Issue #16 September 2018


That however did not matter. Nakajima realized now another issue that urgently needed a resolution. What was an “un-come” or un-coming? That for her to have intuitively placed “un-come” alongside the infinitely more comprehensible “yet to come” and not as a tautology of the latter, surely the two must be different and she thought so even as she sensed that logically speaking, if she was to assume the stance of one who regarded and handed verdict over all of existents from a strictly logical point of view, the two were in “truth” so to speak, identical. What had yet to come would not have come to the eyes of one who resided in the present. What had not come would occur to one who remained acutely aware of the continuum of past, present, and future, as that which had merely yet to come; but that was to take this word too lightly, Nakajima knew, to reduce it to little more than a statement on the perspectivistic mediocrity of life, or some tabloid quotes for house-wives and -husbands to repeat to neighbors in their daily tedium and ever-replenished urge to showcase his or her worldly wisdom. An un-coming as the or a future was more than that — un-coming was not futurus; there was and would always be a certain depth in Sino-Japanese which no Logos could ever hope to penetrate. Perhaps the hint here was to not regard time as a trinity or a gear-work with three highly specified components constantly rotating to keep the machinery that was the world humming functioning at peak efficiency such that its inhabitants could continue breathing, making love, eating, slumbering, and in general living lives. Her first task here then would be to stop living and that hardly seemed viable, as a way of life that was though of course as the phrase already implied, one could hardly maintain one’s self in a certain way of life once one had chosen if there was such a choice and if such a thing as “living” or “life” was something existential, something of the world or the humane world in particular,5placeholder enough to be determined by a single human choice, to stop living, but then again one and she indeed would doubt why it was that such a practice, of fishing categories out of a hat and pigeon-holing actual things into such categories, was regarded as something analytical, philosophical, and not some childish gesture founded solely upon one’s gut-driven quest for some uniformity and non-indifference in the world, to mathematize the world as something highly systematic which despite being a that which included asymmetrical entities such as humans as its contents, must be given the attribute of regularity; that it must have been organized a priori in so and so a way like a jigsaw puzzle, as to have a certain pattern of its own that would yield a certain knowledge of itself ready to hand to earnest phenomenologists and metaphysicians: a “knowledge” tantamount to a wholesale destruction of the world to a heap of semantical and numerical utterances; but then again offended as she might be by the inhumanity of such universalities, such reduction of something with apparent intrinsic value to something shared by all, when she at times glanced at the world, at the beings of entities and entities of beings encircling her, she did indeed detect a certain tinge of universality which albeit faint, remained to her a clue suggesting some sort of predestination and a certain plot with objective unknown underlying all that was, and she could not help but wonder wherefrom such a sensation stemmed and if she could still put her faith in her own senses and if she was merely losing herself to herself or to the world, to be so thoroughly seduced, absorbed, assimilated as to at long last grasp something primordial and in such a way “meaningful” beneath the myriad of entities and beings and extended things and thinking things and protracted word never to reach purity or fruition, and all of such items loitering across the surface; or if she was simply seeing mirages, her own mirages no less but apparently of the world, of herself incarnated within. Nakajima twisted the valve back on and resumed her shower and tilted her head and let her fringe part and topple over the sides of her face and tickle her ears and with her eyes shut once more, water splattered down with a gravitated vigor that drew as much pain as comfort from her skin, and for a split second, for an infinitesimal fraction of and in a time more primordial, more intimate to her than the triune temporality of past, present, and future, the downpour drowned the world out from around her.

Raphael Chim is a Hong Kong-born Chinese currently pursuing a MA in Creative Writing at University College Dublin. It is said that he is a child of the now defunct line of Zhou kings dating two millennia back. In other news, he would be presenting at the Kumoricon Anime and Manga studies conference this October on the hermeneutic structure of the subcultural slang “Moe”.


See Laotzu, Tao Te Ching.


Here in this context “instance” is synonymous with “example” as in the expression “for one instance”, and occasionally though not always within this text, the principle of instantiation, though its etymological associations with the English temporal “instant”, and Latin “in-stare” (signifying, “to stand on, upon”, “to draw nigh, threaten”, “to pursue, accuse, assail”, “to urge, ply, insist”) must also be borne in mind such that one is not misled into regarding this as a lousy choice of word on the part of the author.


Etymologically speaking Nakajima was mistaken here in that the character for “water” as it appeared in oracle bone scripts and other prehistoric incarnations was a pictogram consisting of five downwards wavy strokes evidently intended to imitate and indicate the flow of water down a river, and was derived too from a hypothetical Proto-Sino-Tibetan word signifying “flow, stream”; whereas that for “wood” was an explicit pictogram of a tree.


Kanjized equivalent of the Chinese “來” signifying “to move [more-or-less unilaterally], come [towards something]”, “to arrive”, and by extension, “to occur”, “to have already transpired”, “[the] coming [of something]”, or a “coming”, “arrival”, or “transpiration, occurrence, event, Ereignis” as such.


September 2018


Avicenna’s Connotational Attributes, Mickey Mouse, and Sex Dolls

by Anthony Kroytor

Kierkegaard’s Recognition

Isaac Fried in conversation with Jamie Aroosi

Thinking the Political with Thomas Hobbes

by Timofei Gerber

A Problem Based Reading of Nussbaum’s Virtue Ethics

by John C. Brady


fiction by Raphael Chim