here because, while that is clearly the best genre of covers, you probably don’t need to be subjected to that. Why it is okay for me to subject you to a Chinese harp is yours to ponder for the weekend.


Thanks for reading Etch To Their Own, I love you all like you were my own relative units. Me? I’m @CJEggett and you probably signed up for this here. Here’s some relevant units. Forecast for the weekend. It’s an omen. Remember, the important thing about saying anything is that it can only make the world more like the way you believe it to be.

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