a commonplace book
A ghost erases the present by repeating the actions of the past. That’s what haunting is. Was this what I wanted from hotels–to be haunted? Was it the gleaming tiled bathrooms I hadn’t cleaned, was it the beds I hadn’t made, that magically remade themselves every time I left the room, my own presence constantly smoothed over? …
But hotels are never successfully haunted. Hotel ghosts might go through the motions but it’s homes (usually stately) that are haunted, by ghosts that are in the family, or at least familiar. A ghost is an exegesis–it comes to point the finger, tell the true story–but hotels like to make up their own histories in keeping with the fashion, remake them each time they make up your room.
Joanna Walsh, Hotel (2015)
Brilliant prose. I particularly appreciate the definition of “ghost,” which I feel has some interesting critical potential. Ghost as ideological reproduction / Ghost as embodied exegesis… What else could we thence call ghosts?