Initially, Colchester quite rightly seems shabby, ugly, and like there’s nothing really there: but the surface, at least this once, is an illusion. Looked at with the right eyes, Colchester emerges from the chrysalis of its crudeness to take on the aspect of fragmented beauty.
Because we are being surveilled in so many other, more intimate, less visible ways, the absolute transparency of surveillance cameras has come to seem honest, clean-cut, and even nice.
The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley is the first novel I’ve ever read that understands the full significance of the eye roll — something I previously thought was only understood by television shows.
The status quo is insidious because of its ability to effortlessly co-opt those tenses: a set of constructs born and shaped in the past, hardened in the present, and extended into the future by way of a tacit and self-serving agreement.