the coming archive
January 01, 2016

I developed an appetite for autobiography while dating a girl who kept a diary. Many concepts and activities in the constellation I consider myself can be ontologically traced to some kind of romantic origin. This may be because I am the son of a loving, wealthy and white family, a family that made my every movement feel successful and validated. My main recollection of inadequacy and self-doubt is bound up in politics outside of a family vehicle, the trials and tribulations of my high school sweet-hearts.

She wrote diary entries daily. I aspired to her emotional outlook, and took to the same practice, for 16 months. The first page of my second volume describes what words I could put to paper after having sex for the first time. I stopped writing, eventually, because I couldn't keep my own interest; I wondered what use strained sentences describing daily ritual would be, and was no longer excited by the exercise of repeating the day in effervescent words, repeatedly, every evening. I stopped dating the girl.

In my first couple of years at university, I economised time (so seemingly scarce in those days) and wrote notes to myself when I had a thought I thought was worth remembering. Every fortnight or so, I would stretch the notes to paragraphs, modelling moments through language's logical structure, remembering time and what space I had of it in the reflection of a plastic coffee container at Small World, my regular morning cafe. I lost some of these pieces, as I understood technology even less than I do today, but others I still have. One I used to apply for a creative writing seminar. I was not accepted.

During this time, I also bootstrapped a website to exhibit artefacts of my creation and curation; books, music, theatre, academic papers, non-academic papers, the recurrent thoughts that congealed as worldy memory. I wanted words to confuse the narrative that separated my 6AM coffee from my 9AM lecture, my 12PM lunch from my 3PM seminar, my 6PM dinner from my 9PM rehearsal, my 12AM pregames from my 3AM sex. Eventually, I learned to take care not to implicate others' privates in what has now congealed as a project to evaporate parts of my own in the internet's public.

This archive is a continuation of that project. Because of its emergent nature, the earlier years of this archive keep different kinds of data than the present, and the future years will likely keep different data than the present. The information this online repository contains is incomplete, cross-referenced, and riddled with inconsistency. There are multiple systematics of retrieval, no unified logic of organization or presentation; and hopefully many other indescribable and unquantifiable complexities that recognize the fact that I, as a person, am only organized to an extent. The rest is an excess, and there is no end to the ways in which I confuse myself by, via, with, through, against, beneath, and over the material I have produced. '

author Lachlan Kermode

Written by Lachlan Kermode who lives and works in Princeton. You should check out his Resume, GitHub, or Twitter.