Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Following the Death of Beauty.

"In his production of Die Entf├╝hrung, the Catalan stage director Calixto Bieito set the opera in a Berlin brothel, with Selim as pimp and Konstanze one of the prostitutes. Even during the most tender music, copulating couples littered the stage, and every opportunity for violence, with or without a sexual climax, was taken. At one point, a prostitute is gratuitously tortured, and her nipples bloodily and realistically severed before she is killed. The words and the music speak of love and compassion, but their message is drowned out by the scenes of desecration, murder, and narcissistic sex."

Roger Scruton
Beauty and Desecration

It is not something we can reject out of hand, this, "Death of Beauty". The animal is now the primary object. Following the legacy of Freud, our acknowledgment of the infantile subservience, the god that we were allowed to be--and our descent into simply Man. Cast adrift on the sea of alone; the only light left shining that of despair. Myth becomes no more than childish daydreams, religion has been cast into dustbin of history, irrelevant to what we have become; or may become, as we stand on the threshold looking in on what might be the bright harsh truth.

Art becomes the anvil & the hammer upon which we forge ourselves into whatever it is that we might become, at each moment with each Act we portray what we are--now; and at each interval a little bit more of what we could be is revealed.

We want. We need. We desire. Mired in the infantile "I" that must prosper, beauty is nothing more than a whore, a selfish confiscation of a future perfect in which the imaginer is permitted to return the ideal godhood of the womb. Reality is not observed, it is discarded.


Slim adolescence that a nymph has stripped,
Peleus on Thetis stares.
Her limbs are delicate as an eyelid,
Love has blinded him with tears;
But Thetis' belly listens.
Down the mountain walls
From where pan's cavern is
Intolerable music falls.
Foul goat-head, brutal arm appear,
Belly, shoulder, bum,
Flash fish-like; nymphs and satyrs
Copulate in the foam.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mr Goldsmith & Mr Silliman--"The New Sentence"

. . . yet no one means a word of it,

it is always a masque.


What is being said then, by these quietists, and as has been proposed, these more progressive forms? Is the diversion not in what is being said, but rather in who is saying it? Shall we not say that the "lesson of the poem" is simply a byproduct and not the point at all? The dialectic is the "I" and the "not I". --which might be related to the essential question of freedom vs equality, but let's not bother with that here...

Problems on all fronts--the Quietests, for lack of a better label, assert the primacy of the personal, the authority of experience as filtered by the "me", --I have done this and from this which I have done I construct this.

For the progressives, I am not therefore how do I remove me from that which is constructed. The current answer to that seems to be a more or less random matrix of language, combination & recombinations culled from the collective. (Which one might note is just as illusory as the "I" itself)

If one were so inclined one might chuckle at the impossibility of it all. Let us consider, of what use is a Poetry that strips us of our heroic deeds, be they glorious or mundane--and if it is all a lie (something we have learned to live with over the centuries) what purpose does it serve?

at any rate, we are left with the argument itself, the words being but pastels shading the real debate alive inside the poem.

Is the artificial construct of the I a valid motive for poetry to exist, and without it can we consider it poetry at all?

A vexing problem for (me) muddling about in the shadows of it all, grasping of shards of that which appears to be real but which turns out to be nothing at all, as the vibrations of the strings may be just a will-o-the-wisp so far

which is where we all are.

Morgana's Mist---

How much of who we are is shaped by the machinations of the Hologram?

Where can we go to find ourselves, the "me" that is not the "not me" fashioned by the influx? How much worse it must be for those who are co-opted to be the organ of the "thing" itself!

No! No! I am me, myself. Perhaps not. The perspective we assume is an illusion; scissors must be kept close at hand to open the packaging. One notes that the me itself is an illusion, a deeper one, perhaps, than the one we buy, and it belongs to an ancillary arm of the illusion. Fey these arguments over opinions, they were given to us in Morgana's mist.

It might be, that rather than, "I think, therefore I am, it might be more realistic to say we think, therefore I am.--

a quote from an article on Sarah Palin:

"It’s about me running the country.

It’s about me running.

It’s about me."

She too, like Michael was our creation. Our aggregate persona descends upon them, those who seep up from the bubbling mass, and the apparatus reflects who and what they are according to our desires. Is it any wonder that they should seek to escape the glare of not me in some exaggerated gesture of defiance? They are no worse than You or I, but they are magnified, analyzed for the benefit of our own me, in a way they justify, reinforce that which we ourselves have taken to create that which is who I am.

The literature is abundant, from Catullus to Li Po to Mauberly to Warhol, and in between and beyond, and so on. It might be said that in the end we can never form a coherent opinion as the information is faulty, based as it is on a motive which can only be guessed at and never truly known.

Aberrations must be expected. Freedom exists only insofar as we are allowed to extract that which we desire from the Machine, one might call it Mother, as we suck from its breast from birth unto death...

as we all know, even as we kick against the pricks.