THE NAIF by Valerie Hsuing
The Naif lives in a practiced state of naivety—a language-fasted, resource-starved loop—and it lives as a test: of what awareness, what becoming, what imagination is possible under the scarcest of conditions, conditions that can make it impossible to deceive or beguile (others or oneself). It is a book as glass house reversed, where the person walking by can see all the way in, but the person inside can’t see halfway out—and yet the person inside has made this house. Perhaps because of the danger to the writer’s life that would result from any direct address to the Apparatus, the writer will have to commandeer the Apparatus’ own terms of ‘neutrality’ to forge a secret path and get word (past the Apparatus) into the right hands. As though she, a language worker, under the watchful eye of the Apparatus, has been forced to create these daily logs, to send news to the other world that all is ok. So she must be careful what she says and what she doesn’t; so she does her job, and yet leaves clues throughout: all is not ok.