"The position that an epoch occupies in the historical process can be determined more strikingly from an analysis of its inconspicuous surface-level expressions than from the epoch’s judgements about itself. The surface-level expressions…provide unmediated access to the fundamental substance of the state of things."
— Siegfried Kracauer, The Mass Ornament
"… with the past as well, and the crimes behind the world, the thousand bloody arroyos in the hinterlands of time that stretched somberly inland from the honky-tonk coast of Now."
— Thomas Pynchon, Vineland, p. 180
"By the time his life brought him here, down in the reeking beast-print, the hazy red, green, and yellow lights and striped barricades, the struggling in the mud and rain after a mystery that might at the end be only as simple as greed, become at least independent, though Professor Wawazume still kept sending a lot of business his way, no more corporate pin on his suit lapel, only the buttonhole unadorned, lordless, his one fixed address now a cubicle in outer Ueno he shared rent on, containing an armored file cabinet, a telephone, and the signed, framed photo of himself the Professor had given him when he left to go out on his own (an enlarged paparazzo shot, the Professor looking even more goofy than usual, lurching after a noted beauty in gold lame, flip hairdo, and two-centimeter eyelashes outside a bar in Shinjuku, a lucent string of drool begun to descend from one corner of his mouth), Takeshi had already long been a nomad in the sky’s desert, continuing to depart in kerosene fumes to seek another connection in another Pacific port, to nod to faces he had last seen coming out of the Yat Fat Building in Des Vœux Road, to check the body of the stewardess and what he could see out the window of the body of the airplane, and at last, when they began to lift, to commend himself to the gods of the sky."
— Thomas Pynchon, Vineland, p. 143.