Let’s Go to the Snack Bar

Let’s face it. Travel is hungry work.

In the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway.

Tourism and Foreign Aid are both branches of literature, just as literature is a branch of … well, nothing. It has a mind of its own. On a first reading, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises was sold as a Morning After.

The roving hand of God.

On a second reading, The Sun Also Rises clarifies as an instance of hagiography in the cult of Maria…

…a bit blurry with time, sure, but still decipherable. We, Richard Rathwell (above) and Harold Rhenisch (below)…

Just Another Day as Puck

…call this ability of reading to reassert cultural values in the place of individual readings as a specific branch of literature called Neurotypical Literature.

One important facet of literature from the dominant spectrum of human consciousness is that…

It defines individuals as characters and character.

In other words, what passes as literature today.

A resplendent pharaonic funeral on the Nile, it is not.

On the other hand, luckily enough, by celebrating the life of the individual as clothing picked off the rack and as quickly discarded, even a novel, that quintessential neurotypical form, can be read as an instance of neurodiverse literature, because neurodiverse literature plays with character (as above.) Succinctly:

It is an intervention, an interjection, an exclamation, a resistance and even an insubordination





As novels are.


This variability in perception is not in the eye of the beholder, so to speak, or built upon individual experience, culture and inclination, to speak it slant, but a property of literature itself, which is a kind of see-through mirror. If the variability were just a matter of perception, that would be tantamount to saying that neurotypical literature is the real thing and other literatures are a deviation. The layered mirrors, however, are real, as we saw last time you visited when the two-way mirror that is commonly called Richard was being held captive in a kind of novel.

A German Anti-Relativity Scientific Paper from 1935

aka the reverse print (branding iron) of the Buchenwald Gate

See for yourself here. Like all neurotypical art forms, the novel that is Buchenwald

champions self-expressive emotion and discovery

fighting against its absorption into a narrative that is driven by structure, which is an expression of emotion directed away from the self. For a long time (hours? centuries? seconds?) I lay there alone in that poem, slowly (quickly?) disappearing into the surroundings.

But were they surroundings? For the neurodiverse, who are their surroundings, aren’t they withinings?

When the crowd came back, giggling, laughter broke out anew. I became a creature of resistance and revolution. I denounced everyone as fascists. I resolved I would never rest until I escaped and threatened strangulation and shooting for one apparently serene laugher with terrified eyes.

My choreographer Harold Rhenisch found this image of me in Weimar. Thanks for bringing me home, Harold.

Immediately night fell. I had noticed sympathetic body gestures (winks and clandestine waving) from some of the cleaning staff. It was apparent now that they were the working class. I heard voices from beyond the curtain saying, ‘we should let at least one of them escape’. 

Harold found a neo-Nazi criticism of my early lives as a Marxist in Weimar as well and smuggled it back over the wall. I was many.

During my time hiding behind the trolley, I was bleeding from the foot. I thought I had removed a device for taking something from between my toes, or for injecting something. I’d also removed a dressing, which I thought might have been fake, for a spinal tap, which I remembered but may have been fake. I remembered bunnies. That much was real.

The bunnies and other cute animals were actually the sympathetic staff, some doctors, who changed into costumes in a room opposite the room I was, hiding in full view and invisible. 

Harold caught up to me in Hamlin. He says he didn’t see any rats. Sure.

It is tiring to be inside a novel. All the plot changes, and you can’t even change the story. The changing into costumes by the breakfast, lunch, and dinner staff and the doctors, I was on to. I wasn’t fooled, either, by the identification bands identifying me, in florid handwriting as Sonja with Leukaemia.

Harold found me entangled with a doctor-novelist in Karl May’s Villa outside of Dresden. The leukaemia remains undiagnosed.

Nor was I fooled by the changes of location and décor of my ‘ward’. I was really in Kafka’s Castle.

The novel.

I was in the graveyard of a mind.

There was no fooling me about the fairground serving cart with breakfast cereals from my past: the branded rice crispies with the pictures of sinister elves, the Wheaties with the baseball stars made strong. 

I knew the actual time and place. The Caribbean. I had heard it. 2024 was the year. I had seen it on the badges of security.

The animals did a very cunning thing to organize my escape. They returned me to the funeral. I was discovered again. They returned me to the stars. I was left with those until I slept.

A Mutated Bear in Czernabyl

Meanwhile, I have been told discussions were underway to diagnose the overall condition, and that treatments were underway.

Come on, after Chernobyl, that’s all of us. Our futures have been written. On our bodies.

Or, as Harold says, after he failed to properly come back from the East:

Primary Axiom of Post-Atomic Life and the graphite core of neurodiverse literature:

Our bodies are our souls.

It doesn’t mean we have to rest in peace. HR

Some of these I resisted. In addition to eating. I did cause disturbances. One amusing (to me now) was that psychiatrists, neuroscientists in fact poured over ancient, relatively reverent and planned publications, some collaborative, for clues. Such as my new book, the one Harold and I knocked together in the basement of a chop suey house on Vancouver’s Pender Street, which begins with an interview, like this:

from Don’t Expect the Sun to Shine: A Wake for Robin Blaser. Eighth House, 2023. Link

Or as it looked when we pried off the lid:

A book that reads itself to your eye.

from Don’t Expect the Sun to Shine: A Wake for Robin Blaser. Eighth House, 2023. Link

As we were all thrown together into the neurotypical world, some of these needed to be explained somehow, as to genre and intent.

Richard Rathwell’s Days in the Russian Prison System: an in-the-body experience.

On the day before Putin’s Chef showed up with his promises of freedom.

I was, after altered medication, discharged. Two weeks and perhaps more had passed from the onset of symptoms. Two weeks, at least, in the Neurological Ward.

There is some theory and evidence that my seizure, for so it is called in science, was only the most dramatic and recognizable of many, some of which would have been unseen even by the trained eye.

Poppies and buttercups explode. Fields of pale green blooming vines. The Pic du Canigou, ripples with pink snow. It peers around every corner against milk skies. A wedge.

Sunrise over the Pic du Canigou

Boats, flattened by sandy winds from Africa speed the drowned home. A dog bullets low from a door to chase the street washer away. 

I have returned to a madly altered world.

As the Kenyan Albino Rhino said when I tried to explain plainly about how to the photosensitize the sea, it’s the neurotypicals. Being iced, empty, blue and bearing a flattened sun, hurts. 

Heavy Water in Africa. An Alternate Fission Model.

So does being white all through one night. 

A Token Canadian in the Former East German Communist Heartland

All this is being quietly erased by the Wagner Group.

Choose all that apply:

Foreshadowing: a common technique in novels.

The Rhino was preoccupied as he listened to my speech about limbs being harvested for magical protection against gout, then said that narratives harvest memories indirectly. Losing a horn hurts as much as that. 

The neurotypicals stink of sulphur.

So do the neurodiverse, naturally. As Harold and I said to the guys, eh (the doctors in the ward, charged with chemically maintaining neurotypicality before it was taken over by their understudy Chat GPT):

Don’t Expect the Sun to Shine: A Wake for Robin Blaser. Eighth House, 2023. Link

It is time to bury the dead.

So it begins.

It is time to raise the living.


Next, we go deep undercover.

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