Εισαγωγη

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_house

Cavafi’s Home in Alexandria, watercolor by Anna Boghiguian

Παρθεν

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.»

28-pontos

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. «

115agia-sofia

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».»

port

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.

Heracletus

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

Participants

Achilles

Ingmar Bergman, Swedish Film Director

Leopold Bloom

Briseis

Priest Chryses

Chryseis

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

References

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

When eros makes life impossible: A «Fluxus Eleatis» discourse

Πέμπτη, 2 Αυγούστου, 2012

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.

Participants

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:

ECO

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.

Adele:

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

Awakening(s) – Ξυπνημα(τα)

Κυριακή, 15 Απριλίου, 2012

The poetic mood is prevailing today. Poetic awakenings. Dedicated to Smaranda.

Εχω ποιητικη διαθεση σημερα. Ξυπνηματα ποιητικα.  Αφιερωμενα στη Σμαραντα.

Jalalu’ddin Rumi

Rumi (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273) was a Muslim poet, jurist, theologist and Sufi mystic.

Rumi has influenced thousands of people across the centuries with his poetry and his vision of our relationship with God as a path of love.

His work unlock’s love’s precious secrets and initiates us into the mysteries of our most essential nature.

The Sufis understand the human heart to be the macrocosm, not just the microcosm, of the universe.

Whatever is in your heart is everywhere.

If you have anger in your heart, you will experience anger from others, ig hate, you shall be hated; if love, you shall be loved.

By knowing the mystery of your own heart, you begin to resonate with the mysteries of existence.

THE AWAKENING

A poem by Rumi

 In the early dawn of happiness

you gave me three kisses
so that I would wake up
to this moment of love

I tried to remember in my heart
what I’d dreamt about
during the night
before I became aware
of this moving
of life

I found my dreams
but the moon took me away
It lifted me up to the firmament
and suspended me there
I saw how my heart had fallen
on your path
singing a song

Between my love and my heart
things were happening which
slowly slowly
made me recall everything

You amuse me with your touch
although I can’t see your hands.
You have kissed me with tenderness
although I haven’t seen your lips
You are hidden from me.

But it is you who keeps me alive

Perhaps the time will come
when you will tire of kisses
I shall be happy
even for insults from you
I only ask that you
keep some attention on me.

Giuseppe Ungaretti

Ungaretti is one of my favourite poets. I wrote an article about him back in 2009.

I start with the poem «Awakenings» in the original language, Italian, and then with my interpretation in English.

RISVEGLI

Ogni mio momento

io l’ho vissuto
un’altra volta
in un’epoca fonda
fuori di me
Sono lontano colla mia memoria
dietro a quelle vite perse
Mi desto in un bagno
di care cose consuete
sorpreso
e raddolcito
Rincorro le nuvole
che si sciolgono dolcemente
cogli occhi attenti
e mi rammento
di qualche amico
morto
Ma Dio cos’è?
E la creatura
atterrita
sbarra gli occhi
e accoglie
gocciole di stelle
e la pianura muta
E si sente
riavere

David Hockney

AWAKENINGS

A poem by Giuseppe Ungaretti

My every moment

I lived

yet again

in a deeply rooted period

outside of me

Anselm Kiefer

My memory is back away

looking for those lost lives

Anselm Kiefer

I wake up in a bath

of things that are familiar and I care for

surprised

and at peace

Anselm Kiefer

I chase the clouds

that spread themselves smoothly

with watchful eyes

and I remember

a friend

who is dead

Anselm Kiefer

But what is God?

Anselm Kiefer

And the creature

buffled

with wide open eyes

gathers

star drops

and the silent field

David Hockney

And feels

to come alive again

David Hockney

George Sarantaris

Sarantaris  is another favourite of mine. I wrote about him back in 2010.
Ξυπνάμε και η θάλασσα ξυπνά μαζί μας
Γ. Σαραντάρης
Ξυπνάμε και η θάλασσα ξυπνά μαζί μας
Με όραση καινούρια προχωρούμε
Η μέρα έχει μαιάνδρους
Όπως η θάλασσα κύματα
Στην καρδιά μας αδειάσαμε (προσωρινά)
Την πόλη
Εμείναμε με την εικόνα τ’ ουρανού
O ήλιος εμέτρησε τη γη μας
Η μέρα τούτη όπου ξυπνήσαμε
Με θάλασσα και κύματα
Με όραση και μνήμη καθαρή
Τόσο μεγάλωσε
Που ο ήλιος δεν μπόρεσε να τη μετρήσει
Που ο ήλιος δεν μπόρεσε να τη χωρέσει

Henri Matisse

We wake up and the sea wakes up with us
A poem by George Sarantaris
We wake up and the sea wakes up with us
We walk with new vision
The day has twists and turns
Like the sea has waves
In our heart we have disposed (temporarily)
The city
We remained fixated with the picture of the sky
The sun has measured our earth
This day we are awake
With the sea and the waves
With clear vision and memory
It has grown so much
That the sun could not measure it
That the sun could not hold it

1001 Ways to die (9) – Sylvia Plath, American, Poet, Novelist

Τρίτη, 21 Φεβρουαρίου, 2012

Dying
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I’ve a call.

It’s easy enough to do it in a cell.
It’s easy enough to do it and stay put.
It’s the theatrical

Lady Lazarus, Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath, photographed in a hallway of Smith College, 1952

Sylvia Plath was born in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts on October 27, 1932 the oldest child of Otto and Aurelia Schoeber Plath. The daughter of a Boston Univesity German and entomology professor and a high school English teacher, Plath was raised in a household that valued learning highly.  While in college, in August of 1953, Plath attempted to overdose on sleeping pills. This suicide attempt would be recalled years later in her poem, Lady Lazarus. Plath was able to return to college and only graduated a couple of months behind her class.

Ted Hughes

After receiving a Fulbright scholarship, she began two years at Cambridge University. There she met and married, in 1956, the British poet Ted Hughes.

Hughes was born on 17 August 1930 in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, and raised on local farms. According to him, «My first six years shaped everything». He studied at Cambridge University and first published poetry in a journal launched with fellow students called St Botolph’s Review. It was at the launch party for the magazine that he met Plath, and they married in 1956.

Sylvia Plath in 1957

They separated in 1962.

On February 11, 1963, after carefully sealing the kitchen so her children would not be harmed, Sylvia Plath took a bottle of sleeping pills and stuck her head in a gas oven.

As Plath’s widower, Hughes became the executor of her personal and literary estates. He oversaw the publication of her manuscripts, including Ariel in 1966. He also claimed to have destroyed the final volume of Plath’s journal, detailing their last few months together. In his foreword to The Journals of Sylvia Plath, he defended his actions as motivated by consideration for the couple’s young children. He wrote about his relationship with Plath, and his response to her suicide, in Birthday Letters. It was his final collection and one of his most successful works.

In 1969 Hughes suffered another loss when his mistress, Assia Wevill, also gassed herself and their daughter in an apparent copycat suicide.

In 1982, Plath became the first poet to win a Pulitzer Prize posthumously, for The Collected Poems. She also wrote The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her death.

Ted Hughes died from cancer in 1998.

On 23 March 2009, CNN reported:

Nicholas Hughes (right) in 1999

«The family history of poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath took another tragic turn Monday when it was revealed that their son had committed suicide after battling depression.

Nicholas Hughes, whose mother asphyxiated herself in 1963 by putting her head in a gas oven at her London home while her two children slept in the next room, hanged himself at his home in Alaska, his sister Frieda told The Times newspaper.

Hughes, 47, was unmarried with no children of his own and had until recently been a marine biologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.»

O love, how did you get here?
O embryo

Remembering, even in sleep,
Your crossed position.
The blood blooms clean

In you, ruby.
The pain
You wake to is not yours.

Love, love,
I have hung our cave with roses.
With soft rugs----
Sylvia Plath, Nick and the Candlestick

Sylvia Plath: Boat in Rock Harbor, Cape Cod

A selection of 44 ink and pen drawings by Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was exhibited for the first time between 2 Nov and 16 Dec 2011 at the Mayor Gallery in London, displaying Plath’s love for her “deepest source of inspiration”, art. Sam Leigh wrote in «The Guardian»:

«Nearly half a century after her suicide, the great poet is capable of surprising us. A selection of her drawings that have just gone on display at London’s Mayor Gallery shows us a new side of her. I found these drawings moving: not because they feed into the legend, but because they sidestep it. They bring us a fresh look at a woman now so barnacled with myth it’s hard to see her clearly. And – wow – they’re really good….

To see these drawings as in some way complementary to the poems, as some will doubtless try to, seems to me off-beam. Plath did once tell the BBC: «I have a visual imagination.» But what’s so striking about these drawings is exactly their difference from the visual world of the poems. These are pictures that revel in the thinginess of things: in wine bottles, an old kettle, a pair of shoes, the uneven timbering of beached boats, the architectural curlicues of a Parisian roof.»

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