Online Exclusive

Internal Report on the Rise of the Inconceivable


The Inconceivable first emerges along the periphery—discretely agitating on the edges of local chaos.



At the outset, it is supported by few—even opposed by many. Unconcerned, it doesn’t suffer its anonymity.



The Inconceivable lashes out with the impetuousness of an inexperienced, tense blade. Provocative, it traffics in the outskirts of meaning.



Biding its time, the Inconceivable seeps forward, mastering territory with the unpredictable sleight of a storm’s stealth—



Until what stood at the periphery attains the center: until the Inconceivable gains access to the human heart.






Privileged Position

The Inconceivable’s ascendency allows it to proclaim: few own the earth equally.


Hypothesis Regarding Expertise

Ownership of the earth is an advanced science, rarely understood by the common mind.



Fortunately, the Inconceivable has fully mastered the Laws of Selection.


Popular Refrain

With love and honor I will reclaim this earth, my homeland, from my enemies—


Inside Information

The Inconceivable alone knows that The Tribe is a form of perfection.


Cartographic Mystery

Why, in time, the flawless contour of the Perfect Tribe fails to touch the familiar curve of the earth.






To enforce the Laws of Selection, the Inconceivable is aware a high degree of sophistication is in order.


Method of Human Engineering

Above all, a strict methodological hierarchy must be observed.


Pyramid of Loss

To avoid, at the outset, any inconvenient objections, the Inconceivable knows to begin with the lower castes.


Proven Theory

One poor person, more or less, will not trouble the sleep of the burghers.


At First

Disappearances are carried out like the sudden vanishing of a ragged-winged bird over the far horizon.


Auditory Particularity

Remember: the empty silence left behind the disappeared is unlike any other.





Working Premise

Further, to forge The Perfect Tribe, the Inconceivable knows it must undertake a campaign against the untidy nature of being.



To so do, the Inconceivable renews its acquaintance with technology.


Range of Options

The Inconceivable never underestimates the usefulness of the humble, as well as the sophisticated, weapon.


Full Sweep

The Inconceivable soon refines its ability to temper disorderly limbs and dampen unruly gestures—all neatly gathered into its Ultimate Order.


Unfortunate Detail for The Inconceivable

A prison is often near a road; a forest by a village; a ravine close to a farm.


A Form of Reassurance

The Inconceivable knows that before dawn, at least for a time, the streets can always be washed clean of blood.





Upstanding Character

Overall, The Inconceivable believes itself of clear mind and conscience, and as such, a model of elegant comportment.


Pure Intentions

The Inconceivable merely hopes to serve The Tribe, which has graciously placed Absolute Power in its hands.


Further Expertise

Even Reality’s stubborn clay can learn from its prowess—convincingly molded into a superiorly satisfying form.


Fortuitous Coincidence

If, along the way, the Inconceivable reclaims ancestral homelands, gathers lost faithful, or expands the territory of tidiness—how can it be opposed?



Rare is the individual who can attempt the complexity of existence without the guidance of a Protector.



Little matter that all of Brutus’s descendants were already, years ago, slain.



Bella Contra Populum



In time, the Inconceivable tires of the thicket of its own rhetoric, eventually revealing its true motives like a stiff wind exposes a cliff face.


Bureaucratic Cannibalism

The Inconceivable knows it is only a matter of time before its own Tribe members will be submitted to the Purges of Perfection.


Enduring Conceit

Few are those who can conclusively remain above suspicion.


Disquieting Caveat

But even this, the Inconceivable holds, is not a cause for sorrow.



One can never say that the Inconceivable ever lacked the ability to think big.


Totaler Krieg

For the Inconceivable, existence itself becomes its ultimate target and goal: it’s always been a sort of final solution.

Ellen Hinsey is the author of six books of poetry, dialogues, and literary translation, including Update on the Descent, The White Fire of Time, and Cities of Memory, which was awarded the Yale University Series Prize. She is also the coauthor of Magnetic North: Conversations with Tomas Venclova (forthcoming in 2015 from Suhrkamp Verlag). Her work has appeared several times in the Conjunctions online magazine, as well as in publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Irish Times, The Paris Review, and Poetry; excerpts have appeared in French, German, Italian, Danish, and Serbian translation. A former Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, she is the international correspondent for The New England Review and teaches at Skidmore College’s Program in Paris.