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By Victor Pelevin

Translated from the Russian, this razor-sharp satire on shopper tradition, Russian type, follows the impossible to resist upward thrust of a Moscow advertisements copywriter, who specialises in adjusting Western advertisements to the japanese mentality and promoting Pepsi, Seven-up, Gucci, Mercedes and Reebok to the emerging center type.

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Extra info for Babylon

Example text

You know what I mean. And the client only makes his mind up afterwards ... ' 'A whore might not,' Khanin interrupted, 'but we will, if we want to survive in this business. ' 'I don't know,' said Tatarsky. ' 'Oh, yes we will. Babe,' said Khanin, and looked straight into Tatarsky's eyes. Tatarsky tensed. ' 'Pugin told me. And as far as positioning is concerned . . Let's just say you've positioned yourself and I get where you're coming from. ' Tatarsky took another look at the poster with the three palm trees and the promise of never-ending metamorphoses.

To employ a crude analogy with physical processes, the patient is first anaesthetised (subject number one is displaced by subject number two) and then follows a rapid and intensive session of hypnosis, each stage of which is fixed in the memory by means of a conditioned reflex mechanism. At some stage subject number two switches off the television and once again becomes subject number one - that is, an ordinary individual. After that he no longer receives the three wow-impulses directly. But an effect is produced similar in nature to residual magnetisation: the mind begins to produce the same influences for Itself.

He only found the shop after weaving his way for ages through nearby yards and passages - near the end of his journey he remembered that Gireiev had mentioned this shop to him, but he'd used the abbreviated form of its name, PYS. There were no large signboards anywhere to be seen, nothing but a small board with the handwritten word 'Open' in the doorway of an ordinary-looking two-storey building. Tatarsky realised, of course, that things hadn't been arranged like this through lack of foresight, but in order to induce a feeling of esoteric anticipation.

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