by Lucian Leonte
Now financially self-sufficient, still young, and happily married, Stefan is ready to embark on an occupation true to his desires, but what that might be turns into an alienating question. To break the incapacitating deadlock he sets out for Noetrea, a faraway land, where people are said to live according to a different set of assumptions. Once there, he has to learn too quickly of the customs and unambivalent laws, just like the few other outlanders who made the trip, Kal, his parallel ego, included. Otherwise the system appears benign and highly efficient. From the glowing populace to the immaculate architecture and the antiseptic surround, Noetrea is world’s apart from the coarseness of his home place. But what Stefan is being absorbed by is the curious sense of legacy embedded in all the abundant products and representations, from utilitarian objects to artwork and to the omnipresent statues, and that ties into the very question he is wrestling with. Nefri, the local girl, may provide the insight, for a price. Eventually, he learns why Nothingness may have inspired his explorations. Included are seven restored sketches, as documents remaining from the journey.