Greece: voices from the past

Κυριακή, 25 Νοεμβρίου, 2012

Mermaid – Γοργονα

As Greece continues to suffer from the worst financial, social and political crisis since the civil war of 1945-1949, I retreated back in time, and heard some voices from the past.

Καθως η Ελλας συνεχιζει να ευρισκεται εις την δινη της μεγαλυτερης οικονομικης, κοινωνικης και πολιτικης κρισης μετα τον εμφυλιο (1945-1949), αποσυρθηκα εις τον παρελθοντα χρονο για να ακουσω καποιες φωνες.

Kokinia between the wars (1918-1939) – Η Κοκινια στον μεσοπολεμο

“Οι μικροαστοι επιθυμουν τη δικτατορια μοναχα σα φτασουνε στο τελευταιο σταδιο του φοβου ή της απογνωσης ή της αβουλιας. Μα οσο υπαρχουν ελπιδες μιας εθνικης και ατομικης ανορθωσης, θελουνε να βλεπουνε τους λογαριασμους του Κρατους, να τους συζητουνε ελευθερα και να νοιωθουνε πως μπορουνε να αλλαξουνε το προσωπικο κατα το κεφι τους, σα νοικοκυραιοι.

Petite bourgeoisie are in favour of a dictatorship only when they arrive at the last stage of fear, desperation, or lack of direction. But as long as there are hopes of a national and personal recovery, they want to see the finances of the State, discuss them freely and feel that they can change the political personnel as they desire, like good housekeepers. (1)

Greece between the wars – Η Ελλας στον μεσοπολεμο

Η κοινοβουλευτικη συντεχνια βρηκε μια λυση της πολιτικης κρισης, που εσωζε τους θεσμους διχως να προσβαλλει τις σταδιοδρομιες και τα φιλοτιμα των κομματων και των προσωπων: Κυβερνηση συνασπισμου. Τα κομματα της συμπολιτευσης και της αντιπολιτευσης μοιραστηκαν τα υπουργεια με ενα κοινο “προγραμμα περισυλλογης”, αφηνοντας εξω μερικες μικρες ομαδες των ακρων. Βρεθηκε ευκολα και ενας επιβλητικος γερος κοινοβουλευτικος, που ειχε καλες προσωπικες σχεσεις με ολους τους πολιτικους αρχηγους, και του δοθηκε η πρωθυπουργια. ..

The parliamentarians found a way out of the political crisis, that retained the institutions without assaulting the carriers and the pride of the parties and the political personnel: a coalition government. The parties of the majority and the opposition shared the ministerial posts on the basis of a common “recovery programme”, leaving out the small groups of the extremes. It was easy to find a respectable aged parliamentarian, who had good personal relationships with all the party leaders, and make him the prime minister… (1)

Open air market in Thission, Athens – Λαϊκη Αγορα στο Θησειο

Ενιωθε και κατι αλλο, που σε λιγο αρχισε να το νιωθει κι ενα μερος του κοινου: οτι η Κυβερνηση του συνασπισμου απο τη φυση της, ειναι ανικανη να παρει γενναιες πρωτοβουλιες και να επιβαλει ριζικες λυσεις στα οικονομικα και κρατικα ζητηματα, που παραλυανε τη ζωη του τοπου. Ουτε την ξεκουρδισμενη μηχανη της διοικησης μπορουσε να φρεσκαρει και να ξανακουρδισει, ουτε το στρατο να καθαρισει απο τα ταραχοποια στοιχεια του, ουτε αληθινες οικονομιες να πραγματοποιησει και να ισοσκλεισει τον προϋπολογισμο, ουτε την εθνικη οικονομια να διευθυνει και να τη συγκρατησει σ’ ενα ανεκτο επιπεδο μες στη συγχυση των διεθνων οικονομικων συνθηκων.

He also felt something else, which was also felt by the public: that the coalition Government was by nature unable to take bold initiatives and implement all-encompassing solutions to the financial and adminsitrative issues that were paralyzing the life of the country. The government could not refresh the broken down machinery of the state, nor clean up the army of its radical elements, cut public spending, balance the budget, and adequately manage the national economy in the midst of the international confusion.” (1)

Festival in Delphi – Δελφικες εορτες

“Γιατι λοιπον να μη μ’ ανησυχει και να μη με εξοργιζει οταν διακρινω ξεδιαντροπα να καλλιεργειται μια κουλτουρα δηθεν εθνικη απο ατομα ή οργανισμους ή κομματα και με εναν σκοπο, την υποδουλωση σας, τον πνευματικο και αισθησιακο ευνουχισμο σας, την υποπτη αντικατασταση της ανησυχιας απο την ακινδυνη παραδοσιακη γραφικοτητα; Κι υστερα δεν ειναι επισης καπως υποπτη η αυθαιρεσια ορισμενων κομματικων οργανισμων να οικειοποιουνται την προοδευτικοτητα σα να’ ναι γεννημα τους; Και ποία η διαφορα σ’ αυθαιρεσια μ’ εκεινους τους αλλους, τα τρωκτικα του τοπου μας, που ετσιθελικα οικειοποιουνται την εννοια του εθνους, ώστε όταν εναντιωνεσαι στις παρανομες επιδιωξεις τους να γινεσαι αυτοματα αντεθνικος; (2)

Maroussi

So why should I not be worried and outraged when I see people, organizations and parties promoting without shame a supposedly national culture with only one objective, your enslavement, your mental and sensual castration, and the suspicious substitution of concern by the harmless traditional stereotypes? Following that, isn’t it somehow suspicious to see some political organizations pretending that they are the owners of progressive ideas and beliefs? And in what do they differ from the others, the rats of our country, who declare themselves the owners of the concept of the nation, so that when you rise against their illegal designs you automatically become an enemy of the nation?” (2)

Technical Lyceum – Σιβιτανιδειος Σχολη

“Ο φασισμός στις μέρες μας φανερώνεται με δυο μορφές. Ή προκλητικός, με το πρόσχημα αντιδράσεως σε πολιτικά ή κοινωνικά γεγονότα που δεν ευνοούν την περίπτωσή τους ή παθητικός μες στον οποίο κυριαρχεί ο φόβος για ό,τι συμβαίνει γύρω μας. Ανοχή και παθητικότητα λοιπόν. Κι έτσι εδραιώνεται η πρόκληση. Με την ανοχή των πολλών. Προτιμότερο αργός και σιωπηλός θάνατος από την αντίδραση του ζωντανού και ευαίσθητου οργανισμού που περιέχουμε.

Fascism in our days appears with two faces. Either provocative, on the pretext of reacting to political or social events that do not favour them, or passive, where fear about everything going on around us is prominent. Tolerance and passivity give room to the challenge of fascism. We seem to prefer the slow and silent death to the reaction of the live and sensitive self inside us. (3)

George Theotokas (left). Athens 1941

Και μη βρίσκοντας αντίσταση από μια στέρεη παιδεία όλα αυτά δημιουργούν ένα κατάλληλο έδαφος για να ανθίσει ο εγωκεντρισμός η εγωπάθεια, η κενότητα και φυσικά κάθε κτηνώδες ένστιχτο στο εσωτερικό τους. Προσέξτε το χορό τους με τις ομοιόμορφες στρατιωτικές κινήσεις, μακρά από κάθε διάθεση επαφής και επικοινωνίας. Το τραγούδι τους με τις συνθηματικές επαναλαμβανόμενες λέξεις, η απουσία του βιβλίου και της σκέψης από τη συμπεριφορά τους και ο στόχος για μια άνετη σταδιοδρομία κέρδους και εύκολης επιτυχίας.

Not finding any resistance from a solid education, all these create a suitable ground for egocentricity to bloom, emptiness, and of course every animal instnct. Notice how they dance (the fascists) making these militarymovements, away from any desire to contaqct and communicate. Their song, with the coded repeating words, the anbsence of the book (reading) and thinking from their behaviour, and the goal of a comfortable career and easy success. (3)

M. Karagatsis in his youth

Βιώνουμε μέρα με τη μέρα περισσότερο το τμήμα του εαυτού μας – που ή φοβάται ή δεν σκέφτεται, επιδιώκοντας όσο γίνεται περισσότερα οφέλη. Ώσπου να βρεθεί ο κατάλληλος «αρχηγός» που θα ηγηθεί αυτό το κατάπτυστο περιεχόμενό μας. Και τότε θα ‘ναι αργά για ν’ αντιδράσουμε. Ο νεοναζισμός είμαστε εσείς κι εμείς – όπως στη γνωστή παράσταση του Πιραντέλο. Είμαστε εσείς, εμείς και τα παιδιά μας. Δεχόμαστε να ‘μαστε απάνθρωποι μπρος στους φορείς του AIDS, από άγνοια αλλά και τόσο «ανθρώπινοι» και συγκαταβατικοί μπροστά στα ανθρωποειδή ερπετά του φασισμού, πάλι από άγνοια, αλλά κι από φόβο κι από συνήθεια.

We experience day after day the part of ourself that is either scared or does not think, seeking to maximize personal benefits. Until we find the right “leader” to command this despicable side of our existence. But then it will be too late to react. Neonazism is you and us – as in the known play of Pirandello. It is us, us and our children. We accept to be inhuman when we face AIDS carriers, due to lack of knowledge, but so “human” and understanding in front of the humanoids of fascism, not only because of lack of knowledge, but also because of fear and habit.    (3)

Greek Civil War 1945-1949

Και το Κακό ελλοχεύει χωρίς προφύλαξη, χωρίς ντροπή. Ο νεοναζισμός δεν είναι θεωρία, σκέψη και αναρχία. Είναι μια παράσταση. Εσείς κι εμείς. Και πρωταγωνιστεί ο Θάνατος.

And Evil is lurking without precaution, without shame. Neonazism is not theory, thought, or anarchy. It is a show. You and us. And Death is the protagonist. ” (3)

Young women on a boat outside the port of Alexandroupolis – Κοπελλες σε βαρκα εξω απο την Αλεξανδρουπολη

“Στο αναμεταξυ (1921) οι νεοπλουτοι, μπουχτισμενοι απο ευκολοκερδισμενο παρά και λιμασμενοι απο μακροχρονια νηστεια, το’ χαν ριξει εξω. Γινοταν ενα γλεντι αλλιωτικο, ουτε πρωτογονο ουτε συμβατικο, μα κατι το ατοπο, το χυδαιο. Προβαλαν μεσα στην ξαφνιασμενη κοινωνια της Αθηνας ανθρωποι αγνωστοι, μυστηριοι, που κανεις δεν ηξερε πούθε βαστουσε η σκουφια τους, με τις τσεπες φίσκα στο χρημα και διχως συναισθηση τι παει να πει χρημα. Σπαταλουσαν ποσα αφανταστα σ’ ενα γλεντι κακογουστο κι άνοστο, μη λογαριαζοντας τιποτα, μην ξεροντας πως να διαθεσουν τα εκατομμυρια τους. Βασικη προϋποθεση του γλεντιου ηταν ν’ αποχτησουν αμερικάνικο αυτοκινητο και να τριγυρναν στους ανυπαρκτους τοτε δρομους της Αττικης, αραζοντας σε ξωτικα λιμανια – Ραφηνα και Σκαραμαγκα – που ο μη εκατομμυριούχος μοναχα στ’ ονειρο του μπορουσε να τα ιδει. Ησαν εκει κατι βρωμοταβερνες, που παρισταναν τα κεντρα πολυτελειας, που πουλουσαν τα τηγανητα μπαρμπουνια και τον μποτιλιαρισμενο σταφιδιτη σε τιμες αστρονομικες. (4)

Rafina 1930

In the meantime (1921), the newly rich, fed up by easily won money and starved by long abstinence, were going overboard. They were partying in a different way, neither primitive nor conventional, but somehow out of place and vulgar. Unknown, mysterious people, who nobody knew where they were coming from, were emerging in the midst of the puzzled Athenian society, with their pockets stuffed with money and no conception whatsoever of what money means. They were wasting unimaginable amounts of money in pasties of bad taste, disregarding everything, not knowing what to do with their money. A basiv requirement for them to have a good time was to buy an american car and roam the non-existent roads of Attica, arriving at exotix ports – Rafina and Skaramanga – which an ordinary person could see only in their dreams. There were some horrible tavernas there, pretending to be luxurious restaurants, selling fried barbounia and bottled wine at astronomical prices  ” (4)

Miss Europe, 1926

“Η Ελλαδα πεθανε και τη σκοτωσαμε εμεις – δεν ειναι ρητορικο σχημα. Δεν υπαρχει προηγουμενο λαου που με αποφαση της Βουλης (ομοφωνη) να καταργει τον τροπο της γραφης που συντηρησε τη γλωσσα του ζωντανη δυο χιλιαδες χρονια. .. Ο ευρωπαιος, οταν υιοθετησει το μηδενισμο, ελεγε ο Ντοστογιεφκσυ, εχει τα ιδια ερεισματα ζωης που συντηρουσε και θρησκευομενος: την προτεραιοτητα της λογικης, τον ωφελιμισμο, τη θεσμοποιηση των ατομικων εξασφαλισεων, γι’ αυτο και δυσκολα φτανει στην κοινωνικη αποσυνθεση και στο χαος. Ενω λαοι που επεζησαν μεσα στους αιωνες χαρη σε διαφορετικα ερεισματα ζωης – οπως οι Ρωσοι ή οι Ελληνες – οταν γινουν μηδενιστες, “βουτανε κατακεφαλα στον παραλογισμο” – δεν ξερουν μετρο. ” (5)

Musicians – Στης μαστουρας το σκοπο

Greece is dead and we killed her – this is not a rhetorical statement. There is no precedent of a people who with a unanimous parliamentary vote abandons the way of writing that has preserved his language alive for two thousand years…. The european, when becomes a nihillist, wrote Dostoevski, has the same pillars in life that he had when he was a believer: the priority of rational thinking, utilitarianism, the institutionalization of the personal, and so it is difficult for him to arrive at social disintegration and chaos. While peoples who have survived through the centuries thanks to other pillars in life, like the Russians or the Greeks, when they become nihillists, “they go all the way to insanity”, they know no restraint.  (5)

Korina in the Allatini Factory (6)

Θα σου παρουν τον ισκιο των δεντρων, θα τον παρουν

Θα σου παρουν τον ισκιο της θαλασσας, θα τον παρουν

Θα σου παρουν τον ισκιο της καρδιας, θα τον παρουν

Θα παρουν τον ισκιο σου… (7)

They will take away from you the shadow of the trees, they will take it

They will take away from you the shadow of the sea, they will take it

They will take away from you the shadow of the heart, they will take it

They will take away your shadow… (7)

Plakes, Volos

Sources – Πηγες

(1) Γιωργος  Θεοτοκας, ΑΡΓΩ 1936, Εστια. George Theotokas, ARGO 1936, Hestia Publishing.

(2) Μανος Χατζιδακις, Η πολιτκη στην τεχνη και η κακη τεχνη της πολτικης,   Ο Καθρεφτης και το Μαχαιρι, 1988, Ικαρος. Manos Hadjidakis, Politics in art and the bad art of politics, The mirror and the knife 1988, Ikaros Publishing.

(3) Μανος Χατζηδακις, Φεβρουαριος 1993, ΑΒΕΡΩΦ. Manos Hadjidakis, February 1993.

(4) Μ. Καραγατσης, Γιουγκερμαν, 1938, ΕΣΤΙΑ. M. Karagatsis, Yungermann, 1938, Hestia Publishing.

(5) Χρηστος Γιανναρας, Finis Greciae, 1986, Το Κενο στην τρεχουσα Πολιτικη, Εκδοσεις Καστανιωτη. Christos Giannaras, Finis Greciae, 1986, The vacuum in present day politics, Kastaniotis Publishing.

(6) Korina – Ceramics Allatini

(7) Γιωργος Σεφερης, Μερες Ε’, 15 Μαρτη 1947, Ικαρος Εκδοτικη. George Seferis, Days E’, 15 March 1947, Ikaros Publishing.

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

Σημερα ειναι Δεκαπενταυγουστος. Αντιγραφω απο το βιβλιο “Προς Εκκλησιασμο” του Νικου Γαβριηλ Πεντζικη.

Today is the 15th of August and in Greece we celebrate the Dormition of Theotokos. I quote from the book “Attending Mass” of Nikos Gabriel Pentzikis.

Ιδου τωρα μια εξαιρετικα εντονη μνημη της παιδικης μου ζωης. Δεκαπενταυγουστο. Γιορταζε η μητερα μου. Ο πατερας της εκανε δωρο μιαν ασημενια τσαντα, απ’εκεινες που συνηθιζονταν τοτε, ωραιοτατη, με παραστασεις επι του συμπαγους φυλλου του κλεισιματος αρχαιων εναλιων θεων. Το σπιτι ειχε γεμισει κοσμο που ερχοταν να ευχηθει. Ο νους μου γεματος θαυμασμο πανηγυριζε. Υστερα σαν ολοι εφυγαν πηγε ο νους μου πως θα γινοταν η Δευτερα Παρουσια. Αναλογες συγχυσεις του γεματου συγκινηση αμεσου προς το αιωνιο, αναφερθηκαν και σχολιασθηκαν πολλες, απο τους μελετητες της νοοτροπιας των πρωτογονων, που συχνα διαβιουντες επι γης συμβαινει να μπερδευουν ζωντανους και νεκρους.

I present to you now an extremely vivid memory of my childhood. Fifteenth of August. My mother’s nameday. Father made her a present, a silver handbag,  the kind that were in fashion, very nice, with presentations of ancient gods on the hard cover. The house was full of people visiting to honour her nameday. My mind full of admiration was in celebration. When all the visitors left, I thought in my mind that Second Advent was coming. Similar confusions of the immediate felling with the eternal have been reported and commented upon by scholars studying primitive cultures, where it happens quite often that living people confuse the living with the dead.

Η Παναγια Κορη, δεχθεισα το αχωρητο Φως, συμβολικως παρισταται υπο της Σεληνης με το κονιορτοβριθες εδαφος. Ελπιδοφορο παραδειγμα οτι ο χους εκ ού προερχομαστε και εις τον οποιο καταληγουμε, συνδεεται δι’ αγαπης προς το φως, ωστε να μπορουμε πρεσβειαις της Θεοτοκου Παρθενου να ευχομαστε, υπερ των προσφιλων κεκοιμημενων, γεματοι ελπιδα.

The Holy Daughter having received the uncontained light, is shown on dustry earth under the Moon. It is a hopeful sign that the dust form which we come and to which we end, is linked through love to the light, so that we can pray, through the mediation of the Virgin Theotokos, full of hope, for the beloved ones who have already slept the long sleep.

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

On the Dark Side: A “Fluxus Eleatis” Discourse

Σάββατο, 14 Ιουλίου, 2012

Ludwig Wittgenstein: “In a conversation: one person throws a ball; the other does not know whether he is supposed to throw it back, or throw it to a third person, or leave it on the ground, or pick it up and put it in his pocket,…Any interpretation still hangs in the air along with what it interprets, and cannot give it any support. Interpretations by themselves do not determine meaning.”

Socrates: So it is that the good man too could sometimes become bad, either through age or toil or disease or some misfortune – for doing badly is nothing other than being deprived of knowledge – but the bad man could never become bad – for he is bad all the time – but if he is to become bad he must first become good.

MM: Are you a good man?

Mr. FFF: I am good and bad at the same time. And not because of lack of knowledge.

Mrs. T: Are you then disagreeing with Socrates?

Mr. FFF: Good and bad is only one of the “dialectical” dichotomies of man. Others being: reason / faith,  bright / dark, rational / irrational, sacred / profane, Apollonian / Dionysian, nature / culture. Dialectics dictate that both sides are taken together, and dealt with as a whole.

Friedrich Nietzsche: Every human embodies a compound of nature and culture, chaos and order, instinct and reason… symbolised by Dionysus and Apollo.

Mrs. T: What are the origins of bad, of the dark side? Was man in the past a unitary entity? How did this dichotomy of bright and dark come about?

Mr. FFF (Reads from Genesis): “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made and he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said you shall not eat from any tree of the garden?’  And the woman said to the serpent, ‘From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said you shall not eat from it or touch it lest you die.’  And the serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely shall not die for God knows in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate.  She gave also to her husband with her and he ate.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew that they were naked.  And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.”

St. Augustine: We took away an enormous quantity of pears, not to eat them ourselves, but simply to throw them to the pigs. Perhaps we ate some of them, but our real pleasure consisted in doing something that was forbidden. .. the evil in me was foul, but I loved it. I loved my own perdition and my own faults, not the things for which I committed wrong, but the wrong itself. My soul was vicious and broke away from your (God’s) safe keeping to seek its own destruction, looking for no profit in disgrace but only for disgrace itself.

Mrs. T: Surely the Judeo-Christian view is not the only one.

Mr. FFF: Of course not. To take an example, daemons were benevolent spirits in the time of Hesiod. It was Plato and his pupil Xenocrates, who first characterized daemons as dangerous spirits. This was later absorbed by the Christians.

Mrs. T: Is the dark side a moral construct?

Mr. FFF: The dark side is a multifaceted construct. It has moral and religious connotations to say the least.

MM: The seductress of Juliette claimed immediately after the act that morality and religion are meaningless.

Mr. FFF: Lets put two of the prominent “dark side” attributes on the table: sin and evil.

MM: Juliette’s aim in life is to to enjoy oneself at no matter whose expense. What is the meaning of sin and evil for Juliette?

Clairwil: I expect Juliette to do evil – not to quicken her lust, as I believe is her habit at present, but solely for the pleasure of doing it…one must proceed calmly, deliberately, lucidly. Crime is the torch that should fire the passions.

Mephistopheles: Das beste, das du wissen kannst, / Darfst du den Buben doch nichts sagen.

(Mephistopheles: The best of what you know may not, after all, be told to boys.)

Georges Battaile: Sexual reproductive activity is common to sexual animals and men, but only men appear to have turned their sexual activity into erotic activity. Eroticism, unlike simple sexual activity, is a psychological quest independent of the natural goal: reproduction and the desire for children…Eroticism always entails a breaking down of established patterns, the patterns, I repeat, of the regulated social order basic to our discontinuous mode of existence.

Adolfo Bioy Casares (Reads from “The Diary of the War of the Pigs”): “Την κοιτουσε απο κοντα. Καρφωνε το βλεμμα του στα χειλη, στις λεπτομερειες της επιδερμιδας, στο λαιμο, στα χερια που του φαινοντουσαν εκφραστικα και μυστηριωδη. Ξαφνικα καταλαβε πως αν δεν τη φιλουσε, η στερηση θα ηταν ανυποφορη. Ειπε μεσα του: “Ειμαι τρελος”. Κι επανελαβε πως αν την φιλουσε, θα κατεστρεφε ολη αυτη την τρυφεροτητα, που τοσο αυθορμητα του προσφερε εκεινη. Θα εκανε ισως τη λαθος κινηση, που θα την απογοητευε και θα τον εμφανιζε σαν ενα ατομο χωρις ευαισθησια, ανικανο να ερμηνευσει σωστα μαι πραξη γενναιοδωριας, σαν ενα υποκριτη που παριστανε τον καλο, ενω μεσα του κοχλαζουν οι χυδαιες ορεξεις, σαν εναν ανοητο που τολμα να τις εκφρασει. Σκεφτηκε: “Αυτο δε μου συνεβαινε αλλοτε” (και ειπε μεσα του πως αυτο το σχολιο του ειχε γινει πια εμμονη ιδεα). “Σε μια παρομοια κατασταση εγω θα ημουν ενας αντρας μπροστα σε μια γυναικα, ενω τωρα…” Κι αν τωρα εκανε λαθος; Αν εχανε εξαιτιας μιας αγιατρευτης ντροπαλοσυνης την καλυτερη ευκαιρια; Γατι να μη δει τα πραγματα απλα, να μην αφησει τον εαυτο του να καταλαβει πως η Ν κι εκεινος…”

Adolfo Bioy Casares (Reads from “The Diary of the War of the Pigs”): He was watching her from a close distance. His stare was penetrating her lips, the details of her skin, the neck, the hands, mysterious and ever so expressive. He told himself: ” I am mad”. And repeated that if he were to kiss her, he would destroy all the tenderness that she was so spontaneously offering to him. He might make the wrong move, that would disappoint her and present him in her eyes as a person without sensitivity, unable to interpret correctly an act of generosity, like an hypocrite who was pretending to be good, while inside him burn all sorts of vile desires, like a fool who dares express them. He thought: “this was not happening to me in the past” (and told himself that this was becoming now a persistent thought). “In a similar situation in the past, I would be a man in front of a woman, while now…” And if he were wrong? If  because of this incurable shyness he was to miss the best chance? Why not see things in the simple way, not let himself understand that N and himself…”

Michel Foucault: …transgression is not related to the limit as black is to white [...] the outside to the inside [...] their relationship takes the form of a spiral which no simple infraction can exhaust…sexuality is a fissure – not one which surrounds us as the basis of our isolation or individuality, but one which marks the limit within us and designates us as a limit…transgression and the limit has replaced the older dichotomy of the sacred and the profane.

Marlow: And perhaps in this is the whole difference; perhaps all the wisdom and all the truth, all the sincerity, are just compresses into that inappreciable moment of time in which we step over the threshold of the invisible.

Brother Medardus: One morning when I was going to the choirmaster for my music lesson, I caught his sister by surprise in a light negligee, her breast almost completely bare. She swiftly covered it up, but my prying eyes had already seen too much. Words failed me. New, unknownfeelings welled up within me and drove the red-hot blood through my veins so that my pulse beat out loud for all to hear. My heart was held in a convulsive grip and nearly bursting, until I eased my torment with a gentle sigh.
Georges Bataille:  …eroticism fell within the bounds of the profane and was at the same time condemned out of hand. The development of eroticism is parallel with that of uncleaness. Sacredness misunderstood is readily identified with evil.
Michel Foucault: If it is extremely dangerous to say that reason is the enemy that should be eliminated, it is just as dangerous to say that any critical questioning of this rationality risks sending us into irrationality… if critical thought itself has a function…it is precisely to accept this sort of spiral, this sort of revolving door of rationality that refers us to its necessity… and at the same time to its intrinsic dangers.

Mr. FFF: The spiral negates the dichotomy. A new paradigm is born. I am a descendant of Gerard de Nerval.
Friedrich Nietzsche:…morality takes good and evil for realities that contradict one another (not as complementary value concepts,which would be true), it advises taking the side of the good, it desires that the good should renounce and oppose the evil down to its ultimate roots – it therefore denies life which has in all its instincts both Yes and No.
Alexander Nehamas: The essential unity of what we commonly distinguish as good and evil is one of the most central themes in Nietzsche’s writing.
Georges Bataille:  If they want to elevate sexuality above its organic matrix and turn it into a spiritual activity, human beings cannot but conceive erotism as a gateway to death and the diabolical. The taking over of evil is an extreme and sovereign value. This process would not require the excision of morality, rather it would bring forth a higher level morality, an a-theological “hypermorality”.


Marlow: We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness.
Mr. Kurtz: The Horror, the Horror!
Marlow: I saw the inconceivable mystery of a soul that knew no restraint, no faith, and no fear, yet struggling blindly with itself.
Friedrich Nietzsche: It is with people as it is with the trees. The more they aspire to the height and light, the more strongly do their roots strive earthward, downward, into the dark, the deep – into evil.
Marlow: The mind of man is capable of anything – because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future… Droll thing life is – that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself – that comes too late – a crop of unextinguishable regrets.
Friedrich Nietzsche: Human beings need what is most evil in them for what is best in them… whatever is most evil is their best power and the hardest stone for the highest creator… human beings must become better and more evil.

Adolfo Bioy Casares (Reads from “The Diary of the War of the Pig”): “Πιστεψε πως δεν ειχε πια ουτε δυναμεις ουτε ψευδαισθησεις για ν’αντεξει τη ζωη. Η φιλια ηταν αδιαφορη, ο ερωτας ποταπος και απιστος και το μονο που περισσευε ηταν το μισος. … του περασε απο το μυαλο μια λυση που αξιζε τον κοπο να την μελετησει κανεις¨το ιδιο του το χερι, οπλισμενο μ’ ενα φανταστικο ρεβολβερ να τον σημαδευει στον κροταφο.”

Adolfo Bioy Casares (Reads from “The Diary of the War of the Pig”): Adolfo Bioy Casares (Reads from “The Diary of the War of the Pig”): “He felt that he no longer had any powers or illusions to stay alive. Friendship was indifferent and love unworthy and vile and the only thing in abundance was hatred… a solution emerged in his mind to be further explored “his own hand, armed with a imagined revolver, aiming his temple”.

Participants

Georges Battaile, French writer and philosopher

Adolfo Bioy Casares, Argentine writer

Clairwil, character in de Sade’s “Juliette”

Mr. FFF, wanderer

Michel Foucault, French philosopher

Mr. Kurtz, half-English, half-French, ivory merchant and commander of a trading post

Marlow, main character in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

Brother Medardus, a Capuchin Friar

Mephistopheles

MM, partner

Alexander Nehamas, professor of philosophy

Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher

Socrates, Greek philosopher

Mrs. T, unknown ethinicity, gourmant

The Sea: A “Fluxus Eleatis” discourse

Πέμπτη, 21 Ιουνίου, 2012

Archilochus: Look Glaucus! Already waves are disturbing the deep sea and a cloud stands straight round about the heights of Gyrae, a sign of storm; from the unexpected comes fear.

Julia Kristeva: We are no doubt permanent subjects of a language that holds us in its power. But we are subjects in process, ceaselessly losing our identity, destabilized by fluctuations in our relations to the other, to whom we nevertheless remain bound by a kind of homeostasis.

W.B. Yeats: What can be explained is not poetry. 

First Steward: Good evening Mrs. T, Mr. FFF, welcome on board! Your cabin is ready. Is there something we can do for you before we show you to your cabin?

Mrs. T:  Good evening Mr. Gerassimidis! It is always nice to see you!

Mr. FFF: Good evening to you too! It is good to see you again! Are we on time?

First Steward: We are on time, and we are going to have calm seas.

Mr. FFF: What time is dinner served?

First Steward: We start at 8pm sharp. Shall I book a table for you?

Mr. FFF: Yes, please. Now you can show us to our cabin.

Mrs. T: How long is the journey?

Mr. FFF: Approximately 18 hours. Assuming the sea is calm. It could be 14 hours, but with all the interim ports of call the time increases significantly.

Mrs. T: Are we going to see the dolphins?

Mr. FFF: Only if we are lucky. But if we do, it is a spectacular ballet show. And the music of the sea with the humming of the ship’s engines in the background brings the experience to supernatural levels.

Ανωνυμος Ναυτης: Θυμαμαι την πρωτη μου αναχωρηση μ’ ενα μεγαλο ποσταλε. Τη στιγμη εκεινη που πραγματοποιουσα το λαμπροτερον ονειρο μου, ημουν γιοματος αμφιβολια και φοβο.

(Unnamed Mariner: I remember my first sailing on a big postale. The moment I was realizing my brightest dream, I was full of doudt and fear.)

Alvaro Mutis: This is how we forget: our affairs, no matter how close to us, are made strange through the mimetic, deceptive, constant working of a precarious present. When one of these images returns with all its voracious determination to survive intact, then what learned men call epiphany occurs: an experience that can be either devastating or a simple confirmation of certain truths that allow us to go on living.

Maqroll “el Gaviero”: I think I’ve exaggerated the true significance of the death of the Duc of Orléans. . . . There’s a monotony in crime, and it’s not advisable to have too much to do with it in books or in life.

Jon Iturri: For three consecutive days we stayed in Hotel Lisboa without exiting the room, which we had transformed into a kind of our own universe, where incidents of eroticism were coming one after another, with the only words given to describing our childhood years and how we discovered the world.

Alvaro Mutis: Because, of course, in a place like that, one experiences situations which are extreme and absolute. In there the density of human  relations is absolute. And there is one thing you learn in prison, and I passed it on to Maqroll, and that is that you don’t judge, you don’t say, that guy committed a terrible crime against his family, so I can’t be his friend. No, in a place like that one coexists. The judging is done by the judges on the outside.

Ανωνυμος Ναυτης: Δεν μπορω να καταλαβω κι εγω ο ιδιος τον εαυτο μου. Ειναι ωρες που νομιζω πως δεν ειμαι τιποτα περισσοτερο απο το μαυρο θερμαστη Τζοννυ, που ζει μοναχα για να τρωει. Ειναι ωρες που νομιζω πως ολα μεσα μου εχουν πεθανει και λεω πως η καρδια μου εχει σκληρυνει, καθως οι παλαμες μου. .. Εχω δει τοσα και τοσα… Κι αλλες ωρες παλι, νομιζω πως μεσα μου εχω ολη την καλοσυνη και την αγνοτητα, που λειπει του κοσμου…

(Unnamed Mariner: I cannot understand my own self. There are moments I think I am nothing more than the black fireman Johnny, who lives only to eat. There are moments I think that everything inside me is dead and I say that my heart is as tough as my palm… I have seen a lot… And then, I think that I have in me all the goodness and purity that the world is longing for…)

Mr. FFF: I have often pictured myself in Tangier, restless and subdued, loving it and hating it, looking from a hill all the way to the north, to Gibraltar, to the escape. Crossing the Pillars of Hercules, entering another life, another planet, another universe, getting away from all the mess. In this sense a sea journey always has this cleansing aspect. The sea takes away all the mess you carry with you.

Mrs T: Why in Tangier?

Mr. FFF: Because I still have this dream that I am in Tangier and I meet W S Burrows in one of the tea shops up on the hill. And then I get on a boat and leave him behind. We do not exchange a single word. We just look at each other and drink tea. As a matter of fact, nobody in the tea shop talks. They drink tea and smoke shisha. I wanted to ask Burrows why he killed Joan Vollmer.

W S Burrows: (we hear his voice through a cloud, but cannot see him) I am forced to the appalling conclusion that I would never have become a writer but for Joan’s death, and to a realization of the extent to which this event has motivated and formulated my writing. I live with the constant threat of possession, and a constant need to escape from possession, from control. So the death of Joan brought me in contact with the invader, the Ugly Spirit, and maneuvered me into a life long struggle, in which I have had no choice except to write my way out.

Mrs. T: The sea cleanses, the sea kills, the sea destroys all evidence of a committed crime. The sea gives you refuge, the sea hides you away from the prying eyes of society, it is the protector of the all the runaways. Hide away, hide away sinful souls! But even worse is the running away of those who have not committed any crime, but run away from themselves. Even the sea cannot save them.

Headwaiter: Would you like to have a drink before your meal?

Mrs. T: I would like a bitter Campari with soda water, a slice of lemon and ice.

Mr. FFF: A double scotch on the rocks for me please.

Headwaiter: Certainly. Here is our menu for tonight. I recommend the grilled shark steak. It is as fresh as it gets.

Mrs. T: Did you catch the shark while sailing? I would loooove to have the juicy grilled shark steak with sea weed rolls stuffed with angulas. 

Headwaiter: I had these rolls in Bilbao, and I loved them,. Unfortunately I cannot offer them to you tonight. Could I possibly offer you instead boiled vegetables with mustard sauce?

Mrs. T: Of course, it was a long shot anyway! Boiled vegetables will be fine. But please hold the mustard sauce.

Mr. FFF: Shall we have a robust white wine with the shark? Like assyrtico from Santorini.

Headwaiter: Splendid choice, I can serve you “Santorini” by Sigalas, 2008.

Ανδρέας Σπερχής: Βεατρίκη!…Βεατρίκη!…Συγχώρησέ με.

(Andreas Sperchis: Beatrice!.. Beatrice!… Forgive me!)

W.B. Yeats

Cast a cold Eye
On Life, on Death.
Horseman, pass by!

Υβοννη: Τι συμβαίνει και δεν ημπορεί κανείς να απολαμβάνη πάντοτε τον έρωτα σαν μίαν ωραίαν οπώραν {…}, σαν ένα ωραίο τοπείον, σαν ένα ωραίο ξένοιστο πρωί, πασίχαρο, αυροφίλητο, γιομάτο ευφροσύνη, σαν ένα μυροβόλο περιβόλι, ή σαν μια καθαρή αμμουδιά, λουσμένη από γαλάζιο πέλαγος ευδαιμονίας; Μήπως δεν φταίει καθόλου, μα καθόλου ο έρως  (εξηκολούθησε να σκέπτεται μα αιμάσσουσαν καρδίαν η Υβόννη). Μήπως φταίει ο τρόπος με τον οποίον αντιμετωπίζουν οι άνθρωποι τον έρωτα, τόσον εις το ατομικόν, όσον και εις το κοινωνικόν επίπεδον; Μήπως, αν δεν έμπαινε στη μέση το λεγόμενον «αίσθημα» και η λεγομένη «ηθική», θα ημπορούσε τότε μόνον να είναι ο έρως τέλειος και απλός και εύκολος, επ’ άπειρον πανήδονος και απολύτως παντοδύναμος – όλο χαρά (μόνο χαρά), όλο γλύκα (μόνο γλύκα), χωρίς απαγορεύσεις, στερήσεις, πικρίες, διάφορα «μούπες-σούπα» και άλλα αηδή και ακατανόητα, όπως η αποκλειστικότης, η εντός του γάμου αγνότης και όλη η σχετική με αυτόν απέραντη όσον και μάταια ηθικολογία και φιλολογία;

(Yvonne: Why is it that one cannot enjoy sex as a tasty fruit… as a beautiful landscape, as a wonderful morning, without worries, full of joy, fresh air, as a garden full of perfumes, or a shiny sandy beach, caressed by the blue sea? Could it be that this has nothing to do with eros? < continued to wonder with her heart bleeding >. Could it be the way that people handle eros both on a personal and on a social level? Could it be that if there were no “emotional” component and the so called “ethical” dimension, that eros could be perfect and simple and easy, endlessly hedonistic and absolutely omnipotent – full of joy – only joy – without prohibitions, bitter moments, all the incomprehensible  nonsense like fidelity, exclusivity, purity within the wedding and other similar stuff?)

Mr. FFF: (reading from the voluminous novel “Great Anatolikos”, of Andreas Empeirikos) Yvonne all of a sudden stopped crying. It was as if she saw a light, a bright light coming from a lighthouse off the southeastern tip of the coast of Ireland.

Υβοννη: Μήπως, μα τον Θεόν, ο μόνος Θεός ήτο ένας τεράστιος και παντοδύναμος Ψώλων και, ουσιαστικώς, υπήρχαν μόνον ηδοναί, διά του πανισχύρου Πέους του και του υπερπλουσίου Σπέρματός του χορηγούμεναι; Και μήπως αι ηδοναί αύται, τουτέστιν αι ερωτικαί, ήσαν αι πράξεις εκείναι, που επλησίαζαν ασυγκρίτως περισσότερον απ’ οτιδήποτε άλλο τους ανθρώπους προς τον Μεγαλοψώλονα Θεόν, τον απόλυτον Πλάστην και Κτήτορα του Κόσμου, τον απόλυτον Κύριον των Δυνάμεων, τον απόλυτο Άρχοντα των Ουρανών και της μικράς μας Γης;

(Yvonne: Could it be, that the only God were a huge omnipotent Phallus, and, essentially, there were only pleasures on earth, disseminated eternally by its powerful flesh and abundant semen? And it could it also be, that these erotic pleasures, were the actions that were bringing humans close to the Omnipotent Phallus, the Absolute Creator and Owner of the World, the absolute Keeper of the Forces, the absolute Master of the Skies and our little Earth? )

Stendhal: J’entreprends d’écrire l’histoire de ma vie jour par jour

Γιωργος Σεφερης: Μερα με τη μερα ζουμε τη ζωη μας – δεν τη γραφουμε.

(George Seferis: Day by day we live our life – we do not write it.)


Dimitri Mitropoulos: There is a plan for April 1052, a grand tour; travelling on a ship we will call on all Mediterranean ports, where the Philharmonic (New York) under my humble direction, will play, not on board the ship, but in the concert halls of the cities. The route is roughly this: Liboa, Barcelona, Palermo, Athens, Tel-Aviv, Napoli, Roma, Firenze, Milano, Genoa. Later we added Paris to the tour, which means that the whole Orchestra will get off the ship in Marseille and return to the States from Cherbourg on another vessel.

Mr. FFF: The ashes of Maria Callas have been scaterred over these blue waters.

Mrs. T: Why did she die?

Mr. FFF: Because she could no longer love. And life without the ability to love had no meaning for her.

Mrs. T: If you have the ability to love, other people love you?

Mr. FFF: Not necessarily. But you have piece with yourself.

Mrs. T: So you are saying that Callas died because she could not find piece with herself.

Mr. FFF: Yes, you could put it this way.

Mrs. T: Why is it so hard. if not impossible, to find inner piece if you have lost the ability to love?

Mr. FFF: When you lose the ability to love, you begin to view life as an end, the end. Death takes over the mystery of life and it no longer is a mystery, but a horrid affair.

Ανωνυμος Ναυτης: Δεν εχω ερωτευτει ποτε στη ζωη μου… Εγνωρισα χιλιαδες γυναικες. Ειναι ολες τους παντοτε ιδιες… Εχω καιρο να κοιμηθω με γυναικες. Γι’ αυτο το πραμα οι ναυτες με κοροιδευουν. Εγω δεν φταιω… Ειναι μια ιστορια που η αρχη της ειχε γραφτει στο επιβατικο, που ταξιδευα αλλοτε… Ειναι μια θλιβερη ιστορια…Δεν θυμαμαι πια τ’ ονομα της. Αυτο δεν εχει καμια σημασια. Οι γυναικες δεν θα’ πρεπε να’ χουν ονοματα, αφου ολες τους ειναι ιδιες… Ταξιδευε απο την Αλεξανδρεια για τη Μασσαλια με τη μητερα της. Ητανε κορη ενος βαμβακεμπορου, που ειχε ξεπεσει κι αυτοκτονησε…. Μου χαρησε ενα πορτοφολι απο ψαροδερμα και της χαρισα το Σταυρο μου… Υστερα απο τρια χρονια στο Μπουενος Αιρες κοιμηθηκα μια νυχτια με καποια γυναικα. Το πρωι οταν εβγαλα το πορτοφολι μου να πληρωσω, δεν ξερω πως, εβγαλε μια φωνη καθως το ειδε κι εγω αλλη μια, οταν ειδα ενα μικρο σταυρο καρφωμενο στη ρομπα της… Μπορει και να το’ δα στον υπνο μου. Μου φαινεται ομως πως ολες οι γυναικες ειναι το ιδιο.

(Unnamed Mariner: I have never fallen in love in my life…. I have met thousands of women. They are always all the same… I haven’ t slept with a woman for a long time now. One of the reasons the sailors make fun of me. It is not my fault… It is a story whose beginning has been written on a passenger ship, where I used to work… It is a sad story… I no longer remember her name. It does not matter. Women should not have names, as they are all the same… She was travelling from Alexandria to Marseille with her mother. She was the daughter of a cotton merchant who went bancrupt and committed suicide. .. She gave me a wallet made of fishskin and I gave her my cross… Three years later, in Buenos Aires, I slept one night with a woman. In the morning, when I took out my wallet to pay her, I do not know, she screamed as she saw it and I screamed back when I saw a small cross pinned on her dress… I could be dreaming. Nevertheless, it appears to e that all women are the same.))

Frederico Fellini:  I love shipwrecks. Decadence is indispensable to rebirth

Mr. FFF: A dear friend years ago was bragging about specializing in the hauling of shipwrecks. In his own sarcastic way he was referring to his need – of the time – to relate to women in the middle of a huge personal crisis.

Alberto Moravia: (on Frederico Fellini’s film “E la Nave va”) What is brilliant,” is the intuition that European society of the Belle Epoque had emptied itself of all humanism leaving only an artificial and exhaustive formalism. The result was a society founded on a continuous yet contemptible melodrama. The other genial intuition is that of the fundamental unity of the world back then which was completely bourgeois or utterly obsessed with the bourgeoisie. This idea comes through magnificently in the scene where immaculate opera singers perform leaning over the iron balcony of the engine room as sweat-grimed workers cease stoking the furnace with coal to listen to the splendid voices.

Frederico Fellini: Opera has an insane aspect that is truly fascinating. Opera is a ritual, a Mass, a shepherd’s song…

Dimitri Mitropoulos: Here I am, on solid earth again, after an unforgettable sea trip! If you could only see me from a distance, how I survived these 19 horrible days on the lousy ship. But as you can see, I did not die; I made music and played bridge, trying to fight against the complete lack of comfort, the detestable food and the continuous rocking of the boat… I have thought of you more than one thousand times, I was sad, sad in the thought that it will be a long time before I see again the people I love. I wonder if my musical gifts and talent deserve this sacrifice.

Frederico Fellini:  It (filming) makes us regard people and things as if the whole world was a set at our disposal, an immense prop de­partment on which we lay our hands without asking permission. It is somewhat like a painter for whom objects, faces, houses, the sky are merely forms at his disposal. For the cinema everything becomes a still life without limits; even the feelings of others are something placed at out disposal.

Ανδρεας Εμπειρικος: Χτες ακουσα τον μεγαλυτερο μπασο του κοσμου τον Chaliapin. Τραγουδησε την περιφημη αρια απο την οπερα του  Mussorgsky Boris Godunov οπου ειναι θειος. Τραγουδησε και πολλα ρωσικα τραγουδια δραματικα, λυρικα, και λαικα. Και παντου θριαμβεψε. Τι φωνη, τι μεταλλο, τι χρωμα τι δυναμη! Σε κεραβνοβολει και σε χαϊδεβει συναμα. Μεγαλος αρτιστας ο Chaliapin.

(Andreas Empeirikos: Yesterday I heard the greatest bass of the world, Chaliapin. He sung the famous aria of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. He was divine. He also sung many other songs. He triumphed in each one of them. What a voice, what metal, what colour, what intensity! It hits you like a thunder and at the same time it caresses you. Chaliapin is a great artist.)

Mr. FFF: My grandfather was very fond of Chaliapin. He had loads of his records. But he had to exchange them for olive oil during the second world war. Primum vivere, deinte philosophare.


Ανδρεας Εμπειρικος: Πατερα… Δεν μου φαινεται δυνατον να συνεργασθω με εναν ανθρωπο σαν και σενα παρα την μεγαλη αξια που σου αναγνωριζω σε πολλα επιπεδα. Δεν ειναι αρκετα ανθρωπος για μενα. ..Λοιπον αντι να ξαναμπω στις δουλειες σου παραιτουμαι απ’ ολες περα για περα και σου αφηνω γεια.

(Andreas Empeirikos: Father… It does not appear possible to work with a person like you, in spite of how valuable I consider you in many areas. You are not human enough for me… So instead of joining you again in your business I resign from everything and bid you farewell.)



Ανωνυμος Ναυτης: Ζαλιστηκα. Ετσι οπως τοτε παιδι, που μ’ επιανε η θαλασσα. Τι ατιμο πραμα η ναυτια… Ξερατο, χολες. Γινεσαι μπαιγνιο, κουρελι. Τιποτ’ αλλο δε σκεφτεσαι, παρα πως θα ξεμπαρκαρεις, μολις φτασεις στο πρωτο λιμανι. Εφτασες; Τα ξεχνας ολα και ξαναφευγεις. Αρχιζεις να συνηθας. Νομιζεις. Δε σε ζαλιζει πια το ποτζι, μα σε χαλαει το σκαμπανεβασμα. Παει κι αυτο. Σου μενει να συνηθισεις τωρα οταν σκαμπανεβαρει και ποτζαρει μαζι. Εισαι νετα. Κανεις αχταρμα. Αλλαζεις καραβι. Πρεπει να μαθεις τα κουνηματα του καινουργιου. Καθε καραβι εχει τα δικα του. Ενας φορτηγισος ζαλιζεται σ’ ενα ποσταλι. Παραξενη αρρωστια. Φαρμακο… η στερια. Οι κουφοι, εκεινοι που εχουνε χασει την οσφρηση, δεν ζαλιζονται. Μητε οι τρελοι.

(Unnamed Mariner: I am sea sick. As when I was a kid, and the sea was making me sick. What a terrible thing … sea sickness. You become a wreck. You cannot think of anything else, but how to get off, as soon as you arrive at the first port of call. Have you arrived? You forget everything and sail off again. You begin to get used to it. You think you are. You change ship. You have to get used to the movements of the new ship. Every ship moves in its own way. A cargo ship sailor gets sick on a passenger ship. Strange sickness. The only medicine is the ground. The deaf, the ones who cannot smell anything, they do not get sea sickness. Neither do the mad.)

Ιωαννης ο Θεολογος (Αποκαλυψη): Και εδωκεν η θαλασσα τους νεκρους τους εν αυτη, και ο θανατος και ο Αιδης εδωκαν τους νεκρους τους εν αυτοις, και εκριθησαν εκαστος κατα τα εργα αυτων.

(St John the Divine: The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.)

Participants

Archilochus, 7th century BC Greek poet, from the island of Paros

Andreas Empeirikos: Greek born and raised in Vraila, Romania, writer and psychoanalyst

Mr. FFF, Greek, wanderer

First Steward, Greek, passenger ship

Frederico Fellini, Italian film maker

Headwaiter, passenger ship

Jon Iturri, Basque sea captain

Saint John the Divine, author of the Revelation

Maqroll “el Gaviero”, unknown ethnicity, hero in many Alvaro Mutis novels

Unnamed Mariner, in the journals of Nikos Kavvadias

Unnamed Millitary Officer, South American

Dimitri Mitropoulos, Greek conductor and composer

Alberto Moravia, Italian novelist

Alvaro Mutis, Colombian writer

Captain Nick, Greek, captain of motor ship “Gloria”

George Seferis, Greek poet and Nobel Laureate in Literature

Andreas Sperchis, Greek of Wallachian origin

Stendhal, French writer

Mrs. T, unknown ethnicity, gourmant

Voltaire: French writer and philosopher

W.B. Yeats, Irish poet and playwright

Yvonne, a passenger of “Megas Anatolikos”

There is a new government in Greece.

There is a new Prime Minister in Greece.

The new Prime Minister is a technocrat, a banker and certainly not a politician of the mainstream political scene in Greece.

Spiros Papaloukas: Burned Village

Greece is in deep trouble.

Greece is almost bankrupt.

Greece is for all practical purposes bankrupt.

Spiros Papaloukas: Houses on the cliff

There is a sense of relief in the air.

European leaders are expressing their congratulations.

The Greek public hopes that the new Prime Minister will do good things.

But the mainstream political parties call this a “transitional” government.

Yannis Tsarouhis: Angel

A transition to what?

To elections in February 2012?

Quite frankly, I find this “transition” a totally unsatisfactory approach.

The country today does not need a “transitional” government.

The country today needs a real government.

Yannis Tsarouhis: Memento

The mainstream political parties of PASOK and New Democracy simply try to preserve their position in the political arena, even though it is quite clear that they have failed to perform adequately and serve the country when both of them were given their chance.

But by doing so they only serve their own narrow interests and do not give a damn about the country. They have failed the country, they have failed their constituencies and now perform this “transition” manouvre in order to recover from their wounds and return to claim power in the very near future.

This is why the new Government is a monster of 48 ministers!

This is the monster that the new Prime Minister, Mr Papademos must govern with.

Moaic from Hadrian's Villa

In my humble view he will fail if he continues on the path that has already been drawn out by PASOK and New Democracy.

Greece today needs a real Government, not the failed puppets of PASOK and New Democracy.

Mr Papademos has and will have for a short time power that he may not be aware of. He has the power to force the two mainstream parties to do whatever he tells them to do, whether they like it or not. This is a unique privilige that only Mr Papademos has and he should not squander it by playing small political games that are in any case useless and meaningless.

The Greek public today is aware of the bankruptcy of the mainstream political parties. The ultra right of Mr Karatzaferis is surely capitalizing on his success to be part of the “transitional” government, but he will never achieve primary status in the country. The parties of the left are well within the confines of their rigid thinking and they cannot go beyond. In a way, the majority of the Greek people today want to go ahead without political parties. Because they know that the political parties of the country have failed them.

Pantokrator with Angels

This is what Mr Papademos must understand and use to the full so that he governs until the country is in a stable condition and has a solid platform for growth and development. This will take at least three years to achieve. But must be done if we want Greece to have a future without serious complications.

This is also something that the Eurocrats must undserstand. Until now they have been playing with Mr George Papandreou, assuming that he will get the job done. They now know they were wrong. To their credit, they are the ones who pushed for the new government’s formation. However, they must not stop now. They must support and promote the idea that the new government needs to solve acute problems, keep Greece in the Euro while the haircut of maybe 80% takes place,  and then create the conditions for the economy’s growth and development.

This cannot be done by a country that will go to elections in a few months’ time, only to elect New Democracy who will also fail to do anything substantial.

Manouel Panselinos: Virgin with Child

The economic crisis of the country has exposed the huge political crisis, and the solution to this is not general elections. The solution to this is hard work under a solid government that has as its objective to save the country, not to restore the interests of the mainstream political parties and the bankrupt political system they represent.

The Sea – Η Θαλασσα

Δευτέρα, 3 Ιανουαρίου, 2011

C.D. Friedrich - Monk by the Sea

And then went down to the ship,
Set keel to breakers, forth on the godly sea, and
We set up mast and sail on that swart ship,
Bore sheep aboard her, and our bodies also
Heavy with weeping, and winds from sternward
Bore us onward with bellying canvas,
Crice’s this craft, the trim-coifed goddess.
Then sat we amidships, wind jamming the tiller,
Thus with stretched sail, we went over sea till day’s end.
Sun to his slumber, shadows o’er all the ocean,
Came we then to the bounds of deepest water…
Ezra Pound, Canto I

C.D. Friedrich – Moon descending on the sea

«Ήδη ὁ ήλιος, επιφανεὶς ακόμη μίαν φοράν, έκλινε προς την δύσιν. Ήτο τρίτη και ημίσεια ώρα. Και ὁ ήλιος εχαμήλωνε, εχαμήλωνε. Και ἡ βαρκούλα του μπαρμπα-Στεφανή, με το ανθρώπινον φορτίον της, εχόρευεν, εχόρευεν επάνω εις το κύμα, πότε ανερχομένη εις υγρὰ όρη, πότε κατερχομένη εις ρευστάς κοιλάδας, νυν μεν εις την ακμὴν να καταποντισθή εις την άβυσσον, νυν δε ετοίμη να κατασυντριβή κατά της κρημνώδους ακτής. Και ὁ ιερεὺς έλεγε μέσα του την παράκλησιν όλην, από το «Πολλοίς συνεχόμενος» έως το «Πάντων προστατεύεις». Κι ὁ μπαρμπα-Στεφανής εστενοχωρείτο, μὴ δυνάμενος επὶ παρουσία του παπά να εκχύση ελευθέρως τας αφελείς βλασφημίας του, τας οποίας εμάσα κι έπνιγε μέσα του, ὑποτονθορύζων: «Σκύλιασε ὁ διαολόκαιρος, λύσσαξε! Θα σκάσης, αντίχριστε, Τούρκο! Το Μουχαμετη σου, μέσα!» Κι ἡ θειὰ το Μαλαμώ, ποιούσα το σημείον του Σταυρού, έλεγε το «Θεοτόκε Παρθένε», κι επανελάμβανεν: «Έλα, κ᾿στὲ μ᾿! Βοήθα, Παναΐα μ᾿!» Και τα κύματα έπληττον την πρώραν, έπληττον τα πλευρὰ του σκάφους, και εισορμώντα εις το κύτος εκτύπων τα νώτα, εκτύπων τους βραχίονας των ἐπιβατών. Και ὁ ήλιος εχαμήλωνεν, εχαμήλωνε. Και ἡ βαρκούλα εκινδύνευε ν᾿ αφανισθή. Και η απορρώξ βραχώδης ακτὴ εφαίνετο διαφιλονικούσα την λείαν προς τον βυθὸν της θαλάσσης».

Αλεξανδρος Παπαδιαμαντης, Στο Χριστο στο Καστρο

Emil Nolde – North Sea

“Through thunder and storm, from distant seas
I draw near, my lass!
Through towering waves, from the south
I am here, my lass!
My girl, were there no south wind
I could never come to you:
ah, dear south wind, blow once more!
My lass longs for me.”

Richard Wagner, The Flying Dutchman

Emil Nolde – The Sea

“Driven on by storms and violent winds,
I have wandered over the oceans –
for how long I can scarcely say:
I no longer count the years.
It’s impossible, I think, to name
all the countries where I’ve been;
the only one for which I yearn
I never find, my homeland!”

Richard Wagner, The Flying Dutchman

Max Beckmann – North Sea

Night sea journey
An archetypal motif in mythology, psychologically associated with depression and the loss of energy characteristic of neurosis.The night sea journey is a kind of descensus ad inferos–a descent into Hades and a journey to the land of ghosts somewhere beyond this world, beyond consciousness, hence an immersion in the unconscious.["The Psychology of the Transference," CW 16, par. 455.]Mythologically, the night sea journey motif usually involves being swallowed by a dragon or sea monster. It is also represented by imprisonment or crucifixion, dismemberment or abduction, experiences traditionally weathered by sun-gods and heroes: Gilgamesh, Osiris, Christ, Dante, Odysseus, Aeneas. In the language of the mystics it is the dark night of the soul.Jung interpreted such legends symbolically, as illustrations of the regressive movement of energy in an outbreak of neurosis and its potential progression.

The hero is the symbolical exponent of the movement of libido. Entry into the dragon is the regressive direction, and the journey to the East (the “night sea journey”) with its attendant events symbolizes the effort to adapt to the conditions of the psychic inner world. The complete swallowing up and disappearance of the hero in the belly of the dragon represents the complete withdrawal of interest from the outer world. The overcoming of the monster from within is the achievement of adaptation to the conditions of the inner world, and the emergence (“slipping out”) of the hero from the monster’s belly with the help of a bird, which happens at the moment of sunrise, symbolizes the recommencement of progression.["On Psychic Energy," CW 8, par. 68.]

All the night sea journey myths derive from the perceived behavior of the sun, which, in Jung’s lyrical image, “sails over the sea like an immortal god who every evening is immersed in the maternal waters and is born anew in the morning.["Symbols of the Mother and of Rebirth,"CW 5, par. 306.] The sun going down, analogous to the loss of energy in a depression, is the necessary prelude to rebirth. Cleansed in the healing waters (the unconscious), the sun (ego-consciousness) lives again.

(Source: Lexicon of Jungian Terms)

Panayiotis Tetsis - Sunset

Βγάζει η θάλασσα κρυφή φωνή —
φωνή που μπαίνει
μες στην καρδιά μας και την συγκινεί
και την ευφραίνει.

The secret voice of the Sea

enters our heart

it moves and rejoices it.

C.D. Friedrich - Wreck in the Sea of Ice

Τραγούδι είναι, ή παράπονο πνιγμένων; —

το τραγικό παράπονο των πεθαμένων,
που σάβανό των έχουν τον ψυχρόν αφρό,
και κλαίν για ταις γυναίκες των, για τα παιδιά των,
και τους γονείς των, για την έρημη φωλιά των,
ενώ τους παραδέρνει πέλαγο πικρό,

Is it a song, or the complaint of the ones that sunk? -

the tragic complaint of the dead,

whose shroud is the cold foam,

and cry for their wifes and their children,

and their parents, and their empty nest,

while the bitter waves batter them,

C.D. Friedrich - Sea of Ice

σε βράχους και σε πέτραις κοφτεραίς τους σπρώχνει,
τους μπλέκει μες στα φύκια, τους τραβά, τους διώχνει,
κ’ εκείνοι τρέχουνε σαν νάσαν ζωντανοί
με ολάνοιχτα τα μάτια τρομαγμένα,
και με τα χέρια των άγρια, τεντωμένα,
από την αγωνία των την υστερνή.

and pushes them on to sharp rocks and stones,

tangles them in weeds, pulls them, pushes them,

and they run as if they were alive

with eyes scared wide open,

and their hands tense, spread,

full of the tension of death.

Κ. Καβαφης, Αποσπασμα απο τα Αποκηρυγμενα, Ικαρος, 1983

C. Cavafy, Excerpt from the Denounced Poems, Icaros, 1983

(The interpretation in English is mine)

Nikolaos Lytras – Boat with Sail

«Όχι! Όχι! Δεν βρίσκεται η χαρά στην άλλη όχθη μόνον! Είναι εδώ, μεσ’ στις ψυχές μας, μέσα σε τούτες τις καρδιές, είναι παντού για όσους μπορούν να σπάσουν τα δεσμά των, αφού και μέσα μας ο ήλιος ανατέλλει και δείχνει την πορεία μας παντού όπου πηγαίνει, φως εκ φωτός αυτός, πυρσός λαμπρός του υπερτάτου φαροδείκτου, που όλοι τον παραλείπουν οι άλλοι, του φαροδείκτου, σύντροφοι, που είναι ο ουρανός!»

“No! No! Happiness does not exist only on the distant shore! It is here, inside our souls, inside these hearts, it is everywhere for those who can break their chains, as is the sun that rises inside and guides us wherever we go, light out of light, a shining torch of the supreme beacon, which we tend to forget, the sky! ”

Έτσι ελάλησα και κάθε αμφιταλάντευσις απέπτη απ’ τις ψυχές μας. Η αγαλλίασίς μου στους άλλους μετεδόθη, και, όλοι, κοιτάζοντας τον ήλιο, πετάξαμε τα σύνεργα της πλοιαρχίας – χάρτες, διαβήτες, εξάντας και φακούς – και αρπάζοντας τους σκούφους μας, εμείς, οι ναυτικοί εκ ναυτικών, τρέξαμε στο καράβι μας (το λέγαν “Άγιος Σώζων”) και όλοι, φλεγόμενοι από την νέα μας πίστη, χωρίς πλέον να ψάχνουμε το “πού” και “πώς”, τα παλαμάρια λύσαμε και υψώνοντας τα πανιά μας, αδίσταχτα σαλπάραμε με μια κραυγή:

«Κύριε των δυνάμεων μεθ’ ημών γενού».

Thus I spoke and every doubt flew away from our souls. My uplifting was transferred to the others, and all, watching the Sun, threw out all the instruments of navigation – maps, compasses, sextants and lenses – and snatching our caps, we, the mariners, the mariners of mariners, run to our ship (it was named “Saint Saviour”) and all, burning in our newly found faith, without any more searching for the “where” and “how”, we released the mooring lines and raising our sails, sailed without hesitation with one cry:

“Lord of the powers be with us”.

Ανδρεας Εμπειρικος, Οκτανα

Andreas Empeiricos, Octana

(The interpretation in English is mine)

‘God, he said quietly. Isn’t the sea what Algy calls it: a great sweet mother? The snotgreen sea. The scrotumtightening sea. (Πλεων δ’<ε>) Epi oinopa ponton (We’re sailing upon the wine-dark sea). Ah, Dedalus, the Greeks. I must teach you. You must read them in the original. Thalatta! Thalatta! She is our great sweet mother. Come and look.’

James Joyce,  Ulysses

Note: Homer’s “πλεων δ’επι οινοπα ποντον επ’ αλλοθροους ανθρωπους” is in-scripted on The Iron Footbridge in Frankfurt. It is therefore fitting to conclude with a poem of Frankfurt’s famous son,

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

CALM AT SEA.

SILENCE deep rules o’er the waters,

Calmly slumb’ring lies the main,
While the sailor views with trouble

Nought but one vast level plain.

Not a zephyr is in motion!

Silence fearful as the grave!
In the mighty waste of ocean

Sunk to rest is ev’ry wave.

Goethe 1795

Happy Travelling!

Happy New Year!

Indian Teacher explaining…

Τετάρτη, 30 Ιουνίου, 2010

Cultural fusion and exchange has created many great works of civilization. Today’s post presents a teacher from India explaining the multitude of meanings of the “f” word. With his particular melodic accent, he softens up the harshness of the word, and makes it sound like a river flowing, almost meandering in a lush countryside.

Enjoy it! With a smile!

Indian_teacher_explaining_the_word_Fuck

Supplement of Etymology

The first known occurrence, in code, is in a poem composed in a mixture of Latin and English sometime before 1500. The poem, which satirizes the Carmelite friars of Cambridge, England, takes its title, “Flen flyys“, from the first words of its opening line, “Flen, flyys, and freris”; that is, “Fleas, flies, and friars”. The line that contains fuck reads “Non sunt in coeli, quia gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk”. The Latin words “Non sunt in coeli, quia”, mean “They [the friars] are not in heaven, because”. The code “gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk” is easily broken by simply substituting the preceding letter in the alphabet, keeping in mind differences in the alphabet and in spelling between then and now: i was then used for both i and j; v was used for both u and v; and two vs were used for w. This yields “fvccant (a fake Latin form) vvivys of heli”. The whole thus reads in translation: “They are not in heaven because they fuck wives of Ely” (a city near Cambridge). (Available, with minor adjustments to the translation, at The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th Edition). The phrase was coded because of its meaning; it is uncertain to what extent the word itself was considered acceptable.

Η σημερινη αναρτηση ειναι εορταστικη.

Χαιρετιζει το ΔΝΤ, αναπολει και αναμενει με ανυπομονησια την Δραχμουλα, και ριχνει μια ματια γυρω στον κοινωνικο περιγυρο, για να μην ξεχνιομαστε κιολα!

Εξαιρετικες θερμες ευχαριστιες στον ανυπερβλητο Κωστα Μητροπουλο, που δεν χρειαζεται τα δικα μου λογια για να χαρακτηρισθει ως ο μεγαλυτερος σκιτσογραφος ολων των εποχων στην Ελλαδα.

Καλως ηλθε το ΔΝΤ!

Απο την εφημεριδα ΤΑ ΝΕΑ, 16 Απριλιου 2010

Επιτελους!

Μια αποφαση, εστω και στα μουλωχτα, μια πορεια, μια κατευθυνση!

Κουραστηκα να ειμαστε ακυβερνητο καραβι με διχως πανια.

Δεν υπαρχει χειροτερο πραγμα απο την αναποφασιστικοτητα και την θολουρα.

Και μην ξεχναμε:

“No pain, no gain!”

Ελλας – Γερμανια Συμμαχια – ή ο Δρομος προς τη Δραχμουλα

Απο την εφημεριδα ΤΑ ΝΕΑ, 16 Απριλιου 2010

Η μονη ρεαλιστικη διεξοδος ειναι η εξοδος απο την Νομισματικη Ενωση και η επιστροφη στην Δραχμουλα. Προβλεπω το 1 ΕΥΡΩ περιπου 700 δραχμες.

Να σταματησει ο ακρατος καταναλωτισμος!

Ας φορεσουμε κι ενα τζην που δεν κανει 300 ΕΥΡΩ!

Ας κρατησουμε και μια τσαντα που δεν κανει χιλιαρικο!

Ας φορεσουμε κι ενα ζευγαρι παπoυτσια που δεν κανει 500 Ευρω!

Κι ομως, δεν ειμαστε ολοι ιδιοι…

Και ας μην ξεχναμε τα λαμογια, τους διεφθαρμενους δημοσιους υπαλληλους, τους φοροφυγαδες ζαπλουτους, γιατι αυτοι ειναι οι πραγματικοι εχθροι του λαου, δεν ειναι η κυβερνηση. Που σε τελικη αναλυση κανει τωρα τη λαντζα.

Η Κυβερνηση ομως ελεγχεται γιατι δεν χωνει τους κλεφτες στην φυλακα!

Γιατι τους αφηνει να τριγυρνανε και να προκαλουν!

Τα καλα κοποις κτωνται

Εχουμε και καποιο λογο να ειμαστε αισιοδοξοι

Ερχεται καλοκαιρι!


θα παμε σε ωραια μερη

θα παμε και σε ενα νησακι

(“ο ιστορικος Μιαουλης”)

θα καπνισουμε ενα τσιγαρακι


(ο παμμεγιστος Μαρκος)

θα πιουμε ενα ουζακι

Απο το φωτογραφικο αρχειο Βαρβαγιαννη

και θα φαμε κι ενα χταποδακι

ε θα φαμε και λιγο παστουρμαδακι

ευτυχειτε

(μαλλον θα συνεχιστει)

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