subota, 14.07.2007.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

by Edward Gorey

- 16:35 - Komentari (10) - Isprintaj - #

nedjelja, 08.07.2007.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Thus, the distinction between the law (inside) and transgression (outside) must be replaced with another distinction internal to the socio-symbolic order itself: the distinction between the two figures of the father (of law). In this, another, the obscene father that embodies the impossible enjoyment in Totem and Taboo, supplements the figure of the father in the Oedipus myth. Which is also to say that the distinction between the law and transgression repeats itself inside the law as its obscene supplement. The subject internalizes social norms through a superego, but this superego itself is split in two distinct but interrelated figures of the law: firstly, the father of the law castrating the subject through the law and language, and secondly, the obscene father that commands transgression and enjoyment. Whereas the first authority prohibits (“Don’t!”), the latter says: “You May!” (Žižek 2000: 132). Perversion is, therefore, nothing else than pere-version, the version of the father:
In the era of the “decline of Oedipus” the dominant mode of subjectivity is “no longer the subject integrated into the parternal Law through symbolic castration, but the ‘polymorphously perverse’ subject following the superego injunction to enjoy” (Zizek 1999: 248). If the anti-Oedipus is the obscene reverse of Oedipus itself, then the relationship between law and transgression ceases to be that of a chronological succession (Žižek 1991: 31; 1992: 24). We do not start with the law, which is then transgressed. Rather, “at the beginning of the law” there is transgression, which the fiction of originary law, e.g. “social contract”, presupposes in advance as its outcome (Žižek 1991: 204, 205). The origin of the law is a self-referential transgression, which must be unconditionally repressed if the law is to function in its “normal” form (Žižek 1991: 208).

Cyberspace Between Perversion and Trauma

Are the pessimistic cultural criticists (from Jean Baudrillard to Paul Virilio) justified in their claim that cyberspace ultimately generates a kind of proto-psychotic immersion into an imaginary universe of hallucinations, unconstrained by any symbolic Law or by any impossibility of some Real? If not, how are we to detect in cyberspace the contours of the other two dimensions of the Lacanian triad ISR, the Symbolic and the Real?

As to the symbolic dimension, the solution seems easy — it suffices to focus on the notion of authorship that fits the emerging domain of cyberspace narratives, that of the "procedural authorship": the author (say, of the interactive immersive environment in which we actively participate by role-playing) no longer writes detailed story-line, s/he merely provides the basic set of rules (the coordinates of the fictional universe in which we immerse ourselves, the limited set of actions we are allowed to accomplish within this virtual space, etc.), which serves as the basis for the interactor's active engagement (intervention, improvisation). This notion of "procedural authorship" demonstrates the need for a kind of equivalent to the Lacanian "big Other": in order for the interactor to become engaged in cyberspace, s/he has to operate within a minimal set of externally imposed accepted symbolic rules/coordinates. Without these rules, the subject/interactor would effectively become immersed in a psychotic experience of an universe in which "we do whatever we want" and are, paradoxically, for that very reason deprived of our freedom, caught in a demoniac compulsion. It is thus crucial to establish the rules that engage us, that led us in our immersion into the cyberspace, while allowing us to maintain the distance towards the enacted universe. The point is not simply to maintain "the right measure" between the two extremes (total psychotic immersion versus non-engaged external distance towards the artificial universe of the cyber-fiction): distance is rather a positive condition of immersion. If we are to surrender to the enticements of the virtual environment, we have to "mark the border," to rely on a set of marks which clearly designate that we are dealing with a fiction, in the same way in which, in order to let ourselves go and enjoy a violent war movie, we somehow have to know that what we are seeing is a staged fiction, not real-life killing (imagine our horrible surprise if, while watching a war scene, we would suddenly see that we are watching a snuff, that the actor engaged in face-to-face combat is effectively cutting the throat of his "enemy"…). Against the theorists who fear that cyberspace involves the regression to a kind of psychotic incestuous immersion, one should thus discern in today's often clumsy and ambiguous improvisations about "cyberspace rules" precisely the effort to establish clearly the contours of a new space of symbolic fictions in which we fully participate in the mode disavowal, i.e. being aware that "this is not real life."

However, if this is the Symbolic, where is the Real? Is cyberspace, especially virtual reality, not the realm of perversion at its puresy? Reduced to its elementary skeleton, perversion can be seen as a defense against the Real of death and sexuality, against the threat of mortality as well as the contingent imposition of sexual difference: what the perverse scenario enacts is a "disavowal of castration" — a universe in which, as in cartoons, a human being can survive any catastrophe; in which adult sexuality is reduced to a childish game; in which one is not forced to die or to choose one of the two sexes. As such, the pervert's universe is the universe of pure symbolic order, of the signifier's game running its course, unencumbered by the Real of human finitude. So, again, does not our experience of cyberspace perfectly fit this perverse universe? Isn't cyberspace also a universe without closure, unencumbered by the inertia of the Real, constrained only by its self-imposed rules? In this comic universe, as in a perverse ritual, same gestures and scenes are endlessly repeated, without any final closure, i.e. in this universe, the refusal of a closure, far from signalling the undermining of ideology, rather enacts a proto-ideological denial:

"The refusal of closure is always, at some level, a refusal to face mortality. Our fixation on electronic games and stories is in part an enactment of this denial of death. They offer us the chance to erase memory, to startover, to replay an event and try for a different resolution. In this respect, electronic media have the advantage of enacting a deeply comic vision of life, a vision of retrievable mistakes and open options."

The final alternative with which cyberspace confronts us is thus: are we necessarily immersed in cyberspace in the mode of the imbecilic superego compulsion-to-repeat, in the mode of the immersion into the "undead" perverse universe of cartoons in which there is no death, in which the game goes on indefinitely, or is it possible to practice a different modality of relating to cyberspace in which this imbecilic immersion is perturbed by the "tragic" dimension of the real/impossible?

There are two standard uses of cyberspace narrative: the linear, single-path maze adventure and the "postmodern" hypertext undetermined form of rhizome fiction. The single-path maze adventure moves the interactor towards a single solution within the structure of a win-lose contest (overcoming the enemy, finding the way out…). So, with all possible complications and detours, the overall path is clearly predetermined: all roads lead to one final Goal. In contrast to it, the hypertext rhizome does not privilege any order of reading or interpretation: there is no ultimate overview or "cognitive mapping," no possibility to unify the dispersed fragments in acoherent encompassing narrative framework, one is irreducibly enticed in conflicting directions — we, the interactors, just have to accept that we are lost in the inconsistent complexity of multiple referrals and connections… The paradox is that this ultimate helpless confusion, this lack of final orientation, far from causing an unbearable anxiety, is oddly reassuring: the very lack of the final point of closure serves as a kind of denial which protects us from confronting the trauma of our finitude, of the fact that there our story has to end at some point — there is no ultimate irreversible point, since, in this multiple universe, there are always other paths to explore, alternate realities into which one can take refuge when one seems to reach a deadlock. — So how are we to escape this false alternative? Janet Murray refers to the story structure of the "violence-hub", similar to the famous Rashomon predicament: an account of some violent or otherwise traumatic incident (a Sunday trip fatality, a suicide, a rape…) is placed at the center of a web of narratives-files that explore it from multiple points of view (perpetrator, victim, witness, survivor, investigator…):

"The proliferation of interconnected files is an attempt to answer the perennial and ultimately unanswerable question of why this incident happened. /…/ These violence-hub stories do not have a single solution like the adventure maze or a refusal of solution like the postmodern stories; instead, they combine a clear sense of story structure with a multiplicity of meaningful plots. The navigation of the labyrinth is like pacing the floor; a physical manifestation of the effort to come to terms with the trauma, it represents the mind's repeated efforts to keep returning to a shocking event in an effort to absorb it and, finally, get past it."

It is easy to perceive the crucial difference between this "retracing of the situation from different perspectives" and the rhizomatic hypertext: the endlessly repeated reenactment is referred to the trauma of some impossible Real which forever resists its symbolization — all these different narrativizations are ultimately just so many failures to cope with this trauma, with the contingent abyssal occurrence of some catastrophic Real like suicide apropos of which no "why" can ever serve as its sufficient explanation. — In a later closer elaboration, Murray even proposes two different versions of presentifying a traumatic suicidal occurrence, apart from such a texture of different perspectives. The first is to transpose us into the labyrinth of the subject's mind just prior to his suicide; the structure is here hypertextual and interactive, we are free to choose different options, to pursue the subject's ruminations in a multitude of directions — but whichever direction or link we choose, we sooner or later end up with the blank screen of the suicide. So, in a way, our very freedom to pursue different venues imitates the tragic self-closure of the subject's mind: no matter how desperately we look for a solution, we are compelled to acknowledge that there is no way out, that the final outcome will always be the same. The second version is the opposite one: we, the interactors, are put in the situation of a kind of "lesser god," having at our disposal a limited power of intervention into the life-story of the subject doomed to kill himself — say, we can "rewrite" the subject's past so that his girlfriend would not have left him, or that he would not have failed the crucial exam; yet whatever we do, the outcome is the same, so even God himself cannot change Destiny… (We find a version of this same closure in a series of alternative history sci-fi stories, in which the hero intervenes in the past in order to prevent some catastrophic event to occur, yet the unexpected result of his intervention is an even worse catastrrophy, like Stephen Fry's Making History, in which a scientist intervenes in the past making Hitler's father impotent just prior to Hitler's conception, so that Hitler is not born — as one can expect, the result of this intervention is that another German officer of aristocratic origins takes over the role of Hitler, develops the atomic bomb in time and wins the World War II.)

The futur anterieur in the History of Art

In a closer historical analysis, it is crucial not to conceive this narrative procedure of the multiple-perspective encircling of an impossible Real as a direct result of the cyberspace technology: technology and ideology are inextricably intertwined, ideology is inscribed already in the very technological features of cyberspace. More precisely, what we are dealing with here is yet another example of the well-known phenomenon of the old artistic forms pushing against their own boundaries and using procedures which, at least from our retroactive view, seem to point towards a new technology that will be able to serve as a more "natural" and appropriate "objective correlative" to the life-experience the old forms endeavoured to render by means of their "excessive" experimentations. A whole series of narrative procedures in the l9th century novels announce not only the standard narrative cinema (the intricate use of "flashback" in Emily Bronte or of "cross-cutting" and "close-ups" in Dickens), but sometimes even the modernist cinema (the use of "off-space" in Madame Bovary) — as if a new perception of life was already here, but was still strling to find its proper means of articulation, until it finally found it in cinema. What we have here is thus the historicity of a kind of futur anterieur: it is only when cinema was here and developed its standard procedures that we can really grasp the narrative logic of Dickens's great novels or of Madame Bovary.

And is it not that today, we are approaching a homologous threshold: a new "life experience" is in the air, a perception of life that explodes the form of the linear centered narrative and renders life as a multiform flow — even and up to the domain of "hard" sciences (quantum physics and its Multiple Reality interpretation, or the utter contingency that provided the spin to the actual evolution of the life on Earth — as Stephen Jay Gould demonstrated in his Wonderful Life, the fossils of Burgess Shale bear witness to how evolution may have taken a wholly different turn) we seem to be haunted by the chanciness of life and the alternate versions of reality. Either life is experienced as a series of multiple parallel destinies that interact and are crucially affected by meaningless contingent encounters, the points at which one series intersects with and intervenes into another (see Altman's Shortcuts), or different versions/outcomes of the same plot are repeatedly enacted (the "parallel universes" or "alternative possible worlds" scenarios — see Kieslowski's Chance, Veronique and Red; even "serious" historians themselves recently produced a volume Virtual History, the reading of the crucial Modeern Age century events, from Cromwell's victory over Stuarts and American independence war to the disintegration of Communism, as hinging on unpredictable and sometimes even improbable chances). This perception of our reality as one of the possible — often even not the most probable — outcomes of an "open" situation, this notion that other possible outcomes are not simply cancelled out but continue to haunt our "true" reality as a spectre of what might have happened, conferring on our reality the status of extreme fragility and contingency, implicitly clashes with the predominant "linear" narrative forms of our literature and cinema — they seem to call for a new artistic medium in which they would not be an eccentric excess, but its "proper" mode of functioning. One can argue that the cyberspace hypertext is this new medium in which this life experience will find its "natural," more appropriate objective correlative, so that, again, it is only with the advent of cyberspace hypertext that we can effectively grasp what Altman and Kieslowski were effectively aiming at.

Are not the ultimate example of this kind of futur anterieur Brecht's (in)famous "learning plays," especially his The Measure Taken, often dismissed as the justification of Stalinist purges. Although "learning plays" are usually conceived as an intermediary phenomenon, the passage between Brecht's early carnavalesque plays critical of bourgeois society and his late "mature" epic theatre, it is crucial to recall that, just before his death, when asked about what part of his works effectively augurs the "drama of the future," Brecht instantly answered "The Measure Taken." As Brecht emphasized again and again, The Measure Taken is ideally to be performed without the observing public, just with the actors repeatedly playing all the roles and thus "learning" the different subject-positions — do we not have here the anticipation of the cyberspace "immersive participation," in which actors engage in the "educational" collective role-playing. What Brecht was aiming at is the immersive participation which, nonetheless, avoids the trap of emotional identification: we immerse ourselves at the level of "meaningless," "mechanical" level of what, in Foucauldian terms, one is tempted to call "revolutionary disciplinary micro-practices," while at the same time critically observing our behavior. Does this not point also to a possible "educational" use of participatory cyberspace role-playing games in which, by way of repeatedly enacting different versions/outcomes of a same basic predicament, one can become aware of the ideological presuppositions and surmises that unknowingly guide our daily behavior? Do Brecht's three versions of his first great "learning play," Der Jasager, effectively not present us with such hypertext / alternate reality experience: in the first version, the boy "freely accept the necessary," subjecting himself to the old custom of being thrown into the valley; in the second version, the boy refuses to die, rationally demonstrating the futility of the old custom; in the third version, the boy accepts his death, but on rational grounds, not out of the respect for mere tradition. So when Brecht emphasizes that, by participating in the situation staged by his "learning plays," actors/agents themselves have to change, progressing towards a different subjective stance, he effectively points towards what Murray adequately calls "enactment as a transformational experience." In other words, apropos of Brecht's "learning plays," one should ask a naive straightforward question: what, effectively, are we, spectators, supposed to learn from them? Not some corps of positive knowledge (in this case, instead of trying to discern the Marxist idea wrapped in the "dramatic" scenery, it would certainly be better to read directly the philosophical work itself…), but a certain subjective attitude, that of "saying YES to the inevitable," i.e. the readiness to self-obliteration — in a way, one learns precisely the virtue of accepting the Decision, the Rule, without knowing why…

In his much underrated The Lost Highway, David Lynch transposes the vertical into the horizontal: social reality (the everyday aseptic/impotent modern couple) and its "repressed" fantasmatic supplement (the noir universe of forbidden masochistic passions and Oedipal triangles) are directly posited one next to the other, as two alternate universes. This co-existence and mutual envelopment of different universes led some New Age tilted reviewers to claim that The Lost Highway moves at a more fundamental psychic level than that of unconscious fantasizing of one subject: at a level, closer to the mind of "primitive" civilizations, of reincarnation, of double identities, of being reborn as a different person, etc. Against this "multiple reality" talk, one should insist on the fact that the fantasmatic support of reality is in itself necessarily multiple and inconsistent. And this is what Lynch does in The Lost Highway: he "traverses" our late-capitalist fantasmatic universe not by way of direct social criticism (depicting the grim social reality which serves as its actual foundation), but by staging these fantasies openly, without the "secondary perlaboration" which usually masks their inconsistencies. That is to say, the undecidability and ambiguity of what goes on in the film's narrative (are the two women played by Patricia Arquette the same women? Is the inserted story of Fred's younger reincarnation just Fred's hallucination, imagined to provide a post-festum rationale for his murder of his wife whose true cause is Fred's hurted male pride due to his impotence, his inability to satisfy the woman?) renders the very ambiguity and inconsistency of the fantasmatic framework which underlies and sustains our experience of (social) reality. It was often claimed that Lynch throws us, the spectators, open in our face the underlying fantasies of the noir universe — yes, but he simultaneously also renders visible the INCONSISTENCY of this fantasmatic support. The two main story-lines in The Lost Highway can thus be interpreted as akin to the dream-logic in which you can both "have your cake and eat it", like in the "Tea or coffee? Yes, please!" joke: you first dream about eating it, then about having/possessing it, since dreams does not know of contradiction. The dreamer resolves a contradiction by staging two exclusive situations one after the other; in the same way, in The Lost Highway, the woman (the dark Arquette) is destroyed/killed/punished, and the same woman (the blond Arquette) eludes the male grasp and triumphantly disappears…

Or, to put it in yet another way, Lynch confronts us with a universe in which different, mutually exclusive fantasies co-exist. Peter Hoeg's novel The Woman and the Ape stages sex with an animal as a fantasy of full sexual relationship, and it is crucial that this animal is as a rule male: in contrast to the cyborg-sex fantasy, in which the cyborg is as a rule a woman, i.e. in which the fantasy is that of Woman-Machine (Blade Runner), the animal is a male ape copulating with a human woman and fully satisfying her. Does this not materialize two standard vulgar notions: that of a woman who wants a strong animal partner, a "beast," not a hysterical impotent weakling, and that of a man who wants his feminine partner to be a perfectly programmed doll meeting all his wishes, not an effective living being. What Lynch does by staging inconsistent fantasies together, at the same level, is, in the terms of Hoag's novel, something akin to confronting us with the unbearable scene of the "ideal couple" underlying this novel, the scene of a male ape copulating with a female cyborg — the most efficient way to undermine the hold this fantasy exerts over us.

And, perhaps, along the same lines, cyberspace, with its capacity to externalize our innermost fantasies in all their inconsistency, opens up to artistic practice a unique possiblity to stage, to "act out," the fantasmatic support of our existence, up to the fundamental "sado-masochistic" fantasy that can never be subjectivized. We are thus invited to risk the most radical experience imaginable: the encounter with the Other Scene that stages the foreclosed hard core of the subject's Being. Far from enslaving us to these fantasies and thus turning us into desubjectivized blind puppets, it enables us to treat them in a playful way and thus to adopt towards them a minimum of distance — in short, to achieve what Lacan calls la traversee du fantasme, "going-through, traversing the fantasy."

Constructing the Fantasy

The strategy of "traversing the fantasy" in cyberspace can even be "operationalized" in a much more precise way. Let us for a moment return to Brecht's three versions of Der Jasager: these three versions seems to exhaust all possible variations of the matrix provided by the basic situation (perhaps with the inclusion of the fourth version, in which a boy rejects his death not for rational reasons, as unnecessary, but out of pure egotistic fear — not to mention the uncanny fifth version in which the boy "irrationally" endorses his death even when the "old custom" does NOT ask him to do it…). However, already at the level of a discerning "intuitive" reading, we can feel that the three versions are not at the same level: it is as if the first version renders the underlying traumatic core (the "death-drive" situation of willingly endorsing one's radical self-erasure), and the other two versions in a way react to this trauma, "domesticating" it, displacing/translating it into more acceptable terms, so that, if we were to see just one of these two latter versions, the proper psychoanalytic reading of them would justify the claim that these two versions present a displaced/transformed variation of some more fundamental fantasmatic scenario. Along the same lines, one can easily imagine how, when we are haunted by some fantasmatic scenario, externalizing it in cyberspace enables us to acquire a minimum of distance towards it, i.e. to subject it to a manipulation which will generate other variations of the same matrix — and, once we exhaust all main narrative possibilities, once we are confronted with the closed matrix of all possible permutations of the basic matrix underlying the explicit scenario we started with, we are bound to generate also the underlying "fundamental fantasy" in its undistorted, "non-sublimated," embarrassingly outright form, i.e. not yet displaced, obfuscated by "secondary perlaborations":

"The experience of the underlying fantasy coming to the surface is not merely an exhaustion of narrative possibilities; it is more like the solution to a constructivist puzzle. /…/ When every variation of the situation has been played out, as in the final season of a long-running series, the underlying fantasy comes to the surface. /…/ Robbed of the elaboration of sublimation, the fantasy is too bald and unrealistic, like the child carrying the mother up to bed. The suppressed fantasy has a tremendous emotional charge, but once its energy has saturated the story pattern, it loses its tension."

Is this "losing the tension" of the fundamental fantasy not another way to say that the subject traversed this fantasy? Of course, as Freud emphasized apropos of the fundamental fantasy "My father is beating me," underlying the explicit scene "A child is being beaten" that haunts the subject, this fundamental fantasy is a pure retroactive construction, since it was never present to the consciousness and then repressed: although it plays a proto-transcendental role, providing the ultimate coordinates of the subject's experience of reality, the subject is never able to fully assume/subjectivize in the first person singular — precisely as such, it can be generated by the procedure of "mechanical" variation on the explicit fantasies that haunt and fascinate the subject. To evoke Freud's other standard example, endeavouring to display how pathological male jealousy involves an unacknowledged homosexual desire for the male partner with whom I think my wife is cheating me: we arrive at the underlying statement "I LOVE him" by manipulating/permutating the explicit statement of my obsession "I HATE him (because I love my wife whom he seduced)." — We can see, now, how the purely virtual, non-actual, universe of cyberspace can "touch the Real": the Real we are talking about is not the "raw" pre-symbolic real of "nature in itself," but the spectral hard core of "psychic reality" itself. When Lacan equates the Real with what Freud calls "psychic reality," this "psychic reality" is not simply the inner psychic life of dreams, wishes, etc., as opposed to the perceived external reality, but the hard core of the primordial "passionate attachments," which are real in the precise sense of resisting the movement of symbolization and/or dialectical mediation:

"/…/ the expression 'psychical reality' itself is not simply synonymous with 'internal world,' 'psychological domain,' etc. If taken in the most basic sense that it has for Freud, this expression denotes a nucleus within that domain which is heterogeneous and resistant and which is alone in being truly 'real' as compared with the majority of psychical phenomena."

The "real" upon which cyberspace encroaches is thus the disavowed fantasmatic "passionate attachment," the traumatic scene which not only never took place in "real life," but was never even consciously fantasized — and is not the digital universe of cyberspace the ideal medium in which to construct such pure semblances which, although they are nothing "in themselves," pure presuppositions, provide the coordinates of our entire experience? It may appear that the impossible Real is to be opposed to the virtual domain of symbolic fictions: is the Real not the traumatic kernel of the Same against whose threat we seek refuge in the multitude of virtual symbolic universes? However, our ultimate lesson is that the Real is simultaneously the exact opposite of such a non-virtual hard core: a purely virtual entity, an entity which has no positive ontological consistency — its contours can only be discerned as the absent cause of the distortions/displacements of the symbolic space.

And it is only in this way, through touching the kernel of the Real, that cyberspace can be used to counteract what one is tempted to call the ideological practice of disidentification. That is to say, one should turn around the standard notion of ideology as providing the firm identification to its subjects, constraining them to their "social roles": what if, at a different — but no less irrevocable and structurally necessary — level, ideology is effective precisely by way of constructing a space of false disidentification, of false distance towards the actual coordinates of the subjects's social existence? Is this logic of disidentification not discernible from the most elementary case of "I am not only an American (husband, worker, democrat, gay…), but, beneath all these roles and masks, a human being, a complex unique personality" (where the very distance towards the symbolic feature that determines my social place guarantees the efficiency of this determination), up to the more complex case of cyberspace playing with one's multiple identities? The mystification operative in the perverse "just gaming" of cyberspace is thus double: not only are the games we are playing in it more serious than we tend to assume (is it not that, in the guise of a fiction, of "it's just a game," a subject can articulate and stage — sadistic, "perverse," etc. — features of his symbolic identity that he would never be able to admit in his "real" intersubjective contacts?), but the opposite also holds, i.e. the much celebrated playing with multiple, shifting personas (freely constructed identities) tends to obfuscate (and thus falsely liberate us from) the constraints of social space in which our existence is caught.

1. See Janet H.Murray, Hamlet on the Holodeck, The MIT Press: Cambridge (Ma) 1997, p. 278.

2. As to the concept of perversion, see Gilles Deleuze, Coldness and Cruelty, New York: Zone Books 1991.

3. Murray, op.cit., p.175.

4. Op.cit., p. 135-6.

5. See Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life, New York: Norton 1989.

6. See Virtual History, edited by Niall Ferguson, London: MacMillan 1997.

7. See Bertolt Brecht, "The Measure Taken," in The Jewish Wife and Other Short Plays, New York: Grove Press 1965. For a detailed reading of The Measure Taken, see Chapter 5 of Slavoj Zizek, Enjoy Your Symptom!, New York: Routledge 1993.

8. Murray, op.cit., p. 169-170.

9. See Sigmund Freud, "A child is being beaten," in Sexuality and the Psychology of Love, New York: Touchstone 1997, p. 97-122.

10. See Sigmund Freud, "Psychoanalytical Notes Upon an Autobiographical Account of a Case of Paranoia," in Three Case Histories, New York: Touchstone 1996, p. 139-141.

11. As to this term, see Judith Butler, The Psychic Life of Power, Stanford: Stanford University Press 1997.

12. J.Laplanche / J.B.Pontalis, The Language of Psychoanalysis, London: Karnac Books 1988, p. 315.

13. I rely here on Peter Pfaller, "Der Ernst der Arbeit ist vom Spiel gelernt," in Work & Culture, Klagenfurt: Ritter Verlag 1998, p. 29-36.

Hysteria and Cyberspace

Ulrich Gutmair and Chris Flor

Interview with Slavoj Zizek

Slavoj Zizek is engaged in the psychoanalytical theory of film and pop culture, covering a broad area from Hitchcock and Lynch to horror stories and science fiction. The philosopher from Ljubljana, Slovenia became popular with his book ENJOY YOUR SYMPTOM!: JACQUES LACAN IN HOLLYWOOD AND OUT. Recently his study on the efficiency of the phantasmatic in the new media was published, currently he is writing a text dealing with cyberspace. After checking the abundance of titles dealing with the strange phenomena connected to the 'virtual worlds' Zizek comes to the conclusion, that - in contrast to the popular, exoticising readings of the net - the predominant psychic economy of electronic networks is a hysterical one.

Mr. Zizek, in several essays you developed a critique of the so-called "virtualization of reality" which supposedly accompanies the development of information technologies. Recently you talked about several notions of cyberspace at the Humboldt University in Berlin. There is a 'collective' notion of cyberspace that was popularized for example via the idea of The Borg in Star Trek. The Borg seems to be something like a cybernetic insect state, combining the old image of the parasitic alien with a man-machine relationship which fuses the individual into 'One Being' via communication devices. This idea seems to correspond with the general trend towards a more or less predominant use of conspiracy theories to interpret the modern world...

Slavoj Zizek: If I understand this point of a one-mind-entity correctly, then it's a version of cyberspace I didn't mention. I first of all mentioned the deconstructionist version of cyberspace which is this post-Cartesian one: Each of us can play with his/her identities and so forth. This is the feminist, deconstructionist, Foucaultian version. But as you probably know there is another, let's call it the New Age school of cyberspace-ideology. It is this neo-Jungian idea that we live in an age of mechanistic, false individualism and that we are now on the threshold of a new mutation...

...the Noosphere...

Slavoj Zizek: Yes, that's precisely the idea. We all share one collective mind. What I find so interesting about it, is the ambiguity of this fantasy: It can be presented as the ultimate horror. Already in the fifties the big threat of communism was the notion of brainwashing, the ability to establish "one mind". The best cold war paranoia movie which employs this already in an ironic way is "The Manchurian Candidate" with Frank Sinatra. An American officer is captured by North Koreans in the Korean War and brainwashed to become a killer who kills on order, without being aware of it.

Today you still have on the one hand this negative utopian image of the collective mind, while on the other hand you have this positive New Age image. There are two opposite versions, but what I'm tempted to disagree with is their common presupposition, which is that cyberspace means, to put it very simply, the end of individuality, the end of Cartesian subjectivity. All positive properties are externalized in the sense that everything you are in a positive sense, all your features can be manipulated. When one plays in virtual space I can for example be a homosexual man who pretends to be a heterosexual woman, or whatever: either I can build a new identity for myself or in a more paranoiac way, I am somehow already controlled, manipulated by the digital space. What you are deprived of are only your positive properties, your personality in the sense of your personal features, your psychological properties. But only when you are deprived of all your positive content, can one truly see what remains, namely the Cartesian subject.

Only in Cyberspace do we approach what Cartesian subjectivity is all about. You remember when Descartes elaborates the process of universal doubt. One doubts that anything really exists in order to arrive at one's "ego cogito". Descartes develops this idea saying: Let's imagine an evil god, an evil spirit who just tricks us into believing.... But isn't cyberspace, virtual space, the materialisation of this evil spirit? And it's crucial to go through this universal doubt: What if everything is just digitally constructed, what if there is no reality to begin with? It's only when you go through this moment of universal doubt that you arrive at what Descartes means by "cogito ergo sum". For this reason I absolutely do not think that Cartesian subjectivity is threatened. Instead I think, it's only today that we are arriving at it.

The Borg story seems to develop a metaphor for cyberspace, the idea of a collective consciousness via communication tools. On the other hand, there is your idea of the computer as an asexual complement of man, something that constitutes the Big Other. Couldn't these metaphors be applied to all electronic media or even to media in general? A lot of properties which are attributed to Cyberspace today could equally be attributed to television for example. One has millions of people sitting in front of tv screens, being simultaneously fed the same intellectual or emotional 'content' through the Big Apparatus.

Slavoj Zizek: I definetely agree with this, but I'm tempted to say that we maybe can go even further! This is my big thesis a propos sexuality. What was so shocking about virtual space was not that before there was a 'real' reality and now there is only a virtual reality, but through the experience of VR we have somehow retroactively become aware of how there never was 'real reality'. Reality always was virtual, we just weren't aware of it. I think what is so horrible about virtual sex is not: My god before we had a real partner whom we touched, embraced, squeezed, and now you just masturbate in front of the screen or you don't even masturbate, you just enjoy knowing that maybe the other enjoys it through the screen or whatever. The point is we become aware of how there never was real sex.

It's not only that masturbation is having sex whith an imagined partner. What if real sex is only masturbation whith a real partner? That is to say, you think you're doing it with a real partner but you use the real partner as a masturbatory device, the real partner just gives you a minimum of material so you can act out your fantasies. In other words there are always at least three in sex, its never you and the partner, you must have a fantasy to sustain it. When the fantasy disintegrates, the partner gets disgusting. It's horror. In Shakespeare's "Hamlet" for example; in the middle of the play Hamlet looks at Ophelia and has this moment of 'Realitaetsverlust': What a disgusting person she is. Because precisely what gets lost is this phantasmatic support. I think a certain dimension of virtuality is co-substantial with the symbolic order or the order of language as such.

There is another point, which is maybe connected to the phenomenon of collective mind you evoked. I claim one should approach the dimension of being 'undead'. In this precise sense that undead doesn't simply mean 'alive', it means dead but nonetheless alive. Think about Stephen King, zombies and vampires. Here I connect cyberspace with what Lacan calls tissue of libido, 'lamella', a substance of life which cannot ever be destroyed. The problem here is no longer mortality but the opposite: It's this kind of horrible life form, like that of vampires, which you can never get rid of.

The ultimate horror becomes the very 'Unsterblichkeit', this very immortality. In the new text which I'm writing now, I'm trying to establish this impossible connection, a link between Kleist, Wagner and cyberspace. If you read Wagner's operas closely, the fundamental complaint, I think, the "Klage" of all the big Wagnerian arias, is the following: Their heroes - except in Lohengrin and Tannhäuser, Wagners big failures - are not allowed to die. This I think is the true horror of Cyberspace, that one has this spectral dimension of life beyond death, an undead life, which is even true at the most banal, everyday level.

Do you know the function 'undelete' in computers? The problem with computers is not that something can be erased: you worked all afternoon and then have a power failure and it's gone. Okay, these things can happen. But you know that it's sometimes even more horrible that you cannot really erase it. Once it's in, it's in. Here I see also the problem with clonin= g. It's not the problem of: "Will I lose my individuality, will I be in the position of precise doubles etc." The problem of cloning is that you cannot ever die. You kill yourself and they find (ideally speaking, of course it is not yet scientifically possible) just a little bit of you and they can reconstitute you. You are endlessly reproductable. Nobody knows how this will effect individuality.

You interpret the situation one encounters in front of the computer screen - for example when communicating via e-mail - as a situation of Hysteria. There is actually a great deal of uncertainty in these forms of communication: You can never be sure who is reading your input or in what way. Vou are aware of this situation all the time and try to anticipate the other's reactions. Also, important additional features of face-to-face communication like gestures or tone of voice are missing...

Slavoj Zizek: The Freudian unconscious is very much like what one does in front of the computer screen. The Freudian unconscious is not all this body language or tonality, no. The Freudian unconscious is precisely this helplessness, where you are talking to someone, but at the same time you do not even know at whom it is addressed exactly. You are radically not sure, because basically this is a symptom. When you have some hysterical symptom it has precisely such a structure. So my point here would be along the lines you drew, that cyberspace often functions in the hysterical way, which is exactly this radical uncertainty: I don't know whom my letter will reach. = I don't know what the other wants from me and thus I try in advance to reflect this uncertainty. Cyberspace is open in the sense that we cannot decide from its technological properties whether it functions in a perverse or in a hysterical way.

There is not a certain psychic economy inscribed in the functioning of cyberspace as such. But much more often then we think cyberspace is still caught in a hysterical economy. That's why I distrust not only the paranoiac versions of cyberspace, I also deeply distrust the liberating version, "we play with multiple identities" and so forth.

I think, if I may simplify, that there are three or four predominant versions of cyberspace. There is the common sense version, where we are still real people who talk to each other, cyberspace is just another medium. This is too simple, because cyberspace of course does affect what it means to be a subject. Then we have the paranoiac version: cyberspace, the maternal thing, we lose autonomy. Then we have this perverse liberating notion, we get rid of patriarchal authority. And the other one is the New Age version of the Noosphere. People are so fascinated by phenomena which are really very exceptional. I don't know anyone who, when sitting in front of the computer really regresses to some kind of psychotic immersion, who becomes a member of the Noosphere, it's not like that. The hysterical experience is the fundamental experience.

One can read your emphasis on hysteria in this discussion as an answer to a certain kind of current left-wing politics which has been inspired by gender theory, which proposes the transgressive and therefore subversive potential of 'perversion' ...

Slavoj Zizek: Something which makes hysteria interesting is how these modern leftist ideas share the disqualification of hysteria with radical Leninist and Stalinist politics. It would be very interesting to find out when the signifier of the hysterical subject emerges as a swearword in Stalinist politics. Even earlier, already with Lenin, the internal enemies, the revisionists were disqualified as hysterics: They don't know what they want, they doubt.

When I speak of perversion I do not mean perversion as a certain practice, for example anal intercourse. For Lacan, perversion designates a very precise subjective attitude that is an attitude of self-objectivization or self-instrumentalization. Whereas the typical hysterical fear is to become a tool of the other. So the basic constituent of subjectivity is hysterical: I don't know what I am for the other. Hysteria, or neurosis in general is always a position of questioning.

That's the crucial message of Freud: The hysterical subject doesn't materialize his dreams in a perverse scenario, not because he or she is afraid of repression or the law, but because he always has this doubt: I can do this, but what if even that won't satisfy me. What if even this perverse scenario is a fake, a false mask.

Of course there is also a political axis to this: My answer to some popularised version of Foucault or Deleuze which praises this multiple perverse post-modern subject with its no longer fixed paternal authority, which shifts between different self-images and reshapes itself all the time, is: Why is this supposed to be subversive? I claim, and this got me into a lot of trouble with some feminists, I claim that, to put it into old fashioned Marxist terms, the predominant structure of today's subjectivity in "Spaetkapitalismus" (Advanced Capitalism) or whatever we want to call it, is perverse: The typical form of psychic economy of subjectivity which is more and more predominant today, the so called narcissist personality, is a perverse structure. The paternal authority is no longer the enemy today. So this idea of an explosion of multiple perversions just describes what fits perfectly today's late-capitalist order...

... the flexible economy.

Slavoj Zizek: Yes, you can put it that way. No firm identity, shifting and multiple identities. This is how subjectivity functions today. To cut a long story short, in this sense perversion is not subversive, and the first step towards subversion is precisely to reintroduce this hysterical doubt. I think the present social relations can fully acknowledge multiple identities. I think that today the ideal subject is bisexual: I play with men, I play with women, anything goes and it's not subversive. And the strategy of imagining the nastiest perversion will not create a situation which the system will not be able to sustain. I think it's politically wrong and I think it doesn't work. When you have a look at the art system for example: Perverse transgressions are directly organized by the establishment to keep the market functioning and alive.



RB: Mr. Zizek, in several essays you developed a critique of the so-called virtualization of reality which supposedly accompanies the development of squid theory. Recently you talked about several notions of the giant squid at the Humboldt Universität in Berlin. There is a collective notion of the giant squid that seems to correspond with the general trend towards a more or less predominant use of conspiracy theories to interpret the modern world ...
Slavoj Zizek: If I understand this point of a one-mind collective correctly, then it's a version of squid theory I will talk about in a bit. I first of all mentioned the deconstructionist version of squid theory, which is this post-Cartesian one: Each of us can play with his/her identities and so forth. This is the feminist, deconstructionist, Foucaultian version. But as you probably know there is another, let's call it the New Age school of giant-squideology. It is this neo-Jungian idea that we live in an age of mechanistic, false individualism and that we are now on the threshold of a mutation . . .

RB: ...the Noosphere...

Slavoj Zizek: Yes, that's precisely the idea. We all share a collective mind. What I find so interesting about it, is the ambiguity of this fantasy: It can be presented as the ultimate horror. Already in the fifties the big threat of communism was the notion of brainwashing, the ability to establish "one mind." Today you still have this negative utopian image of the collective mind, while on the other hand you have this positive New Age image. These are opposite versions, but what I'm tempted to disagree with is their common presupposition, which is that the giant squid means, to put it very simply, the end of individuality, the end of Cartesian subjectivity. All positive properties are externalized in the sense that everything you are, in a positive sense, all your features, can be manipulated. When one plays in virtual space I could for example be a homosexual man who pretends to be a heterosexual squid, or whatever: either I can build a new identity for myself, or in a more paranoiac way, I am somehow already controlled, manipulated by the digital space, the realm of the SquidMasters. What you are deprived of are only your positive properties, your personality in the sense of your personal features, your psychological properties. But only when you are deprived of all your positive content, can one truly see what remains, namely the Cartesian subject.

Only in Squid theory do we approach what Cartesian subjectivity is all about. You remember when Descartes elaborates the process of universal doubt. One doubts that anything really exists in order to arrive at one's "ego cogito." Descartes develops this idea saying: Let's imagine an evil god, an evil squid who just tricks us into believing.... But isn't the Giant Squid, virtual space, the materialization of this evil spirit? Does squid equal god? Squod? Sgod?

And it's crucial to go through this universal doubt: What if everything is just digitally constructed, what if there is no reality to begin with? It's only when you go through this moment of universal doubt that you arrive at what Descartes means by "cogito ergo sum." For this reason I absolutely do not think that Cartesian subjectivity is threatened. Instead I think, it's only today that we are arriving at it, by understanding the squid.

RB: The Internet seems to develop a metaphor for the giant squid, the idea of a collective consciousness via communication tools. On the other hand, there is your idea of the computer as an asexual complement of man, something that constitutes the Big Other, or Big Octopus. Couldn't these metaphors be applied to all electronic media or even to media in general? A lot of properties which are attributed to television today could equally be attributed to giant squid. What about hardcore squid porn?

Slavoj Zizek: Well, here's a question for you: What if real sex is only masturbation with a real partner? That is to say, you think you're doing it with a real partner but you use the real partner as a masturbatory device, the real partner just gives you a minimum of material so you can act out your fantasies. In other words there are always at least four in sex, its never you and the partner, you must have a fantasy to sustain it with the addition of the ever-present giant squid. When the fantasy disintegrates, the partner gets disgusting. It's horror. In Shakespeare's "Hamlet" for example; in the middle of the play Hamlet looks at Ophelia and has this moment of Cephalophobia: What a disgusting person she is. Because precisely what gets lost is this phantasmatic support.

I think a certain dimension of virtuality is co-substantial with the symbolic order of the giant squid or the order of language as such. There is another point, which is maybe connected to the phenomenon of collective squid mind you evoked. I claim one should approach the dimension of being undead. In this precise sense that undead doesn't simply mean alive, it means dead but nonetheless alive. Here I connect squid theory with what Lacan calls tissue of libido, lamella, a substance of life which can never be destroyed. The problem here is no longer mortality but the opposite: It's this kind of horrible life form, like that of vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis), which you can never get rid of. The ultimate horror becomes the very Unsterblichkeit, this very immortality. In the new text which I'm writing now, I'm trying to establish this impossible connection, a link between Kleist, Wagner, and the giant squid. If you read Wagner's operas closely, the fundamental complaint, I think, the Klage of all the big Wagnerian arias, is the following: Their heroes - except in Lohengrin and Tannhäuser, Wagner's big failures - are not allowed to die, like the vampire squid. This I think is the true horror of squid theory, that one has this spectral dimension of life beyond death, an undead life, which is even true at the most banal, everyday level.

I also see the same problem with cloning. It's not the problem of "Will I lose my individuality, will I be in the position of precise doubles etc." The problem of cloning is that you cannot ever die. You kill yourself and they find (ideally speaking, of course it is not yet scientifically possible) just a little bit of you and they can reconstitute you. You are endlessly reproducible. Nobody knows how this will effect individuality. A squid has eight tentacles. There is more than the duality of doubles. With the giant squid, you have an octality!

RB: You interpret the situation one encounters in front of the computer screen - for example when communicating via e-mail - as a situation of hysteria. There is actually a great deal of uncertainty in these forms of communication: You can never be sure who is reading your input or in what way. You are aware of this situation all the time and try to anticipate the other's reactions. Also, important additional features of face-to-face communication like gestures or tone of voice are missing ...

Slavoj Zizek: The Freudian unconscious is very much like what one does in front of the computer screen. The Freudian unconscious is not all this body language or tonality, no. The Freudian unconscious is precisely this helplessness, where you are talking to someone, but at the same time you do not even know at whom it is addressed exactly. You are radically not sure, because basically this is a symptom. When you have some hysterical symptom it has precisely such a structure. So my point here would be along the lines you drew, that the giant squid often functions in the hysterical way, which is exactly this radical uncertainty: I don't know whom my letter will reach. I don't know what the other wants from me and thus I try in advance to reflect this uncertainty. The giant squid is open in the sense that we cannot decide from its technological properties whether it functions in a perverse or in a hysterical way. There is not a certain psychic economy inscribed in the functioning of squid theory as such. But much more often then we think the giant squid is still caught in a hysterical economy. That's why I distrust not only the paranoiac versions of the giant squid, I also deeply distrust the liberating version, "we play with multiple identities" and so forth.

I think, if I may simplify, that there are three or four predominant versions of squid theory:

There is the common sense version, where we are still real people who talk to each other: the giant squid is just another medium. This is too simple, because the Giant Squid of course does affect what it means to be a subject.

Then we have the paranoiac version: the giant squid, the maternal thing, we lose autonomy.

Then we have this perverse liberating notion: we get rid of patriarchal authority.

And the other one is the New Age version of the Noosphere.

People are so fascinated by phenomena that are really very exceptional. I don't know anyone who, when sitting in front of the computer really regresses to some kind of psychotic immersion, who becomes a member of the Noosphere, a minion of the SquidMaster, it's not like that. The hysterical experience is the fundamental experience.

RB: One can read your emphasis on hysteria in this discussion as an answer to a certain kind of current left-wing politics which has been inspired by squid theory, which proposes the transgressive and therefore subversive potential of perversion ...

Slavoj Zizek: Something which makes hysteria interesting is how these modern leftist ideas share the disqualification of hysteria with radical Leninist and Stalinist politics. It would be very interesting to find out when the signifier of the hysterical subject emerges as a swearword in Stalinist politics. Even earlier, already with Lenin, the internal enemies, the revisionists were disqualified as hysterics. They don't know what they want, they doubt. When I speak of perversion I do not mean perversion as a certain practice, for example anal intercourse, squid intercourse. For Lacan, perversion designates a very precise subjective attitude that is an attitude of auto-objectivization or autocephalopodization. Whereas the typical hysterical fear is to become a tool of the other, so the basic constituent of subjectivity is hysterical: I don't know what I am for the Squid. Hysteria, or neurosis in general is always a position of questioning. My answer to some popularized version of Foucault or Deleuze which praises this multiple perverse post-modern subject with its no longer fixed squid authority, which shifts between different self-images and reshapes itself all the time, is: Why is this supposed to be subversive? I claim, and this got me into a lot of trouble with some feminists, I claim that, to put it into old fashioned Marxist terms, the predominant structure of today's subjectivity in Spaetkapitalismus (ie, Advanced Capitalism) or whatever we want to call it, is perverse.

The typical form of psychic economy of subjectivity, which is more and more predominant today, the so-called narcissist personality is a perverse structure and cannot hold in squid theory. The squid authority is no longer the enemy today. So this idea of an explosion of multiple perversions just describes what fits perfectly today's late-capitalist order . . .

RB: . . . the flexible cephalopod economy.

Slavoj Zizek: Yes, you can put it that way. No firm identity, shifting and multiple identities, eight of them -- octalities. This is how subjectivity functions today. To make a long story short, perversion is not subversive, and the first step towards subversion is precisely to reintroduce this hysterical doubt. I think the present social relations can fully acknowledge multiple identities. I think that the ideal subject is trisexual: I play with men, I play with women, I play with squid, anything goes: it's not subversive.

And in conclusion, there is a giant squid conspiracy… and to make light of that conspiracy would mean death. I don’t believe there is anything hysterical about that. To return to the original idea of interpreting the modern world through a conspiracy theory means truth to me. The real (Ha!), the giant squid, truth will be found in the search for it. The nature of the squid is the nature of post-modernism. Total non-truth in the search for meaning/the giant squid.

- 21:50 - Komentari (10) - Isprintaj - #

The "Metaphysicals": English Baroque Literature in Context

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


In the still predominantly British study of English literature, the term "Baroque" is hardly ever used to describe the era between the Renaissance and the age of Neoclassicism, and it seems that only scholars of comparative literature who have dared look across the Channel, such as René Wellek, as well as cultural scholars use it in their approach. 1 In British studies of English literature, the term "Metaphysical" is still given preference. Originally, "Metaphysical" was used as a derogatory term by the Neoclassicists in order to differentiate their aesthetics, which was based on reason and clearly defined rules, from the Baroque aesthetics of the "last age". From their point of view the Baroque poets had offended against the eternally valid norms of reason and nature and so, in this diphemistic sense, "Metaphysical" was meant to describe something "unnatural" or "adverse to nature" rather than the "supernatural". After John Dryden's and Samuel Johnson's derogatory use of the term "Metaphysical", it became a neutral technical term -- a frequent semantic change when the immediate historical context sinks into oblivion. In his influential Discourse concerning the Original and Progress of Satire (1693) Dryden described how, during his aberration from reason as a youth, he was dazzled by Abraham Cowley's "points of wit, and quirks of epigram" and other "puerilities", and looked upon him as a pupil of the Baroque poet John Donne:

He [Donne] affects the metaphysics, where nature only should reign. [...] In this Mr Cowley has copied him to a fault. 2

In 1779, Samuel Johnson wrote a short biography of Abraham Cowley. This was the first of a series of biographical and critical prefaces to his anthology of Works of the English Poets (1779-1781), a book firmly based on Neoclassical principles. His judgement and terminology followed Dryden's:

About the beginning of the seventeenth century appeared a race of writers that may be termed the Metaphysical poets [...]. 3

In a rather haphazard enumeration Samuel Johnson accused these 'unnatural' poets of a great many offences against reason and nature: exhibiting artificiality instead of concealing art, the desire for originality at the expense of the mimesis of nature, unpolished stylistic carelessness, abstruse conceits arbitrarily yoked together in a kind of discordia concors, enormous hyperboles, gross absurdities, and horrible obscenities often conveyed in puns and quibbles. 4 The Rationalistic and Neoclassical purification of the language, as propagated by the Académie Française after 1634 and by the Royal Society after 1668, tolerated no multiple meanings of words that would confuse the understanding, and thus radically inverted the dynamic expansion of the Renaissance and (even more so) of the Baroque vocabulary prominent in Rabelais, Shakespeare, and Donne. Shakespearean and Metaphysical puns and quibbles offended against the most basic Neoclassical rules of reason, the rule of clarity and the rule of decorum.

Apart from being distorted by Neoclassical prejudices, Samuel Johnson's catalogue of the characteristics of English Baroque literature is also rather incomplete. Ever since Grierson's edition (1912) and Eliot's essay (1921), research into Baroque poetry has not only led to a revision of Neoclassical prejudices but has also looked at the Baroque period unhampered by the distortions of a different aesthetic approach. 5 It has, moreover, led to a substantial expansion and modification of Johnson's catalogue. On the basis of recent research studies, the characteristics of English Baroque literature can be summarized in nine points:


In the literary comparison or image the distance between vehicle and tenor was widened in an artificial and affected way to such an extreme or even contrariness that any logical or natural relationship between the two was no longer immediately recognizable. 6 Comparing the body, in which the soul lives confined until its liberation by death, to a prison or to a coffin had been a natural conventional illustration of Plato's soma-sema-doctrine; but comparing the body to a rusty gun barrel which the bullet of the soul breaks in order to fly upward to heaven, as John Donne did in his Second Anniversary (1612), was an instance of Baroque wit, originality, and eccentricity:

But thinke that Death hath now enfranchis'd thee,
Thinke that a rusty Peece, discharg'd, is flowne
In peeces, and the bullet is his owne,
And freely flies: This to thy Soule allow,
Thinke thy shell broke [...] 7

The 'eccentric' world picture spreading through Europe after Nicolaus Copernicus' De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543) produced equally 'eccentric' art forms, which were later labelled with epoch-terms denoting just this eccentricity: 'baroque', 'il seicento eccentrico'. A remarkable manifestation of this loss of the centre or Verlust der Mitte 8 can be seen in Baroque church architecture. Here, the circle as the typical feature of Renaissance groundplan design was replaced by the Baroque oval. Thus the church-goer's traditional experience of the centre below the cupola was clearly distorted. Typical examples are Bernini's Jesuit Sant' Andrea al Quirinale in Rome or the Jesuit Loreto Church near the Hradcany (Castle) in Prague. 9 In Baroque rhetoric, the conceit replaced the Renaissance image just as the oval replaced the Renaissance circle in Baroque architecture, giving the reader an equal sense of distortion. A typical example is the famous divine poem on the repentant sinner Mary Magdalene, 'The Weeper', and its strong-line coda, 'The Tear' (MSS ca 1640), by the Roman Catholic and Counter-Reformatory poet Richard Crashaw. The poem disrupts the well-proportioned and by now time-worn Petrarchan comparison of eyes with fountains or orbs and tears with springs or stars 10 in the most extravagant and illogically mixed ways. In rapid and broken succession, the eyes are no longer fountains but become extended to "portable and compendious oceans" faithfully and paradoxically following their beloved Christ, and the tears are drops weeping for their own loss, or, more paradoxically, moist sparks, watery diamonds, maiden gems worn by a wanton woman blushing at Christ, her very masculine and beautiful lover, pearls of dew carried on pillows stuffed with the down of angels from the sinner's lowly dust to heaven, to be metamorphosed into stars and singers in the heavenly choir of angels. 11 Besides concrete physical objects such as eyes and tears, abstracts such as moderation, repentance, grace, wisdom, and love could also be illustrated by such far-fetched and original vehicles. Thus, the obvious and harmonious comparison of love with fire in Petrarch was replaced by the artificial and eccentric comparison of love with a flea in Donne. 12 This concettismo was closely related to the originally anti-Calvinist and Counter-Reformatory mixed genre of the emblem. Complementing a Baroque history painting, the emblem was chiefly meant to convey abstract doctrines of faith and philosophy to the human senses, in a tripartite combination of word and picture. This task would almost necessarily put a strain on the emblem writer's inventiveness in finding eccentric vehicles and tertia comparationis, as when he illustrated the universal indispensability of divine and human love by depicting the world as a cask and Amor-Christ as a cooper binding together that cask's loose planks. 13 It is typical of this Baroque ut pictura poesis that, for instance, the conceptistic comparison of divine grace with a magnet, which alone can draw the iron human heart up to God, was used both in a holy sonnet of John Donne's 14 and in an emblem in Georgette de Montenay's Monumenta Emblematorum Christianorum (1540). 15


Much has been written about the theatricality and dramatic quality of Metaphysical poetry, especially in its earlier phase. In their radical opposition to Calvinistic theology, Metaphysical poems are intensely picturesque, displaying all the pictorial splendour usually associated with the flashy illusory stage-designs of the Stuart court-masque. Calvin's rabbinistic, anti-Catholic, (and allegedly early Christian) interpretation of the first commandment of the decalogue (Exodus 20. 4), forbidding not only idols but all pictures, had entailed his ban on plays and playhouses in general. No theatres were allowed in Calvin's Genevan theocracy, and the early English Calvinists' ("Puritans'") antagonism to the theatre and its consequences has been well investigated. Small wonder that the Counter-Reformation reacted by stressing both the practice of the theatre (Jesuitendrama) and the literary and artistic commonplaces of the theatre. "Totus mundus agit histrionen", "el gran theatro del mundo", "das große Welttheater", became a favourite theme and motif of Baroque literature. 16 Moreover, against the background of the sister arts ut pictura poesis, attention should be paid to the theatricality both of Baroque church architecture and of Baroque painting. Baroque churches were splendidly designed as theatrum sacrum, and theatrical illusion (as in trompe l'oeil ceilings) was consciously made use of in order to involve the senses ad majorem Dei gloriam. The heavens opening and revealing God surrounded by his hierarchies of angels in all their glory was portrayed as a theatrical pageant comparable to (and exceeding) that of the most splendid court-masques, giving observers a sensual foretaste of the delights to come in the world beyond. Baroque paintings, too, are full of theatre motifs and heavy drapery, with curtains allowing glimpses of what seemingly was not meant to be seen. This, of course, had the contrary effect: disclosing rather than concealing, arousing curiosity and guiding the eye directly to what was only half-heartedly hidden. Christ in the manger or Christ on the cross no longer carries a napkin or loincloth hiding his shame, but rather a theatre curtain revealing it and conveying Christ's erotic potency and soteriological fertility to the astounded spectator.


Not only in literary comparisons but also in the context of the two conflicting world pictures and two conflicting religions -- even the most remote elements were connected in contentio or composition (now called antithesis) or synoeciosis or opposition (now called paradox). 17 We find heaven and hell, life and death, fire and water almost automatically linked, just as Baroque literature reflected the increasing awareness of a world out of joint on all levels. In their massive accumulation and complex clusters, antithesis and paradox became distinctive characteristics of Baroque rhetoric. 18 Thus, in his two earliest verse letters referring to his participation in the Islands Expedition (1597), 19 John Donne opposed the descriptions of two contrary experiences in extremis, a sea storm and a sea calm. Both not only threatened the sailors' lives, the second even more than the first, but confronted them with two versions of pristine, pre-Creationist, Godless chaos. In the storm

Darkness, lights elder brother, his birth-right
Claims o'er this world, and to heaven hath chas'd light.
All things are one, and that none can be,
Since all formes, uniforme deformity
Doth cover, so that wee, except God say
Another Fiat, shall have no more day. 20
And in the calm

He that at sea prayes for more winde, as well
Under the poles may begge cold, heat in hell. 21

All aim is lost in disorientation, all coherence (of the fleet) is gone. All order, distinctions, and laws of causality are annihilated in a hell of shrieking noises or baking heat. The speaker can no longer distinguish directions and seasons, day and light, sleep and death, health and disease. And every thing and act planned for the sake of survival either fails or turns to its very contrary. The accumulated paradoxes underline the obliteration of all created relationship between cause and effect, as of all rational order. Another of Donne's eschatological poems either composing or opposing extremes is The First Anniversary (1611). Here the old world, shaken by a severe fever with hot and cold flushes, doubts whether the end of this crisis signifies the world's survival or its death, only to learn that its inevitable decay due to sin is the (certainly very Utopian) precondition of its rebirth into a virtuous and prelapsarian state. 22 In Cyril Tourneur's play The Revenger's Tragedy (1607), the hero Vindice wavers between extreme love and extreme disgust, libido and contemptus mundi, at the sight of the skull of his murdered mistress, which is wrapped in beautiful clothes. 23 Arthur Hübscher talks of "Baroque as a means of forming an antithetical awareness of life". 24

Situative as well as rhetorical paradoxes can be found in all epochs of literature, and have been aptly classified in three types: the serious and unresolvable paradox, the comical and satirical paradox, and the playful or semi-jocular paradox. 25 The distinctively Baroque paradox belonged to the first type. Like the conventional serious paradox, it opposed extreme opposites in seeming logicality; but it aimed at eccentric surprise. It exceeded the conventionality of Tertullian's maxim of "credo quia absurdum" in its witty originality and offence against conventional decorum. In John Donne's Holy Sonnets, each speaker tries to overcome the broken state of the world and the church in a privatissime illogical communion between two lovers, himself and his desired God. The speaker will never be free unless God chains him, and will never be chaste unless God rapes him. God has to overthrow him in order that he may firmly stand. 26 In Richard Crashaw's 'Hymn to Saint Teresa', penetration is the precondition of virginity as well as ignorance the precondition of knowledge, bankruptcy the precondition of trade, weakness the precondition of strength, martyrdom and death the precondition of life, and fall and sin the precondition of resurrection and salvation. In their theological and philosophical unresolvability, such serious paradoxes, homiletically conventional or sensationally shocking, were radically different from the traditional comical and satirical type of paradox on the one hand, and from the traditional playful or semi-jocular type of paradox on the other hand. 27 And they also differed from the paradoxy that modern literary theory postulates for all poetry (Cleanth Brooks and the New Criticism) or even prose (Paul de Man and Deconstructivism). The distinctive feature of Baroque paradoxes is their shocking choice of joined opposites as well as the sheer quantity of obsessive paradox cumulation, which sets them apart from the serious paradoxes that survived in the Augustan age, with its self-imposed obligation to a return to harmony and to the restrictive rule of decorum. 28 The typically Baroque use of paradoxes must be understood as the literary expression of an age that did not only have to face new contradictory theologies, philosophies, and views of history. 29 The age had, above all, been taken by surprise in having to face a totally new, non-geocentric world picture. Where the centre is lost, excess and eccentricity are the new norm itself. Thus, an aesthetics of excess, eccentricity, disproportion, non-balance, monstrosity, and stupendousness became the hallmark of the Baroque: "la estetica di stupare". And so the Baroque sought to bridge by an excessive and eccentric, original and innovative wit and art what faith found increasingly difficult to believe. 30 It was here that the replacement of religion by art began, and it is here that we find Matthew Arnold's and Friedrich Nietzsche's predecessors in doubt. Baroque man lived torn between two logically irreconcilable world pictures: on the one hand, the old Ptolemaic, geocentric one which had for centuries given man a sense of order and dignity, which was now increasingly called in doubt; and, on the other hand, the new Copernican, heliocentric one which, though it proved empirically convincing, resulted in a deep sense of physical and moral displacement and ontological disorientation. Tycho Brahe's typically Renaissance attempt at reconciling the two world pictures shows the whole extent of the dilemma. 31 From an early seventeenth-century rational and erudite man's point of view, Anthony Munday spoke of "opposed truth", 32 and Baltasar Gracián of "monstruos de la verdad". 33 This antithetical awareness explains Crashaw's desperate call to return to Saint Teresa's childish, pre-logical, and mystical acceptance of contraries beyond man's rational comprehension. But the lost firmness of faith was irretrievable, and Baroque mysticism differed from medieval mysticism in its strong element of doubt. In this, Baroque love of paradox and Baroque mysticism were closely connected.


As shown above, Baroque literature's characteristic feature of replacing logical lines of argumentation by paradoxes, syllogisms, barocones 34 and other kinds of witty and spurious argumentation reflects the feeling of an original community and continuity increasingly torn apart. George Herbert's broken altar (fragmented in violation of biblical law) 35 symbolizes the broken church, and is wittily associated with the psalmist's broken heart as well as the speaker's broken poem. The speaker's poetic sacrifice, like all sacrifice, aims at an 'at-one-ment' with God, though (paradoxically) to the exclusion of both the church and the community. 36 Donne's First Anniversary, his above-mentioned poetic anatomy of the dead old world, provides another type of such unexpected disruptions of the train of thoughts. It teems with sudden changes of argument and truncated thoughts, marked by aposiopeses or interruptions of the type of "But no!" and underlined by numerous antitheses and unresolvable paradoxes. Another splendid instance is Donne's poem 'A Noctural upon St Lucy's Day', with its wittily paradoxical and surprising treatment of alchemy. 37 The speaker, tout seul by the death of his beloved lady and in his isolation from "all others", feels more than ordinarily depressed on St Lucy's day, being the shortest, darkest, and most sapless day of the year. All others stand in expectation of the next spring, which will renew their erotic vitality. The speaker, however, feels his own death multiplied into utter nothingness. Alchemy, the ultimate goal of which was the transformation of lower into higher matter, is replaced by a "new alchemy", transforming nothingness into a higher form of nothingness. Then this utter bodilessness will exalt him far above the mere fleshly and goatlike regeneration of "all others" and effect his regeneration into an infinitely higher love. Thus, nothingness distilled to its "quintessence" and "elixir" becomes a higher life, the nadir turns zenith. A dense erotic imagery (alchemy and alembics, the tropic of capricorn, sap and balm, lust, goat, bed) is inseparably interwoven with an equally dense religious number symbolism (3, 5, 7, 9, 12) and imagery (sun, vigil, eve). 38 Such a definitely unprudish sensuality as appears in these paradoxes refers to still another source of the logically broken dispositio of the classical literary rhetorical discourse: the trompe l'oeil argumentation of the Jesuits, i.e. the deliberate satisfaction of the senses, condemned by Calvin, by deceiving the senses (as well as in the above-mentioned trompe l'oeil perspective of Baroque church ceiling paintings) ad majorem Dei gloriam following Ignatius of Loyola and the Council of Trent (1545-63). 39


With the growing post-Copernican sense of macrocosmic chaos and the post-Machiavellian (and pre-Hobbesian) threat of political chaos, especially civil war, man tended to withdraw and in some cases even to create his own ordered microcosm: 40 alone with his paramour in his love chamber, alone with his God in his prayer-room, or, in the most extreme case, entirely alone (as the speaker of Andrew Marvell's 'The Garden'). This self-imposed separation of microcosmic privacy from macrocosm and state, in the hope of finding a last refuge of cosmic harmony in this privacy, dissolved the time-honoured doctrine of the three integrally corresponding planes of the Creation. 41 Calvinistic Protestantism had destroyed the old holistic Roman Catholic ceremony of the Eucharist (and with it the kath'holon unity of sensuality and spirituality, man and God, as well as high and low members of one church community). This had significantly contributed towards an irreversible development still in progress today, the individualization and isolation (Vereinzelung) of man, which modern sociologists have called "the tyranny of privacy". 42 Cast back upon himself in his private prayers for forgiveness and peace, the Protestant had begun to leave the traditional communio and to become tout seul. 43 Efforts during the Counter-Reformation to re-establish the old kath'holon feeling of a communio ecclesiastica et eucharistica were doomed to fail. In court culture, too, this by now irreversible development became apparent in the increasing isolation of the monarch and nobility. Whereas King Henry VIII and his daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, had still visited the country and personally responded to entertainments and pageants presented to them by the citizens, the succeeding Stuarts more and more withdrew into the privacy of their courts. King James I (1603-25) ostensibly reduced contact with the people, and King Charles I (1625-40) tried to abolish such public relations altogether, with disastrous political consequences which cost him both his throne (1642) and his life (30 January 1649). 44 The cult of the Stuart court-masque may be regarded as another symptom of that isolation, as the royals and their courtiers staged plays in which they themselves were both actors and spectators, to the exclusion of the public. 45 The admission of representatives of 'the world' to royal audiences became an intimidating ritual set in equally intimidating surroundings of architectural designs, which almost signalled unwelcome intrusion.

Driven into a similar isolation, quite contrary to his nostalgic Catholicism, the Baroque poet of the early Stuart period (1603-40) shunned the community of a world which he felt to be in the agonies of death and decay--vaguely comparable to the later Romantic poets' cult of loneliness, and then again to the self-withdrawal of the Decadent poets of the Fin de Sičcle. 46 It has been convincingly shown that the individual speaker and lyric ego of the Baroque period assumed a solipsistic poetic dignity and dramatic complexity which was not regained until the lyrical revival in the Romantic movement of the later eighteenth century. 47 The speaker or ego of a Baroque lyric equally scolded the celestial bodies, the king, the nobility, the clergy as well as secular wealth and public morality as intruders, and banished them from the place of his poetic privacy. Thus John Donne about himself and his mistress:

She is all States, and all Princes, I,
Nothing else is, 48
and about himself and his God:

Churches are best for Prayer, that have least light:
To see God only, I goe out of sight, 49
and the speaker of Andrew Marvell about himself and his garden:

Society is all but rude,
To this delicious Solitude. 50
In a study of Baroque religious poetry in France, Helmut Hatzfeld referred to a particular expression of this private mode, which he called the "tout-seul formula". 51 In the context of this vehemently defended private mode of the Baroque poets it is noteworthy that amor eroticus and amor divinus, i.e. love-chamber and prayer-room, 52 could be freely exchanged in a most sensuous and unprudish manner (just as, in Baroque art, Christ appears as a potent and tender lover with all erotic connotations). Thus, consciously following the Old Testament Song of Solomon and the contemporary emblem books, John Donne could not only be the great solitary lover and the great solitary divine, but was also able to convey divine love to the senses of his readers through erotic images of the private practice of physical love. 53 One of his most notorious poems in this respect is his 'Hymn to Christ at the Author's Last Going into Germany' (MS 1619). The speaker addresses Christ as an intimate lover, paradoxically demanding freedom and protection in an unfree and tyrannous relationship dominated by jealousy and zeal, "divorcing" the speaker from all his former friends and desires, and demanding an amorous tryst with Christ in the darkness of a church where they can hide and make love out of sight of the community. With the saving ship or ark of the church "torne" in times of the religious conflicts of the Reformation, the Baroque poet, now tout seul, moves closer to his God to be saved from Noah's flood:

IN what torne ship soever I embarke,
That ship shall be my embleme of thy Arke;
What sea soever swallow mee, that flood
Shall be to mee an embleme of thy blood;
Though thou with clouds of anger do disguise
Thy face; yet through that maske I know those eyes,
Which, though they turne away sometimes,
They never will despise. 54
The reader of the Baroque poet's lyrics, like the hearer of the Baroque divine's sermons, is almost excluded, progressively so from Donne via Herbert and Crashaw to Vaughan and Traherne. In Donne's 'A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning', the lovers' bodies have become so thin (like precious beaten gold) and so translucent and transcendent as almost to leave the material world behind (as in death) and to be sacred in their remoteness:

T'were prophanation of our joyes
To tell the layetie our love. 55
Individual love, be it amor divinus or amor eroticus, is indispensable for salvation where the community is breaking up, the ring or circle of perfection only being attainable by the refined lovers' "stiffe twin compasses". 56 In Donne's 'The Ecstasy', the reader is assigned the role of a hypothetical third person, selected on strictest conditions and only temporarily admitted to observe the alchemically refined lovers (and the primacy of their newly mixed mind directing the new union of their bodies) from a "convenient distance":

If any, so by love refin'd,
That he soules language understood,
And by good love were growen all minde,
Within convenient distance stood,
And if some lover, such as wee,
Have heard this dialogue of one,
[...] 57

The justification of and appeal to the senses ad majorem Dei gloriam, in conscious opposition to Calvin's reductionist spiritual theology, led the Baroque poets to adopt the Aristotelian enargeia or evidentia -- the ideal of "ante oculos ponere" as it is used in Ignatius of Loyola's Exercitia Spiritualia. 58 Calvin's destruction of the Eucharist had bedevilled the sensuous enjoyment of God, and Protestantism's recourse to the printed text had interrupted the lively and sensuous exchange between the speaker and hearer, the face-to-face interaction as between the giver and taker in the Eucharist. 59 The Counter-Reformation sought to re-establish that old sensuous interchange, and the need to bridge extreme poles which were drifting more and more apart accounts for the strained artificiality of the Baroque artist's creative effort. The truth conveyed by a work of art was not only to be understood, but to be received with ecstatic sensuality. It was meant to be heard with the ears, seen with the eyes, smelt with the nose, tasted with the tongue and felt by the sense of touch. This led to the tripartite structure of the Ignatian meditation as a weapon of the Counter-Reformation. In the first but indispensable step of meditation, compositio loci, the meditant had to conceive a vivid image of a particular scene of salvation, Christ's Crucifixion or Heaven or even Hell, if necessary with the aid of a Baroque painting. He had to feel Christ's pains, to see his blood flow, hear his words on the cross, taste and smell the sweetness of heaven and the sulphurous stench of hell, 60 before he was allowed to proceed to a theological comprehension in the second step of meditation. In the third stage he had to transfer his feelings and understanding into affective involvement and practical action. In 1954 Louis Martz, and in 1955 Arno Esch, showed this tripartite structure to be characteristic of a great part of English Baroque poetry. 61 In the title of his work Louis Martz even sested calling all English Baroque poetry "The Poetry of Meditation". 62


In his Ars Poetica, Horace had recommended the golden mean between elliptical brevity and long-winded detail; and the early Neoclassicists of the School of Ben Jonson followed this conventional rule of "Breve esse laboro Obscurus fio". The Baroque poets of the School of Donne, however, revolted by making the very contrary, "masculine" elliptical brevity for the purpose of stylistic obscurity, their poetic ideal. In classical literary rhetorical discourse, obscurity had ever been a stylistic device of the ornatus. Thus, even in its own time, the term "strong lines" was used for English Baroque poetry, vehemently opposed by the early Neoclassical School of Ben Jonson. 63 In the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque age models changed: they shifted from Demosthenes' dense precision of thought to Isocrates' dazzling external form, from Cicero's balanced stylistic clarity to the epigrammatic and elliptical taciturnity of Tacitus and Seneca. 64 This also explains the popularity that Tacitus's contemporary Martial and his Epigrammata enjoyed with the Metaphysicals, who delighted in writing terse epigrams both in English and Latin: Donne's Epigrams, Herbert's Passio Discerpta, Crashaw's Epigrammata Sacra, Marvell's Inscribenda. Thus, the stylistic ideal of the Golden Latinity of Horace and Cicero was replaced by the later stylistic ideal of the Silver Latinity of Tacitus and Martial. Art historians, and, in their wake, literary historians consequently attempted to explain the Baroque as a returning phenomenon of decadence following classical peaks. 65 This was done, for example, by the art historian Jacob Burckhardt in 1855 and in 1860, until in Renaissance und Barock (1880) his pupil Heinrich Wölfflin sested accepting Baroque decadence as an art form of its own. Decades later, this was still the case with Ernst Robert Curtius: in Europäische Literatur und lateinisches Mittelalter (1948) he opposed classicism and mannerism as virtus and vitium.


The plain, partly colloquial, and often consciously deformed poetic style is a particularly striking feature of the English Protestant Baroque. John Donne, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, Andrew Marvell, and Thomas Traherne demonstratively rejected the poetic diction and high stylization of Renaissance poetry from Petrarch to Shakespeare, as well as the ornatus malus of stylistic Mannerism (Euphuism, Gongorism, Marinism). 66 Thus, the plain style of English Baroque poems stood in antithetical tension to their highly complicated and conceptistic intellectual content. George Herbert expressed this most controversially - and even paradoxically - in his two 'Jordan' poems, with an artificial pun on the 'plains of Jordan':

Who sayes that fictions onely and false hair
Become a verse? Is there in truth no beautie?
Is all good structure in a winding stair?
I envie no mans nightingale or spring
Nor let them punish me with losse of rime,
Who plainly say, My God, My King. 67
It should, however, be noted that Herbert's 'Jordan' poems are self-deconstructive in their apparent contradiction between their argument in favour of pristine, original, 'natural' plainness (analogous to the Protestant recourse to 'primitive' Christianity) on the one hand, and their 'artificial' though non-mannerist rhetoric on the other hand (analogous to the Roman Catholic insistence on post-primitive tradition and ornament). This expresses the Anglican Church's and the Metaphysical poet's tension between their Protestant and their Roman Catholic heritages, also reflected in the palace architecture of the period, where plain Neoclassical façades concealed ornate Baroque interiors, - the more private the rooms the more ornate their decorations. Typical examples were Inigo Jones's Banqueting House in his unexecuted designs for a new Whitehall Palace, his Wilton House, and the Caroline Aston Hall near Birmingham. 68 This contrast between interior and exterior ornamentation can also be traced in the development of the Church of England. Though Protestant in its public self-presentation, the Church of England was secretly re-Catholicizing itself from within, most notably in the religion and politics of King Charles I and Archbishop William Laud.

In Protestant Poetics and the Seventeenth Century Lyric, a study based on rich source material, Barbara Kiefer Lewalski 69 shows how the plain style of the Bible, so dear to Protestants, influenced English Baroque poetry no less strongly than did Ignatian meditation. It is a well known fact that European Protestantism could only encounter the, in a literal sense, 'sensational' flood of anti-Calvinist, Counter-Reformatory pictorial and emblematic art by its increasing acceptance or 'containment' of the picture itself and simply by using its contents for Protestant purposes. The by now plain churches, robbed of their ornamentation by iconoclasm, were filled again; what was originally a Counter-Reformatory emblem was now dedicated to the Protestant cause, 70 and the tripartite structure of the Ignatian meditation was adopted for numerous Protestant Baroque poems. English Protestant Baroque, however, differed considerably from Continental Jesuit Baroque in its frequent use of the biblical plain style as an important means of Protestant appropriation.


The classical maxim "ars est celare artem", often wrongly attributed to Horace, was the rhetorical poetic ideal in the Renaissance as well as in the later age of Neoclassicism. The Neoclassical critic Joseph Addison, for example, found fault with the Baroque poet's 'false wit', as apparent in "Anagrams, Chronograms, Lipograms, and Acrosticks" as well as "Poems cast into the Figures of Eggs, Axes, or Altars". 71 And the Neoclassical critic Samuel Johnson later generally pointed out that the Baroque poet perverted the doctrine of 'ars est celare artem' into its very opposite:

The Metaphysical poets were men of learning, and to show their learning was their whole endeavour. 72
In his Neoclassical saeva indignatio, and due to his lack of distance to the Baroque period, Samuel Johnson was unable to understand that the art and learning displayed in the Baroque work of art (poem or sermon alike) were indispensable. They were meant to surprise the readers, hearers, and spectators and thus helped to convey the impression of total novelty and originality, which mirrored a totally new world picture. So, "new" was a favourite adjective in the titles of Robert Southwell's poems. Moreover, they kept the reader or audience in admiration and at a distance, thus guaranteeing the artist's private mode. Both reader and audience were meant to enjoy the absolute originality and scarcely comprehensible complexity of his brilliant wit from a distance, just as they would admire a firework display. 73 The Italian Baroque poet Giambattista Marino, well known among English Baroque poets, expressed this principle in a memorable couplet:

E del poeta il fin la meraviglia [...]
Chi non sa far stupar, vada alla striglia! 74

Moreover, the "dissociation of sensibility", first identified and denominated by T.S. Eliot in 1921, had not yet taken place in the Baroque age. The learning of the Baroque poet expressed in verse and prose was not only intellectual but also emotional. According to Eliot the Baroque poets were "men who incorporated their erudition into their sensibility" and felt their thoughts "as immediately as the odour of a rose". 75 Eliot criticized Neoclassicism for having dissociated the original integral unity of life and art, for splitting it into emotion and reflection, decorum and indecorum, as well as into "true wit" and "false wit". 76


The enumeration and contextual description of these nine characteristic features of English Baroque literature in verse and prose indicates a complex variety of seemingly heterogeneous causes. But their overall coherence and interaction, the nature of and reason for their historical development, as well as their connections with the other Baroque arts both in England and on the Continent demand an even more extensive and differentiated contextual documentation. These characteristic features were often attributed to a returning esprit de révolution against the compulsion by rules and norms 77 characteristic of the Baroque, Romanticism, and then again the Neoromantic Fin de Sičcle. Sigmund Freud showed that in human life superego-oriented, Apollonian phases controlled by rules and norms are always followed by id-oriented, revolutionary and Dionysiac phases despising rules and norms. Literary historians such as F.L. Lucas have applied this observation to literary history, as, for example, in their explanation of Romanticism as a revolution against rule- and norm-oriented Neoclassicism. 78 The same is true, at the turn of the 17th century, for the increasing rebellion against the fixed Petrarchan conventions which had dominated Renaissance poetry. 79 Under this aspect, Baroque Metaphysical and Neoclassical Cavalier poetry may be regarded as two very different, even contrary reactions to the same outworn Renaissance tradition. The Metaphysicals reacted by extension and excess according to the principle of originality. They tried to exceed Renaissance art by even more various forms and expressions; they sought its wit and splendour amongst other things by a superabundance of even bolder paradoxy; they extended traditional images to the most tortuous, unexpected, surprising, and original conceits by way of an excess of discordia concors and an innovative urge towards forward orientation, Entgrenzung. The Cavaliers, on the contrary, reacted by restriction according to the principle of imitation. They aimed at less variety, less wit and flashiness, preferring clarity and purification of the language, modification of extremes, reduction of images to natural associations, imitative backward orientation to the model of the Age of Emperor Augustus (1st century BC), obedience to the rules laid down by reason and Horace, Begrenzung and Überschaubarkeit. The fundamental difference appears from an invective that a Cavalier poet, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, wrote against the "male" and "strong line" Metaphysicals:

The reason why men run into such obscure conceits, is because they think their wit will be esteemed, and seem more when it lies in an odde and unusual way, which makes their verse not like a smooth running stream; but as if they were shelves of sand, or rocks in the way, and though the water in those places goeth with more force, and makes a greater sound: yet it goeth hard and uneasy. As if to expresse a thing hard, were to make it better. 80
John Donne, the figure-head of the Metaphysical school, and Ben Jonson, the head of the Cavalier school ("the tribe of Ben"), were irreconcilable enemies. The Baroque reaction, however, became the dominant tradition and very much the fashion of the day. Its roughness, novelty, and juxtaposition of extremes mirrored the disorientation of the age much better than the countercurrent Neoclassical reaction with its smoothness, elegance, naturalness, and backward orientation. This also explains the fact that more Cavalier poets occasionally wrote Metaphysical poems than vice versa. Yet in the course of time, Cavalier Neoclassicism was destined to prevail and supersede the Metaphysical Baroque everywhere in Europe: first in France (with Malherbe), then in England (with Dryden), and last but not least in Germany (with Gottsched).

The distinctive Metaphysical originality can be well demonstrated from the Metaphysicals' radical break with the traditional Renaissance sonnet. There was the compulsory form of 14 lines, with its high stylization of nature and the cosmos and the beloved donna angelicata as well as a fixed characterization of the beloved lady and an equally fixed allocation of roles with stereotyped comparisons. And there was the tragic "star-crossed lover", who could not reach his heavenly and pure beloved lady in this life, and from whom she withdrew even further in death. There were his sweet sighs and his eyes, from which the tears shed as from a fountain at the sight of his unattainable donna angelicata, with her sun-like eyes, her lips as red as corals, her snow-white skin, her breath sweet as the smell of roses, her golden hair and her walk angelic and light under the fateful power of the stars and among the sweet songs of murmuring meadow flowers. After two hundred years such a litany of Petrarchan conventions would necessarily have to lead to a revolution 81 which took place first in the form, later in the content (inventio) and finally, in the Baroque period, even in the diction (elocutio) of Baroque poetry.

A similar development had already taken place in the history of painting. Since about 1520, the pre-Baroque Mannerists had begun to break the canonical forms of Renaissance painting (Raphael, Leonardo) by defocussation, decentralization, and winding lines (serpentinata) anticipating Bernini. Then, immediately in their wake, the high Baroque painters broke the content of Renaissance painting by sensualizing, eroticizing, and aggrandizing biblical history, as well as by dismissing the Renaissance ideals of proportion and beauty. Eccentricity, even deformity, became a hallmark of Baroque art, as in many of the court portraits of the Spanish painter Velazquez.

The history of music sticks out insofar as this stylistic modification of the principle of harmony by distortion, dissonance, eccentricity, and enormity occurred somewhat later, around 1600, 82 with the breaking up of traditional polyphonic composition, and lasted somewhat longer, until around 1750. Pure polyphony began to be hybridized by monophony, further enriched with an increasing wealth of extremes and dissonances. The early period of Baroque music has been aptly characterized as aiming at typically Baroque originality, exploring "new resources such as chromaticism, dissonance, tonality, monody, recitative, and new vocal and instrumental combinations." 83 The introduction of the thoroughbase or basso continuo initiated a stile moderno (as distinct from the traditional polyphonic stile antico) which remained the fashion until the middle of the eighteenth century: the epoch of Baroque music. 84 This chiaroscuro-like thorough bass was often performed by ever new gigantic bass instruments which produced ever lower and darker sounds, throwing into relief tortuous lines of chromatically arranged tones high above: the contrabassoon, the great bass recorder, the bass flute, the bass dulcian, and the large bass viol. 85 By contrast, and analogous to the literary conceit, the instruments playing the upper lines grew more and more elevated in pitch: the Baroque flute or recorder, the (valveless) Baroque trumpet, the favourite oboe or hautboy expressing love (oboe d'amore), the frequently introduced "sharp violins" expressing "jealous pangs and desperation, fury, frantic indignation, depths of pains and heights of passion". 86 Thus, compositional artificiality (including quaintly handled counterpoints and compositiones figuratae such as notes arranged to form a cross or other subject of the piece) 87 coexisted with intense passions as analysed and described in philosophical, literary and musical Affektenlehren. 88 The widening of extremes was reflected in the concerto grosso as a favourite genre of Baroque music, with a small concertino (mostly of violins) playing against an overwhelming orchestral grosso. And it also manifested itself in the popularity of the castrato with his artificial voice ("falsetto"), whose growth-hampered larynx and unbroken voice produced a vocal range that no natural voice was capable of (up to three and a half octaves). His artificial voice, again, was matched by the castrato's monstrous size and androgynic appearance, which later exposed him to the ridicule of the 'nature'-oriented Neoclassical critics. Moreover, artificiality was the hallmark of many musical genres of the Baroque, such as the opera and the fugue, which later incurred similar satirical blame, as in Alexander Pope's second Dunciad (1742). There, the Harlot Opera with her false tinsel thus addresses the Empress Dulness "in quaint Recitativo":

"O Cara! Cara! silence all that train:
Joy to great Chaos! let Division reign:
Chromatic tortures soon shall drive them hence,
Break all their nerves, and fritter all their sense:
One Trill shall harmonize joy, grief, and rage,
Wake the dull Church, and lull the ranting Stage;
[...]" 89
In the history of poetry, however, these compository eruptions are to be observed as early as in the history of painting. In 1530, Sir Thomas Wyatt still imitated Petrarchan sonnets rather closely in his English adaptations. His successor, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was already varying the Petrarchan rhyme patterns by choosing alternating rhymes and a final couplet, a form which was later even adopted by Shakespeare. And in 1582, Thomas Watson published Hecathompathia, a fairly conventional cycle of one hundred sonnets, though revolutionary in its 18-line form. About this time, however, in Astrophil and Stella, Sir Philip Sidney was already beginning to play with the conventional inventio of Petrarchism. He did so by making the failure to imitate Petrarch and Ronsard the precondition of a slowly developing and very erotic passion.

Ten years later his successor Edmund Spenser broke the conventional inventio in his Amoretti, allowing the courtship to be crowned by success and marriage. Finally, in the 1590s, Shakespeare left all conventions behind, replacing the beautiful donna angelicata by a promiscuous bisexual youth and an ugly dark prostitute and complicating this confusion of emotions by introducing a fourth character, the Mannerist Rival Poet, who alternately sleeps with both the youth and the Dark Lady. But Shakespeare -- as well as Surrey and Watson and Sidney and Spenser -- largely remained loyal to the Renaissance conventions of poetic diction, even if he criticized empty elocutionary pathos in his Rival Poet.

It was left to the revolutionary and Baroque poet John Donne and his School to completely break apart the monolithic Petrarchan canon of form, content, and diction. 90 Donne's originally invented conceits, which may be explained as modelled on the tortuous pictorial illustrations of the contemporary emblem books, exploded traditional Petrarchan diction as effectively as his well-nigh ugly plain style and his originally invented metrical forms, which he freely chose to underline his very un-Petrarchan contents. Thus, the close relationship between the emblem and the conceit needs some further investigation in order to understand the Metaphysical revolt against Renaissance Petrarchism's ideals of proportion and beauty. 91

As a contemporary of Shakespeare, Donne also wrote his Songs and Sonnets for circulation in manuscript. Donne, born and brought up a Catholic, converted to Protestantism about 1596 and became an Anglican High Church divine. He was well acquainted with the Baroque conceits of the Jesuits modelled on Ignatian examples, as they were used in the underground activities of the Counter-Reformation in England in the 1590s, which took place despite the threat of most severe punishments. The prose meditations and poems of the English Jesuit and early Baroque author Robert Southwell circulated in manuscript and will probably have been known to John Donne, as was Southwell's spectacular and most cruel fate: Southwell was executed in London in 1595, after three years of imprisonment and torture in the Tower. 92 In any case, John Donne was familiar with the "emblems" or "hieroglyphics" of the Alciati tradition, which had its roots in a misunderstanding of the Egyptian hieroglyphs as pictorial moral ideograms. It was a fertile misunderstanding in the history of art, which explains the synonymity of "emblem" and "hieroglyph" in the Baroque period 93 , and which is still apparent in the original misnomer 'hieroglyph'. The Tridentine justification of the theological usefulness and acceptability of the 'sensational' picture, in contrast to Calvin's view, eventually led to the emblem gaining a similar Counter-Reformatory significance. The emblem acted as a mediator between the abstract contents of faith and the human senses, just as the Baroque painting or sculpture did for the concrete contents of faith. Modelled on the Exercitia of Ignatius, it was made to stimulate all the senses. Even the conscious deception of the senses, for example in the Baroque illusionist paintings on walls and ceilings ad majorem Dei gloriam, was accepted in line with the Jesuit principle of 'dulce et utile'.

Thus the 'sensational' visual art of the Baroque did not refrain from presenting abstract items of faith, such as divine grace, divine love and forgiveness, theological and secular sins and virtues through bold pictorial analogues, even if vehicle and tenor lay very far apart without any natural connection, thus acting against all laws of philosophical logic. As obvious clichés were only rarely available, the most important characteristic of an emblem book author in the Alciati tradition was the Baroque sense of 'wit', i.e. the capacity to produce original, artificial and remote pictorial analogies making use of the proverbial Jesuit sophistry and inventiveness. In the eikon of the emblem, he visualized divine grace via the image of a magnet for an iron heart or via the image of a besieger in front of a besieged fortress shaped like a heart. And in the poema of the emblem, he elaborated his lemma to explain the illustrations, thus creating literary conceits.

Baroque poems can often be read as the poemata of emblem books, as for example, John Donne's Holy Sonnet 'Thou hast made me':

Thy Grace may wing me to prevent his art,
And thou like Adamant draw mine iron heart. 94
Thus, the emblem art of the Counter-Reformation turned out to be a highly appropriate instrument to break up clichés by means of witty conceits, including the clichés of a declining literary Petrarchism. The Council of Trent legitimized the practice used in Baroque poetry which, following the biblical Song of Solomon, presented divine love through physical erotic love, and thus made it the object of desire. Presented thus in numberless emblem books dedicated to amor, it easily allowed the rendering of spiritual into secular rhetoric. Instead of applying the stereotyped, obvious and logical comparison of love with fire, John Donne used the tortuously conceited, original, witty, artificial and by no means logical comparison of love with a flea, which is far from obvious and stands in need of a 'Jesuitical' explicatio rabulata.

The emblem book as a source of English Baroque rhetoric was to be found all over the British Isles and was generally accessible. 95 It is true that emblem books were originally meant as a weapon of the Counter-Reformation and that the art of printing in England was notoriously backward, so that until the Restoration a relatively small number of English emblem books (compared with the immense flood of Continental emblem books) had been printed. 96 But, firstly, the pressure exerted by the Counter-Reformatory 'sensational' paintings and sculpture was so great that the Protestants had to move away from stern Calvinistic doctrine and avail themselves of the fine arts by adjusting them to their Protestant cause: their churches grew more and more ornamented, they filled their emblem books with pointedly Protestant contents. Secondly, Catholic as well as Protestant emblem books from the Continent circulated freely in England, and English emblem book authors often received their printing plates directly from the Catholic capital of printing, Antwerp, or the Protestant capital of printing, Leyden, and then supplied them with new English lemmata and poemata. English Protestantism even assimilated the Ignatian meditation, also filling it with Protestant contents. The poems of the Protestant Nonconformist or 'Puritan' Metaphysicals, Andrew Marvell and the early John Milton of the hymn 'On the Morning of Christ's Nativity' (MS 1629), convey the Calvinist view of nature's corruption with all the pictorial splendour of Baroque emblem books and Baroque paintings. The first step of meditation, the visual imagination of the details of salvation and faith, remained invariably the same: compositio loci, composición del lugar, seeing the spot. This explains the preference for the tripartite structure of meditation also present in Protestant English Baroque poetry.

The emblem-generated conceit with its distinctively 'sensational' quality contributed to the distortion of elegant, well-proportioned, though time-worn Renaissance comparisons. It is frequently linked to the closely related paradox, as both rhetorical figures reflect the time's need to live with two logically opposed and irreconcilable world pictures. John Donne called that church the most faithful bride which opened her lap to everyone; 97 and Richard Crashaw identified that woman as the most celestial whose sins and repentance had bowed her down to earth most lowly. 98 Crashaw's 'Saint Mary Magdalene, or, The Weeper' shows how Petrarchan clichés were cited in order to immediately and extensively disrupt them with adynata, antitheses, paradoxes, and to endow them with a sensational and tangible eroticism which replaced the barrenness of the frustrated Petrarchan lover's vain complaints. The sexuality of Christ is marked as clearly as in Baroque emblems, where Christ is often syncretistically presented as a naked Amor-Christ, the son of Venus-Maria, or in Baroque paintings, where Christ is often shown as an ecstatic lover (even on the cross). 99 Streams of bloody sweat pour from the ecstatic face, and streams of blood pour from the vaginal wounds, and believers or saints approach these wounds to suck in the blood or probe them with their fingers. 100 Crashaw's poem, as stated above, starts on the conventional comparison of the repentant sinner's eyes with fountains or orbs and tears with springs or stars, only to eroticize them and to vary them into ever-changing and ever contradictory new images. These are accumulated with an enormously dynamic vitality, creating ever new sensations of surprise. The reader of the poem feels his thoughts whirled around, much as the spectator of the wall paintings of a Baroque church cupola feels his eyes restlessly wandering into heaped-up vistas of splendid and erotic images. The poem's sensational and theatrical composición del lugar quality in its insistence on balmy sweetness and rich perfumes is obvious. Mary Magdalene's tears are no longer mere symptoms of self-humiliation or complaint for the loss of virginity. Paradoxically, they combine virginity and procreation, repentance and enjoyment, lowliness and richness, self-humiliation and self-exaltation, in a markedly erotic diction combined with alchemistic vocabulary sesting ever new potencies.

Such heaped combinations of antitheses (contentiones) and paradoxes (synoecioses), as defined above, dominate even the shortest Metaphysical poems, everywhere shoring up a neo-mystical and holistic creed against threatening ruin and doubt, shouting "credo quia absurdum" so much the louder in their attempt at bridging the enormity of the gap. This neo-mysticism explains the frequency with which smallness and infinity as well as time and eternity are either juxtaposed or paradoxically joined under one aspect, cutting across the neat Thomistic categories of tempus, aevum, aeternitas. 101 The first stanza of the final chorus of Crashaw's Nativity Hymn, a typically Baroque poem written in the theatrical style of a Caroline court-masque, may serve to illustrate this:

Wellcome, all WONDERS in one sight!
Aeternity shutt in a span.
Sommer in Winter. Day in Night.
Heauen in earth, & GOD in MAN.
Great little one! whose all-embracing birth
Lifts earth to heauen, stoopes heau'n to earth. 102
The disproportion and enormity of such cumulated antitheses and paradoxes, disrupting all Renaissance ideals of beauty, not only mirror the tension of men confronted with irreconcilable world pictures, theologies, philosophies, and historiographies. They also attest to a sense of living in a world totally out of joint and fragmented, descended into chaos 103 , standing in need of salvation and in need of a re-orientation on all three corresponding levels of the once ordered cosmos: macrocosm, microcosm, state, as described above. On the state level, especially at court, men observed an increase in political Machiavellianism. In England, Machiavellianism was (mis)understood as a disruptive ethical philosophy, disconnecting ethics from fixed natural norms and linking it to political utility, thus providing a justification for intrigue and murder. The Machiavellian stage-villain, multiplied in Jacobean and Caroline drama, was a reckless devil incarnate and solipsistic individualist divorced from all religious and social ties, "Ego mihimet sum semper proximus". 104

The most famous literary manifestation of this widespread feeling that political, social, and moral coherence was crumbling together with the chaos in macrocosm and microcosm is John Donne's First Anniversary (1611) - a very theatrical poem full of conceits and breaches of logic, using as its central conceit the anatomy of the corpse of the old world after its slow and weary decease:

And new Philosophy calls all in doubt,
The Element of fire is quite put out;
The Sun is lost, and th'earth, and no mans wit
Can well direct him where to looke for it.
And freely men confesse that this world's spent,
When in the Planets, and the Firmament
They seeke so many new; they see that this
Is crumbled out againe to his Atomies.
'Tis all in peeces, all cohaerence gone;
All just supply, and all Relation:
Prince, Subject, Father, Sonne, are things forgot,
For every man alone thinkes he hath got
To be a Phoenix, and that then can bee
None of that kinde, of which he is, but hee. 105
Ten years earlier, Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida (1601-2) had shown the exemplum horrendum of a culture in decline, its ruin caused by the relativization of "degree, priority, and place" as well as "moral philosophy" and the "law of nature". 106 Shakespeare had his Ulysses deliver his famous "degree speech" drawing a similarly dark portrait of the horrible and universal chaos caused by the loss of the old geocentric order:

O, when degree is shaked,
Which is the ladder to all high designs,
The enterprise is sick! How could communities,
Degrees in schools and brotherhoods in cities,
Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,
The primogenitive and due of birth,
Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels,
But by degree, stand in authentic place?
Take but degree away, untune that string,
And, hark, what discord follows! 107
The ominous signs of a world descending into chaos are depicted in many contemporary sources describing similar details. With its enumeration of the symptoms of decadence, John Donne's swan song anticipated the apocalyptic mood of the Fin de Sičcle poets, who, in their turn, rediscovered English Baroque poetry as congenial: the assumption of eccentric as well as centric spheres (already made by the Ptolemaic astronomers), of man growing smaller and smaller as well as more prone to disaster, of seasons increasingly out of tune while at the same time losing all attributes of beauty, proportion and colour, of new epidemics (such as syphilis and influenza), of masses of vermin, of numerous fateful meteors, of the loss of the noble art of divination due to the broken "correspondence" between heaven and earth:

For heaven gives little, and the earth takes lesse,
And man least knowes their trade and purposes. 108
Between those two corresponding levels - macrocosm and microcosm - there existed a third level of correspondence: the state as 'bodie politick'. But even the state, where order manifested itself in peace within and without, seemed, at that time, to be falling prey to the chaos of war. In England no end to the wars with Spain and France was in sight, and the ever increasing religious and political polarization clearly pointed to the inevitability of the imminent Civil War; on the Continent the Thirty Years' War broke out and devastated Germany with the same vehemence as the Civil War did in England.

Thus, the individual Baroque artist felt increasingly disconnected from all three (formerly corresponding) levels which had once been believed to be firmly connected and based on a divinely pre-established world order. This sense of disconnectedness produced various reactions, attempts at bridging the gap on the one hand, and resignation on the other hand. On the one hand, as shown above, devices of contrariety joined in art what could no longer be joined in theology: the poet's conceit and paradox as well as the painter's chiaroscuro and the musical composer's counterpoint. In this context we should understand the idea of the work of art as an atoning sacrifice to reconcile estranged mankind to God, - an idea later revived in Romantic poetology (and another respect in which Baroque poetry anticipated Romantic poetry). The idea is most prominently expressed in George Herbert's The Temple, even in the collection's introductory poem,

A verse may finde him, who a sermon flies,
And turn delight into a sacrifice. 109
and then, memorably in his pattern poem 'The Altar', where the "broken ALTAR" of the poet's heart and pen is offered as a sacrificial act of at-one-ment and soteriological reintegration:

O let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
And sanctifie this ALTAR to be thine. 110
The self-confessing speaker's private mode shows how, on the other hand, the Baroque artist resignedly withdrew into his own privacy: together with his mistress into the intimacy of his love chamber, with his God into the isolation of his praying-room, with his own thoughts into the isolation of a garden or a library. So, in the one extreme, Baroque horticulture brought forth secluded retiros. In their high-walled and small enclosures man found a visual (and psychological) safeguard against the immensity and the chaos without, a centre regained. 111 In the opposite extreme, the overwhelming and centralized palace gardens of the Baroque princes mirrored the 'new theology', which implicitly taught that immensity, immeasurability, unrepresentability, and apparent chaos were the image of the immensity of God, who had created that seemingly disorderly universe. In this theology, loss of measure became the new measure itself. This provocative creed is also contained in Crashaw's 'The Weeper'. Mary Magdalene, the "pretious Prodigall" ever sweating balmy tears at the approach of Christ her bridegroom whom she ever follows, is exuberant, excessive, luxuriant, and wanton in her overproductive physical secretion 112 , just as the poet is excessive in his cumulation of shockingly sensational images. Excess implicitly appears no longer to be an ingredient of sin, but of the virtue of imitatio Dei. The Baroque princes' excessive gardens as well as excessive erotic lives must be seen in this context of the history of ideas, the more so as love and the garden (as love's classic location) had been closely associated from both classical antiquity and the Old Testament Song of Solomon to the Baroque emblem books. 113

Baroque poetry was characterized by an attitude of a totally unascetic, un-Pauline, Epicurean contemptus mundi, which called into question both the traditional concept of the world and of man as well as the traditional ethical and artistic restrictions of the Renaissance. This was especially true in the context of Ficino's neo-Platonic love ethic. John Donne, the love poet, drove the world and its social norms out of his love chamber by using coarse, unpoetic, and sneering language, thus breaking all ethical and stylistic decorum. In 'The Canonization' he went so far as to paradoxically praise himself and his mistress as saints, not because of any kind of chaste subordination of their bodies to a sovereign mind, but because of the consuming quality of their unrestrained and erotically potent sensuality. The second stanza of the poem is particularly revealing as to the connection between revolutionary and anti-Petrarchan love and rhetoric on the one hand, and the Baroque contemptus mundi on the other:

Alas, alas, who's injur'd by my love?
What merchants ships have my sighs drown'd?
Who saies my teares have overflow'd his ground?
When did my colds a forward spring remove?
When did the heats which my veines fill
Adde one more to the plagui Bill?
Soldiers finde warres, and Lawyers finde out still
Litigious men, which quarrels move,
Though she and I do love. 114
The Petrarchan clichés (such as sighs like sea storms, tears like spring-tides, spells of cold like winter storms in spring, spells of heat like epidemics) are not only chosen to mock traditions no longer held to be acceptable. They also depict a chaotic world, war and destruction of countless people, to which the witty Baroque poet contrasted the better alternative of voluntary self-consummation in excessive love. Thus, the poet, freed from traditional social and ethical restrictions, simultaneously demonstrated his release from traditional restrictions of style.

The same is true for John Donne's religious poetry. In the III. Satire, for example, he broke all conventions of the Anglican Church, dispensed man from both the teachings of the great churchmen and the orders of his King, binding him solely to his own conscience as moulded by the Law of God alone. Wherever Donne emphasized that secular laws and teachings could only be of limited validity, he emphasized the breach of tradition by an extensive use of paradoxes:

That thou mayest rightly obey power, her bounds know;
Those past, her nature, and name is chang'd; to be
Then humble to her is idolatrie. 115
Just as the Baroque poet called on the king, the nobility, the clergy and the traditional guardians of morality not to interfere by scolding breaches of decorum, he also kept his readers, audience and critics at respectful distance. He displayed all his learning in esoteric thought and language, refusing any direct understanding of his poetry. 116 The most extreme example of this is, no doubt, Baroque pulpit oratory with its extensive and complex trains of thought; additionally laden with patristic and rabbinic knowledge, and often also with quotations in Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syrian and Arabic. 117 Baroque poetry, too, shows such strategies of distance and isolation in its private mode: among these were the strong lines with their obscurity as well as their overriding principle not to conceal art: "ars est praesentare artem."

In historical perspective, the contemptus mundi increased in the same measure as the new Copernican concept of the world gained ground and wars devastated both England and Germany, and man withdrew into his privacy as described above. 118 Both the lives and the works of the older Baroque poets such as John Donne and George Herbert were torn between the extreme poles of a splendid public career and a private withdrawal. Their poems dramatize the defence of their escapist private mode against the ever present temptations of a chaotic world. 119

Through his clandestine marriage with Ann More in 1601, against all rules of civil and canonical law, John Donne forfeited his chance of a public career, thus thwarting all his previous efforts: "John Donne, Anne Donne, Vn-done". 120 Later, Donne was deeply disappointed when the King whom he had scolded and rebuked only made him Dean of St. Paul's instead of Archbishop of Canterbury. The bridge between heavenly spirituality and worldly sensuality was never broken down entirely, either in Donne's life or in Donne's poetry, where erotic and spiritual love were so dramatically juxtaposed that it is often difficult to distinguish between his love poems and his divine poems. 'The Canonization' may be regarded as the best example of that double tension.

Donne's pupil George Herbert, younger brother of the prominent Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury, born in 1593 and 17 years Donne's junior, found it less difficult to give up his highly prestigious office as public orator at the University of Cambridge. In ostentatious modesty, he became rector of the humble country parish of Bemerton, located within walking distance between Salisbury, the proud cathedral town, and Wilton House, the gorgeous palace of his family, the Herberts, Earls of Pembroke. His Temple poems -- published in the year of his death by his literary executor Nicholas Ferrar, who also chose to live in rural isolation -- reduce the tension between erotic and spiritual love by submerging Donne's erotic imagery, and are much more easily classified as divine poetry. Yet they retain, albeit in reduced form, the dramatic tension between the desire for privacy and the temptations of the world, as for example in 'The Quip':

The merrie world did on a day
With his train-bands and mates agree
To meet together, where I lay,
And all in sport to geere at me. 121
Richard Crashaw, born in 1613 and trained on Giambattista Marino, was even more willing to dispense with an academic career at Cambridge within the Anglican Church hierarchy. Crashaw, a former High Churchman, turned to the Spanish mystics, converted to Catholicism and died in 1649, holding a minor church office in Loretto. His hymn 'The Weeper' ends with two stanzas spoken by Mary Magdalene's personified tears, in which the migrating tears affirm their scorn at pursuing such "inferior gemmes" as are placed on such "toyes" as crowns or coronets, vain and evanescent things even below drops of morning dew hovering upon flowers. They would much rather

[...] goe to meet
A worthy object, our lord's FEET. 122
The treasures of the world, however, are still present and not yet quite removed from the poem's scope. They survive in its intense sexual imagery, visualizing Mary Magdalene as a typically Baroque woman embracing the extremes of sensuality and spirituality, much as does the Mary Magdalene of the Baroque paintings by Georges de la Tour and El Greco. The strong Ignatian component in Crashaw's Italianate Baroque, amor eroticus as a significant of amor divinus, would not allow a pure saint's total withdrawal and spiritualization. Thus, Crashaw's divine poems lack Donne's dramatic defence of the private mode while retaining (or even intensifying) his dramatic tension between amor divinus and amor eroticus.

Andrew Marvell (born in 1621) and Thomas Traherne (born as late as 1637) were contrary characters in their public aspirations. Marvell was Latin Secretary to the Council of State (as successor to John Milton) before and anti-Cavalier controversialist after the Restoration; whereas Traherne, by contrast, was content to lead a single and devout life as rector of Credenhill in his native Herefordshire. What both had in common though was that, when they died (Marvell in 1678 and Traherne in 1674), they left their private mode Metaphysical lyrics unpublished. Marvell's lyrics were found by his housekeeper and published in 1681 (Miscellaneous Poems), and Traherne's were not found until 1896 and published in 1903 (Poetical Works). The private mode of their Metaphysical lyrics is quite unthreatened by worldly aspirations. In one of Marvell's much-anthologized meditational poems, a drop of dew, symbolizing the soul, has dropped into a bed of roses; yet it weeps with its own tear at the loss of heaven, despising the beauty and fragrance of the earthly roses,

´So the World excluding round,
Yet receiving in the Day. 123
The speaker of Marvell's 'The Garden' drives the private mode to its very extreme, so as to make a tragi-comical fool of himself. Thus, the poem provides a satire on the exuberances of the Roman Catholic (as opposed to Marvell's and the early Milton's more restricted Protestant) Baroque. 124 As such, the speaker of 'The Garden' voices the opposite extreme to the ascetic speaker of 'A Mower against Gardens', neither of which extremes Marvell would have adopted. Marvell's speaker is a sensualist, hedonist, sybarite, whose love of solitude appears as a mere temporary recovery from amorous excesses, to which his fancy recurs again and again. Quite apart from the fact that he grossly misunderstands the mythical tales of Apollo attempting to rape Daphne and Pan attempting to rape Syrinx, his desire "To live in Paradise alone" 125 as a prelapsarian Adam before the creation of Eve stands in blatant contradiction to his erotic fancy, giving the lie to this extreme of the private mode. His equation of his garden with Paradise evokes associations of Original Sin and the Fall of Man, which he seems to blot out. And his spiritual ecstasy, with a free soul "Annihilating all that's made To a green thought in a green shade", is proved a short-lived illusion by his observations in the poem's final (seventh) stanza: the seasonal flowers, the sundial, the short-lived bees computing "thyme" or "time", sest the narrow limits of his corporeal existence: memento mori. And even then, the obvious pun on "hours" and "whores" 126 proves him an unregenerate extreme sensualist. Thus read, the poem is a Protestant Baroque plea for a private mode which provides no Donnean excuse for worldly amorousness.

In Traherne's highly visionary Poems of Felicity, 127 such as 'Eden' and 'Innocence', worldly seductions are no longer perceived, any more than worldly pains. Traherne was a Cambridge Platonist, a fact which helps explain his anti-Calvinism and flat denial of a fallen and corrupt earth:

A learned and a Happy Ignorance
Divided me,
From all the Vanitie,
From all the Sloth Care Pain and Sorrow that advance,
The madness and the Miserie
Of Men. No Error, no Distraction I
Saw soil the earth, or overcloud the Skie. 128
Traherne's 'proto-Romantic' yearning for infancy and a child's anamnetic view of the world as a reflection and part of heaven uneclipsed by clouds of Calvinistic denigration goes well beyond Crashaw's mysticism. In his lyrics, this spiritual view of the world transcends and rules out Vaughan's contemptus mundi as to the merry world and its enticements. Traherne's parallel 'proto-Romantic' denial of anything profane in the world, anticipating Blake, finds a brilliant expression in his poem 'On Leaping over the Moon'. The poet's vision melts with that of his little brother skipping over a pool of water, and the reflection of this everyday scene in the water interfuses it with the skies, so that the brother seems easily and without any danger to overleap the moon. In the instructive light of this nightly vision, the scene is no longer banal. The same "Place of Bliss" appears "under our Feet" and "o'er our Heads": 129

On hev'nly Ground within the Skies we walk,
And in this middle Center talk:
Did we but wisely mov,
On Earth in Hev'n abov,
We then should be
Exalted high
Abov the Sky: from whence whoever falls,
Through a long dismal Precipice,
Sinks to the deep Abyss where Satan crawls
here horrid Death and Despair lies. 130
In this mystical vision, man is again placed into a centre, between an easily reached heaven above and an impotent hell below. Traherne's poem shows men on the lookout for a new anthropocentric orientation, replacing the lost geocentric world picture. However, in the 200 years of reordering which elapsed between Copernicus's De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543) and Pope's Essay on Man (1733-34), 131 Traherne's solution of the problem is a very private and unteachable one. Small wonder that Traherne, who never addresses any reader except his brother as his alter ego, saw no point in a literary reputation, remained content with his small parish in his native Herefordshire, where he died, and left his manuscripts unpublished. This demonstrative disdain for literary reputation was only surpassed by the American Metaphysical poet Edward Taylor (1644-1729) in his small frontier village of Westfield in Massachusetts, who in his will even forbade the publication of his manuscripts. Like Traherne's, Taylor's manuscripts were not discovered and published until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries respectively.

Finally, Henry Vaughan, born in the same year as Andrew Marvell, showed no hesitation at all about giving up worldly careers with his conversion after 1648, and about remaining in the seclusion of his home county of Breconshire (Wales). His secular love poems belong to the period before his conversion: Poems (1646) and Olor Iscanus (MSS ca 1647). Quite unlike Donne, Vaughan felt ashamed of their erotic worldliness, and even more ashamed when his friends injudiciously published Olor Iscanus in 1651. His religious poems such as 'The World', 'The Retreat', or 'Corruption' -- all published in 1650 as part of the collection with the paradoxical title Silex Scintillans -- show him to be a nostalgic primitivist in the sense of Neo-Platonism, totally removed from this dark, chaotic world with its aspirations in love and war, and an esoteric admirer of the Hermetic philosophy: 132 Man, no longer the crown of creation on a still earth in the centre of the universe but hurled somewhere around the sun, seeks rest in a world-contemning ecstasy of the mind, carrying him above all physical things even more than the speaker of Marvell's 'The Garden' with his imagined escape to a "green thought in a green shade":

I saw Eternity the other night
Like a great Ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright,
And round beneath it, Time in hours, days, years
Driv'n by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov'd. In which the world
And all her train were hurl'd. 133
And thus, mystically uplifted into the light of the Empyrean, Vaughan's enraptured speaker looks pitifully down on this dark, chaotic world and its hurled-about votaries, who live in lightless caves: the lover and the statesman, the miser and the Epicurean. They are so far removed from the ecstatic speaker's scope that they cannot tempt him any more. Parallel to the decline of the Elizabethan drama and the Ptolemaic universe, Metaphysical poetry was increasingly deprived of its original dramatic tension. 134 The strle between the temptations of privacy and those of the world upon the 'stage of life', the tension between erotic and divine love, and the conflicting rhetorical figures of disparity, which had been part of its Baroque theatricality, are irretrievably lost:

O fools (said I,) thus to prefer dark night
Before true light,
To live in grots, and caves, and hate the day
Because it shews the way,
The way which from this dead and dark abode
Leads up to God,
A way where you might tread the Sun, and be
More bright than he. 135
The difference between the earlier and the late Metaphysical poets is mirrored in Metaphysical pulpit oratory, if we compare the sermons of Lancelot Andrewes and John Donne on the one hand with those of Jeremy Taylor on the other hand. Taylor, chaplain to King Charles I (as Andrewes had been chaplain to King James I), and Charles's spiritual aide on the scaffold, preached sermons that accumulated and intertwined Metaphysical conceits in disdain of all worldly aspirations:

LEARN to despise the world; [...] for it is a cousenage all the way; the head of it is a rainbow, and the face of it is flattery; [...] its body is as a shadow, and its hands do knit spider's webs; it is an image and a noise, with a Hyaena's lip and a Serpents tail [...] 136
In the history of Metaphysical poetry, this loss of dramatic tension and theatricality becomes manifest in a comparison of the late Mary Magdalene hymns or Christmas hymns of Henry Vaughan with the early ones written by Robert Southwell and Richard Crashaw. The "Dear, beauteous Saint" 137 of Vaughan's Silex Scintillans has cast away all of Mary Magdalene's traditional pictorial attributes: her mirror, her carefully combed hair, and her vessel of nard which simultaneously denoted the anointing of Christ's feet and the pernicious box of Pandora. Here, the saint's weeping eyes are no longer "sins loose and tempting spies", but fixed stars despising all earthly contact, except for their remote exhortation of "dark straglers" (moral and political sinners lost in the darkness of error). 138 Similarly, Vaughan's hymn on 'Christ's Nativity' presents an unworldly child in a clean manger, and one of the poem's few remaining conceits (the comparison of the manger with a human heart) opens up an estranging gap in time and space between man and God, a gap which God alone can bridge from far beyond human reach:

I would I had in my best part
Fit Roomes for thee! or that my heart
Were so clean as
Thy manger was!
But I am all filth, and obscene,
Yet, if thou wilt, thou canst make clean. 139
Robert Southwell's and the young Milton's Christmas hymns, by contrast, describe very personal encounters with a "silly, tender Babe [...] In homely manger trembling" 140 , a tangible God "All meanly wrapt in a rude manger". 141 Pre-Baroque and Baroque paintings of the Nativity, as by Correggio, Barocci, and Caravaggio, mark the extreme poverty and everyday homeliness of the world's most exceptional moment of divine epiphany. The mightiest prince of the whole world appears in the homeliest hut, the greatest weakness is the greatest strength, and the child's sweet birth is envisaged so as to foreshadow the man's bitter passion. The swaddling-cloth is both at once: royal cloak and dead body's shroud. If such paradoxical and highly dramatic bridging of extremes may be regarded as a characteristic of Baroque art, then Vaughan's comfortable adoption of the spiritual and undramatic renunciation of the sensual extreme, both in his life and his poetry, indicates the end of the Baroque epoch.

Conversely, the late Metaphysical disintegration of Baroque complexity and dramaticality could also manifest itself in the very opposite way, fusing with Cavalier poetry (and thus breaking up the Baroque private mode). Abraham Cowley discards all spirituality and mysticism from the love poetry of his collection The Mistress (1646), isolating an extremely carnal amor eroticus from its theological combination with amor divinus. The late or post-Baroque "dissociation of sensibility" (as identified by T.S. Eliot) resulted from God becoming more and more removed from man, an intellectually constructed rather than emotionally experienced deus absconditus. Thus, the dissociation of sensibility increasingly split a more and more beast-like sexuality from a more and more barren and sterile holiness. This is the disintegrative line of the development of erotic literature from Abraham Cowley via the Earl of Rochester and John Cleland to Victorian pornography and the demonic or merely de-spiritualized animal eroticism in the anti-religious poetry of Charles Baudelaire and Gottfried Benn. 142 Cowley's poetry links love to gold, dowries, and treasures, even where his Machiavellian speakers ironically disavow all prostitution, as in 'The Given Love':

To give All will befit thee well;
But not at Under-Rates to sell. 143
This speaker's claim to uniqueness and privacy proves mere irony. A comparison of the poem with Donne's 'The Canonization' shows the almost parodistical destruction of the Baroque private mode. Whereas Donne's speaker excludes the genteel world and its accepted values in order to realize his unifying love with his one mistress, Cowley's speaker does so only in order to unmask both that world and himself as true dissimulating Machiavels, changing both amorous allegiances and political allegiances according to opportunity. The only thing that distinguishes him from the world is his honesty:

I'll some such crooked ways invent,
As you, or your Fore-fathers went:
I'll flatter or oppose the King,
Turn Puritan, or Any Thing. 144
This should not, of course, mislead us to regard late Metaphysical poetry simply as a decadent form of Donne's poetry. 145 It stands in its own right, but it moved closer to Cavalier poetry and thus indicated its epoch's need for a less scholastic, less dramatically torn, but more rationalistic way of writing. It has been aptly shown that this development is also reflected in the development of the aesthetic philosophy of and in the style of Thomas Hobbes. 146 The apparent chaos in macrocosm, state, and microcosm had first led the intellectuals into a more or less extreme withdrawal, with the consequence of an upgrading of private and social mode poetry and a simultaneous devaluation of all public mode genres, notably the epic. The heyday of Metaphysical and Cavalier poetry saw an increasing decline both in the production of epic poetry and prose 147 and in the quality of drama. But, as the sense of chaos visibly increased with the Civil War in Britain (and the Thirty Years' War in Germany), there arose a new demand for a new public responsibility in literature.

After 1640 the public mode of poetry flourishing in the Renaissance again gained ground, 148 and with it the classical public mode genres, i. e. the verse epic and the drama (the latter being strictly prohibited though secretly cultivated throughout the Commonwealth). John Milton's early lyric poetry written between 1629 and 1638 (such as the Nativity Ode, the sonnet 'On Shakespeare', and Lycidas) had already shown symptoms of overstepping the private mode and reassuming a public praeceptor populi stance, so that Milton could later claim them as poetical exercises for his epic magnum opus (first his projected King Arthur, then Paradise Lost). By having recourse to the epic models of Spenser and the Spenserians, notably Giles Fletcher, Milton demonstratively reached back across the hiatus which the late Jacobean and the Caroline period had left with regard to the writing of epics. Moreover, as the public mode or epic revival advanced from 1640 to 1660, the lyric poetry of the Metaphysicals and Cavaliers with their private and social modes respectively lost ground, so that the order of genre precedence was reversed again: the verse epic grew first and lyric poetry last in respect. Thomas Hobbes's 'Answer to Davenant', published separately in Paris in 1650 and then prefixed to the London edition of William Davenant's public mode verse epic Gondibert (1651), rates the "Heroique Poem Dramatique" highest, and "Sonets, Epigrams, Eclogues, and the like peeces" lowest, as being "but Essayes and parts of an entire Poem". 149 At the end stood the triumph of Neoclassicism, 150 with Abraham Cowley's recantation of his earlier Metaphysical mode of writing, the 'Ode of Wit' (1656):

In a true piece of Wit all things must be,
Yet all things there agree.
As in the Ark, joyn'd without force or strife,
All Creatures dwelt; all Creatures that had Life.
Or as the Primitive Forms of all
(If we compare great things with small)
Which without Discord or Confusion lie,
In that strange Mirror of the Deitie. 151
But, eventually, the decline of Metaphysical poetry was also inseparably linked to the decline of Cavalier poetry. Lyric poetry and the lyric ego's private or social mode, repudiated in High Neoclassicism from Dryden to Johnson, did not reappear until the lyrical revival of the Preromantic and Romantic Movement of the later eighteenth century. 152


In default of formal artes poeticae and artes rhetoricae, 153 we have to reconstruct Metaphysical ideals and their rationale from various sources. 154 Among the richest sources are no doubt the numerous English and Latin elegies on the death of the famous poet and preacher John Donne in 1631. Some of these were incorporated in the posthumous editions of Donne's poems in 1633 and 1635. They unanimously emphasized the uniqueness of the preacher and the poet. Donne's biographer, Izaak Walton, equated "miraculous Donne" with a prophet, sent by God to his dull people. 155 Sir Lucius Cary and Richard Corbet called Donne a king, at whose death comets ought to have fallen from the sky. 156 Arthur Wilson praised Donne as a spirit of high-flying fantasy "in the aire of Wit", whose flights, though admired by many, only few could follow. 157 Henry Valentine compared Donne to the unique solitary phoenix, 'unica semper avis'. 158 Donne himself had used the same image in his First Anniversary when describing his contemporaries after their loss of 'all relation'. The best known is the elegy by Thomas Carew, who described Donne as the last of his age, gleaning a harvested tradition. 159 After him, poetical quality would be replaced by mere light-weight quantity. Although such demonstrative rhetoric of praise or blame (genus demonstrativum) makes use of literary commonplaces rather than historical facts, Carew's pitching of Donne's Baroque originality against Neoclassical imitation and obedience to rules shows one of the prime characteristics in the self-understanding of the Metaphysicals, in the context of the time-honoured querelle des anciens et des modernes. Carew's epitaph has become a literary quotation:

Here lies a King, that rul'd as hee thought fit
The universall Monarchy of wit. 160

In terms of the history of ideas, the ideal of the Baroque poet was the counterpart of the ideal of the absolute prince. Thus, "the divine right of kings" 161 formed the counterpart to "the divine right of poets". In this respect, too, the Baroque poetry of the Metaphysicals reflected the intellectual climate of the age (of Stuart absolutism) much better than the Neoclassical poetry of the Cavaliers with its strict submission to Horatian rules. The Baroque refused to submit to poetic traditions and rules as laid down and reflected in Cicero or Horace, Scaliger or Puttenham. The Baroque prince refused to submit to ancient political traditions and rules as they could still be found in Erasmus or Elyot, for instance. While the medieval authoritative theorists of politics such as John of Salisbury, Bracton and others had placed the prince both above and under the law, rex supra et infra legem, rex legibus absolutus et legibus alligatus, the Baroque prince tended to neglect the latter parts of that dualistic approach. This new understanding of his absolute position had its roots not so much in Bodin or Hobbes, but in Machiavelli's 'absolving' the prince from hitherto firmly established and divinely ordained ethical norms. 162

In politics, one of these traditional rules had demanded social interaction with the subjects, visits and audiences such as Elizabeth I had still cultivated. But, 'absolving' himself from that time-honoured rule, the Baroque prince, like the Baroque poet, tended to withdraw into his privacy. There may seem to exist a basic contradiction between the Baroque poet and his enclosed garden on the one hand, and the Baroque prince and his gigantic palace and garden on the other hand. But, quite apart from the fact that contradiction was the life and soul of Baroque culture, the contradiction is resolved in the poet's and prince's common pursuit of saving privacy, 'absoluteness', though by opposite means. The poet as the prince's subject kept the world at a distance on a smaller scale, parallel to his forbidding rhetoric; the prince did the same on a larger scale, with his forbidding architectural and horticultural pomp.

As to Baroque palace architecture, the contradiction between the plain 'Protestant' façades and the Baroque 'Roman Catholic' interiors has already been noted above. It symbolized the progressive estrangement between the early Stuart court and the people, the 'absolutism' which cost King Charles I his life. Later, in Restoration England, during the reign of his son Charles II (1660-85), the same phenomenon manifested itself again in another form, e.g. in Sir Christopher Wren's 'Protestant Baroque' church architecture, which combined Bernini's Baroque with Jones's Neoclassicism. Wren's original designs were too close to Bernini and the Roman Catholic Baroque, and the king's judicious policy demanded a compromise. Wren had to cut Bernini's vertically towering upward lines and arches into segments, interrupting them by strong horizontal lines expressing the curbs set on Stuart absolutism. A similar reduction in force and ornament can be observed in Wren's, Vanbrugh's and Hawksmoor's palace architecture.

As for Baroque garden architecture, the contradiction appears in the heterogeneous combination of the garden's gigantic dimensions with the private bowers, nooks, and secretive mazes enclosed within its walls. A short characterization of the medieval garden will help us to understand the Baroque garden, not only by contrast, but because the typology of the medieval garden still shaped the numerous Metaphysical garden poems by Southwell, Donne, Herbert, Marvell, and Vaughan, as well as the numerous garden pictures of emblem books. The typical medieval garden is a "garden enclosed", entailing all the erotic and divine symbolism derived from the Old Testament Song of Solomon. 163 As such, the medieval garden had been understood as an image of paradise in the religious as well as erotic sense. The Greek word for the Hebrew Garden of Eden was 'enclosed', and associated Paradise with the Hebrew 'garden enclosed' of the Song of Solomon. As a consequence of this association, iconography presented both Paradise and its image in nuce, the medieval garden, as walled round-in, hedged enclosures. 164 The interior - fertile and cultivated - would represent an "idealized, controlled representation of nature" 165 and thus, of course, divine order. Outside the walls was the domain of barren chaos, out of which God had created this orderly world. The gardener of the medieval hortus conclusus was consequently an image of God, alter Deus, - and also of the medieval king, alter rex - , insofar as he cultivated and fertilized the garden (which would otherwise be as barren as the chaos without). He had to graft in order to bring about fertility (note the sexual imagery) and to cut and prune in order to prevent excrescences (note the judicial imagery). This 'garden of love' with its sexual and divine connotations designated both fruitfulness and harmony. The medieval garden was a peaceful fruit and vegetable garden for the cultivation of food and medical herbs, indicating that both God and his terrestrial representative, the king, were in charge of providing peace, nourishment, and healing for their people. Deus medicus and rex medicus were commonplace terms and icons. This iconology and symbolism survived in the emblems and poems of the Baroque period, although the gardens themselves had by then radically changed. The reader of Donne's 'Twickenham Garden', for instance, must have been acquainted with that tradition in order to understand the poem's speaker, a soul-sick man (like Shakespeare's Hamlet) possessed by the deadly sin of acedia. He visits God's garden of love and medicine only to persevere in his grief, because he refuses to see suffering as a precondition to regeneration or Good Friday as a precondition to Easter:

And that this place may thoroughly be thought
True Paradise, I have the serpent brought. 166
After the Middle Ages, 167 in the Renaissance, that paradisiacal 'garden of love' metamorphosed from intimacy to grandeur, and from a fruit and vegetable garden to an ornamental garden. Thus, it lost part of its religious symbolism in the wake of the general process of secularization. It adjoined a palace, mansion, or monastery, though not yet as part of a grand design comprising buildings and gardens. The development then progressed to the Baroque garden, facing a royal, ducal, or episcopal palace and proportioned to the whole length of that palace's façade. Moreover, it enriched the traditional Renaissance parterre by introducing costly, large-scale, artificial terraces. In its gigantic size and design, this ensemble embodied the Absolutist's prince's centralistic concentration of power. Spectacular and theatrical, with large and fragrant (mostly artificially grown) flowers and fruit, and with the magnificent mise-en-scčne of its garden feasts to the sound of specially commissioned garden or river fireworks 168 and musical entertainments, the Baroque garden was - like Baroque poetry - designed to appeal to all the senses. Thus, it provides another proof of the close link between Baroque and absolutism. 169 This is also apparent in the Baroque garden's ingenious new water architecture, including machine-operated artificial fountains on meadows and in artificial musical grottos. 170 Nevertheless, as has been stated above, the interior of that gigantic Baroque garden was fantastically subdivided so as to provide the prince with "retiros" from the courtiers, just as the whole garden provided the court with a "retiro" from the 'vulgar' populace. The self-isolatory private mode was guaranteed both ways.

Among these retiros counted the mazes or labyrinths characteristic of the Baroque garden. They mirrored the epoch's sense of disorientation, though they were mostly constructed around a firm and fixed centre - as if insisting on the notion of a still centralized universe and the presence of a God and a Heavenly Jerusalem still acting as the final destination for man (though he may be temporarily lost) on the pilgrimage of his life. 171 But, in their dazzling combination with bowers, crooked lanes, and arboreta (artificial forests), they brought an element of artificial chaos into that otherwise cultivated garden, which had formerly been understood to exclude all chaos in favour of a small undisputed cosmos. Thus, the Baroque garden expressed the epoch's disorientation post Copernicum as well as Baroque poetry, its sense of contrariety or "antithetisches Lebensgefühl". In England, the Baroque garden's association with Stuart absolutism led to the fatal destruction of all Baroque gardens under Cromwell. The walls were pulled down, the bowers and mazes mangled, and the statues demonstratively beheaded, as was the king himself on 30 January 1649. 172 Andrew Marvell's 'The Mower against Gardens' paradoxically condenses all the Puritan arguments against the artificiality of such Baroque gardens into a Metaphysical poem. The poem's plain unreliable speaker, a rustic mower, and evidently more Calvinistic than Marvell himself, argues on the basis of the typically Protestant and anti-Catholic ideal of (Christian) original primitiveness, innocence, and simplicity. To him, the artificial grottos, waterworks, statues, exotic plants and "adulterate" fruits of Baroque gardens constitute a denaturation, a falsification of God's original primitive design:

'Tis all enforc'd, the Fountain and the Grot;
While the sweet Fields do lye forgot. 173
Denaturation does not only imply devitalization and vilification, but sin. The poem's initial attack upon the "Vice" of "Luxurious Man" names one of the seven deadly sins, 'luxuria', the irregular lust of lovers, and the loss of both men's and plants' procreative vitality through unnatural excess in those oversecretive and overamorous gardens:

Luxurious Man, to bring his Vice in use,
Did after him the World seduce:
And from the fields the Flow'rs and Plants allure,
Where nature was most plain and pure. 174
What follows is a densely and subtly interwoven catalogue of other sins involved in Baroque horticulture: pride (in man's 'dealing between the bark and the [forbidden] tree' by assuming to improve God's natural paradise), robbery (in the Roman Catholic Spaniards' expeditions to exploit the exotic treasures of South America), adultery (in the unnatural breeding of new but unprocreative plants and trees), the Baroque princes' irregular craze for unnatural unprocreative eunuchs as gardeners, singers, or even lovers, and the Baroque princes' neglect of their public duty in the private mode of their walled-in self-seclusion. Here, "A dead and standing pool of Air" is perversely given preference to a more natural and accessible garden

Where willing Nature does to all dispence
A wild and fragrant Innocence. 175
This wild and fragrant innocence is implicitly pitched against the stale incense in Roman Catholic nunneries and churches. Far from Calvin's iconoclasm, Marvell was a Protestant who had appropriated the Baroque, though on a smaller scale and without the Roman Catholics' love of pompous artificial excess, just as the Baroque interior of Protestant churches adapted Baroque paintings and ornament on small panels and in reduced proportions. In that respect, Marvell's preference for natural and proportionate gardens resembled that of the High Churchman George Herbert in Bemerton, Salisbury. 176 Similarly, in Andrew Marvell's topographical poem 'Upon Appleton House. To my Lord Fairfax', the speaker argues not against gardens and garden pleasures themselves, but against unnatural artificiality, unnatural enclosures, and unnatural pompous grandeur and disproportion as typical of the Roman Catholic and Counter-Reformatory Baroque. His tale of the past, when the heiress Isabel Thwaites, wooed by William Fairfax, was confined in the former nunnery, establishes a significant parallel between Roman Catholic monasticism and Baroque horticulture. Both appear as dominated by sinful pride and unnatural luxury, both erect walled-in dungeons, and both lack the natural vigour of procreation. 177 Yet now the original nunnery's confining walls have been pulled down, and Cromwell's General Thomas Fairfax has built himself a solid, unpretentious, and functional brick mansion for temporal residence instead of a vast, artificial, and ornamental Baroque palace for permanent self-seclusion, and a 'military garden' instead of its complement, the 'amorous garden'. 178 Fairfax's garden "laid [...] out [...] In the just Figure of a Fort" 179 was decorated with naturally grown flowers that often bore military names; 180 it had no artificially bred trees and flowers, no artificial waterworks, no artificial grottos, no artificial terraces, and no statues of fauns and fairies. Instead of providing an escapist private-mode retiro, this military garden was as functional and related to the unquiet times as the fortified house. Here General Fairfax would perform military exercises even in times of temporal peace: si vis pacem para bellum. 181 This, as well as the speaker's appeal to General Fairfax not to withdraw but to commit himself to public duties, or his allegorical argumentation both against too high (Cavaliers) and too low (Levellers), make it evident that Marvell's garden stanzas replace the Baroque private mode by a pre-Augustan public mode in keeping with the unquiet times. Accordingly, they are no longer poetry in praise of artificial Baroque retiros, the less so as the speaker repeatedly expresses the author's Protestant conviction that the earth's paradisiacal prelapsarian state cannot possibly be retrieved (natura totaliter corrupta). 182 The poem's expository grotesque satire on the sham perfection and strained inventiveness of Salomon de Caus 183 and his falsification of God's creation and creation's natural proportions establishes the contrast to the excesses and unrealistic escapism of Roman Catholic and Absolutist architecture and horticulture:

Within this sober Frame expect
Work of no Forrain Architect;
That unto Caves and Quarries drew,
And Forrests did to Pastures hew;
Who of his great Design in pain
Did for a Model vault his Brain,
Whose Columnes should so high be raise'd
To arch the Brows that on them gaz'd. 184
One of King Charles I's favourite Baroque gardens was Wilton House, in front of the above-mentioned home of the Herberts, Earls of Pembroke, near Salisbury, begun around 1632 after designs by Salomon de Caus and with the help of Inigo Jones. It was chiefly modelled on the design of the magnificent Baroque garden in front of the palatial Villa D'Este in Tivoli near Rome, built by the powerful and ambitious Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este between 1560 and 1575, and on Caus's Hortus Palatinus in Heidelberg, built from 1615-1620 for Elizabeth Stuart and her husband Elector Frederick V of the Palatinate. Wilton House was restored by Inigo Jones and John Webb from 1649-52, decades after John Donne had visited Lady Pembroke, the mother of his pupil George Herbert. 185 Although the garden was not begun until the time of Donne's death, the king's and the poet's visits expressing their common predilection for the same palace and family once again show the cultural and ideological kinship of absolutism and the Baroque.

The private mode of the Baroque poet, however, was easier to realize than the private mode of the Baroque prince. In the closed 'internal' circle of his court, the literal 'absolutism' of the Baroque prince's 'external' rule ended. Here, he was obliged to submit to a strict set of formal rules of courtly etiquette. The medieval king's divinely imposed 'heavy burden' had thus shrunk to 'idle ceremony' 186 , the merely formal remains of his ancestors' exacting code of princely virtues.

In contrast to their Neoclassical successors with their strict obedience to formal rules and restrictions, each of the English Baroque poets was a distinctive individual who emphasized his originality by breaking all conventional forms and conventions "as hee thought fit". 187 Eventually, English Baroque literature died together with Stuart absolutism and was superseded by Neoclassical poetry (analogous to Restoration concepts of kingship), 188 following ancient models and obeying rules and norms. In spite of its adulatory rhetoric, Thomas Carew's elegy on John Donne had proved prophetic.

University of Bonn
Rolf P. Lessenich

Multimedia file provided in collaboration with participants in my Oberseminar:

Carsten Arntz, Volker Bauchhenß, Jens Andreas Faulstich, Hildegard Feinendegen, Felix Forster, Martin Fritzen, Tanja Kohl, Andreas Koerver-Stümper, Norbert Lennartz, Andrea Rummel, Renate Schruff, Ursula Schwalb, Annemarie Stöckel, Barbara Tonn

Email the author

Text Download (WORD-Format)

The 1999 Version

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


1 Wellek, 'The Concept of Baroque in Literary Scholarship and Postscript', in Concepts of Criticism, New Haven and London, 1963, 69-114 and 115-127. For the similarities between English and Continental Baroque poetry see Frank Joseph Warnke's comparative approach in the introduction to his commendable anthology European Metaphysical Poetry, New Haven and London, 1961. Following Odette de Mourgues (Metaphysical, Baroque and Précieux Poetry, Oxford, 1953), Warnke tries to establish a finely detailed distinction between 'Metaphysical' and 'high Baroque'. Later studies again tend to return to terminological differentiations of the Baroque, cf. Gregory T. Dime in Studies in English Literature, 26 (1966), and David Evett in John Donne Journal, 5 (1986). For the position of wider cultural studies v. Stephan Kohl, who assigns Baroque to the open (functional) and Neoclassicism to the closed (textual) type; 'Kulturtypologie und englischer Barock', in Europäische Barockrezeption, ed. Klaus Garber, Wiesbaden, 1991, II. 981-994. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd edition, London and New York, 2001, II. 749-751, contains an excellent discussion of the etymology and early usage of the term 'Baroque'.

2 Dryden, A Discourse concerning the Original and Progress of Satire (1693), in Of Dramatic Poesy and Other Critical Essays, ed. George Watson, Everyman's Library, London, 1962, II. 76 and 150.

3 Johnson, Lives of the English Poets, 'Life of Cowley' (1779-81), ed. L. Archer Hind, Everyman's Library, London, 1925, I. 11. Johnson found fault even with Alexander Pope's Essay on Criticism (1711), because he surmised that Pope's notion of representative metre ("The sound must seem an echo to the sense", line 365) misled him into "many wild conceits and imaginary beauties"; 'Life of Pope', ed. cit. III. 230.

4 Johnson, Lives of the English Poets, 'Life of Cowley', ed. cit. I. 13-22.

5 Wolfgang G. Müller, 'T.S. Eliots Poetik und seine Barockrezeption', in Europäische Barockrezeption, II. 1027-1046.

6 See Mario Praz, Studi sul concettismo, Milan, 1934; and 'Baroque in England', Modern Philology 61 (1964), pp. 169-179. Leonard Unger, Donne's Poetry and Modern Criticism, New York, 1950, 1962, speaks of "extended metaphors" and "extended comparisons".

7 Donne, The Second Anniversary, or, Of the Progress of the Soul, 1612, lines 179-184, in Works, ed. Herbert J. C. Grierson, Oxford, 1912, I. 256. The two Anniversaries (1611-12) were bold philosophic and didactic elegies formally addressed to the deceased Elizabeth Drury, daughter of his patron and friend Sir Robert Drury.

8 Hans Sedlmayr, Verlust der Mitte, Salzburg, 1948.

9 The whole Kleinseite or Malá Strana of Prague was Baroquified after 1627, when Roman Catholicism had been proclaimed the state religion in the Kingdom of Bohemia. The motor of this development was the Jesuit Collegium Clementinum (with its famous Baroque library).

10 E.g. Petrarch, Sonnetto In vita, 161, and Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy, III/2, 1.

11 Crashaw, Steps to the Temple, 'The Weeper' and 'The Tear', London,1646, 1648, in Poems English, Latin, and Greek, ed. L. C. Martin, Oxford, 1957. The copy-text used here is that of 1648, ed. cit. pp. 308-314, as also reprinted in Metaphysical Lyrics and Poems of the Seventeenth Century, ed. H. J. C. Grierson, Oxford, 1921, 1959, 1969, p. 130-136. It is more rewarding than the text of the first edition, though, unfortunately, it omits 'The Tear'.

12 Donne, Songs and Sonnets, 'The Flea', in Poems, ed. cit. I. 40-41. In contrast to conventional comparisons observing decorum on the one hand, and concetti on the other, see Rosemond Tuve, Elizabethan and Metaphysical Imagery, Chicago, 1947. For "theories which formalised the cult of the witty conceit" see A. J. Smith, Metaphysical Wit, Cambridge, 1991, 46-68.

13 Examples in Emblemata. Handbuch zur Sinnbildkunst des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts, ed. Henkel/Schöne, Stuttgart, 1962, p. 1398 (Daniel Heinsius), and Georgette de Montenay, Emblemes ou Devises Chrestiennes, 1571, p. 45, repr. Continental Emblem Books, The Scolar Press, 1973.

14 Donne, Holy Sonnets, I, ll. 13-14., in Poems, ed. cit. I. 322.

15 Printed in Emblemata, ed. cit. p. 82.

16 Also v. Ernst Robert Curtius, Europäische Literatur und lateinisches Mittelalter, 3rd edition Berne and Munich, 1961, pp. 151-152, and Richard Alewyn / Karl Sälzle, Das große Welttheater, 1959, Munich, 1985.

17 Distinguished, for example, by Thomas Wilson (1553), George Puttenham (1589), and John Hoskins (1599).

18 'Rhetoric' in this context is used in its maximalist sense referring to the five partes artis: inventio (the finding of ideas)

dispositio (the arrangement of ideas)
elocutio (the formulation of ideas)
pronunciatio (delivery)

Though in English the term is generally taken to refer only to 'the arts of language' (OED, 2nd ed. 'rhetoric', 1a), this minimalistic concept would here be insufficient.

19 Donne, Letters to Several Personages, 'The Storm' and 'The Calm' (MSS 1597), in Poetical Works, ed. cit. I. 175-180.

20 Donne, 'The Storm', lines 67-72, ed. cit. I. 177.

21 Donne, 'The Calm', lines 49-50, ed. cit. I. 179.

22 Donne, The First Anniversary, or, An Anatomy of the World, 1611, ll. 19-88, in Poems, ed. cit. I. 232-234. Also v. Ulrich Broich, 'Form und Bedeutung der Paradoxie im Werk John Donnes', in Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift, 17 (1967), pp. 231-248.

23 Tourneur, The Revenger's Tragedy, III. v, ed. Foakes, The Revels Plays. London, 1966, pp. 70-73. Vindice's monologue in ll. 69-82 has been commented on by many poets and literary historians, ibid., 71.

24 Hübscher, 'Grundlegung einer Phraseologie der Geistesgeschichte', in Euphorion, 24 (1922), p. 15, supplement, pp. 517-562 and 759-805.

25 For this typology v. Burkhardt Niederhoff, "The Rule of Contrary": Das Paradox in der englischen Komödie der Restaurationszeit und des frühen 18. Jahrhunderts, Trier: WVT, 2001.

26 Examples from John Donne's Holy Sonnets, XIV and XVIII, (according to Grierson's numbering).

27 Ibid.

28 Note the occasional and chaste paradoxes in Dryden's and Pope's verse epistles.

29 For these contexts v. the ground-breaking study by Rosalie Colie, Paradoxia Epidemica. The Renaissance Tradition of Paradox, Princeton, 1966.

30 This is also the central argument in A. J. Smith, Metaphysical Wit, passim.

31 Also v. John Robert Christianson, On Tycho's Island: Tycho Brahe and His Assistants, 1570-1601, Cambridge, 1999.

32 Quoted by Wolfgang Riehle, 'Zum Paradoxon bei Shakespeare', in Das Paradox, ed. Paul Geyer/Roland Hagenbüchle, Tübingen, 1992, 336.

33 Quoted by Wolfgang G. Müller, 'Das Paradoxon in der englischen Barocklyrik: John Donne, George Herbert, Richard Crashaw', ibid. I. 380.

34 This medieval Latin word for a form of syllogism as the possible etymon for 'Baroque' was originally sested by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his Dictionnaire de musique, Paris, 1768. The controversial etymology is defended by Renč Wellek.

35 Exodus 20. 25.

36 Herbert, 'The Altar', in Works, ed. F. E. Hutchinson, Oxford, 1941, p. 26. The pattern poem in the form of an altar underscores the poetological meaning of "this frame" (line 11).

37<7 Alchemy, which intended to convert lower into higher matter by bringing substances into "coition" under various conditions of heat, had strong erotic associations; v. contemporary paintings and engravings of alchemical laboratories ("stews"), and the brothel plot in Ben Jonson's comedy The Alchemist (1610).

38 Donne, 'A Nocturnal upon St Lucy's Day', in Poems, ed. cit. I. 44-45. 5 stanzas consisting of 9 lines each. Also cf. Günter Ahrends's interpretation, 'Discordia concors: John Donnes 'Nocturnall upon Saint Lucies Day'', Die neueren Sprachen, 70 (1971), pp. 68-85.

39 See Anthony Raspa, The Emotive Image: Jesuit Poetics in the English Renaissance. Fort Worth, Texas, 1983. The strong influence of plastic art upon Baroque poetry has been most intensively studied in the case of George Herbert; see for example Rosemond Tuve, A Reading of George Herbert. London, 1952. Helen Vendler came to the same conclusion in The Poetry of George Herbert. Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1975.

40 At that time, 'microcosm' meant 'man' and 'microcosmography' was synonymous with 'anthropology'; v. OED.

41 For this v. E. M. W. Tillyard, The Elizabethan World Picture, London, 1945, 1960, pp. 77-93.

42 Richard Sennett, The Fall of Public Man, New York, 1974. Thus, the loss of community began much earlier than Sennett assumes. Also v. Brigitte Glaser, The Creation of the Self in Autobiographical Forms of Writing in Seventeenth-Century England, Heidelberg, 2001, passim.

43 Also v. Philipp Wolf, Einheit, Abstraktion und literarisches Bewußtsein. Studien zur Ästhetisierung der Dichtung, zur Semantik des Geldes und anderen symbolischen Medien der frühen Neuzeit Englands, Tübingen, 1998, pp. 69-93 and 279-303.

44 Also v. Renate Schruff, Herrschergestalten bei Shakespeare. Untersucht vor dem Hintergrund zeitgenössischer Vorstellungen vom Herrscherideal, Tübingen, 1999, passim.

45 Also v. Jerzy Limon, The Masque of Stuart Culture, Newark, 1990. The replacement of the public audiences' "imaginary puissance" by magnificent illusory stage-designs was another symptom of dissociation, both from the public theatres and from the public dialogue between artist and playgoer.

46 Also v. Earl Miner, The Metaphysical Mode from Donne to Cowley, chapter 1 'The Private Mode', Princeton, 1969, 3-47. It is, however, misleading to call a poet such as Henry Vaughan "proto-Romantic"; the similarities between the nostalgic primitivism and cult of loneliness in Vaughan's 'The Retreat' (1650) and Wordsworth's 'Intimations Ode' (1807) are due to the Neo-Platonism shared by both poets.

47 Lowry Nelson, Baroque Lyric Poetry, New Haven and London, 1961, pp. 161-167.

48 Donne, 'The Sun Rising', lines 21-22, in Poems, ed. cit. I. 11.

49 Donne, 'A Hymn to Christ at the Author's Last Going into Germany', lines 29-30, ed. cit. I. 353.

50 Marvell, Miscellaneous Poems, 'The Garden', lines 15-16, in Poems and Letters, ed. Margoliouth/rev. Legouis, Oxford, 1971, I, 51. On the poem's 'unreliable speaker' providing a satire on the extremes of the Roman Catholic Baroque v. the interpretation below.

51 Hatzfeld, 'Der Barockstil der religiösen klassischen Lyrik in Frankreich', in Literaturwissenschaftliches Jahrbuch, 4 (1929), pp. 30-60.

52 Frank Joseph Warnke, 'Introduction', in European Metaphysical Poetry, p. 51, scolds this characteristic (with reference to Giambattista Marino) for being a "facile religiosity made more facile by sensuality".

53 See also Louis L. Martz, The Wit of Love: Donne, Carew, Crashaw, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1969.

54 Donne, 'Hymn to Christ at the Author's Last Going into Germany', lines 1-8, in Poems, ed.cit. I. 352.

55 Donne, 'A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning', 7-8, ed. cit. I. 50. Note the symbolism of "gold to ayerie thinnesse beate" (line 24) in the ornament of Baroque architecture.

56 Ibid. line 26. Note the puns on erection in the saving act of love.

57 Donne, 'The Ecstasy', lines 20-23 and 73-74, ed. cit. I. 52-53. Note the typically Baroque paradoxes.

58 This observation was already made before Martz, 1954. See W. P. Friederich, Spiritualismus und Sensualismus in der englischen Barocklyrik, Vienna and Leipzig, 1932, and, after Martz, F. J. Warnke, Versions of Baroque, New Haven and London, 1972, pp. 130-157.

59 Also v. Philipp Wolf, Einheit, Abstraktion und literarisches Bewußtsein, pp. 97-148.

60 Ignatian "composition of place" is still of importance in James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1914-15), where it serves the Jesuit educators to frighten the young, impressionable, artistic hero Stephen Dedalus with horrible visions of the Four Last Things (Death, Judgment, Hell, Heaven).

61 Arno Esch, Englische religiöse Lyrik des 17. Jahrhunderts: Studien zu Donne, Herbert, Crashaw, Vaughan, Tübingen, 1955.

62 Louis L. Martz, The Poetry of Meditation: A Study in English Religious Literature of the Seventeenth Century, New Haven, 1954, 1962.

63 So did Robert Burton in clear opposition to the Baroque rhetoric in his preface to The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), likewise Francis Quarles in his preface to Argalus and Parthenia (1629). In her gender study Elaine Hobby shows why women could write Cavalier poetry, but not Metaphysical "strong lines"; The Cambridge Companion to English Poetry. Donne to Marvell, ed. T.N. Corns, Cambridge, 1993, pp. 31-51.

64 See also Helen Gardner in the introduction to her anthology The Metaphysical Poets, Oxford, 1957.

65 See F. Strich, 'Die Übertragung des Barockbegriffs von der bildenden Kunst auf die Dichtung', in Die Kunstformen des Barockzeitalters, ed. R. Stamm, Berne, 1956, pp. 243-265.

66 Cf. Shakespeare's sonnets, e. g. Sonnet 70, where the speaker finds fault with the Mannerist 'rival poet' for his false bodily as well as false stylistic paint. At the time wigs and make-up became a controversial - and later the standard - fashion.

67 Herbert, 'Jordan (I)', in Works, ed. cit. pp. 56-57. The complex title also refers to the replacement of a heathen poetic myth of inspiration (Helicon) by a Christian and biblical one, in the context of the biblical model of plain style in Metaphysical religious poetry.

68 For details v. Nicholas Cooper, Houses of the Gentry 1480-1680, New Haven and London, 1999, and Simon Thurley, Whitehall Palace, New York and London, 2000.

69 Princeton, 1979.

70 Even the Dutch Calvinists (such as Daniel Heinsius) published great numbers of emblem books, introduced pictorial arts into their churches, and wrote Protestant Baroque poetry (Heinsius, Joost van den Vondel, etc).

71 Addison, The Spectator, 62 (11 May 1711), ed. D. F. Bond, Oxford, 1965, I. 265. Addison does not mention the fact that such pattern poems as George Herbert's 'The Altar' and 'Easter Wings' or Robert Herrick's 'The Pillar of Fame' and 'This Cross-Tree' had their predecessors in late classical antiquity, as in the wings-poem of the Anthologia Graeca. Also v. Ulrich Ernst, 'The Figured Poem. Towards a Definition of Genre', Visible Language, 20 (1986), pp. 8-27.

72 Johnson, Lives of the English Poets, 'Life of Cowley', ed. cit. I. 11.

73 Thus, for example, Matteo Pellegrini, Delle acutezze (1639), and Baltasar Gracissn, Agudeza y arte de ingenio (1642, 1648). S. L. Bethell examines both works in 'The Nature of Metaphysical Wit', in Discussions of John Donne, ed. Frank Kermode, Boston, 1962, pp. 136-149.

74 Marino, La Murtoleide (1619), Fischiata 33, quoted in Austin Warren, Richard Crashaw. A Study in Baroque Sensibility, London, 1939, p. 75. See also F. J. Warnke, 'Marino and the English Metaphysicals', in Studies in the Renaissance, 2 (1955), pp. 160-175, and Ruth C. Wallerstein, Richard Crashaw: A Study in Style and Poetic Development, Madison, Wisconsin, 1959, passim.

75 T.S. Eliot, 'The Metaphysical Poets' (1921) (introduction to H.J.C. Grierson's anthology), in Selected Essays, London 1932, 3rd ed. 1951, 287.

76 Ibid., 288. Cf. S. L. Bethell, 'The Nature of Metaphysical Wit', and Ruth Wallerstein, Studies in Seventeenth-Century Poetic, Madison, 1960, pp. 166-169 (with reference to Marvell's Baroque wit and puns). Peter N. Skrine, who, in The Baroque, London, 1978, pp. 133-134, has a different notion of the Baroque age, sees Baroque wit above all in Marino's mythological poem L'Adone (1623).

77 See for example Earl Miner, The Metaphysical Mode, pp. 3-4. Also v. N. J. C. Andreasen, John Donne: Conservative Revolutionary, Princeton, 1967, passim.

78 F.L. Lucas, The Decline and Fall of the Romantic Ideal, 'La princesse lointaine, or, The Nature of Romanticism', Cambridge, 1936.

79 Cf. J.W. Lever, The Elizabethan Love Sonnet, London, 1956, and J. B. Leishman, Themes and Variations in Shakespeare's Sonnets, London, 1961. For John Donne's "counterdiscourse" to Petrarchism see Heather Dubrow, Echoes of Desire. English Petrarchism and its Counterdiscourses, Ithaca and London, 1995, pp. 203-249.

80 Margaret Cavendish, The World's Olio, London, 1655; quoted from Elaine Hobby, 'The Politics of Gender', in Corns, p. 47.

81 For this cf. Shakespeare-Handbuch, ed. Ina Schabert, Stuttgart, 1972, pp. 614-616.

82 Early experimenters in that new technique were Heinrich Schütz (born 1585), Johann Hermann Schein (born 1586, one of Johann Sebastian Bach's predecessors as Cantor of St Thomas's School in Leipzig), and Samuel Scheidt (born 1587). J.-J. Rousseau's article in his Dictionnaire de musique, mentioned above, contains a highly perceptive description of Baroque music.

83 The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. cit. II. 755.

84 Ibid.

85 The early Baroque period also witnessed the invention of the organ pedal.

86 For the affections moved by the various favourite instruments of the period v. John Dryden, 'A Song for St Cecilia's Day', 22 Nov 1687, here stanza 5.

87 As in Johann Sebastian Bach's Kreuzstabkantate, BWV 56 (1726).

88 For these v. Ulrich Thieme, Die Affektenlehre im philosophischen und musikalischen Denken des Barock, Celle, 1984, and John Hollander, The Untuning of the Sky, Princeton, 1961, chapter IV, pp. 162-244.

89 Pope, The Dunciad, 1742, IV. 53-58, in The Twickenham Edition of the Poems of Alexander Pope, London, 1939-1969, V. 346-347. Pope reproaches the opera for lack of nature, harmony, order, and regulating judgment or common sense.

90 Also v. R.L. Sharp, From Donne to Dryden, 1940, Hamden, Connecticut, 1965, pp. 34-61.

91 For this close relationship v. also Mario Praz, Studi sul concettismo, passim.

92 R. C. Bald, John Donne. A Life, Oxford, 1970, pp. 63-66; Bald even assumes a personal acquaintance.

93 As in Francis Quarles's emblem book Hieroglyphics of the Life of Man, London, 1638, 1639. This also explains the craze for obelisks with their engraved hieroglyphs, which Baroque city architects selected from the rubble of antiquity in order to adorn the centres of their newly-desiged places and squares: Piazza San Pietro, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo in Rome, as well as genuine or imitated or stylized obelisks in the centres of places and squares in other European cities.

94 See annotations above.

95 See also Rosemary Freeman, English Emblem Books, 1948, New York, 1978.

96 Ibid. pp. 229-240.

97 Donne, Holy Sonnets, XVIII, ll. 11-14, in Poems, ed. cit. I. 330.

98 Crashaw, Steps to the Temple, 'The Weeper' (1648), ed. cit. pp. 308-14, passim.

99 Christ's markedly androgynic body, also apparent in nativity scenes, designs him as neither 'vir' nor 'mulier', but 'homo', who assumed the human form in order to save both men and women.

100 Leo Steinberg, The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and Modern Oblivion, Chicago, 1996. For the combination of excess and eroticism cf. Robert Southwell's poem 'Christ's Bloody Sweat', in Poems, ed. cit. pp. 18-19.

101 Also v. Lowry Nelson, Baroque Lyric Poetry, p. 26.

102 Crashaw, Steps to the Temple, 'In the Holy Nativity of Our Lord God. A Hymn Sung as by the Shepherds' (1648), ed. cit. p. 250. Baroque Christmas poems (and paintings) with their pictorial descriptions of the world's greatest unique epiphany were especially suitable for such literary techniques of mystical reconciliation.

103 This impression has even misled critics to spot the roots of Postmodernism in the Jacobean era; e. g. Maurice Hunt, 'Elizabethan 'Modernism', Jacobean 'Postmodernism'', in Papers on Language and Literature, 31 (1995), 115-144.

104 Barabas in Marlowe, The Jew of Malta (1589-90), a prototype of the numerous later stage-Machiavels.

105 Donne, The First Anniversary, or, An Anatomy of the World, first printed 1611, lines 205-218, in Poems, ed. cit. I, 237-238. Cf. C.M. Coffin, John Donne and the New Philosophy, New York, 1937, 1958, and Odette de Mourgues, Metaphysical, Baroque and Précieux Poetry, pp. 88-99. For the debate over the world's alleged decadence v. Victor Harris, All Coherence Gone, Chicago, 1949, and Herschel Baker, The Wars of Truth, Cambridge, Mass., 1952.

106 Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, first printed 1609, I. iii. 86 (Ulysses on the Greeks) and II. ii. 167 and 176-77 (Hector on the Trojans). Cf. Rolf Lessenich, 'Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida: The Vision of Decadence', in Studia Neophilologica 49 (1977), pp. 221-32. For retreat into privacy as a possible result of the nauseating disorientation of late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century intellectuals, in view of profound economical and social changes, v. L. C. Knights, Drama and Society in the Age of Jonson, London, 1937, and Robert Ellrodt, L'inspiration personelle et l'esprit du temps chez les počtes métaphysiques anglais, 'La Nausée', Paris, 1960, II. 46-93.

107 Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, I. iii. 101-110; for the aspect of world and art turning 'absurd' cf. Gustav René Hocke, Die Welt als Labyrinth, Hamburg, 1957, and Manierimus in der Literatur, Hamburg, 1959.

108 Donne, The First Anniversary, lines 396-97, ed. cit. I. 243.

109 Herbert, The Temple, 'The Church-Porch', lines 5-6, in Works, ed. cit. p. 6.

110 Ibid., 'The Altar', lines 15-16, ed. cit. p. 26.

111 As analysed below.

112 Woman was still regarded as an inferior and inverted man, who secreted semen like man, though to a lesser extent. For "tears", "milk", "balm", "wine" etc. as synonyms for semen v. Gordon Williams, A Dictionary of Sexual Language and Imagery in Shakespearean and Stuart Literature, 3 vols., London, 1994.

113 Also v. Roy Strong, The Renaissance Garden in England, London, 1979, 1998, pp. 12 seqq.

114 Donne, Songs and Sonnets, 'The Canonization', lines 10-18, ed. cit. I. 14.

115 Donne, Satires, III. lines 100-101, ed. cit. I. 158.

116 Cf. William R. Mueller, John Donne: Preacher, Princeton, 1962, pp. 89-114.

117 Cf. W. F. Mitchell, English Pulpit Oratory from Andrewes to Tillotson, London, 1932, passim.

118 Cf. also Miner, The Metaphysical Mode, pp. 93-107.

119 For dramaticality as a characteristic of Baroque poetry v. Lowry Nelson, Baroque Lyric Poetry, pp. 87-98.

120 Reported in Izaak Walton's Lives (1640-1678), ed. George Saintsbury, The World's Classics, Oxford, 1927, p. 29.

121 Herbert, The Temple, 'The Quip' (1633), lines 1-4, in Works, ed. cit. p. 110.

122 Crashaw, Steps to the Temple, 'The Weeper' (1648), final stanza 31, ed. cit. p. 314. Note again the paradox of the lowliest being the highest, just as the weakest and poorest are the strongest and richest.

123 Marvell, Miscellaneous Poems, 'On a Drop of Dew', lines 29-30, in Poems and Letters, ed. cit. I. 12-13.

124 Here I differ considerably from Maren-Sofie Rřstvig's naive reading of the poem in The Happy Man, 2 vols., Oslo, 1962.

125 Marvell, Miscellaneous Poems, 'The Garden', line 64, in Poems and Letters, ed. cit. I. 53.

126 Ibid. line 71, ed. cit. I. 53. For the pun v. Helge Kökeritz, Shakespeare's Pronunciation, New Haven, 1953, 1974.

127 Title provided by Thomas Traherne's brother Philip.

128 Traherne, Poems, 'Eden', lines 1-7, in Centuries, Poems, and Thanksgivings, ed. H. M. Margoliouth, Oxford, 1958, 1965, II. 12. The quotation is from Thomas Traherne's own version, not that revised by his brother Philip.

129 Traherne, Poems, 'On Leaping over the Moon', lines 67-70, ed. cit. II. 132.

130 Ibid. lines 51-60, ed. cit. II. 131.

131 Pope, An Essay on Man, 1733-34, epistle II, lines 3-18. A similar span of 200 years was needed to find a new orientation after Niccolň Machiavelli's revolution in ethical philosophy (1513).

132 Cf. Elizabeth Holmes, Henry Vaughan and the Hermetic Philosophy, Oxford, 1932, and Rolf Lessenich, 'Henry Vaughan's Poem 'Regeneration'', in Studia Neophilologica, 44 (1972), pp. 76-89.

133 Vaughan, Silex Scintillans, 'The World' (1650), lines 1-15, in Works, ed. L.C . Martin, Oxford, 1957, p. 466.

134 Also v. Helen Gardner's 'Introduction' to her anthology The Metaphysical Poets, Oxford, 1957.

135 Ibid. lines 49-56; ed. cit. p. 467.

136 Taylor, XXV Sermons, London, 1653, p. 148.

137 Vaughan, Silex Scintillans, 'St Mary Magdalen', line 1, ed. cit. p. 507.

138 Ibid. lines 57-60, ed. cit. p. 509. The poem's two final stanzas with their contrast of the true tears of St Mary Magdalene with the false tears of the Pharisees may also be read as a Cavalier's criticism of the false saintliness of the Puritans: "Who Saint themselves, they are no Saints" (line 72).

139 Vaughan, Silex Scintillans, 'Christ's Nativity', lines 19-24, ed. cit. p. 442.

140 Southwell, 'New Prince, New Pomp', lines 1-2, in Poems, ed. cit. p. 16.

141 Milton, 'On the Morning of Christ's Nativity', MS 1629, line 31, in Poetical Works, ed. Helen Darbishire, Oxford, 1955, II. 114.

142 For a detailed documentation of this development v. Norbert Lennartz, "The Unwashed Muse", research in progress (to be published).

143 Cowley, 'The Given Love', lines 55-56, in English Writings, ed. A. R. Waller, Cambridge, 1905-1906,. II. 70.

144 Ibid. lines 19-22, ed. cit. II. 69. Note the royalist's subtle satire on the Puritan hypocrisy of Cromwell's reign.

145 As in earlier histories of Metaphysical poetry: George Williamson, The Donne Tradition, Cambridge, Mass., 1930, and Alfred Alvarez, The School of Donne, London, 1961.

146 Raman Selden, 'Hobbes and Late Metaphysical Poetry', Journal of the History of Ideas, 35 (1974), 197-210.

147 In the history of the epic prose romance or novel, this may also account for the hiatus between the Elizabethan novel (John Lyly, Philip Sidney, Thomas Nashe, Thomas Lodge, Thomas Deloney) and the Restoration and Augustan novel (John Bunyan, Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe).

148 For details v. Earl Miner, The Restoration Mode from Milton to Dryden, chapter 1 'The Public Mode', Princeton, 1974, pp. 3-50.

149 Reprinted in Critical Essays of the Seventeenth Century, ed. J.E. Spingarn, Oxford, 1908, II. 55-56.

150 Also v. R.L. Sharp, From Donne to Dryden. The Revolt against Metaphysical Poetry, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1940.

151 Cowley, 'Of Wit', 1656, lines 57-64 (stanza 8), in English Writings, ed. cit. II. 18. The aesthetic convert Cowley's siding with the mimetic principle of imitation against the Metaphysical principle of originality, his stigmatization of the forced conceit and surprising irrational quiddity, and his distinction between false (Metaphysical) and true (Neoclassical) wit anticipated later Neoclassical theorists such as Joseph Addison. Also cf. Cowley's poem 'To the Royal Society', prefixed to Thomas Sprat's History of the Royal Society (1667).

152 Also v. Rolf P. Lessenich, Aspects of English Preromanticism, Cologne and Vienna, 1989, pp. 58-105.

153 Contemporary English poetics, such as Henry Peacham's chapter on the art of poetry in The Complete Gentleman (1622), or Henry Reynolds's Mythomystes (1632), or Ben Jonson's Timber (1641), were based on 16th-century Renaissance poetics and did not take the new Baroque rhetoric into account.

154 For this reason Wilbur Samuel Howell's Logic and Rhetoric in England, 1500-1700, Princeton, 1966, does not even mention Baroque rhetoric at all.

155 Printed in Donne, Poems, ed. cit. I. 376.

156 Ibid. I. 382 and 386.

157 Ibid. I. 385.

158 Ibid. I. 375.

159 Ibid. I. 379. Gleaning sests precious quality beyond the mass.

160 Ibid. I. 380.

161 "The divine right of kings" was an expression for the aims of Stuart absolutism. James I und Charles I insisted that kings were Gods in their own right, "legibus absoluti".

162 According to the OED, 2nd edition, however, the term 'absolutism' for despotic government was not used until 1830, when it was transferred from theology (God's sovereign conduct in the affair of salvation in Calvin's doctrine of reprobation) to politics.

163 Chapter 12: The lover Solomon (Christ) regrets the erotic reservedness of his beloved Shulamite (the Church), "A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse, A spring shut up, a fountain sealed" (verse 12): and Shulamite opens her lap to her lover: "Let my beloved come into his garden, And eat his pleasant fruits".

164 See Stanley Stewart, The Enclosed Garden: The Tradition and the Image in Seventeenth-Century Poetry, Madison, Wisconsin, 1966, passim.

165 Strong, The English Renaissance Garden, p. 14.

166 Donne, Songs and Sonnets, 'Twickenham Garden', lines 8-9, in Poetical Works, ed. cit. I. 28.

167 Also v. Johan Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages, 1941, London, 1982. The Renaissance and Baroque garden retained the medieval iconology of the 'garden of love', the place both of the holy love of Solomon and Shulamilte and the sinful love of David and Bathsheba. See, for instance, Rubens's many garden paitings and engravings based on his own Renaissance parterre garden in Antwerp (of the type of Hans Vredeman de Vries's gardens); documented in the 2001 exhibition Gärten und Höfe der Rubenszeit at the Landesmuseum Mainz.

168 Eberhard Fähler, Feuerwerke des Barock, Stuttgart, 1974. Baroque fireworks involving scenic action could also be staged on rivers facing palaces, as on the occasion of the Palatine Marriage of Elizabeth, daughter of King James I, and Frederick, Elector Palatine at Heidelberg, in 1613 (Thames opposite Whitehall Palace).

169 See, for instance, the work of Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725), especially his serenata Il Giardino di Amore.

170 The most famous grotto architect and theorist was Salomon de Caus. The (musical) grotto combined worldly pleasure and spirituality in its association with St Mary Magdalene, who had visited Christ's grotto-tomb and (according to legend) spent the rest of her life as an penitent anchoress in a grotto.

171 For this interpretation of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century craze for labyrinths v. Daniela Tandecki, 'Der Garten als Symbol und Refugium göttlicher und menschlicher Liebe', Arcadia, 22 (1987), 122-25.

172 What Cromwell's soldiers had left was destroyed by the eighteenth-century craze for the English landscape garden (William Kent, 'Capability' Brown) with its programmatic dismissal of garden walls. Thus, not a single Baroque garden survived. Also v. John Dixon Hunt / Peter Willis (ed), The Genius of the Place: The English Landscape Garden 1620-1820, London, 1975.

173 Marvell, Miscellaneous Poems, 'The Mower against Gardens', lines 31-32, in Poems and Letters, I. 44.

174 Ibid. lines 1-4. Note the biblical vocabulary associated with Original Sin and the Fall of Man.

175 Ibid. lines 33-34. My italics.

176 Herbert's advocacy of unpretentious gardens was related to his advocacy of the plain style; see, for instance, The Temple, 'Jordan' I, lines 6-7, and 'Paradise'.

177 Marvell, Miscellaneous Poems, 'Upon Appleton House. To my Lord Fairfax', Fairfax's speech (lines 203-224) arguing against the prioress's equivocatory seduction (97-200), in Poems and Letters, ed. cit. I. 65-69.

178 According to the heroic themes of love and war, the 'garden of love' and the 'garden of war' complemented each other. For the history and phaenomenology of the latter v. Jane Brown, The Pursuit of Paradise. A Social History of Gardens and Gardening, chapter 3 'The Military Garden', London, 1999, pp. 82-104.

179 Marvell, 'Upon Appleton House', stanza 36, ed. cit. I. 71.

180 Jane Brown, The Pursuit of Paradise, pp. 103-104.

181 Marvell, 'Upon Appleton House', ibid. Cf. the half-comical literary treatment of this motif and situation in Uncle Toby's military garden in Laurence Sterne's novel Tristram Shandy (1760-67).

182 The speaker's repeated expectations of finding a little paradise in the meadows and forests of Appleton House prove invariably fallacious.

183 Though a French Huguenot engineer and garden designer, Salomon de Caus or Caux (1576-1626) had studied Baroque horticulture in Italy and subsequently worked both for the Spanish court in Brussels and for the Stuart court.

184 Marvell, Miscellaneous Poems, 'Upon Appleton House. To my Lord Fairfax', lines 1-8 (stanza 1), in Poems and Letters, ed. cit. I. 62. 'Foreign' here means both 'non-English' and 'unnatural'.

185 The possible occasion of Donne's famous divine poem 'Good-Friday, 1613. Riding Westward'; for such speculations v. R. C. Bald, John Donne, A Life, pp. 269-71, and Helen Gardner's commentary in her second edition of Donne, The Divine Poems, Oxford, 1978, p. 98.

186 See the king's ceremony speech in Shakespeare, King Henry V, 1599, IV.1.247-301.

187 Rudolf Vierhaus also warns against a flat identification of Baroque and absolutism; 'Barock und Absolutismus', in Europäische Barockrezeption, I. 45-61.

188 See Rolf Lessenich, 'Tory versus Whig: John Dryden's Mythical Concept of Kingship', in Dryden and the World of Neoclassicism, ed. W. Görtschacher / H. Klein, Tübingen, 2001, pp. 245-258.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

- 17:09 - Komentari (11) - Isprintaj - #

petak, 06.07.2007.


Lečeni me je molio da mu posudim jednu stvarcu za nekakav tekst o onome što nazivamo gadgets.

To me je podsjetilo na našu davnašnju priču o stvarima: Što biste sve u svom ovozemaljskom životu trebali, a da biste imali život dostojan vlastite slike o sebi?

Stari, dobri Bog je zaista cinik: ljude je stvorio da budu smetlari! Za svoga ponosnog hoda kroz ovaj besmislen život po ovoj dosadnoj kugli, onaj dio stvari koje sam ja dobio u zadaću prikupiti odavno je sabran: imam knjiga koje nikada neću pročitati, albuma koje neću preslušati, slika bez svoga zida...previše stvari!

Čini mi se da je tako sa svijetom uopće: stvarnost je prevršila mjeru, ima doista previše stvari na ovome, a moguće i na onom svijetu, i stvarnost je jednostavno postala nestvarna, jer je prestvarna.

Ja obožavam stvari. Evo zašto:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

To je Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon.

Možete ga razgledati sa svih strana.

Ima točnijih satova. Ima skupljih satova. Ima jedan jedini primjerak točnog, ljepšeg, najskupljeg ručnog sata na svijetu ( Patek Philippe & Cie, Geneve. "World Time" Ref. 1415 HU (Heures Universelles), in platinum, circa 1939. Diam. 33 mm.).
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Gyro još nemam, a htio bih imati tu stvar.

Postoji još stvari koje nemam.
Nešto lakše dobavljive od Gyra: One Shot, Patricka Jouina.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Ili PK0 stolica Poula Kjaerholm, iz 1952.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Junghans, Maxa Billa, također nemam, mada je najjednostavniji a najljepši zidni sat na svijetu: jednostavno ga zaboravim kupiti, valjda zato jer to nije nikakav problem.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Ima stvari koje sam tražio preko cijelog svijeta, naprosto zato jer sam se zainatio imati baš tu stvar. Recimo, dvije sam godine ludovao za kuhinjskim noževima. Neugodno mi je kazati koliko ih i kakvih sve imam. Jednom prigodom, vidio sam kod jednog drugog sakupljača te neophodne stvari opasnu sjekiricu. Meni sjekira ničemu ne služi, dapače vrlo bih se lako njome mogao ozljediti - ne, nisam trapav, nego sam premaštovit s oružjem u rukama - ali to je zaista najbolja kuhinjskokućna sjekira na svijetu. No, postojao je problem: proizvode je idioti. Tri sam mjeseca pregovarao s budalom iz močvara Ohioa dok je nisam nekako nabavio. Nevjerojatni imbecili. Paul's Ratchet joj je naziv. Namjerno ne stavljam link. Ne želim vas na savjesti. Ne stoga jer bi se i vi ozljedili - ne, objesili bi se prije no što bi je nabavili.

Jedan lovački nož ipak nisam uspio nabaviti; ja ne lovim, na pamet mi ne pada, i ne treba mi taj Citadel nožić iz Kambodže u nikakvu naročitu svrhu. Treba mi jer bih ga htio držati u ruci, imati. Ne znam zašto je tako teško nabaviti nož iz Kambodže.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Rekao sam da je onaj dio stvari koje sam ja dobio u zadaću prikupiti odavno sabran; sad ispada da nije tako.
I kad se sakupi ono bitno, shvatimo da nam treba upravo ona jedna stvar više koju kad nemamo nedostaje, a kad je tu, izgleda da pretječe, jer i sami se pitamo: Što će mi (sve) to?

One prve stvari jesmo; ove druge imamo.
Sa mnom je problem što ponekad, kao za Gyrom, naprosto izgubim razum i mislim da ne mogu biti a ne imati ga!

Proklete igračke!
To su meni stvari: kao i Jokeru: Toys!

Uglavnom sam nabrajao što mi nedostaje, no vidim da nisam pokazao ništa od onoga što imam.
Nisam to propustio spomenuti iz pristojnosti: zašto bi bilo nepristojno imati?
Naprosto, kao i svima, prije mi pada na pamet ono što mi nedostaje, no ono što mi dostaje.

Ako baš moram navesti primjer svoga imutka, evo tipičnoga: spaghetti-tester, Tobiasa Huysa, za Pott.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Kaj? Vi to radite prstima?

- 14:04 - Komentari (13) - Isprintaj - #

četvrtak, 05.07.2007.



Od bjelokosti štap
Tabakera olova puna
Duša od platonovine
Gdje prebivaju efebi
Kontemplacije Nemanjine.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

- 19:13 - Komentari (14) - Isprintaj - #


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Može li second opinion?

- 14:26 - Komentari (20) - Isprintaj - #


Image and video hosting by TinyPic


- 12:13 - Komentari (4) - Isprintaj - #


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Ovo nije blog i to nije za tebe!
Od onoga što pročitaš, malo što ćeš razumjeti, a i to što razumiješ, krivo shvaćaš.

Unutar si Vaseljene, kojoj je središte svugdje a obod nigdje.

Ovo je Patoblogija, područje kotlova i veriga; natpakao: ostaneš li, bit će to tvoje izborno stanje!

U Vaseljeni se čita na vlastitu odgovornost!

Car Vaseljenski, Nemanja Prvovenčani

- 08:10 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

srijeda, 04.07.2007.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Propustili smo uočiti prvu odlučnu klasifikaciju blogera koju provodi upravo Globus. Blogeri se tako sada dijele na one koji su se odlučili otkriti i objaviti knjigu i na one koji se nisu odlučili otkriti (i objaviti knjigu), nego je to njihovoj autorskoj volji usprkos pokušao učiniti Globusov "istražiteljski tim". Ovdje je važnije tko nego što najvjerojatnije iz razloga poraznog po Globus. Naime, novinari s onim što zapravo ne znaju što bi. Oni kažu "Dok je on (V. Bošković kojemu je netočno pripisan nick Truliks) ispisivao i na blog stavljao svoje "postove", u ovom slučaju književne tekstove, odnosno tekstove s literarnim ambicijama - radi se dakle o književnom blogu, barem u namjeri- dobio je oko 1500 kartica komentara, reakcija na svoje tekstove". Autorica se u istoj rečenici dva puta kreće naprijed natrag pokušavajući odrediti svoj predmet. Ponajprije ustvrđuje da se radi o književnim tekstovima (to je, pazite, prva, instinktivna reakcija), ali onda više nije sigirna, pa uzmiče, osigurava se, jer tko zna, možda to ipak nije to. Ipak je još uvijek nezadovoljna tom ambivalentnom odrednicom pa je gotovo doslovno ponavlja ne bi li joj nekako dala smisao i odlučno kaže "radi se dakle o književnom blogu", pa se ponovno povlači tvrdeći da je on književan barem u namjeri. Što to znači biti književan u namjeri? Nevjerojatno, ali rečenica ni tu ne završava jer ostaje nerazjašnjeno ono što ju zapanjuje, a to je 1500 kartica komentara na te izgleda namjerno književne tekstove, pa ih ona za svaki slučaj umeće u rečenicu, nadajući se da će možda oni, ako to već sama nije mogla, razriješiti dilemu koja ju razdire. Ti su, prema njezinu kasnijem priznanju, komentari "podebela knjižurina, satirična, intelektualno zahtjevna, puna citata (to mora da je jamstvo kakvoće), parafraza, aluzija na književna i filozofska djela (najcitiraniji je filozof naravno Slavoj Žižek, ali ima tu i Wittgensteina i Schopenhauera).. tekst u zagradama me posebno dirnuo. Mučnu situaciju oko što, overkompenzira brigom oko tko, jer vjeruje da joj je barem to znanje dostupno.
Ne mareći nimalo što će potrgati finu tuđu igračku kojoj ne razumije svrhu, ona se čak hvali svojom spremnošću da se izloži "opravdanom riziku da nas se smatra "seljačinama". "Seljačinama se", kako sama tvrdi "u boljem blogerskom društvu (sic!) nazivaju oni koji pokušavaju otkriti "stvaran" identitet iza nicka". Ali investigativni tim ni po pitanju tko nije siguran u svoje otkriće, vlastiti im je nalaz začudan, oni naprosto ne mogu da veruju, ne mogu sebi da dođu. Tu je ilustrativna rečenica: "Nemanja" je potpuno nespojiv s voditeljskim likom političkog novinara Romana Bolkovića - i neusporedivo inrigantniji. Ta rečenica je priznanje poraza cijelog pothvata, jer, ako je Nemanja intrigantniji od tzv. stvarne osobe, čemu onda izlagati stvarnu osobu? Kako navodno manje intrigantna stvarna osoba doprinosi razumijevanju intrigantnog, sad više ne samo virtualnog, nego i književnog lika Nemanje?
Za kraj bih samo istaknula kombinaciju surovo brutalan koju autorica voli toliko da ju u tekstu ponavlja čak dva puta. Surovo i brutalno namah.

Njetocka 04.07.2007. 15:51



Kad sam dobio informaciju da će tekst biti intoniran senzacionalistički znao sam da će se pričati o svemu, samo ne o knjizi. Što je to nagnalo cijenjene čitatelje da ispisuju toliku količinu komentara na mojem blogu i posjećuju ga 500-tinjak puta dnevno? Odgovor je skriven u uvodnoj priči Truliksa („Licemjerima“) kojima je namijenjena i fotografija s ispruženim srednjim prstom na poleđini korica. Drago mi je da je moj eksperiment uspio.
Svima nam je jasan motiv staljinističkog pokušaja ućutkavanja cara Nemanje, ali želim se osvrnuti na „istraživačko“ novinarstvo. Naime mene bi užasno zanimalo tko je autor onako sjajnog predgovora pa bih na sve moguće načine pokušao doznati tko je to napisao. Samo ću spomenuti da autor nije čovjek koga su javno prozvali i mislim da bi imali puno sočniji lead da su taj posao odradili kako treba.

Nemanja vratio si se, hvala kurcu. Nije taj tekst toliko strašan koliko je važna činjenica da si postao prava underground zvezda. Volim te zato jer si proturječan i lud. Pa tko još danas može u jednom broju nekog lista osvanuti na dva mjesta u potpuno nespojivim ulogama?

- 21:12 - Komentari (13) - Isprintaj - #



Draga Mirjana.

Ljutim se na tebe. Ne zato jer sada Tout-Zagreb* et le Monde
zna tko sam, nego zato jer se moji podanici sada više ne mogu pretvarati da to ne znaju: drugim riječima, više se ne možemo igrati.
Kad ti to ne bi godilo, čovjek bi te kaznio! Ako ti i uskratim taj užitak, i u toj ćeš kazni uživati.
Tebe je stvarno nemoguće skinuti s kurca; pre bi dete sišlo s trešnje!

Nemanja, Car Vaseljene

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Ha, ha, ha, pogledajte što je samo natandrkala ta sitna bluna Mirjana Dugandžija** o Nemanji, Caru Vaseljene:

"Neodostupan nam je ostao i autor koji se krije iza nicka Nemanja. Navodno se iza nicka izuzetno marljivog komentatora Nemanje krije novinar Romano Bolković. Nemanja je gotovo potpuno nespojiv s voditeljskim likom političkog novinara Romana Bolkovića poznatog s OTV-a i neusporedivo intrigantniji. Komentari su mu nesputani, često puni psovki, književno i filozofski je jako “potkovan”, “lopta” se imenima svjetskih intelektualaca, piše s lakoćom. Ponekad je i politički kritičan, poput:
“Usput. Jebeš državu u kojoj 90 posto stanovnika glavnoga grada ima viksu ili apartman na obali. Nitko ništa ne radi, ali zato svaki siječanj svi skijaju, a za svaki je ljetni vikend automobilska kolona od naplatnih kučica u Blatu pa do Bosiljeva! Užasno mi ide na kurac ova zemlja. Mislim da ću otići iz nje. Ne zajebavam se.” (Nemanja, 22. 06. 2007.) Na meti su mu i konkretni ljudi, primjerice, književni kritičari - u tim komentarima Nemanja nije korektan, pa ih nećemo citirati."

Ha, ha, ha, kako mi/im se samo Mirjanica upucava: te piše(m) s lakoćom, lopta(m) se imenima svjetskih intelektualaca, to je fantastično: ovi me opisi podsjećaju na sjajnu židovsku usporedbu dvojice starozavjetnih proroka (jedan je Ezekijel, a drugi nije politički korektan, pa ga nabijemnakurac): i jedan i drugi opisuju kraljevsku procesiju, ali jedan riječima građanina koji gleda kralja, dok drugi riječima seljaka koji vidi kralja!
Kako je ovo divan bukolički opis: književno i filozofski je jako “potkovan”! Ahahahahah...da potkovan!
To je zasigurno zato jer "Nemanja je gotovo potpuno nespojiv s voditeljskim likom političkog novinara Romana Bolkovića poznatog s OTV-a i neusporedivo intrigantniji."
Opori i suhoparni Romano Bolković nikada recimo ne bi bio toliko politički nekorektan da se bavi javnim razotkrivanjem privacije Mirjane Dugandžije, naročito ne mimo njene volje.
Nemanja je izrazitiji kit, njega boli kurac, kao uostalom i Mirjanu njen fantomski ud: da je ne kara Godra Mamuzina (sorry Mirjana, preskoči ovu politički nekorektnu rečenicu prema stoci koja goneta svjetovne identitete ispod patobloških nickova ničim izazvana, po narudžbi svojih gazda i za njihov interes, jer, Ninočki je valjda dopizdilo čitati o Consultanstsu, što li?!), laureat en face i iz Profila, možda bi je blagomirisni Car Vaseljenski polipički korektno opravio i pomazao, ali ovako bi se čovek osećao prezreno i nečisto, kao da to radi pro bono, iz milošte, a ne ladno, bešćutno, s neminovnošću prirodnih sila, kao što kiša pada ili k'o što pas laje, da citiram Andrića i odmah i njemu jebem mater o istom trošku, 'ajd uzdravlje.

U svakom slučaju, i nije tako loše.
Mala je pisala o nečemu o čemu pojma nema.
Usput je pokušala odati identitete autora blogova o kojima piše bez da je itko u toj redakciji ma i jednog trenutka pomislio na blogersku etiketu, profesionalni moral, deontologiju struke, hladne jesenje noći provedene u neugodnom visećem položaju na padinama Medvednice, vožnju metropolom u gepeku ili bilo kakvu drugu logičnu pretpostavku ili posljedicu ove neprisiljene grješke.

No nema veze: Važno da se priča pa makar i dobro!
Na kraju krajeva, Mirjana, kao kuja, dobro njuši što Nemanja odavno zna:

U hiperrealističkom svijetu u kojem simulakrum postaje stvarniji od stvarnosti, - istovremeno je upravo tako i time onestvarujući - točnije kazano: postaje ono što u stvarnosti jedino zbilja vrijedi i zato i jest (zbiljsko), svjetovni je identitet beznačajan: on je čak manje značajan, pa i u psihološkom smislu, od autorskog nicka; autorski je nick samostalno biće koje sudjeluje u kreiranju bloga vlastitim, samosvojnim glasom, ali se i kreće cyberspaceom kao zasebni entitet, posve slobodan od bilo kakve izvanjske određenosti ili identifikacije.
Za Patologiju je Vjekoslav Bokšković manje važan no Markiz de ga Sad! Markiz putuje s robom Onanom, Markiz piše o robu Onanu: ne Vjekoslav, nego Markiz de ga Sad! Dopustite površnu usporedbu: na sceni gledamo Hamleta; igra ga Rade Šerbedžija; nakon predstave, Rade odlazi doma, i....Što Rade radi doma to nikoga ne zanima; kakav je Rade Šerbedžija u ulozi Hamleta, to je već vrlo važno; kakav je sam Hamlet, to je ono bitno! Markiz koji putuje s Onanom, to je Hamlet; Markiz koji piše o tim putovanjima - jer Markizov se autorski glas razlikuje od glasa Vjekoslava Boškovića - prispodobni je glumac Rade; Vjeko Bošković, Šerbedžija je van scene. Čovjek, glumac, uloga. Vjeko, Kizo, Markiz.
Znati da je Kizo Vjeko, Bože, kako je to nevažno!
Tko je Markiz, oh, da mi je to znati!


* Les personnalités en vue d'une époque qui ont pour habitude de se rendre dans les manifestations mondaines de la capitale ou de fréquenter les lieux a la mode.
** To što ja imam tekst prije no što je "Globus" stigao na kioske, zar to nekog čudi? Ahahahahahahahahahahaah...

Patoblogeri se trajno moraju odreći identiteta iz tzv. stvarnog života. Njihova privatnost je izlišna izvan svijeta blogovskih pseudonima. Ovo je od gotovo presudne važnosti. Dobro sam to rekao.
Patoblogeri zapravo i nemaju nikakvog identiteta čak in unutar cyberspacea: imaju samo niz nickova-maski, koje nisu tu da skrivaju istinski identitet, nego njegovo nepostojanje! Maske ne skrivaju ništa, nego skrivaju baš to ništavilo! U zabludi je onaj koji misli da je nickom kao maskom nešto skriveno: ne, nasuprot, nije skriveno ništa, ili, točnije: skriveno je upravo to NIŠTA!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Stribor Šimpanza


'Proza u kombajnu' u kojoj pripovjedač Toma (Mato) skicofreno, dijaloški - jer poveliko je društvo kad Stribor priča sa Šimpazom - uobličava mitologiju jednog jutra, ali se drugog propudi s konjskom glavom u krevetu, jasno, vlastitom. "Kravice", pisane autentičnim ruralnim slangom, uklapaju se u obor stvarnosne proze; one funkcioniraju kao zapis stvarnosti same, skroz same, ono baš stvarosti, filtrirane kroz iskaz tipičnog pripadnika hrvatskog sela, iskaz koji je autentično seljački. (Jučernji list)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Čirjana Kratkundžija

Hrvatski narod stvorili su Kurci!

Hrvat i Tuga su imena, kao i ona druga, hrvatskih knezova Porina i Zombrlea, pa da!

Da mi je ovaj, kako da kažem, razumjeti barem još koju riječ, pomislila sam izlazeći iznutra. Suočena s grupama muškaraca, koji su na moja pitanja sipali goleme količine riječi, a jedina koju sam razabirala bila je - "mušterija".
Valjalo je priznati - nije baš bogzna kakav početak teme zbog koje sam došla u jedan grad, teorije tamošnjeg povjesničara srednjeg vijeka, Šotokan Karataya, o tome kako su Kurci sudjelovali u formiranju hrvatskog naroda, zamislite.

- 21:08 - Komentari (1) - Isprintaj - #

utorak, 03.07.2007.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Kurologija - autor dr. sc. Kuro Bajraktare

Kurac (također ud/o, pimpek, puzdra, kita, kar/a, kur/onja i dr.; lat. penis), Def: nar. naziv za muški spolni organ; Knjiž: noviji oblici ukrutbeni ubodnik (S. Babić), rjeđe i međunožni nježnik (S. Rog). Filol: Riječ praslav. (od kur' pijetao) i indoeurop., vjerojatno iranskog podrijetla: od korijena hrv' -srb' kao u glagolima shrvati i srbiti u značenju jebati i/ili biti sjeban). Kult.-polit. povijest: K. se javlja u raznim veličinama i oblicima, te stanjima i značenjima. Iz prapov. kulture žarnih polja poznati su k. žarnjaci; Dalmati i Histri u obliku k. izrađuju goleme mengalite, vjerojatno radi izračuna kurčeve godine. Već Japodi navlače nakurnjake izvezene na način tzv. kurčevog pletera (poslije hrv. pleter); Daorsi (Prozor, Hercegovina) tetoviraju k. s tri točke u obliku slova V (poslije U). U doba naseljavanja (VII. st.) Hrvati kao štovatelji Sunca-Svemuda pobjeđuju nomadske Avare te se ovima kao kurcima od ovce gubi trag u povijesti (K. Porfirogenet).

U doba narodnih vladara snažno se izdiže Kurcimirov penis erectus croaticus, jedan od najstarijih k.u Europi. Za turske prevlasti hrv. k. se rjeđe diže, iako ga spominju narodne pjesme (kuro-barjaktar, kuro-buljubaša i dr.). U vojnoj taktici Turci prvi primjenjuju tehniku zastrašivanja pomoću k. (Idu Turci, vide im se kurci). Krajišnici naspram toga primjenjuju taktiku k. na batini, ali još dosta nepreciznu (odatle: mlatiti k. po koprivama). Za franc. uprave na cijeni je luksuzni k. gladac. U osvit Narodnog preporoda prvi se izdiže k. zornjak, a veoma je popularna Štoosova elegična budnica Tugjim kurzem po gloginjah mlatiti (1841) koju su pjevale i oduševljene Ilirke. Za Bachovog apsolutizma vlast podmeće kao narodnu poslovicu hvala k. na udarcu ( utvrđeno kao falsifikat). K. postupno postaje tema mnogih knjiž. djela (A. Šenoa, Prosjak Kura; E. Kumičić, Začuđeni kurci i dr. ), što se prenosi i na hrv. modernu (A. G. Matoš, Utjeha kurca; T. Ujević, Žedan kurac na studencu) te socijalno-nacionalnu prozu (M. Kleža, Deset kurčevih godina; M. Budak, Na kurčevu ognjištu). U suvr. knjiž. k. je obradio G. Tribuson u bolničkom romanu Kuratorij; u obliku intimističke ispovijedi D. Ugrešić (Forsiranje kurca). Značajna su djela i 5. brzina kurca I. Rogić-Nehajeva, Magnum I. Aralice, te Čujete li kako krče kurci u u pizdama vaših gospodarica N. Fabrija. Tematika kurcoslavlja javlja se u širokom rasponu od sado-esejizma (V. Pavletić, I. Mandić i dr.) do pripovjedačke mazo-proze (P. Šegedin i dr.). K. na filmu obradio je H. Turković (Filmsko vrijeme i trajanje kurca), a u hrv. glumištu B. Senker i T. Mujičić u zajedničkoj monografiji Od Kar-Pata do Kar-Adžića. U glazbenoscenskim umjetnostima k. su obrađivale Jagoda Martinčević, te Sonja Kastl, Seadeta Midžić i dr. Prijevod antologije limerika On Pricks and Pussies objavio je I. Ott pod naslovom O onome i onome (1989). Tema k. javlja se i u glazbi (J. Gotovac, Kuro s onoga svijeta, K. Odak, Purica pleše). Za Obznane nastale su revolucionarne pjesme koje su komunisti i republikanci pjevali u zatvoru u Mitrovici i dr. (Dragi druže, to me vrijeđa, izbiješ mi kurcem leđa te Dok si ovo smislio na mome si visio). U NOP-u je snažnu borbenu poruku nosila pjesma Kurčev naprijed (V. Nazor) te u trenutcima opuštanja potresna pjesma Sred kuraca bajuneta. U ustaškoj vojnici prevladavali su ojkački elementi (Oj sikilju pizdin barjaktaru, vazda li si kurcu na udarcu).
U komunizmu je bilo zabranjeno svako kurcoslavlje, osim službenog trčanja kurca na Dan mladosti. Zabranjivana su i filozof. djela kao što je knjiga Praxisove skupine autora Kurčevo mišljenje kao mišljenje kurca (1973), kao i knjiga polit. uspomena D. Horvatića Noge sve manje, kurac sve tanji (1972). Službenu potporu imale su knjige J. Blaževića, Tražio sam kurčevu nit (1988. s predpušenjem Z. Tomca) i A. Berus S kurcem u revolucionarnom vrtlogu. U razdoblju demokratskih promjena važnu je ulogu odigrala krilatica Š. Đodana Hrvatski kurac u hrvatskoj pički (poslije pizdi). Nakon stoljeća tuđinske kurokracije, uspostavom vlastite države (1991) ponovno je objavljena kurcijalna knjiga F. Tucmana Mali narodi, veliki kurci. Opširna monografija A. Mijatovića i don Ante Bakovića Kurac u Hrvata daje poticaj novim istraživanjima k. baštine u okvirima velikog projekta Studia curatica croatica, kao i pronatalitetnim civilnim pokretima među Hrvaticama pod geslom Jedan ko nijedan. Razvijaju se i regionalna društva za očuvanje kurčeve baštine (Hercekurac, Ogulin - kurac zagulim i dr.) te manifestacije i brojni festivali ( Šokadija na kurčevu sijelu, Kurčevi vezovi, Naš kurac je lip i dr.). Velik doprinos suverenosti hrv. k. daje i dijaspora. U iseljeništvu kao krovnu organizaciju G. Sušak i A. Beljo osnivaju U-Kurac (Toronto, 1970), od koje se poslije izdvaja skupina oko M. Meštrovića koja formira Za-Kurac (New York, 1987). Usprkos potrebe za jedinstvom hrv. k. u Domovinskom ratu, Hrvatska demokratska zajebnica (HDZ) ne uspijeva formirati jedinstven Hrvatski kurčevi blok (HKB), nego se formira više zasebnih stranaka (pravaši Za kurac spremni, liberali Kurčić-Fižulić i dr.). Naprotiv lijevi drkadžije uspijevaju se ujediniti: Račanova ranija Stranka demokratskih pizdarija (SDP) s Vujićevim Socijalno dopušenim sranjem Hrvatske (SDSH) formiraju novu SDP (Staloženi dupedavci i pušioničari; pobijedili na izborima 2000). Među civilnim pokretima javljaju se najprije feminističke skupine koje dominantnoj i autoritarnoj politici tvrdog kurca suprotstavljaju elastičnu politiku pizde, na što reagiraju slupine tvrde desne mlaćenice okupljene oko H. Šošića i njegove udruge Hrvatski brabonjak. Potonji pokreti ipak ne nailaze na širi odaziv, osobito nakon pojave programatskog eseja S. Čuića Tko u Hrvatskoj ide bez kurca jebati (Vjesnik, 14. VII. 1995). Usprkos državnih napora te poticajnih mjera za uzdizanje hrv. kurca, demografska istraživanja koncem milenija pokazuju i dalje tendenciju pada njegove moći s obzirom na posljedice njegove pretvorbe i privatizacije po kojima se najbolji dio hrv. k. našao u stranim rukama.

Lit.: F. Rački - E. Laszowski, Institutio penisario copulationem Croatorum, Rad JAZU, 251, 1890; D. Mandić, Hrvati i Srbi - dva stara kurca, Sydney 1938; A. Beljo, U iseljeništvu pod tuđim kurcem, Toronto 1985; L. Bulczu, Potieče li hrvatski kurac od iranskog 'hourac hourowatha', Jezik 23 - 24, 1993; Š. Š. Čorić (urednik), Uz kurac - niz kurac (Zbornik radova: G. Sušak, Kurac u obrani hrvatske državnosti; V. Šeks, Temeljci pravne kurčevitosti; H. Novak- Srzić, Kurac kao masovno općilo i dr.), Neum-Klek 1995.
(dopuna, prosinac 2006.)
Uz dominantne teme o raznim pizdarijama (Bere Tič, Vladić Ubuljić i dr.), u suvremenoj hrv. književnosti k. se izraženije javlja tek u elektr. medijima ( i dr.), a među autorima se ističu Markiz de ga Sad, Liječeni Katolik i dr., te srp. disident Nemanja koji je, na Runjaninovu tragu, za svoju novu domovinu "ispevao" i himnu Lepa naša pripizdina.

- 09:31 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

ponedjeljak, 02.07.2007.

Delicious Solitude

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Zaista se ovde ne bih volio praviti važan, niti mi je do bilo kakve paunerije, jer, vidiš i sam da sve i sva komentiram, ali jedno nikako ne: onu upravo tvoju opasku o mojoj blogerskoj inovaciji, ali, ako ipak smijem primjetiti: Nemanja: mit ili činjenica? blog je koji je nastao iz svijesti o toj interakciji autora i vlastitih komentatora, autora kao tek jednog od komentatora vlastitog teksta/bloga. Tamo je - recimo, za Žižeka, ha... - i vizualno sam TEKST BLOGA identičan TEKSTU KOMENTARA. Ujedno, i zaista se ne zajebavam, to je i stanoviti pomak u demokratizaciji samoga bloga: vjerujem da znaš tko je Joi Ito, pa te samo podsjećam na njegove riječi: "Čini mi se da su blogovi najbolji primjer područja za koje se sada razvija tržište. Postoje deseci milijuna ljudi koji stvaraju sadržaje, ali ih ne naplaćuju, čime okreću postojeći model poslovanja. Sadržaj je slobodan i besplatan, a dobri amateri su bolji od loših profesionalaca. U počecima mediji su ih ignorirali, zatim su im se izrugivali, a onda su im se pokušali suprotstaviti. Sada pak rade zajedno. Čini mi se da se bližimo trenutku u kojem će blogovi postati odgovorna komponenta globalne konverzacije i da je savršen tajming za suradnju njih i medija.
Nekoliko bitnih stvari u blogovima dolazi do izražaja, ne samo autorska prava, već i njihova uloga u demokraciji i slobodi govora. Postoje mnoge vrste blogova, doduše većina ih je dnevničkog tipa. Usprkos tome, čini mi se da je njihova važnost u dokazivanju ideje amaterske revolucije o kojoj smo ranije govorili, neprocjenjiva. Baš kao i druge stvari koje osiguravaju «glas», blogovi su ključni nosioci demokracije u 21. stoljeću." 03.01.2007. 09:02 (Nemanja 03.01.2007. 09:32)


Vi, bre, Izgnaniče i Markiže, jeste se prvi dosetili da pišete roman uđuture, no Nemanja se prvi dosetio da zajebe vlastiti blog i da deluje isključivo u komentarima, pa i kad roman piše.


Nadalje, patoblogeri se trajno moraju odreći identiteta iz tzv. stvarnog života. Njihova privatnost je izlišna izvan svijeta blogovskih pseudonima. Ovo je od gotovo presudne važnosti. Dobro sam to rekao. (Znam da će Lečeni da tvrdi da je on to prvi rekao, ali, kako patoblogeri nemaju identiteta izvan cybersveta pseudonima, onda je apsurdno tvrditi da je ON prvi nešto rekao: koji on? A, konačno, ja sam se prvi sjetio ovog argumenta, kao i on, mada više ne znamo o kome je zapravo riječ, onog o tome da je bio sam na Patoblogiji u Novogodišnjoj noći: pojavu ove inverzne paranoje, usled koje osoba, za razliku od klasičnog kliničnog paranoika koji primečuje i odsutne osobe, ne samo da ne primećuje prisustvo stvarno nazočnih osoba, već sasvim realnao ćuti odsustvo bilo koga drugog osim sebe, pa i samoga sebe, kao u slučaju nedovoljno Lečenog, upravo je ovde po prvi put opisana u okviru psihoanalne teorije i prakse samoupravne patoblogijie. Reč je dakle o sindromu: Ne-Lečenog).
Patoblogeri zapravo i nemaju nikakvog identiteta čak in unutar cyberspacea: imaju samo niz nickova-maski, koje nisu tu da skrivaju istinski identitet, nego njegovo nepostojanje! Maske ne skrivaju ništa, nego skrivaju baš to ništavilo! U zabludi je onaj koji misli da je nickom kao maskom nešto skriveno: ne, nasuprot, nije skriveno ništa, ili, točnije: skriveno je upravo to NIŠTA! To je sve jako zanimljivo, ali, već opisano; vidi: Žižek: fetiš, ideologija, razlika, Filozofska istraživanja, osamdesetih. 03.01.2007. 01:56 Nemanja 03.01.2007. 09:43


Razmišljajući o Shakespeareu: ne samo o tome što taj frajer radi s riječima, nego i zbog svega onoga što je kazao: često mi je puta, evo, priznajem to javno, na pamet padalo da nije moguće da sve to zna nekakav kit koji je ganjao kurve po kazalištu! Čuj, za napisati Romea i Juliju, vjerujem, između ostaloga treba poznavati bit rasprave o univerzalijama, ako ne pretpostavimo nekakvog Duha Svetog koji se kroz Shakespearea izražava u onom pjesničkom mimo Willove volje i zasluge.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Nisam htio kazati da je više išta teško kazati a da ja to već nisam apsolvirao. Samo sam malo rekapitulirao naše rasprave.
Glede Romea i Julije, tek još nešto: zaista je riječ o raspravi o nominalizmu i realizmu, kazano cum grano salis: pitanje naime glasi bi li tragedije uopće bilo da Romeo i Julija nisu Capuleti i Montecchi. Riječ je o raspravi o 'imenima': "What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Ali, osim toga nominalističkog stava o ruži koja bi jednako mirisala i pod drugim imenom - dakle Romeo i Julija bi jednako skončali, kao tragički star-cross'd lovers, i da se drukčije prezivaju, što znači da njihova tragičnost nije socijalno uvjetovana, već im je, kao i ljubav, predestinirana, što bi bila pozicija antičke tragedije: tragično je stoga jer nije moglo biti drukčije - postoji i realistički stav...

...O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.

Dakle, zašto si Romeo! Uvriježeno je tumačenje sljedeće: Julija pita, aludirajući na zavadu familija, 'Romeo, zašto si Montecchi?'; da nisi, naša ljubav ne bi bila nemoguća! Ja pak tvrdim da je konzekvenca takvog stava - tvrdnje da tek imena onemogućuju tu ljubav! - ne osujećuje tragiku događaja; novovjeka je tragedija u tome da je tragično stoga jer je moglo biti drukčije: mogli su se zvati i drukčije, da ponovimo, i opet bi jednako tragično skončali! No, kakve to veze ima s realističkim stavom o odnosu imena i stvari, sa stavom da ruža pod drugim imenom ne bi jednako mirisala? Bi li pod drugim prezimenima i okolnosti bile drukčije, bi li ljubav Romea i Julije bila moguća? Problem je, naravno, u sukobu volje i sudbine, u sukobu desnog i lijevog dlana. Kakva god bila njihova volja, Romeo i Julija su star-cross'd lovers: oni se ne zaljubljuju jedno u drugo, njima je ljubav suđena: ugledavši se, oni j/se prepoznaju! Njihova (ne)suđena, u zvijezdama zapisana a zemaljski nemoguća ljubav nije zapriječne starodrevnom zavadom familija Montecchi i Capuleti: osujećena je metafizički, fatumom, Sudbinom! I to je ono u što Shakespeare, ili Bacon, ingeniozno uviđa: ono što se isprva čini kao stav nominalizma, to da bi sudbina Romea i Julije bila drukčija kad bi se drukčije prezivali - jer su imena tek proizvoljna konvencija - promeče se u svoju protivštinu: ruža bi jednako mirisala i pod dugim imenom, što znači: i pod drugim prezimenima, esencija bi ove tragedije bila ista: smrt ljubavnika! Ono što je dakle realistično, što ipak određuje sudbinu Romea i Julije, njihova su imena: Romeo, Romeo, zašto si Romeo? 'On' ipak jest Romeo! Ne može zanijekati svoga oca* - svoj ethos, a ethos je čovjekov, veli Heraklit, daimonion, što se uvjetno može prevesti kao usud: "čovjekov ethos , čovjekovo (unutarnje) prebivalište ili stanište (dakle bit čovjeka kao čovjeka) jest demon (ili kafkijanski preokrenuto, a Grcima zacijelo ne posve strano: čovjek je prebivalište demona).(Demon, kao i sinonim theos , grčko je ime za sveto u vidljivoj ili bar prezentiranoj (ne možemo reći personificiranoj, jer Grci još nemaju ni riječ niti pojam za osobu) formi. Sveto kao demonično jednako je blizu bitku i ništini. Po svetome je čovjek ili stvaralac ili uništavalac. Uništavalac postaje ako sveto institucionalizira i time sakralizira.")
Ono što Romeo jest, po čemu jest, ono što je njegova bit i što u biti jest, što mu je biti - kako god hoćeš - qoud quid erat esse - ono čemu bijaše da bude, da budem precizniji - ipak je njegovo ime koje ne može odbiti: refuse thy name!
Koliko god pokušali zanijekati što smo, odbijajući svoje ime, čovjeku je sudbina njegova ćud!
Imena nas tragički predodređuju.
Jer, kako veli Despot, ako čovjeka napusti njegov daimonion - u opreci Helade i Isusova istjerivanja demona iz 'opsjednutog' u svinje - što od njega preostaje? Jasno - svinja!
Jedino je pitanje što ime jest?

Negdašnja ruža ostaje kao ime, zadržavamo tek gola imena.

"Stat rosa pristina nomine; nomina nuda tenemus."
(Yesterday's rose endures in its name; we hold empty names.)

— meaning that in this imperfect world, the only imperishable things are ideas.

For Bernard and Adso, this verse would express the impermanence of physical objects. For Eco, however, the "empty name" represents an indefinite semiotic sign. The rose of the title is a symbol so rich in meaning that it now means everything and nothing. It is empty space which readers can fill in with their own interpretation.

"Since the publication of The Name of the Rose I have received a number of letters from readers who want to know the meaning of the final Latin hexameter, and why this hexameter inspired the book's title. I answer that the verse is from De contemptu mundi by Bernard of Morlay, a twelfth-century Benedictine, whose poem is a variation on the "ubi sunt" theme (most familiar in Villon's later "Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan"). But to the usual topos (the great of yesteryear, the once-famous cities, the lovely princesses: everything disappears into the void), Bernard adds that all these departed things leave (only, or at least) pure names behind them. I remember that Abelard used the example of the sentence "Nulla rosa est" to demonstrate how language can speak of both the nonexistent and the destroyed. And having said this, I leave the reader to arrive at his own conclusions."

* Bojim se i pomisliti što Žižek napravio od ovoga stava: Zanijekati Ime Oca!

Sudeći po navadama flejmera, Blogosfera je istovjetna Podzemnom svijetu drevnog Egipta: i tamo je naime ovladati demonskim silama moguće magijskom formulom "Znam tko si i znam tvoja imena"!
Znati tko stoji iza nicka, poznavati stvarni identitet iza nadimka, predrasudno znači ovladati nečijom sudbinom!
Sad smo barem bliže spoznaji mjesta radnje: mi smo zaista u Zagrobu, u svijetu s onu stranu groba, za grebom! Kizo je vođen proročkom ili genijalnom pjesničkom intuicijom blog situirao na odbukcijski odjel, u svijet Patologije!
U tom je smislu Patologija metablog: kao što je 'Bladerunner' meta-hard-boiled thriller - budući da naracija hard boiled thrillera započinje u točki kad su događaji o kojima će biti riječi već prošlost, 'Bladerunne'r je m-h-b-thriller zato jer njegova naracija započinje u trenutku kad su prošlost ne ovi ili oni događaji, nego je svo vrijeme povijesti svijeta isteklo, sama je povijest prošla, i sve što uopće može biti već se dogodilo i prošlo! - tako je i Patologija metablog: to je blog koji ponajprije osviješćuje vlastitu poziciju - to je mjesto s onu stranu groba, Pod-zemlje ili Međuzemlje: mjesto između Neba i Pakla, a koje više nije zemno - a onda s te pozicije samosvijesti blog, kao cyberspace, dovodi do vlastitoga pojma, provodeći ga u medij: blog je točno ono mjesto na kojem cyber postaje space: tamo gdje umjetna stvarnost postaje zbilja!
U hiperrealističkom svijetu u kojem simulakrum postaje stvarniji od stvarnosti, - istovremeno je upravo tako i time onestvarujući - točnije kazano: postaje ono što u stvarnosti jedino zbilja vrijedi i zato i jest (zbiljsko), svjetovni je identitet beznačajan: on je čak manje značajan, pa i u psihološkom smislu, od autorskog nicka; autorski je nick samostalno biće koje sudjeluje u kreiranju bloga vlastitim, samosvojnim glasom, ali se i kreće cyberspaceom kao zasebni entitet, posve slobodan od bilo kakve izvanjske određenosti ili identifikacije.
Za Patologiju je Vjekoslav Bokšković manje važan no Markiz de ga Sad! Markiz putuje s robom Onanom, Markiz piše o robu Onanu: ne Vjekoslav, nego Markiz de ga Sad! Dopustite površnu usporedbu: na sceni gledamo Hamleta; igra ga Rade Šerbedžija; nakon predstave, Rade odlazi doma, i....Što Rade radi doma to nikoga ne zanima; kakav je Rade Šerbedžija u ulozi Hamleta, to je već vrlo važno; kakav je sam Hamlet, to je ono bitno! Markiz koji putuje s Onanom, to je Hamlet; Markiz koji piše o tim putovanjima - jer Markizov se autorski glas razlikuje od glasa Vjekoslava Boškovića - prispodobni je glumac Rade; Vjeko Bošković, Šerbedžija je van scene. Čovjek, glumac, uloga. Vjeko, Kizo, Markiz.
Znati da je Kizo Vjeko, Bože, kako je to nevažno!
Ali tko je Markiz, oh, oh, da mi je to znati!

Psihologija ovdje ne igra nikakvu ulogu: na blogu Osoba nema psihologiju, jer u njenoj duši djeluje deus ex machina: na djelu je maniristički sudden choice, te s punim pravom govorimo da Osoba ima para-psihologiju, što se na Patologiji i pristoji: ta, riječ je o utvarama.
Deus ex machina što djeluje u duši Nicka zaigrana je samovolja Autora koji progovara ex PC/machina. Osobe kao da imaju psihu: Nemanja je gotovo stvaran, nije li:"...ja mislim da bi tvoj narcizam svakako trebalo ukorichiti na grckom jeziku, i to u Njemackoj!"
Što se kojeg trena u toj duši može dogoditi, sam Bog/Deus (ex machina) zna.
Očito je da je i ta duša uglavnom mehanička:

"Mechanical Animals"

We were neurophobic and perfect
the day that we lost our souls
Maybe we weren't so human
But If we cry we will rust
And I was a hand grenade
That never stopped exploding
You were automatic and as hollow as the "o" in god...

Da to prikrijemo, ponašamo se kao da smo autentični: otuda sudden choices, ta hinjena spontanost, ta proračunata nesputanost, ta životnost koja oponaša umjetnost (ono artificijelno)!
Vidljivo je da je oksimoron egzistencijalna, a ne samo retorička forma, naprosto zato jer je retorika, a ne logika, jedina preostala disciplina logosa: ništa ovdje nije više logično, nikakvi zakoni isključenja trećeg tu ne vrijede, da skratimo, sve što preostaje, dekadentna je ludička retorika elaboriranog iskustva.
Nemanja odlazi pa usksava: zašto jedno, a zašto drugo, ne zna ni on sam (doduše, Nemanja je Car, on možda zna!). Markiz je ogradio Patologiju kao svoj Vrt, uvevši lozinku:

Society is all but rude,
To this delicious Solitude.

Čemu to služi? Još ne znamo! Hoćemo li saznati? Koga briga!

Pa dobro, kakvi smo to mi ljudi?

She is all States, and all Princes, I,
Nothing else is...

Takvi, kao Donne i njegova ljubavnica!

Hm...Zar nas nije boga strah!?
Ahahhahahah...Boga? Toga ex machina?

Churches are best for Prayer, that have least light:
To see God only, I goe out of sigh...

To smo mi: ljudi bez duše.

"Eco's last novel, 'The Island of the Day Before' (1994), is literally about the lack of a centre. It tells about the 17th century after the scientific discovery that the earth is not centre of the universe and before the modern invention, not least by the novel,
of the human being as the centre of everything. In 'The Island of the Day Before' there is no longer a centre in the universe and not yet a centre in man, whether in his individuality, reason or psychology. The novel's very last words state about its 17th century people that "It was people without a soul", and for Eco this is obviously not a loss."

"In solitude and imprisonment, Sade "began to construct a kingdom of his own within the confines of his prison room. He would be the actor rather than the victim, supreme in his own thoughts and imagination. He still wanted his freedom but the letters in which he argued for it began to devlop a second preocupation. If there could be no escape outwards through the massive walls of Vicennes, perhaps there might be an escape inwards. The letters began to carry the more routine demands of a prisoner for books, writing materials, and the candles without which the books and pens would be useless in the gloom of the medieval keep. These provisions were not a mere anodyne against the slow agony of solitude. The were the foundations upon which a new world was to be built. Day by day in the letters it seemed that he was redefining his own view of himself. He was not to be a weeping petioner but the heroic and unbroken champion of his own cause. There were those who had expected him to go mad, as other men did after years of such captivity. But he was not to go mad. On the contrary, he was to shock the minds of his bourgeois readers by a terrifying intellectual clarity. He would employ his sanity against his enemies as though it were a weapon of total war. Even if Sade had not yet sought salvation through writing novels, the ideas which were to feature in his fiction were soon to preoccupy him in his letters."

From The Marquis de Sade: A New Biography by Donald Thomas

NEMANJA 02.07.2007. 09:00

- 09:20 - Komentari (5) - Isprintaj - #

nedjelja, 01.07.2007.



Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Čekao sam, kako se i pristoji, da domaćin da svoje viđenje stvari. Budući da je unatoč prislušnim uređajima ceo osvaj igrokaz prenesen sasvim subjektivno i pristrano, zbog izočnih, poput Vertebrate ili Izgnanog, slobodan sam da ukažem na sledeće činjenice:

1. Zvezda večeri nesumnjivo sam bio ja. Ne samo zato jer sam došao u mekim mokasinama boje slonovače - ja znam da vi niste Eskimi pa da razlikujete 38 nijansi beline, ali nije to pitanje nekulutivisanosti vida ili oskudnosti vokabulara!; ne, reč je o nedostatku ukusa, a to je ono što me duboko, kao čoveka i estetu, izistnski vređa: da o belim mokasinama govore na centralnom Dnevniku, pa ajde, rek'o bi, ljudi moraju da sve nivelišu na razinu širokomasovne difuzije infomracije, ali kad ljudima od pera, pa bilo ono i kokošje, nedostaje ukusa, ona ja stvarno odem u pičku lepu materinu od čemera i neutešnosti - koje su tlo dotakle po izlasku iz crnog mx-5, jubilarna serija, 5 iljada komada za ceo svet, 6 brzina, kultni kabrio koji je meni lično za kurac, ali pičke luduju za takvim parafernalijama i fetišima, pa ko reko, ajde, neka, jebeš auto, kola k'o kola, i tako dok sam bešmno klizio u pravcu Bookse već su se mogle nazreti konture stvari koje dolaze: pokupovao sam petnaestak knjiga, uglavnom Ruse (Cvetajeva, Bulagakov, Pelevin), Goldesteina, Donata, čak i i solidnu Povijest astrologije..., i oboriviši s nogu tamošnje osoblje (zbog Porta ću dodati: da, pa i količinom kartica koje sam ponudio na peglanje jer ja kune, bez obzira na apoene, dajem deci za Monopoly i stoga nikad ne nosim, iz poštovanja, kao platežno sredstvo po svetu) mirno sam s oduševljenim i razgaljenim Tomicom Čadežom sipao foru na foru zabavljajući kako Lečenog tako i prodavačicu: vidivši s kime ima posla, poklonila mi je Peščanik FM No 8, učinivši sasvim simpatičnu gestu: cenu nije obrisala, nego je cifre nadopunila s par dodatnih, što je sve u svemu formiralo lep broj telefona atraktivne brinete, čime je i zvanično te večeri otvoren lov na Nemanju i par minuta njegove naklonosti, jasno, sve s ambicijom da se, po mogućnosti, kasnije ode na neko mirnije mesto s više knjiga i prisnosti.

2. Kiza je bio cool. Kad je video da sam ja tamo, to mu je bilo kao Wintetuu pogled na Old Šatrohenda! Ono, e, sad je sve O.K.! I inače je Kiza bio cool: nije kenjao, što mogu da ilustrujem opaskom o poreklu imena poddomene: umesto da mistifikuje, kao što bi svaki imbecil i kulov učinio, on je jednostavno kazao da je spižđen činjenicom da su već dve, tri ideje potrošene, tj. rezervisane, upisao nabijemtenakuarac, i, pošto je taj naziv bio slobodan, ime je regirstrovao! E, tako to rade majstori! Samo levati seru li ga seru. Pravi maheri, ja da vam kažem, ispričaju istinu, a ostalo je legenda!

3. Njetočka je moje srce i o tome ne želim uopšte da pričam. U malo sam nezgodnoj situaciji; sa sobom stalno vucara mladunče, a mala joj je k'o bombonjera a ne bombonica, pa mi je nezgodno da sada hvalim dete - jebiga, kakvo dete, dete je u srednjoj školi, a izgleda kao anđeo, i to onaj najlepši: sa sumporom k'o štaubšećerom posipanim po snežnim krilima (eto, to je belo, slepci, a ne mokasine!) - kad majka čita, a opet, navukla je malu na Patologiju, pa ne mogu ni da opišem u živim bojama i naplastičnijim oblicima ni gospođu majku a da se dete ne zapita: Dobro, Nemanja, Care blagotajnoviti, a zašto ti imaš tako zanimljive opise? Rečju: ne znaš tko je od njih dve lepši a tko veća duša! Jedino, Kiza ima pravo što se tiče haljine, ali, kod žena je ionako presudnije kako se svlače, a ne kako se oblače, iako je to u dijalektičkoj i čvrstoj vezi.

4. Baka! Ej, Baka. Stalno sam mislio tijekom večeri - i zato sam i bio nešto tiši, osim s razloga pristojnosti: nisam mogao da privatiziram Kizinu večer, ta, ipak je to njegov Bal Vampira, zar ne mislite draga Cvebo? - koga bih prije opalio, kad bih baš morao birati između Bake i Lolle!? Doduše, one me ničime nisu stavile pred tako tešku i pretešku kušnju, ali, kako sam ja živa duha i vazda teorijski praspoložen, stalno sam vagao razloge pro et contra taslačenje prvo Bake, pa onda Lolle, i, jasno Kizo, samo za tebe: vice versa! Naravno, govorim o klasičnom provodu u troje, jer, božemoj, tko bi pustio devojke da čekaju, ali, čak i u toj varijanti dolazi do tipičnih ljubomora izazvanih nestrpljenjem: Lolla ima neverovatan pogled plavooke hladnokrvne jebačice koja si može dopustiti da sedi barem na pet tako izazovnih načina da priču o vampirima i gotskom romanu, priznajem, uopšte nisam čuo (ta, Lečeni mi to neće zameriti, jer, ruku na srce, svi sad čekaju što ću da da kažem o ovom štivu, budući da još nitko do malopre nije rekao o ovom remekdelu jednu jedinu pametnu i suvilsu reč!) zaokupljen razmišljanjem bi li bilo bolje da zveknem lolu odmah tu, u Booksi, pred autorom Metastaza, pa da nateram Baku na plač i škrgut zubi, ili da ipak sačekam da Simo dovrši svoj performance o matrijahatu pa da onda prisilim i Baku da prizna kako ima jedan od najlepših strukova koje sam video za svog dugog i plodnog života kojemu je struk na neki način struka. Uopšte, Baka izgleda tako gracilno a sexy da bi je čovjek jednostavno zakucao za zid. I tako ostao par trenutaka, prije no što bi je upozorio: A sada uživaj!

5. Sima je bio veličanstven: duhovit, pametan, zaigran, vickast, prava pobeda Duha nad Telom. Obožavam tog čoveka. U tom stanju tako životan može da bude jedino dobar čovek. Šta god treba i kad god treba, Simo, sve ću za tebe da uradim.

6. Lečeni je pod dojmom mojih uvodnih štoseva nešto pričao o vampiraima, dakle, pogubio se, ali nema veze. Nije on to uradio namerno, da se ne misli kako je, samo par dana nakon izdavanja svoje zbirke stihova, opstruirao Kizino delo iz zavisti! Ne! Jednostavno, Lečeni je pesnik, i on je tu video vampire, i jebiga sad...Šta mu sad možeš. Vampir Milić star 5000 godina! Lečeni je drag čovek. Pričali smo o prevodu njegove poijezije na talijanski i nemački. Teško je to prevesti. Tko prevede Nemcu sledeću pesmu, dakle tko mu prevede ne samo reči nego i radnju i motive i potrebu za zbivanjem ove pesme, i njega ću da karam, nakon tačke 4.!


Mrki medo kroz žicu me je gledo,
popio sam litru i po šmrikovače,
rekord cijelog ličkog raja,
s medvjedom želim do kraja,
da se odmjerimo, u mojoj magli,
da se družimo bez straha,
kao dječak organizirao sam igre,
tko će dulje izdržati da sjedi na šini u očekivanju vlaka,
visio sam s balkona, s četvrtog kata,
poslije sam pretrčavao ispred lijenog snajperista,
prevrtao se automobilima,
s Buže plivao na Lokrum,
ali medu još nisam pogladio
pa i neću, na livadu sam pao,
već pomalo sredovječan
i već pomalo zao.

7. Cveba je progledala! Draga naša dottoresa. I kad je progledala, kaže meni Cveba, iznenađujuće duhovito, ugledala je nekog staršno naboranog! Ha, ha, sjajno! Čovek ode na operaciju mrene i ugleda shar-peia, i taman da se ž njime poigra, a kad ono pei on lično! Ženijalno! Inače, mokasine boje slonovače poneo sam kao hommage našoj Cvebi: da se oseća kao kući, u Sudanu.

8. Dr. Kuro Bajraktare me je toliko hvalio celu bogovetnu večer, da sam ostao osupnut samime sobom! A reč je o pravom lafu! Toliko me je razgalilo prisustvo našeg dragog Doktora, da je svaka reč nedostatna: on je sve zanemario te večeri samo da bi bio s nama, a svi znamo kolike su i kakve njegove obveze i odgovornosti! Sjajan čovek. Dr. Kuro je fantastična figura: neverovatno obrazovan erudita, krležijanska figura po svemu, politički aktivist već četiri decenije ako ne i više (više ne smem da kažem, iako je Doktor Bajraktare puno više od toga) pokazuje se iz dana u dan i kao sjajan kit: on je našao za shodno da prisustvuje u Booksi predstavljanju jedne knjige koja je zaista jazz za jazzere, dokazujući da je čovjek zaista mlad koliko su mlade njegove ideje. Ni Simo ni Lečeni zapravo ne znaju što bi s Truliksom, dočim je Dr.Bajraktareu sasvim precizno jasno o kakvoj se tu literaturi radi, i zašto je to zaista komad literature. To mene fasicinira, to da čovek komunicira s duhom ovog dela lakše, prirodnije i izravnije nego generacija kojoj pripada autor: to pak govori nešto i o autoru i njegovom delu - reč je očito o knjizi koja nadrasta okvire neposredne uraslosti u medijski i stvarnosti kontekst i koju s lakoćom čita svatko čija duhovna spremnost dopušta užitak u prvoklasnoj literaturi: recimo, kako ja da objasnim zašto je ovo dobra literatura:

Ulicom se vuku ljudi. Mučna atmosfera. Na trgu stoji čovjek izbrijane glave. U desnoj ruci drži kamen. Viče.
- Pun mi je kurac vaših preseravanja gospodo draga i ljigava!
Zavitla kamen promatraču u glavu. Ovaj pada mrtav.
Mnoštvo se razilazi.

Park je okupio mnoštvo. U centru pažnje je čovjek sa smiješnom kapom na glavi. Viče.
- Šta ste se okupili!? Nikakve koristi od vas!! Gamad, vi ste obični paraziti!!
U ruke uzima strojnicu i ispaljuje rafal u prvi red. Ovi padaju kao pokošeni.
I drugi su sretni i zamišljeni.

Na stubama stoji čovjek i galami. Odjeven je u togu. Pored njega je beba u kolijevci. Divljački njiše kolijevku. Beba glasno plače. U mnoštvu se netko ruši i umire od infarkta.
Publika je zadovoljna.

Na ulici stoji dvadesetak ljudi s noževima u rukama. Uz povike nasrću na prolaznike. Ubadaju ih i masakriraju.
Prolaznicima je teško.

Na korzu smiješan čovječuljak lebdi dvadesetak centimetara iznad zemlje. Potom pada na čelo. Diže se i opet lebdi. Čelo je krvavo, djelomično. Šetači su zbunjeni.
Ima tu različitih šetača.

U zatvorenoj prostoriji sjede trojica i čitaju. Ljudima je već svega dosta. Odlaze uz povike i psovke.
- Dosta nam je vaših govana! Fuj!
Ova trojica su tužni, ostaju sami…

Kako da objasnim? E, pa, sinovci, skoro ću to učiniti, jer se to na neki način od mene i očekuje, ali, sad idem da karam. Da ne bi insinuirali, Baka i Lolla su verovatno krenule u vrelu, subotnu veče. Pravo da vam kažem ni ne znam kako se ove blizamke zovu. A i da znam, jebemliga: meni je već svesvejedno. Kako god da se zovu, nabijemihnakurac!

NEMANJA 30.06.2007. 21:38

Kad je već odlučio sam priznati, sad možemo otvorenije govoriti. Jeste, Nemanja je bio prava zvezda večeri. Kad sam ga ugledala, smjesta sam postala svjesna svih pogrešaka na haljini i duboko sam porumenila. Hoće li taj nespretno skrojeni dekolte uvrijediti tog arbitra elegantiaruma? Samo je pitanje trenutka kada će uočiti krivi bod na leđima. Naravno da sam mu se odmah ispričala i sve, ali nisam znala kud bih pobjegla od stida. Barem mi se može priznati da je bojom bila usklađena s naslovnicom Truliksa.
Nemanjini komplimenti primjer su onog što na stranicama Bookse izvode kao zaključak predstavljanja knjige, da je budućnost u komentarima, jer ako to nije uzorno, plemenito i , kako hoće simo, lepo štivo, onda za sam ja stvarno bez veze učila škole.

njetocka 30.06.2007. 21:34

Kaj nisu nemanjine mokasine boje vanilije?

lolla 30.06.2007. 22:59
E zato ja volim Lollu,
lutkasto plavih očiju
veritkalnu, obučenu,
ili golu na obdukcijskome stolu,
svučenu, natučenu, utučenu, mučenu, učenu,
dok čeka zadnju kočiju,
microsoft plavih očiju.
Jer ona odmah vidi da
mokasine boje vanilije svijetle
kao taborsko svetlo svetog Ilije,
i na nebu mjesec srebrn kao dolar
u svetokrugu zvijezda
ako je Caru milije.
On klizi, kao svilen šal lakom crnog Jaguara
večan, svečan, lep,
taj bešuman šaman
odsutan i prepun čara
kao modri lug u Ivanjskoj noći,
uz šuštav šušur
nežan a grub
k'o tigrove oči.
A kad prođe mimo tebe kao lahor ponad krošnja
kao šuštaj krinoline po mramoru Opere
ostat će ti uspomene, parfem, rumor, suzan pogled
u onu što ima sreće
da je noćas odere!

Dakle, honey, šta ima da kažeš
na ove prilike i slike
for your eyes only?
S ruba nebesa padaju kiše i angeli
cimetnih mesenčanih krila
u sijamsku vlažnu večer,
a ti si opet lonely
bez srama i stila!

Bože, što se uvežbano smešiš:
u kutu usana jedna nejasna sena kao lepet crne pelerine nošen noćnim vetrom u hramu Sudbine!
Samo tako nastavi, pa ako te zanima
Još ću da te zakopam u šumi kod Udbine!
I nikako da (te) pljusne Nemanja i pljusak
da pljusnu obojica njih
i osveže (te u) ovo sparno, smarno veče
dok titra neon i asfalt i tali se plastika
i savest peče
a na zidu swastika
graffiti romantika.
Spikica teče:
Geothe, Shakespaere, Antika,
kao voda šedrvana
Abraham i Job.
Stipu spiku darling
jedino je olakšanje
ove letnje noći
Lakonski blow job.

NEMANJA 01.07.2007. 07:5

- 08:32 - Komentari (52) - Isprintaj - #

View My Stats koristi kolačiće za pružanje boljeg korisničkog iskustva. Postavke kolačića mogu se kontrolirati i konfigurirati u vašem web pregledniku. Više o kolačićima možete pročitati ovdje. Nastavkom pregleda web stranice slažete se s korištenjem kolačića. Za nastavak pregleda i korištenja web stranice kliknite na gumb "Slažem se".Slažem se