Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Following the Death of Beauty.

"In his production of Die Entführung, 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.


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