“In The City & the City there is a supernatural force that comes in and yanks people out of reality if they break the rules of the mutually agreed upon imperception of the overlapping cities. It’s completely ridiculous, but Miéville builds the entire world around it…The basic idea is that you’ve got these two warring factions within a city. It’s been decades, maybe hundreds of years, but at some point the two different factions within the city had a treaty and they agreed to coexist and continue living in the same city. But they agreed to never, never pay attention to each other. So the citizens are part of the same physical world, but they live in two different perceptual worlds. They share the same roads, they live in the same buildings, but they have all agreed not to pay attention to each other. That active not-paying-attention is actually active. If you’re driving down a road and you have to swerve around a car that belongs to a citizen of the other faction, you cannot reflect upon, or even think about, why you just swerved round. You have to trick yourself into thinking that you moved out of the way not to actively avoid something, but just because.” Read more...
The best books on Surrealism and the Brain