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Monday, May 23, 2011

Reading Eric Packer through Baudrillard and the Double-continued

Eric Packer

Eric Packer

Eric watched himself on the oval screen below the spycam, running his thumb along his chinline. The car stopped and moved and he realized queerly that he'd just placed his thumb along his chinline a second or two after he'd seen it on screen.

Then why am I seeing things that haven't happened yet? (C 22)

His own image caught his eye, live on the screen beneath the spycam. Some seconds passed. He saw himself recoil in shock. More time passed. He felt suspended, waiting. Then there was a detonation, loud and deep, near enough to consume all the information around him. He recoiled in shock. Everyone did. The phrase was part of the gesture, the familiar expression, embodied in the motion of the head and limbs. He recoiled in shock.The phrase reverberated in the body.(C 93-94)

Between these two scenes of his screen Double there is a lengthening of seconds between the first and second noticed occurrences. Destiny has been arranging things for Eric Packer. Each time Destiny intervenes the Double diverges in time.

Eric Packer is following his Double. Which one is the original? The one on the screen or the one following the one on the screen? The Double is present from birth leading a parallel life with the historical life. (Life is what happens to you as you are carrying out your plans.- John Lennon) They will meet again at Death.
Kendra wears a sinuous skin of body armor. It is stab resistant and Eric has her wear it during sex. This is what Elise means by indifference and that she can't master it.  Eric thinks that at some level she would never be naked. Kendra has a stun gun.

Eric: How many volts at your disposal?
Kendra: One hundred thousand. Jam your nervous system. Drop you to your knees.
Eric: Stun me. I mean it. Draw the gun and shoot. I want you to do it, Kendra. Show me what it feels like. I'm looking for more. Show me something I don't know. Stun me to my DNA. Come on, do it. Click the switch. Aim and fire. I want all the volts the weapon holds. Do it. Shoot it. Now. (C 114-115)

.... He sat in the car borrowing yen and watching his fund's numbers sink into  the mist on several screens.... The yen spree was releasing Eric from the influence of his neocortex. He felt even freer than usual.... The stun gun probably helped. The voltage had jellified his musculature for ten or fifteen minutes....But he could think well enough now, well enough to understand what was happening. There were currencies tumbling everywhere. Bank failures were spreading. .... Strategists could not explain the speed and depth of the fall. They opened their mouths and words came out. He knew it was the yen. His actions regarding the yen were causing storms of disorder. He was so leveraged, his firm's portfolio large and sprawling, linked crucially to the affairs of so many key institutions, all reciprocally vulnerable, that the whole system was in danger.... He smoked and watched, feeling strong, proud, stupid and superior. (C 115-116)

The stun gun. A near death experience divides the Doubles in time. They keep diverging. The one that maybe died from the one that is living. Growing farther and farther apart. Until the moment of death when they will merge.

the extermination of the real by its double in “the perfect crime” (1996, 1-7).

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