And yet this strange panorama makes a trip to the Burj inadvertently sublime. Every monument, at its inception, gives rise to its future ruin, and yet few face the prospect as directly as the Burj. From its state-of-the-art observation deck, one beholds the ageless, ungoverned desert. Futility is never more futilely refuted than with a monument. The Burj seems to have been erected to elucidate this fact.
From The Names:
“I can’t get the Empty Quarter out of my mind. We flew right over the dunes, man, nothing but sand, a quarter of a million square miles. A planet of sand. Sand mountains, sand plains and valleys. Sand weather, a hundred and thirty, a hundred and forty degrees, and I can’t imagine what it’s like when the wind’s blowing. I tried to convince myself it was beautiful. The desert, you know. The vast sweep. But it scared me. This Aramco guy told me he can stand on the airstrip they have out there and he can hear the blood flowing in his body. Is it the silence or the heat that makes this possible? Or both? Hear the blood.”