Satin Island non è il migliore dei romanzi di Tom McCarthy, ma ci sono almeno due momenti in cui nonostante tutto (nonostante non sia un romanzo: come mai da questa idea non è uscito un saggio?) è abbastanza forte da toccare le vette di C o di Reminder. Il primo è il discorso sul Grande Rapporto, di cui si può leggere estensivamente in questo stupendo articolo scritto per il Guardian. Il secondo è la scena ambientata al G8 di Genova, a metà strada tra Kafka e Ballet Mécanique o il Bolaño di Stella distante e le 120 giornate di Sodoma. Eccone un estratto:
What we did for the next couple of hours, said Madison, is that he made me strike up and hold certain postures. Postures? I asked. Postures, she repeated; like a fashion shoot. I had to turn one way, then another, then to bend, then hold my arms up, stick my leg out, things like that. This man told me exactly what to do; he was really precise. From time to time, if I didn’t have the posture quite right, he would raise the prod, to threaten me; once, when I let my arms fall to my side since I was too tired to keep them raised like he’d instructed me, he zapped me again; after that I kept them up, tired or not. And all the while, while forcing me into these shapes, he was consulting with and nudging at this other thing. What other thing? I asked. The gizmo-thing, she said; this modulator or detector. It had a small screen on it, that had lines running across it: wave-lines, like you might get on earthquake-predicting machines, or on those other ones that show stock-market prices as they fluctuate. He’d look at the screen, then look at me, and make me shift my arm an inch this way or that way, or rotate my head clockwise a tiny bit, or anticlockwise, or tell me to jut my chin or chest out; then he’d look back at the thing, and turn a knob a little bit, and say something to himself, or to the machine, or to whoever was behind it, on the other end.
(Nella fotografia: Tom McCarthy nel 2007. Foto di Andrew Gallix)