Andrew Ervin is the author of the novella collection Extraordinary Renditions and the novel Burning Down George Orwell’s House. His most recent book is Bit By Bit: How Video Games Transformed Our World.
If the physical storage device for a work of art is destroyedbe it an Atari cartridge, VHS cassette, or 3.5˝ floppy diskettewhat happens to the artwork itself? These days, probably not a damn thing. In this age of digital reproduction, there are likely to be more copies available a few clicks away on eBay. The aura is all but gone. Walter Benjamin is spinning vinyl in his grave.
In Sarah Rose Etters weird and wonderful new novel The Book of X, our protagonist Cassie is afflicted by a medical anomaly. I was born a knot like my mother and her mother before her, it begins. Each of the women in her family have their stomachs twisted into bulbous masses of flesh and muscle.