Jennifer Egan Streamed Live on Twitter

2:52:00 PM

          Some of the most wonderful things are happening because of the great known universe of social media. One of the perks of being connected to some of the biggies in media on Twitter such as The New Yorker and The Los Angeles Times is that sharing is allowed and encouraged. When something amazing has come into their successful little hands and has no price on it, they are free to dispense of it at will. And what do you know; they share it with us, the common folk. Such a gem as this, Jennifer Egan has partnered with The New Yorker and their section called The Page-Turner along with The Los Angeles Times’ Twitter accounts to stream a piece of her work called “Black Box”, to be sent out in installments. 

         I have just finished the 17th installment and was surprised at what I had found. The story is unique and strange, it reads like a James Bond how-to manual, and knocks you for a loop with its boldness in word choice and form. The opening may take you a moment to understand what’s going on but once you’re in you’re hooked, “Necessary ingredients for a successful projection: giggles; bare legs; shyness…Posing as a beauty means not reading what you would like to read on a rocky shore in the South of France.” (Egan, sect. 1,4).  The story is about a woman who is part of a group of spies called “beauties”, what they’re looking for, we must wait for the next installment to find out. 

          The instruction manual of a story tells a beauty how she should behave for a successful task, “Throwing back your head and closing your eyes allows you to give the appearance of sexual readiness while concealing revulsion.” (Egan, sect.6).  The woman must be one and at the same time separate from her body, present but absent to keep from being caught, “You will be tempted to pull the cord when he surrounds you with his arms whose bulky strength reminds you, fleetingly, of your husband’s… You will rejoin your body when it is safe to do so.” (Egan, sect. 7,8). The man whom is being watched by the beauty is called their “Designated Mate”. He is catered to down to their dress and attitude, interests, time and even sexual situations are granted for effect. The beauty is equipped with embedded recording devices inside her body, beneath her skin accompanied by various chips that encapsulate their knowledge, documents and data sheets that can be edited at any time—minus their personal feelings, of course. This is a wonderful fictional freebie that shouldn’t be missed. You must check out the The Page-Turner next week for more. 

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