Detours

by Carson Reynolds

I stopped back into Boston for a few weeks during August. My project at the MITOC climbing wall, which was a V2- bouldering traverse across the entire gym, yielded finally. That was the first sign I’m making a bit of progress with climbing. Maybe with a bit more work I’ll be back where I was before I came to MIT.

Over the course of last month, I worked through Michel Houellebecq’s Atomised (AKA Elementary Particles). I oscillate between being repulsed and engaged by his writing. The book seem at some moments to be misanthropic pseudo-intellectual erotica and others a philosophical novel about the impact of liberal individualism on western culture. Houellebecq’s reputation as a provocateur is obviously built out of his character’s nasty swipes at nearly every identity group. So the question is whether he’s trying to use this to show the decline of western society or more simply embittered.

On the way back to Dublin, my flight was canceled. Swiss Air had a few seats on a flight going through Zurich. Not wanting to stick around Boston longer, I took the 1000 mile detour route. It stretched the typical 5 1/2 hour flight into 10 hours over two legs with 4 hours in between. As a consolation prize I got to stare out the windows of the airport at the mountains around Zurich.

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