- Other Rooms by Matthew Turner is a book about rooms, spaces, passages, geographic points and the mental spaces we occupy online.
It’s also about how we interface (or “buffer” as it’s so nicely put in the book) with the physical space around us, toggling as we do between our phones and the real world.
This book reminded me of La Jalousie (particularly the first section).
Isolation is another theme here and it’s hard not to see a subtle critique of the gentle self quarantine of social media.
Airports and hotels also get a debriefing :
I liked hotel rooms for their liminality, for their ability to facilitate the inhabitation of a realm between reality and fantasy. They also existed in a weird place between order and chaos; you can mess around with them as much as you like, move the furniture, leave your underwear strewn all over the floor, stain the sheets, and still, when you return at the end of the day everything will be back in its place. The legs of the sofa, for example, will have migrated safely back to the indentions in the carpet they have been cultivating for years. If only people were a similarly self-reordering system.
- The whole time I was reading the first section I couldn’t get this game out of my head.
On a sentence level turners writing can startle take this example :
Oil is millions of years of Earth’s activity and energy rendered down into a slick darkly iridescent information archive. All the Sun’s energy, all the plant and animal life that had been and gone is contained within the acrid substance. It averages out the colour of the world’s history, and that average is dark. The oil disturbed me, like white noise did, because it facilitated a confrontation with too much information.