While still exercising my avatar in SL (my current mission now and for the next few days is learning how to gesticulate) I came across a sentence of a novel I’m reading in my RL which struck me because of its perfect definition of ‘heterotopy’:
‘We want here, we want now, we want the Island, but we also want magic. We want our Visitors to feel that they passed through a mirror -regarding this Carrollian reference I’ve also posted a pic of me in a SL Alice’s Wonderland- that they have left their own worlds and entered a new one, different yet strangely familiar, where things are not done as in other parts of the inhabited planet, but as if in a rare dream’ (Julian Barnes, England England, 2008, London: Vintage, p.120) www.julianbarnes.com
This is a science fictional novel about the construction of a giant amusement park that duplicates the tourist spots of England and should represent the authentic ‘Englishness’ of the country. It is an enjoyable book, a discussion and parody on the invention of cultural tradition and on the questionable notion of historical authenticity.
Does RMBCity with its symbolical buildings and spots represent the authentic ‘Chineseness’ of the Republic, should it actually do it, how does it connect to real China and how more constructed than reality is it (if it is at all)? I leave all these questions open to discussion and in the meantime go back to my new SL clumsy attempts of gesticulation.