I finished the book today, I accidentally bought it in French, so my tardiness is excused and I am commended for persevering in a foreign language. I can't really contribute to the discussion because 'does x from Morel remind you of y by z?' and I don't know who y or z are, I must be a philistine or something. I do remember there being a bit at the end where the narratorfinds the idea of studying Faustine forever to be unsatisfactory because the machines may break down, and he didn't know how to fix them. So his mastery of them wasn't that complete, he merely knew how to turn them on and off and upload a recording?
I enjoyed this bit, especially when considered in the context of the ridiculous garden he had constructed:
'J'allai dire que lá se manifestaient les dangers de la création, la difficulté qu'il y a de porter en soi, avec équilibre, et simultanément, plusieurs consciences.'
At one point Morel compares man's existence to a disc: 'Et vous-mêmes, combien de fois n'avez-vous pas interrogé le destin des hommes, n'avez-vous pas agité de vieilles questions: Où allons-nous? Où demeurons-nous, - telles sur une disque des musiques encore inouïs - jusqu'a ce que Dieu nous fasse naítre?' and draws parallels between this and his recordings. The fact that his recordings have a soul seems to be a confirmation that his comparison is correct. Is Morel supposed to be playing God with his machines, and releasing us from our existential repetition into something better? He does describe the island as their own private paradise.
The narrator also points out that seeing as man can never gain knowledge of things outside of time and space, the recordings can effectively capture the essence of human life, as we can never experience something truly new, therefore to record our reactions now is sufficient, as they will just endlessly repeat anyway. The implication is also that we can never find new ways of looking at things either, by comparing human reactions to an alphabet. This reminded me of 2001 where, with the help/hindrance of technology man evolves into a space child and leaves behind an existence made mundane by technology. Whilst here Morel uses technology to reach a different sort of evolution of mankind. If we're doomed to live out this endlessly repeating existence why not endlessly repeat the best week I guess? My French is not that great so I really don't know.