Angela Carter’s Tokyo: notes for an inventory of an imaginary city




'However long I lived there, the city would always define me as a stranger, I could have found in no way home in it.

If, here and there, you find, in a bare, matted room or the plain arc of a common dish in a hardware store, a relic or memory of the severe beauty of the past, these things already, to some degree, have lost their tranquillity. When the beautiful willow-trees in the streets die, they are replaced by trees made of plastic that will never droop in the poisoned air. 
Time remains in perpetual suspension. The actual moment, ‘now,’ exerts absolute dominance. Yet this external now implies a magnificent stasis for it denies either past or future have functions which shape life. All is as it always has been and always will be, the architecture was designed to cheat the gods of the earthquake and no catastrophe has yet been absolute. 
I close my eyes and the city vanishes. I open them and there it is again, clicking and whizzing and flashing away like a kinetic sculpture. The city suffers from an acute lack of continuity.  

The city is already dissolving, memory and imagination fuse; I am no longer certain with what nostalgic colours I have not tinted this magic and inconsolable city, which is most real to me when I remember it'.