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Description de l’éditeur
In the shifting sands of the desert, near an unnamed metropolis, there is an institute where various fellows come to undertake projects of great significance. But when our sort-of hero, Percy Frobisher, arrives, surrounded by the simulated environment of the glass-enclosed dome of the Institute, his mind goes completely blank. When he spills something on his uniform—a major faux pas—he learns about a mysterious shop where you can take something, utter the command “same same,” and receive a replica even better than the original. Imagining a world in which simulacra have as much value as the real—so much so that any distinction between the two vanishes, and even language seeks to reproduce meaning through ever more degraded copies of itself—Peter Mendelsund has crafted a deeply unsettling novel about what it means to exist and to create . . . and a future that may not be far off.
In Mendelsund's comically disturbing debut, writer Percy Frobisher, a brilliant thinker but an unreliable narrator, travels to a technologically advanced, unnamed institute in the desert to complete a project, the specifics of which are unclear even to him. Percy flounders in his work, instead focusing his energy on observing the institute's other fellows (including Miss Chatterton the Mysterious Woman, The-Man-Who-Assiduously-Tracks-His-Own-Life-Data, and a woman whose name consists of a smiley-face character), dodging the administrators attempting to keep him on task, going on benders, and sneaking into town to the mysterious Same Same shop, which seems to be able to perfectly replicate any item. As a constant, bizarre storm of paper sends pages flying everywhere and the utopian facade of the institute begins to crack, Percy sets out to test the limits of the Same Same technology and of his own creative practice. Slow to start, occasionally self-indulgent, but ultimately rewarding, this novel is absurdist, uncanny metafiction about the nature of identity, individuality, and authorship in an era of rapid technological advancement.