Parallax (Richard Powers)
When viewed from two different angles, an object will seem to be displaced in space. This apparent difference is called parallax. (The Greek word παράλλαξις or parallaxis means “alteration.”) Because nearby objects display more parallax than distant ones, the property can be used to measure the distance to anything, and it is the only way to determine how far we are from things beyond our solar system. Using the smallest displacement, we can map the stars.
Parallax gives the world depth. The eyes engineer the disparity of parallax into stereoscopic vision. Place two flattened views of the world next to each other, the one slightly displaced from the other, and the retina can fashion the two planes into a spatial sculpture of three dimensions.
I like to collide the two flattened worlds of fact and fiction together in my work and to use the parallax between them to produce a third dimension between them. I’m after a kind of bilingualism—the empirical stance of science juxtaposed or hybridized with introspective apprehension. Stories and facts, character-driven plot and idea-driven essay, discursive information and dramatically revealed emotion: two inimical, displaced views of the same terrain, and the secret goal of my narrative is to somehow triangulate between the two, revealing depths that neither mode of knowing could have determined on its own. The brain is a noisy parliament of different subsystems—thinking, feeling, willing, judging, measuring. All these modes depend on all the others to form the messy composite of the self. Why should stories about ourselves be any different?
Pour citer cette ressource :
Richard Powers, "Parallax (Richard Powers)", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), mai 2014. Consulté le 21/02/2024. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/litterature/entretiens-et-textes-inedits/parallax-richard-powers-