The logic here is Kafka’s, one emphasizing powerlessness, comedy, and terror. And like Kafka’s, it’s a logic Crawford often locates in the formal structures of speech, the way language can seem to contain crucial information even when it’s actually just bunches of barks and wind.
What Ends pulls at past and future, as the out-of-sequence sections zoom in on certain years on the island and the events that ultimately lead towards an uncertain future for both the island and its last inhabitants.
Ugresic is not interested in declaring the present to be exceptionally hopeful or hopeless. She’s interested, rather, in talking about the particularity of now as it scrambles out of the past and lurches towards the future.
It is impossible to know how these stories will read in a decade or in ten, when the closing of Borders and the description of a character “waterboarding himself with a neti pot” may need to be explained in footnotes.