Atelier26 Books : Samizdat Series vol. 4
In this expansive and searching work, M. Allen Cunningham traverses landscapes of memory, history, and imagination — from 1769 California to the melee of the Internet in the 2020s — as he questions himself and the reader about our experience of time in an ever-changing world. Why does time seem to pool in our consciousness as much as it flows? Why do various times seem to mix? How have humans expressed this awareness through the ages? How does the onslaught of new technologies complicate or warp our relationship to hour, day, season, and epoch?
We Are Guests of Ancient Time consists of variations: ghost stories, anecdotes, critical analysis, traveler’s notes, glossary entries, luminous rumination, and broad historical inquiries. Drawing from his own experience and the larger canvas of time, Cunningham explores those uncanny and peculiarly foundational moments that form and re-form us as humans, those suspended episodes of seeing and being — past and present, individual and collective — that continuously mold memory, give shape to artistic expression, and enable us to make meaning.
Written with uncommon freedom and imaginativeness, melding musical and literary forms, this book ranges from the personal to the societal, from memoir to fiction to essay, from document to dream. It celebrates inspiration and insight as irreplaceable human capacities. It is a moving testament to our role as inimitably sensitive beings in the creative vastness of time.