According to the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, our planet’s most pronounced topographical features comprise an approximate mirror image of the crust’s underside. The steppes of the Ukraine thus roof the cratonic platform which replicated them, while the Ural Mountains not only project into the sky, but in equal measure stab down like gunbarrels trained upon the magma on which our continents uneasily slither. To me, the thought that this world is doubled within its own red, liquid hell is a profoundly unnerving one. Chaos seethes beneath my feet. The chaos feels stifled; it wants to breathe. But chaos is by its very nature formalist deviation. I still believe in myself, but only in my own ugliness. (734)
From Europe Central by William Vollmann.