Δευτέρα, 8 Σεπτεμβρίου, 2014
«Sickness and insanity were the black angels that guarded my cradle»
Edvard Munch, personal manuscript.
Edvard Munch is one of my painting idols.
Today I continue the Munch stories with «Alpha and Omega», which I saw a few days ago at the Munch Museum in Oslo. It was a revelation for me to see these pictures.
Alpha and Omega is a fable written by Edvard Munch.
In addition to the text, there is a series of lithographs depicting the story.
It is possible that Munch first created the pictures and then he wrote the text.
As we read in Christie’s website, presenting one of the lithographs for sale, «lithograph, 1908-9, on stiff wove paper, signed in pencil, from the total edition of approximately 80 or 90 impressions».
At first the title was «The First Human Beings», but then Munch changes it to «Alpha and Omega».
Before I present the fable itself, I would like to give some background relevant to Munch’s life at the time of writting and illustrating the fable.
In the period 1908 – 1909, Munch suffered a psychotic incident. He was 46 years old at the time.
In the fall of 1908, Munch collapsed in Copenhagen. Hearing hallucinatory voices and suffering paralysis on his left side, he was persuaded by his old roommate from the Saint-Cloud apartment, Emanuel Goldstein, to check himself into Dr. Jacobson’s clinic at Frederiksberg in Copenhagen for detoxification. It was during his stay there, 1908–09, that he created Alpha and Omega.
The sketch shown above, drafted by Munch himself, reads:
«Professor Jacobsen is electrifying the famous painter Munch, and is bringing a positive masculine force and a negative feminine force to his fragile brain.”
Munch made progress following his treatment, which included “tobacco-free cigars, alcohol-free drinks, and poison-free women.”
Let us now go back to Alpha and Omega.
Alpha is the first man and Omega is the first woman.
They live on an island and fall in love.
ALPHA AND OMEGA were the first Humans
on the Island. Alpha lay in the Grass and slept
and dreamed, Omega approached him, looked at
him and became curious. Omega broke off a
Fern branch and tickled him, so he awoke.
Alpha loved Omega; they sat in the Evenings
leaning into one another and gazing at the golden
pillar of the Moon, which swayed and rocked in
the Ocean surrounding the Island.
The couple lives a paradiselike existence, surrounded by animals and plants.
Omega becomes bored and allows herself to be seduced first by the Serpent, and then in turn by the Bear, the Poet Hyena, the Tiger and the Donkey, in addition to the Pig and other animals.
After a time she leaves the island on the back of a Doe and travels across the ocean to “the light green Land, that lay beneath the Moon”. Stenersen, quoted by Steinberg and Weiss, notes that the tubelike reflection of the moon on the water resembles the artist’s characteristic drawing of male genitalia. «Thus it appears that the image of the full moon (breast – penis) was to Munch a protection against castration anxiety.
Alpha remains on the island together with Omega’s offspring – a whole new generation of children – “little Pigs, little Serpents, little Monkeys and little Predatory animals and other Human Bastards”.
One day Omega returns. Suddenly the landscape turns to blood and Alpha closes his ears to the «cries of nature». He then drowns Omega. According to Steinberg and Weiss, the bloody landscape represents the shocking sight of Munch’s dying mother, which could not be avoided or shut out. Munch experienced his mother’s death at the age of five.
He is in turn torn asunder by her small mixed offspring, who finally take over the island.
It is a story of an archetypal man and woman as they progress from love and passion, to jealousy and melancholy, to anxiety and death.
Δευτέρα, 21 Απριλίου, 2014
Angelopoulos’ movie is not a journey to a destination.
It is a journey to infinite emptiness.
Spiros is a Greek who fought with the losing side of the Greek Civil War in 1946-1949.
After spending many years in exile, presumably a republic of Soviet Union, he returns to Greece.
He arrives alone, with a suitcase and his violin, aboard a ship named «Ukraina».
His son and daughter are waiting for him at the port and drive him to his wife’s house, where old friends and relatives have gathered to welcome him.
But things turn sour from the very beginning.
Minutes after Spiros arrives at the house, his reunion with his wife, Katerina, turns into a disaster.
It was something he said to her when they were alone.
Spiros leaves the house without uttering a word.
Later Spiros recounts his stay in exile: «and one day a woman prepares a meal for you, she mends your shirt… so I have two kids up there».
After spending a night at a hotel, Spiros, Katerina, his son and daughter embark on a journey to Spiros’ village.
The village is where he lived and fought during the civil war.
Upon entering the village, he meets his arch enemy Antonis, who greets him by saying «we both lost».
The village appears deserted.
Most of the inhabitants have left, and are now ready to sell their land to an «investor».
Spiros refuses to sign the sale documents and causes the whole deal to break.
Instead of being a «nice old guy who made a mistake but now is back and harmless», Spiros is a «bad guy, who does not understand the new Greece, and creates problems».
He therefore has to be expelled.
Spiros and Katerina leave the village before the police come, but they are found at a railway station.
The police take Spiros into custody and lead him to the port.
But the ship has sailed, another that is just moving out of the port refuses to take him on board, and the only solution for the authorities is to take him out on a platform that rests in international waters.
Later Katerina joins Spiros on the platform.
She wants to be with him.
A little while later, Spiros releases the rope that ties the platform to an anchor, and the platform slowly moves out.
To infinite emptiness.
Spiros does not belong to modern Greece. And modern Greece does not want him there.
The lonely prophet of Rupture is now a freak in the eyes of «society».
This is why Spiros’ wooden hut on top pf the mountain is burned by unknown villagers.
His refusal to sell this patch of land destroyed the deal with the winter ski center investor.
Before leaving the village Spiros goes to the graveyard and dances.
It is a farewell dance to his comrades, to the past.
After all, he only exists in the past.
His fellow villagers scorned him after he refused to sign the land deal, saying: «You do not exist. You were condemned to death four times.»
What sets the stage for the finale of the movie is Spiros’ monologue.
«I hear you coming, Death. I escaped from you five times: five wars, prisons, the execution squad. I escaped from you. I hear you, I hear you coming, I hear you.»
«σε ακούω θάνατε που έρχεσαι. Σε ξεγέλασα πέντε φορές: πέντε πόλεμοι, φυλακές, το στήσιμο στον τοίχο. Σε ξεγέλασα. Σ’ακούω, σ’ακούω που έρχεσαι, σ’ακούω”.
Questions and afterthoughts
The importance of Greek Civil War in the development of Greece is unquestionable.
But has not been explored to the full yet.
The economic and social crisis that started in 2008 and continues is not accidental, nor is it unrelated to the legacy of the civil war.
I claim that one of the key components of this legacy is the blueprint of «economic development a la Greque».
Foreign powers and institutions give a bundle of money, a package so to speak, to Greece.
The package is used to solidify the power of the ruling elite, strengthen the armed forces, and leave some funds for distribution to cooperating citizens.
This blueprint was enhanced by Andreas Papandreou to its «socialist» version, meaning that money were distributed to a wider spectrum of people, and a new elite was formed.
But the blueprint remained the same. More in another post.
Κυριακή, 25 Νοεμβρίου, 2012
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.
«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)
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)
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)
«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)
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)
«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)
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)
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)
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)
«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)
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)
«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)
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)
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)
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.
(7) Γιωργος Σεφερης, Μερες Ε’, 15 Μαρτη 1947, Ικαρος Εκδοτικη. George Seferis, Days E’, 15 March 1947, Ikaros Publishing.
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.
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…
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)
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?
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…
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
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.
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.
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.”
«The essence of truth is freedom»
Ingmar Bergman, Swedish Film Director
Mr. FFF, wanderer
Caspar David Friedrich, German Painter
Martin Heidegger, German Philosopher
Friedrich Hoeldrlin, German Poet
Homer, Greek Poet
Soren Kirkegaard, Dane Philosopher
Kostis Palamas, Greek Poet
Alexandros Papadiamantis, Greek Writer
Nikos Gabriel Pentzikis, Greek Writer and Painter,
Otto Preminger, American Film Director
Rainer Maria Rilke, Bohemian-Austrian Poet
Mrs. T, gourmant
Akelare Restaurant, San Sebastian, Basque Country
Aristodimos Fishtavern, Pachi, Megara, Greece
Damianos Fishtavern, Ambelas, Paros Island, Greece
From Here to Eternity, A Film by: Otto Preminger
A Hole in the Head. A Film by: Frank Capra
Edge of Heaven (Auf der anderen Seite), A Film by Fatih Akin
Restaurante Uliassi, Senigallia, Marche, Italia
Τετάρτη, 15 Αυγούστου, 2012
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.
Πέμπτη, 2 Αυγούστου, 2012
In the surging swell,
In the ringing sound,
In the world-breath
In the waves of the All
To sink, to drown –
Supreme bliss –
Tristan and Isolde: Act III, Scene III
MM: Mathilde A jumps in the torrent created by the rain. Her body is recovered a few hours later.
Mrs. T: Mathilde B shoots Bernard first, and then she shoots herself. Both are dead instantly.
Mr. FFF: Diane runs screaming to her bed and she shoots herself.
von Grimmelshausen: Werther new that one of the three of them, Albert, Lotte and Werther himself, would have to die. He could not kill anyone but himself.
Mathilde A: (reads her suicide note) I am going before your desire dies. Then we’d be left with affection alone, and I know that won’t be enough. I’m going before I grow unhappy. I go bearing the taste of our embraces, your smell, your look, your kisses. I go with the memory of my loveliest years, the ones you gave me. I kiss you now so tenderly, I die of it.
Mathilde B: I needed to talk to him (Bernard). This is all I was thinking about when I was in the hospital (recovering from a nervous breakdown). But when the time came for me to go, and I put on my raincoat, without plan, withour hesitation, I got the handgun that Philippe (my husband) ket in his study and put it in my pocket. I kissed hm passionately. We rolled on the floor. And when he was on top of me, and when the last intercourse was over, I pulled the gun and I shot him. He did not even realize what was happening. I then turned the gun to my left temple and pulled the trigger. It was over in less than thirty seconds.
Diane: When I saw the blue key on my coffee table I knew that the deed was done. Camilla was no longer in this world. It had to be this way. She betrayed me. She was going to marry Adam. She was also fucking about. She was no good. She had to go. But I had to go as well.
Werther: And so it is the last time, the last time that I open these eyes…Lotte, it is a feeling unlike any other, and still it seems like an undetermined dream for one to say to himself: this is the last morning. … Lotte, I have no idea about the meaning of the word: the last! To die! what does it mean? I have seen many people dying; but humanity is so limited that it has no felling for the beginning and the end of its existence. .. All these are perishable, but there is no eternity that can erase the warmth of life that I tasted yesterday in your lips and I now feel inside me! She loves me! These arms have held her, these lips have touched hers trembling, this mouth has whispered something to hers. She is mine! You are mine! Yes, Lotte, for ever.
Mrs. T: Who is this von Grimmelshausen?
Mr. FFF:He is a German scholar from the Black Forest.
MM: How come he is here with us?
Mr. FFF: He is traveller. He goes to places. He meets people. That’s how.
Mrs. T: Have you seen what is inside the brown leather bag he is carrying with im like a treasure?
Mr. FFF: I recall you back to order!
Mrs. T: Ok, I was just curious.
Madame Guyon: The noonday of glory; a day no longer followed by night; a life that no longer fears death, even in death itself, because death has overcome death, and because whoever has suffered the first death will no longer feel the second.
Matthias Claudius: Man’s way of thinking can pass over from a point of the periphery to the opposite point, and back again to the previous point, if circumstances trace out for him the curved path to it. And these changes are not really anything great and interesting in man. But that remarkable, catholic, transcendental change, when the whole circle is irreparably torn up and all the laws of psychology become vain and empty, where the coat of skins is taken off, or at any rate turned inside out, and man’s eyes are opened, is such that everyone who is conscious to some extent of the breath in his nostrils, forsakes mother and father, if he can hear and experience something certain about it.
Horace: How is it that no one is satisfied with his own condition?
Filippo Ottonieri: The reason is that no condition is happy. The servvants, as well as the princes, the poor as well as the rich, the weak as well as the powerful would all be extremely well satisfied with their lot and would feel no envy for the others were they happy; for men are no more impossible to satisfy than any other species; but they can be content with happiness only. Now, as they are always unhappy, should we wonder if they are never satisfied?
Julia Kristeva: To be sure, analytic discourse does not, or at any rate does not always suffer from the apparent excesses of amorous language, which range from hypnotic fascination with the presumed ideal qualities of the partner to hysterical sentimental effusion to phobias of abandonment. Nevertheless, it is want of love that sends the subject into analysis, which proceeds by first restoring confidence in, and capacity for, love through the transference and then enabling the subject to distance himself or herself from the analyst. From being the subject of an amorous discourse during the years of my analysis (and, in the best of circumstances, beyond them), I discover my potential for psychic renewal, intellectual innovation, and even physical change. This kind of experience seems to be the specific contribution of our modern civilization to the history of amorous discourse. The analytic situation is the only place explicitly provided for in the social contract in which we are allowed to talk about the wounds we have suffered and to search for possible new identities and new ways of talking about ourselves.
Arthur Schopenhauer: Selfishness is «eros» (in Greek ερως), sympathy or compassion is «love» (in Greek αγαπη).
Friedrich Nietzsche: The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night.
Christiane Olivier: Is love, then, an impossibility? The couple is the fantasy of finding again, at last, a mother whom one has never yet met: for the woman, desiring; for the man, not stifling. It is the dream so well imagined by Verlaine: «I often have this strange, affecting dream of an unknown woman, who loves me and whom I love, and who each time is neither quite the same, nor quite other.»
MM: Eros and Thanatos.
Mrs. T: Libido and Mortido.
Mr. FFF: Life instinct and death instinct.
MM: We are back in the field of the philosophy of the opposites!
Mrs. T: But are we? It appears to me that somehow Eros leads the actor to Thanatos! I see no opposites here, I see two complementary instincts.
Mr. FFF: I wish it were as simple as that. In my view Eros not only leads to Thanatos in the cases under consideration, it seems to me that Eros appeals to Thanatos to seal its eternal meaning. As if Eros does not attain its ultimate state unless it reaches Thanatos.
Jacinta: I was sixteen when, one night while I was sleeping, I had a dream. (Woe is me! And even when I was awake I relieved that dream.) I was going through a lovely forest and in the very depths of the forest, I met the most handsome man I had ever in my life seen. His face was shadowed by the edge of a fawn cape with silver hooks and catches. Attracted by his appearance, I stopped to gaze at him. Eager to see if his face looked as I imagined, I approached and boldly pulled aside his cape. The moment I did, he drew a dagger and plunged it into my heart so violently that the pain made me cry out, and all my maids came running in. As soon as I awoke from this dark dream, I lost sight of the fact that he had done me such injury, and I felt more deeply affected than you can imagine. His image remained etched in my memory. It did not fade away or disappear for ever so long. Noble Fabio, I yearned to find a man with exactly his appearance and bearing to be my husband. These thoughts so obsessed me that I kept imagining and reimagining that scene, and I would have conversations with him. Before you knew it, I was madly in love with a mystery man whom I didn’t know, but you must believe that if the god Narcissus was dark, then surely he was Narcissus.
Arthur Schopenhauer: They tell us that suicide is the greatest act of cowardice… that suicide is wrong; when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.
Herodotus: When life is so burdensome, death has become for man a sought-after refuge.
ΜΜ: Freud claimed the death instinct drives people to death so that they can have real peace, and only death can get rid of tension and struggles. This is the case of Werther.
Mrs. T: When people feel extreme joy, they want to die and hope time will stop at that moment, which is also the evidence of death instinct, the transformation of life instinct into death instinct. This is the case of Mathilde A.
Mr. FFF: The death instinct exists in almost everyone’s subconscious. It is an irresistible instinctive power in human beings’ consciousness. Many people may deny that there is a death instinct in their consciousness. Indeed, people’s life instinct is very strong. However, if they examine their flashes of idea in their consciousness, they can find that just like death instinct, their desire for death is sometimes also very strong.
Jacinta: Because of this obsession I could neither eat nor sleep. My face lost its color and I experienced the most profound melancholy of my life. Everyone noticed the changes in me. Who, Fabio, ever heard of anyone loving a mere shadow? They may tell tales about people who’ve loved monsters and other incredible things, but at least what they loved had form! I sympathized with Pygmalion who loved the statue that ultimately Jupiter brought to life for him, and with the youth from Athens, and with the lovers who loved a tree or a dolphin. But what I loved was a mere fantasy, a shadow. What would people think of that? Nobody would believe me and, if they did, they’d think I’d lost my mind. But I give you my word of honor as a noblewoman, that not in this or in anything else I’ll tell you, do I add a single word that isn’t the truth. You can imagine that I talked to myself. I reproved myself, and, to free myself from my obsessive passion, I looked very carefully at all the elegant young men who lived in my city and tried to grow fond of one of them. Everything I did simply made me love my phantom more, and nowhere could I find his equal. My love grew and grew so great that I even composed poetry to my beloved ghost.
Julia Kristeva: Loss of the erotic object (unfaithfulness or desertion by the lover or husband, divorce, etc) is felt by the woman as an assault on her genitality and, from that point of view, amounts to castration. At once, such a castration starts resonating with the threat of destruction of the body’s integrity, the body image, and the entire psychic system as well. As a result, feminine castration, rather than being diseroticized, is concealed by narcissistic anguish, which masters and protects eroticism as a shameful secret.
MM: I love you so much I want to kill myself.
Mrs. T: I love you so much I want to kill you.
Mr. FFF: I love you so much I want to kill myself, but I will kill you first, before you kill me.
Albert Camus: There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer [the questions of suicide].
Arthur Schopenhauer: To those in whom the will has turned and denied itself, this very real world of ours, with its suns and galaxies, is – nothing.
MM: Driven to suicide by eros is one thing, killing your lover and then killing yourself is another.
Mrs. T: It may not be premedidated, but evolutionary. You start by wanting to exterminate the cause of your living hell, your lover, and you do. And then, after you have done it, you figure out that the road has now opened for your own departure from this world as well.
Mr. FFF: This theory may apply to both Diane and Mathilde B. I would like to note though, that Time could be the differentiator. In Mathilde B’s case, she kills herself imeediately after she has killed Bernard. Whereas Diane kills herself after she realizes that the «contract» on Camille’s life has been successfully executed.
Albert Camus, French philosopher
Matthias Claudius, German poet
Diane Selwyn, protagonist in David Lynch’s «Mulholland Drive»
von Grimmelshausen, a German nobleman and writer
Madame Guyon, French mystic
Mr. FFF, wanderer
Herodotus, Greek historian
Horace, Roman poet
Jacinta, character in Maria de Zayas’ «The enchantements of love»
Julia Kristeva, French-Bulgarian psychoanalyst
Mathilde A, the hairdresser in Patrice Leconte’s «The Hairdresser’s Husband»
Mathilde B, the woman next door, in Francois Truffaut’s «The Woman next Door»
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
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.
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.
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.
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».
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
Alexander Nehamas, professor of philosophy
Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher
Socrates, Greek philosopher
Mrs. T, unknown ethinicity, gourmant