“Time is what stops history happening at once; time is the speed at which the past disappears. Film gives those lost worlds a brief resurrection. Those since-fallen buildings, those long-decayed faces, they engrossed me. ‘We were as you are,’ they said. The present doesn’t matter. My fifty minutes in front of the cinema screen were an exercise in happiness.”
Cloud Atlas, An Orison of Sonmi~451, David Mitchell
Did Professor Mephi know about the students’ unfriendliness?
I think so. At our seminar, the professor asked if my lecture had been fruitful; I chose the word informative and asked why purebloods despised me so. He replied, “What if the differences between social strata stem not from genomics or inherent xcellence or even dollars, but merely differences in knowledge? Would this not mean the whole Pyramid is built on shifting sands?”
I speculated such a suggestion could be seen as a serious deviancy.
Mephi seemed delited. “Try this for deviancy: fabricants are mirrors held up to purebloods’ consciences; what purebloods see reflected there sickens them. So they blame you for holding up the mirror.”
I hid my shock by asking when purebloods might blame themselves.
Mephi replied, “History suggests, not until they are made to.”
Cloud Atlas - A Orison of Sonmi~451 (David Mitchell)
A more metaphysical question … were you happy, back in those days?
Before my ascension, you mean? If, by happiness, you mean the absence of adversity, I and all fabricants are the happiest stratum in corpocracy, as genomicists insist. However, if happiness means the conquest of adversity, or a sense of purpose, or the xercise of one’s will to power, then of all Nea So Copros’s slaves we surely are the most miserable. I endured drudgery but enjoy it no more than yourself.
Cloud Atlas - An Orison of Sonmi~451 (David Mitchell)