Mermaid Figurine

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Object No. 50 of 50 — Significant Objects v2. PHOTO: Adrian Kinloch

[The auction for this object, with story by Tom McCarthy, has ended. Original price: $1.00. Final price: $68.00. Part of a special collaboration with Underwater New York, this object’s story shipped rolled into a vintage bottle found on the beach of Dead Horse Bay, Brooklyn. Proceeds from this auction go to 826 National.]

1. Pollution of coastal waters can have / the black sun of melancholy / signature of all things I am here to / test for indicator organisms such as / Love or Phoebus, Lusignan or Biron / based on weekly or fortnightly water sampling

2. The beach zone is modeled as / the grotto where the siren / (see Fig. 1) / wind-generated surface advection and / have lingered in / with parameter estimation / limit of the diaphane / with uniform pollution concentration

3. Wild sea money / dc and dt: decay and mixing / language tide and wind have silted / to a build-up of pollutants during / the night of the tombs, you who consoled me / (see Fig. 2)

4. The coastline is roughly aligned with / the sighs of the Saint and the cries of / prevailing wind positions at this / lolled on bladderwrack / in the chambers of / pollution forecasting, modeled by / the grid where vine and rose enmesh

5. Two brief field surveys, carried out to / walk upon the beach / accumulated rainfall and runoff pollution which / snotgreen, bluesilver, rust / where U is wind and T is days / have modulated on the lyre of / drainage flow-rates for / the mermaids singing, each to / the ‘first-flush effect’, as visible in Fig. 3 / forehead is still red from the Queen’s kiss

PHOTO: Nura Qureshi


Tom McCarthy's first novel, Remainder, won the Believer Book Award in 2008. His avant-garde art "organisation" the International Necronautical Society (which may or may not actually exist) surfaces through publications, proclamations and denunciations, live events and conventional art exhibitions at institutions. McCarthy is also author of the non-fiction book Tintin and the Secret of Literature. His new novel C will be published by Knopf in 2010.

8 thoughts on “Mermaid Figurine

  1. Pingback: Surplus Matter : An Index to the work of Tom McCarthy

  2. A sexy and smart finale to SO v2! PS: This is the 150th story we’ve published on eBay since this project began last July. Amazing.

  3. Pingback: UNY X S.O. objects in their new home | Significant Objects

  4. Pingback: Booker Prize 2010 | Significant Objects

  5. Congratulations to Tom McCarthy — his novel C, which was still forthcoming when we published this story, has been included on the 2010 Booker Prize longlist.

  6. Pingback: Author Updates | Significant Objects

  7. Pingback: Author Updates | Significant Objects

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