Lord Byron’s “Giaour – A Fragment of a Turkish Tale”

Κυριακή, 8 Δεκεμβρίου, 2013


“Greece was the mostly sought Eastern country by travelers during the 19th century.” (1)

Lord Byron visited Greece for the first time in his 1809-1810 travels to the South of Europe.

While in Greece, he heard a story about a woman who experienced terrible death by been thrown into the sea alive inside a bag.

This story gave Lord Byron the material for his poem “The Giaour”.

The “Giaour” is Byron’s only narrative poem, and the first of four Turkish tales that he wrote.

It is also a poem that in a way contributed the birth of the “vampire”, albeit a vampire different from the one we are accustomed in the 21st century.


George Gordon Noel, sixth Baron Byron

George Gordon Noel, sixth Baron Byron, was born on 22 January 1788 in London.

In July 1823, Byron left Italy to join the Greek insurgents who were fighting a war of independence against the Ottoman Empire.

On 19 April 1824 he died from fever at Messolonghi, in modern day Greece.

His death was mourned throughout Britain. His body was brought back to England and buried at his ancestral home in Nottinghamshire.

Byron had enormous influence on the romantic movement and European poetry. One of the poets greatly influenced by Byron was Goethe.

He is also the only English  poet Bertrand Russell included in his History of Western Philosophy.



“Romantic Orientalism, then, became part of the larger movement of British Romanticism, which was further enthused by Napoleon‟s invasion of Egypt (1798–1799) and Greece‟s War of Independence (1821–1828). To Romantic travelers, scholars, artists and men of letters the Orient constituted a distant world which conveniently suited their search for the exotic and sublime experiences.” (1)

In his book “Orientalism”, Edward Said observes: “Popular Orientalism during the late eighteenth century and the early nineteenth attained a vogue of considerable intensity”

Apparently Byron was not driven to orientalism by accident. In “Interrogating Orientalism”, the editors observe (3):

In late August 1813, Byron had advised his friend Tom Moore to read Antoine Laurent Castellan’s Moeurs, usages, costumes des Othomans (1812) for poetic materials:

“Stick to the East; the oracle, Stael, told me it was the only poetic policy. The North, South, and West, have all been exhausted; but from the East, we have nothing but Southey’s unsaleables. . . . The little I have done in that way is merely a “voice in the wilderness” for you; and, if it has had any success, that also will prove that the public are orientalizing, and pave the path for you. (Letters and Journals 3:101)”

adding that “the public are orientalizing.”

Following his own advice, he dashed off and published three more “Turkish tales” before the next year was out — The Bride of Abydos (published in December 1813 and reissued in ten further editions of 1814  and 1815), The Corsair (published in February 1814 — selling ten thousand copies on the first day — and reissued in eight or more editions through 1815), and Lara (published in August 1814, with five or six subsequent editions in the next couple of years). (6)

Eugene Delacroix: Combat of the Giaour and the Pasha

Eugene Delacroix: Combat of the Giaour and the Pasha, 1827, The Art Institute of Chicago

The Giaour

The word “giaour” means foreigner or infidel, and in this Moslem context Byron’s hero is a Christian outsider, in a situation enabling contrasts of ideas about love, sex, death, and the hereafter.

The Giaour was started in London between September 1812 and March 1813, first published by John Murray in late March 1813, and finally completed December 1813, after having, in Byron’s words, “lengthened its rattles” (BLJ III 100) from 407 lines in the first draft to 1334 lines in the twelfth edition. (4)

According to one of Byron’s letters, the story in the poem was a tale he’d overheard “by accident recited by one of the coffee-house story tellers who abound in the Levant,” and he blamed the fragmented style on a “failure of memory,”

The narrative is built around a doomed love triangle, composed of the Giaour, a nameless Christian, Hassan and one of his wives, Leila. Leila « breaks her bower, » goes out into the world of men and taking the Giaour as a lover, lashes out against the values that structure her society. Hassan attemps to reestablish the balance by confining her to a space even smaller than the harem : a canvas bag which is then summarily thrown over the side of a boat unbeknownst to its crew and the reader, to whom this episode is recounted through the eyes of a fisherman. The Giaour takes his revenge, ambushing Hassan in a mountain pass, then, crushed by his part in Leila’s death, spends the rest of his days spurning the solace offered him by a man of the cloth, representative of orthodoxy. (7)


The heroine of the poem, Leila is a silent and passive heroine.

Another Leila in Byron’s Don Juan has a similar profile (8)

Delacroix (5)

Following a visit to England in 1825, Eugène Delacroix, the leading Romantic painter in France, based this painting on the poem The Giaour (pronounced jor) written by English poet Lord Byron in 1813. The subject—passions avenged on the faraway Greek battlefield—is perfectly suited to the Romantic vision of exotic locales and unleashed emotion.

In the painting, a Venetian (my note: according to others, Giaour was a Christian without more specifics, but it does not really matter, does it?) known as the Giaour—a Turkish term for infidel—fights the Muslim Hassan to avenge the death of his lover, who was killed by Hassan after fleeing his harem. The stark setting and aggressive movements place the focus of the painting on these two main characters. Weapons poised, the enemies face off in mirrored poses: the Giaour in swirling white with bloodshot eyes, Hassan facing his opponent with his weapon raised. The dynamic motion and emotion of the composition, which looks back to the Baroque style of Peter Paul Rubens, is further heightened by the artist’s use of high-keyed colors and bold and loose brushwork. Delacroix’s handling of pigments was influenced by a mid-19th-century color theory that stated that a spot of color will appear to be surrounded by a faint ring of its complement. In Delacroix’s painting, the adaptation of this effect is seen in the artist’s use of complementary colors, rather than the addition of black pigment, to create shadows.

The Combat of the Giaour and Hassan was included in an exhibition at the Parisian Galerie Lebrun to benefit the Greeks and their war of liberation from the Ottoman Turks (1821–1832). This political cause inspired numerous Romantic artists, writers, and musicians, and was the subject of one of Delacroix’s best-known paintings, The Massacre at Chios. The latter painting was based on an actual incident in the Greek wars of independence, unlike the Art Institute’s painting, which is derived from a work of fiction. Both are examples of Orientalism in Romantic painting, in which depictions of the Middle East and North Africa emphasize the exotic appeal of the lands and their people.

Gericault: Portrait of Lord Byron

Gericault: Portrait of Lord Byron


As an article in BBC informs us,

“Byron was one of the first authors to write about vampires and his image even inspired the look of the monsters.” (2) The following is an extensive quote from the article:

Dr Matt Green is a lecturer at the University of Nottingham. The Gothic expert said: “The vampire first comes into English literature around the end of the eighteenth century.

“One of the first poems the vampire features in is by Lord Byron. It’s a poem called The Giaour (a Turkish word for an infidel or nonbeliever).

“At one point the giaour is cursed by his enemy to become a vampire and to prey and feed on his descendents.”

The poem goes: “Bur first, on earth as Vampire sent, Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent: Then ghastly haunt thy native place, And suck the blood of all thy race.”

“At this stage the vampire in Byron’s poem and in English literature is more a zombie figure. He comes out of the ground and he eats those around him and then goes back into the ground. He can’t wander far from his place of birth and his family.”

That perception was about to change and Byron would be central to it.

The university lecturer said: “It’s not until a couple of years later that the vampire becomes this cosmopolitan, seductive figure. That has to do with Byron as well.”

Eugene Delacroix, Combat Between Giaour and Pasha, 1827, Art Institute of Chicago

Eugene Delacroix, Combat Between Giaour and Pasha, 1827, The Art Institute of Chicago

Excerpts of the poem

The maid for whom his melody,
His thousand songs are heard on high,
Blooms blushing to her lover’s tale:
His queen, the garden queen, his Rose,
Unbent by winds, unchilled by snows,
Far from winters of the west,
By every breeze and season blest,
Returns the sweets by Nature given
In soft incense back to Heaven;
And gratefu yields that smiling sky
Her fairest hue and fragrant sigh.


Eugene Delacroix, The combat of the Giaour with the Pasha, 1835, Petit Palais, Paris, France

The foam that streaks the courser’s side
Seems gathered from the ocean-tide:
Though weary waves are sunk to rest,
There’s none within his rider’s breast;
And though tomorrow’s tempest lower,
‘Tis calmer than thy heart, young Giaour!
I know thee not, I loathe thy race,
But in thy lineaments I trace
What time shall strengthen, not efface:
Though young and pale, that sallow front
Is scathed by fiery passion’s brunt;
Though bent on earth thine evil eye,
As meteor-like thou glidest by,
Right well I view thee and deem thee one
Whom Othman’s sons should slay or shun.

Eugene Delacroix, The Giaour over the dead Pasha

Eugene Delacroix, The Giaour over the dead Pasha

Not thus was Hassan wont to fly
When Leila dwelt in his Serai.
Doth Leila there no longer dwell?
That tale can only Hassan tell:
Strange rumours in our city say
Upon that eve she fled away
When Rhamazan’s last sun was set,
And flashing from each minaret
Millions of lamps proclaimed the feast
Of Bairam through the boundless East.
‘Twas then she went as to the bath,
Which Hassan vainly searched in wrath;
For she was flown her master’s rage
In likeness of a Georgian page,
And far beyond the Moslem’s power
Had wronged him with the faithless Giaour.
Somewhat of this had Hassan deemed;
But still so fond, so fair she seemed,
Too well he trusted to the slave
Whose treachery deserved a grave:
And on that eve had gone to mosque,
And thence to feast in his kiosk.

Alexandre-Marie Colin, The Giaour

Alexandre-Marie Colin, The Giaour

‘Yes, Leila sleeps beneath the wave,
But his shall be a redder grave;
Her spirit pointed well the steel
Which taught that felon heart to feel.
He called the Prophet, but his power
Was vain against the vengeful Giaour:
He called on Allah – but the word.
Arose unheeded or unheard.
Thou Paynim fool! could Leila’s prayer
Be passed, and thine accorded there?
I watched my time, I leagued with these,
The traitor in his turn to seize;
My wrath is wreaked, the deed is done,
And now I go – but go alone.’

Eugene Delacroix: Combat of the Giaour and the Pasha (detail)

Eugene Delacroix: Combat of the Giaour and the Pasha (detail)

Yet died he by a stranger’s hand,
And stranger in his native land;
Yet died he as in arms he stood,
And unavenged, at least in blood.
But him the maids of Paradise
Impatient to their halls invite,
And the dark Heaven of Houris’ eyes
On him shall glance for ever bright;
They come – their kerchiefs green they wave,
And welcome with a kiss the brave!
Who falls in battle ‘gainst a Giaour
Is worthiest an immortal bower.


”Tis twice three years at summer tide
Since first among our freres he came;
And here it soothes him to abide
For some dark deed he will not name.
But never at our vesper prayer,
Nor e’er before confession chair
Kneels he, nor recks he when arise
Incense or anthem to the skies,
But broods within his cell alone,
His faith and race alike unknown.
The sea from Paynim land he crost,
And here ascended from the coast;
Yet seems he not of Othman race,
But only Christian in his face:
I’d judge him some stray renegade,
Repentant of the change he made,
Save that he shuns our holy shrine,
Nor tastes the sacred bread and wine.

Eugene Delacroix-939428

To love the softest hearts are prone,
But such can ne’er be all his own;
Too timid in his woes to share,
Too meek to meet, or brave despair;
And sterner hearts alone may feel
The wound that time can never heal.
The rugged metal of the mine,
Must burn before its surface shine,
But plunged within the furnace-flame,
It bends and melts – though still the same;
Then tempered to thy want, or will,
‘Twill serve thee to defend or kill;
A breast-plate for thine hour of need,
Or blade to bid thy foeman bleed;
But if a dagger’s form it bear,
Let those who shape its edge, beware!
Thus passion’s fire, and woman’s art,
Can turn and tame the sterner heart;
From these its form and tone are ta’en,
And what they make it, must remain,
But break – before it bend again.


My spirit shrunk not to sustain
The searching throes of ceaseless pain;
Nor sought the self-accorded grave
Of ancient fool and modern knave:
Yet death I have not feared to meet;
And the field it had been sweet,
Had danger wooed me on to move
The slave of glory, not of love.
I’ve braved it – not for honour’s boast;
I smile at laurels won or lost;
To such let others carve their way,
For high renown, or hireling pay:
But place again before my eyes
Aught that I deem a worthy prize
The maid I love, the man I hate,
And I will hunt the steps of fate,
To save or slay, as these require,
Through rending steel, and rolling fire:
Nor needest thou doubt this speech from one
Who would but do ~ what he hath done.
Death is but what the haughty brave,
The weak must bear, the wretch must crave;
Then let life go to him who gave:
I have not quailed to danger’s brow
When high and happy – need I now?


‘I loved her, Friar! nay, adored -
But these are words that all can use -
I proved it more in deed than word;
There’s blood upon that dinted sword,
A stain its steel can never lose:
‘Twas shed for her, who died for me,
It warmed the heart of one abhorred:
Nay, start not – no – nor bend thy knee,
Nor midst my sins such act record;
Thou wilt absolve me from the deed,
For he was hostile to thy creed!
The very name of Nazarene
Was wormwood to his Paynim spleen.
Ungrateful fool! since but for brands
Well wielded in some hardy hands,
And wounds by Galileans given -
The surest pass to Turkish heaven
For him his Houris still might wait
Impatient at the Prophet’s gate.
I loved her – love will find its way
Through paths where wolves would fear to prey;
And if it dares enough, ’twere hard
If passion met not some reward -
No matter how, or where, or why,
I did not vainly seek, nor sigh:
Yet sometimes, with remorse, in vain
I wish she had not loved again.
She died – I dare not tell thee how;
But look – ’tis written on my brow!
There read of Cain the curse and crime,
In characters unworn by time:
Still, ere thou dost condemn me, pause;
Not mine the act, though I the cause.
Yet did he but what I had done
Had she been false to more than one.
Faithless to him, he gave the blow;
But true to me, I laid him low:
Howe’er deserved her doom might be,
Her treachery was truth to me;
To me she gave her heart, that all
Which tyranny can ne’er enthral;
And I, alas! too late to save!
Yet all I then could give, I gave,
‘Twas some relief, our foe a grave.
His death sits lightly; but her fate
Has made me – what thou well mayest hate.
His doom was sealed – he knew it well
Warned by the voice of stern Taheer,
Deep in whose darkly boding ear
The deathshot pealed of murder near,
As filed the troop to where they fell!
He died too in the battle broil,
A time that heeds nor pain nor toil;
One cry to Mahomet for aid,
One prayer to Allah all he made:
He knew and crossed me in the fray -
I gazed upon him where he lay,
And watched his spirit ebb away:
Though pierced like pard by hunters’ steel,
He felt not half that now I feel.
I searched, but vainly searched, to find
The workings of a wounded mind;
Each feature of that sullen corse
Betrayed his rage, but no remorse.
Oh, what had vengeance given to trace
Despair upon his dying face I
The late repentance of that hour,
When penitence hath lost her power
To tear one terror from the grave,
And will not soothe, and cannot save.

Thomas Phillips: Lord Byron in Albanian dress

Thomas Phillips: Lord Byron in Albanian dress


(1) Romantic Orientalism-LU Lecture, Naji B. Oueijan, Notre Dame University-Lebanon

(2) BBC Lord Byron’s image inspired modern take on vampires

(3) Interrogating Orientalism, edited by Diane Long Hoeveler and Jeffrey Cass, The Ohio State University Press


(5) The Combat of the Giaour and Hassan, The Art Institute of Chicago

(6) The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Lord Byron, from The Giaour: A Fragment of a Turkish Tale

(7) A domesticated villain – Lord Byron’s The Giaour, DesOrient

(8) A Comparison Between two Turkish Heroines in Lord Byron’s Poetry: Leila in “The Giaour” and Leila in Don Juan, Mona Sulaiman Farraj Albalawi

House by the Sea, Paros, Greece, painting by NM

House by the Sea, Paros, Greece, painting by NM

Casa sul Mare 
Il viaggio finisce qui:
nelle cure meschine che dividono 
l’anima che non sa più dare un grido.
Ora i minuti sono uguali e fissi
Come i giri di ruota della pompa.
Un giro: un salir d’acqua che rimbomba.
Un altro, altr’acqua, a tratti un cigolio.

casa sul mare2

 Il viaggio finisce a questa spiaggia
Che tentano gli assidui e lenti flussi.
Nulla disvela se non pigri fumi
La marina che tramano di conche
I soffi leni: ed è raro che appaia
Nella bonaccia muta
Tra l’isole dell’aria migrabonde
La Corsica
 dorsuta o la Capraia. 
House by the Sea, Paros, Greece, detail -  painting by NM

House by the Sea, Paros, Greece, detail – painting by NM

Tu chiedi se così tutto svanisce
In questa poca nebbia di memorie;
se nell’ora che torpe o nel sospiro
del frangente si compie ogni destino.
Vorrei dirti che no, che ti s’appressa
l’ora che passerai di là dal tempo;
forse solo chi vuole s’infinita,
e questo tu potrai, chissà, non io.
Penso che per i più non sia salvezza,
ma taluno sovverta ogni disegno,
passi il varco, qual volle si ritrovi.
Vorrei prima di cedere segnarti
codesta via di fuga
labile come nei sommossi campi
del mare spuma o ruga.
Ti dono anche l’avara mia speranza.
A’ nuovi giorni, stanco, non so crescerla:
l’offro in pegno al tuo fato, che ti scampi.
casa sul mare1
Il cammino finisce a queste prode
che rode la marea col moto alterno.
Il tuo cuore vicino che non m’ode
salpa già forse per l’eterno.
House by the Sea, Naoussa, Paros, Greece

House by the Sea, Naoussa, Paros, Greece

House by the Sea (translated by William Arrowsmith)
Here the journey ends: 
in these petty cares dividing
a soul no longer able to protest. 
Now minutes are implacable, regular
as the flywheel on a pump. 
One turn: a rumble of water rushing. 
Second turn: more water, occasional creakings.
Here the journey ends, on this shore
probed by slow, assiduous tides.
Only a sluggish haze reveals 
the sea woven with troughs
by the mils breezes: hardly ever
in that dead calm
does spiny Corsica or Capraia loom
through islands of migratory air.
You ask: Is this how everything vanishes,
in this thin haze of memories?
Is every destiny fulfilled
in the torpid hour or the breaker’s sigh?
I would like to tell you: No. For you
the moment for your passage out of time is near:
transcendence may perhaps be theirs who want it,
and you, who knows, could be one of those. Not I.
There is no salvation, I think, for most,
but every system is subverted by someone, someone
breaks through, becomes what he wanted to be.  
Before I yield, let me help you find
such a passage out, a path
fragile a ridge or foam
in the furrowed sea.
And I leave you my hope, too meager
for my failing strength to foster
in days to come. I offer it
to you, my pledge to your fate, that you
break free.  
My journey ends on these shores
eroded by the to-and-fro of the tides.
Your heedless heart, so near, may even now
be lifting sail for the eternities.


1. The poem “Casa sul Mare” is in the collection “Ossi di Seppia – Cuttlefish Bones”. It was published with the original poems and the english translation by Norton in 1992.

2. The critic and Montale’s friend Sergio Solmi observes about the “House by the Sea” that the poem adumbrates a theme dear to Montale, “the sense of a failed and enclosed life, despairing now of being equal to its original idea… escape from the ‘limbo of maimed existences’, succeed in living fully and saving itself”.

3. “For you the moment for your passage out of time is near”: is the “passage out of time” the poetic interpretation of “death”?

Objects that tell a story: (2) A poetry book in English

Παρασκευή, 17 Μαΐου, 2013

“During the First World War Hoelderlin’s hymns were packed in the soldier’s knapsack together with cleaning gear”.

Martin Heidegger, “The Origin of the Work of Art”.

Demonstration in Athens, March 1942

Demonstration in Athens, March 1942

Today’s object is not available to me.

As a matter of fact, I have never seen it.

Today’s object has no photograph that I can show you.

Military Academy of Athens

Military Academy of Athens

Today’s object has been destroyed.

Today’s object is a poetry book in English.

Today’s object is a book without a title.

At some unknown point in time, it became a possession of my uncle George.

Allied forces in Gazi, Athens, 1944

Allied forces in Gazi, Athens, 1944

This might have been the result of a gift or a loan or a purchase.

But it is not important to dwell on that.

It was sometime before or during the second world war that George got hold of it.

Greek Civil War 1944-1949

Greek Civil War 1944-1949

Shortly after the Germans withdrew from Greece in October 1944, another War started, the Greek Civil War that lasted until 1949.

At that time George was an officer of the Greek Army, and served at the front line.

Map of Grammos

Map of Grammos

It was during a long engagement of the Greek Army with the communist – supported “Democratic Army of Greece” in the Northwestern area near Konitsa, called “Mastorohoria”, that the story with the poetry book unfolded.

George had taken the book with him.

During one of the skirmishes with the enemy, George’s unit had to cross in a haste the river Sarantaporos; in the process he lost the book.

Pyrsogianni - Πυρσογιαννη

Pyrsogianni – Πυρσογιαννη

When George’s unit took the offensive again, they crossed the river going north, and succeeded to push their opponents further to the north.

During this successful offensive, at the end of an operation they went by a machine gun bunker.

There was smoke coming out of it.

As a standard procedure, they had to go in and ensure that it was safe.

Sarantaporos River, Northern Greece

Sarantaporos River, Northern Greece

They went in and found that all inside were dead.

In the middle of the burning debris and the dead bodies, the officer in charge found a and picked up bloodstained book.

Much to his surprise, inside the book he saw an inscription with George’s name.

After the officer finished his inspection of the burned bunker he came out carrying the poetry book in his hands and went straight to George.

Plagia (Zerma)

Plagia (Zerma)

“George, is this your book?” he asked.

George took the book in his hands: “Yes, it is mine”

“Do you want to take it?” the officer asked.

George did not take the book.

He left it there.

Επερχομενης καλπαζουσης της Καθαρας Δευτερας, αποδιδομαι ελευθερως εις περιηγησιν εις τον γλωσσο-εννοιολογικον μετα-σημασιολογικον χωρον, εναγωνιως αποζητων την αποδομητικην αποκαταστασιν της απολυτης ανεπαρκειας του γλωσσικου εργαλειου. Και να τονισω μετα στεντοριου φωνης οτι κατεληξα εις το συμπερασμα οτι δεν μου αρεσει ο Βιτγκενσταιν.


Καθαιρω = απαλλασσω απο κατι βλαβερο.

Συνωνυμος ο εξαγνισμος.

Δυστυχως δεν αρκει το να πατε σε χαμαμι δια να εξαγνισθειτε.

Αν υποθεσομε οτι ειναι εφικτος ο εξαγνισμος σας.

Σας θυμιζω οτι οσοι καηκαν στην Ιερα Πυρα της Ιερας Εξετασεως επασχαν απο την ουτοπικη ελπιδα οτι μπορει να εξαγνισθουν. Ερχοντουσαν λοιπον οι καλοι ανθρωποι της Εξετασεως και τους ελεγαν “που πατε πουλακια μου; δεν εχει δρομο για σας, δεν εχει οδο, στην Πυρα!!!!!”

Ο Στρατηγος Θεοδωρος Παγκαλος

Χαμαμ – Λουτρο με ατμους

Καθαρτηριος ο τοπος στον οποιον θα πεταξωμεν τους χαρταετους. Αλλα και ο χωρος εις τον οποιον συντελειται καθαρσις.

Καθαρτηριον = τοπος εις τον οποιον συνανων, ωστιζονται ψυχες προσδοκουσες οτι θα εισελθουσιν εις την Βασιλειαν των Ουρανων, ηγουν οτι εις τον Παραδεισον.

Ομως αφελεις συνοδοιποροι, που βαδιζετε;


Με τι προσοντα θα πατε στον Παραδεισο;;;

Για την Κολαση ειμαστε οι περισσοτεροι.

Φαγωμεν πιωμεν….

Hopi_Indian_Arizona-1024x768 (1)

Καθαρση = η πραξη ή το αποτελεσμα του να απαλλαξομε τον τοπον, την χωραν, τους εαυτους μας, απο κατι βλαβερον. Αβεβαιως αλλα αμετανοητως,  ο νους συνειρμικα ακουμπα την υπεροχον εικονα της Ελλαδος ανευ Μνημονιου. Καθαρσις, Εγερσις, Αναστασις!!!!!

Καθαρτικον = ουσια ητις υποβοηθει την κενωσιν του οργανισμου.


Τουτων ρηθεντων, ποια η διαφορα καθαρσεως και απολυμανσεως;

Εις ποιον βαθμον κινδυνευομεν απο τα μιασματα;

Μιασμα = μολυσμενος αερας


Θεωρια μιασματος = η θεωρια συμφωνα με την οποια η πανουκλα, η χολερα και λοιπες μολυσματικες ασθενειες ωφειλονται εις τον μιασματικον αεραν.

Μιασματα = εις την μετεμφυλιακην Ελλαδα. Οι κομμουνισται, οι συνοδοιποροι, τα κομμουνια, οι ανταρτες, οι σλαβοφιλοι. ΜΑζι με αυτους πανε πακεττο και οι ομοφυλοφυλοι, οι αθιγγανοι, οι Εβραιοι, οι αλλοθρησκοι, γενικως και ειδικως οσοι δεν ειναι ακριβως ιδιοι με την ¨καθαρη” ελληνικη φυλη.


Με ποια ερμηνευτικα εργαλεια θα προσεγγισομε την παραλληλον πορειαν της καθαρσεως της χωρας και της απολυμανσεως που κηρυσσει η Χρυση Αυγη;;;;;

Ειναι απλο. Η καθαρση προϋποθετει επιγνωση αμαρτιας και οικειοθελους παραστρατηματος.

Θεοδωρος Παγκαλος

Θεοδωρος Παγκαλος

Ενω η απολυμανση αποτελει διαδικασια που ειναι τυφλη.

Πορευομεθα λοιπον ως τυφλοι προς την Καθαραν Δευτεραν;;;;;

Η πορευομεθα με αυτογνωσιαν και αυτοσυντριβην;;;;;


Παιδιά, ήρθε η ώρα να αντιμετωπίσετε την Αλήθεια.

Ποτε δεν ειναι αργα.

Και οποια – διερωτωμαι – η σχεισις της καθαρσεως με την εξομολογησιν;;;;;;

Αμαρτια εξομολογηθεισα αμαρτια ουκ εστι.


Μετανοειτε αμαρτωλοι!!!!!

Η κρισις της Ελλαδος αποτελει ευκαιριαν δια ομαδικην εξομολογησιν και καθαρσιν.

Καλη Καθαρη Δευτερα, και μην ξεχνατε!!!!! Με τον ειναι ή τον αλλο τροπο, οι συντριπτικα περισσοτεροι οδευομεν προς την κολασιν.


Εμπιστευτικες πληροφοριες αναφερουν οτι οι ιθυνοντες ελαβαν τον Νομο του Παρετο και απο 80/20 τον εκαναν 1/99.

Οποτε χαλαρωστε, και απολαυστε τον αμαρτωλον βιον!!!!!


Naked heart forever – unprotected, exposed, defenceless

Πέμπτη, 14 Φεβρουαρίου, 2013

Edvard Munch, Madonna, Hamburg, Oil on canvas

Edvard Munch, Madonna, Hamburg, Oil on canvas

The Poet asks his Love to write

                    Visceral love, living death,

                    in vain, I wait your written word,

                    and consider, with the flower that withers,

                    I wish to lose you, if I have to live without self.

                    The air is undying: the inert rock

                    neither knows shadow, nor evades it.

                    And the heart, inside, has no use

                    for the honeyed frost the moon pours.

                    But I endured you: ripped open my veins,

                    a tiger, a dove, over your waist,

                    in a duel of teeth and lilies.

                    So fill my madness with speech,

                    or let me live in my calm

                    night of the soul, darkened for ever.

Federico Garcia Lorca

Edvard Munch, Madonna Oslo, Lithograph

Edvard Munch, Madonna Oslo, Lithograph

‘Du bist mein und bist so zierlich,’

You’re mine and so dainty,

You’re mine and so mannerly,

Yet still though you lack something:

You kiss now with such pointed lips,

Like a dove, when drinking it sips:

You’re really too dainty a thing.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Edvard Munch, Madonna, Wurth Foundation, Lithograph

Edvard Munch, Madonna, Wurth Foundation, Lithograph

O so dear


O so dear from far and near and white all

So deliciously you, Méry, that I dream

Of what impossibly flows, of some rare balm

Over some flower-vase of darkened crystal.


Do you know it, yes! For me, for years, here,

Forever, your dazzling smile prolongs

The one rose with its perfect summer gone

Into times past, yet then on into the future.


My heart that sometimes at night tries to confer,

Or name you most tender with whatever last word

Rejoices in that which whispers none but sister –


Were it not, such short tresses so great a treasure,

That you teach me a sweetness, quite other,

Soft through the kiss murmured only in your hair.

Stephane Mallarme 

Edward Munch - Death and the Maiden

Edward Munch – Death and the Maiden

Another Day

Another day. I follow another path,
Enter the leafing woodland, visit the spring
Or the rocks where the roses bloom
Or search from a look-out, but nowhereLove are you to be seen in the light of day
And down the wind go the words of our once so
Beneficent conversation…

Your beloved face has gone beyond my sight,
The music of your life is dying away
Beyond my hearing and all the songs
That worked a miracle of peace once on

My heart, where are they now? It was long ago,
So long and the youth I was has aged nor is
Even the earth that smiled at me then
The same. Farewell. Live with that word always.

For the soul goes from me to return to you
Day after day and my eyes shed tears that they
Cannot look over to where you are
And see you clearly ever again.

Friedrich Hoelderlin 



Το 2013 συμπληρωνονται 150 χρονια απο τη γεννηση του Κ. Καβαφη.

Ξεφυλλιζοντας τα “Ανεκδοτα Ποιηματα¨εκδοσεις Ικαρος 1982, σε μνημη Αλεκου Σεγκοπουλου και χαρι Κυβελης Σεγκοπουλου, και φιλολογικη επιμελεια Γ.Π. Σαββιδη, αρχισα να γραφω αυτο το αρθρο.

Ανθολογισα (επελεξα) λοιπον πεντε ποιηματα και τα συνοδευω με τεσσερα σχολια.

C. Cavafi

C. Cavafi

Αν μ’ Ηγάπας

Εκ του Γαλλικού (1884;)

Αν του βίου μου το σκότος
φαεινή έρωτος ακτίς
διεθέρμαινεν, ο πρώτος
της αλγούσης μου ψυχής
ο παλμός ήθελεν ήτο ραψωδία ευτυχής.
Δεν τολμώ να ψιθυρίσω
ό,τι ήθελον σε ειπεί:
πως χωρίς εσέ να ζήσω
μοι είναι αφόρητος ποινή -
αν μ’ ηγάπας… πλην, φευ, τούτο είν’ ελπίς απατηλή!

Αν μ’ ηγάπας, των δακρύων
ήθελον το τέρμα ιδεί·
και των πόνων των κρυφίων.
Οι δε πλάνοι δισταγμοί
δεν θα ετόλμων πλέον να δείξουν την δολίαν των μορφή.
Εν τω μέσω οραμάτων
θείων ήθελ’ ευρεθείς.
Ρόδα θαλερά την βάτον
θα εκόσμων της ζωής -
αν μ’ ηγάπας… πλην, φευ, τούτο είν’ απατηλή ελπίς!

Κωνσταντίνος Π. Καβάφης

Ταξίδι στην Αλεξάνδρεια του Καβάφη~37048-253-1(1)

Cavafi’s Alexandria, watercolor by Anna Boghiguian

α. Ο Καβαφης στην Κωνσταντινουπολη (1882-1885)

Το ποιημα αυτο γραφτηκε πιθανωτατα στην Κωνσταντινουπολη μαλλον το 1884, στα σιγουρα πριν απο το 1885. Ηταν 21 ετων. Ο Κωνσταντίνος Καβάφης το γένος Πέτρου, ή Κ. Π. Καβάφης, γεννήθηκε στις 29 Απριλίου 1863 στην Αλεξάνδρεια της Αιγυπτου, όπου οι γονείς του εγκαταστάθηκαν εγκαταλείποντας την Κωνσταντινούπολη το 1840.

Τὸ 1882 στὴ διάρκεια τῆς αἰγυπτιακῆς ἐξέγερσης κατὰ τῶν Ἄγγλων, ὁλόκληρη ἡ οἰκογένεια Καβάφη μετακομίζει στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη, στὸ σπίτι τοῦ Φαναριώτη παππού του, Γεωργάκη Φωτιάδη. Ἡ τριετὴς παραμονὴ τοῦ ποιητῆ στὴν Πόλη ἀποδεικνύεται ἰδιαιτέρως σημαντική, καθὼς ἐκείνη τὴν περίοδο ἀρχίζει νὰ ἐκδηλώνει τὸ ἐνδιαφέρον του γιὰ τὴν πολιτικὴ καὶ τὴν δημοσιογραφικὴ σταδιοδρομία. Τὸ πιὸ ἀξιοσημείωτο αὑτῆς τῆς περιόδου εἶναι τὸ γεγονὸς ὅτι ἡ παραμονή του στὴν Πόλη συμπίπτει μὲ τὶς πρῶτες μαρτυρημένες συστηματικές του προσπάθειες νὰ ἐπιδοθεῖ στὴν τέχνη τοῦ ποιητικοῦ λόγου. Τὸν καιρὸ ἐκεῖνο συμπληρώνει καὶ τὶς μελέτες τοὺ πάνω στὴν ἀρχαία καὶ μεσαιωνικὴ ἑλληνικὴ φιλολογία ποὺ εἶχε ἀρχίσει τὴν ἐποχὴ ποὺ βρισκόταν στὴν Ἀγγλία.

Τὸν Ὀκτώβριο τοὺ 1885 ὁ Καβάφης γυρίζει στὴν Ἀλεξάνδρεια μαζὶ μὲ τὴν μητέρα τοὺ καὶ τοὺς ἀδελφούς του, Ἀλέξανδρο καὶ Παῦλο. Μὲ τὴν ἐπιστροφή του ἐγκαταλείπει τὴν ἀγγλικὴ ὑπηκοότητα καὶ παίρνει τὴν ἑλληνική.

Portrait of Georges Rodenbach

Portrait of Georges Rodenbach

La Jeunesse blanche

Ιανουαριος 1895

Η φιλτάτη, η άσπρη μας νεότης,
α η άσπρη μας, η κάτασπρη νεότης,
που είν’ απέραντη, κ’ είναι πολύ ολίγη,
σαν αρχαγγέλου άνω μας πτερά ανοίγει!…
Όλο εξαντλείται, όλο αγαπάει·
και λιώνει και λιγοθυμά εις τους ορίζοντας τους άσπρους.
A πάει εκεί και χάνεται εις τους ορίζοντας τους άσπρους,
για πάντα πάει.

Για πάντα, όχι. Θα ξαναγυρίσει,
θα επιστρέψει, θα ξαναγυρίσει.
Με τα λευκά της μέλη, την λευκή της χάρι,
θα έλθ’ η άσπρη μας νεότης να μας πάρει.
Με τα λευκά της χέρια θα μας πιάσει,
και μ’ ένα σάβανο λεπτό απ’ την ασπράδα της βγαλμένο,
με κάτασπρο ένα σάβανο απ’ την ασπράδα της βγαλμένο
θα μας σκεπάσει.

β. Georges Rodenbach

Ο Βελγος ποιητης και συγγραφεας ειχε γραψει μια ποιητικη συλλογη ομοτιτλη με το ποιημα το Καβαφη. Εφοιτησε στο Κολλεγιο των Ιησουϊτων του Σεν-Μπαρμπ, οπως και ο Maurice Maeterlinck που ελαβε το Νομπελ Λογοτεχνιας το 1911.

Ο Αλεξανδρινος ποιητης φαινεται να τιμα τον Βελγο ως απολογητη του πανεμορφου Θανατου. Η ποιητικη συλλογη “Η Λευκη Νεοτης” δημοσιευθηκε το 1886. Το πιο γνωστο εργο του ειναι το διηγημα Bruges-la-Morte. Μια χαρακτηριστικη φραση απο το εργο:

“Bruges was his dead wife. And his dead wife was Bruges. The two were untied in a like destiny. It was Bruges-la-Morte, the dead town entombed in its stone quais, with the arteries of its canals cold once the great pulse of the sea had ceased beating in them.”


Cavafi’s Home in Alexandria, watercolor by Anna Boghiguian


Μαρτιος 1921

Aυτές τες μέρες διάβαζα δημοτικά τραγούδια,
για τ’ άθλα των κλεφτών και τους πολέμους,
πράγματα συμπαθητικά· δικά μας, Γραικικά.

Διάβαζα και τα πένθιμα για τον χαμό της Πόλης
«Πήραν την Πόλη, πήραν την· πήραν την Σαλονίκη».
Και την Φωνή που εκεί που οι δυο εψέλναν,
«ζερβά ο βασιλιάς, δεξιά ο πατριάρχης»,
ακούσθηκε κ’ είπε να πάψουν πια
«πάψτε παπάδες τα χαρτιά και κλείστε τα βαγγέλια»
πήραν την Πόλη, πήραν την· πήραν την Σαλονίκη.

Όμως απ’ τ’ άλλα πιο πολύ με άγγιξε το άσμα
το Τραπεζούντιον με την παράξενή του γλώσσα
και με την λύπη των Γραικών των μακρινών εκείνων
που ίσως όλο πίστευαν που θα σωθούμε ακόμη.

Μα αλίμονον μοιραίον πουλί «απαί την Πόλην έρται»
με στο «φτερούλν’ αθε χαρτίν περιγραμμένον
κι ουδέ στην άμπελον κονεύ’ μηδέ στο περιβόλι
επήγεν και εκόνεψεν στου κυπαρίσ’ την ρίζαν».
Οι αρχιερείς δεν δύνανται (ή δεν θέλουν) να διαβάσουν
«Χέρας υιός Γιανίκας έν» αυτός το παίρνει το χαρτί,
και το διαβάζει κι ολοφύρεται.
«Σίτ’ αναγνώθ’ σίτ’ ανακλαίγ’ σίτ’ ανακρούγ’ την κάρδιαν.
Ν’ αοιλλή εμάς, να βάι εμάς, η Pωμανία πάρθεν.»


Αργυρουπολη, Ποντος

Ο Καβαφης αναφερεται στο ακολουθο δημοτικό ποίημα του Ποντου.
Πάρθεν η Ρωμανία 

Έναν πουλίν, καλόν πουλίν εβγαίν’ από την Πόλην°
ουδέ στ’ αμπέλια κόνεψεν ουδέ στα περιβόλια,
επήγεν και-ν εκόνεψεν α σου Ηλί’ τον κάστρον.
Εσείξεν τ’ έναν το φτερόν σο αίμα βουτεμένον,
εσείξεν τ’ άλλο το φτερόν, χαρτίν έχει γραμμένον,
Ατό κανείς κι ανέγνωσεν, ουδ’ ο μητροπολίτης°
έναν παιδίν, καλόν παιδίν, έρχεται κι αναγνώθει.
Σίτ’ αναγνώθ’ σίτε κλαίγει, σίτε κρούει την καρδίαν.
“Αλί εμάς και βάι εμάς, πάρθεν η Ρωμανία!”
Μοιρολογούν τα εκκλησιάς, κλαίγνε τα μοναστήρια
κι ο Γιάννες ο Χρυσόστομον κλαίει, δερνοκοπιέται,
-Μη κλαίς, μη κλαίς Αϊ-Γιάννε μου, και δερνοκοπισκάσαι
-Η Ρωμανία πέρασε, η Ρωμανία ‘πάρθεν.
-Η Ρωμανία κι αν πέρασεν, ανθεί και φέρει κι άλλο. 

(Δημοτικό τραγούδι του Πόντου)

κονεύω: σταθμεύω για ανάπαυση ή για ύπνο.
σου: στου. 
Ηλί’ τον κάστρον: το κάστρο του Ήλιου.
εσείξεν: έσεισε, τίναξε.
σο: στο.
Ατό: αυτό.
κι: δεν. 
Σίτ’: ενώ, καθώς.
κρούω: χτυπώ, δέρνω.
δερνοκοπισκάσαι: δέρνεσαι και χτυπιέσαι.

γ. Η Αλωση της Πολης

Tο ποίημά «Πάρθεν», γραμμένο στο 1921, είναι εκμυστήρευση του ποιητή για την εντύπωση που του προξένησε το διάβασμα των ιστορικών δημοτικών μας τραγουδιών, και ιδιαίτερα ενός που είναι γραμμένο στο γλωσσικό ιδίωμα της Τραπεζούντας και σχετίζεται με την Αλωση της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως και της Θεσσαλονίκης. Ο τίτλος του ποιήματος του Καβάφη «Πάρθεν» σημαίνει «επάρθη», δηλαδή έπεσε στα χέρια των Τούρκων η Κωνσταντινούπολη. Μαζί με το ποίημα της Αλώσεως θυμάται και τ’ άλλα δημοτικά τραγούδια των κλεφτών.

Η Αγγελικη Ζιακα, σημειωνει στο πολυ ενδιαφερον αρθρο της “Η ελληνική λαϊκή μούσα και το Ισλάμ κατά την εποχή της οθωμανικής κυριαρχίας“:

“Το προφητικό όραμα του ποιήματος που παρουσιάζει την Ρωμανία να ανθίζει ακόμη και νεκρή, οδήγησε,

κατά την Ε. Γλύκατζη‐Αρβελέρ, τους Έλληνες να υιοθετήσουν ως σύμβολο της  ιστορίας  τους,  συχνά  βέβαια  άτεχνο,

το  μυθικό  πουλί  φοίνιξ,  που  ξαναγεννιέται  από  τις στάχτες  του.

Βλ.  Ελ.  Γλύκατζη‐Αρβελέρ,  Η  πολιτική  ιδεολογία  της  Βυζαντινής  αυτοκρατορίας, μτφρ. από την γαλλική, Αργώ, Αθήνα 1977, σ. 144. “


Θεοφιλος Παλαιολογος 

Μαρτιος 1903;

Ο τελευταίος χρόνος είν’ αυτός. Ο τελευταίος των Γραικών
αυτοκρατόρων είν’ αυτός. Κι αλίμονον
τι θλιβερά που ομιλούν πλησίον του.
Εν τη απογνώσει του, εν τη οδύνη
ο Κυρ Θεόφιλος Παλαιολόγος
λέγει «Θέλω θανείν μάλλον ή ζην».

A Κυρ Θεόφιλε Παλαιολόγο,
πόσον καημό του γένους μας, και πόση εξάντλησι
(πόσην απηύδησιν από αδικίες και κατατρεγμό)
οι τραγικές σου πέντε λέξεις περιείχαν.

δ. Η ορθογραφια του Καβαφη

Ο Παντελης Μπουκαλας εγραψε στην Καθημερινη σχετικα με την “απηύδησιν“.

“Aντίθετα, «λάθος με νόημα», εσκεμμένο, θα μπορούσε ίσως να θεωρηθεί εκείνο το «απηύδησιν» του «κρυμμένου» ποιήματος «Θεόφιλος Παλαιολόγος», που σωστά (παρότι λανθασμένο…) τυπώθηκε έτσι ακριβώς από τον Γ. Π. Σαββίδη και ανατυπώνεται τώρα, από τον Mανόλη Σαββίδη λ.χ. στο «K. Π. Kαβάφης, Ποιήματα (1882-1932)» («Eρμής», 2003) ή από τη Σόνια Iλίνσκαγια στο «K. Π. Kαβάφης, Aπαντα τα ποιήματα» («Nάρκισσος», 2003). Λαθεμένο είναι βέβαια το «απηύδησις», και δεν χρειάζεται ν’ ανοίξει κανείς τα λεξικά για να δει το σωστό «απαύδησις». Δεν είναι πάντως εντελώς απίθανο να λαθεύει επίτηδες ο Kαβάφης, μεταφέροντας την αύξηση του ρήματος στο ουσιαστικό για να επιτείνει ακριβώς την έννοια της απαυδήσεως σε συμφραζόμενα που το απαιτούν: «A Kύρ Θεόφιλε Παλαιολόγο / πόσον καϋμό του γένους μας, και πόση εξάντλησι / (πόσην απηύδησιν από αδικίες και κατατρεγμό) / η τραγικές σου λέξεις περιέχουν». Kαι τώρα ακόμα, όσο ακούω, λόγιοι και λαϊκοί προτιμούν, χάριν εμφάσεως, τον αυξημένο τύπο, «απηύδισα», σ’ ένα ρήμα μάλλον δημοτικό, και όχι το περισσότερο αναμενόμενο «απαύδισα».”


Μιση Ωρα

Ιανουαριος 1917

Μήτε σε απέκτησα, μήτε θα σε αποκτήσω
ποτέ, θαρρώ. Μερικά λόγια, ένα πλησίασμα
όπως στο μπαρ προχθές, και τίποτε άλλο.
Είναι, δεν λέγω, λύπη. Aλλά εμείς της Τέχνης
κάποτε μ’ έντασι του νου, και βέβαια μόνο
για λίγην ώρα, δημιουργούμεν ηδονήν
η οποία σχεδόν σαν υλική φαντάζει.
Έτσι στο μπαρ προχθές —βοηθώντας κιόλας
πολύ ο ευσπλαχνικός αλκολισμός—
είχα μισή ώρα τέλεια ερωτική.
Και το κατάλαβες με φαίνεται,
κ’ έμεινες κάτι περισσότερον επίτηδες.
Ήταν πολλή ανάγκη αυτό. Γιατί
μ’ όλην την φαντασία, και με το μάγο οινόπνευμα,
χρειάζονταν να βλέπω και τα χείλη σου,
χρειάζονταν να ’ναι το σώμα σου κοντά.

Κωνσταντίνος Π. Καβάφης

Broad Art Museum


Ο ποιητης Νικος Καρουζος ταξιδεψε στον αλλο κοσμο την 28η Σεπτεμβριου 1990.

The Greek poet Nikos Karouzos died twenty two years ago this day.

Σχεδον δυο χρονια πριν, στα τελειωματα του 2010 ειχα γραψει ενα αρθρο για τον μεγαλο Ελληνα ποιητη.

Almost two years ago, at the end of 2010, I wrote an article about the great Greek poet.

The Greek poet Nikos Karouzos

Σημερα, τιμωντας την μνημη του για μια ακομη φορα, παραθετω ενα εκτενες αποσπασμα απο ενα κειμενο του που ξεκινησε να καμει κριτικη στον Καζαντζακη, αλλα επικεντρωθηκε στην “αγωνια κατάντικρυ στο μηδεν” (Νικος Καρουζος, Πεζα Κειμενα, Ικαρος Εκδοτικη Εταιρεια, 1998).

Today in his memory I publish an extract from an article he wrote criticizing Nikos Kazantzakis. The article is focused on the “agony in front of nothingness”. It goes like this:

“…. Ας παρουμε λοιπον, αν οχι τιποτ’ αλλο, το Ταο τε κινγκ,   το περιφημο βιβλιο του Λαο-τσε, την πιο αμυθοποιητη μεταφυσικη διδασκαλια της Αρχαιας Ασιας. Την αγωνια που μας βαζει συστηθους απεναντι στο μηδεν – απ’ τη χαμηλοτερη βαθμιδα της ως την υψηλοτερη, εκεινη που φανερωνει μ’ αλλα λογια την αγωνια ως υψωτικη μεριμνα – την κανει να υπαρχει, κατα τη διδασκαλια τουτη, το κτητικο-προσκολλητικο στοιχειο της υπαρξεως: η ατομικοτητα.

“… Let us then take, if nothing else, Tao te Ching, Lao Tse’s masterpiece, the most metaphysical teaching of Anceint Asia that is not prone to Myth. According to Lao Tse, the agony we experience in front of nothingness – from its lowest degree to the highest, where it is experienced as redemption anxiety – emerges out of the posessive – attachment attribute of our existence: individuality.

Martin Heidegger’s Feldweg in Messkirch, Germany

Εκεινος που δινεται στην μελετη 

γινεται πιοτερος μερα με τη μερα. 

Εκεινος που αφιερωνεται στο Ταο

ελαττωνεται μερα με τη μερα. 

He who devotes himself to learning

(seeks) from day to day to increase (his knowledge);

he who devotes himself to the Tao

(seeks) from day to day to diminish (his doing).

Lao Tse

Ελατωσου κι ακομη ελαττωσου

για να φτασεις καποτε στην απραξια. 

Με την απραξια

τιποτα δεν υπαρχει που να μη γινεται.

(Ταο τε κινγκ, 48)

He diminishes it and again diminishes it,

till he arrives at doing nothing (on purpose).

Having arrived at this point of non-action,

there is nothing which he does not do. ((chap. 48)

C D Friedrich: Der Wanderer

Θυμιζουμε την οντολογικη θεμελιωση της ταοϊκης διδασκαλιας:

Let us be reminded of the ontological foundation of taoism:

Ο γυρισμος ειν’ η κινηση του Ταο.

Τουτο φανερωνεται στο να’ ναι κανεις εξω απ’ τη δυναμη. 

Ολα τα οντα πηγαζουν απ’το Ειναι

το Ειναι πηγαζει απ’ το Μη-Ειναι

(Ταο τε κινγκ, 40)

In Tao the only motion is returning;

The only useful quality, weakness.

For though all creatures under heaven are the products of Being,

Being itself is the product of Not-being. ” (chap. 40, tr. Waley)

The Greek poet Nikos Karouzos

Το Ταο ειν’ ο δρομος προς το αδειασμα της ατομικοτητας, πηγης της κτητικοτητας και του εξουσιαζειν.

Tao is the way to get rid of individuality, which is the source of posessiveness and power.

Το Ταο ειν’ ο δρομος προς την απραξια, που σημαινει βασικα την μη προσκολληση στ’ αποτελεσματα του πραττειν, ειτε αυτα ειν’ αγαθα ειτε αυτα ειν’ ασχημα.

Tao is the road to doing nothing, which means non attachment to the results of acting, good or bad.  

Το Ταο ειν’ η κινηση προς την καθαρα πνευματικη χρηση του Ειναι, προς το μη-εγω που ειναι τα αταραχτο εγω της μη-ατομικοτητας, του μη-κτητικου-προσκολλητικου στοιχειου της υπαρξεως, προς την εξουδετερωση της αγωνιας, προς την μεταμορφωση σε πνευμα της υλης: την αταραξια.

Tao is the movement to the actualization of Being, to the non-Being, which is the undisturbed nucleus of non-individuality, of the non-posessive, non-aatached element of existence, to the neutralization of anxiety, to stillness.

Φτασε στην κενοτητα την υψιστη

και σ’ αταραξια διατηρησου…(16)

The (state of) vacancy should be brought to the utmost degree, and that of stillness guarded with unwearying vigour. (16)

Γιατι το ειναι και το μηδεν γεννιουνται το εν’ απ’ τ’ αλλο.(2)

So it is that existence and non-existence give birth the one to (the idea of) the other (2)

Σ’ αυτο το σημειο το ειναι και το μηδεν ειν’ ακριβως ο,τι ο Ηρακλειτος ονομαζει “ζων” και “τεθνηκος” που ειναι “ταυτο”.

Ειν’ η παντοδεχτρα ζωη κι ο παντοδεχτης θανατος, οπου αγωνια κι ο Καζαντζακης…

It is at this point that being and nothingness is exactly what Heracletus calls “living” and “decesaed” that are “the same”.

It is the all encompassing life and the all encomapssing death, where Kazantzakis’ anxiety originates.


ταὐτὸ ζῶν καὶ τεθνηκὸς καὶ ἐγρηγορὸς καὶ καθεῦδον καὶ νέον καὶ γηραιόν· τάδε γὰρ μεταπεσόντα ἐκεῖνά ἐστι κἀκεῖνα πάλιν μεταπεσόντα ταῦτα.

Ηρακλειτος (αποσπασμα 88)

And it is the same thing in us that is quick and dead, awake and asleep, young and old; the former are shifted and become the latter, and the latter in turn are shifted and become the former.

Heracletus (fragmentum 88)

By the (breaking) sea wave: A “Fluxus Eleatis” Discourse

Κυριακή, 26 Αυγούστου, 2012

Mr. FFF: Παρα θιν αλος. By the breaking sea wave.

MM: I see Priest Chryses praying. For his daughter Chryseis has been kidnapped by Agamemnon who does not want to release her.

βή δ’ ακέων παρά θίνα πολυφλοίσβοιο θαλάσσης…

πήρε βουβός του πολυτάραχου γιαλού τον άμμον

Ομηρου Ιλιας, Ραψωδια Α34

Without a word, he went by the shore of the noisy sea (or ‘sounding sea’)

Homer, Iliad, A34

Mr. FFF: The priest Chryses prayed to Apollo to punish the Greek army, so that Agamemnon is forced to return to him his daughter, Chryseis.

Mrs. T: The deep sound of the sea is in stark contrast with the priest’s silent suffering.

Είπε, και την ευκή του επάκουσεν ο Απόλλωνας ο Φοίβος,
κι απ᾿ την κορφή του Ολύμπου εχύθηκε θυμό γεμάτος

Ομηρου Ιλιας, Ραψωδια Α43-44

He spoke, and Apollo Phoebus listened to his wish

and from the top pf Olympus he rushed away full of wrath

Homer, Iliad, A43-44

MM: Apollo shot the plague to the Greek Army, and Agamemnon had to return Chryseis to her father.

Mrs. T: As a compensation for his loss, Agamemnon took Bryseis from Achilles.

Mr. FFF: Achilles is furious at the loss of Briseis.

Briseis returns, sculpture by Michael Talbot

Δακρυσμένος τότε ο Αχιλλέας απ᾿ τους συντρόφους του μακραίνει και καθίζει

μπρος στον ψαρή γιαλό, το απέραντο το πέλαγο θωρώντας,

κι απλώνοντας τα χέρια ευκήθηκε στην ακριβή του μάνα

Ομηρου Ιλιας, Ραψωδια Α348-352

Achilles in tears strays away from his comrades and seats

on the beach, and looking at the vast sea,

unfolded his arms and prayed to his mother

Homer, Iliad, AHomer, Iliad, A348-352

Mr. FFF: Greeks of any age, starting with Homer, have a special relationship with the sea.

Mrs. T: The sea was considered to be the home of many deities.

MM: The sea was also a place of catharsis, a cleansing place for mortals.

Wie Meerekuesten, wenn zu baun

Anfangen die Himmliwschen und herein

Schifft unaufhaltsam, eine Pracht, das Werk

Der Woogen, eins uns andere, und die Erde

Sich ruester aus, darauf vom Freudigsten eines…

Wie Merekuesten…

Friedrich Hoelderlin

As upon seacoasts, when the gods
Begin to build and the work of the waves
Ships in unstoppably wave
After wave, in splendour, and the earth
Attires itself and then comes joy
A supreme, tuneful joy, setting …

(translation by David Constantine)

Wie Merekuesten…

Friedrich Hoelderlin

MM: I see the beach walking and…

Stephen Daedalus: Am I walking into eternity along Sandymount strand? Crush, crack, crick, crick.

MM: Stephen closed his eyes to hear his boots crush crackling wrack and shells.

Leopold Bloom: I am wandering around, avoiding to go home. I am on Sandymount strand. Following Stephen’s steps.

(young) Gerty: It is almost dusk. Roman candles are fizzing through the air.

Leopold Bloom: I cannot get my eyes off her!

(young) Gerty: I pulled my skirt up and revealed my garters.

Leopold Bloom: I surrender, I am too weak to resist.

(young) Gerty: I behaved as an exhibitionist. Will I ever be as important as Molly is?

Leopold Bloom:  I behaved as a true voyeur. I am aging.

Mr. FFF: I like garters.

Mrs. T: The description of the episode with Bloom and (young) Gerty made the US Courts to ban the book as indecent.

The beach shines like a mirror, swallowing the confusion of forms, creating whatever it likes.

Here by the beach, I will be covered, in whole, by a layer of sugar, like snow.

It is a sin to be absent from the present.

Nikos Gabriel Pentzikis, Mrs. Ersis’ Novel

Ο γιαλος στιλβει σαν καθρεφτης, καταπινοντας τη συγχυση των μορφων, σχηματιζοντας ο,τι θελει αυτος.

Εδω στην ακρογιαλια, ολοκληρον, θα με καλυψει σαν χιονι ενα στρωμα απο ζαχαρη.

Αμαρτια η απουσια απο το παρον.

Νικος Γαβριηλ Πεντζικης, Το Μυθιστορημα της κυριας Ερσης

Πῶς δύναται τὶς νὰ γίνει ἀνὴρ χωρὶς ν᾿ ἀγαπήσει δεκάκις τουλάχιστον, καὶ δεκάκις ν᾿ ἀπατηθεῖ ;

How could anyone become a man without falling in love at least ten times, and betrayed ten times?

Alexandros Papadiamantis

MM: I see the kissing-on-the-beach sequence where Lancaster and Kerr roll around in the Pacific Ocean’s frothy waves, lips locked as the surf washes over them.

Mrs. T: Lancaster’s sergeant (Milton Warden) with Deborah Kerr playing Karen Holms, another officer’s wife

Mr. FFF: The American censors deleted four seconds from that provocative love-making scene.

Mrs. T: From Here to Eternity was nominated for 13 Oscars and won eight, including best film and best director. It won rave reviews and became one of the highest-grossing films of the Fifties.

Du musst das Leben nicht verstehen,

dann wird es werden wie ein Fest.

You should not understand Life,

then it will be like a celebration.

Rainer Maria Rilke

MM: I see the beach swimming after sunset

Mrs. T: I have never done this.

Mr. FFF: I had a friend who rejoiced every time she had a chance to swim during the night. She could stay up all night swimming.

Τα πρωτα μου χρονια τ’ αξεχαστα τα’ ζησα κοντα στ’ ακρογιαλι,

Στη θαλασσα εκει τη ρηχη και την ημερη,

στη θαλασσα εκει την πλατιεα, τη μεγαλη…

Στη θαλασσα εκει…

Κωστης Παλαμας

I have lived my first unforgetable years by the beach,

There by the shallow and quite sea,

the wide, the great sea, there…

There by the sea

Kostis Palamas

MM: I see the Hotel des Roses in Rhodes.

Mrs. T: I like roses.

Mr. FFF: This is where I was going to swim when I was a kid. For hours on and on. 10am to 7pm. Full time job.

MM: I see the bay of Ladiko, near Kolymbia in Rhodes.

Mrs. T: Looks great!

Mr. FFF: It was even better when there was nobody there! Years ago, access to the bay was blocked and the man who had the keys was a good family friend.

MM: I see food and drinks by the beach.

Mrs. T: Allow me. First stop is Damianos Fishtavern, Ambelas, Paros island, Greece.

Mr. FFF: Wonderful setting, and dedication to serving good seafood all year round.

Mrs. T: It is amazing how different food tastes when you smell the sea breeze!

MM: I see food and drinks on the cliff.

Mrs. T: Second stop. Akelare Restaurante, San Sebastian, Basque Country.

Mr. FFF: Up on a cliff, overlooking the Atlantic, stands one of the shrines of gastronomy in the wonderful land of the Basque people.

Mrs. T: The place is full of the joy of life.

Η θέα

MM: I see seafood by the beach at night.

Mrs. T: Third stop. Ristorante Uliassi, Senigallia, Marche, Italia.

Mr. FFF: Now we are in the Riviera Romagnola, where the ITalians have invented the “beach without the sea”. Nevertheless, in this riviera, where everything happens, where the high and the low co-exist peacefully, Uliassi does his magic. It is worth the trip. Even if you do not make it to the sea.

MM: I see seafood on a balcony overlooking the beach.

Mrs. T: Aristodimos Fishtavern, Pachi, Megara, Greece.

Mr. FFF: Back to the homeland. An unassuming small seaside town 40 km from Athens presents the goods of the sea in a way that honors centuries of eating seafood.

Κουκλι σκετο, με το κλωναρι συκιας να βγαινει μεσα απο την προβλητα!

MM: I see Death encounters by the beach.

Mrs. T: Disillusioned knight Antonius Block and his squire Jöns return after fighting in the Crusades and find Sweden being ravaged by the plague. On the beach immediately after their arrival, Block encounters Death.

Mr. FFF: Black and White. The agony of Man in front of the inevitable. But the sea makes everything look natural. This is why the sea gives another meaning to life.

Mrs. T: (reading from a book): “The whole beach, once so full of colour and life, looked now autumnal, out of season; it was nearly deserted and not even very clean. A camera on a tripod stood at the edge of the water, apparently abandoned; its black cloth snapped in the freshening wind.”

Mr. FFF: (reading from the same book): “Some minutes passed before anyone hastened to the aid of the elderly man sitting there collapsed in his chair. They bore him to his room. And before nightfall a shocked and respectful world received the news of his decease.”

“Prayer does not change God, but it does change the one who prays.”
Soren Kirkegaard

“The essence of truth is freedom”

Martin Heidegger



Ingmar Bergman, Swedish Film Director

Leopold Bloom


Priest Chryses


Stephen Daedalus

Mr. FFF, wanderer

Caspar David Friedrich, German Painter

Martin Heidegger, German Philosopher

Friedrich Hoeldrlin, German Poet

(young) Gerty

Homer, Greek Poet

Soren Kirkegaard, Dane Philosopher

MM, partner

Kostis Palamas, Greek Poet

Alexandros Papadiamantis, Greek Writer

Nikos Gabriel Pentzikis, Greek Writer and Painter,

Otto Preminger, American Film Director

Rainer Maria Rilke, Bohemian-Austrian Poet

Mrs. T, gourmant


Akelare Restaurant, San Sebastian, Basque Country

Aristodimos Fishtavern, Pachi, Megara, Greece

Damianos Fishtavern, Ambelas, Paros Island, Greece

From Here to Eternity, A Film by: Otto Preminger

A Hole in the Head. A Film by: Frank Capra

Edge of Heaven (Auf der anderen Seite), A Film by Fatih Akin

Restaurante Uliassi, Senigallia, Marche, Italia

In the surging swell,
In the ringing sound,
In the world-breath
In the waves of the All
To drown,
To sink, to drown –
Unconscious –
Supreme bliss –

Tristan and Isolde: Act III, Scene III

MM: Mathilde A jumps in the torrent created by the rain. Her body is recovered a few hours later.

Mrs. T: Mathilde B shoots Bernard first, and then she shoots herself. Both are dead instantly.

Mr. FFF: Diane runs screaming to her bed and she shoots herself.

von Grimmelshausen: Werther new that one of the three of them, Albert, Lotte and Werther himself, would have to die. He could not kill anyone but himself.

Mathilde A: (reads her suicide note) I am going before your desire dies. Then we’d be left with affection alone, and I know that won’t be enough. I’m going before I grow unhappy. I go bearing the taste of our embraces, your smell, your look, your kisses. I go with the memory of my loveliest years, the ones you gave me. I kiss you now so tenderly, I die of it.

Mathilde B: I needed to talk to him (Bernard). This is all I was thinking about when I was in the hospital (recovering from a nervous breakdown). But when the time came for me to go, and I put on my raincoat, without plan, withour hesitation, I got the handgun that Philippe (my husband) ket in his study and put it in my pocket. I kissed hm passionately. We rolled on the floor. And when he was on top of me, and when the last intercourse was over, I pulled the gun and I shot him. He did not even realize what was happening. I then turned the gun to my left temple and pulled the trigger. It was over in less than thirty seconds.

Diane: When I saw the blue key on my coffee table I knew that the deed was done. Camilla was no longer in this world. It had to be this way. She betrayed me. She was going to marry Adam. She was also fucking about. She was no good. She had to go. But I had to go as well.

Werther: And so it is the last time, the last time that I open these eyes…Lotte, it is a feeling unlike any other, and still it seems like an undetermined dream for one to say to himself: this is the last morning. … Lotte, I have no idea about the meaning of the word: the last! To die! what does it mean? I have seen many people dying; but humanity is so limited that it has no felling for the beginning and the end of its existence. .. All these are perishable, but there is no eternity that can erase the warmth of life that I tasted yesterday in your lips and I now feel inside me! She loves me! These arms have held her, these lips have touched hers trembling, this mouth has whispered something to hers. She is mine! You are mine! Yes, Lotte, for ever.

Mrs. T: Who is this von Grimmelshausen?

Mr. FFF:He is a German scholar from the Black Forest.

MM: How come he is here with us?

Mr. FFF: He is traveller. He goes to places. He meets people. That’s how.

Mrs. T: Have you seen what is inside the brown leather bag he is carrying with im like a treasure?

Mr. FFF: I recall you back to order!

Mrs. T: Ok, I was just curious.

Madame Guyon: The noonday of glory; a day no longer followed by night; a life that no longer fears death, even in death itself, because death has overcome death, and because whoever has suffered the first death will no longer feel the second.

Matthias Claudius: Man’s way of thinking can pass over from a point of the periphery to the opposite point, and back again to the previous point, if circumstances trace out for him the curved path to it. And these changes are not really anything great and interesting in man. But that remarkable, catholic, transcendental change, when the whole circle is irreparably torn up and all the laws of psychology become vain and empty, where the coat of skins is taken off, or at any rate turned inside out, and man’s eyes are opened, is such that everyone who is conscious to some extent of the breath in his nostrils, forsakes mother and father, if he can hear and experience something certain about it.

Horace: How is it that no one is satisfied with his own condition?

Filippo Ottonieri: The reason is that no condition is happy. The servvants, as well as the princes, the poor as well as the rich, the weak as well as the powerful would all be extremely well satisfied with their lot and would feel no envy for the others were they happy; for men are no more impossible to satisfy than any other species; but they can be content with happiness only. Now, as they are always unhappy, should we wonder if they are never satisfied?

Julia Kristeva: To be sure, analytic discourse does not, or at any rate does not always suffer from the apparent excesses of amorous language, which range from hypnotic fascination with the presumed ideal qualities of the partner to hysterical sentimental effusion to phobias of abandonment. Nevertheless, it is want of love that sends the subject into analysis, which proceeds by first restoring confidence in, and capacity for, love through the transference and then enabling the subject to distance himself or herself from the analyst. From being the subject of an amorous discourse during the years of my analysis (and, in the best of circumstances, beyond them), I discover  my potential for psychic renewal, intellectual innovation, and even physical change. This kind of experience seems to be the specific contribution of our modern civilization to the history of amorous discourse. The analytic situation is the only place explicitly provided for in the social contract in which we are allowed to talk about the wounds we have suffered and to search for possible new identities and new ways of talking about ourselves.

Arthur Schopenhauer: Selfishness is “eros” (in Greek ερως), sympathy or compassion is “love”  (in Greek αγαπη).

Friedrich Nietzsche: The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night.

Christiane Olivier: Is love, then, an impossibility? The couple is the fantasy of finding again, at last, a mother whom one has never yet met: for the woman, desiring; for the man, not stifling. It is the dream so well imagined by Verlaine: “I often have this strange, affecting dream of an unknown woman, who loves me and whom I love, and who each time is neither quite the same, nor quite other.” 

MM: Eros and Thanatos.

Mrs. T: Libido and Mortido.

Mr. FFF: Life instinct and death instinct.

MM: We are back in the field of the philosophy of the opposites!

Mrs. T: But are we? It appears to me that somehow Eros leads the actor to Thanatos! I see no opposites here, I see two complementary instincts.

Mr. FFF: I wish it were as simple as that. In my view Eros not only leads to Thanatos in the cases under consideration, it seems to me that Eros appeals to Thanatos to seal its eternal meaning. As if Eros does not attain its ultimate state unless it reaches Thanatos.

Jacinta: I was sixteen when, one night while I was sleeping, I had a dream. (Woe is me! And even when I was awake I relieved that dream.) I was going through a lovely forest and in the very depths of the forest, I met the most handsome man I had ever in my life seen. His face was shadowed by the edge of a fawn cape with silver hooks and catches. Attracted by his appearance, I stopped to gaze at him. Eager to see if his face looked as I imagined, I approached and boldly pulled aside his cape. The moment I did, he drew a dagger and plunged it into my heart so violently that the pain made me cry out, and all my maids came running in. As soon as I awoke from this dark dream, I lost sight of the fact that he had done me such injury, and I felt more deeply affected than you can imagine. His image remained etched in my memory. It did not fade away or disappear for ever so long. Noble Fabio, I yearned to find a man with exactly his appearance and bearing to be my husband. These thoughts so obsessed me that I kept imagining and reimagining that scene, and I would have conversations with him. Before you knew it, I was madly in love with a mystery man whom I didn’t know, but you must believe that if the god Narcissus was dark, then surely he was Narcissus.

Arthur Schopenhauer: They tell us that suicide is the greatest act of cowardice… that suicide is wrong; when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.

Herodotus: When life is so burdensome, death has become for man a sought-after refuge.

ΜΜ: Freud claimed the death instinct drives people to death so that they can have real peace, and only death can get rid of tension and struggles. This is the case of Werther.

Mrs. T: When people feel extreme joy, they want to die and hope time will stop at that moment, which is also the evidence of death instinct, the transformation of life instinct into death instinct. This is the case of Mathilde A.

Mr. FFF: The death instinct exists in almost everyone’s subconscious. It is an irresistible instinctive power in human beings’ consciousness. Many people may deny that there is a death instinct in their consciousness. Indeed, people’s life instinct is very strong. However, if they examine their flashes of idea in their consciousness, they can find that just like death instinct, their desire for death is sometimes also very strong.

Jacinta: Because of this obsession I could neither eat nor sleep. My face lost its color and I experienced the most profound melancholy of my life. Everyone noticed the changes in me. Who, Fabio, ever heard of anyone loving a mere shadow? They may tell tales about people who’ve loved monsters and other incredible things, but at least what they loved had form! I sympathized with Pygmalion who loved the statue that ultimately Jupiter brought to life for him, and with the youth from Athens, and with the lovers who loved a tree or a dolphin. But what I loved was a mere fantasy, a shadow. What would people think of that? Nobody would believe me and, if they did, they’d think I’d lost my mind. But I give you my word of honor as a noblewoman, that not in this or in anything else I’ll tell you, do I add a single word that isn’t the truth. You can imagine that I talked to myself. I reproved myself, and, to free myself from my obsessive passion, I looked very carefully at all the elegant young men who lived in my city and tried to grow fond of one of them. Everything I did simply made me love my phantom more, and nowhere could I find his equal. My love grew and grew so great that I even composed poetry to my beloved ghost.

Julia Kristeva: Loss of the erotic object (unfaithfulness or desertion by the lover or husband, divorce, etc) is felt by the woman as an assault on her genitality and, from that point of view, amounts to castration. At once, such a castration starts resonating with the threat of destruction of the body’s integrity, the body image, and the entire psychic system as well. As a result, feminine castration, rather than being diseroticized, is concealed by narcissistic anguish, which masters and protects eroticism as a shameful secret.

MM: I love you so much I want to kill myself.

Mrs. T: I love you so much I want to kill you.

Mr. FFF: I love you so much I want to kill myself, but I will kill you first, before you kill me.

Albert Camus: “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.  Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.  All the rest – whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories – comes afterwards.  These are games; one must first answer [the questions of suicide].”

Arthur Schopenhauer: To those in whom the will has turned and denied itself, this very real world of ours, with its suns and galaxies, is – nothing.

MM: Driven to suicide by eros is one thing, killing your lover and then killing yourself is another.

Mrs. T: It may not be premedidated, but evolutionary. You start by wanting to exterminate the cause of your living hell, your lover, and you do. And then, after you have done it, you figure out that the road has now opened for your own departure from this world as well.

Mr. FFF: This theory may apply to both Diane and Mathilde B. I would like to note though, that Time could be the differentiator. In Mathilde B’s case, she kills herself imeediately after she has killed Bernard. Whereas Diane kills herself after she realizes that the “contract” on Camille’s life has been successfully executed.


Albert Camus, French philosopher

Matthias Claudius, German poet

Diane Selwyn, protagonist in David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive”

von Grimmelshausen, a German nobleman and writer

Madame Guyon, French mystic

Mr. FFF, wanderer

Herodotus, Greek historian

Horace, Roman poet

Jacinta, character in Maria de Zayas’ “The enchantements of love”

Julia Kristeva, French-Bulgarian psychoanalyst

Mathilde A, the hairdresser in Patrice Leconte’s “The Hairdresser’s Husband”

Mathilde B, the woman next door, in Francois Truffaut’s “The Woman next Door”

MM, partner

Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher

Christiane Olivier, French psychoanalyst

Filippo Ottonieri, a very thin disguise for Giacomo Leopardi himself

Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher

Mrs. T, unknown ethinicity, gourmant

Werther, a fictional character created by Goethe

Venice: A “Fluxus Eleatis” Discourse

Σάββατο, 9 Ιουνίου, 2012

Michel Foucault:  Discourse operates in four major ways. Discourse creates a world; discourse generates knowledge and “truth”; discourse says something about the people who speak it; discourse always incorporates elements of power.

Socrates und Alcibiades

 A poem by Friedrich Hoelderlin

“Warum huldigest du, heiliger Socrates,

“Diesem Juenglinge stets? kennest du Groessers nicht?

“Warum siehet mit Liebe,

“Wie auf Goetter, dein Aug’ auf ihn?

Wer das Tiefste gedacht, liebt das Lebendigste,

Hohe Jugend versteht, wer in die Welt geblikt

Und es neigen die Weisen

Oft am Ende zu Schoenem sich.


Gustav von Aschenbach: ‘What lies in wait for me here, Ambiguous Venice, Where water is married to stone, And passion confuses the senses?’


Farfarello: And so, if you’d like to give me your soul before its time, I’m here, ready to take it.


Luchino Visconti: The sky has to be orange, even if Fassbinder copies me in Querelle.


Mr. FFF:  I started my trip from the Northern Cemetery in Munich. I arrived in Venice by train. The Marathon run finished a few minutes ago. There are many visitors. The water of the lagoon has a dull grey color. It is chilly. It is cloudy but there is no rain. Mrs. T misses you already.

MM:  Do not get lost in the art farm that is Venice! I googled and saw that you have bad weather and it’s raining. Hope you got your wellies.


Apollo: Reason, control, and clarity


Gustav von Aschenbach: I am furious because I am forced to return, but secretly I rejoice.


Dionysus: Wander lust


Gustav von Aschenbach:  Vacillating, irresolute, absurd.


Thomas Mann: A life spiraling out of control.


Friedrich Hoelderlin:

Und immer,

Ins Ungebundene gehet eine Sehnsucht.

(And always,

there is a longing to dissolve)


Mr. FFF:   In Palazzo Grassi I met Mr. Dob, the Manga character that has been adopted by Takashi Murakami. He has three eyes and an energizing stare.  Mr. Dob inhabits Murakami’s masterpiece 727-272 (The Emergence of God at the Reversal of Fate). Mrs. T is in love with him but he ignores her.  For her, it was love at first sight. For him, she does not even exist.


MM:  Luckily today I will be on scrub watch so that should keep me busy enough not to think about not having the both of you around.


Don Giovanni:

 Deh vieni alla finestra, o mio tesoro,

Deh vieni a consolar il pianto mio.

Se neghi a me di dar qualche ristoro,

Davanti agli occhi tuoi morir vogl’ io.

Tu ch’ ai la bocca dolce piu che il miele,

Tu che il zucchero porti in mezzo il core!

Non esser, gioia mia, con me crudele!

Lascati almen veder, mio bell’ amore!

Friedrich Nietzsche: To experience a thing as beautiful means: to experience it necessarily wrongly – (which, incidentally, is why marriage for love is, from the point of view of society, the most unreasonable king of marriage). The demand for art and beauty is an indirect demand for the ecstasies of sexuality communicated to the brain.


Farfarello: Well, then, since of necessity you love yourself with the greatest love of which you’re capable, of necessity you desire your happiness as strongly as you can. And since this supreme desire of yours can never be satisfied even in the smallest degree, it follows that in no way can you escape being unhappy.


Gustav von Aschenbach: Time presses, time does not press

Constantine Cavafy: Πλαϊ στο παραθυρο ηταν το κρεββατι που αγαπηθηκαμε τοσες φορες. (By the window was the bed where we made love so many times).


Mr. FFF:  A Cretan Madonna in Santa Maria della Salute. It was taken from the Church of Saint Titus in the last minute before fleeing Candia and Crete, by the Commander of the Venetians Morozini. The Ottomans captured Candia immediately after. Crete and Venice, share a co-existence that brought El Greco to Venice before he continued his journey to go to Spain.

MM:  I can’t say I am doing such exciting stuff as you. I waited in line for an hour to change the tires on my car and now it’s being done. Nothing fun to report.  Of course I miss the both of you terribly. It seems like I cannot have meaningful conversation with anybody else, but you.  Not to mention the fact that we took our jokes and puns to a whole other level and now whatever jokes anybody tries to do is pointless.


Filippo Ottonieri: Except for the times of suffering, as well as of fear, I would think that the worst moments are those of pleasure because the hope for them and the memory of them, which occupy the rest of our lives, are better and much more pleasant than the pleasures themselves.


Thomas Schutte: Efficiency Men, Punta della Dogana, Venice

Jean Baudrillard: Everyday experience falls like snow. Immaterial, crystalline and microscopic, it enshrouds all the features of the landscape. It absorbs sounds, the resonance of thoughts and events; the wind sweeps across it sometimes with unexpected violence and it gives off an inner light, a malign fluorescence which bathes all forms in crepuscular indistinctness.  Watching time snow down, ideas snow down, watching the silence of some aurora borealis light up, giving in to the vertigo of enshrouding and whiteness.


Friedrich Hoelderlin:

 Wo aber gefahr ist, waechst,

Das Rettende auch.

(Where there is danger,

some Salvation grows there too.)


Gustav von Aschenbach : What if all were dead, and only we two left alive

Luigi Pirandello: The torment of imagining you far away – among other people who can have the joy of seeing you, talking to you, being near you while I am here without life because I can neither see you nor talk with you, nor be near you – can be mitigated only by the thought that you feel my presence within you and that even from far away you give me life, and that even in your silence you see me and talk to me; in one word, that I am alive and close to you, more than those who see you, talk to you, and are around you.


Mr. FFF:  Thomas Schuette’s “Efficiency Men” were waiting for me at the Punta della Dogana.  Their steel bodies were covered down to their knees by felt blankets. It was like a call to Joseph Beuys. His felt self is all over German Art.

 MM:  You realize I’m not having nearly as much fun as you are, but I expect to be entertained upon your return! So prepare lots of stories from Venice. You know the kind: money, blood and sex.

Giuseppe Ungaretti:


Scalza varcando da sabbie lunari,

Aurora, amore festoso, d’ un’ eco

Popoli l’ esule universe e lasci

Nella carne dei giorni,

Perenne scia, una piaga velata.


Luigi Pirandello: What life is there left for me? I don’t care anymore about anything. Only about you do I care, and all that concerns you, my Marta; if you suffer, suffering with you and for you; if you get angry, getting angry with you; if you hope, hoping with you and for you. And remaining – for as long as I stay alive, for as long as my eyes stay open, for as long as my heart keeps beating, for as long as the soul burns in me – with my eyes, my heart, my soul, enchanted by your beauty, by the charms of your person, by the divine nobility of your feelings and of your spirit.


Whenever I’m alone with you

You make me feel like I am home again

Whenever I’m alone with you

You make me feel like I am whole again

Whenever I’m alone with you

You make me feel like I am young again

Whenever I’m alone with you

You make me feel like I am fun again

However far away I will always love you

However long I stay I will always love you

Whatever words I say I will always love you

I will always love you

Mr. FFF:  Fog everywhere. I boarded a U-boat where a rabbi was reading the Kaballah. Later, in Hotel Metropol during lunch I met an Indian Maharadja and his German maiden.

MM:  All these cultural encounters! We redid the kitchen; the hard part is over now. You may be interested to know that nothing works without me!

Gustav Mahler: I should not have cried on the train departing Venice. I should not have dismissed Alma’s music compositions. It is too late now.  I gave my name to von Aschenbach.

Discource Participants

Adele, English singer

Apollo, Greek God of light

Gustav von Aschenbach, German writer (through the pen of Thomas Mann, through the interpretation of Myfawny Piper, through the camera of Luchino Visconti, through the interpretation of Fluxus Eleatis)

Jean Baudrillard, French philosopher

Constantine Cavafy, Greek poet

Dionysus, Greek God of pleasure

Farfarello, character created by Giacomo Leopardi

Michel Foucault, French philosopher

Mr. FFF, wanderer

Don Giovanni, a young, extremely licentious nobleman (created by Lorenzo da Ponte)

Friedrich Hoelderlin, German poet

Gustav Mahler, Austrian composer

Thomas Mann, German writer

MM, partner

Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher

Filippo Ottonieri, philosopher created by Giacomo Leopardi

Luigi Pirandello, Italian writer and Nobel Laureate

Giuseppe Ungaretti, Italian poet

Luchino Visconti, Italian director


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