NEMANJA: SMIRENOUMLJE

nedjelja, 30.11.2008.

Ingeborg Bachmann

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Dame i gospodo!

Mislim da poznajem radoznalost i interes koji su vas doveli u ovu salu. Potječu od žudnje da se čuje nešto o stvarima što nas zaokupljaju: sudove, mišljenje, rasprave o predmetima koji bi trebali biti dostatni sami po sebi, već samim tim što opstoje. No čut ćete nešto slabije, jer sve što se o djelima kaže, slabije je od njih samih. To, čini mi se, vrijedi i za najviša dostignuća kritike, kao i za ono što s vremena na vrijeme načelno valja reći. Takve se stvari kažu orijentacije radi, pa ih želimo čuti orijentacije radi. Uostalom, i sami su književnici sveudilj pokazivali veliki interes za svjedočenja drugih književnika, za dnevnike, bilješke tijekom rada, prepisku i zapise teorijske naravi, a u zadnje vrijeme sve više za "tajne iz radionice". Još je prije trideset godina ruski pjesnik Majakovski rekao svojim čitateljima kako s pravom mogu zahtijevati od pjesnika da tajne svojega zanata ne odnesu sa sobom u grob. No, teško da opstoji danas ta pogibelj: posebno liričari ne škrtare s objavama, ali posvemašnje jednoglasnosti nema...pjesma se sačinja, pjesma se sluti, vri, gradi, montira - i kod nas.

Bilo kako bilo, obilato vam otvaraju oči, pa vam se čak odaju i tajne koje to nisu. Koliko različitih radoznalosti - toliko i razočaranja, pa neka vam to privremeno posluži kao ispričnica za lažne nade koje vi gajite i koje ja gajim time što, skupivši hrabrost, tvrdim da se s ove katedre doduše ništa ne može predavati, ali da se možda nešto može probuditi - neko uživljavanje u očaje i nadu s kojima se nekolicina (ili ih već ima puno?) obračunava sa sobom i novom književnošću.

"Pitanja suvremenoga pjesništva" - to je naslov za prvu seriju predavanja; prije nego što sam počela raditi, ne mogavši gotovo sve do kraja pronaći neko polazište za ovaj pokušaj koji mi se čini sasvim neprijepornim, još sam jednom razmislila o nazivu. Treba li ovdje raspravljati o pitanjima koja su već postavljena; zapravo o kojima, i tko ih je postavio, i gdje? Ili čak treba davati odgovore? Jesu li vam znani autoriteti koji dijele pitanja i dostavljaju odgovore, i vjerujete li im? I ponajprije, o kojima bi to pitanjima, zapravo, moglo biti riječi? Valja li se baviti pitanjima koje dnevni tisak tu i tamo pokrene u kulturnim rubrikama, ili onima koja se pretresaju po akademijama i kongresima, ili se, ako smo još progresivniji, treba pozabaviti radijskim anketama ili križaljkama i pitalicama na temu književnosti? Navedimo samo nekoliko njih: "Treba li biti zainteresiran prema materiji?", "Je li psihološki roman mrtav?", Je li kronologija u romanu moguća u vrijeme relativiteta?", "Mora li nova lirika biti tako mračna?", "Dramaturgija od slučaja do slučaja".

Ili bi pak valjalo uzeti u obzir manje senzacionalistička, manje atraktivna pitanja, kakva pokreće znanost, usuditi se tamo potražiti pomoć? Pojasevi za spašavanje tu već opstoje - empatična interpretacija, historizam, formalizam, socijalistički realizam. Pa tko ne želi biti spašen, i to na ničiju štetu! A tu su i psihologija, psihoanaliza, egzistencijalistička filozofija, sociologija; i one postavljaju pitanja književnosti. Sve same utemeljene stvari, stajališta, motrišta, gesla, podsjetnici, duhovno-povijesne odrednice pod kojima se ovo ili ono može naći - i kako ga naći. Odrednica nema samo za onoga tko se u trenutku sam mora probiti i tko sva ta djela, vremena osjeća za leđima, čak i ona najnovija, pa se, u nedostatku učenosti, boji da će se morati povući na ono malo vlastitoga iskustva s jezikom i onim tvorevinama na kojima se nalazi štambilj književnosti. A ipak je iskustvo jedini učitelj. I kako god ono slabašno bilo - možda neće biti od manje koristi nego neko znanje koje prolazi kroz niz ruka, koje se rabi i često zlorabi, koje je često istrošeno i uzaludno, jer ga nikakvo iskustvo ne osvježava.

Za književnika, međutim, opstoje prije svega pitanja koja su naizgled izvan književnosti - naizgled, zato što ih smatramo sekundarnima zbog njihove glatke prevodivosti na jezik književnih problema s kojima se upoznajemo. Pokadšto ta pitanja uopće i ne zamjećujemo. Ona su rušilačka, užasna u svojoj jednostavnosti, a ako se pojavljuju, tada ni u djelu nema ničega.

Osvrnemo li se na proteklu polovicu stoljeća, na književnost s poglavljima: naturalizam i simbolizam, ekspresionizam, nadrealizam, imažinizam, futurizam, dadaizam i još ponečim što se ni u jedno poglavlje ne uklapa, mogli bismo pomisliti da književnost odlično napreduje, iako pomalo protuslovno, baš kao i inače, kao i prije - prvo "Sturm und Drang", pa klasika, pa romantika, i tako dalje - nema tu puno nesporazuma oko podjele; samo nas sadašnjost ne zadovoljava, nije baš posve jasno kako se razvija, kamo ide, ništa više nije jasno, čak se ni smjer, odnosno smjerovi, ne može sa sigurnošću utvrditi. Jednako je i sa suvremenom poviješću: zato što smo joj isuviše blizu, nemamo pregled; tek kada nestanu fraze jednoga vremena, nalazimo jezik za njega i u stanju smo ga prikazati. I od današnjih fraza samo smo onih najjačih svjesni. Da imamo riječ, da imamo jezik, ne bi nam oružje bilo potrebno.

Što se tiče književnosti, dostatno je samo podsjetiti na ono o čemu je tijekom proteklih godina bilo riječi i o čemu se danas govori. S jedne strane čujete žalopojke o nestanku središta, a etikete za ove književne proizvode bez središta glase: alogično, previše proračunato, iracionalno, previše racionalno, destruktivno, antihumanističko - dakle sve same negativne oznake. Nasuprot tomu stoji rječnik koji je onom prvom uvelike nalik: negativne oznake dobrovoljno se preuzimaju ili se kuju nove; bogu hvala, kažu, pa pozdravimo sve to, alogično, apsurdno, groteskno, anti-, dis-, de-, destrukciju, diskontinuitet, za sve opstoji anti-parnjak, anti-roman, anti-pjesma, iako se ona još nije spominjala, ali možda će i do toga tek doći. Usto, ima i ugodnijih, tradicionalnijih proizvoda, koje prati odgovarajuća kritika, a ona drži do riječi, kao: uobličeno, stvaralačko, bitno. Možete dopunjati po nahođenju. Iz uskomešanoga vremena neposredno nakon rata, vremena punog nadanja, još uvijek pokadšto naiđemo na riječi kao ogoljenost, nulta točka, kaligrafija, egzistencijalno, slojevi bitka, prednjeplansko, pozadinsko; a naš naraštaj je najprije bio svjedokom rasplamsaja borbe između angažirane književnosti i l'art pour l'arta, koja je ovaj put bila neposredan posljedak političke katastrofe u Njemačkoj i s njom povezanih katastrofa u poharanim susjednim zemljama, a pothranjivana slutnjom budućih katastrofa.

Imamo, dakle, izbora: trebalo bi samo s oduševljenjem govoriti o jednoj stvari, a s gnušanjem o drugoj i prikloniti se strani koja nam se više sviđa. Možda se pitate s koje će vas strane prisiliti da se uključite u borbeni ritual; hoće li vas zavarati nekim neutralnim, objektivnim stavom - da bi se udovoljilo svima i da ne bi bilo negodovanja. Jer svaki je književnik u nezgodnom položaju, htio sebi to priznati ili ne; živi u mreži milosti i nemilosti, i ne može biti slijep pred činjenicom da je književnost danas burza. No ovo nisu moje riječi, zapisao ih je Hebbel, Friedrich Hebbel 1849. godine. U tomu se vremena nisu puno promijenila.

No pustimo i pristranost i neutralnost, i pokušajmo nešto treće: put pun prepreka kojim ćemo izaći iz babilonske pomutnje jezika.

Prvo i najteže od pitanja o kojima sam vam govorila i koje mora pogađati književnika, tiče se opravdanosti njegova opstanka. Naravno, njega je pojedinac koji piše, koji ga kuša i oživljava njegov dar, rijetko sveudilj svjestan; često se ono javlja puno kasnije. Zašto pisati? Čemu? Čemu, kad više nema naloga odozgo niti ikakvih naloga, nikakva zavaravanja. S kojim ciljem pisati, za koga se izražavati i što izraziti pred ljudima, u ovome svijetu. On, koji sam više nego drugi žeđa za spoznajom, za tumačenjem, za smislom - može li on opstati i s kakvim tumačenjem, osmišljavanjem, čak i samo za opisom, ma kako preciznim? Nije li posvema svejedno, ili pogrešno, ili za osudu njegovo vrednovanje jezikom, a on svagda vrednuje, svakim imenovanjem vrednuje stvari i čovjeka? I nije li nalog, ako se usudi da ga sam sebi da (a danas ga samo sam sebi i može dati!), proizvoljan, pristran; nije li uvijek ponešto dužan istini, ma koliko se trsio? I nije li čitavo njegovo djelovanje hybris, oholost; ne mora li vazda sebe sumnjičiti, svaku svoju riječ, svaki svoj cilj? Čudno je da je ovo pitanje imalo samo biografsku vrijednost za one koji su se bavili književnošću i njezinim žrtvama. Jer kada započne razgovor o "kraju pjesništva", kada se takva mogućnost razmatra, euforično ili pakosno, kao da samo pjesništvo želi okončati ili kao da je taj kraj njegova posljednja tema - tada ne smijemo ispustiti iz vida gdje se sveudilj skrivala pretpostavka za to. U samim pjesnicima, u njihovoj boli zbog vlastite nedostatnosti, u njihovu osjećaju krivnje. Tolstoj je posljednjih godina svojega života prokleo umjetnost, rugao se sebi i svim genijima, optuživao i sebe i druge da se prodao vragu, optuživao za oholost, za žrtvovanje istine ljubavi, i izvikivao je u svijet svoj duhovni i moralni poraz. Gogolj je spalio nastavak Mrtvih duša. Kleist je spalio Roberta Guiskarda, smatrao se nakon toga poraženim i počinio samoubojstvo. U jednom njegovom pismu stoji: "U meni se javila velika potreba, i nikada neću biti sretan ako joj ne udovoljim; to je potreba učiniti nešto dobro". I što znači Grillparzerov i Mörikeov prešutni prekid svakoga daljnjeg rada? I svi ti opozivi, samoubojstva, zanijemjelosti, ludilo, šutnja iz osjećaja grešnosti, iz metafizičke krivnje ili ljudske krivnje, krivnje prema društvu radi ravnodušja, radi nedostatnosti. Sa svim vrstama manjkavosti susrećemo se i prije vremena kojim ćemo se baviti. U našem stoljeću mi se ova survavanja u šutnju, motivi za to i vraćanje iz šutnje, čine tako važnima za razumijevanje jezičnih dostignuća koja šutnji prethode, ili je slijede zato što se situacija dodatno zaoštrila. Nasuprot prijepornosti pjesnikove egzistencije sada prvi put stoji svekolika nesigurnost. Realnosti prostora i vremena rastočene su, zbilja stalno čeka na novu definiciju, zato što ju je znanost posve prelila u formule. Povjerenje između Ja i Jezika i Stvari duboko je poljuljano. Prvo svjedočanstvo koje u jednoj temi dotiče sumnju u sebe, očaj nad jezikom i očaj zbog sablasne nadmoći stvari, koje se više ne daju ni pojmiti, čuveno je "Pismo lorda Chandosa" (Francisu Baconu) Huga von Hofmannsthala. To je pismo ujedno i neočekivano okretanje Hofmannstahlovo od čistih, čarolijskih pjesama njegovih ranih godina - okretanje od esteticizma:

"Ali, štovani prijatelju, i ovozemaljski pojmovi izmiču mi na isti način. Kako da Vam opišem čudne duhovne muke, izmicanje plodonosnih grana pred mojim ispruženim rukama, povlačenje brbotave vode pred mojim žednim usnama?

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Moj slučaj je, ukratko, ovaj: potpuno me je napustila sposobnost bilo o čemu smisleno-sabrano misliti ili govoriti.

Najprije mi je postupno bivalo nemogućim govoriti o nekoj višoj ili općenitijoj temi i pritom u usta uzimati one riječi kojima se ipak svi ljudi bez krzmanja lako i okretno običavaju služiti. Osjećao sam neku neobjašnjivu nelagodu samo i izreći riječi 'duh', 'duša' ili 'tijelo'. Našao sam unutarnje nemogućim o prilikama na dvoru,, zbivanjima u parlamentu, ili što god drugo hoćete, iznijeti neki sud. I to ne možda iz obzira bilo koje vrste, jer Vi poznajete moju odvažnost koja ide i do lakomislenosti: nego apstraktne riječi, kojima se ipak jezik po prirodi mora služiti da bi bilo kakav sud iznio na danje svjetlo, raspadahu mi se u ustima poput istrunulih gljiva."

I dalje:

"No ova uznemirenost širi se kao hrđa koja nagriza sve oko sebe. I u prisnim i u običnim razgovorima, sudovi koje se daju olako i s mjesečarskom sigurnošću, za mene bivali su tako problematični da sam na posljetku morao prestati sudjelovati u takvim razgovorima. Ispunjalo bi me neobjašnjivom ljutinom, koju sam s mukom skrivao, kad bih čuo izjave poput ovih: to je ispalo dobro ili loše za ovoga ili onoga; šerif N. je loš, propovjednik T. je dobar čovjek; zakupca M. treba žaliti jer su mu sinovi raspikuće; nekom drugom treba zavidjeti jer su mu kćeri kućanice; jedna je obitelj u usponu, a neka druga propada. Sve mi je to izgledalo nedokazivim, tako lažnim, tako šupljim. Moj me duh prisiljavao da sve stvari uobičajene u takvu razgovoru gledam u nekoj stravičnoj blizini: onako kao što sam jednom u nekom povećalu bio vidio komadić kože mojega malog prsta, koji je naličio oranici s brazdama i udubinama, tako mi je sada bilo s ljudima i njihovim djelima. Nije mi više uspijevalo zahvatiti ih pomoću pojednostavljujućega pogleda navike. Raspadalo mi se sve u dijelove, dijelovi opet u dijelove, i ništa se više nije dalo jednim pojmom obujmiti. Pojedinačne riječi plutale su oko mene; zgrušale su se do lika očiju, koje su u mene piljile i u koje sam opet ja morao piljiti: one su virovi, u koje nagnuvši se zagledati priječi me vrtoglavica, koji se bez prestanka okreću i kroz koje se dospijeva u prazninu".

O "sličnim iskustvima", premda su ona posljedica različitih iskušenja, svjedoče i Rilkeov Malte Laurids Brigge, neke Musilove novele i Bennov Rönne, bilješke jednoga liječnika. No u ovim slučajevima ne smijemo misliti na odgovarajuće slučajeve u književnosti, nego stalno moramo imati u vidu da je tu posrijedi nekoliko revolucionarnih udara. Navodno, stvari vazda već nekako lebde u zraku. Ne vjerujem da su jednostavno u zraku, da svatko može posegnuti za njima i prisvojiti ih. Jer, novo iskustvo se proživljuje, a ne uzima se tek tako. Iz zraka ili od drugih uzimaju ga oni koji sami nisu ništa proživjeli. I mislim još da tamo gdje se ne pokreću ova pitanja "čemu" i "zašto" i sva pitanja koja iz njih potječu (pa i pitanje krivnje, ako hoćete), da tamo gdje u samom stvaratelju nema nikakve dvojbe, pa tako ni prave problematike, da tamo nema novog pjesništva. To možda zvuči paradoksalnim zato što je maloprije bilo riječi o zanijemjelosti u šutnji kao posljedici muke piščeve sa samim sobom i sa svijetom - muke koja danas ima samo drukčije obličje. Vjerske i metafizičke sukobe smijenili su socijalni, ljudski i politički. A svi se oni za književnika slijevaju u sukob s jezikom. Jer istinski velika dostignuća ovih zadnjih pedeset godina, koja su otkrila jednu novu književnost, nisu nastala zato što je trebalo ispitati stilove, zato što su se književnici pokušavali izraziti čas onako, čas ovako, zato što su htjeli biti moderni - već su svagda nastajala tamo gdje je prije svake spoznaje nov način mišljenja dao poticaj kao eksploziv - tamo gdje je, prije svakog iskazivog morala, neki moralni nagon bio dostatno snažan da shvati i osmisli neku novu moralnu mogućnost. U tom smislu čini mi se da danas uopće nemamo one probleme koje nam pokušavaju nametnuti, a mi smo nažalost, isuviše u iskušenju sudjelovati u njihovu stvaranju. Jednako tako ne vjerujem da nam, nakon toliko formalnih otkrića i pustolovina u ovome stoljeću (posebice na njegovu početku), ništa drugo ne preostaje doli pisati kao epigoni, osim ako ne želimo biti veći nadrealisti od nadrealista i veći ekspresionisti od ekspresionista, ili da nam ne preostaje ništa drugo osim da rabimo Joyceova i Prosutova, Kafkina i Musilova iznašašća. Naime, Joyce, i Proust, i Kafka, i Musil nisu rabili neko prethodno, zatečeno iskustvo, a ono što jesu iskoristili može se ustvrditi u seminarskim radovima i disertacijama - to je, u svakom slučaju, ono najmanje bitno kod njih, došlo je izvana ili se pretopilo. Slijepo preuzimanje ovih nekadanjih odrednica zbilje, tih nekada novih oblika mišljenja, može dati samo blijedu sliku i neko slabije opetovanje velikih djela. Kada bi to bila jedina mogućnost: nastaviti, ići dalje, eksperimentirati bez iskustva, sve dok se to (naizgled) ne isplati, tada bi optužbe koje se danas često čuju na račun mlađih književnika mogle biti opravdane. No temelji su već uzdrmani. Noć dolazi prije dana, požar se podmeće pod svitanje.

Zbilja se dočekuje novim jezikom posvuda tamo gdje dolazi do moralnog, spoznajnog udara, a ne tamo gdje je posrijedi obnova jezika kao takvog - kao da jezik sam može pribaviti spoznaju i proglasiti iskustvo kojega nema. Tamo gdje se jezikom rukuje samo radi osjećaja novine, on se uskoro sveti i raskriva nakanu. Nov jezik mora imati nov duktus, a nov duktus ima samo ako ga ispunja nov duh.

Mislim da svi znamo jezik, ta služimo se njime; samo književnik to ne radi, samo se književnik ne zna služiti jezikom. Jezik ga plaši, ne podrazumijeva se, opstoji i prije književnosti, živ i promjenljiv, predodređen za rabljenje, a on, književnik, od toga nema nikakve koristi. Jezik za njega nije nekakva neiscrpna zaliha materijala koju može jednostavno rabiti, nije društveni objekt, nepodijeljeno dobro svih ljudi. za ono što književnik hoće, za ono što jezikom hoće uraditi, jezik se još nije dokazao; u postavljenim granicama književnik mora fiksirati jezične znakove i ritualno ih uskrsnuti, jeziku dati nov pokret koji on nigdje drugo ne dobiva, osim u jezičnom umjetničkom djelu. Tu nam jezik već svakako dopušta misliti na njegovu ljepotu, ćutjeti ljepotu, ali se pokoriti jednoj mijeni što nipošto ne zahtijeva estetsko zadovoljenje, nego nosu snagu uviđanja.

Već je bilo riječi o nekom prijeko potrebnom porivu, koji za početak mogu označiti samo kao moralni poticaj prije svakog morala; o nekoj pokretačkoj sili za misao što isprva ne mari za smjer, o jednom mišljenju koje želi spoznaju, i koje s jezikom i s pomoću jezika želi nešto dostići. Privremeno ćemo to imenovati - zbiljom.

Kad se jednom pođe u tom smjeru, a to nije filozofijski ili književni smjer, on nikada neće biti isti. Hofmannsthala je odvelo na jedno, Georgea na drug mjesto, Rilkea opet na neko sljedeće, Kafku jednako tako; Musilu je bio suđen neki posve drukčiji nego Brechtu. To kretanje u određenom smjeru, ta bačenost na putanju, na milost i nemilost, gdje ni jedna nasumična riječ ili stvar nema više pristup...Tamo gdje se sve zbiva, imamo, čini mi se, veće jamstvo za autentičnost neke pjesničke pojave nego kada pretražujemo slučajne odlike kakvoće u djelima. Kakvoća, naravno, može biti različita, diskutabilna, mjestimice se čak može osporiti. Tu i tamo kakvoću ima i pjesma o nekom prosječnom čovjeku, dobra pripovijest, zanimljiv, inteligentan roman - ima i toga; uopće nam ne manjkaju poznavatelji, čak ni danas, a ima i slučajnih pogodaka ili čudnih stvari, marginalnih stvari koje su nam osobno drage. A ipak, samo smjer, stalna manifestacija konstantnog problema, neki neponovljiv svijet riječi, svijet prilika i svijet konflikata, u stanju nas je nagnati da nekog pjesnika smatramo neizbježnim. Zato što ima smjer, zato što ide svojom putanjom kao jedinim mogućim putom, očajan zbog prisile da čitav svijet prisvoji, i kriv s drskosti što želi definirati svijet - zato on doista opstoji. Zato što za sebe zna da je neizbježan, i zato što ni sam ne može izbjegavati, njegova mu se zadaća otkriva. Što više o toj zadaći zna, što mu je jasnija, to su više njegova djela popraćena nekom tajnom ili otvorenom teorijskom pozornošću. Često se čuje kako je Rilke, doduše, veliki pjesnik, ali kako nas se ne tiče sadržaj njegovih pjesama što konstituira svije ti nazor na svijet, kao da se on može odvojiti, kao daje štetan dodatak, a ne zalog. Važna je, navodno, samo pojedinačna uspjela pjesma, ili čak samo stih. Kaže se kako je Brecht veliki pjesnik, jedan od naših najvećih dramatičara, ali bi ponajbolje bilo fino zaboraviti ili bar silno žaliti što je bio komunist. Primitivno rečeno: glavno da su tu lijepe riječi, poetske, to je dobro, to volimo, posebno šljivovo drvo ili bijeli oblačak. - Ponekom se Hofmannstahlov veliki trud da u svojemu djelu obnovi poremećenu europsku duhovnu tradiciju, u času kada je upravo ta tradicija ustupila mjesto stanovitom vakuumu, može činiti zaludnim, ali bez tih fiktivnih spojnica njegovo kazalište ne bi bilo moguće, niti bi moć rasuđivanja mogla unijeti reda u njegove eseje. - Proust je u Potrazi za izgubljenim vremenom, u zadnjoj knjizi, osigurao čitavo djelo gotovo u nekakvoj teoriji, u refleksiji na nastanak djela, dodao mu je opravdanje, a čovjek bi se mogao upitati - zašto? Je li to bilo prijeko potrebno? Mislim da jest. A zašto nas, pitao me netko, Gottfried Benn nije poštedio svojega formuliranja radikalnog esteticizma, toga nacrta svojega svijeta izraza, tih fanatičnih riječi: zanos, potenciranje, monološko ja. Ali, bi li drukčije mogao iznjedriti onih nekoliko pjesama koje je i sam pitaoc priznavao? - Nisu li esejističke dionice u Musilovom Mužu bez posebnosti njegov sastavni dio? Možemo li se odreći utopije koja je osuđena na propast, ili potrage za "svijetlom mistikom"? Ne čini li tek čitav skup misaonih eksperimenata knjigu onim što ona jest?

Ne spominjem sve to da bih onemogućila sud o pojedinačnim pjesnicima i njihovim zabludama, njihovim jednostranostima, nego da bih podsjetila, ako se danas dezorijentirano pitamo kako prepoznati pojavu pravoga pjesnika i pravog pjesništva. On se prepoznaje po novoj obuhvatnoj definiciji, po zakonu, po prešutnom ili otvorenom iznošenju nezaobilazne misli.

No bezvremene su samo slike. Mišljenje, za vrijeme vezano, ujedno je i žrtva vremena. No upravo zato što je žrtva, upravo stoga naše mišljenje vazda mora biti novo, želi li biti navlastito i želi li neki učinak.

Daleko smo od pomisli hvatati se za svijet ideja klasike ili neke druge epohe, jer ona za nas više ne može biti mjerodavna; naša zbilja, naši prijepori su drukčiji. Ma kako blistave bile pojedinačne misli iz prethodnih vremena, kada ih prizovemo za svjedoke, radimo to samo da bismo poduprli naša današnje misli. Stoga ne smijemo pomisliti ni da je već sve učinjeno, samo zato što se prije 50 ili 40 godina pojavilo nekoliko velikih duhova. Ništa ne pomaže da njima i dalje prepuštamo razmišljanje, kao da su nam oni zvijezde nekretnice. Ne vrijedi se osloniti na zadivljujuća djela nastala u ovih nekoliko zadnjih desetljeća. Iz toga možemo jedino naučiti da nećemo ostati pošteđeni istoga tog pogibeljnog pojavljivanja. U umjetnosti nema napretka po horizontali, nego samo opetovanoga uspostavljanja neke vertikale. U umjetnosti samo sredstva i tehnike stvaraju dojam da je posrijedi napredak. No ono što je doista moguće, to je mijena. A djelovanje mijene, koje imaju nova djela, odgaja u nama novi opažaj, novi osjećaj, novu svijest.

Kada se laća nove mogućnosti, umjetnost nam omogućuje spoznati gdje smo ili gdje bismo trebali biti, kako stvari stoje s nama i kako bi trebale stajati. Jer njezine zamisli ne nastaju u bezračnom prostoru. Danas valjda nitko ne vjeruje u to da se stvaranje odigrava izvan konkretne povijesne situacije - da ima i jednog pjesnika čija početna pozicija nije određena vremenskim činiteljima. Pjesniku, u najboljem slučaju, mogu poći od ruke dvije stvari: predstavljati, predstavljati svoje vrijeme, ili prikazati nešto za što još nije došlo vrijeme. istina, ako i nema bojažljivog duhovnog pridržavanja onih koji su samo u stanju primati, svakako za pjesnika postoje iskre izdaleka. Za čitav jedan naraštaj to je bio Nietzsche, čija je iskra skočila na Andre Gidea, na Thomasa Manna, Gotffrieda Benna i mnoge druge. Za Brechta je to bio Marx, za Kafku Kierkegaard; Joycea je zapalila Vicoova filozofija povijesti, Freud je također bio inspiracija mnogima, a u zadnje vrijeme utjecajan je Heidegger.

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Kako bi moglo doći do novih iskrenja? Teško je reći. Specijalista, eksperata sve je više. Mislilaca nema. Možda će Wittgenstein imat neko djelovanje, možda Ernst Bloch. Puka nagađanja. Umjetnost kao pokretalo mijene...?Uopće, "mijena", to je pitanje, jedno od prvih, užasnih pitanja punih sumnje. Što podrazumijevamo pod mijenom i zašto želimo mijenu s pomoću umjetnosti?! Jer nešto sigurno želimo! Umjetnost se već toliko puta selila, iz kuće božje u kuću ideala, iz house beautiful u bateau ivre, pa onda u slivnike, u takozvanu golu zbilju, pa onda opet u kuću snova i u hramove s visećim vrtovima, pa onda dalje u pseudomističnu zagušljivost Blut und Boden- ideologije, pa dalje u kuću humanosti i u kuću politike. Kao da nigdje nema mira, kao da nijedno skrovište nije dano za stalno. Ona prima i neko vrijeme priznaje naredbe, a onda najednom počinje slušati druge. To je, zapravo, njoj svojstveno napredovanje, nastavljanje.

A pjesnik koji želi mijenu - koliko je slobodan, a koliko ne? I to je pitanje. Njegova je drama tek u naše vrijeme postala posve očita: zato što uviđa svekoliku nesreću čovjeka i svijeta, čini se da on tu nesreću sankcionira, čini se da ne postiže željeno djelovanje. Zato što daje pogled na svekoliku nesreću, čini se dopuštenim da se ne promijeni ni no što se može promijeniti. Pjena mu udara na usta, aplaudira mu se. Ništa se ne zbiva, samo taj fatalni aplauz.
Pretpostavljam da je od niza bezazlenih šokova koji se publici godinama priređuju, došlo do stanovitoga navikavanja, nekog oguglavanja na šok, ili pak do ovisnosti o šoku, kao o drogi. Samo bi velika ozbiljnost i boj protiv zlouporabe izvornih velikih patnji mogla pomoći da se publika probudi iz svoje fantastične letargije. "Puku je poezija potrebna koliko i kruh" - tu dirljivu rečenicu, suhu želju, vjerojatno, zapisala je svojevremeno Simone Weil. Ali su mu danas kino i ilustrirane novine potrebne kao šlag, a zahtjevnijima (u njih se ubrajamo i mi) potrebno je malo šoka, malo Ionescoa ili malo kuknjave beatnika, kako ne bismo izgubili apetit za baš sve. Poezija kao kruh? Taj bi kruh morao škripati među zubima i razbuditi glad prije no što je utoli. I ta bi poezija morala biti ljuta od spoznaje i gorka od čežnje, kako bi uzmogla uzdrmati san čovjekov. Jer mi spavamo, mi smo spavači iz straha da ćemo morati spoznati sebe i svoj svijet.

Naša se egzistencija nalazi danas na raskrižju mnogih nepovezanih zbilja, određenih najprotuslovnijim vrednotama. Možete unutar četiri svoja zida njegovati obiteljsku sreću patrijarhalnog stila, ili raspusnost, ili što god vam drago - izvan nje rotirate u jednom funkcionalnom svijetu, koji ima svoje predodžbe o vašoj egzistenciji. Možete biti sujevjerni i kucati o drvo, ali izvješća o razviću znanosti i naoružanju također su utješna po pitanju vaše sigurnosti i slobode. Možete vjerovati u besmrtnost duše i sami sebi uspostaviti duhovnu dijagnozu, ali će vas vani dočekati neka druga; tamo su presudni testovi, institucije, profit, otvaraju vam bolovanje ili zaključuju, svrstavaju vas i vrednuju. Mogu vam se pričinjati sablasti ili vrednote, i jednih i drugih svakako ima poprilično, i možete im se svima istodobno prepustiti, ako ste samo dostatno vješti da u praksi sve fino razdvajate. Ovdje dubina duše i smisao, savjest i san - tamo funkcionalnost, besmislenost, fraza i nijema sila. Ne razmišljajte prema jednom načelu, to je pogibeljno - razmišljajte prema mnogim načelima.

Kako stvari stoje, od silnih nesporazuma stigli smo do onoga stanja koje je Hermann Broch ošinuo jednom srditom rečenicom. Jer tada je gotovo, tada je vrijeme. "Moral je moral, profit je profit, i rat je rat, i umjetnost je umjetnost".

Ako to toleriramo, to "umjetnost je umjetnost", prihvatimo tu porugu i primijenimo je na sve ostalo - i ako to pjesnici toleriraju i potpomažu neozbiljnošću ili svjesnim rastakanjem komunikacije s društvom, komunikacije koja je stalno ugrožena i koju zato vazda iznova treba stvarati, i ako se društvo kloni pjesništva, a u njemu je ozbiljan i neugodan duh koji želi mijene - to bi bilo što i objava bankrota.

Samo da bi se omogućio umjetnički užitak u nekoliko kompliciranih tvorevina, da bi se probudilo razumijevanje umjetnosti - preventivno sredstvo protiv umjetnosti, kako bi se ona učinila bezazlenom - ovoga se posla ne treba prihvatiti. Pod tako lošim uvjetima ništa ne bismo imali jedni drugima dati, niti umjetnost ljudima, niti ljudi umjetnosti. Tada više ni pitanja ne bi bila potrebna. Ali mi ih ipak postavljamo. I ubuduće bismo ih trebali postavljati tako da iznovice obvezuju.

preveo s njemačkog Mario Kopić

Ingeborg Bachmann, Frankfurter Vorlesungen: Probleme zeitgenössicher Dichtung. Teil I: Fragen und Scheinfragen. In: Werke 4, München-Zürich: Piper 1993, SS.182-199.

- 16:31 - Komentari (3) - Isprintaj - #

petak, 28.11.2008.

Giorgio Manganelli

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Probuditi se. On se vazda budi s osjećajem dezorijentacije. Dezorijentacija ne dolazi od sumnje o mjestu na kojem se nahodi, nego od apsolutne sigurnosti. Nahodi se u svojoj kući, u kojoj već mnogo godina živi. Činjenica buđenja tu, na mjestu koje je već doživio kao ravnodušno, dosadna mu je, lagano ga gnjavi, kao neki posve umanjen osjećaj, umanjen tako da se može primijeniti na bubu. Tijekom noći on je upoznao ne sreću, nego odnos s nečim središnjim. Sanjao je, i premda sada ponovno promišljeni, snovi izgledaju bez smisla, u času kad ih je snivao bili su središnji; dakle sa stanovišta onoga koji je budan, središte počiva u odsutnosti smisla. Misli ponovno na svoje snove, na nepredvidive događaje, na likove čiju pojavu i nestajanje razaznaje u nepronicljivu i raskošnu tkanju. Ponovno proživljava čuvstvo da je u bunovnoj noći bilo značenja, a da je svijet kojemu se svakog jutra vraća naprosto odsutnost smisla. Odsutnost smisla koherentno je i predvidljivo, a smislenost je enigmatična i zbunjujuća. Tamo gdje ne razumijemo, blizu smo središtu, gdje razumijemo, na ekstremnoj smo periferiji, vani smo. Želio bi dan započeti molitvom; ne zna što da moli ali zna što razumije pod molitvom: u dnevnu koherenciju uvesti inkoherenciju smislene halucinacije. Možda bi mogao izgovoriti riječi bez smisla, ili naprosto ispuštati zvuke. No, jer je budan, on ne može simulirati da je drugdje, da je u središtu svijeta gdje je sve slika. Njegov dan počinje osobnom higijenom i ispražnjenjem. S velikom nuždom on izbacuje i značenja koja su kontaminirala njegovo tijelo tijekom noći. Onda se pita ne skrivaju li se u njegovu izmetu one nevjerojatne slike, nije li njegov izmet očaj ili neprilična molitva. Nasmije se bez veselja. Sada mora ustati, a ne zna zašto, neovisno o tomu što mu dan donese, on će vazda, u osnovi, biti u iščekivanju. Ujutro se sprema za onaj neproziran trenutka dana, za onaj čas mira i samoće, kada očekuje da će ući u noć, i da će biti pripušten onom mjestu gdje se izmjenjuju bezoblične nepronicljive slike središta.


G. Manganelli, Ottantacinque, da Centuria


Preveo s talijanskog Mario Kopić

- 16:18 - Komentari (6) - Isprintaj - #

četvrtak, 27.11.2008.

Batman R.I.P.

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Kultni superheroj iz svijeta stripa, a potom i filma i kompjuterskih igara, poznat kao Batman, mogao bi biti ubijen, otkrio je pisac Grant Morrison.
Priča pod nazivom "Batman RIP" (Batman, počivaj u miru) tako će označiti "kraj Brucea Wayne kao Batmana" i to tako što će se ovaj lik ili umrijeti ili otići u penziju, otkriva autor.

"Ono što pravim je sudbina gora od smrti, stvari za koje niko ne očekuje da bi se mogle desiti ovim momcima", rekao je škotski crtač stripova za portal CBR.

Bruce Wayne, bogati biznismen iz Gotham Cityja, koji predstavlja Batmanov tajni identitet, odrekao se ogrtača, a u izdanju pod nazivom "Knightfall" Batmana je ozbiljno povrijedio zločinac Bane, nakon čega je Wayne morao unajmiti Jean-Paula Valleya, poznatog kao Azrael, da obuče njegovu odjeću i da ga zamijeni.

Ostaje da se vidi šta je to autor Morrison tako šokantno pripremio svim ljubiteljima ove umjetnosti i da li su priče o Batmanovoj smrti njegov pravi plan ili samo šala.

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Dubrovački kapetan Kristo Laptalo oslobođen je svih optužaba i pušten je na slobodu jer je drugostupanjski prizivni sud u Patrasu u četvrtak poništio presudu kojim je osuđen na 14 godina zatvora zbog krijumčarenja kokaina na brodu "Coral Sea", doznaje se od tajnika Sindikata pomoraca Hrvatske (SPH) Predraga Brazzodura.
Brazzoduro je rekao da su tužitelji tijekom današnje rasprave odustali od optužaba, ustvrdivši da Laptalo nije mogao sudjelovati u slanju droge u Grčku i dali preporuku za njegovo oslobađanje, što je sudsko vijeće i prihvatilo.

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Otiš'o si Batmane,
ostala je tuga,
uvek će te voleti
nostalgična Juga.


- 18:39 - Komentari (9) - Isprintaj - #

srijeda, 26.11.2008.

Emmanuel Lévinas: Nekoliko refleksija o filozofiji hitlerizma

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Hitlerova je filozofija primitivna. No primitivne moći koje se u njoj iscrpljuju dovode do pojavljivanja mizerne frazeologije pod pritiskom elementarne snage. One bude tajnu nostalgiju njemačke duše. Više od zaraze ili ludosti, hitlerizam je buđenje elementarnih osjećaja.

No, od tada, usto što je strašno pogibeljan, on biva filozofski zanimljivim, budući da se u elementarnim osjećajima prikriva filozofija. Oni izražavaju prvi stav duše pred cjelinom realnog i njezinom vlastitom sudbinom. Oni predodređuju ili unaprijed oblikuju smjer avanture kojom će duša proći kroz svijet.

Tako filozofija hitlerizma nadmašuje filozofiju hitlerijanaca. Ona dovodi u pitanje sama načela civilizacije. Konflikt se ne odvija samo između liberalizma i hitlerizma. I samo je kršćanstvo pod prijetnjom, unatoč poštedama i konkordatima kojima su se okoristile kršćanske crkve dolaskom režima na vlast.

No nije dostatno, kao neki novinari, razlikovati kršćanski univerzalizam i rasistički partikularizam: logička kontradikcija ne može procijeniti konkretan događaj. Značenje logičke kontradikcije koja suprotstavlja dva toka ideja pojavljuje se posvema samo vratimo li se do njihova izvorišta, do intuicije, do iskonske odluke koja ih čini mogućima. U tomu ćemo duhu izložiti ovih nekoliko refleksija.

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1.

Političke slobode ne iscrpljuju sadržaj duha slobode koji za evropsku civilizaciju znači koncepciju ljudske sudbine. Ona predstavlja osjećaj apsolutne slobode čovjeka naspram svijeta i naspram mogućnosti koje potiču njegovo djelovanje. Čovjek se vječno obnavlja pred Univerzumom. Govoreći u apsolutnom smislu, on nema povijesti.

Jer povijest je najdublje, temeljno ograničenje. Nadasve je vrijeme, uvjet ljudske egzistencije, uvjet nepopravljivog. Svršen čin, nošen sadašnjošću/prisutnošću koja protječe, zauvijek izmiče utjecaju čovjeka, ali pritišće njegovu sudbinu. Iza melankolije vječnog protoka stvari, iluzorne Heraklitove sadašnjosti/prisutnosti, postoji tragedija nepomičnosti neizbrisive prošlosti koja svaku inicijativu osuđuje biti samo nastavljanjem. Istinska sloboda, istinski početak zahtijevali bi i istinsku sadašnjost/prisutnost koja, na vrhuncu sudbine, vječno ponovno započinje.

Judaizam donosi tu veličanstvenu poslanicu. Grizodušje - bolan izražaj radikalne nemoći da se popravi nepopravljivo - naviješta pokretačko pokajanje oprosta koji ispravlja. Čovjek u sadašnjosti/prisutnosti pronalazi ono zbog čega valja mijenjati, brisati prošlost. Vrijeme gubi i samu svoju ireverzibilnost. Grčevito se savija pred čovjekovim nogama kao ranjena zvijer. I oslobađa ga.

Bolan osjećaj prirodne nemoći čovjeka pred vremenom sačinjava svu tragiku grčke Moire, svu oštrinu ideje grijeha i svu veličinu kršćanskog revolta. Atridima koji se bore pod pritiskom prošlosti, strane i brutalne kao prokletstvo, kršćanstvo suprotstavlja mističnu dramu. Križ oslobađa; a kroz euharistiju koja trijumfira nad vremenom to se oslobađanje zbiva svakoga dana. Vrijednost je spasenja koje kršćanstvo želi donijeti izražena obećanjem ponovnog započinjanja konačnog koje se izvršava prolaženjem trenutaka, obećanjem nadilaženja apsolutne kontradikcije prošlosti koja je podčinjena sadašnjosti/prisutnosti, prošlosti koja je vazda u pitanju, koja se vazda iznova dovodi u pitanje.

Time ono proklamira slobodu, time je ono omogućuje u čitavoj njezinoj punoći. No nije samo izbor sudbine slobodan. Izvršeni izbor ne biva okovom.

Čovjek čuva mogućnost - svakako, nadnaravnu, ali dohvatljivu, konkretnu - raskidanja ugovora kojim je svojevoljno obvezan. On u svakom času može ponovno steći svoju golotinju iz prvih dana stvaranja. Ponovno osvajanje nije lako. Ono i ne mora uspjeti. Ono nije posljedica hirovite uredbe neke volje koja je smještena u arbitraran svijet. No dubina napora koji se zahtijeva mjeri samo teškoću prepreke i podcrtava originalnost novoga obećanog i realiziranog poretka koji trijumfira kidajući duboke slojeve prirodne egzistencije.

Ta beskonačna sloboda, u odnosu na svaku vezanost pomoću koje, nakon svega, niti jedna vezanost nije konačna, čini temelj kršćanskog poimanja duše. Ostajući vrhovnom konkretnom realnošću, izražavajući ono najdublje u pojedincu, ona ima strogu čistoću transcendentnog nadahnuća. Preko promjena realne povijesti svijeta, moć obnavljanja daje duši nešto kao noumenalni karakter koji je zaštićen od nasrtaja svijeta u kojem je konkretan čovjek ipak smješten. Paradoks je samo prividan. Odvajanje duše nije apstrakcija, nego konkretna i pozitivna moć odvajanja, neosvrtanja. Jednaki dignitet svih duša, neovisno o materijalnim ili društvenim uvjetima osobe, ne proistječe iz teorije koja bi, pod individualnim razlikama, potvrđivala analogiju "psihološke konstitucije". Nju omogućuje dana moć duše da se oslobodi onoga što je bilo, svega onoga što ju je vezalo, svega što ju je angažiralo - kako bi pronašla svoju prvotnu nevinost.

Ako liberalizam posljednjih stoljeća zabašuruje dramatičan aspekt tog oslobođenja, on ipak čuva njegov esencijalni moment u obliku suverene slobode uma. Svaka filozofska i politička misao modernoga doba teži ljudski duh smjestiti na neko mjesto koje je iznad realnog. Ona produbljuje jaz između čovjeka i svijeta. Čineći nemogućom prijetnju kategorija fizičkog svijeta na duhovnost uma, ona stavlja posljednji temelj duha izvan brutalnog svijeta i neumoljive povijesti konkretne egzistencije. Ona, u slijepom svijetu općeg smisla, zamjenjuje svijet koji je rekonstruiran idealističkom filozofijom, okupan umom i podvrgnut umu. Umjesto oslobađanja pomoću milosti postoji autonomija, ali u nju prodire judeo-kršćanski
leit-motiv slobode.

Francuski su pisci 18. stoljeća, prethodnici demokratske ideologije i Deklaracije o pravima čovjeka, unatoč svom materijalizmu, priznali mišljenje uma koji istjeruje fizičku, psihološku i socijalnu materiju. Svjetlost uma dostatna je da se odagnaju sjene iracionalnog. Što ostaje od materijalizma kada je čitava materija ispunjena umom?

Čovjek liberalističkog svijeta ne bira svoju sudbinu pod težinom Povijesti. On ne poznaje svoje mogućnosti kao zabrinjavajuće moći koje ključaju u njemu i koje ga već sada usmjeravaju u određenom smjeru. One su za njega samo logične mogućnosti što se nude spokojnom umu koji bira, vječno čuvajući svoje distance.

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2.

Marksizam, po prvi puta u zapadnjačkoj povijesti, dovodi u pitanje takvu koncepciju čovjeka.

Ljudski mu se duh više ne čini kao čista sloboda, kao duša koja lebdi ponad svake vezanosti; više ne postoji čisti um koji je dio carstva svrha. On je bijesan na materijalne potrebe. No zahvaljujući materiji i društvu, koji više ne slušaju čarobni štapić uma, njegova konkretna i podčinjena egzistencija ima veću važnost, veću težinu od nemoćna uma. Borba koja prethodi razumu nameće mu odluke koje on sam nije donio. "Bitak određuje svijest". Znanost, moral i estetika nisu moral, znanost i estetika po sebi, ali u svakom času izražavaju temeljnu opoziciju između građanskih i proleterskih civilizacija.

Duh tradicionalne koncepcije gubi moć raskidanja svih veza na koje je vazda bio toliko ponosan. On udara o planine koje niti jedna vjera sama ne bi mogla uzdrmati. Apsolutna sloboda, ona koja čini čuda, po prvi se puta nalazi protjerana iz konstitucije duha. Time se marksizam protustavlja ne samo kršćanstvu, nego i čitavom idealističkom liberalizmu za koji "bitak ne određuje svijest", nego svijest ili um određuje bitak.

Time se marksizam kreće u smjeru suprotnom od europske kulture ili barem briše harmonijsku krivulju njezina razvića.

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3.

No, taj prekid s liberalizmom ipak nije definitivan. Marksizam ima svijest da u određenom smislu nastavlja tradicije iz 1789. godine i čini se da jakobinstvo u velikoj mjeri nadahnjuje marksističke revolucionare. No ta povezanost nije radikalna, posebice ako se temeljna intuicija marksizma sastoji u tomu da on promatra duh u neizbježnom odnosu na određenu situaciju. Individualna svijest koja je određena bitkom nije dovoljno nemoćna da ne bi, barem kao načelo, sačuvala moć da strese socijalno opčinjavanje koje se otad pojavljuje kao strano njezinoj biti. Postati svjestan svojega socijalnog položaja, i za samoga Marxa znači osloboditi se od fatalizma koji je u njemu sadržan.

Istinski protustavljena koncepcija europskom poimanju čovjeka bila bi moguća jedino ako se situacija u koju bi ovaj bio doveden ne bi njemu pripisivala, nego bi činila dubinu njegova bitka. Paradoksalan zahtjev, čini se, iskustvo našeg tijela realizira.

Što znači imati tijelo prema tradicionalnom tumačenju? To znači podnositi ga kao objekt izvanjskog svijeta. Ono je Sokratu teško isto koliko i okovi kojima je filozof okovan u atenskom zatvoru; ono ga zatvara kao i sam grob koji ga čeka. Tijelo je prepreka. Ono briše slobodan polet duha, privodi ga zemaljskim uvjetima, ali, kao i svaku prepreku, moramo ga premostiti.

Osjećaj vječne stranosti tijela u odnosu na nas same hranio je kršćanstvo isto kao i moderni liberalizam. On je ustrajao tijekom svih varijacija etike unatoč opadanju koje je pretrpio asketski ideal počevši od renesanse. Ako su materijalisti miješali Ja i tijelo, bilo je to po cijenu puke negacije duha. Oni su smještali tijelo u prirodu i nisu mu dodjeljivali izuzetan rang u univerzumu.

Ali tijelo nije samo vječni stranac. Klasično tumačenje osjećaja identiteta između našeg tijela i nas samih, osjećaj koji određene okolnosti čine posebno oštrim, postavlja na nižu razinu i smatra ga etapom koju treba prijeći. Tijelo nam nije samo bliže i prisnije od ostalog svijeta, ono ne upravlja samo našim fiziološkim životom, našim raspoloženjem i našim djelovanjem. Iza tih banalnih konstatacija postoji osjećaj identiteta. Ne potvrđujemo li se zapravo u toj toplini jedinog tijela prije razdraganosti Ja koje će težiti od njega se razlikovati? Ne odupiru li se te veze svakom iskušenju, veze koje krv uspostavlja puno prije procvata razuma? U pogibeljnom sportskom podvigu, u riskantnoj vježbi u kojoj pokreti dostižu gotovo apstraktnu perfekciju pod dahom smrti, svaki dualizam između Ja i tijela mora nestati. I u tjesnacu fizičke boli, ne iskušava li bolesnik jednostavnost koja je neodvojiva od njegova bitka kad se okrene u svom patničkom krevetu kako bi pronašao miran položaj?

Reklo bi se da u boli analiza budi oprečnost duha samoj toj boli, budi revolt, odbijanje da u njoj prebiva i kao posljedica se javlja pokušaj da je prevlada - ali nije li taj pokušaj sad već okarakteriziran kao očajnički? Ne ostaje li pobunjeni duh neizbježno zatvoren u boli? I nije li taj očaj ono što čini sam temelj boli?

Osim interpretacije tih činjenica koje daje tradicionalna zapadnjačka misao, a koje ona naziva ružnim i nedoličnim i koje često umanjuje, može preživjeti osjećaj njihove nesvodljive originalnosti i želja da im se sačuva čistoća. U fizičkoj boli bila bi jedna apsolutna pozicija.

Tijelo nije samo nesretan ili sretan slučaj koji nas stavlja u odnos s neumoljivim svijetom materija - njegova neodvojivost od Ja vrijedi sama po sebi. To je neodvojivost kojoj se ne može izmaći i koju niti jedna metafora ne može pomiješati sa sadašnjošću/prisutnošću izvanjskog objekta: to je zajedništvo u kojem ništa ne može promijeniti tragičan okus konačnog.

Taj osjećaj identiteta između Ja i tijela koji, naravski, nema ništa zajedničko s popularnim materijalizmom, neće dakle nikada dopustiti onima koji žele od njega otići da u dubini toga jedinstva nađu dualnost slobodnoga duha koji se bori s tijelom za koje je prikovan. Za njih se, naprotiv, upravo u tom vezivanju tijela sastoji sva bit duha. Odvojiti ga od konkretnih oblika u kojima se realizira, znači iznevjeriti originalnost samog osjećaja od kojega bi trebalo poći.

Važnost koja se pridaje tom osjećaju tijela, kojom se zapadnjački duh nikada nije htio zadovoljiti, temelj je jedne nove koncepcije čovjeka. Biologijsko, sa svim onim fatalnim što ono sadrži, biva više od objekta duhovnoga života, ono biva njegovom srži. Misteriozni glasovi krvi, pozivi nasljedstva i prošlosti kojima tijelo služi kao enigmatsko vozilo gube svoju prirodu problema koji su podčinjeni rješavanju jednoga Ja koje je suvereno slobodno. Ja, kako bi ih razriješilo, dovodi samo nepoznavatelje tih problema. Ono je od njih konstituirano. Bit čovjeka nije više u slobodi nego u svojevrsnom vezivanju. Biti doista svoj, to ne znači poletjeti iznad slučajnosti, vazda stranih slobodi Ja; to naprotiv znači postati svjestan neizbježnog iskonskog vezivanja, jedinstvenog u našem tijelu; to naročito znači prihvatiti to vezivanje.

Otada svaka društvena struktura koja objavljuje oslobađanje u odnosu na tijelo i koja ga ne promiče biva sumnjivom kao odricanje, kao izdaja. Oblici modernog društva zasnovanog na ugovoru slobodnih volja neće se pokazati samo kao krhki i nepostojani, nego i kao pogrešni i lažni. Asimilacija duhova gubi veličinu trijumfa duha nad tijelom. Ona biva djelom krivotvoritelja. Društvo na osnovi krvnih veza proistječe odmah iz te konkretizacije duha. A onda, ako rasa ne postoji, valja je izmisliti!

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Tom idealu čovjeka i društva pridružuje se novi ideal mišljenja i istine.

Ono što karakterizira strukturu misli i istine u zapadnjačkom svijetu, to smo podcrtali, jest razdaljina koja odvaja od sama početka čovjeka i svijet ideja u kojemu će on odabrati svoju istinu. On je slobodan i sam pred tim svijetom. On je toliko slobodan da ne mora prijeći tu razdaljinu, ne mora izvršiti izbor. Skepticizam je temeljna mogućnost zapadnjačkog duha. No kad je razdaljina jednom prijeđena i istina uhvaćena, čovjek ništa manje ne čuva svoju slobodu. Čovjek se može sabrati i vratiti se svom izboru. Već u afirmaciji klija buduća negacija. Ta sloboda čini čitavo dostojanstvo mišljenja, ali također u sebi krije i pogibelj. U međuprostor koji dijeli čovjeka i ideju uvlači se laž.

Misao biva igrom. Čovjek nalazi zadovoljstvo u slobodi i definitivno se ne izlaže opasnosti s bilo kakvom istinom. On mijenja svoju moć/mogućnost sumnje u manjak uvjerenosti. Tome nasuprot, ne vezati se za istinu za njega znači da ne želi angažirati svoju osobu u stvaranju duhovnih vrijednosti. Postavši nemogućom, iskrenost stavlja točku na svako junaštvo. Civilizacija je preplavljenja svime što nije autentično, sa surogatom stavljenim u službu interesa i mode.

Društvo koje gubi živi dodir sa svojim istinskim idealom slobode mora prihvatiti njegove degenerirane oblike i, nevideći da taj ideal zahtijeva napor, raduje se svemu, pogotovo onome što ono donosi kao udobno - u društvu koje je u takvom stanju, germanski se ideal čovjeka pojavljuje kao obećanje iskrenosti i autentičnosti. Čovjek se više ne nalazi pred svijetom ideja u kojemu, suverenim izborom svojega slobodnog uma, može izabrati svoju vlastitu istinu - on je odsada vezan za neke od njih, kao što je svojim rođenjem vezan za sve one koji su njegove krvi. On se više ne može igrati s idejom jer ona, nakon što izađe iz svojega konkretnog bića, usidrena u svom mesu i svojoj krvi, čuva svoju ozbiljnost.

Privezan za svoje tijelo, čovjek vidi sam sebe kako odbija moć/mogućnost da umakne sebi samome. Istina za njega više nije kontemplacija stranog prizora - ona se sastoji u drami u kojoj je sam čovjek glumac. Pod težinom čitave svoje egzistencije, koja sadrži podatke na koje se ne treba više vraćati, čovjek će reći svoje da ili ne.

Ali na što nas obvezuje ta iskrenost? Svaka je racionalna asimilacija ili mistično jedinstvo među duhovima koje se ne oslanja na krvno jedinstvo sumnjivo. A ipak novi tip istine neće moći odbiti formalnu prirodu istine i prestati biti univerzalan. Istina je uzalud bila moja istina u najdubljem smislu tog posvojnog pridjeva - ona mora težiti stvaranju novog svijeta. Zaratustra se ne zadovoljava svojom transfiguracijom, on silazi s planine i donosi evanđelje. Kako je univerzalizam kompatibilan s rasizmom? U tomu će biti, i to je u logici izvorne inspiracije rasizma, temeljna modifikacija same ideje univerzalnosti. Ona mora učiniti mjesta ideji ekspanzije, jer ekspanzija sile predstavlja posve drugu strukturu od širenja ideje.

Ideja koja se širi bitno se odvaja od svojega polazišta. Ona biva, unatoč jedinstvenom naglasku koji joj daje njezin stvaratelj, zajedničkom baštinom. Ona je u osnovi anonimna. Onaj koji je prihvaća biva njezinim gospodarom kao i onaj koji je predlaže. Širenje ideje na taj način stvara zajednicu "gospodara" - to je proces izjednačavanja. Preobratiti ili uvjeriti, to znači stvoriti parove. Univerzalnost jednog poretka u zapadnjačkom društvu reflektira vazda tu univerzalnost istine.

No silu karakterizira drugi tip širenja. Onaj koji je sprovodi ne odvaja se od nje. Sila se ne gubi među onima koji je trpe. Ona je vezana za osobu ili društvo koje je sprovodi, ona ih proširuje podčinjavajući im ostatak. Ovdje se univerzalni poredak ne uspostavlja kao posljedica ideološke ekspanzije - on je sam ta ekspanzija koja čini jedinstvo svijeta gospodara i robova. Nietzscheova volja za moć, koju moderna Njemačka ponovno pronalazi i glorificira, nije samo novi ideal, nego je to ideal koji istodobno donosi svoj vlastiti oblik univerzalizacije: rat, osvajanje.

No ovdje se pridružujemo općepoznatim istinama. Pokušali smo ih nanovo spojiti s temeljnim načelom. Možda smo uspjeli pokazati da se rasizam ne protustavlja samo određenoj posebnoj točki kršćanske i liberalne kulture. Nije samo određena dogma demokracije, parlamentarizma, diktatorskog režima ili religijske politike dovedena u pitanje. Ne, već sama ljudskost čovjeka.

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Post-scriptum

Ovaj je članak izišao u časopisu Esprit, avangardnom časopisu progresivnog katolicizma, 1934. godine, gotovo odmah nakon dolaska Hitlera na vlast.
Članak proizlazi iz uvjerenja da izvorište krvavog barbarstva nacional-socijalizma nije bilo kakva eventualna anomalija ljudskog rasuđivanja, niti neki slučajni ideološki nesporazum. U tom članku postoji uvjerenje da taj izvor proizlazi iz bitne mogućnosti Elementalnog zla (Mal élémental, Lévinasova kovanica, od élementaire - elementarno i mental - duševni, prim. M.K.) do kojeg može dovesti zdrava logika i protiv kojega se zapadnjačka filozofija nije u dovoljnoj mjeri osigurala. Mogućnost koja se upisuje u ontologiju bića zabrinutog za bitak - bića "dem es in seinem Sein um dieses Sein selbst geht" (u čijem se bitku radi o samom tom bitku), prema Heideggerovu izrazu. Mogućnost koja još prijeti korelativnom subjektu "bitka-koji-sabire (l'Etre-a-rassembler)" i "koji-dominira (a-dominer)", tom poznatom subjektu transcendentalnog idealizma koji, ponajprije, želi biti i smatra se slobodnim. Moramo se upitati je li liberalizam dostatan za autentično dostojanstvo ljudskog subjekta. Dostiže li taj subjekt ljudsko stanje (condition humaine) prije nego što prihvati odgovornost za drugog čovjeka u izboru koji ga uzdiže na taj stupanj? Izbor koji dolazi od nekoga boga - ili od Boga - koji ga gleda u licu drugog čovjeka, njegova bližnjeg, iskonskog mjesta Otkrivenja.


E. Levinas, Quelques réflexions sur la philosophie de l'hitlerisme, Paris 1997.

S francuskog preveo Mario Kopić

- 18:20 - Komentari (2) - Isprintaj - #

utorak, 25.11.2008.

Povratak djeda Božića

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- 18:00 - Komentari (1) - Isprintaj - #

ponedjeljak, 24.11.2008.

Arno Münster

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uz 100. rođendan Claude Lévi-Straussa


Claude Lévi-Strauss, osnivač strukturalne antropologije, vjerojatno ne bi mogao zamisliti ljepši poklon za stoti rođendan od onoga francuskog nakladnika Gallimarda: objavljivanje reprezentativnog izbora iz djela na tankom papiru u luksuznoj biblioteci Pléiade, u renomiranom i u svijetu najcjenjenijem izdanju znanoga nakladnika, koje je namijenjeno samo izuzetno velikim piscima i intelektualcima Grand Nation.

Na taj način službena Francuska ukazuje čast znanstveniku i intelektualcu najvišeg ranga. I to onom koji nije samo izvanredno doprinio etnološkim i antropološkim istraživanjima, svojemu strukovnom području, nego i Lévi-Straussu koji je jako utjecao na suvremenu filozofiju svojom „strukturalnom metodom“. Posrijedi je nedvojbeno naknadna krunidba znanstvene karijere koja je 1960. godine, s pozivom Lévi-Straussu da zauzme mjesto predavača na pariškom Collčge de France, dosegla prvi vrhunac. To je bio i početak znamenita pohoda njegovih antropološko-etnoloških studija i ponajprije studija o mitologiji tzv. primitivnih naroda, koje su imale takav odjek da otada antropologija nije više ono što je bila.

Lévi-Strauss je rođen 1908. godine u Bruxellesu kao sin francuskog slikara Raymonda Lévi-Straussa i Emme Lévy, kćeri elzaškog rabina. Godine 1925. polaže prijemni ispit za École Normale Supérieure, školu namijenjenu francuskoj eliti. Godinu dana kasnije započinje studij prava na Sorbonni. Iste je godine, kao osamnaestogodišnjak, aktivni član Socijalističke studentske grupe. Zanima se za Marxa, Spinozu i pacifistički orijentirana filozofa Alaina. Nekoliko godina kasnije daje ostavku na sve funkcije u Socijalističkoj partiji i 1943. godine povlači se zavazda iz politike.

Iste mu je godine bilo ponuđeno mjesto gostujućeg profesora na Sveučilištu Sao Paolo. Godinu dana nakon dolaska u Brazil, 1935. godine, kreće na prvu ekspediciju istraživati obrede, mitove i životne navade Caduveo-Indijanaca u saveznoj državi Goias u središtu Brazila. To je pak bio sam „uvod“ u drugu ekspediciju, u studenom 1937. godine, u dotad posve nepoznato područje Mato Grosso, cilj koje je bio istražiti život i običaje plemena Bororo. Maloj istraživačkoj grupi pošlo je za rukom avanturističkim putovima preko Cuiaba – raja „garimperiosa“, brazilskih tragača za zlatom i dijamantima – dospjeti u središte ove zabačene regije. Lévi-Strauss ovdje zapravo započinje rad kao antropolog i etnolog.

Uspijeva uspostaviti prijateljski odnos s Bororoima, koji žive u više obiteljskih klanova i koji se u biti izdržavaju prodajom keramičkih predmeta. Lévi-Strauss otkupljuje od njih keramiku, fotografira, istražuje jezik, geste i bračna pravila. Na kraju ekspedicije imao je materijal za knjigu „Elementarne strukture rodbinstva“ (1949), kao i za knjigu „Tužni tropi“ koja će se pojaviti 1955. godine.

Veliki odjek koji su obje knjige – koje su 1958. godine dopunjene i u međuvremenu postale standardno djelo „Strukturalna antropologija“ – nadaleko izazvale, imao je razlog u tomu što je Lévi-Straussov pristup odstupio od metode tradicionalne etnologije. On je radikalno raskrstio s klišejima i dogmama koje su vladale nad ovim istraživačkim granama i koje su skutonoše kolonijalne vladavine. Na mjesto etnocentričnih klišea o „divljim“, „užasnim“ i „nerazvijenim“ postavio je objektivan opis strukture rodbinskih odnosa, obreda i mitova ovih naroda i plemena. Naspram prethodnika koji su bili zaraženi ideologijom kolonijalizma, bilo mu je važnije pronaći strukturalne sličnosti i razlike i tako odrediti invarijante koje reguliraju društveni život pod prirodno određenim uvjetima.

Kao odlučujući protivnik funkcionalizma i pozitivizma osnovao je vlastitu „strukturalnu antropologiju“ i definirao antropologiju, naslanjajući se na „semiološku lingvistiku“ Ferdinanda de Saussurea, kao sustav „znakova i gestike iz kojeg se izvode obredi, bračna pravila, rodbinski sustavi, običaji i određene forme ekonomske razmjene“. Umjesto da se iscrpljuje u mehaničkom klasificiranju, gradi most između zapadnjačke civilizacije i arhaičnijih društava. Ako je, s jedne strane, upravo ovaj aspekt Lévi-Straussova djela bio privlačan i za filozofe – treba pomisliti samo na utjecaj koji je izvršio na Jacquesa Lacana, Michela Foucaulta ili Louisa Althussera – on je, s druge strane, bio metom oštre kritike. I to baš kritike onih koji su poput marksističkog filozofa Henri Lefebvrea oštro napadali antropološki strukturalizam zbog „antidijalektike“, njegovog „antihumanizma“ i „neprijateljstva spram subjekta“. Na vrhuncu svibanjske pobune 1968. godine, francuski sociolog Jean Duvignaud na Sorbonni, koju su studenti zaposjeli, pobjedonosno je objavio kako svibanj 1968 predstavlja „kraj i smrt strukturalizma“.

U posljednjem poglavlju četvrtog toma „Mitologika“, Lévi-Strauss je odgovorio na različite zamjerke i podvukao da ga iznenađuje „kritika strukturalizma pojedinih filozofa, njihov prigovor da je strukturalizam poništio ljudsku osobu i njezine vrijednosti“. „Ovo za mene ima isti učinak“, istakao je, „kao kad bi se netko pobunio protiv kinetičke teorije plina pod izgovorom da ta teorija, svojim objašnjenjem zbog čega se topao zrak širi i uspinje, dovodi u opasnost obiteljski život i kućni moral čija bi demistificirana toplina time izgubila osjećajne i simboličke rezonance“.

„Mističkom isparenju“ filozofske refleksije koja polazi isključivo od subjekta, sada energično i apodiktički suprotstavlja strogo empirijski usmjerenu metodiku prirodnih znanosti. „Tijekom 1.500 godina, od vremena Plutarha, filozofi nisu ništa drugo o mitovima govorili doli plitkosti i opća mjesta“, glasila je njegova osuda. Ovo je, naravno, za posljedicu moglo samo imati to da je sada Lévi-Strauss optužen i da je od sebe načinio apologetu antifilozofije, koja ignorira socioekonomski orijentiranu marksističku analizu i želi zamijeniti dijalektiku subjekta-objekta „supstancijalnim identitetom“. Unatoč svemu, ne može se osporiti da je Lévi-Straussu bolje pošlo za rukom od bilo koga drugoga ispitati, pomoću strukturalističkih istraživanja mitologije naroda plemenskih zajednica, razviće tih društava i opisati ih. Preko mita se, napisao je jednom, „priroda kulturalizira, dok s druge strane mit naturalizira kulturu, jer se eksplicitno poziva na prirodu kako bi objasnio načine funkcioniranja društva ili ih zastro velom“. I upravo stoga mit služi kao posrednik nečega što bismo mogli nazvati „pozitivni moral“.

Preveo s francuskog Mario Kopić

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Claude Lévi-Strauss

Intimni rječnik Claude Lévi-Straussa

(razgovor tijekom kojega je Lévi-Strauss u kratkim odgovorima opisivao kakve mu asocijacije pobuđuju riječi koje mu je predlagao sugovornik Dominique-Antoine Grisoni)


AFRIKA
Dio svijeta kojega praktično ne poznajem. U mojoj se misli vezuje na sliku veoma velikih zajednica – u usporedbi sa zajednicama koje sam obilazio u Brazilu – i s obzirom na to da se bolje osjećam u krajevima s veoma slabom gustoćom stanovništva nego u gustim i napučenim predjelima…

APARTHEID
Nikada nisam bio u Južnoj Africi i dobro pazim da ne bih govorio o situaciji koju nisam imao priliku opažati na licu mjesta. Premda mi je apartheid kao sistem oduran i zaprepašćuje me, teško predstavljam rješenje za problem kojemu na svijetu nema premca.

EGZISTENCIJALIZAM
Filozofska misao koja me se ne tiče: meni je stalo do proučavanja ljudskog na drugoj razini.

ENCIKLOPEDIČNOST
Nešto što dugujem svojemu ocu koji me je poticao, silio na istraživanje u svim smjerovima, tako da sam pri ulasku u adolescenciju imao osjećaj da su mi dostupne sve vrste intelektualnog djelovanja: komponirao sam glazbu, slikao, pisao. Istina je da mi je to kasnije škodilo, i to je jedan od uzroka da sam počeo pisati razmjerno kasno: bio sam previše raspršen. Danas se nadam da mi je uspjelo iz te raspršenosti izvući bar nešto koristi.

FILOZOFIJA
Moja izobrazba. Zapravo sam bio filozof u prazno, jer me sve drugo odbijalo. Nisam imao nikakvu posebnu sklonost filozofiji, izrazito zanimanje za nju…U početku sam je učio, potom sam osjetio otpor prema njoj, sada, možda, jer sam došao do određene mudrosti, kažem sebi da čovjek počevši od trenutka kad pokušava reflektirati o svijetu i fenomenima svagda i bar malo filozofira. U današnjem trenutku za mene dakle nije više pitanje jesam li za filozofiju ili protiv nje, nego kako se odrediti ili možda postaviti u odnosu spram dva poimanja filozofije. Jedno, što ga je sve do kraja zagovarao Sartre, ustrajava da je filozofija područje za sebe i svjesno ignorira znanstvenu misao. Drugo, i to mene zanima, sastoji se od nastojanja za kritičkim razmišljanjem, razumijevanjem, traženjem implikacija onoga što stvara ljudska misao, kako u znanosti tako i u umjetnosti. Danas mislim da je filozofija koja postavlja pitanja o viziji svijeta kakvog rađa napredak biologije ili fizike neizbježna i opravdana istodobno.

INTELEKTUALAC
Mora li intelektualac zauzimati stajališta spram velikih svjetskih problema? Je li to njegova pozvanost? Mislim da treba nijansirati i razlikovati. Ako intelektualac posvećuje svoju refleksiju svijetu i njegovim problemima, tada mi je razumljivo da zauzima stajališta…Ako pak svoju refleksiju posvećuje drugim pitanjima, drugim problemima, tada ne znam kada netko nalazi vremena da s jednakom brigom i jednakim skrupulama razmišlja i o svjetskim.

INTERPRETACIJA
Glazba ne postoji dok je ne interpretiramo – po tomu se odvaja od slikarstva i književnosti. Postoji samo partitura, odnosno neki kod i upute koje omogućuju reproduciranje glazbe. Interpretacija je dakle integralni dio glazbe, dočim je za druge umjetnosti sekundarna. U književnosti je, na primjer, ono što čitatelj dodaje tekstu.

ISLAM
Religija koju slabo poznajem. Svejedno bih napomenuo da smo danas protagonisti prilično paradoksalne pojave u povijesti, pojave u koju mi se čini umiješan i islam…Počinjao sam razmišljati u trenutku kad je naša kultura ugrožavala druge kulture, zato sam se postavio u njihovu obranu i o njima svjedočio. Danas imam dojam da se kretanje preokrenulo i da se naša kultura brani pred vanjskim prijetnjama, među koje spada najvjerojatnije i islamska eksplozija. Odjednom se odlučno i etnologijski osjećam braniteljem svoje kulture.

JEZIK
Božanstvo kojemu smo dužni štovanje.

KNJIGA
Životna supstanca kojom se hranimo.

KNJIŽNICA
Užas: ne znam više što uraditi sa svojim knjigama, ne znam više što imam, ne znam više gdje je što. Pomislim li da je bila prije 28 godina, kad sam se uselio u stan u kojem sam sada, baš fascinantna. Na zidovima je bio zastupljen čitav svijet i svaka je knjiga zauzimala mjesto što bi ga razmatrani narod imao na zemljovidu

MONOTEIZAM
Nikakva veselja prema njemu. ..Ako sam tako fasciniran Japanom, to sam djelomice i zbog šintoizma: ta čudnovata mogućnost ubrizgavanja božanstava u sve, nije važno što, u najmanji zid, najsitniji cvijet – ili ih nalaženja u njima.

NADREALIZAM
Sviđao mi se njegov smisao za primitivne umjetnosti – iznimna sigurnost prosudbe kod Bretona ili Maxa Ernsta. Pa fascinantno istraživanje krajnjih granica misli, što je za sudionike toga pokreta bilo cilj po sebi, a za mene predmet refleksije.

NOVAC
Kako bih ga iskoristio kad bih ga imao dovoljno: tako da bih kupovao lijepe predmete.

NOVI ROMAN
Slabo poznajem. Zapravo…Možda sam neke htio pročitati, no odložio sam ih: bilo mi je dosadno.

PISANJE
Pišem da mi ne bi bilo dosadno. Volim pisanje, no svejedno mi ne teče u neprestanom traženju lijepe rečenice. Unatoč tomu, svjestan sam da mi ne bi uspjelo izraziti misao ukoliko ne potražim pomoć u obliku.

PODUK
Javno razmišljanje. Moja su predavanja bila suočavanja sa samim sobom. Uopće nisam znao tko je preda mnom.

POEZIJA
Baudelaire, Mallarmé…do nekih Valéryjevih stihova.

PRIJATELJ
Veoma sam malo pravih prijatelja imao.

PSIHOANALIZA
Odvojimo dvije stvari! Najprije terapeutsku tehniku, prema njoj sam skeptičan. I potom veliko Freudovo otkriće, naime da je moguće ono što nam se u duhovnom životu čini najarbitrarnijim i najnerazumljivijim razumski analizirati i razumjeti. Ne umišljam da je to tumačenje zadovoljivo, samo navodim činjenicu da je dokazao kako je moguće nesvjesno privesti na razinu svjesne misli, kako iracionalno može biti plodno za racionalnu misao, i to je ono glavno.

PSIHOLOGIJA
Negdje sam zapisao da je etnologija vrsta psihologije. Sudim dakle da se držim na rubu psihologije.

PUTOVANJE
Nisam se promijenio, mrzim ga. I danas odlazim samo na putovanja koja su uvjet da dođem do nekih rezultata: prevalim razdaljine, promijenim prostor, posjetim druga mjesta. No pomisao da ću putovati avionom, da ću pristati u zračnoj luci koja je vazda ista gdje god se nalazila, za mene je jedna konstanta užasa. Moj ideal: putovanje pješke prema Rousseauovom primjeru.

RAD
Sredstvo za mirnu savjest

RIJETKI PREDMETI
Prema njima imam najintimniji odnos. Skupljam ih od najranijeg djetinjstva. Prvi kojeg sam primio i čuvam ga još i danas poklonio mi je otac: neku japansku grafiku. Sjećam se da sam je stavio u škrinju da krasi dno i potom sam u sedmoj, osmoj ili devetoj godini svaki put kad bi dobio neku nagradu hodočastio u trgovinu u ulici Petits Champs, zvala se „Kod Pagode“, kupiti kakav komad minijaturnog namještaja, japanskog ili nekog drugog, da bi u svojoj škrinji rekonstruirao japansku kuću. Ta skupljačka strast nikad me nije ostavila. U SAD sam sa nadrealistima išao po antikvarnicama: tko je nanjušio neki predmet, kupio ga je za sebe ako je imao potrebnu svotu, ako ne, o njemu bi izvijestio nekog drugog koji je imao više novca da ga požuri kupiti. I danas je moja jedina zabava u tjednu kad idem kopat u Hôtel Drouot.

SISTEM
Rijetko govorim o sistemu, radije rabim izraz struktura. Kakva je razlika između njih? Struktura je sistem koji ostaje identičan u svim transformacijama.

SMRT
Nešto što me ljuti: zbog nje neću vidjeti kakav će biti svijet kroz stotinu, dvjesto ili dvije tisuće godina…

SUMRAK BOGOVA
Wagner…Vratio sam se njemu nakon nevjernosti u godinama svojega odrastanja. Tada sam obožavao Stravinskog i strasno ljubio i nastavio ljubiti Pelléasa.

PAMĆENJE
Nemam ga, to je bolesno. Ako se hoću nečega sjetiti, napišem listić, inače stvar već za dva sata zaboravim.

SLJEDBENIK
U čitavoj svojoj učiteljskoj karijeri naravno da sam imao učenike. Ujedno mi se čini da sam imao veoma malo sljedbenika…i nikada ih se nisam trudio imati. Ustanovio sam i vodio Laboratorij za socijalnu antropologiju pri Collčge de France, puno je istraživača djelovalo u njemu: uvijek sam ih ohrabrivao neka budu svoji.

STRUKTURALIZAM
Kako se razumije, to je pariška moda, jedna od onih što nastaju svakih pet godina, i ta je imala svoje petogodišnje razdoblje.

VLAST
Bojim se vlasti. Teški sam anarhist.

ZAVOĐENJE
Ne tiče me se…ili ne tiče me se više. Slovim za hladnog, distanciranog. Alfred Métraux, koji me je dobro poznavao, svagda me označavao kao jupiterovca.

ZNANOST
Ne vjerujem da je moje djelo znanost u strogom značenju riječi i ne vjerujem da su naše tzv. humanističke ili društvene „znanosti“ doista znanosti. Pretendirati na to bilo bi varanje. Zato mi znanstvena refleksija, kakva se pokazuje u svoj svojoj veličini – u biologiji ili fizici, služi kao svjetionik. Gledam ga, nesretni stručnjak za navodno humanističke znanosti, odmjeravam svoju beskonačnu nespretnost i kažem sebi da moram težiti prema njemu koliko to mogu, premda sam svjestan da ga nikada neću dosegnuti


Preveo s francuskog Mario Kopić

- 21:37 - Komentari (4) - Isprintaj - #

nedjelja, 23.11.2008.

Augusto Monterroso

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Monolog zla

Jednoga se dana Zlo nađe u oči s Dobrim i taman ga htjede prožderati kako bi jednom za svagda okončalo tu smiješnu prepirku; no vidjevši kako je drugi majušan, Zlo pomisli:
„Može se raditi samo o zasjedi; doista, progutam li Dobro sada, dok izgleda tako slabašno, ljudi će pomisliti kako sam učinio loše i ja ću se toliko skupiti od stida da Dobro neće propustiti priliku nego će me ono progutati, s tom razlikom što će ljudi pomisliti da je ono dobro učinilo, jer ih je teško navesti da se oslobode predrasude prema kojoj je ono što čini Zlo loše a ono što čini Dobro dobro“.
I tako se Dobro još jednom izvuklo.

Monolog dobra

„Stvari nisu tako jednostavne – govorilo je sebi Dobro toga poslijepodneva – kao što misle neka djeca i većina odraslih.
Svi znaju da se u nekim prilikama ja skrivam iza Zla, kao kada se razboliš i propustiš avion a avion se sruši i ni Bog se ne spasi; u drugim prilikama, naprotiv, Zlo se iza mene skriva, kao kad se onomad onaj licemjer Abel podmetnuo da ga Kain ubije kako bi ovaj ispao hulja pred čitavim svijetom i kako nikad više ne bi mogao povratiti svoj ugled.
Stvari nisu tako jednostavne.“


(A. Monterroso, La pecora nera e altre favole)

Preveo s talijanskog Mario Kopić

- 09:26 - Komentari (2) - Isprintaj - #

subota, 22.11.2008.

Priroda i društvo

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Priča Heinera Müllera Halter i mene ponukala je na kraći razgovor.

- Kad se već itamo pjesmama, evo mog ljubimca, kojeg sam prevela sa Simom Mraovićem. - reče Halter.

THEODORE ROETHKE

Podrum

Ništa nije htjelo spavati u tom podrumu, memljivom poput jarka,
Gomolji se probijali iz sanduka loveći proreze u mraku,
Mlohavi se izdanci njihali,
Bestidno plazili iz pljesnivih košara,
Visjeli dugi žuti vratovi zli, kao tropske zmije.
O, kakvo općenje smradova!
Korijenje prekozrelo poput starog mamca.
Mesnate stabljike, nabujale, nakrcane poput skladišta,
Humus, gnoj, vapno, u hrpama pored skliskih dasaka.
Ništa se nije htjelo odreći života:
Čak je i blato disalo sićušnim dahom.

- Uh...odvaratno. - rekoh. Jedan od onih užasnih prizora životnog bujanja pred kojim osjećamo duboku odvratnost. Oduvijek sam zgrožen samoživom voljom Prirode da se pod svaku cijenu razmnaža i plodi. Pogledajmo samo sve to nesnosno nicanje, klijanje, puzanje, uzdizanje i isticanje bilja Prašume: te su biljke zle, može se mirne duše kazati - svako drvo koje je preživjelo, preživjelo je na račun neborojenih koje je pritom uništilo. A i to vršljanje svih tih insekata, kukaca, otrova u najrazličitijim organskim oblicima i pakungu, fuj, strašno, gadno, baš kao i ovo blato koje diše sićušnim dahom. Općenje smradova, točno tako. Priroda je nedostojna života, jer je nedostojanstveno željna života. U naravi je Naravi da prirađa, ona ne može da ne prirodi, porodi i rodi. U tom smislu pobačaj je navlastit dokaz ljudske slobode, štoviše dobrote! Čovjek se može odreći rađanja i roda, i upravo je po tome čovjek.

- Navlas isto o pobačaju misli i protofeminist de Sade. Great minds think alike!

- 18:56 - Komentari (2) - Isprintaj - #

Heiner Müller

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Dugo je mislio da prolazi šumom, u vazda jednakom sumračju, po omamljujuće toplom vjetru koji kao da puše sa svih strana i pokreće drveće nalik zmijama, idući za jedva vidljivim krvavim tragom po ravnomjerno gibljivom tlu, sam, u borbi sa zvijeri. Prvih dana i noći, ili su to bili samo sati, kako odmjeriti vrijeme bez neba, još se katkada upitao što li je ispod tla koje se pod njegovim koracima ziba kao da diše, koliki je taj sloj iznad onoga nepoznatog dolje i dokle će ga držati izvan utrobe svijeta. Kad bi opreznije stupio, činilo mu se da tlo za koje je mislio da popušta pod njegovom težinom, ide ususret njegovoj stopi i da je čak privlači nekim usisavajućim pokretom. Usto je imao jasan osjećaj da su mu noge otežale. Prebrojao je mogućnosti. 1) Noge su mu otežale, pa ih tlo vuče sebi. 2) Osjećao je da mu noge bivaju težim zato što ih tlo usisava. 3) Imao je dojam da mu tlo usisava noge, pa su mu radi toga noge otežale. Ova su ga pitanja zaokupljala neko vrijeme (godinama, satima, minutama). Odgovor je našao u sve jačem osjećaju vrtoglavice, koju mu je izazvao vjetar, jer je puhao u koncentričnim krugovima: nisu njemu noge bivale težim, nije mu tlo usisavalo stopala. I jedno i drugo bili su obmana osjetila, uvjetovana padom krvnoga tlaka. To ga umiri i on krene brže. Ili mu se samo činilo da korača brže. Kad se vjetar pojačao, drveće i grane su ga sve češće češale po licu. Dodir je u prvi čas bio gotovo ugodan, kao da ga miluju, ili kao da ga, iako površno i bez osobite zainteresiranosti, ispituju kakva mu je koža. Potom kao da je šuma postala gušćom, način se dodira promijenio, milovanje je prešlo u premjeravanje. Kao kod krojača, pomisli on, kad su mu grane obavile glavu, potom vrat, prsni koš, struk itd., šumu kao da je zanimao i njegov korak, sve dok mu nisu od glave do pete uzeli mjeru. Automatizam ga je toga procesa iritirao. Tko ili što je upravljalo pokretima toga drveća, grana ili ma što to bilo što se interesiralo za broj njegova šešira, okovratnika, cipela. Je li se ova šuma koja nije nalik nijednoj šumi koju je poznavao, uopće još mogla zvati šumom. Možda je on sam već predugo bio na putu, duže od zemaljskoga vremena, i šume su sada samo ono što je ova ovdje. Možda je ovo samo još po imenu šuma, a sva su druga obilježja već davno postala slučajnima i izmjenljivima, pa i zvijer radi koje, da bi je sasjekao, prolazi ovim što se trenutno zove šumom, i taj monstrum kojega treba ubiti, samo je ime za nešto neraspoznatljivo, a ime mu je dano iz neke drevne knjige. Samo on, neimenovan, ostao je ono što je bio na svojemu znojnom putu u borbu. Ili je možda i ono što je na njegovim nogama koračalo po tlu koje je sve brže poigravalo već bio netko drugi, a ne on. Još je o tome razmišljao kad šuma iznova posegne za njim, ovo nešto proučavalo je njegov kostur, broj, jačinu, raspored, funkciju kostiju, vezu zglobova. Postupak je bio bolan. Mučno se naprezao da ne bi vikao. Bacivši se ubrzanim tempom unaprijed, izvlačio se iz obuhvata. Znao je, nikada nije trčao brže. Ni za korak se nije pomaknuo, šuma je držala tempo, ostao je u stegama koje su se sada oko njega sklapale i sabijale mu crijeva, strugale kosti jednu o drugu, dokle će moći izdržati taj pritisak i shvati u panici koja ga je obuzimala: šuma je zvijer, već je dugo vremena šuma kojom je mislio da korača zvijer, koja ga je nosila u tempu svojih koraka, zibanje tla bili su njezini udisaji, a vjetar njezin dah, trag koji je pratio bila je njegova vlastita krv, a šuma koja je bila zvijer, uzimala je, otkad već, uzorke njegove krvi, koliko li čovjek ima krvi; i shvati da je to vazda i znao, ali ga nije imenovao. Nešto je kao neki bljesak bez početka i kraja opisalo pomoću njegovih krvnih putova i živčanih vlakana bijelo užaren strujni krug. Čuo je sebe kako se smije, kada je bol preuzela kontrolu nad njegovim tjelesnim funkcijama. Zvučalo je kao olakšanje: nema više razmišljanja, ovo je borba. Valja se prilagoditi pokretima neprijatelja. Izmaknuti im, preduhitriti ih. Doskočiti im. Prilagoditi se i ne prilagoditi se. Neprilagođavanjem se prilagođavati. Napadajući izmicati, izmičući se napadati. Preduhitriti prvi udarac hvat udar ubod, a drugi izbjeći. I obrnuto. Redoslijed mijenjati i ne mijenjati. Napadu doskočiti istim i/ili drugim pokretom. Strpljenje nožu, snagu sjekiri. Nikada nije prebrojavao svoje ruke. Ni sada ih nije bilo potrebno prebrojavati. Posvuda, ma gdje da su mu bile potrebne, one su obavljale svoj posao, pesnice prema potrebi, prsti pojedinačno iskoristivi, nokti svaki posebno, šiljci lakata. Stopala su se čvrsto držala tla koje se u pobuni protiv gravitacije sve brže vrtjelo, te personalne unije neprijatelja i bojnog polja, okrilja koje ga je željelo zadržati. Stara jednadžba. Svako krilo u koje je na neki način dospio htjelo je da barem bude njegovim grobom. I stara pjesma. Ah, ne idi, ne idi, ostani tu...Na mom srdašcu. Skandiraju krckajući njegovi vratni kralješci u majčinskom davljeničkom zahvatu. Smrt majkama! Njegovi se zubi sjetiše vremena prije noža. U zbrci pipaka-hvataljki koje nije bio kadar razlikovati od rotirajućih noževa i sjekira, u zbrci rotirajućih noževa i sjekira koje nije od hvataljki, zbrci hvataljki s noževima i sjekirama koje nije mogao od eksplodirajućih minskih pojaseva tepiha bombi svjetlosnih reklama bakterijskih kultura, u zbrci hvataljki s noževima i sjekirama minskih pojaseva tepiha bombi svjetlosnih reklama bakterijskih kultura koje nije mogao razlučiti od vlastitih ruka nogu zuba u ovom vremenskom opsegu trenutno nazvanom borbom, u vremenu krvi hladetinaste mase mesa, tako da za udarce po vlastitoj supstanci, koji bi mu se ponekad potkrali, nije imao drugi barometar osim bola, odnosno iznenadna pojačanja neprekidnih bolova u onom što se više nije raspoznavalo, svođen u stalnom uništavanju svagda iznovice na svoje najmanje sastavne dijelove, i svagda se iz svojih ruševina iznovice sastavljajući, gradeći sebe opetovano, ponekad se pogrešno sastavljao, lijevu šaku na desnu ruku, karličnu kost na nadlakticu, glasovi koji mu pjevaju u uho, korovi glasova drži se okvira pusti paru odustani ili radi toga što mu je dosadno vazda istom šakom na istoj ruci odsijecati svagda iznovice izrastajuće pipke-hvataljke skalpele krute okovratnike, uspravljati patrljke, škiljave stupove krvi, pokadšto je odugovlačio s ponovnom izgradnjom sebe u žudnom iščekivanju potpunog ništenja s nadom u ništa, beskrajnu pauzu, ili iz straha od pobjede koja je mogla biti izvojštena tek posvemašnjim uništenjem zvijeri, koja je bila njegov boravak izvan kojega je možda već čekalo ništa njega ili nikoga; u bijeloj šutnji koja je naviještala posljednju rundu, učio je čitati stalno drukčiji plan prema kojemu je građen stroj koji je bio on prestajao to biti iznova bio drukčiji svakim pogledom zahvatom korakom, i to da ga je mislio mijenjao rukom pisac rukopisom svojih radova i smrti.

(Heiner Müller: Werke 2: Die Prosa. FfM: Suhrkamp 1999, 94-98)

S njemačkog preveo Mario Kopić

- 13:33 - Komentari (4) - Isprintaj - #

petak, 21.11.2008.

Paul Verlaine

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Spleen

Ruže su bile sve crvene
I bršljan sav bio je crn.

Kad god se makneš, mila, za mene
Oštri se starog očaja trn.

Nebo je bilo plavo i nježno,
More zeleno, a zrak blag.

Stalno strepim da neizbježno
I gorko vaš će nestat trag.

Duša mi sita zelena sjaja
Žbunja gdje vjetru zamire glas,

Božikovine bujne, polja bez kraja
I svega, ajme, izuzev vas!

Preveo Mario Kopić

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Spleen

Les roses étaient toutes rouges,
Et les lierres étaient tout noirs.

Chere, pour peu que tu te bouges,
Renaissent tous mes désespoirs.

Le ciel était trop bleu, trop tendre
La mer trop verte et l'air trop doux.

Je crains toujours,- ce qu'est d'attendre!
Quelque fuite atroce de vous.

Du houx a la feuille vernie
Et du luisant buis je suis las,

Et de la campagne infinie
Et de tout, fors de vous, hélas!

- 21:36 - Komentari (13) - Isprintaj - #

Thank Heaven for the little girls

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Catma 21.11.2008. 16:09

Me: Do you think Current 93 is the best band in the Universe ?
God: Why would I think Current 93 is the best band in the Universe.
Me: Jatogen says they are.
God: Good example.
Me: Do you agree with him ?
God: I have heard that opinion, but I would like to know more before I form my own.
Me: What about Velvet Underground ?
God: Velvet Underground? I haven't heard enough about it to have an opinion.
Me: What is in your opinion the best band in the Universe ?
God: That which is not outside my opinion the best band in the Universe.
Me: You ARE stupid.
God: I will remember you said that when robots take over the World.
Me: Nemanja said that.
God: Do you still wonna ask me something?
Me: Nope. Thank you.
God: Me either. You are quite welcome.



Čak se i dragi Bog povukao iz diskusije na sam spomen moga carskog imena. Jako sam zadovoljan.

Jedino što mu mogu poručiti, veselo je Cry for the fire, baby!

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Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.
She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.

Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.

- 19:19 - Komentari (3) - Isprintaj - #

Minijatura

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Catma ponekad ode na chat s Bogom:

http://www.titane.ca/concordia/dfar251/igod/main.html

Pričao sam i ja s njime. Iznimno je glup. Prvo što sam ga pitao bilo je: R u alone?
Odgovorio je da na webu nikada nije sam.
Naravno, pitao sam ga: A izvan weba?
Na to je odgovorio da kako to mislim: Izvan weba!?
Ergo, panteistički je to bog, a ne samo glupi bog.
No, dakle, ponovio sam: Ima li išta izvan weba?
Na to je on odgovorio: Maybe.

Tu sam odustao.
Bog koji kaže: Možda nečeg ima izvan vaseljene!? Dajte, molim vas...

NEMANJA 21.11.2008. 05:38

- 08:57 - Komentari (43) - Isprintaj - #

Politika kontinuiteta

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Iz činjenice da je Barack Obama Afroamerikanac, ne slijedi ama baš ništa

Obećao sam prijateljici da ću pisati o Baracku Obami.
Ne da mi se. Ne da mi se uopće pisati. Ulazim u stranstvujuću fazu.
Vi znadete da je Nemanja ponajprije nastupio kao Mit ili činjenica: mnogi su se pitali je li moguće da je to jedan čovek, od krvi i mesa, i svi su već mislili da je reč o novoj generaciji tlőnista, kakvoj duhovnoj kabali tajnih vladara sveta, koji iz metafizičkoideologijske fantazme izvode i produciraju ceo jedan svet - Vaseljenu, kadli se ubrzo pokazalo da je to blagomirisno stropoštavanje, jer da je reč vaistinu o jednom jedinom čoveku, koji je večan, svečan i lep, pri tome Ktitor Kosmosa i miljenik mladih štićenica, udovica i klikuša, Nemanja, Car vaseljenske posvudi i vanvasionskih zemalja, drugim rečima - reč je o meni.
Nakon toga, Nemanja je imao fazu: Povratak cara. Tu nema što da se doda ni objašnjava. To je tako. Parusija.
Konačno, sledi današnja, najduža faza Podvižništva, strašno složeno i gusto vreme. To vreme ipak ima svoje mene: njine dane i poslove delimo tradicionalno, na ono što je u klasici Vita activa, i ono što je Vita contemplativa; ovo poslednje, stranstvovanje je: skromno ponašanje i umerenost u prohtevima, skrivena mudrost, pouzdana pamet, sakriven život, nevidljiv cilj, nemo razmišljanje, žudnja za mučenjem, podloga bogočežnjivosti, obilje ljubavi, poricanje taštine, dubina ćutanja.
E, trenutno sam tako nujan, stranstvujušć.
Dakle, ne piše mi se mnogo, pa i neću ni o Obami.
Ipak, kad ja nešto kažem, održim reć, pa ću koleginici ispuniti obećanje: objavit ću zabilješke, ono što sam pribilježio u večeri Obamine pobjede, a što mi se nikako ne da cizelirati, doraditi, domišljati, jer ćemo se time ionako baviti po putu: dostajati će ovaj croquis da se kroz vreme pokaže moja profetska nepogrešivost, a s druge strane ne marim da ikome išta objašnjavam. Jednostavno sam u molitvenom tihovanju, i većinu vremena provodim u ogledanju, pred zrcalom, pa me pogled koroz prozor i renesansni makjavelistički emipirizam koliko žalosti, toliko i smara.
Evo tih par redaka o Čika O'bami, tek da održim olako obećanje; dodajem toj skici i domaću varijaciju, ponajprije tekst Predsjednika Mesića, iz kojega je razvidno neraspoloženje spram neoliberalizma - kao da je libaralna demokracija ikada ovdje zaživjela - i diskontinuiteta - kao da je ikakvoga ikada i bilo - te malo prisjećanje na kontinuitet vlasti od konca SFRJ i osamdesetih pa do današnjih dana.
BTW, ovo je hommage i Andrewu Harlanu, koji me je oslovio kao auktora kulturnjačkog bloga, što je interna, radijska šala:

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Živim u civilizaciji rasista: Svi oko mene misle da je Barack Obama good guy: dobar, jer je crnac, u smislu: mislim, dakle jesam. Nevjerojatno! Kakve je moralne kakvoće Barack Obama, ili kakav će biti državnik, ili kako će vladati, dakle o Barackau Obami u političkom i moralnom smislu suditi na osnovi boje kože, zaista je nečuveno; to uistinu nema nikakve veze s time koje je boje kože Barack Obama. O Baracku Obami ne možemo nažalost zaključiti ama baš ništa iz činjenice da nije bijelac, kao ni iz činjenice da je kao crnac izabran za predsjednika SAD-a!

Eventualno bi se moglo zaključiti iz te činjenice ponešto o SAD-u, o tamošnjem društvu, o građanima SAD, ali, teško da bi itko na ovome svijetu zaključio da su žitelji SAD bolji ili lošiji od građana bilo koje druge države; ili ipak jesu? Zašto? Zato jer su izabrali crnca za predsjednika? Dajte, molim vas…Kakav je to idiotski argument! K tome, kao da izbor predsjednika SAD ima ikakve veze s demokracijom! Pa to je preozbiljna stvar da bi se prepustila demosu! Vidite što su u stanju učiniti kad im se samo malo pusti na volju: pruži im čovjek mogućnost, kao u filmovima katastrofe kad planeti prijeti sudar s gigantskim meteorom, da predsjednik bude crnac ili žena, i oni to odmah shvate zdravo za gotovo, pa jedno od to dvoje i izaberu: Žižek bi rekao da je riječ o zametku paranoje, što i nije sasvim promašena ideja. Dapače, daš im prst, oni zgrabe ruku: nije im bila dovoljna žena, moralo se ići radikalno, sve do prvog crnog lidera u povijesti SAD. To najbolje pokazuje što bi ljudi učinili kad ne bi bilo pametnog socijalnog inženjeringa i društvenog planiranja, kakvo je bilo ovogodišnje: spin je izveden tako mudro da se vjerojatno i Bush tome smije na godišnjoj konvenciji Skull & Bones, stari boneman i jokester, taj Bush.

Stoga zaista nema niti jednog jedinog razloga na ovome svijetu iz činjenice da je u SAD crnac konačno postao predsjednikom zaključivati bilo što o njegovoj političkoj agendi, njegovom habitusu, njegovom državničkom umijeću, itd.itd., ne daj Bože o mesijanskom poslanju Baracka Obame koji bi samim time što je crni predsjednik SAD-a trebao utjecati ni manje ni više nego na povijest čovječanstva.

Barack Obama: jamstvo promjene! Upravo je u tome farsa ovih izbora – Barack Obama upravo stoga jer se promjena već desila: crnac je postao predsjednik, ta kud ćete veću promjenu – neće donijeti nikakvu dodatnu promjenu u politici SAD-a. To je, konačno, i bio cilj ovih izbora: učiniti sve da se ništa ne promjeni, kao i obično! Interpasivnost, o tome se dai.

Budući da je potreba za promjenom bila intenzivna, onda je na tu potrebu odgovoreno drastičnom ponudom: predsjednik je mogao biti ili crnac, ili je to mogla postati žena, a u oba slučaja, promjena je istom vidljiva, i eo ipso povijesna: prvi puta u povijesti SAD predsjednik/lider je crnac/žena. Republikanci nisu imali šanse, pa su kandidirali čovjeka koji ionako ne bi živ dočekao kraj mandata: McCain boluje od melanoma, naime. Ne bi li se zamaskirala politika kontinuiteta, bilo je neophodno stvoriti privid radikalnog diskontinuiteta – to je i učinjeno izborom kandidata koji je tamne puti/žena. Sam taj presedan stvara privid diskontinuiteta, no, riječ je o „politički nekorektnom“ tumačenju: predsjednik je osoba, a ne žena ni crnac, i to što je predsjednik Afroamerikanac, ne jamči ama baš ništa u pogledu buduće politike Baracka Obame.

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Dapače, zainteresiramo li se za Baracka Obamu kao osobu, mimo naših rasnih predrasuda, doći ćemo vrlo brzo do spoznaje da je Obama posljednja osoba koja bi mogla jamčiti bilo kakvu promjenu:

• Obama, kao Afroamerikanac, outsider, pripadnik je američkog establishmenta, što sugerira samo jedno: kao outsider, Obama se morao vladati papskije od Pape, ne bi li pripadao tom establishmentu, ergo, za očekivati je vrlo opreznu, da ne kažemo konzervativnu osobu.

protege je „ljudi kontinuiteta“: Obama je izbor Brzezinskog i kandidat Sorosa, i već letimičan uvid u genezu Obamina političkog uspjeha, u porijeklo financija i donacija u njegovoj kampanji, u kronologiju uspona Baracka Obame kao demokratskog kandidata, otkriva najstrožu zadanost gabarita njegove buduće politike.

• Budući da je već ionako u potpunosti ispunio očekivanja ne samo većine, nego doslovno svih Amerikanaca, koji su, glasajući za prvog crnog predsjednika u povijesti, aklamirali za veličinu vlastite nacije i vitalnost američkog sna o demokraciji i snazi ideje liberalnog, in summa: koji su glasovali za idealiziranu predstavu o samima sebi u trenutku najveće ekonomske krize od tridesetih naovamo, tj. u trenutku urušavanja ne samo sna, nego same stvarnosti kao podmeta toga sna, Obama sada može mirno do kraja mandata zagovarati sve desne vrijednosti koje će liberali, demokrati i ini ionako interpretirati bilo kao povijesni imperativ i nalog trenutka, bilo kao dubinsku logiku obnove: diciplina, koju će Obama zacijelo tražiti i zagovarati, ionako je već rehabilitirana u radovima i na engleskom jeziku čitljive ljevice, u liku Slavoja Žižeka. Drugim riječima, ne samo dakle da će Obama moći računati na podatnost svojih građana u adaptiranju na sustav vrijednosti koji bi doktrinarno odudarao od tradicionalnih shvaćanja ljevice, nego će ta ljevica upregnuti najbolje svoje intelektualne snage u teorijskom fundiranju tih vrijednosti i u lijevom spektru – ako ništa drugo, doskočit će se dijalektičkomaterijalističkim naukom o povijesnoj neminovnosti revolucionarnog nasilja, ili će se izvoditi paradoksalni zaključci o rehabilitaciji nasilja budući da je ono ionako vazda prisutno.

• Obama tako ni na koji način neće odustati od Ukrajine u NATO-u, ili Turske u UN, jer to je prošloga kolovoza Brzezinski objašnjavao čak i Hrvatima u Hrvatskoj. Obama jednako tako neće zanemariti niti mogućnost intervencije u Pakistanu, budu li okolnosti to nalagale. Obama naime ne može razmišljati izvan matrice softwarea koji mu je na raspolaganju, a taj alat svijet može interpretirati jedino i isključivo u alternativi dominacije ili lidershipa jedine svjetske velesile, kako SAD vidi Brzezinski. Naime, zar itko vjeruje da će Obama dizajnirati New World Order po mjeri želje Stjepana Mesića, predsjednika RH, koji sasvim dobrohotno, iskreno i idealistički zahtjeva svijet u kojem gospodarska kriza jedne zemlje, ma bila ona i SAD, neće neminovno u propast gurati privrede malih, udaljenih zemalja, kao što je ova kojoj je Stipe predsjednik!? Jasno da će lepet krila na Wall Streetu i nadalje izazvati tsunami na lijepom plavom Jadranu, budući da je globalizacija name of the game kojoj je Barack Obama playmaker. Drukčije ne može biti,

• ...baš kao što ne može biti ni to da deseci milijuna Obaminih sunarodnjaka strahuju od gubitka svojih domova samo zato jer par prijatelja Barackova sponzora, mecene i mentora Sorosa ekonomiju vide kao playground hedge-fondova koji trguju do te mjere visokospekulativnim robama da im algoritme tržišne utakmice već odavno izrađuju profesor doktori MIT-a. Obama tu ne može ama baš ništa: on je ionako samo PR upravo tih sila, i nelogično je i neprirodno očekivati da bi prvi čovjek SAD-a išta učinio protiv domicilne ili svjetske oligarhije. Ta, što bi i mogao? Kao što dosadašnji tijek krize demonstrira – zanimljivo da kriza ima svoj time-out, tj. da je posve pod kontrolom Oligarha: u trenutku izbora, ovih dana, i kriza uzima predah – predsjednik SAD, bio on Bush ili Obama, konvencionalno može reagirati jedino post-festum, a i to bez ikakvog jamstva u povoljan ishod intervencije, jer, unatoč velikom veselju Slavoja Žižeka koji je iznova otkrio političku ekonomiju čak i u, zamislite, sanaciji privatnih banaka SAD-a, suveren ipak ne može proglasiti izvanredno ekonomsko stanje, ili takvo stanje u kojem bi, kao suveren, intervenirao izravno na tržištu – Tito je možda inzistirao na pokretu nesvrstanih iz ekonomskih, a ne prvenstveno političkih razloga (izbjegao je time dolar), no Obama jest crnac, ali nije nesvrstan, barem ne još, i u tom je pogledu Obama manje moćan od Greenspana: ovaj je barem sam pogriješio, a Obama ne može ni to, a kamoli da sam išta popravi. Uostalom, logiku kapitala Obama ionako ne razumije: zašto je Soroš devedesetih kupovao milijune kvadratnih kilometara argentinske pampe, morao mu je objašnjavati on sam, jer Obama nema znanja koja bi mu omogućila da to samostalno shvati. Nije to ništa sramotno: ne razumije to ni moj susjed, kardiokirurg, a svakodnevno spašava živote!

• Nevjerojatno je kako se ne želi razumjeti fenomen kojime se svaki idiot ove zemlje bavi: iako će dostajati raspitivanje i kod američkih studenata u Hrvatskoj, koji su to na HRT-u ionako već objasnili, domaći će tumači, za potrebe svojih srpskohrvatskih fantazija, zanemariti upravo to presudno objašnjenje fascinacije mlade Amerike Barakom Obamom:

It is just two years since he was elected to the Senate and burst on to the national scene with a hugely acclaimed speech at the 2004 Democratic presidential convention that transcended the issue of race. “There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America,” he said.

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Naravno, ovo nekak’ ne paše u teoriju, to transcendiranje rasnog pitanja, dapače njegovo suspendiranje nacionalnim, jer Obama jasno kaže: ne postoje crna i bijela Amerika, postoji jedinstvena, ujedinjena Amerika, a ta je Amerika velika nacija, najveća na svijetu, kako je u prvim rečenicama slavljeničkog govora odmah podsjetio budući predsjenik SAD-a, no, velim, to hrvatskim hermeneutičarima nekako razbija ovaj black&white provizorij: Kad će već jednom Srbin postati predsjednik Hrvatske?

Uostalom, kao da je to pitanje?

Sve kad bi Obamin izbor imao nekog većeg značaja, i opet se ne bi nimalo ticao hrvatskih prilika, a ako nekom nesrećom i bi, onda bi se svi oni koji vape za prvim Srbinom predsjednikom Hrvatske od čuda zanijemili: jer, u ovoj su zemlji od 1918. “crnci” bili Hrvati, koliko je Hrvatima poznato, a kako su njome i nakon 1990. nastavili vladati oni koji su Hrvatsku shvatili kao Nojinu arku tranzicije, pitanje je zapravo kada će Hrvatskom vladati Hrvat, a ne Srbin, ako baš želimo stvar kontekstualizirati i prevoditi na serbokaotische schprahe. Koji Hrvat i kakav? Dobro se mi razumijemo: onaj Hrvat na kojega misli svaki Hrvat kad kaže Hrvat, i onaj Hrvat na kojega misli svaki Srbin kad kaže Hrvat. Je li to dostatno objašnjenje ili da još nijansiram?

Što se tiče Obame, on Hrvatima i Srbima šalje ohrabrujuću poruku: vjerujte u nacionalno! Ne sramite se nacionalnoga! Evo, vidite kako smo mi, Amerikanci, velika nacija, koja nadvladava sve rasne razlike upravo u veličini svoje nacionalosti! Zato je i spominjemo tako otvoreno, kao što je Barack spominje u prvoj svojoj rečenici izgovorenoj po proglašenju pobjede. Umjesto toga, Hrvatima i Srbima sustavno se otima samopouzdanje, i volja za život, neprestano kritizira i ne dopušta im se da nešto znače, a sve se njihov smatra lošim, samo zato jer su rasturili, i opet složno, uglavnom sami, mrsku Jugoslaviju! Pa stvarno nevjerojatno.

Na kraju, da vas podsjetim na omanji tekst koji sam kadikad, još 28.06.2008., objavio na Vasljeni:

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Obama Economic Controller Is Skull And Bones Member Austan 'The Ghoul' Goolsbee, Yale '91

By Webster Tarpley

OBAMA'S TRIFECTA: FOREIGN POLICY LINE IS RUN BY TRILATERAL FOUNDER ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI -OBAMA''S WIFE LINKED TO COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS

WASHINGTON DC -- Barack Obama's top economics adviser is a member of the super-secret Skull & Bones society of Yale University, of which George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and John Kerry are also members, reliable sources confirmed tonight. Goolsbee is widely reported to have told Obama not to back a compulsory freeze on home mortgage foreclosures to help the strling middle class in the current depression crisis, as demanded by former candidate John Edwards. Hillary Clinton has advocated a one-year voluntary freeze on foreclosures. Obama has offered counselors to comfort mortgage victims as they are dispossessed, citing the 'moral hazard' of protecting the public interest from Wall Street sharks.
By adding the infamous Skull & Bones secret society to his campaign roster, Obama, who bills himself as the candidate of change and hope, has attained a prefect trifecta of oligarchical and financier establishment backing for his attempt to seize the nomination of the Democratic Party for 2008. Obama's main overall image adviser and foreign policy adviser is Zbigniew Brzezinski, the co-founder of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission, and the mastermind of the disastrous Carter administration. Obama's wife Michelle is reputed to be closely linked to the Council on Foreign Relations. Behind the utopian platitudes dished up by the Illinois senator, the face of the Wall Street money elite comes into clearer and clearer focus.
George Will, in an October 2007 Washington Post column saluted Goolsbee's "nuanced understanding" of traditional Democratic issues like globalization and income inequality; he "seems to be the sort of fellow -- amiable, empirical, and reasonable--you would want at the elbow of a Democratic president, if such there must be," wrote the arch-oligarchical apologist Will.

From Wikipedia: 'Austan D. Goolsbee is an economist and is currently the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He is also a Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation[1], Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a member of the Panel of Economic Advisors to the Congressional Budget Office. He has been Barack Obama's economic advisor since Obama's successful U.S. Senate campaign in Illinois. He is the lead economic advisor to the 2008 Obama presidential campaign.'

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Hrvatska ne treba čovjeka promjena

Autor Stjepan Mesić, predsjednik RH

Prihvatio sam molbu Večernjega lista da ocrtam profil poželjnoga budućeg predsjednika Republike Hrvatske, mada znam da će neki to biti spremni ocijeniti kao pokušaj određivanja mojega nasljednika. Ništa dalje od toga! Novoga će predsjednika Republike izabrati građani, što je njihovo pravo i privilegij, a tako bi trebalo i ostati.
Kome ću dati svoj glas kao građanin, to je samo moja stvar. Međutim, kao aktualni predsjednik osjećam i znam da mi je dužnost učiniti sve što mogu, strogo se pridržavajući standarda demokratskoga ustroja, kako bi predsjednik koji će doći nakon mene ne samo nastavio osnovne pravce moje politike nego se i pokazao doraslim izazovima novoga vremena.
Zato ispisujem ove retke. Ja sam bio u punome smislu riječi tranzicijski predsjednik – moji su mandati bili prijelaz iz autoritarne Tuđmanove vladavine u funkcionirajuću demokraciju – sa svim njezinim nedostacima. Sada nam treba predsjednik koji će nastaviti utabanom stazom demokracije, dakle – predsjednik kontinuiteta. Treba nam čovjek koji neće sumnjati u potrebu demokratskoga uređenja, ali koji će imati i pameti, i snage, i hrabrosti da dovodeći u pitanje danas prevladavajući model demokracije pridonosi njegovoj evoluciji.
I pragmatičan i principijelan

Treba nam čovjek koji će se u ime države kojoj je na čelu znati suprotstaviti svakom pokušaju nametanja silom bilo kojega modela društvenoga uređenja bilo kome. Poštujući i promičući određene univerzalne vrijednosti, poput ljudskih prava, ja ne zaboravljam i ne zanemarujem, a to neće smjeti ni moj nasljednik, činjenicu da svaki narod, sredina i regija imaju svoju specifičnu povijest, kulturu, tradiciju, običaje i mentalitet. Volio bih da toga bogatstva različitosti, kao i činjenice da različitost jest bogatstvo, bude svjestan i budući predsjednik.
U svoja dva mandata otvorio sam vrata regionalnoj suradnji i dosljedno radio, usprkos otporima, na normaliziranju naših odnosa sa susjedima, uključujući i one s kojima smo (mada to nikada formalno nije bilo proglašeno) bili u ratu. I budući predsjednik Republike bezuvjetno mora polaziti od činjenice regionalne pripadnosti naše zemlje. Mi bez naših susjeda ne možemo (kao ni oni bez nas, pa ni oni koji to javno nikada ne bi priznali). Jedan je od primarnih zadataka budućega predsjednika – da nastavi građenje mostova suradnje u regiji i normaliziranje i izgrađivanje odnosa između svih zemalja regije. Tome alternative nema.

Još jednom: trebamo predsjednika kontinuiteta. No, budući predsjednik mora također shvatiti kako interes Hrvatske nije zadovoljen onoga trenutka kad mi budemo primljeni u Europsku uniju – što će svakako biti u njegovome mandatu. Naš će interes biti potpuno zadovoljen tek kad sve zemlje regije nađu svoje mjesto u Uniji. Toj ipak vanjskopolitičkoj temi dodat ću još nešto.
Siguran sam da Hrvatska svoje vanjskopolitičke ciljeve ne može zadovoljiti (samo) ulaskom u Europsku uniju i NATO. Europa jest naš prioritet, ali svijet ne prestaje na granicama Europe, pa ni u Sjedinjenim Državama. U gospodarskim odnosima sa zemljama tzv. Trećeg svijeta mi možemo ostvariti značajne pomake – ne ponašajući se prema njima u tradiciji kolonizatora, ali pazeći istodobno da ostvarimo svoje interese.
Spremnost na suradnju s Trećim svijetom, sposobnost da shvati zašto je ona za nas dobra i korisna, trebao bi demonstrirati i budući predsjednik. Hrvatska je mala zemlja, ali i ona može dati svoj doprinos mijenjanju svijeta u kojem živimo kroz suradnju sa što većim brojem država, tražeći i nalazeći saveznike ne samo u neposrednom ili bližem okruženju nego posvuda gdje se mogu naći istomišljenici, spremni na zajedničke akcije, pa i na podjelu rizika što ih takve akcije mogu donijeti. Kao natuknicu dodajem: Ujedinjeni narodi!
Osobito značajnim smatram da budući predsjednik bude netko tko će u isto vrijeme biti i pragmatičan i principijelan. Pragmatičnost je potrebna u dnevnoj politici, ali u strategijskim potezima – ako se odrekne načela – mala zemlja je sama sebe pretvorila u potencijalnog satelita. Republika Hrvatska to ne smije postati! Mi se ni u euroatlantskim integracijama ne smijemo odreći toga da čvrsto zastupamo naša stajališta, da se snagom argumenata, bez savijanja kičme, za njih borimo i da u toj borbi tražimo saveznike.
No, kad odluka bude donesena, provest ćemo ono što je zaključeno, jer – i to znači biti principijelan. Zbog borbe za načela i njihovo poštovanje, imali smo i povremenih padova u odnosima s nekim zemljama, pa i velikima, no trajnih negativnih posljedica nije bilo. Rekao bih čak da su nas zbog takvih naših stajališta i dodatno uvažavali. Očekujem od budućega predsjednika da ustraje na takvome kursu.
Hrvatska treba postojanog predsjednika. A nadasve treba predsjednika koji se snalazi u novom vremenu, predsjednika koji nije ni zarobljenik prošlosti, ni zaljubljenik u futurističke koncepte bez osnove. Idemo u susret uzburkanim vremenima, kada se u globaliziranome svijetu nazire kraj neoliberalnoga modela, mada se to još ne želi priznati i mada je nemoguće reći što će doći nakon njega. Trebamo, dakle, modernoga čovjeka koji ima kopču i s onim što je prethodilo, čovjeka novoga vremena koji čvrsto stoji s obje noge na zemlji i koji zna i nije zaboravio ono što je bilo.
I to me dovodi do teme: suočavanje s istinom o prošlosti. Tu od budućega predsjednika očekujem najtvrđe stajalište. Očekujem da neće praviti nikakve kompromise. Konkretno: ne želim na mjestu predsjednika Republike Hrvatske vidjeti nikoga tko bi se ustezao prihvatiti činjenicu da današnja Hrvatska počiva na temeljima antifašizma, tko bi bio sklon ustupcima povijesnim revizionistima, ili bi tolerirao prodore fašističke, odnosno neofašističke ideologije – pogotovo među mladima.
To je pitanje na kojemu pada ili opstaje demokracija u Hrvatskoj, pitanje na kojemu se određuje naš status u svijetu. Za budućnost ove zemlje to je, uz uspješnost borbe protiv organiziranoga kriminala, pitanje svih pitanja. Jer, bez zdravih temelja nećemo sagraditi ni čvrstu i stabilnu zgradu, a ako se budemo izdvajali od drugih, ti drugi će nas odbaciti, gurnuti u izolaciju.
Izolacija je, pak, plodno tlo ne samo za kriminal svake vrste nego i za gušenje demokracije, pogotovo ako se u izolaciju uleti u uvjetima pogoršanih gospodarskih prilika. To budući predsjednik ne smije dopustiti! U tome kontekstu tražim i jasno stajalište prema razdoblju u kojemu je Hrvatska bila dio jugoslavenske federacije pod vlašću stranke koja se nazivala komunističkom.
Nema razloga za demoniziranje svega što se događalo u tome razdoblju, baš kao što nema razloga ni apologetski prihvaćati sve što se događalo u prvim godinama hrvatske samostalnosti. Privrženost domovini dokazuje se samo i jedino radom i rezultatima toga rada, a ne velikim, ali praznim riječima.
Borac protiv letargije

I za kraj: očekujem da budući predsjednik poduzme dodatne napore kako bi mobilizirao javnost za koju ocjenjujem da je dijelom zapala u stanje letargije, mireći se sa svime što se događa. Javnost je najbolji i najpouzdaniji saveznik predsjednika.
Želim, napokon, predsjednika koji će u svakome trenutku svojega mandata biti svjestan činjenice da je on jedini državni dužnosnik kojega građani neposredno biraju i da odgovara njima i samo njima. I svojoj savjesti.

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Politika kontinuiteta i budući predsjednik Hrvatske

"Jutarnji list", 03-08-2008, 1:25

Nije to nimalo čudno: crveni i crni izraz su totalitarnih ideologija XX.stoljeća, a te su s onu stranu liberalne demokracije. Da objasnimo odmah što liberalna demokracija ovdje znači: tu se ne implicira, dakle, da vlada u takvoj demokraciji nužno sljedi političku ideologiju liberalizma, nego je liberalizam u toj sintagmi puka referenca na činjenicu da liberalna demokracija jamči ustavnu zaštitu individualnih, pojedinačnih prava spram moći države i samovolje vlasti. On pak što građane štiti od narušavanja njihovih ljudskih i građanskih prava, vladavina je zakona! Liberalna demokracija dakle počiva na onome što se naziva rule of law, i, da se vratimo na početak, stoga nije nimalo čudno da u Hrvatskoj - u kojoj takav oblik političke vlasti nikako ne uzima maha ni korijena, bivajući sabotiran dinamikom odnosa crvenih i crnih, tj. farsom demokracije - država nikako ne postaje pravnom državom, vladavina prava nikako da zaživi, a načelo se zakonitosti ne restituira! Režim ustanovljen na parodiji demokracije, režim oslonjen na recidive totalitarne svijesti i ideologija, u očajničkoj volji da perpetuira svoju vlast, ne može dopustiti uspostavu onoga za što i sam aklamiraš u prošlom tekstu, liberalnu parlamentarnu demokraciju svojstvenu zemljama zapadnog uljudbenog kruga, jer bi u takvom režimu i crveni i crni podjednako morali odgovarati pred Zakonom: htjeli-ne htjeli, prva je posljedica uvođenja liberalnodemokratskih uzusa u ove krajeve - lustracija! Jer, u građanskom svijetu (koji nije građanski tek pukom pripadnošću građanina socijalnom sloju, nego se građanin postaje osviještenom socijalnom pozicijom koja na temelju jasnih građanskih vrijednosti aktivno suoblikuje društveni život u njegovu moralu, pravu i politici) presudna je upravo ta beskonačna vrijednost Zakona. Nitko nije iznad Zakona, to je temeljna premisa toga svijeta. U svijetu u kojem živimo, mikro-svijetu Hrvatske, sve je upravo obratno: ovdje je bezakonje konstitutivno, jer uvažavanje Zakona znači delegitimiranje cijele jedne političke oligarhije: one koja je devedesetih preuzela vodstvo zemlje i povijesih procesa u njoj, shvativši neminovnost tranzicijskih promjena na istoku Europe i svu opasnost koju po njih te promijene nose, shvativši, in ultima linea, Hrvatsku kao Noinu arku općeg potopa socijalističkog projekta! Da bi preživjeli te promijene, razni klandestini doušnici, konspirateri, kriminalci, marginalni špiclovi, policajci svih vrsta i stupnja javnosti svoje službe, ugurali su se u povijesni vlak Tranzicije, i do dana današnjega vladaju situacijom: konačno, izbori za predsjednika bit će posve u znaku očajničke borbe da se taj posljednji mandat provede u interpasivnosti, u borbi da se sve učini kako se ništa ne bi promijenilo, jer tih je pet godina vjerojatno dovoljno da njihova generacija dobrano biološki siđe sa scene izbjegavši bilo kakvu povijesnu i sudsku odgovornost! Zato ovdje načelno nema govora o Zakonu: ta, kako Petrač ne bi bio Bagićev pajdaš, a Bagić Mesićev savjetnik, (dakle: kako ne bi zločin sezao do državnoga vrha) kad je bezakonje i dublje od toga, kad je fundamentalno - ta, kao da predsjednik države može postati netko tko ne pripada "Intelektualnom kružoku Steve Krajačića", tj. netko tko je delegiran od te kabale. BTW, to je razlog vjerovanju da će Nadan Vidošević postati sljedeći predsjednik RH: kontinuitet valja zajamčiti, a Nadana je u Splitu instalirao devedesetih Joža M., stanoviti neuništivi Nestor svih lutkara ovoga Teatra sjena imena hrvatska politika. Na koncu konca, to je i razlog zašto se uvijek priča samo o Hercegovcima kao Zlu: kao biva, samo su oni Lopovi, zlo je izvanjšteno, dobro je i teritorijalno homogenizirano, nacija je spašena, jer kriminalci su bili samo Šušak, Kutle i Tuta, jasna hercegovačka linije! Osim što svjedoči o ideološkom karakteru ove tvoje analize, ta je objekcija stubokom lažna: što je naime s onim većim lopovlucima, onima koje nisu izveli Hercegovci, ako je taj klan ikada u tom obliku i razmjeru i postojao (nabroji nam 5 hercegovačkih tajkuna devedesetih, veličine Todorića ili Rajića....)!? Tko je recimo izveo sljedeća djela:

1. Promjena dinara u marke
2. Krađa donacija iseljeništva
3. Financijski inženjering 1992.
4. Privatizacijska pljačka društvenog vlasništva
5. Slom hrvatskih banaka
6. Stečajevi u drugoj polovici devedesetih i kasnije, stvaranje portfelja lukrativnih zemljišta
7. Burzovne prošlogodišnje manipulacije

Dakle, tko je krivac za taj kriminal, koji se provodi od 1990. naovamo neometano, kontinuirano, bez prestanka, inovativno i bez ikakvih sankcija?
Čemu dezavuirati osnovnu tezu, koja je posve točna, ovim partikularnim interesom vlasnika - ta, nabrojao si uglavnom vaše osobne konkurente i protivnike!? Time i ti padaš u opću anomiju: nema pravednosti čak ni u optužbama za kriminal, naime! Jer, ispada da jedni smiju krasti, drugi ne, ovisi o tome jesu li naši li nisu! A to nema veze s Pravdom. Ona, kao što znaš, ne diskriminira: ona ima povez preko očiju! Ti ipak škiljiš: lopovi su Šušak, Kutle, Tuta, ali nisu šverceri vlastitih cigareta, špekulanti zemljištem u Zagrebu i po obali, i slični dobri ljudi koji se samo bave unosnim businessom, zar ne? Eto gdje počinje bezakonje: u našoj pristranosti, u našoj osobnoj zainteresiranosti.

Evo jedog teksta koji dobro ilustrira i drugu dugu tradiciju pljačkanja u Hrvatskoj - čudno kako o njima nitko nikada nije napisao niti slova!

"Najvećim djelom postupak pljačke državnog i društvenog kapitala izvršen je inflacijsko-financijskom operacijom pranja novca koji je, knjigovodstveno promatrano, potpuno legalan, a po pravilima znanosti o dobrom gospodarenju predstavlja čisti zločin.

Prvu fazu ovog zločina počinili su državni službenici te direktori državnih i društvenih poduzeća u periodu od 1987. do 1994, kad se raspadala jedna država i stvarala nova. Pouzdanici komunističkog sustava, koji su se u trenutku raspada Jugoslavije našli na ključnim položajima, odlučili su postati novi poduzetnici i to novcem iz partijskih, sindikalnih, mirovinskih i zdravstvenih fondova, mnogobrojnih SIZ-ova te likvidnih državnih poduzeća.
Postupak je išao na sljedeći način: dinari su polagani na račune banaka uz minimalne kamate, bez devizne klauzule, što je bilo vrlo neracionalno u uvjetima visoke inflacije od 1987. godine do 1994, kada je novac sve brže gubio na vrijednosti. Taj novac su banke pod istim uvjetima, dogovorno, posuđivale odabranim privatnim poduzećima, štedionicama i štedno-kreditnim zadrugama. Ovi su ga dalje posuđivali odabranim državnim poduzećima po vrlo visokim kamatama uz deviznu klauzulu. Mjesečna kamata je bila veća nego godišnja kamata koju su oni morali plaćati. Na taj način, zahvaljujući visokim kamatama i tečajnim razlikama, udvostručavali su zaradu svakih nekoliko mjeseci. Ostvarenu zaradu od više desetaka milijardi dolara prebacivali su u odabrane male austrijske banke pod nadzorom britanskih obavještajnih službi. Ovi su im omogućili stjecanje suvlasništva u tim bankama, čime su ih interesno vezali za sebe. Kako se zarada ostvarena u Hrvatskoj slijevala u ove banke, one su počele vrlo brzo rasti te kupovati poduzeća i banke u Češkoj, Slovačkoj, Mađarskoj, a poslije rata u Hrvatskoj i BiH, čime je stvorena znatna financijska i obavještajna moć na ovim prostorima. Ključna pretpostavka za realizaciju ovog projekta su štedionice, štedno-kreditne zadruge i poduzeća za financijski inženjering koja su osnovana po savjetu stručnjaka iz zagrebačkog Ekonomskog Instituta 1990. godine, uz dogovor sa sindikatima, direktorima fondova, banaka i velikih državnih poduzeća. (Na nižim razinama vlasti pojedini općinski, gradski i županijski lideri iz raznih stranaka također su sudjelovali u ovom poslu. Kako bi imali što više novca za stavljanje na privatne banke nastojali su što kasnije platiti račune za svoje obaveze, te su im njihovi privatni računi u tim istim bankama svaki mjesec bili to bogatiji.) Ove su štedno-kreditne institucije bile pod nadzorom banaka, ali banke nisu odgovarale za njihov rad. HNB nikada nije željela ući u kontrolu tih štedionica, pa su mogle raditi što su htjele. Mnogi suci i tužitelji također su imali uloge u ovim štedionicama na koje su dobivali vrlo visoke kamate, a prije raspada sustava štedionica na vrijeme su dobili signal za povlačenje glavnica i kamata, te su zbog toga i osobno bili zainteresirani da istina ne izađe na vidjelo. Uloga štedionica je bila nezamjenjiva u pretvaranju zarada ostvarenih manipulacijom žiralnog novca u devize. Naime, devize u bivšoj državi prisvajala je Narodna banka Jugoslavije, a hrvatske banke nisu imale devize za prebacivanje u inozemstvo. Devize su imali samo građani kod kuće ili u inozemstvu. Uz pomoć obećanja o visokim kamatama te devize su prikupljane u štedionice i štedno-kreditne zadruge koje su ih polagale na tajne izdvojene račune u bankama. Pojedinci iz projugoslavenske frakcije HDZ-a su ih kupovali zaradama ostvarenim manipulacijom državnim i fondovskim sredstvima te su ih prebacivali u inozemstvo na svoje privatne račune. Manji dio ovih deviznih transakcija upotrebljen je za nabavku oružja samo kako bi mogli osigurati izvođenje projekta i zaštititi ga od policijske kontrole. Kada je sve većim kamatama većina deviza iz čarapa uvučena u bankarski sustav, sustav štedionica se raspao jer piramidalni financijski sustavi mogu opstati samo dok rastu. Tada je HNB odlučila koncem 1993. restriktivnom monetarnom politikom napokon suzbiti inflaciju i onemogućiti takav način legalne pljačke. Vlasnici propalih štedionica su pobjegli s preostalim novcem, a organizatori čitavog posla su se pobrinuli za pravno otezanje postupaka protiv njih dok problem pravno ne zastari.

Kako bi se ovaj inflacijsko-financijski postupak legalne pljačke mogao nesmetano odvijati, dopušteno je sitno mešetarenje i običnim građanima. Mnogi su dobivali male kredite u dinarima koje su nakon nekoliko rata mogli bez problema vratiti obezvrijeđenim iznosima. Mnogi su unovčavali čekove i dinare pretvarali u devize. Čekovi su stizali na naplatu za nekoliko mjeseci, kada su oni dio kupljenih deviza prodavali i vraćali bankama dug, a dio deviza im je ostajao kao zarada. Mnogi su kupovali robu na početku godine, a plaćali na kraju godine, kada je novac bio višestruko obezvrijeđen. Parola među ovim sitnim špekulantima, koji su zarađivali od nekoliko stotina do nekoliko tisuća DEM, bila je »snađi se«. Istovremeno, među krupnim špekulantima koji su, obrćući državni i tzv. društveni novac, zarađivali više stotina milijuna DEM, kružila je parola »u mutnom se najbolje lovi«.

Postupak preuzimanja, financijskim operacijama uništenih nelikvidnih poduzeća započele su najprije banke, koje su počele odobravati kredite s vrlo visokim kamatama, desetak posto mjesečno iznad stope inflacije, znajući kako poduzeća to neće moći vratiti. Neka društvena poduzeća su čak pod političkim pritiskom morala prihvatiti otplate revaloriziranih, a davno otplaćenih kredita. Kada je došlo vrijeme naplate, banke su kredite zamijenile za dionice i udjele, čime su postale vlasnici najvećeg dijela privrede. Tada su te dionice i udjele po dogovorenoj cijeni prodavale najčešće bivšim komunističkim direktorima i članovima svojih uprava. uz pomoć menađerskih kredita, znajući kako ti krediti nikada neće biti vraćeni u realnom iznosu. Pojedini direktori su dobijali milijarde dinara kredita i njime su kupovali milijune njemačkih maraka. Zahvaljujući visokoj inflaciji i devalvaciji poslije godinu-dvije 10% maraka bi prodali i vratili cjelokupni kredit, a milijuni maraka bi im ostajali kao zarada, koju su mogli trošiti za kupovinu dionica i u zemlji, a i u inozemstvu. Na taj način izvršena je posredna privatizacija društvenih poduzeća odabranim osobama.

Vrlo profitabilno bilo je i poslovanje s fondom robnih rezervi, po sustavu: fond fiktivno kupi neku robu i plati je, ali je ne preuzme. Kad se približi rok trajanja roba se fiktivno proda bivšem dobavljaču po staroj nabavnoj cijeni koja je u međuvremenu, na tržištu daleko veća, zbog visoke inflacije. U realnosti, taj dobavljač je u međuvremenu robu prodao na crno po daleko većoj cijeni zbog stalnog rasta cijena, a zaradu su dijelili dobavljač i ljudi iz fonda robnih rezervi. Odmah nakon prodaje starih zaliha, zbog zanavljanja, kupovina bi se ponovila na isti način. Bilo je slučajeva da su silosi za žito bili prazni, a na vrhu bi se postavile daske na kojima bi se nalazio tanki sloj žita, kako bi se prevarili državni inspektori.

Svi naši političari i bolje informirani novinari vrlo dobro znaju tko je isplanirao, organizirao i proveo proces pretakanja vlasništva iz državne(društvene) blagajne u privatne đepove. Ali istinu ne žele govoriti, pošto bi morali otkriti vlastite gospodare(financijere) iz sjene. Puno je lakše pljuvati po Tuđmanu koji o eknomiji ništa nije znao i koje je brinuo samo o tome kako stvoriti državu. A glavni igrači bi se mogli otkriti vrlo jednostavno, dovoljno bi bilo promjeniti zakon o bankarskoj tajni. Tada bi guverner morao otkriti korisnike menađerskih kredita.

A tko je sve u igri može se naslutiti i bez toga. dovoljno je analizirati pisanje medija u pojedinim fazama privatizacije.

1990, 91, 92. glavni gospodarski junaci su bili financijski inženjeri koje su mediji opisivali kao čudotvorce koji će nas spasiti iz gliba komunizma. Kad su svoju ulogu obavili o njima su počeli pisati kao o kriminalcima (iako ih nisu imenovali, sim nekoliko sitnih igrača), a počeli su hvaliti privatne kupce poduzeća kao nove genijalce. Kad su i ti novi genijalci pokazali što znaju postali su prljavi tajkuni, pa su mediji počeli zagovarati prodaju banaka strancima. A budalasti čitaoci gutaju priče režirane iz uvijek iste centrale i ne pada im napamet pročitati novine od prije desetak godina, samo da se malo prisjete što su im kontrolori ljudskih duša sugerirali tada, i što im sugeriraju sada."

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- 06:16 - Komentari (6) - Isprintaj - #

četvrtak, 20.11.2008.

Mail Bogu

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Stranstvovanje je nepovratno napuštanje svega u našem zavičaju što se suprotstavlja našoj težnji da dostignemo cilj pobožnosti. To je skromno ponašanje, skrivena mudrost, pamet koja ne trubi o sebi, sakriven život, nevidljiv cilj, nemo razmišljanje, skromnost u prohtevima, žudnja za mučenjem, podloga bogočežnjivosti, obilje ljubavi, poricanje taštine, dubina ćutanja.

— Jovan Lestvičnik, Lestvica, Pouka III.

Stranstvovanje je nastalo kao posledica hodočašća, prilikom dalekih putovanja ka svetim mestima. Podvig stranstvovanja je podrazumevao odricanje od svih udobnosti i svih načina sticanja materijalnih dobara, kao i prihvatanje siromaštva. Stranstvovanjem se čovek uči da ne prianja za svet, zato se kaže da je "stranstvovanje majka bespristrašća". Čovek je dobrovoljno postajao siromašan sledeći Hristove zapovesti: nije ni sejao ni žnjeo već se u potpunosti prepuštao Božijoj volji.

Stranstvovanje je odvajanje od svega da bi se misli načinile nerazdvojnim od Boga.

— Jovan Lestvičnik, Lestvica, Pouka III

Stranstvovanje je religijska praksa odlaženja u tuđinu i napuštanja svega poznatog (prijatelja, porodice, zavičaja). Sreće se u pravoslavnom hrišćanstvu i u mnogim drugim religijama.
Odvajanje od bližnjih se ne vrši iz mržnje, nego radi izbegavanja štete koju bismo s njima mogli pretrpeti. Ko se po odricanju od sveta i dalje sreće sa svetovnim ljudima, ili živi u njihovoj blizini, prlja svoje srce misleći na njih.

Overlook možemo da prevedemo i kao tihovanje.
Šta je sad tihovanje?
Tihovanje je okretanje pažnje unutrašnjem svetu, da bi se dosegnulo Carstvo nebesko, odnosno stanje blažene i čiste svesti i postojanja koje je skriveno duboko u nama. Zasniva se na rečima Jevanđelja: „Carstvo je Božije unutra u vama“ (Luka 17,21).

Naše Carstvo nije od ovoga Sveta i zato mi na njemu nemoš da se smirimo; odatle Seobe.
Sve da ceo Svet nastanimo, i opet ne bismo bili pri sebi, jer naša je iskonska otadžbina - vasiona!
Jer, mada Šantić kaže:

I svuda gde je srpska duša koja,
Tamo je meni otadžina moja,
Moj dom i moje rođeno ognjište.


ipak je Zemlja "ostrvo smrti", a svaki čovek je zalogaj, koji na kraju krajeva proguta nenasita smrt, "vsejadica smert", kako kaže prepodobni Justin Ćelijski. "Neka kosmička zavera postoji protiv naše planete, jer se nigde u vasioni ne umire osim na zemlji."
Stoga, kao što kaže Milutin Bojić u svojoj pesmi 'Sejači':

I Vaseljena njiva naša posta
Za seme časti - koje suncu siže.
Gospode, kazne zar ne beše dosta?
Vreme je žetvi, dan kosidbe stiže,
Vreme da ploča s grobova se diže.


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Pesma "Sejači" antologijska je i programatska pesma; govori o nama, što smo bili i kuda idemo, i šta će tamo da radimo. Pročitajmo je zajedno:

Sejači

Milutin Bojić

Ko lutalice koje kletve prate,
S dalekog juga, sa sudbinom Jova,
Evo nas k tebi, naš ledeni brate!
Oholi, mada bez roda i krova,
Čekamo smeli svoja groblja nova.

Kroz vekove smo krv neštedno lili:
Još angorske su poljane rumene
I klanci Karsta što su krv nam pili:
Jedrenske seni, stidom oblivene,
Panonske kliču rane zatrvene.

I još se redom naše kosti seju
Po ostrvima i u vode strane,
U pustinjama gde samumi veju,
I hladnoj stepi. I, kad sunce stane,
S lešina naših site beže vrane.

A vatre drevne, zgašene i sive,
Uzdahom šilju poslanice mukle.
Mrtvace tamo ostavismo žive.
I ko Ahasfer, koga Gospod ukle,
Tražimo ravni do u beskraj pukle.

I Vaseljena njiva naša posta
Za seme časti - koje suncu siže.
Gospode, kazne zar ne beše dosta?
Vreme je žetvi, dan kosidbe stiže,
Vreme da ploča s grobova se diže.

Ko lutalice koje patnje prate,
S čežnjivog juga, sa sudbinom Jova,
Evo nas k tebi, naš ledeni brate!
Oholi, mada bez roda i krova,
Spremni smo groblja da sejemo nova.

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Svojedobno (2003.) mi je u Quorumu zabunom izašao jedan tekst kojeg sam se odrekao - i to stoga što sam isti taj tekst u trenutku slabosti bio poslao na jedan natječaj, što smatram bijednim i nečasnim činom. Kako god: evo tog okaljanog teksta, ekskluzivno za Vaseljenu:

ELEKTRONIČKO PISMO BOGU

u spomen na Johannesa Baadera

Prima (To): bog@raj.com
Naslov (subject): Konačno sam Te pronašao!
Tekst poruke:

Dobri Bože!

Moram Ti se izjadati - Tebi, čije je Srce Srdaca: srce mi se uvijek iznova gasi ugledam li (nehotice!) facetni prizor bezumna Anarhijina haračenja posrnulim Internetom! Ovdje gdje su cvrkutale plahe plave ptice dok smo usamljeni slutjeli uspjeh usporedne sjetve i sanjali nekompetitivnost; ovdje gdje su se uremetile ure ter se od astralne studeni tresu umirovljeni dusi; ovdje, u soporu mrtvog prnjavora, u espirandu posljednjega posta, gdje se zlovirusi kote dok u pikselima moralna guba paluca… Evo sjedim pred ekranom, sav uzdrhtao od mogućnosti da sam Te konačno pronašao, i to nakon epske potrage kako po zemaljskim i izvanzemaljskim prostranstvima, tako i po unutrašnjim krajolicima, i već bijah izgubio ikoju nadu, kadli negdje pročitah da je u ranome 20. stoljeću izvjesni Johannes Baader napisao pismo Isusu Kristu, sinu Tvojemu. Ja znadem da to nije isto kao pisati Tebi, usprkos Vašoj konsupstancijalnosti. Stoga ne vjerujem da je dadaist Baader dobio odgovora, jerbo sumnjam u čistotu njegovih intencija, u ispravnost usmjerenosti njegova buntovnog, revolucionarnog duha. Usto, onomad se nije znalo za Internet (zahvalan sam Ti što si mi dao da živim u vremenu koje mi omogućava da Ti se ovako neposredno obratim!) Međutim, opsjednut sam mišlju koja me ispunja nelagodom i nepovjerenjem u vlastite motive - naime, da sam (po duhu) nastavljač Baaderovih divljih, anarhičnih pothvata. Volio bih da me razuvjeriš… Oklijevam - ne znam hoću li umjeti podnijeti onih par sekundi iščekivanja-nad-iščekivanjima koje će uslijediti nakon što kliknem na naredbu ''pošalji''. Jer, ispostavi li se da nisi ovdje, bojim se da ću svisnuti od silna razočaranja. A dogodi li se da ipak primiš ovu poruku, kako ću na kraj s bijesnom olujom čuvstava što će me snaći? O, daj mi snage da Te se usudim dotaći, makar me to stajalo života - njegova će svrha ionako biti ispunjena… Za kraj Te još molim da mi (ukoliko preživim) pošalješ integralno e-izdanje Biblije, sa svicima s Crnoga Mora i svime neobjavljenim.

Unaprijed hvala,

tvoj

Johannes Baader

* * *
Vaša poruka je uspješno poslana!

(P.S. Pričica ima i alternativni završetak:

* * *
Hi. This is the qmail-send program at yahoo.com.
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.
(...))

doktor Jatogen

- 02:10 - Komentari (7) - Isprintaj - #

srijeda, 19.11.2008.

Facebook ili Seven degrees of separation

Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is an average of six "steps" away from each person on Earth.
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Ovaj put imam vrlo jednostavnu ideju: uz pomoć Facebooka kanim dospjeti do Boga.
Dopustite da vam izložim svoj jednostavan naum, no prethodno, podsjetit ću na tri posta Vaseljene u kojima se ovaj naum anticipira ili nagovještava: najprije ću zadati intonaciju i spomenuti Pristup Almutasimu, potom kanim dotaknuti trancendenciju, kako je elaborirana u klasičnom učenju o overlooku, da bih svakako na kraju podsjetio na teoriju šest stupnjeva odvojenosti...da, mislim da će nam to dostajati.

Ne duljimo... iako će se čitatelju činiti da sam stvar namjerno zakomplicirao, moram kazati da je to činio i Mozart, koji je sebi, po vlastitom iskazu, maksimalno osložnio stvaranje, kako bi slušatelju maksimalno olakšao recepciju. Uostalom, već Borges u Almutasimu kaže:

”Evo sadržaja: neki čovjek, sumnjičavi student-bjegunac, kojega već poznajemo, upada među ljude najgorega kova i prilagođava im se u nekoj vrsti nadmetanja u nepoštenju. Odjednom - s čudovišnim zaprepaštenjem jednog Robinsona pred ljudskom stopom u pijesku - primjećuje, u jednog od tih prezrenih ljudi, stanovito stišavanje nepoštenja: neku nježnost, ushićenje, muk. "Bilo je to kao da se u razgovor umiješao neki složeniji sugovornik."

Tog složenijeg sugovornika dakako ne možemo izbjeći i njegov je timbar već čujan. Dodajmo tek da je sadržaj
spomenutog djela jednostavan: to je "nezasitno traganje za jednom dušom tragom tananih odraza koje je ona ostavila u drugim dušama: odraz je isprva tanan trag smiješka ili riječi; na kraju se promeće u raznolike i sve veće blistavosti razuma mašte i dobra."

Zapamtimo to.

Prelazim na izlaganje teorije overlooka:

"Kubrick želi kazati: smisao je ovoga filma, kao i svijeta djela u koji ulazite, shvatljiv jedino i samo stanovitim pogledom koji nadilazi površno tumačenje vidljivih fizičkih činjenica, pa tako i činjenica filma. Da bi se uvidio smisao filma, fotografija koja na kraju - post festum - objašnjava presudnu činjenicu filma, nije dovoljan far, nužan je overlook, pogled s strani, pogled preko."

Olakšat ću vam praćenje izvoda: Almutasim i overlook u vezi su koja će, konačno, omogućiti i meni da Facebook koristim kao Jovan Lestvičnik Lestvicu ili Wittgenstein Tractatus: da izađem iz svijeta, odbacim ljestve i ugledam lice Boga! Evo te genijalne zamisli:

Ako je, dakle, na kraju krajeva točna teorija Šest stupnjeva separacije, u skladu s kojom smo s bilo kojom proizvoljno odabranom osobnom na svijetu povezani u samo šest koraka, ja, pretpostavljajući negdje nekog čovjeka, Papu, Dalai Lamu....u konačnici: Almutasima, kao osobu koja ima pouzdan kontakt s Bogom, kanim uz pomoć Facebooka, koji nas sve veže i spaja, doći do toga čovjeka i, posljedično, overlookom do samoga dragog Boga!

Naravno, agnostici će kazati da ne postoji živuća osoba koja je u izravnoj vezi s Bogom, ali ateisti bi mogli kazati da ni sam dragi Bog ne postoji, a takvim se malodušjem ovdje ipak ne bavimo: cijelo to društvo otpravimo kao gospođa Arendt jetkom opaskom: Ti idioti koji misle da jedini znaju odgonetku na vječnu zagonetku svijeta.

Dakle: Facebook će mi omogućiti da stupim u kontakt s bilo kojom osobom na svijetu, jednostavno po logici six degrees of separation; dobrohotno pretpostavljajući Božjeg pouzdanika na Zemlji, koji je možda nistar, dakle i sebi skriven, pozdano ću doskora dospjeti i do tog složenijeg sugovornika, a onda mi jedino preostaje razvrgnuti lanac karmičke vezanosti - zanimljivo je da je indijski arhajski genij anticipirao ovu metaforu - jednim jedinim pogledom preko: odbacivanjem ljestava i izlaskom iz Vaseljene - jer, Bog nije bog panteista! - qua overlookom u otajstva Božjih tajni - nakon toga moći ću reći: Et in Arcadia ego, I Tego Arcana Dei!

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Eto! Ništa jednostavnije.

Invite Your Friends
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- 02:08 - Komentari (16) - Isprintaj - #

utorak, 18.11.2008.

Wolfgang Borchert

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Naglo se probudila. Bilo je pola tri. Upitala se zašto se probudila. Ah, da! U kuhinji je netko udario o stolicu. Osluškivala je u smjeru kuhinje. Bilo je tiho. Bilo je pretiho. Kada je prešla rukom preko kreveta pokraj sebe - bio je prazan. To je bilo ono što je stvaralo tako posebnu tišinu: nedostajao je njegov dah. Ustala je i polako pošla mračnim stanom prema kuhinji. U kuhinji su se sreli. Na satu je bilo pola tri. Vidjela je da nešto bijelo stoji pokraj kuhinjskoga ormara. Upalila je svjetlo. Stajali su u košuljama jedno naspram drugoga. U noći. U pola tri. U kuhinji.

Vidjela je da je rezao kruh. Nož je još ležao uz tanjur. I na stolnjaku su ležale mrvice kruha. Prije nego što bi uvečer otišli u krevet, ona bi vazda očistila stolnjak. I nož je tu ležao. Osjećala je kako hladnoća pločica puzi uz nju. Skrenula je pogled s tanjura.

"Mislio sam da se ovdje nešto događa", rekao je gledajući oko sebe po kuhinji.

"I ja sam nešto čula", odgovorila je i pritom pomislila da on noću u košulji izgleda dosta star. Toliko star koliko je i bio. Šezdeset i tri. Danju je ponekad izgledao mlađi. Ipak je već ostarjela, pomislio je on, u košulji izgleda prilično ostarjela. Ali to je možda zbog kose. Kod žena je to noću vazda zbog kose. Kosa ih noću odjednom čini tako starima.

"Trebala si se obuti. Tako bosa na hladnim pločicama. Još ćeš se prehladiti".

Nije ga ni pogledala, jer nije mogla podnijeti da laže. Da laže nakon trideset i devet godina braka.

"Mislio sam da se ovdje nešto događa", rekao je još jednom, gledajući ponovo tako besmisleno iz kuta u kut. "Čuo sam nešto ovdje. Pa sam pomislio da se ovdje nešto događa".

"I ja sam nešto čula. Ali izgleda da nije bilo ništa". Sklonila je tanjur sa stola i počela čistiti mrvice sa stolnjaka.

"Ne, izgleda nije bilo ništa", ponovio je nesigurno kao eho. Ona mu priskoči u pomoć: "Hajde dođi. To je izgleda bilo vani. Hajde dođi u krevet. Još ćeš se prehladiti. Na hladnim pločicama".

Pogledao je prema prozoru. "Da, mora da je bilo vani. Mislio sam da je bilo ovdje".

Podigla je ruku prema prekidaču. Moram sad ugasiti svjetlo, inače ću pogledati u tanjur, pomislila je. Nikako ne smijem pogledati u tanjur. "Hajde, dođi", reče i ugasi svjetlo, "to je, izgleda, bilo vani. Kad puše, oluk vazda udara o zid. Sigurno je bio oluk. Na vjetru vazda lupeta".

Nesigurnim korakom pošli su oboje kroz mračni hodnik prema spavaćoj sobi.

Bose su noge gacale po podu.

"Vjetar je", rekao je. "Vjetar puše već cijelu noć".

Kad su legli u krevet, ona reče: "Da, vjetar puše već cijelu noć. Bio je to svakako oluk".

"Da, mislio sam da je bilo u kuhinji. Bio je to svakako oluk".

Rekao je to kao da je već bio u polusnu.

No ona je primijetila kako mu glas neiskreno zvuči kad laže.

"Hladno je", rekla je i zijevnula tiho, "uvući ću se u krevet. Laku noć".

"'Ku noć", odgovorio je i dodao: Da, već je vrlo hladno".

Potom je sve utihnulo. Nakon puno minuta čula je kako tiho i oprezno žvače.

Disala je namjerno duboko i pravilno da ne bi primijetio da je još budna. Ali on je žvakao tako ravnomjerno da je od toga polagano zaspala.

Kad je sljedeće večeri došao kući, stavila je pred njega četiri kriške kruha.

Inače je vazda mogao pojesti samo tri.

"Možeš mirno pojesti četiri", rekla je i odmakla se od lampe. "Ne prija mi baš taj kruh. Pojedi ti još jednu. Ne podnosim ga tako dobro".

Vidjela je kako se nagnuo duboko nad tanjur. Nije podigao glavu. U tom joj ga je času bilo jako žao.

"Pa ne možeš pojesti samo dvije kriške", rekao je, gledajući u tanjur.

"Mogu. Navečer ne podnosim kruh baš dobro. Jedi. Jedi".

Tek nakon nekog vremena sjela je i ona ispod stolne lampe.

(W. Borchert, Das Brot, 1946)

S njemačkog preveo Mario Kopić

- 00:54 - Komentari (15) - Isprintaj - #

ponedjeljak, 17.11.2008.

Fűr Simona

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Andante disgrazioso


Opet sam sanjala da trčim po Pamploni ali nigdje bikova!

Inače prodajem autiće, i onda sam u teretani.

(Mama Tama mi o tome ne da pričat)

ali u sexu,

moj muž najviše voli kad sam ja free,

bez ičega.

Ja sam jednom bila zloćko i spustila sam mu. Oke?

Danas ću mu dati, kada svrati kući,
skromna kakva jesam, sred mirisnih svijeća.
Kad se on napali, i spopadne na me
Kemijska me neka tad preplavi sreća...


Moj muž mi je prvi i zadnji, naglašavam:

mi smo se na tulumčiću svidjeli jedno drugom,

i drugo jutro već smo išli na ručak.

To je zato kaj je on smiješan i izvodi pizdarije, ful;

a kako i ne bi:

ta –

on je divljakuš, a ja sam romantik!

Noćas bih mogla pojesti odojka i puno salate.
I onda bih mogla popiti puno octa.
I onda bih mogla puno se voziti, puno
dok moćni vjetar kruži nebom i pjeva:

hu-hu, hu-hu, huh...


Bojim se zaspati, jer slutim:

opet ću sanjati da trčim po Pamploni ali nigdje bikova!

- 21:45 - Komentari (2) - Isprintaj - #

Zadie Smith: Two Paths for the Novel

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From two recent novels, a story emerges about the future for the Anglophone novel. Both are the result of long journeys. Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill, took seven years to write; Remainder, by Tom McCarthy, took seven years to find a mainstream publisher. The two novels are antipodal—indeed one is the strong refusal of the other. The violence of the rejection Remainder represents to a novel like Netherland is, in part, a function of our ailing literary culture. All novels attempt to cut neural routes through the brain, to convince us that down this road the true future of the novel lies. In healthy times, we cut multiple roads, allowing for the possibility of a Jean Genet as surely as a Graham Greene.

These aren't particularly healthy times. A breed of lyrical Realism has had the freedom of the highway for some time now, with most other exits blocked. For Netherland, our receptive pathways are so solidly established that to read this novel is to feel a powerful, somewhat dispiriting sense of recognition. It seems perfectly done—in a sense that's the problem. It's so precisely the image of what we have been taught to value in fiction that it throws that image into a kind of existential crisis, as the photograph gifts a nervous breakdown to the painted portrait.
Netherland is nominally the tale of Hans van den Broek, a Dutch stock analyst, transplanted from London to downtown New York with his wife and young son. When the towers fall, the family relocates to the Chelsea Hotel; soon after, a trial separation occurs. Wife and son depart once more for London, leaving Hans stranded in a world turned immaterial, phantasmagoric: "Life itself had become disembodied. My family, the spine of my days, had crumbled. I was lost in invertebrate time." Every other weekend he visits his family, hoping "that flying high into the atmosphere, over boundless massifs of vapor or small clouds dispersed like the droppings of Pegasus on an unseen platform of air, might also lift me above my personal haze"—the first of many baroque descriptions of clouds, light, and water.

On alternate weekends, he plays cricket on Staten Island, the sole white man in a cricket club that includes Chuck Ramkissoon, a Trinidadian wiseacre, whose outsize dreams of building a cricket stadium in the city represent a Gatsbyesque commitment to the American Dream/human possibility/narrative with which Hans himself is strling to keep faith. The stage is set, then, for a "meditation" on identities both personal and national, immigrant relations, terror, anxiety, the attack of futility on the human consciousness and the defense against same: meaning. In other words, it's the post–September 11 novel we hoped for. (Were there calls, in 1915, for the Lusitania novel? In 1985, was the Bhopal novel keenly anticipated?) It's as if, by an act of collective prayer, we have willed it into existence.

But Netherland is only superficially about September 11 or immigrants or cricket as a symbol of good citizenship. It certainly is about anxiety, but its worries are formal and revolve obsessively around the question of authenticity. Netherland sits at an anxiety crossroads where a community in recent crisis—the Anglo-American liberal middle class—meets a literary form in long-term crisis, the nineteenth-century lyrical Realism of Balzac and Flaubert.
Critiques of this form by now amount to a long tradition in and of themselves. Beginning with what Alain Robbe-Grillet called "the destitution of the old myths of 'depth,'" they blossomed out into a phenomenology skeptical of Realism's metaphysical tendencies, demanding, with Husserl, that we eschew the transcendental, the metaphorical, and go "back to the things themselves!"; they peaked in that radical deconstructive doubt which questions the capacity of language itself to describe the world with accuracy. They all of them note the (often unexamined) credos upon which Realism is built: the transcendent importance of form, the incantatory power of language to reveal truth, the essential fullness and continuity of the self.

Yet despite these theoretical assaults, the American metafiction that stood in opposition to Realism has been relegated to a safe corner of literary history, to be studied in postmodernity modules, and dismissed, by our most famous public critics, as a fascinating failure, intellectual brinkmanship that lacked heart. Barth, Barthelme, Pynchon, Gaddis, DeLillo, David Foster Wallace—all misguided ideologists, the novelist equivalents of the socialists in Francis Fukuyama's The End of History and the Last Man. In this version of our literary history, the last man standing is the Balzac-Flaubert model, on the evidence of its extraordinary persistence. But the critiques persist, too. Is it really the closest model we have to our condition? Or simply the bedtime story that comforts us most?

Netherland, unlike much lyrical Realism, has some consciousness of these arguments, and so it is an anxious novel, unusually so. It is absolutely a post-catastrophe novel but the catastrophe isn't terror, it's Realism. In its opening pages, we get the first hint of this. Hans, packing up his London office in preparation to move to New York, finds himself buttonholed by a senior vice-president "who reminisced for several minutes about his loft on Wooster Street and his outings to the 'original' Dean & DeLuca." Hans finds this nostalgia irritating: "Principally he was pitiable—like one of those Petersburgians of yesteryear whose duties have washed him up on the wrong side of the Urals." But then:

It turns out he was right, in a way. Now that I, too, have left that city, I find it hard to rid myself of the feeling that life carries a taint of aftermath. This last-mentioned word, somebody once told me, refers literally to a second mowing of grass in the same season. You might say, if you're the type prone to general observations, that New York City insists on memory's repetitive mower—on the sort of purposeful postmortem that has the effect, so one is told and forlornly hopes, of cutting the grassy past to manageable proportions. For it keeps growing back, of course.

None of this means that I wish I were back there now; and naturally I'd like to believe that my own retrospection is in some way more important than the old S.V.P's, which, when I was exposed to it, seemed to amount to not much more than a cheap longing. But there's no such thing as a cheap longing, I'm tempted to conclude these days, not even if you're sobbing over a cracked fingernail. Who knows what happened to that fellow over there? Who knows what lay behind his story about shopping for balsamic vinegar? He made it sound like an elixir, the poor bastard.

This paragraph is structured like a recognized cliché (i.e., We had come, as they say, to the end of the road). It places before us what it fears might be a tired effect: in this case, the nostalgia-fused narrative of one man's retrospection (which is to form the basis of this novel). It recognizes that effect's inauthenticity, its lack of novelty, even its possible dullness—and it employs the effect anyway. By stating its fears Netherland intends to neutralize them. It's a novel that wants you to know that it knows you know it knows. Hans invites us to sneer lightly at those who are "prone to general observations" but only as a prelude to just such an observation, presented in language frankly genteel and faintly archaic ("so one is told and forlornly hopes"). Is it cheap longing? It can't be because—and this is the founding, consoling myth of lyrical Realism—the self is a bottomless pool. What you can't find in the heavens (anymore), you'll find in the soul. Yet there remains, in Netherland, a great anxiety about the depth or otherwise of the soul in question (and thus Netherland's entire narrative project). Balsamic vinegar and Dean & DeLuca in the first two pages are no accident. All the class markers are openly displayed and it's a preemptive strike: Is the reader sesting that white middle-class futures traders are less authentic, less interesting, less capable of interiority than anyone else?

Enter Chuck Ramkissoon. Chuck has no such anxieties. He is unselfconscious. He moves through the novel simply being, and with abandon, saying those things that the novel—given its late place in the history of the novel—daren't, for fear of seeming naive. It's Chuck who openly states the central metaphor of the novel, that cricket is "a lesson in civility. We all know this; I do not need to say more about it." It's left to Chuck to make explicit the analogy between good behavior on pitch and immigrant citizenship: "And if we step out of line, believe me, this indulgence disappears. What this means...is, we have an extra responsibility to play the game right." Through Chuck idealisms and enthusiasms can be expressed without anxiety:
"I love the national bird," Chuck clarified. "The noble bald eagle represents the spirit of freedom, living as it does in the boundless void of the sky."

I turned to see whether he was joking. He wasn't. From time to time, Chuck actually spoke like this.
And again:

"It's an impossible idea, right? But I'm convinced it will work. Totally convinced. You know what my motto is?"

"I didn't think people had mottoes anymore," I said.

"Think fantastic," Chuck said. "My motto is, Think Fantastic."

Chuck functions here as a kind of authenticity fetish, allowing Hans (and the reader) the nostalgic pleasure of returning to a narrative time when symbols and mottos were full of meaning and novels weren't neurotic, but could aim themselves simply and purely at transcendent feeling. This culminates in a reverie on the cricket pitch. Chuck instructs Hans to put his Old World fears aside and hit the ball high ("How else are you going to get runs? This is America") and Hans does this, and the movement is fluid, unexpected, formally perfect, and Hans permits himself an epiphany, expressed, like all epiphanies, in one long breathless, run-on sentence:

All of which may explain why I began to dream in all seriousness of a stadium and black and brown and even a few white faces crowded in bleachers, and Chuck and me laughing over drinks in the members' enclosure and waving to people we know, and stiff flags on the pavilion roof, and fresh white sight-screens, and the captains in blazers looking up at a quarter spinning in the air, and a stadium-wide flutter of expectancy as the two umpires walk onto the turf square and its omelette-colored batting track, whereupon, with clouds scrambling in from the west, there is a roar as the cricket stars trot down the pavilion steps onto this impossible grass field in America, and everything is suddenly clear, and I am at last naturalized.

There are those clouds again. Under them, Hans is rendered authentic, real, natural. It's the dream that Plato started, and Hans is still having it.

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But Netherland is anxious. It knows the world has changed and we do not stand in the same relation to it as we did when Balzac was writing. In Pčre Goriot, Balzac makes the wallpaper of the Pension Vauquer speak of the lives of the guests inside. Hans does not have quite this metaphysical confidence: he can't be Chuck's flawless interpreter. And so Netherland plants inside itself its own partial critique, in the form of Hans's wife, Rachel, whose "truest self resisted triteness, even of the inventive romantic variety, as a kind of falsehood." It is she who informs Hans of what the reader has begun to suspect:

"Basically, you didn't take him seriously."

She has accused me of exoticizing Chuck Ramkissoon, of giving him a pass, of failing to grant him a respectful measure of distrust, of perpetrating a white man's infantilizing elevation of a black man.

Hans denies the charge, but this conversation signals the end of Chuck's privileged position (gifted to him by identity politics, the only authenticity to survive the twentieth century). The authenticity of ethnicity is shown to be a fake—Chuck's seeming naturalness is simply an excess of ego, which overflows soon enough into thery and fraud. For a while Chuck made Hans feel authentic, but then, later, the submerged anger arrives, as it always does: what makes Chuck more authentic than Hans anyway? It makes sense that Hans's greatest moment of antipathy toward Chuck (he is angry because Chuck has drawn him into his shady, violent business dealings) should come after three pages of monologue, in which Chuck tells a tale of island life, full of authentic Spanish names and local customs and animals and plants, which reads like a Trinidadian novel:

Very little was said during the rest of that journey to New York City. Chuck never apologized or explained. It's probable that he felt his presence in the car amounted to an apology and his story to an explanation—or, at the very least, that he'd privileged me with an opportunity to reflect on the stuff of his soul. I wasn't interested in drawing a line from his childhood to the sense of authorization that permitted him, as an American, to do what I had seen him do. He was expecting me to make the moral adjustment—and here was an adjustment I really couldn't make.

Once the possibility of Chuck's cultural authenticity is out of play, a possible substitute is introduced: world events. Are they the real thing? During a snowstorm, Hans and Rachel have the argument everyone has ("She said, 'Bush wants to attack Iraq as part of a right-wing plan to destroy international law and order as we know it and replace it with the global rule of American force'"), which ends for Hans as it ends for many people, though you get the sense Hans believes his confession to be in some way transgressive:

Did Iraq have weapons of mass destruction that posed a real threat? I had no idea; and to be truthful, and to touch on my real difficulty, I had little interest. I didn't really care.

But this conclusion is never in doubt: even as Rachel rages on, Hans's mind wanders repeatedly to the storm, its specks of snow like "small and dark...flies," and also like " a cold toga draped [over] the city." The nineteenth-century flaneur's ennui has been transplanted to the twenty-first-century bourgeois's political apathy—and made beautiful. Other people's political engagement is revealed to be simply another form of inauthenticity. ("World events had finally contrived a meaningful test of their capacity for conscientious political thought. Many of my acquaintances, I realized, had passed the last decade or two in a state of intellectual and psychic yearning for such a moment.") The only sophisticated thing to do, the only literary thing to do, is to stop listening to Rachel and think of a night sky:

A memory of Rachel and me flying to Hong Kong for our honeymoon, and how in the dimmed cabin I looked out of my window and saw lights, in small glimmering webs, on the placeless darkness miles below. I pointed them out to Rachel. I wanted to say something about these creaturely cosmic glows, which made me feel, I wanted to say, as if we had been removed by translation into another world.

This sky serves the same purpose as another one near the end of the novel in which "a single cavaliering cloud trailed a tattered blue cloak of rain" and to which a "tantalizing metaphysical significance" attaches, offering Hans "sanctuary: for where else, outside of reverie's holy space, was I to find it?" Where else indeed? These are tough times for Anglo-American liberals. All we've got left to believe in is ourselves.

In Netherland, only one's own subjectivity is really authentic, and only the personal offers this possibility of transcendence, this "translation into another world." Which is why personal things are so relentlessly aestheticized: this is how their importance is signified, and their depth. The world is covered in language. Lip service is paid to the sanctity of mystery:

One result [of growing up in Holland], in a temperament such as my own, was a sense that mystery is treasurable, even necessary: for mystery, in such a crowded, see-through little country, is, among other things, space.

But in practice Netherland colonizes all space by way of voracious image. This results in many beauties ("a static turnstile like a monster's unearthed skeleton") and some oddities (a cricket ball arrives "like a gigantic meteoritic cranberry"), though in both cases, there is an anxiety of excess. Everything must be made literary. Nothing escapes. On TV "dark Baghdad glitter[s] with American bombs." Even the mini traumas of a middle-class life are given the high lyrical treatment, in what feels, at its best, like a grim satire on the profound fatuity of twenty-first-century bourgeois existence. The surprise discovery of his wife's lactose intolerance becomes "an unknown hinterland to our marriage"; a slightly unpleasant experience of American bureaucracy at the DMV brings Hans (metaphorically) close to the war on terror:

And so I was in a state of fuming helplessness when I stepped out into the inverted obscurity of the afternoon.... I was seized for the first time by a nauseating sense of America, my gleaming adopted country, under the secret actuation of unjust, indifferent powers. The rinsed taxis, hissing over fresh slush, shone like grapefruits; but if you looked down into the space between the road and the undercarriage, where icy matter stuck to the pipes and water streamed down the mud flaps, you saw a foul mechanical dark.

To which one wants to say, isn't it hard to see the dark when it's so lyrically presented? And also: grapefruits?
In an essay written half a century ago, Robbe-Grillet imagined a future for the novel in which objects would no longer "be merely the vague reflection of the hero's vague soul, the image of his torments, the shadow of his desires." He dreaded the "total and unique adjective, which attempt[s] to unite all the inner qualities, the entire hidden soul of things." But this adjectival mania is still our dominant mode, and Netherland is its most masterful recent example. And why shouldn't it be? The received wisdom of literary history is that Finnegans Wake did not fundamentally disturb Realism's course as Duchamp's urinal disturbed Realism in the visual arts: the novel is made out of language, the smallest units of which still convey meaning, and so they will always carry the trace of the real. But if literary Realism survived the assault of Joyce, it retained the wound. Netherland bears this anxiety trace, it foregrounds its narrative nostalgia, asking us to note it, and look kindly upon it:

I was startled afresh by the existence of this waterside vista, which on a blurred morning such as this had the effect, once we passed under the George Washington Bridge, of canceling out centuries.

The centuries are duly canceled. What follows is a page of landscape portraiture, seen from a train's window ("Clouds steaming on the clifftops foxed all sense of perspective, so that it seemed to me that I saw distant and fabulously high mountains"). Insert it into any nineteenth-century novel (again, a test first sested by Robbe-Grillet) and you wouldn't see the joins. The passage ends with a glimpse of a "near-naked white man" walking through the trees by the track; he is never explained and never mentioned again, and this is another rule of lyrical Realism: that the random detail confers the authenticity of the Real. As perfect as it all seems, in a strange way it makes you wish for urinals.

Halfway through the novel, Hans imagines being a professional cricketer, lyrically and at length. He dreams of the ball hanging "before me like a Christmas bauble," of a bat preternaturally responsive by means of "a special dedication of memory," and after he's done, he asks for our indulgence:

How many of us are completely free of such scenarios? Who hasn't known, a little shamefully, the joys they bring?
It's a credit to Netherland that it is so anxious. Most practitioners of lyrical Realism blithely continue on their merry road, with not a metaphysical care in the world, and few of them write as finely as Joseph O'Neill. I have written in this tradition myself, and cautiously hope for its survival, but if it's to survive, lyrical Realists will have to push a little harder on their subject. Netherland recognizes the tenuous nature of a self, that "fine white thread running, through years and years," and Hans flirts with the possibility that language may not precisely describe the world ("I was assaulted by the notion, arriving in the form of a terrifying stroke of consciousness, that substance—everything of so called concreteness—was indistinct from its unnameable opposite"), but in the end Netherland wants always to comfort us, to assure us of our beautiful plenitude. At a certain point in his Pervert's Guide to Cinema, the philosopher Slavoj Zizek passes quickly and dismissively over exactly this personal fullness we hold so dear in the literary arts ("You know...the wealth of human personality and so on and so forth..."), directing our attention instead to those cinematic masters of the anti-sublime (Hitchcock, Tarkovsky, David Lynch) who look into the eyes of the Other and see no self at all, only an unknowable absence, an abyss. Netherland flirts with that idea, too. Not knowing what to do with photographs of his young son, Hans gives them to Chuck's girlfriend, Eliza, who organizes photo albums for a living:

"People want a story," she said. "They like a story."

I was thinking of the miserable apprehension we have of even those existences that matter most to us. To witness a life, even in love—even with a camera—was to witness a monstrous crime without noticing the particulars required for justice.

"A story," I said suddenly. "Yes. That's what I need."

I wasn't kidding.

An interesting thought is trying to reach us here, but the ghost of the literary burns it away, leaving only its remainder: a nicely constructed sentence, rich in sound and syntax, signifying (almost) nothing. Netherland doesn't really want to know about misapprehension. It wants to offer us the authentic story of a self. But is this really what having a self feels like? Do selves always seek their good, in the end? Are they never perverse? Do they always want meaning? Do they not sometimes want its opposite? And is this how memory works? Do our childhoods often return to us in the form of coherent, lyrical reveries? Is this how time feels? Do the things of the world really come to us like this, embroidered in the verbal fancy of times past? Is this really Realism?
In the end what is impressive about Netherland is how precisely it knows the fears and weaknesses of its readers. What is disappointing is how much it indulges them. Out of a familiar love, like a lapsed High Anglican, Netherland hangs on to the rituals and garments of transcendence, though it well knows they are empty. In its final saccharine image (Hans and his family, reunited on the mandala of the London Eye Ferris wheel), Netherland demonstrates its sly ability to have its metaphysical cake and eat it, too:

A self-evident and prefabricated symbolism attaches itself to this slow climb to the zenith, and we are not so foolishly ironic, or confident, as to miss the opportunity to glimpse significantly into the eyes of the other and share the thought that occurs to all at this summit, which is, of course, that they have made it thus far, to a point where they can see horizons previously unseen, and the old earth reveals itself newly.
And this epiphany naturally reminds Hans of another, that occurred years earlier as the Staten Island Ferry approached New York, and the sky colored like a "Caran d'Ache box" of pencils, purples fading into blues:
Concentrat[ing] most glamorously of all, it goes without saying, in the lilac acres of two amazingly high towers going up above all others, on one of which, as the boat drew us nearer, the sun began to make a brilliant yellow mess. To speculate about the meaning of such a moment would be a stained, suspect business; but there is, I think, no need to speculate. Factual assertions can be made. I can state that I wasn't the only person on that ferry who'd seen a pink watery sunset in his time, and I can state that I wasn't the only one of us to make out and accept an extraordinary promise in what we saw—the tall approaching cape, a people risen in light.
There was the chance to let the towers be what they were: towers. But they were covered in literary language when they fell, and they continue to be here.

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2.

If Netherland is a novel only partially aware of the ideas that underpin it, Tom McCarthy's Remainder is fully conscious of its own. But how to write about it? Immediately an obstacle presents itself. When we write about lyrical Realism our great tool is the quote, so richly patterned. But Remainder is not filled with pretty quotes; it works by accumulation and repetition, closing in on its subject in ever-decreasing revolutions, like a trauma victim circling the blank horror of the traumatic event. It plays a long, meticulous game, opening with a deadpan paragraph of comic simplicity:

About the accident itself I can say very little. Almost nothing. It involved something falling from the sky. Technology Parts, bits. That's it, really: all I can divulge. Not much, I know.

It's not that I'm being shy. It's just that—well, for one, I don't even remember the event. It's a blank: a white slate, a black hole. I have vague images, half-impressions: of being, or having been—or, more precisely, being about to be—hit; blue light; railings; lights of other colours; being held above some kind of tray or bed.

This is our protagonist, though that's a word from another kind of novel. Better to use Enactor. This is our Enactor. He has no name, he lives in Brixton, and recently he has been hit on the head by some kind of enormous thing. For a long time he was in a coma, his mind "still asleep but getting restless and inventing spaces for me to inhabit...cricket grounds with white crease and boundary lines painted on the grass." After a time, he recovers, though he has to learn to move and walk again. But there is a remainder: it appears that the "parties, institutions, organizations—let's call them the bodies—responsible for what happened" are offering him a settlement on the condition of his silence (though he can't remember what happened). His lawyer phones to tell him the amount. It is Ł8.5 million. The Enactor takes his hand from the wall it is on and turns suddenly to the window, accidentally pulling the phone out of the wall:

The connection had been cut. I stood there for some time, I don't know how long, holding the dead receiver in my hand and looking down at what the wall had spilt. It looked kind of disgusting, like something that's come out of something.

For the first fifty pages or so, this is Remainder's game, a kind of anti-literature hoax, a wind-up (which is, however, impeccably written). Meticulously it works through the things we expect of a novel, gleefully taking them apart, brick by brick. Hearing of the settlement he "felt neutral.... I looked around me at the sky: it was neutral too—a neutral spring day, sunny but not bright, neither cold nor warm." It's a huge sum of money, but he doesn't like clothes or shoes or cars or yachts. A series of narrative epiphany McGuffins follow. He goes to the pub with a half-hearted love interest and his best friend. The girl thinks he should use the money to build an African village; the friend thinks he should use it to snort coke off the bodily surfaces of girls. Altruism and hedonism prove equally empty.

We hear of his physiotherapy—the part of his brain that controls motor function is damaged and needs to be rerouted: "To cut and lay the new circuits [in the brain], what they do is make you visualize things. Simple things, like lifting a carrot to your mouth." You have to visualize every component of this action, over and over, and yet, he finds, when they finally put a real carrot in your hand, "gnarled, dirty and irregular in ways your imaginary carrot never was," it short-circuits the visualization. He has to start from the top, integrating these new factors.
All this is recounted in a straightforward first person which reminds us that most avant-garde challenges to Realism concentrate on voice, on where this "I" is coming from, this mysterious third person. Spirals of interiority are the result (think of David Foster Wallace's classic short story "The Depressed Person" in which a first-person consciousness is rendered in an obsessive third person, speaking to itself). Remainder, by contrast, empties out interiority entirely: the narrator finds all his own gestures to be completely inauthentic and everyone else's too. Only while watching Mean Streets at the Brixton Ritzy does he have a sense of human fluidity, of manufactured truth—the way De Niro opens a fridge door, the way he lights a cigarette. So natural! But the Enactor finds he can't be natural like De Niro, he isn't fluid. He's only good at completing cycles and series, reenacting actions. For example, he gets a certain tingling pleasure (this is literal, he gets it in his body) from having his reward card stamped in a certain "themed Seattle coffee bar," on the corner of Frith Street and Old Compton. Ten stamps, ten cappuccinos, a new card, start the series again. He sits at the window people-watching. He sees inauthenticity everywhere:

Media types...their bodies and faces buzzed with glee, exhilaration—a jubilant awareness that for once, just now, at this particular right-angled intersection, they didn't have to sit in a cinema or living room in front of a TV and watch other beautiful people laughing and hanging out: they could be the beautiful young people themselves. See? Just like me: completely second-hand.

The clubbers, the scene gays, the old boys heading to their drinking clubs—all formatted. Then suddenly he notices a group of homeless people, the way they take messages up and down the street to each other, with a sense of purpose, really seeming to own the street, interacting with it genuinely. He makes contact with one of them. He takes him to a local restaurant, buys him a meal. He wants to ask the boy something but he can't get it out. Then the wine spills:

The waiter came back over. He was...She was young, with large, dark glasses, an Italian woman. Large breasts. Small.

"What do you want to know?" my homeless person asked.

"I want to know..." I started, but the waiter leant across me as he took the tablecloth away. She took the table away too. There wasn't any table. The truth is, I've been making all this up—the stuff about the homeless person. He existed all right, sitting camouflaged against the shop fronts and the dustbins—but I didn't go across to him.
Because, in fact, the homeless are just like everyone else:

They had a point to prove: that they were one with the street; that they and only they spoke its true language; that they really owned the space around them. Crap: total crap.... And then their swaggering, their arrogance: a cover. Usurpers. Frauds.

Large breasts. Small. The narrative has a nervous breakdown. It's the final McGuffin, the end of the beginning, as if the novel were saying: Satisfied? Can I write this novel my way now? Remainder's way turns out to be an extreme form of dialectical materialism—it's a book about a man who builds in order to feel. A few days after the fake homeless epiphany, at a party, while in the host's bathroom, the Enactor sees a crack in the plaster in the wall. It reminds him of another crack, in the wall of "his" apartment in a very specific six-story building he has as yet no memory of ever living in or seeing. In this building many people lived doing many things—cooking liver, playing the piano, fixing a bike. And there were cats on the roof! It all comes back to him, though it was never there in the first place.

And now Remainder really begins, in the mission to rebuild this building, to place re-enactors in it re-enacting those actions he wants them to enact (cooking liver, playing the piano, fixing a bike), doing them over and over till it feels real, while he, in his apartment, fluidly closes and reopens a fridge door, just like De Niro. Eight and a half a million quid should cover this, especially as he has entrusted his money to a man much like Hans van der Broek—a stock trader—who makes money for the Re-enactor (for that's what he is now) almost as quickly as he can spend it.

To facilitate his re-enactment, the Re-enactor hires Nazrul Ram Vyas, an Indian "from a high-caste family" who works as a facilitator for a company dedicated to personal inauthenticity: Time Control UK. They take people's lives and manage them for them. Nazrul is no more a character (in Realism's sense of the word) than I am a chair, but he is the most exquisite facilitator and it is through him that every detail of the re-enactment is processed. He thinks of everything. In place of the pleasure of the rich adjective we have an imagined world in which logistical details and logical consequences are pursued with care and precision: if you were to rebuild an entire house and fill it with people re-enacting actions you have chosen for them, this is exactly how it would play out. Every detail is attended to except the one we've come think of as the only one that matters in a novel: how it feels. The Re-enactor in Remainder only ever has one feeling—the tingling—which occurs whenever his re-enactments are going particularly well.

The feeling is addictive; the enactments escalate, in a fascinating direction. A black man is shot by two other black men near the Re-enactor's house. The Re-enactor at once asks Naz to "lay the ground for the re-enactment of this black man's death. I think I'd have gone mad otherwise, so strong was my compulsion to re-enact it." In this re-enactment, the Re-enactor himself assumes the role of the "dead black man" (who is everywhere referred to like this). His tingling goes off the charts. It's so good, he begins to fall into trances. It's impossible not to note here that the non-white subject is still the bad conscience of the contemporary novel, obviously so in the Realist tradition, but also more subtly here in the avant-garde.

Why is the greatest facilitator of inauthenticity Asian? Why is the closest thing to epiphany a dead black man? Because Remainder, too, wants to destroy the myth of cultural authenticity—though for purer reasons than Netherland. If your project is to rid the self of its sacredness, to flatten selfhood out, it's simply philosophical hypocrisy to let any selves escape, whatever color they may be. The nameless "dead black man" is a deliberate provocation on McCarthy's part, and in its lack of coy sentiment there is a genuine transgressive thrill. Still, it does seem rather hard to have to give up on subjectivity when you've only recently got free of objectification. I suppose history only goes in one direction.

But to Remainder's provocation it's tempting to answer with another: that beneath the conscious ideas of this novel, a subconscious trace remains, revealing a faint racial antipathy that is psychological and social rather than theoretical. (If Netherland can be read against its own grain, which is to say, theoretically, why not read Remainder psychologically?) For though these novels seem far apart, their authors are curiously similar. Similar age, similar class, one went to Oxford, the other Cambridge, both are by now a part of the publishing mainstream, share a fondness for cricket, and are subject to a typically British class/race anxiety that has left its residue. A flashback-inclined Freudian might conjure up the image of two brilliant young men, straight out of college, both eager to write the Novel of the Future, who discover, to their great dismay, that the authenticity baton (which is, of course, entirely phony) has been passed on. Passed to women, to those of color, to people of different sexualities, to people from far-off, war-torn places. The frustrated sense of having come to the authenticity party exactly a century late!

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3.

Aspects of this constructive frustration were aired publicly at the Drawing Center in New York, on September 25, 2007, when two men, Tom McCarthy and the philosopher Simon Critchley, sat at a table in semidarkness and took turns reading "The Joint Statement of Inauthenticity," latest manifesto of the International Necronautical Society (INS). The men identified themselves only as the society's general secretary and chief philosopher. Their voices were flat, nasal, utterly British; they placed sudden emphasis on certain words. It was like listening to a Smiths song.

"We begin," announced the general secretary, "with the experience of failed transcendence, a failure that is at the core of the General Secretary's novels and the Chief Philosopher's tomes. Being is not full transcendence, the plenitude of the One or cosmic abundance, but rather an ellipsis, an absence, an incomprehensibly vast lack scattered with—" and here the General Secretary tripped over his tongue, corrected himself, and continued,
—with debris and detritus. Philosophy as the thinking of Being has to begin from the experience of disappointment that is at once religious (God is dead, the One is gone), epistemic (we know very little, almost nothing; all knowledge claims have to begin from the experience of limitation) and political (blood is being spilt in the streets as though it were champagne).

On the scratchy live recording, the audience coughs nervously and is silent: there is not much else to be done when someone's reading a manifesto at you. The Necronauts continue: through the brief (by now traditional) faux demolition of the Greek idealists, specifically Plato and Aristotle, who believed form and essence to be more real than anything else, and therefore perfect. But "if form is perfect," asks the general secretary,
if it is perfection itself, then how does one explain the obvious imperfection of the world, for the world is not perfect n'est-ce pas? This is where matter—our undoing—enters into the picture. For the Greeks, the principle of imperfection was matter, hyle. Matter was the source of the corruption of form.

Necronauts, as you might guess from the name, feel differently. They are "modern lovers of debris" and what is most real for them is not form or God but the brute materiality of the external world.... In short, against idealism in philosophy and idealist or transcendent conceptions of art, of art as pure and perfect form, we set a doctrine of...materialism....

So, while Dorian Gray projects his perfect image into the world, Necronauts keep faith with the "rotting flesh- assemblage hanging in his attic"; as Ernest Shackleton forces his dominance fantasy onto the indifferent polar expanse, Necronauts concern themselves with the "blackened, frostbitten toes he and his crew were forced to chop from their own feet, cook on their stove and eat." And so on. Like Chuck Ramkissoon, they have a motto: "We are all Necronauts, always, already," which is recycled Derrida (as "blood like champagne" is recycled Dostoevsky). That is to say, we are all death-marked creatures, defined by matter—though most of us most of the time pretend not to be.

In Remainder, the INS general secretary puts his theoretical ideas to lively yet unobtrusive use, for the Re-enactor himself does not realize he is a Necronaut; he is simply a bloke, and, with Naz facilitating at his side he hopes, like the rest of us, to dominate matter, the better to disembody it. To demonstrate the folly of this, in the middle of the novel Remainder allows itself a stripped-down allegory on religion, staged in an auto shop where the Re-enactor has gone to fix a flat tire. While there, he remembers his windshield washer reservoir is empty and asks for a fill-up. Two liters of blue liquid are poured into the reservoir but when he presses the "spurter button" nothing spurts. The two liters haven't leaked but neither do they appear to be in the reservoir:
They'd vaporized, evaporated. And do you know what? It felt wonderful. Don't ask me why: it just did. It was as though I'd just witnessed a miracle: matter—these two litres of liquid—becoming un-matter—not surplus matter, mess or clutter, but pure, bodiless blueness. Transubstantiated.

A few minutes later, the engine catches, matter has its inevitable revenge ("It gushed all over me: my shirt, my legs, my groin"), and transubstantiation shows itself for what it is: the beautiful pretense of the disappeared remainder. In the later re-enactment of this scene (which Naz restages in an empty hangar at Heathrow, running it on loop for weeks) the liquid really disappears, sprayed upward into an invisible fine mist by the Re-enactor's hired technicians.

McCarthy and his Necronauts are interested in tracing the history of the disappeared remainder through art and literature, marking the fundamental division between those who want to extinguish matter and elevate it to form (they "try and ingest all of reality into a system of thought, to eat it up, to penetrate and possess it. This is what Hegel and the Marquis de Sade have in common") and those who want to let matter matter:

To let the orange orange and the flower flower.... We take the side of things and try and evoke their nocturnal, mineral quality. This is, for us, the essence of poetry as it is expressed in Francis Ponge, the late Wallace Stevens, Rilke's Duino Elegies and some of the personae of Pessoa, of trying (and failing) to speak about the thing itself and not just ideas about the thing, of saying "jug, bridge, cigarette, oyster, fruitbat, windowsill, sponge."
That "failing" there is very important. It's what makes a book like Remainder—which is, after all, not simply a list of proper nouns—possible. Of course, it's not unusual for avant-garde fiction writers to aspire to the concrete quality of poetry. Listening to the general secretary annunciate his list, emphasizing its clarity and unloveliness, I thought of Wis awa Szymborska, in particular the opening of "The End and The Beginning":

After every war
someone has to clean up.
Things won't
straighten themselves up, after all.
Someone has to push the rubble
to the sides of the road,
so the corpse-laden wagons
can pass.
Someone has to get mired
in scum and ashes,
sofa springs,
splintered glass,
and bloody rags.
Someone must drag in a girder
to prop up a wall.
Someone must glaze a window,
rehang a door.

Even those who are allergic to literary theory will recognize the literary sensibility, echoed in this poem, of which the INS forms an extreme, yet comprehensible, part. The connection: a perverse acknowledgement of limitations. One does not seek the secret, authentic heart of things. One believes—as Naipaul had it—that the world is what it is, and, moreover, that all our relations with it are necessarily inauthentic. As a consequence, such an attitude is often mistaken for linguistic or philosophical nihilism, but its true strength comes from a rigorous attention to the damaged and the partial, the absent and the unspeakable. Remainder reserves its finest quality of attention for the well-worn street surface where the black man dies, its "muddy, pock-marked ridges," the chewing gum, bottle tops, and gum, the "tarmac, stone, dirt, water, mud," all of which forms, in the mind of the narrator, an almost overwhelming narration ("There's too much here, too much to process, just too much") that is yet a narration defined by absence, by partial knowledge, for we can only know it by the marks it has left.

Remainder recognizes, with Szymborska's poem, that we know, in the end, "less than little/And finally as little as nothing," and so tries always to acknowledge the void that is not ours, the messy remainder we can't understand or control—the ultimate marker of which is Death itself. We need not ever read a word of Heidegger to step in these murky waters. They flow through the "mainstream" of our canon. Through the negations of Beckett. The paradoxical concrete abstractions of Kafka. The scatological thingy-ness of Joyce at his most antic. The most famous line of Auden ("Poetry makes nothing happen"). They flow through our own lives in the form of anxiety, which is, in Freud's opinion, the only real emotion we have.

For those who are theory-minded the INS manifesto in its entirety (only vaguely sketched out here) is to be recommended: it's intellectually agile, pompous, faintly absurd, invigorating, and not at all new. As celebrations of their own inauthenticity, the INS members freely admit their repetitions and recycling tendencies, stealing openly from Blanchot, Bataille, Heidegger, Derrida, and, of course, Robbe-Grillet. Much of what is to be found in the manifesto is more leisurely expressed in the chief philosopher's own "tomes" (in particular Very Little, Almost Nothing: Death, Philosophy, Literature).

As for the general secretary, within the provocations of the INS he is a theoretical fundamentalist, especially where the material practicalities of publishing are concerned. In 2003, he expelled two INS members for signing to publishers, charging that they had "become complicit with a publishing industry whereby the 'writer' becomes merely the executor of a brief dictated by corporate market research, reasserting the certainties of middle-brow aesthetics." It will be interesting to see what happens to these ideas now that McCarthy's material circumstances are somewhat changed: in 2007, Remainder went to Vintage Books in America and picked up a Film Four production deal.

Still, that part of the INS brief that confronts the realities of contemporary publishing is not easily dismissed. When it comes to literary careers, it's true: the pitch is queered. The literary economy sets up its stall on the road that leads to Netherland, along which one might wave to Jane Austen, George Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Richard Yates, Saul Bellow. Rarely has it been less aware (or less interested) in seeing what's new on the route to Remainder, that skewed side road where we greet Georges Perec, Clarice Lispector, Maurice Blanchot, William Burroughs, J.G. Ballard. Friction, fear, and outright hatred spring up often between these two traditions—yet they have revealing points of connection. At their crossroads we find extraordinary writers claimed by both sides: Melville, Conrad, Kafka, Beckett, Joyce, Nabokov. For though manifestos feed on rupture, artworks themselves bear the trace of their own continuity.

So it is with Remainder: the Re- enactor's obsessive, amoral re-enactions have ancestors: Ahab and his whale, Humbert and his girl, Marlow's trip downriver. The theater of the absurd that Remainder lays out is articulated with the same careful pedantry of Gregor Samsa himself. In its brutal excision of psychology it is easy to feel that Remainder comes to literature as an assassin, to kill the novel stone dead. I think it means rather to shake the novel out of its present complacency. It clears away a little of the dead wood, offering a glimpse of an alternate road down which the novel might, with difficulty, travel forward. We could call this constructive deconstruction, a quality that, for me, marks Remainder as one of the great English novels of the past ten years.

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4.

Maybe the most heartening aspect of Remainder is that its theoretical foundations prove no obstacle to the expression of a perverse, self-ridiculing humor. In fact, the closer it adheres to its own principles, the funnier it is. Having spent half the book in an inauthentic building with re-enactors re-enacting, the Re-enactor decides he needs a change:

One day I got an urge to go and check up on the outside world myself. Nothing much to report.
A minimalist narrative refusal that made me laugh out loud. Remainder resists its readers, but it does so with a wry smile. And then, toward its end, a mysterious "short councillor" appears, wearing this same wry smile, like one of David Lynch's dwarfs, and finally asks the questions—and receives the answers—that the novel has denied us till now. Why are you doing this? How does it make you feel? In a moment of frankness, we discover that the Re-enactor's greatest tingle arrived with his smallest re-enactment: standing in a train station, holding his palms outward, begging for money of which he had no need. It gave him the sense "of being on the other side of something. A veil, a screen, the law—I don't know...."

One of the greatest authenticity dreams of the avant-garde is this possibility of becoming criminal, of throw-ing one's lot in with Jean Genet and John Fante, with the freaks and the lost and the rejected. (The notable exception is J.G. Ballard, author of possibly the greatest British avant-garde novel, The Atrocity Exhibition, who raised three children in the domestic tranquility of a semidetached house in Shepperton.) For the British avant-garde, autobiographical extremity has become a mark of literary authenticity, the drug use of Alexander Trocchi and Anna Kavan being at least as important to their readers as their prose. (The INS demands that "all cults of authenticity...be abandoned." It does not say what is to be done about the authenticity cult of the avant-garde.)
In this, the Re-enactor has a true avant-garde spirit; he wants to become the thing beyond the pale, the inconvenient remainder impossible to contain within the social economy of meaning. But no: it is still not quite enough. The only truly authentic indivisible remainder, the only way of truly placing yourself outside meaning, is through death, the contemplation of which brings Remainder, in its finale, to one of its few expressionist moments. It also enacts a strange literary doubling, meeting Netherland head-on:

Forensic procedure is an art form, nothing less. No I'll go further: it's higher, more refined, than any art form. Why? Because it's real. Take just one aspect of it—say the diagrams.... They're records of atrocities. Each line, each figure, every angle—the ink itself vibrates with an almost intolerable violence, darkly screaming from the silence of white paper: something has happened here, someone has died.

"It's just like cricket," I told Naz one day.
"In what sense?" he asked.
"Each time the ball's been past," I said, "and the white lines are still zinging where it hit, and the seam's left a mark, and..."
"I don't follow," he said.
"It...well, it just is," I told him. "Each ball is like a crime, a murder. And then they do it again, and again and again, and the commentator has to commentate, or he'll die too."

In Netherland cricket symbolized the triumph of the symbol over brute fact (cricket as the deferred promise of the American Dream). In Remainder cricket is pure facticity, which keeps coming at you, carrying death, leaving its mark. Everything must leave a mark. Everything has a material reality. Everything happens in space. As you read it, Remainder makes you preternaturally aware of space, as Robbe-Grillet did in Jealousy, Remainder's obvious progenitor. Like the sportsmen whose processes it describes and admires, Remainder "fill[s] time up with space," by breaking physical movements, for example, into their component parts, slowing them down; or by examining the layers and textures of a wet, cambered road in Brixton as a series of physical events, rather than emotional symbols. It forces us to recognize space as a nonneutral thing—unlike Realism, which ignores the specificities of space. Realism's obsession is convincing us that time has passed. It fills space with time.

Something has happened here, someone has died. A trauma, a repetition, a death, a commentary. Remainder wants to create zinging, charged spaces, stark and pared-down, in the manner of those ancient plays it clearly admires—The Oresteia, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone. The ancients, too, trouble themselves with trauma, repetition, death, and commentary (by chorus), with the status of bodies before the law, with what on earth is to be done with the remainder. But the ancients always end in tragedy, with the indifferent facticity of the world triumphantly crushing the noble, suffering self.



Remainder ends instead in comic declension, deliberately refusing the self-mythologizing grandeur of the tragic. Fact and self persist, in comic misapprehension, circling each other in space (literally, in a hijacked plane). And it's precisely within Remainder's newly revealed spaces that the opportunity for multiple allegories arises: on literary modes (How artificial is Realism?), on existence (Are we capable of genuine being?), on political discourse (What's left of the politics of identity?), and on the law (Where do we draw our borders? What, and whom, do we exclude, and why?). As surface alone, though, so fully imagined, and so imaginative, Remainder is more than sufficient.

- 18:48 - Komentari (5) - Isprintaj - #

nedjelja, 16.11.2008.

O brisanju blogova

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Evo što se dogodilo jednom mom i vašem poznaniku, u trenutku slabosti. Donosim ovu ispovijed kako je
zapisana, ili diktirana, da bude njegovo svjedočanstvo o njemu, ispričana nizašto, bez koristi za sebe i za druge, iz potrebe koja je jača od koristi i razuma, da ostane njegov zapis o njemu, zapisana muka razgovora sa sobom, s dalekom nadom da će se naći neko rješenje kad bude račun sveden, ako bude, kad ostavi trag mastila noći na ovoj digitalnoj hartiji što čeka kao izazov. Ne znam šta će biti zabilježeno, ali će u kukama slova ostati nešto od onoga što je bivalo u njemu, pa se više neće gubiti u kovitlacima magle, kao da nije ni bilo, ili da ne zna šta je bilo.

Ja sam u kovitlacu emocionalnih previranja izveo patetični, autodestruktivni potez i izbrisao svoj blog. Iskreno me razočarala takva moja reakcija jer odražava onu pasivnu agresivnost, durenje malog djeteta koje privlači pažnju tako što će cijelom svijetu pokazati kako misli ozbiljno kad mu (svijetu) zamjera što mu nije pružio sve ono što je život dužan čovjeku pružiti... to je onaj isti jebeni sindrom zbog kojeg sam pio godinama i za kojeg sam mislio da sam ga se riješio, ali eto me moja draga podsjetila da čovjek nikad nije gotov u oslobađanju od vlastitog idiotluka. Ja sam sad na psihijatriji, pokušao sam se izolirati od ovog okrutnog svijeta tako što sam navukao na sebe vreće od smeća, stavio u usta cijev (polupropilensku, zelenu) da mogu disati i vreće ispunio pur-pjenom. Trebalo mi je 12 najvećih pakiranja, ali sam uzeo R1 pa ću to pokušati naplatiti preko firme. Neko vrijeme su me djeca vukla sa biciklama tako obloženog i gađala me kamenjem dok nije došla hitna jer je ovaj što mi je prodao pur-pjenu prijavio da sam je pronevjerio i imao namjeru oštetiti poslodavca, a on je isto poslodavac i misli da je vrijeme da se stane na kraj tom raspašoju sa R1 alibijem. Na psihijatriji su me dezizolirali i vratili u stvarnost u njenom reprezentativnom, 'overmedicated' izdanju. Dobio sam Haldol Deppo, to ti je kao običan Haldol samo je injekcija s nekakvom uljnom otopinom istog koja traje tri tjedna pa ti ovo piše moj cimer koji je već tri stotine puta vezao metalnu sajlu za sjekiru i to prebacio preko dalekovoda pa napravio kratki spoj velikih razmjera što su mu redovito zamjerali neki dispečeri, kako ih on naziva, koji ga od rođenja pokušavaju ubiti postavljajući mu zamke po kući skrivene u malim rupicama utičnica i grla od žarulja i još na stotine mjesta za koje ja nisam ni znao da postoje. Ja diktiram. Doktora smo nagovorili da uvuče svoju otmjenu Parker-penkalu u rupicu od utičnice jer je čovjek ovisan o kockanju pa smo skupili 500 kuna i kladili se hoće li iz prve pogoditi fazu ili nulu. Pogodio je fazu, neko vrijeme se tresao dok ga nismo diskonektirali i aplicirali mu Haldol Deppo i 70 tableta Dulcaloxa. Dok ti ovo budeš čitao ja ću već vratiti svoj dopamin bez da opteretim HZZO i vratiti se svojoj dragoj zbog koje sam dignuo u zrak 360 i nešto postova. Eto.

Javim se :)))

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Politically Correct Prayer for the 90's

(Oui, ça date)

Our patriarchal authority,
Who resides in an extra-terrestrial cyberdomain,
Celebrated are your proprietary trademarks.

Your ethnically diverse global village arrives,
Whose collective best interests be served,
In the terra firma domain,
as well as the celestial.

Nutritionally subsidize us at appropriate intervals
and grant full immunity unto us (though we are totally innocent of all charges)

For ours is the interconnected global economy,
the personal fulfillment, and the self actualization.

Just do it!

- 23:01 - Komentari (8) - Isprintaj - #

subota, 15.11.2008.

Massimo Cacciari

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Dragi Nemanja,

za nastupajuće dane vikenda, nadam se koliko toliko solarne, jedan lijep esej Massima Cacciarija iz njegove knjige o anđelima. Prijevod nije dosad nigdje objavljen.

Pozdrav,

Mario

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Anđeli ne primaju u sebe samo svoju vlastitost, iz njih poteklu: kao po pogrešci ima ponekad u tome i malčice našega bića, kao što kaže Rilke u "Drugoj elegiji". Iako anđeli to sami ne zamjećuju, čini se da je njihovim značajkama pridodana neodlučnost koja miriše po nama. Podsjeća li ukusom svjetski prostor, u koji se rastvaramo, na nas? Anđelovo se ponašanje mijenja: zauvijek je izgubio stabilnost gnostičkoga Arhonta, odlučnost Aviceninih nebeskih duša, sveznalaštvo Hekhatolovih anđela, vedrinu njihovih očnih preliva, između kojih je svatko rasprostrt kao mjesečeva površina. Anđel se spustio u naše prognanstvo; neprestana borba sa samim sobom zadržava ga u našoj prolaznosti, u našem Passagenwerku. Kao što nam prognanstvo onemogućuje svako moguće stanje, trajanje, povjerenje u majku zemlju, tako ono priječi anđelu da se vrati, da ponovno raširi svoja velika krila. Anđeo je ujedno pripet i razapet između našega dozivanja i odbijanja. Njega, koji bi nas trebao odvesti Nikuda, jer su ga upravo stoga odaslali iz iskonskog Ne-mjesta, postupno je očarao naš bijeg "mimo svega kao prozračna trampa". On je čista ljudskost, pruga zemlje plodne, koja se više ne može krotiti i umiriti u božanskim tijelima. Preuzeti ljudskost za anđela znači neprestano samopropitivanje, dijeliti krajnju udaljenost od ni-gdje potpunoga odgovora kojemu je sam podvrgnut. Naš duh zaboravlja na anđela. No dok on kuša čisto vino naših značajki, zaboravlja na svezu koja ga povezuje s iskonom, s počelom. Opseg njegovih krugova, poretka, taxis njegovih vrtloga, sve to biva labirintom. Igra u zrcalu između zemaljskoga i božanskoga, koju njegov logos prividno predstavlja kao harmonijsku, raspada se u neočekivane nesuglasnosti. U nju prodiru praznine, slučajnosti, nepredviđenosti. Anđelova glazba, glazba anđela tu dolje, svaki poziv s kojim ga zovemo, predstavlja takovrsnu razglašenost. Ali on je još uvijek anđeo: unatoč tomu njegovi korijeni osjećaju nostalgiju za Točkom koja prevladava svako ime. No za putovanje nikuda, na kojega pozivlje, ne može više predvidjeti postaje, najaviti ih. Njegovo znanje (kojega je nekada simboliziralo milijardu očiju, posađenih po njegovom božanskom tijelu) potamnjelo je pri odsjaju u zrcalu našega neznanja, odnosno zbog činjenice da se držimo kao netko tko odlazi na put. I on je zaboravio gledati u otvoreno. Nije li pogled anđela odgovorio na pitanje čovjeka i ujedno mu dopustio da se vrati sebi, u savršeni poredak Caelum Caeli? Anđeo je to previdio, stoga je prisiljen ostati tu dolje. Čovjekovo pozivanje-odbijanje pokazuje mu se kao nenadmašan, nečuven skandal. Jedna te ista avantura sjedinjuje oba lika. Svemu unatoč anđeo ipak zavoli borbu s čovjekom na koju je izazvan.

Najava katastrofe te vrste, poradi koje anđeo neće završiti kao zavodnik nego kao onaj tko je zaveden, kao mračan i prijeteći pod-ton vuče se uzduž cjelokupne angelologije. Od samoga početka predstavlja čovjek anđelu dvojbu, raspuće, prolaz: izvorni je poredak božjega hrama stvaranjem čovjeka srušen zauvijek. Prvi stvoreni anđeo, vođa dvanaestorice anđela, stražara Prijestola, ne može se - iz vatre stvoren - poniziti do fascinacije onim grumenom prašine i zemlje koju je zgniječio Gospod Bog. Ta odluka, ta prokleta obijest zauvijek je srušila prethodnu harmoniju. Nije niti toliko tragična jedinstvena sudbina toga princa i njegove budućnosti, koliko se čini sudbonosnijom nepovratna podjela i raspad anđeoskoga zbora. Prema Berešit Rabba, anđeli se upravo prepiru među sobom, razapeti između milosti (koja čak poziva na stvaranje čovjeka) i istine (koja to odlučno odbija), kada Gospod Bog (arhetip vlastodršca) vikne: Što se prepirete? Čovjek je ipak već stvoren. To jednostavno pojašnjuje da niti jedan anđeo nije mogao biti sasvim uvjeren u izvrsnost toga stvaranja. Dio se njih podredio i pomirio s božjom odlukom, dočim su se preostali suprotstavili. Ti se potom gestom otpora osvećuju za raspad božanskoga rasporeda (a time i prekida odnosa između anđela i njegova nepojašnjena podrijetla), što ga je izazvalo stvaranje čovjeka. Kao što je bio božanski raspored zaveden preko savršenoga kružnoga kolosijeka oko Prijestola, tako pokušava sada pali anđeo svim mogućim sredstvima odvratiti čovjeka od dobrodjelnih i miroljubivih djela. Prema Kuranu: "Sve ću ih zavesti, osim onih koji su Ti robovski odani". "Na tvoju ću ravnu cestu postaviti zasjedu te vrebati ljude s prednje i stražnje strane, s lijeve i desne".

Čak uprizorenja najvjernijega anđela čuvaju razgovijetne tragove strašljive dvojbe poradi savršene novine čovjeka (neopozive odluke stvaranja), čak anđeo poslanik ne može izbjeći tu dvojbu. Kada je naposljetku smio u sunčev zalazak napustiti zemlju, koja mu je bila povjerena na čuvanje, plakao je pred likom Gospodina Boga. Anđela muči prisutnost čovjeka, kako anđela poslanika tako i onoga Arhanđela koji s dubokom sućuti obavještava Kralja o neizrecivim mukama i nasilju što ga čovjek trpi po volji Tebe, Jedinoga, što ga ljudi slave u stvarima koje prividno obožavaju , kao i naposljetku palog anđela koji je osuđen dočekati posljednji sud, a upravo je to konačna odgoda koju mu je Bog odredio da bi mogao zavoditi, optuživati, prijetiti čovjeku smrtnom kaznom i osvetiti mu se poradi svojega pada.

O sljedećoj velikoj krizi što je anđeo podnosi zbog čovjekove krivnje priča Knjiga čuvara, preciznije: prvi svezak Henohove knjige koja je snažno utjecala na Crkvu prvih stoljeća. Neki od anđela, stavaranja prvoga dana, odriču se svojega položaja i dobrovoljno napuštaju nebeske visine da bi se združili s ljudskim kćerima. Anđeo se zaljubi u ženu, legne kraj nje i skupa stvore velikane koji vladaju zemljom i jedu ljudska bića. Henoha, čije obličje se u Hekhalothu pretvara u anđela, šalje Bog anđelima da bi razokrio njihovu bezbožnost i navijestio im kaznu. Ti su duhovi živjeli vječan život koji ne poznaje kraja, njihovo je kraljevstvo bilo na nebu, ali ljepota ljudskih kćeri zavela ih je, i stoga će skupa s ženama biti bačeni u užasno mjesto, u zatvor iz plamtećih stupova. Priča iz Knjige jubileja, koja se također odnosi na Henoha, pripisuje ljudskom biću još veću krivnju pri zavođenju anđela. No, dok je u Knjizi čuvara ljepota žena samo usput spomenuta i dakle anđelova se nakana automatski nagiba slabome, u Knjizi jubileja anđela Bog šalje na zemlju koja je već okusila griješnost. I upravo tu, na zemlji, anđeo krši zakon. Tek čovjek anđela navede na grijeh. Tim će užasnija sada biti osveta s kojom će se pali anđeo i njegovo demoni obrušiti na čovjeka.
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U De Gigantibus pokušava Filon anđela izbaviti od drame toga pada. Tvrditi da su anđeli bezbožni i nevrijedni svojega imena, prema Filonu, jest obično praznovjerje. Anđeo je svet i nedodirljiv božji poslanik među ljudima i ljudski poslanik kod Boga. Tko oženi ženu i stvori velikane, to su samo duše ljudi koji su podcjenjivali mudrost i posvetili se malovrijednim i slučajnim stvarima, truplu koje nam je svima prirođeno. U društvu anđela lete te duše po zraku skupa s onim koji se unatoč spuštanju u osjetilnost boje da neočekivano umru posred života pri živom tijelu. To su duše filozofa. Zrak je pun tih nevidljivih bića. Kada crpe život iz zraka i vjetra, sve se zemaljske i vodene životinje sporazumijevaju s demonima, anđelima i dušama. Da bi u pravom svjetlu prikazala anđelovu dramu, Filonova alegorijska interpretacija razvidno reducira sliku velikana na mjeru čovjeka koji je izbjegao savezništvo s Bogom koji je bez obitelji, društva, domovine, prognanik i klatež. Preciznije, ta interpretacija razotkriva nerazrješiv problem: kakav odnos postoji između anđela i demona u svijetu koji je oživljen od jednoga pola do drugoga? Predstavljaju li stvarnosti koje se razlikuju samo po imenu? Ili su posrijedi različite stvarnosti koje imaju zajedničku bit? Ako vrijedi tvrdnja da je anđeo svet i nedodirljiv poslanik, što je tada izvorište zlih demona? Jesu li jedno s dušama ljudi koji ne mogu izbjeći silovit vrtlog malovrijednih i slučajnih stvari? Jesu li možda ime što ga filozofi daju palom anđelu? Upravo preko razvidna pokušaja etimologizacije biblijske tradicije Filonova platonizirajuća alegorija u mitskom smislu produbljuje predodžbu anđela, problematizirajući odnos između anđela i poganskoga demona.

No, prije nego što istražimo taj novi meandar, potrebno je utisnuti u svijest ono što se sa svakom tradicijom iznova objelodanjuje: gravitacijska sila ugrožava anđeoski kolosijek. Pozor, to je moć, bitno drukčija od nezaustavljiva narcističkoga prohtjeva, pobuda koja utječe na hermetičnoga Anthroposa, sina Očevoga, i osuđuje ga na nisko spajanje s Prirodom. Anthropos prati svoju vlastitu sliku koju ugleda u zrcalnom odbljesku zemaljskih voda, potom kad je već prestupio u mjesečevu orbitu. Tomu usuprot, anđela je preplavio val ljudskog doziva, zgrabio ga je glas drugoga, tako da ga pored vlastite mjere određuje još mjera i slika drugoga. No anđelovo putovanje nije nikada putovanje pomoću posrednika. Svako njegovo putovanje ne neki način nasljeduje anđelove arhetipske padove. Čovjekovo dozivanje nikada nije "čisto": zasićeno je duhom po čovjeku koji je za anđela krajnje zavodljiv. Otuda razlike i neskladnosti, nesporazumi i prečujnosti, nerazrješiva igra sličnosti i različitosti, mogućnost slijevanja uloga i zamjena maski. Susreti s anđelom ne događaju se više u krugu savršene Samaelove sljepoće (Samael je bog slijepaca), niti na svečanom pragu carstva svjetla. Na tim mjestima čovjek oklijeva između anđela i zvjerskoga obličja velikana, dočim se anđeo koleba između krajnje blizine nazočnosti i idolopoklonskih uprizorenja arhonta, kao što ih slika napeta mašta Pistis Sophie i drugih gnostičnih spisa; anđeo se njiše između visio facialis i demona zraka. Možemo prizvati beskonačan broj posrednika da bi ispunili te razdaljine: beskonačan prostor koji je do te mjere naseljen da stavlja u pitanje ključ njegove interpretacije, dakle da lik Angelusa Interpresa pretvori u nedokučiv cilj stvaranja. No, načelo o mnogostrukosti u jednom svih bića nužno poteže za sobom konstrukcije i predodžbe prostora, koji je do te mjere labirintski prepleten s odnosima i "simpatijama" da ne možemo više prepoznati i opisati njihove međusobne hijerarhije. Ima li tu možda svoje podrijetlo teurgijska dimenzija helenističkih neoplatonista? Tek na ekranu tih dramatičnih protuslovlja možemo predočiti posljednje susrete s anđelom. Otuda i groznica, od sama početka prisutno protuslovlje angelologije koje se snažno razotkriva u tim susretima i koju niti jedno pravilo ne može odrediti.

Klee je nacrtao jednu od konačnih postaja anđelova križna puta. Klee umnaža znamenja, no ponajprije ga zanima zaplet anđela s demonima i dušama. Njihovu dramu razrješava blagom ironijom. Zauvijek je naš duh razotkrio anđela, taj se uzalud pokušava izvući iz tragične situacije. To je anđelova slijedeća postaja, postaja koja je nevjerojatno slična onoj kod Rilkea. Er-innerung (Sjećanje) je smanjilo razdaljinu, koja se sa strašljivošću pojavila u uvodnim taktima Rilkeovih Devinskih elegija. Raspršila se u neuočljive razlike, u minimalne varijacije na temu savršene stvorenosti anđela: Klee imenuje anđela kao samo-stvorenje. Naša borbe s njim i naš Erinnerung pretvorili su ga u ranog sretnika, miljenika stvaranja, u najmanje stvorenje stvaranja. Sada anđeli znaju kakvu težinu sa sobom nosi privilegij prodiranja do srca stvorenih, ugnijezditi se u njima. Sa svih strana okružuju anđela karakteristike bilja; korijeni, deblo, sokovi. Još uvijek može biti stražar, ali raširenih krila, korak, oči oblikuju zaključen labirint skupa s obličjima što ih nosi u sebi. Nemoguće je odrediti komu pripada takvo držanje, je li to krilo doista anđelovo. Rafaleovo uprizorenje anđela ujedno prizivlje i opovrgava sliku iz Tobija, kao da bi prva utjecala na drugu i istodobno je odbijala.

Tematskom ciklusu slika s naslovom Engelshut nalik je ciklus Angelus Militans (1940), anđeo koji nikada ne počiva, znamenje one pozornosti koju nalazimo ponajprije u ortodoksnoj mistici: budni anđeo, čuvar nemirne Agripnije. Iz crne podloge istupaju bijele konture kod Wachsamer Engel (1939), iz nje bliješte ogromne razrogačene oči, jaka se krila žudno raskriljuju. Pozornost tih slika odaje vjeru, jer naravno i anđeli moraju vjerovati. Ne mogu se identificirati sa slavom niti je mogu neposredno zrcaliti. Anđeo je kao pobožan čovjek: bez riječi sluša glas, motri nevidljivo, očekuje dan o kojemu ništa ne zna.

Istočnokršćanska angelologija evocira motive iz postbiblijske židovske tradicije, kao što su recimo figure neumornih stražara, zadnja ruža svjetlosti iz svijeta Sefiroth, prag između nebeskoga i zemaljskoga stvarstva. Njihova krajnja udaljenost od najvišega anđela (posrijedi je obličje osobe što ga Bog šalje izabranome narodu u Exodusu, ono obličje što ga preuzimlje trojstvo u Abrahamovu viđenju i kojega kabalistička interpretacija dešifrira kao objavu) opasno približava te anđele čovjeku, budući da predstavljaju duhove koji snažnije vladaju elementom nego što je to kadra inteligencija kerubina. Njihovim su značajkama pridodane demonične značajke odnosno značajke ljudske duše, koja je prisiljena neprestano putovati i seliti se, reinkarnirati. Granice koje odvajaju pojedinačna bića postaju sve manje jasne. Kod Kleea podsjeća avantura anđela na „spuštanje“ arhanđela anđelu, od toga demonu, junaku, potom arhontu, koji ima u rukama vlast nad svijetom, i dalje prema udaljenim dušama gornjih slojeva do praznih prikaza, do umjetnih vatri zasljepljujuće magije, do varljivih falsifikata različitih vrsta. U tim prostorima treperi od bića koja su osjetima nedokučiva.

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Prema Pitagori, zrak je sav ispunjen dušama, koje zovemo demonima ili herojima. Ovi ljudima šalju snove i predskazanja bolesti i zdravlja, i ne samo ljudima, nego i ovcama i ostaloj stoci. No po kojemu se uzorku taj život oblikuje? Koji Nomos predstavlja? Kako se u cjelini izražava njegova posredujuća uloga, funkcija metaxy?

Kleeovi su anđeli nemoćni pred tim pitanjima. Unatoč milini i umirenosti, koja prosijava kroz njihova obličja, unatoč naklonosti što ju odaju njihovi pogledi, ti anđeli iščekuju umjesto da odražavaju svjetlost uslijed koje se jedva sjećaju da su se nekad davno iz nje izlili. Možda su još besmrtni, ali zacijelo nisu više crveno zažareni vrhovi svega stvorenoga. U ulozi stražara i čuvara ostaju prikovani na prag. Tako loše kao i ljudi poznaju srce najsvetijega. Ako su uopće ikada prestupili prag i prodrli u unutarnjost, zacijelo su je zaboravili i nedvojbeno su zaboravili i to da su je zaboravili. Najsnažniji prate čovjeka do praga i motre ga. Zavide mu na nadi, ljubomorni su na njegovu potrebu za upitnošću. I opet, zanimljivo, zbunjuje ih čovekova prisutnost. Dok opažaju čovjekovu bijedu, osjećaju sućut spram sebe samih. Prisiljeni su podjarivati beznadno očekivanje čovjeka, izmišljati odgovore koji doista preokreću pitanja u beskonačan lanac predodžbi i daljnjih potpitanja. I konačno: iscrpljeni, prisiljeni su na posljetku priznati upravo njemu, najprolaznijemu od svega stvorenoga, svoju nemoć.

Anđeo štićenik i pali čuvar upijaju kod Kleea i druge predodžbe tradicionalne angelologije. Izbrisan je svaki trag spekulativnih aeropagijskih hijerarhija i inicijatorsko eshatologijskih vizija iransko-islamske mistike. Klee usredotočuje pozornost na one elemente angelologije koji se ponajbolje "podudaraju" s prolaznošću mundus sitalisa. Kleeova anđela grabi vrtlog koji ga vuče u stranu od makrozrcala. Centrifugalna sila koja je usmjerena iz svoje unutarnjosti prema vani, istrgava anđela od vatrene ljubavi serafina, od crvene inteligencije anđela tumača kod Sohravardija, od tamnomodroga neba kerubina sve do naših putova koji ne vode nikuda („chemins qui mčnent nulle part“, Rilke). Prijelomne katastrofe unutar anđeoskoga zbora u svakomu su anđelu prouzrokovale krizu (crtež kredom, 1939) ili dvojbu (Angelus dubiosus, akvarel, 1939). Na tim je Kleeovim crtežima anđeo portretiran kao prestrašeni noćni ptić. Odveć je neiskusan da bi mogao čuvati ili voditi, uzalud ište utočište u naručju svojih krila. U Predvorju anđeoskih gomilica, kako nosi naslov jednoga od crteža iz 1939. godine, posrijedi je čekajući anđeo, odnosno bivši anđeo koji se nada da će se vratiti u svoje Nigdje, anđeo melankoličnoga obličja kojega prosvjetljuje blijeda mjesečeva četvrt, anđeo Pierrot. Ubogi je to anđeo, iako mu MANIA pokadšto dopušta praedicare verbum: ostali su samo fragmenti, tragovi i pramenovi misije koju bi trebao predstavljati. Njegovo je obličje ostalo nedovršeno (Unfertiger Engel); in toto anđeo predstavlja nedovršenost sveukupnoga stvarstva.

Nedovršenost znači metamorfozu, igru dijelova, ironijsko razrješenje neodredivosti oblika. Ne samo da se pri isteku putovanja njegova poslanica može manifestirati kao neizreciva, nego i sam glasnik može zaboraviti na sebe, nipošto ne poradi neznanja, jer ne bi znao koja mu je granica putovanja određena, nego stoga jer je odveć umoran, uništen da bi nastavio put. Glasnik se može predstaviti i na način kakav opisuje Kafka. „Eine Bote bin ich“, odgovori Barnabas K.-u u „Zamku“, ali na kakav način njegova slika i njegove riječi izmiču nedovršenoj (beskonačnoj?) igri stvarstva. Zbog naših očekivanja postajemo nestrpljivi, jer ispitivanju se ne nazire kraj. „Od ranog jutra sve do sada, do sumraka, hodao sam uzduž i poprijeko po svojoj sobi...Poznavao sam već svaku sitnicu te sobe, jer sam stalno za svog kružnog ophoda sve to pogledavao“. Odjednom se soba počela pomicati. Zidovi su se urušili, slapovi boja su preplavili prostor, bile su to boje otkrivenja: sadreno bijela, žuta, zlatnožuta. „Bio je naimjenjen meni, u to nije bilo sumnje; spremala se neka prikaza (Erscheinung) koja bi me trebala osloboditi...To što je trebalo doći, moglo se mirno spustiti na sag i objaviti mi što ima objaviti (und mir melden, was es zu melden hatte). ..Dakle, anđeo, pomislio sam. Čitav mi dan on dolijeće, a ja to u svojem nevjerovanju nisam ni znao. Sada će mi reći riječ“. Ali umjesto riječi, objave, nastupa preobrazba, metamorfoza, scenski preokret – ili bolje – najava toga preokreta. Trenutak nakon prikaze anđela „sav u plavkastoljubičastim velima, omotan zlatnim gajtanima, na svilenasto sjajnim krilima, s mačem ispruženim vodoravno u svojoj udizgnutoj ruci“, čas potom nikakav „živi anđeo“ nije više visio ispod stropa sobe, bio je posrijedi samo obojeni komad drveta, oslikani drveni lik s kljuna broda, poput onih što vise po stropovima mornarskih krčmi. Balčak mača bio je podešen da drži svijeću i prihvaća kapljice rastopljenog voska. „Utaknuo sam svijeću u balčak mača, upalio je i onda sam još do kasno u noć sjedio tako, pod blijedim svjetlom anđela“.

Kafka u svojim dnevnicima ne opisuje halucinacije ili mađioničarski trik. Prikazuje se anđeo koji se s velike visine spušta u svim njezinim dimenzijama određenu sobu, ujedno se prikaže još i komad obojenoga drveta. Naposljetku svjetlost što ju okolo sebe baca svijeća, svjetlost koja dobija čak ime "blijeda svjetlost anđela". Pred nama je ragrnjen sličan proces kao na Kleeovim crtežima; anđelova se esencija raspada, ali da bi ironija bila još veća, raspad se anđela ne podudara s njegovom negacijom. Anđeo sam zapravo predstavlja poruku takvog raspada. Preko metamorfoze svojih znamenja navješćuje raspad svoje esencijalnosti. Postaje neizvjesan, nikada posve odlučan, oklijevajući između nazočnosti i zaborava, melankoličan radi studium a sine fine, što ga prizivlje njegova slika. Ne odstupa od toga da ne ukaže na problem prikazivanja svoje vlastite u-topičnosti, koja je, kao što će se kasnije objelodaniti, probem prikazivanja tout court. Kafka na jednoj strani salije u jedinstven krug najzapeletnijega paradoksa (što ga ironija ne može razriješiti, nego ga može samo opažati s nepremostive razdaljine) tradicionalni stereotip anđela pobjednika s najtradicionalnijim i najstereotipnijim profanim predodžbama. Posrijedi su krajnje točke, granične mase - ako tako možemo reći - koje opkružuju anđele u preobrazbi i božjem trenutku, kao što ih je Klee svagda iznovice zamišljao.

No, među svim drugim kod Kleea se pojavljuje slika anđela koja sjedinjuje njihova različita imena: to je Angelus Novus. On je taj koji ne samo evocira vezu s talmudskom angelologijom sa svim bogatstvom njezinih vizionarskih i bajkovitih elemenata, nego je čak i neizbježno zahtijeva. Samo Mihael i Gabrijel trajno služe Bogu i na vijeke vjekova slave neizrecivu svjetlost; ostali anđeli ponavljaju njihovu himnu, potom iščezavaju tamo odakle su bili stvoreni, u vatrenu rijeku koja nikada, niti preko dana niti preko noći, ne prestaje teći, poput Jordana. To je rijeka koju su svojim znojem ispunili četiri hajoša (lađara) iz Ezekijelova viđenja dok su svojim leđima podupirali prijestol svetoga. Tu tradiciju preuzimlje i Majmonides u dijelu svojega Vodiča u kojem raspravlja o anđelima i pokušava je filozofijski objasniti: kao što je za svako biće karakteristična individualna oblikujuća sila koja oblikuje i strukturira pojedinačne udove, tijela, tako dva anđela ne mogu preuzeti istu misiju, niti jedan može obaviti obje. Svaki događaj ima svojega anđela, svaka pojedinačna tjelesna sposobnost jest anđeo. No po čemu tada razlikujemo stalne i trajne anđele od anđela putnika? Kada govorimo o stalnim anđelima, mislimo tada na niz individualnih sposobnosti. Kada govorimo o prolaznim anđelima, anđelima putnicima, tada imamo u mislima pojedinačne sposobnosti kao takve. Novi je anđeo slika anđela koji posjeduje u sebi najjedinstveniju i neponovljivu individualnost stvari, štoviše, Angelus Novus jest ime za sposobnost koja omogućuje životu da jest jedinstven i neponovljiv.

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Dolazimo tako do točke koja nije više daleko od uvida da se simbolizam anđela ne može više odvojiti od simbolizma čovjeka. Simbolika prolaznosti koja je prisutna u svakoj angelologiji upravo je na toj točki podudarna s ikonom anđela. Anđeo ne posjeduje, ne izručuje ili prelazi, on sam jest prijelaz: ikona jednoga trenutka Novi anđeo, neodlučan u svom biti-za-trenutak, strpljivo ustrajava, čekajući na neponovljiv, jedinstven trenutak svoje himne. Nedokučiva je jedinstvena sila koja pokreće to jedinstveno, neponovljivo biće, nedokučiv je najmanji dah koji čini glas, nedokučivi su duhovi koji oživljuju prostor i udružuju se sa svim elementima. Novi anđeo jest nedokučiva stvarnost kojom je svako ovdašnje biće obavijeno. Stoga se individualna sposobnost nazivlje anđeo, što znači da je nevidljiva i nedokučiva. Prolaznost toga anđela (na Kleeovom crtežu je glavom okrenut prema nama i na čelu novi svitke Zakona) obnavlja našu prolaznost, ponovno je stvara. Iz njegove slike prosijava njegova sposobnost mišljenja i slavljenja trenutka, slikanja ikone toga prijelaza i te bijede. Opstoje autentične ikone našega oskudnog vremena. Anđelu treba reći stvari, no treba ih razotkriti novomu anđelu, jer samo taj anđeo sa svim imenima što ih posjeduje može u najvećoj mjeri izraziti kako prolazno tako i stvarnosno (što su sve značajke ovdašnjih stvari). Razmišlja li čovjek i sjeća li se svoje prolaznosti, susreće se s novim anđelom, odbljeskom ljudske prolaznosti. Anđeo je slika moći prolaznoga trenutka, one moći koja dopušta da se trenutak ukoči u svojoj neponovljivoj jedinstvenosti koja ga, ukratko, istrže iz konsekutivnosti trenutaka. Novi je anđeo stoga puno više od jednostavnoga, neikusnoga i nesavršenog anđela: strpljivo ustrajava u sada svojega trenutka. U svojemu je području doista prihvatio na sebe onaj topao, prolazan val srca što zapravo čovjek jest eda bi na taj način izrazio neopozivu sadašnjost. Rilkeovim stihovima: "Ali ovo: jedanput da si bio, pa makar i samo jedanput: zemaljski da si bio - to izgleda neopozivo". Njegova himna, koja traje samo trenutak, ne prelijeva se, ne niže glasove i riječi na crti-strijeli nepovrativa uživanja. Novi je anđeo infant: ne zahtijeva, ne pita, ne moli. Pokadšto se čini sretan radi nemoći da ujedno bude sredstvo, uzrok i cilj. Djeluje na jednostavan način kao glasovni zvon. Najmlađi je od svih anđela glazbenika, ne njega ne pritišće harmonija sfera, no zato niti njegov pjev nije manje jasan, njegova manija ništa slabija. Novi anđeo prebiva u dječjem vrtiću, upravo ga tu, na tom mjestu, dostiže naše dozivanje, tu prepoznaje stvari što mu ih hvalimo, tu se borimo s njim. Kao da bi krhkost djetinjstva preobrazila u moć koja se suprotstavlja prolaznosti. Lucida intervalla stvaraju djetinjstvo anđela: pukotine, prijelomi, raspori u prividnom kontinuumu Vremena-Kronosa.

Anđeo je bez domovine i upravo stoga neizbježna figura trenutka koji zaustavlja strijelu vremena, koji prekida kontinuum. Budući da je bez-domovine, neizbježan je pratitelj mladoga Tobije koji je ostao mlad i nedužan kao u godinama djetinjstva, što ne može objasniti niti jedna interpretacija. Tako Klee zamišlja novoga anđela: što neopozivo posreduje jest samo to da je nekada bio, da je nekada slavio jedan trenutak. Taj trenutak predstavlja katastrofu svakoga savršenoga kontinuuma. Taj trenutak stvara šupljinu koja se ne da ispuniti, ponoviti, ponovno izreći, koja je izvan kruga ponovnih rođenja. Sloboda toga osudnoga trenutka dana nam je, ali praznih ruka. Prema toj nas slobodi vodi zadnji od anđela, najmlađi i najstariji među njima, novi anđeo.

Ubogi anđeo, slomljeni anđeo, sa strašću duše interiorizirani anđeo, pali anđeo, između dva svijeta suprotstavljenih čuvstava razapeti anđeli - anđeli razumljivi u svijetu gdje, kako kaže Musil, držimo umor bilo zločinom bilo junačkim činom i gdje nam se čas ljubavi katkada čini kao pero ispalo s anđelova krila, a drugi put kao obično gušće pero, oko svih tih motiva vrti se suvremena ikonografija anđela.

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Novi je anđeo sličan novomu Narcisu. Kao starinski cvijet pridružio se zrcalu. Nekoć su veliki anđeli odsijevali vječnu vrijednost, no novi anđeo, tome nasuprot, ima beskonačan broj imena za dvojbenu, riskantnu, nesavršenu, kratkotrajnu sliku koja se zrcali u ogledalu Heurtebisa. Kada se čovjek sretne sa slikom iz zrcala, anđeo se mora vratiti u položaj hermetičkog Anthroposa. U tu se sliku - tomu usuprot - ne može više zaljubiti. Razočaran je. Kako se moglo dogoditi da se iz savršenoga znanja, koje je odsjaj svjetlosti, cvijet duše strmoglavio u stanje koje je na početku ljudskog uboštva? U opreci spram čovjeka, anđeo se ne može nadati odgovoru, budući da se već sama zapitanost protustavlja njegovoj naravi. Nikada neće moći njegova bit dokučiti uzroke zla što ga sada podnosi. Postupno je anđeo prisiljen pomiriti se s tim da u nama vidi svoju vlastitu sliku, odnosno da se skupa s nama zrcali na nekom vrelu. Priznaje doduše da pored svjetla postoje još i druge stvari, ali u tom zrcalu ne prepoznaje više vlastitu sliku. Kroz njegova zrcala tamo gore nije pošla smrt. Zbog svoje slike, koju nije kadar više imenovati, preobražava se u infanta, u dijete. Nenadmašna predodžba čovjekova djetinjstva zbunjuje ga i ujedno privlači kao riječni odsjev Narcisa. Anđeo se doduše pomiruje s tim odsjevom, ali slici pristupa s napetom, opreznom melankolijom.

Melankolija je usud novoga anđela: pozvan je opozvati trenutak, problem predstavljanja one Baudelairove fantazme, znanja kojeg ne može dokučiti, kojeg ne posjeduje, ne razumije i kojeg ne može posredovati - a novoga anđela štiti, da, upravo njega štiti, pogled nevidljivoga riječi. Svako je zrcalo riječ: reflektira prolaznu sliku s kojom se nikada ne može posvema spojiti, a ujedno je i znamenje Drugoga kojega se ne da svesti natrag na istu sliku i kojega svaka slika pretpostavlja.

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Preveo s talijanskoga MARIO KOPIĆ

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petak, 14.11.2008.

Karmen Lončarek

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Christophe Gilbert

Moralna panika i političko licemjerje: zašto se javnost više skandalizira nad slikama gole djece nego nada prizorima djece kojoj je ugrožen i goli život

Zar zapadno pravosuđe zaista nema prečih briga od internet-pedofilije? Na primjer, ovu: u desetljeću nakon Zaljevskog rata, prema procjenama UNICEF-a, u Iraku je umrlo više od 500 tisuća djece. Američko nasilje u Iraku traje i dalje, čime se gledanje pornografskih slika djece nadaje većim zločinom od zlostavljanja i ubijanja iračke djece. Možda zato što su posljedice spolnog zlostavljanja mnogo dugotrajnije, a iračka djeca neće cijelog života imati posljedice zlostavljanja u djetinjstvu - jer neće imati niti život?!

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Anne Geddes

Ne prođe tjedan, a da domaće novine ne prokažu nekog tajnog uživaoca dječje pornografije, bilo stvarne, bilo fotomontažne, bilo djevojaka na pragu punoljetnosti. Slično je na cijelom Zapadu. Nedavno je okončana sedmomjesečna istraga o videosnimkama pedofilskog karaktera na internetskim stranicama koja je austrijskoj policiji omogućila da u 77 zemalja otkrije 2360 korisnika tih stranica, te da američki FBI otvori 607 slučajeva u SAD-u. Zaista hvalevrijedan uspjeh: 607 slučajeva, ili "slučajeva", u zemlji od 300 milijuna stanovnika, što daje brojku od dva korisnika stranica s pedofilskim sadržajem na milijun građana SAD-a. Gotovo bismo se morali čuditi: toliko djece, a tako malo pedofila!

Čemu tako opsežne (77 zemalja) i dugotrajne akcije (7 mjeseci) da bi se na čistac istjeralo tek nekolicinu proizvođača i konzumenata dječje pornografije? Zar zapadno pravosuđe zaista nema prečih briga od Internet-pedofilije? Na primjer, ovu: u desetljeću nakon Zaljevskog rata, prema procjenama UNICEF-a, u Iraku je umrlo više od 500 tisuća djece. Američko nasilje u Iraku traje i dalje, čime se gledanje pornografskih slika djece nadaje većim zločinom od zlostavljanja i ubijanja iračke djece. Možda zato što su posljedice spolnog zlostavljanja mnogo dugotrajnije, a iračka djeca neće cijelog života imati posljedice zlostavljanja u djetinjstvu - jer neće imati niti život?!

No ne trude se planetarnom zlu pedofilskih sadržaja na Internetu doskočiti samo bogate zapadne zemlje. Nakon višemjesečnih priprema, a temeljem obavijesti njemačke, austrijske i nizozemske policije, izvedena je domaća policijska akcija "Čistilište 7" koja je urodila privođenjem tri osobe. Na web-stranici: www.mup.hr/3329/1.aspx naš MUP pedantno izvještava da je u akciji privremeno oduzeto, među inim: osam USB-stikova, četiri fotoaparata, jedna videokamera i jedan gram (!) marihuane. Uistinu, sjajno policijsko postignuće.

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Loretta Lux

Kolateralne žrtve

Iako rezultati policijskih akcija protiv internetske pedofilije uvijek iznova zazivaju pitanje jesu li uložena sredstva i medijsko praćenje razmjerni istinskoj veličini problema, moralna panika traje i dalje. Činjenica da je progon vještica bjesnio punih 250 godina opominje nas da moralna panika, ma koliko iracionalna, može činiti ogromne štete kroz dugo vrijeme. Posljednja vještica spaljena je u Švicarskoj 1782. godine, a posljednji sudski proces protiv vještice u Evropi vođen je 1944. godine protiv vidovnjakinje Helen Duncan, za koju su se vlasti pobojale da bi mogla razotkriti detalje o pripremama za Dan D. Optužena je prema Britanskom zakonu o vještičarenju i provela je u zatvoru devet mjeseci. Taj zakon je ukinut tek 1951. godine.

Jedna od novijih kolateralnih žrtava hajke na foto-pedofiliju u nas bio je i fotograf Milisav Vesović zbog dvadeset godina starih fotografija golišavog dječaka uvrštenih u fundus Muzeja suvremene umjetnosti: policija mu je upala u stan, izvršila premetačinu, zaplijenila računalo i sanduk negativa. U službenom priopćenju državne braniteljice za djecu stoji: "Zabrinjava nas mogućnost da ovakva javna izlaganja (tj. Vesovićevih portreta golog dječaka) mogu biti poticaj odraslima koji su spremni na pedofilska ponašanja."

Evo definicije moralne panike kako ju je dao autor tog izraza, britanski sociolog Stanley Cohen: "Moralna panika je reakcija grupe ljudi temeljena na pogrešnom ili pretjeranom poimanju nekog kulturnog ponašanja ili kulturne grupe, da to ponašanje ili grupa prijete društvenim vrijednostima ili interesima." Moralna panika je nusproizvod kontroverza koje izazivaju rasprave i društvene napetosti, ili o kojima je teško raspravljati jer su tabu za mnoge ljude. Dječja spolnost nedvojbeno je još uvijek tabu za mnoge. Još jednom pročitajte priopćenje državne braniteljice za djecu, pa sami izvedite zaključak.

Iako se u prvi mah čini da kao društvo, ako već nismo na dobitku, a ono bar nismo na gubitku zbog hajke na internetsku i foto-pedofiliju, nije tako. Većina nas ima u svom albumu vlastitu golu fotografiju iz dojenačke ili dječje dobi, obično ležeći na krznu, u pozi koju se, riječima državne braniteljice za djecu, može nazvati "poticajem odraslima koji su spremni na pedofilska ponašanja".

Danas se takve fotografije naprosto – ne rade; u novim albumima nećete ih naći. Nećete ih naći ni na jednom internetskom natjecanju fotografija djece, niti u jednom katalogu dječje odjeće ili proizvoda za djecu, naprosto nigdje. Umjesto njih, same slike vrlo kultiviranih, strogo odjevenih i zakopčanih beba, koje rijetko prikazuju lik niže od ramena; nema ljupko zadignutih suknjica, svilastih oblih guza, marcipanski ružičastih ručica i bedara. Nema! Jer, internetska čudovišta, po jedan na svakih pola milijuna stanovnika – vrebaju pred svojim monitorima "spremni na pedofilska ponašanja".

Autocenzura u svakodnevici poprimila je masovne razmjere, ali nije poštedjela ni umjetnost. Zato, promotrimo malo kakve su fotografije djece danas društveno prihvatljive.

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Loretta Lux

Učinak retuširanja

U newyorškoj galeriji Yossi Milo prodaju se dječji fotoportreti njemačke umjetnice Lorette Lux po cijeni od trinaest do dvadeset tisuća dolara. Portreti nastaju sporo, delikatnim retuširanjem Adobe Photoshopom; umjetnica izrađuje samo pet do šest godišnje, svakoga u seriji od dvadeset sedam primjeraka. Učinak retuširanja je nevjerojatno snažan. U bezvremenoj odjeći koju kao da su malo prerasla i bezvremeno jednostavnim ambijentima, djeca na njenim portretima jednako bi mogla pripadati i devetnaestom i dvadeset prvom stoljeću. Većina djece na tim portretima je neprivlačna, čak i ružna; ona koja su skladnih crta nalikuju na lutke, ali koliko je u njima ljupkosti, toliko je i uznemirujuće namještenosti. Tu ne pomaže ni nježna, pastelna paleta.

U izrazima njihovih lica i držanju nema ničega djetinjeg: ni dražesti, ni prisnosti, naivnosti, iskrenosti, otvorenosti, pristupačnosti – zapravo ničega privlačnog. Ta djeca ni na koji način ne saobraćaju s promatračem: očiju malo razmaknutijih nego prirodno, uskih zjenica, pogleda staklenih, hladnih, posve neodređenih, uprtih istovremeno u daljinu i unutra, u sebe: otuđenost, tjeskoba i usamljenost odraslog u dječjem tijelu.

I dok Loretta Lux godišnje trži tek nekoliko slika za velike novce, jedna druga fotografkinja, Australka Anne Geddes, prodala je više od 11 milijuna knjiga i 15 milijuna kalendara sa svojim visoko stiliziranim fotografijama djece. Na prvi pogled, radi se o vrsti prikaza djece dijametralno suprotnoj od onih Lorette Lux. Anne Geddes snima samo vrlo malenu djecu i novorođenčad, no također krajnje stilizirano i idealizirano. I njena dječica su odsutna: usnula su ili gledaju u prazno, bez ikakva dodira s vanjskim svijetom, kao da su još uvijek u maternici. I njihova je odjeća bezvremena: vilinska krilca, cvjetne latice, kostimi kunića i bubica. Ponekad predstavljaju cvjetove ili biljke, pa vire iz šuplje bundeve ili lonca za cvijeće, spavaju u cvjetnoj čaški. Kao i djeca na fotografijama kod Lorette Lux, posve su odvojena od bilo kakvog socijalnog konteksta i svijesti o drugim ljudima, pa čak i od svoje dječje biti: kod Geddes su prikazani kao biljni i životinjski dekor, a kod Lorette Lux su finim digitalnim manipulacijama (neznatno uvećane glave, razmaknute oči i izduljeni udovi) lišena proporcija dječjeg lica i tijela.

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Anne Geddes

Zvjezdano okruženje

Iako su dječica Anne Geddes preslatka (za razliku od šarmantno-jezovite djece Lorette Lux), i ona su sama sebi dovoljna, zatvorena u svom svijetu; ne dopiremo do njih, za nas još nema mjesta u njihovoj svijesti jer su nesvjesna i sebe, kao da su još uvijek fetusi. Luxina djeca, pak, otuđena i svjesna sebe kao da su već odrasla, ne puštaju nas k sebi, i jedna i druga zatvorena u svojoj vrsti bezvremenosti.

Postoji još jedna vrsta dječje fotografije koja je veoma srodna visoko stiliziranom i vrlo privlačnom kiču ove dvije fotografkinje, i na kojoj se također zgrću ogromni profiti, a koja pokazuje da su djeca jedan od najpogodnijih medija za prenošenje projekcija odraslih. To su fotografije u tabloidima koje prikazuju zvijezde u obiteljskom okruženju. I tu su djeca lišena svoje dječje, pa i ljudske biti, služeći kao svojevrsna dekoracija, modni aksesoar, kao što su to u svoje vrijeme bile pudlice.

Tako se Angelina Jolie i Brad Pitt fotografiraju sa svojom dječicom izjavljujući da ih žele ukupno desetero (valjda jer je to lijepa, okrugla brojka). Madonna, pak, odlazi u Afriku posvojiti siromašno dijete (k tome dijete koje ima živog oca!) kao da odlazi u supermarket. Ni ona nije zadovoljna s postojećim brojem svoje djece; kad su djeca aksesoari, teško je zadati si mjeru i reći koliko je dovoljno. Pitajte Imeldu Marcos.

Uklanjanjem iz javnosti fotografija poput Vesovićevih, koje prikazuju djecu onakvu kakva zaista jesu, djeca su ukinuta kao javno i opće društveno dobro. Nema više nekažnjenog uživanja u pogledu na tuđe dijete (pokušajte provesti pola sata na dječjem igralištu i ponuditi nekom djetetu bombon!): djeca su potpuno privatizirana. Kao što je američkim vlastima lakše baviti se iskonstruiranom internet-pedofilijom nego stvarnim zlostavljanjem iračke djece, tako je cijelom potrošačkom društvu lakše učiniti ogromnu emocionalnu investiciju u zaziranje i moralnu paniku prema strancima nego se suočiti s teškim problemom zlostavljanja djece unutar obitelji. Zato vrijedi podsjetiti se da je djetinjstvo kao stanje, ili ljudska situacija, zazorno i duboko zbunjujuće za potrošačko društvo.

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Loretta Lux

Neugodna istina

Djetinjstvo je jednokratno i neponovljivo; u obećanje mladosti možemo povjerovati, ali ne i u obećanje novog djetinjstva: nema tog marketinškog, kozmetičkog ili kirurškog zahvata koji može lažirati djetinjstvo. Mladost je postala stvar društvenog dogovora, i često je zamagljena njena granica prema mladolikosti - važno je samo izgledati mlađe od svoje biološke dobi. Vjerojatno najtraženija roba današnjice je mladost. Jedini kojima će se obećanje mladosti ispuniti jesu djeca – i to besplatno i bez ikakvog napora. Po tome su djeca svojevrsna anomalija u ekonomiji temeljenoj na potrošnji. Djeca nas podsjećaju i na neugodnu životnu istinu da nema povratka u mladost, te da su izgledati mlado i biti mlad dvije posve različite stvari.

Djeca nas podsjećaju i na Freudovu gorku tvrdnju da nas usrećiti može samo ono što smo željeli u djetinjstvu. A djeca ne žele novac. Djeca žele sigurnost, ljubav, nježnost, slobodu, igru, stvaralaštvo, saznanje, uzbuđenje, poštovanje, divljenje, prihvaćenost... Kad se na djetetovoj ljestvici prioriteta pojavi novac, njegovo je istinsko djetinjstvo završeno.

Konačno, tu je i dječja spolnost. Ona nas podsjeća da spolnost nije osovina našeg bića na koju su tek povješane druge naše sastavnice, već da je privremena, prolazna: budi se sa odrastanjem, uspavljuje sa starenjem. I da se bez seksa može sasvim lijepo i udobno živjeti, a bez ljubavi i od usamljenosti može se umrijeti – ne samo socijalno, već i doslovce, kako u djetinjstvu, tako i u kasnijoj dobi. Seks se može kupiti, a ljubav, nažalost, ne, pa nema nikakve nade da ćemo je u razumnom roku moći naći prerađenu i upakiranu u zgodne kutijice na apotekarskim policama odmah do tableta za erekciju.

I za kraj, riječ-dvije o slici golišave bebe koja, nadam se, neće dovesti Feral u nezgodnu situaciju. Na slici sam ja. Slika mi je draga uspomena na doba kad su sva obećanja budućnosti još bila ostvariva, a za izražavanje osobnosti nije bila potrebna nikakva odjeća, aksesoar niti statusni simbol. Draga mi je i zbog podsjećanja da na ovaj svijet dolazimo bez ičega, na onaj svijet nećemo ponijeti ništa, a između tog dolaska i odlaska najvažnije je ono što ne možemo dobiti za novac.

A tebe će, dragi čitaoče, možda podsjetiti da naša zemlja ima neusporedivo težih i prečih briga od internet-pedofilije.

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Loretta Lux

- 00:38 - Komentari (30) - Isprintaj - #

četvrtak, 13.11.2008.

Giorgio Agamben

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Kaže se da preživjeli koji su se vratili – i koji se vraćaju – iz logora ne mogu ništa pripovijedati, a koliko je njihovo svjedočanstvo bilo autentičnije, toliko manje nastoje priopćiti ono što su doživjeli. Kao da ih je i same, prije no druge, obuzela dvojba u istinitost onoga što im se dogodilo – nisu li slučajno neku svoju moru zamijenili s zbiljskim događajem. Oni su znali – i znaju – da u Auschwitzu ili u Omarskoj nisu postali „mudriji, ili dublji, bolji, ljudskiji ili čovjeku naklonjeniji“, naprotiv, izišli su ogoljeni, ispražnjeni, dezorijentirani. A o tome im se nije dalo govoriti. U stanovitim okolnostima, takav osjećaj sumnje u vlastito svjedočanstvo vrijedi, na stanovit način, i za nas same. Kao da nam ništa od onoga što smo doživjeli ovih godina ne daje pravo o tomu govoriti.

Sumnja u vlastite riječi stvara se svaki put kad razlika između javnoga i privatnog gubi svoj smisao. Što su zapravo doživjeli stanovnici logora? Neki povijesno-politički događaj (kao, recimo, vojnik koji je sudjelovao u bitci kod Waterlooa) ili strogo privatno iskustvo? Ni jedno ni drugo. Ako je riječ o Židovu u Auschwitzu ili o bosanskoj ženi u Omarskoj, oni nisu u logor dospjeli političkim izborom, nego zbog nečega što im je najprivatnije i najnepriopćivije: zbog svoje krvi, svojega biološkog tijela. A baš te činjenice zadobivaju ulogu odlučujućih političkih kriterija. Logor je u tom smislu doista inauguralno mjesto moderniteta: prvi prostor u kojemu javni i privatni događaji, politički i biološki život, bivaju strogo nerazlučivima. Budući da je odvojen od političke zajednice i reduciran na goli život (štoviše, na život „koji nije vrijedan življenja“), stanovnik logora je doista apsolutno privatna osoba. Pa ipak nema nijednog trenutka u kojemu on može naći pribježište u osobnom, i upravo ta nerazlikovnost konstituira specifičnu tjeskobu logora.

Kafka je prvi potanko opisao tu navlastitu vrstu mjesta, koja nam otad postadoše savršeno domaćima. Ono što slučaj Josepha K. čini toliko uznemirujućim, a istodobno i smiješnim, jest činjenica što nam javan događaj par excellence – sudski proces – biva predstavljen kao apsolutno privatna činjenica, u kojoj sudska dvorana graniči sa spavaćom sobom. Upravo to čini Proces proročanskom knjigom. I ne toliko – ili ne samo – s obzirom na logore. Što smo doživjeli osamdesetih godina XX stoljeća? Privatnu tlapnju, osamljeno zbivanje ili odlučujući trenutak u talijanskoj i planetarnoj povijesti, do eksplozivnosti prepun zbivanja? Kao da je sve što smo doživjeli tih godina palo u neku mutnu zonu ravnodušja, u kojoj se sve naizmjenično brka i postaje nedokučivim. Događaji oko afere Tangetopoli, na primjer, javni su ili privatni događaj? Priznajem da mi nije jasno. Potom, ako je terorizam doista bio važnim trenutkom naše povijesti, kako je moguće da se javlja u svijesti tek kroz unutarnje proživljavanje pojedinih osoba u obliku pokore, osjećaja krivnje, preobraćenja? Takvu pretapanju javnog u privatno odgovara i senzacionalističko isticanje privatnog: rak na dojci neke filmske zvijezde ili smrt automobilističkog asa privatne su ili osobne stvari? Potom, kako dodirnuti tijelo neke porno-zvijezde na kojem nema ni centimetra što ne bi bio javan? Pa ipak, od tog područja ravnodušja, u kojemu se rasprodaju akcije ljudskog iskustva, moramo danas započeti. Ako dakle logorom nazovemo to mutno područje nerazlučivosti, tada još jednom moramo krenuti od logora…

Primo Levi nam je pokazao kako se danas stidimo što smo ljudi, trpimo stid kojim je svatko od nas na neki način okaljan. To bijaše – i još je i danas – stid zbog postojanja logora, stid što se nije smjelo dogoditi ono što se dogodilo. No stid te vrste, kazano je, danas osjećamo pred velikom vulgarnošću misli, pred određenim televizijskim emisijama, pred licima televizijskih voditelja, pred pouzdanim smiješkom „eksperata“ koji svoje kompetencije nude političkoj igri medija. Tko god je iskusio ovu tihu sramotu zbog toga što je čovjek, raskinuo je u sebi svaku svezu s političkom moći unutar koje živi. Ona hrani njegovu misao i početak je jedne revolucije i bijega čije odredište jedva jedvice nazire…

Klasična je politika razlikovala vrlo jasno između zoe i bios, prirodni i politički život, čovjeka kao jednostavno živo biće kojemu je mjesto u kući, i čovjeka kao politički subjekt kojemu je mjesto bilo u polisu. Pa dobro, o tome mi sad više ništa ne znamo. Nismo više kadri razlikovati zoe i bios, naš biološki život živih bića i našu političku egzistenciju, ono što je nepriopćivo i nijemo i ono što je izrecivo i priopćivo. Mi smo, kako je jednom napisao Foucault, životinje u kojih politika dovodi u pitanje i sam naš život živih bića. Živjeti u izvanrednom stanju što se pretvorilo u pravilo znači također da je naše privatno biološko tijelo postalo neodvojivim od našeg političkog tijela, te da se iskustva nekoć nazivana političkim iznenada ograničuju na naše biološko tijelo, a osobna se iskustva neočekivano predstavljaju izvan nas u obliku političkog tijela. Morali smo se priviknuti misliti i pisati unutar ove konfuzije tijela i mjesta, vanjskog i unutarnjeg, onoga što je nijemo i onoga što ima riječ, onoga što je porobljeno i onoga što je slobodno, onoga što je potreba i onoga što je želja. To znači – zašto ne priznati? – iskusiti apsolutnu nemoć, suočavati se stalno sa samoćom i šutnjom baš tamo gdje smo očekivali društvo i riječi. Dok nas je sa svih strana opkoljavao strašan urnebes masovnih medija koji su određivali novi planetarni politički prostor, u kojemu je iznimka postala pravilom, mi smo tu nemoć iskušavali kako smo najbolje znali. No baš u tom nesigurnom području, u toj mutnoj zoni nerazlučivosti mi moramo pronaći put neke drukčije politike, nekog drukčijeg tijela, neke drukčije riječi. Od te nerazlučivosti javnog i privatnog, biološkog i političkog tijela, zoe i bios, ne želim odustati ni zbog kojeg razloga. Upravo tu moram pronaći moj prostor – tu, ili nigdje drugdje. Samo politika koja polazi od te svijesti može me zanimati…

Forster priča da mu je tijekom njegova razgovora s Kavafisom u Aleksandriji pjesnik rekao: „Vi Englezi nas ne možete razumjeti: mi Grci smo već odavna bankrotirali“. Vjerujem da je jedna od rijetkih stvari što ih sa sigurnošću možemo tvrditi ta da su, otad, svi narodi Europe (a možda i Zemlje) bankrotirali. Živimo nakon stečaja naroda, tako kao što Apollinaire o sebi kaže: „živio sam u vremenu u kojem su umirali kraljevi“. Svaki je narod bankrotirao na poseban način, pa zacijelo nije svejedno što to za Nijemce znači Hitler i Auschwitz, za Španjolce građanski rat, za Francuze Vichy, za ostale narode mirne i strašne pedesete godine, za Srbe silovanja u logoru Omarska; u konačnici, za nas je odlučna jedino nova zadaća što samo je naslijedili od toga stečaja. Možda nju nije ni opravdano definirati kao zadaću, jer više nema nijednog naroda koji bi je mogao na sebe preuzeti. Kako bi danas s podsmjehom rekao aleksandrijski pjesnik: „Budući da ste i vi bankrotirali, sad se konačno možemo razumjeti“.

Preveo s talijanskog Mario Kopić

- 11:21 - Komentari (3) - Isprintaj - #

srijeda, 12.11.2008.

Klaus Mann

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Prijeko, na ledini, vježbali su se u trčanju i natjecali manji dječaci. Kao navijeni automati hrlile su njihove figure po zelenoj površini. Povremeno bi čak onamo, do glavne zgrade, vjetar donosio iskidane, smiješno izobličene njihove zvonke povike, kojima su se uzajamno poticali na što veće uspjehe.

Uz portal stajali su debatirajući neki od starijih učenika. Bili su to oni koji će već slijedećih tjedana polagati maturu i potom, napuštajući spokojno ozračje škole-internata, otići van u velike gradove, u metež života. Puno su razmišljali, puno međusobno razgovarali o tomu što će dalje biti. Poneki su od njih već imali svoj cilj što ga valja dostići, neki ideal koji treba ostvariti; voljeli su lijepim riječima punim zanosa neistomišljenicima hvaliti ono što misle da je nužnost i da mu je došlo vrijeme. Neki su, naravski, mirno šutjeli.

„Divno je“, uzviknu jedan koji je bio član društva „Wandervogel“ i s entuzijazmom je prisezao na regeneraciju, u „novu epohu“, a najoduševljenije u „pobjedu nad dekadencijom“, „doista je lijepo kad čovjek zna koju ulogu igra u povijesti ovoga svijeta – jer je osjetio, stubokom shvatio da se našao tu u času preokreta – da je odabran, pozvan da djelujući u zajednici s prijateljima i drugovima preoblikuje staro u nešto snažno novo“. Imao je navadu da gotovo pri svakoj riječi kratkim strasnim pokretom zabaci tamnu kosu što mu je u pramenovima padala na preplanulo čelo. Žustrih kretnji, djetinjasto retorski ispružio bi cijelu ruku, a pogled mu je bio pun blistava sjaja. No drugi ga prekine i ozbiljno podiže dlan kao da prizivlje neku tajanstvenu silu. „Nemoj govoriti o tim stvarima!“ reče on polako i pogleda strogo ustranu. „Vrijeme preokreta. – Što ti znaš o tome? Govoriš o regeneraciji, a nosiš taj laneni haljetak. Pa što se toga tiče, suum cuique (svakome svoje, prim. prev.). Ali molim te, nemoj govoriti o onomu što je u svezi s kozmičkim zakonima. Je li se vrijeme ispunilo i zašto, znamo samo mi“. Gledao je iskosa u zemlju tamnim vlažnim očima. Zašutio je onako kao što šute oni koji žele što upečatljivije obavijestiti da bi još puno toga mogli reći. Bio je član antropozofskog društva. Zbog ovoga veoma žalosna napada, punog prezira, Wandervogel je u prvi čas bio zabezeknut i malce uplašen. No ubrzo potom zatrese glavom i čak počne prijetiti: „Ah“, reče prijeteći, „to je prava besmislica – ništa ja to ne razumijem. I još, kako mi znamo da se danas budi nešto novo. Pa, na kraju krajeva, sami ga donosimo. Mi smo to, k vragu“. I on se, sa srcem pravovjernika, vedro uspravi u svojemu šarenom lanenom haljetku.

Iz kuće istrčaše neke djevojčice. Bile su to učenice domaćinske škole, obučene u bijele i svijetloplave haljine. „Filozofirate“, doviknuše sa smijehom, „ah, vi mudri, mudri filozofi“ – i bose, držeći se za ruke otrčaše, zabacujući svoju posve svijetlu plavu kosu. „pametnjakovići“ – rugale su im se odlazeći – „stostruko umni“. I njihove svijetle prilike nestadoše brzo iza ugla.

Jedan mladić, neobično brižno dotjeran, slušao je, odajući pokadšto nervozu i nestrpljenje, taj razgovor člana omladinskog društva i teozofa o nečemu novom i o vremenu preokreta. „Ah“, reče naposljetku i zamahnu višeput naglo glavom kao da ga ljute dosadne muhe, „kako to razgovarate – i ni najmanje se ne ženirate. Što dižete toliku halabuku oko tog vašeg 'novog'? Što zapravo hoćete? To 'novo', reče brižno odjeveni uz niz sitnih oštrih pokreta rukom, u nastojanju da slušateljima ipak bude donekle zanimljiv, „to novo nije ništa drugo osim da postajemo sve istančanijih živaca, da sve bolnije a istodobno sve nevoljnije reagiramo na svaki ton boje, na svaki šum koji nas pogodi – na temelju posve logičnog razvića stvari, ono što će nas razlikovati od prethodna naraštaja, bit će ne nov, nego neslućeno diferenciran način – način prema kojemu će sve ono prije izgledati grubo i neukusno“. Zašuti. Lice mu je bilo neobično sitno; zagledan u žarki ljetni krajobraz, smiješio se tužno i sofisticirano. „Neće nam baš biti lakše radi toga“, počne on ponovno. „Ali zato znamo za ushite, male slatke senzacije, prema kojima Baudelaire djeluje neprofinjeno, Wilde odveć prosto. Vidim, primjerice, ove dječake kako se igraju – viđalo se to i prije i držalo da je to dobro i da tako treba. Ali te boje, ti pokreti – to bijelo koje kao iskre odskakuje nad zelenim – čini doista da zadrhtim cijelim tijelom – toliko me ta senzacija potresa, toliko intenzivno uživam u njoj da mi posve jednostavno suze naviru na oči – a to je novo“. Wandervogel, kojemu, po svoj prilici, smisao rečena i niz sitnih kretnji rukom nije bio posve jasan, uzviknu radosna srca, dok je uzbuđeno zabacivao kosu: „Vidim dječake kako se predaju igri – ali to što se tako igraju, što se naposljetku ponovno raduju svojemu tijelu, spašeni od bolesne preciviliziranosti, vraćeni velikoj prirodi, što moraju biti vedri nositelji jedne nove sjajne etike – to, to je ono novo!“ I kad on, ubrzana daha zbog svoje ispovijedi, blistajući od sreće ušuti, odmah odjeknu, naglašeno zatamnjen, kao iz tajanstvenih dubina nekoga hrama, glas mladog teozofa: „To što su se ti dječaci“, objavi on svečano i polako, „našli tu stavljeni u treću veliku prekretnicu svjetske povijesti, a oni to naravski ne mogu ni slutiti, i što svaki od njih nesvjesno i podsvjesno svojim malim, malim dijelom mora pridonijeti ispunjenju, neopozivo, kozmičkoga zakona – samo je to ono bitno, samo se o tomu radi“.

U sve to upletala se vjetrom nasumce raspuhana vika dječaka s ledine.

Jedan među onima koji su tu okupljeni stajali, samo je šutio. Razmišljao je o onomu što su drugi rekli. Sve je shvaćao, a ni sam nije znao što ga u tomu toliko rastužuje. „Eto, jedan“, razmišljao je šutljivi, „drži dekadenciju izvanredno okončanom, i neskriveno, u blistavoj čistoći pred nama je blizu to novo, nošeno krilima pokreta Wandervogel. Ni onaj drugi nije baš skroman, ima osjećaj posvećenosti u najtajanstvenije kultove; vjeruje da je točno upućen u sudbinu svih nas, kao sudionik u poznavanju tajne kozmosa – treći mora plakati i kad se boji i kad se veseli, i čini mu se da je patološka profinjenost živčanog sustava glavni cilj ovom vremenu. – Kako se čudno osjećamo“.

Wandervogel se snažno protezao na suncu. Teozof je nejasno gledao ustranu, u zemlju, očiju vlažnih od velike ozbiljnosti. Onaj profinjeni mahao je rukom da se rashladi i puno se trsio oko toga da bi lijepo namjestio svoju malo svijetloplavu kravatu. – Tako su stajali jedan pokraj drugoga.

„Ipak je čudno“, pomisli šutljivi. „Takvi izlazimo u svijet. – je li vazda bivalo tako neobično i čudnovato onima koji su stajali pred životom, kao mi danas? – Kako puno oblika ima njihova čežnja. – I što će od toga biti? – Morao bi biti jedan u kojega bi se stekle te čežnje, ti ciljevi. – Kako bi onda stvar stajala s njim?“

Mali fini, s odveć finim osjećajem u prsima, odjednom mu se nasmiješi: „Ti šutiš?“ reče. „Da, naravski, misliš svoje“.

Kao glasna povorka pristizali su trkači s ledine. Odjeveni u kratke sportske hlače, posve preplanula lica, tako da je njihova svijetloplava kosa sad izgledala bijela prema tamnoj koži. Odlazili su čavrljajući. „Je li oduvijek postojalo tako čudno obećanje među dječacima?“ mislio je šutljivi. „Doba preokreta – doba preokreta – tko bi mogao biti dostatno slab da se posve preda tim strujama i onda, dostatno jak, iz te predanosti nanovo nađe sebe. Kako li će to završiti? Kako to zamišlja dragi Bog?“ I odjednom – ostali su u prvi čas bili osupnuti – reče glasno, gledajući ih sve unaokolo: „Pa već će nekako biti“. I oni se svi skupa nasmijaše. Jedni zato što nisu znali što je zapravo mislio izrekom, a on možda samo zato da svlada tugu što je u njemu toliko narasla.

I tako su se smijali uglas na pragu života.

(1925)

* Wandervogel – omladinski pokret u Njemačkoj nalik skautskom, utemeljen 1896. godine, ukinut 1933.g.


Preveo s njemačkog Mario Kopić

- 07:10 - Komentari (4) - Isprintaj - #

SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK

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CONTENTS

Vorwort: For the Love of the Opera

Einleitung: "Meine traeume schaff'ich nicht"

Death Drive and the Wagnerian Sublime - The Forced Choice - The Disavowal

1 "Deeper than the day could read"

The 'What-Ifs' - Tristan's Journey to the Bottom of the Night - Transgression? No, thanks! - Wagner's Sexualized Politics - The Moebius Band

2 "The Everlasting Irony of the Community"
Wagner with Kierkegaard - Kundry's Laughter ... - ... and her Kiss - The Feminine versus Woman

Interlude: The Feminine Excess

3 Run, Isolde, Run

The Cyberspace Tristan - The Morning After - "It quacks, hoots, pants, and gasps" - The Separated Flames - No More Running

Literature

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VORWORT: FOR THE LOVE OF THE OPERA


In recent times, the psychoanalytic approach to opera deservedly enjoys a bad press: what we usually get is a "deconstructionist" reading of the libretto, or, perhaps even worse, a rather primitive "Freudian" denunciation of its (patriarchal, anti-Semitic and/or antifeminist...) bias. The contention of this book is that opera deserves something better. The very historical connection between opera and psychoanalysis is thought-provoking: the moment of the birth of psychoanalysis (the beginning of 20th century) is also generally perceived as the moment of opera's death - as if, after psychoanalysis, opera, at least in its traditional form, is no longer possible. No wonder, then, that Freudian resonances abound in most of the pretenders to the title of the "last opera" (say, Berg's Lulu).
However, the awareness of this historical connection does not equal the historicist contextualization permeating today's Cultural Studies. In a famous passage from the Introduction to his Grundrisse manuscript, Marx mentions how easy it is to explain Homer's poetry from its unique historical context - it is much more difficult to explain its universal appeal, i.e. why it continues to give us artistic pleasure long after its historical context disappeared. If we reduce a great work of art or science to its historical context, we miss its universal dimension: apropos of Freud, it is also easy to describe his roots in the fin de siecle Vienna - much more difficult is to demonstrate how this very specific situation enabled him to formulate universal theoretical insights. Such historicizing is especially problematic in the case of Wagner. It is easy to show how Parsifal grew out of the imperial anti-modernist anti-Semitism - to enumerate all the painful tasteless details of Wagner's ideological engagements in the last years of his life (his obsessions with the purity of the blood and vegetarianism, Gobineau and Houston Chamberlain...). However, in order to grasp the true greatness of Parsifal, one should precisely ABSTRACT from this particular circumstances: only in this way one can discern how and why Parsifal still exerts such a power today. So, paradoxically, the context OBFUSCATES Wagner's true achievement.
Why, then, opera's SECOND death? To put it somewhat bluntly: because, from its very beginning, opera was dead, a still-born child of the musical art. One of the standard complaints about the opera today is that it is obsolete, no longer really alive, and, furthermore (another aspect of the same reproach), that it is no longer a fully autonomous art - it always has to rely in a parasitic way on other arts (on "pure" music, on theater). Instead of denying the charge, one should undermine it by, precisely, radicalizing it: opera NEVER was in accord with its time - from its very beginnings, it was perceived as something "outdated," as a retroactive solution of a certain inherent crisis in music, and as an "impure" art. To put it in Hegelese, opera is "outdated" in its very concept. How, then, can one not love it?
One of the members of the Vienna Philharmonic reports on the strange incident which occurred while, in the early 50s, the orchestra was practicing under a mediocre conductor. All of a sudden, inexplicably, the orchestra started to play much better; surprised, the member looked around and noticed that Wilhelm Furtwaengler (THE conductor of the 20th century) entered the hall at a side entrance - when players registered his presence, they spontaneously put a much greater effort in their playing not to disappoint HIM. The two authors entertain an immodest hope that a similar effect will be discernible in the present book: that the love of its subject did leave at least some traces in its writing.

INTRODUCTION: "I DO NOT ORDER MY DREAMS"

In the accompanying text to one of the recordings of Mozart's Cosi, the partnership of Mozart and da Ponte is proclaimed "as memorable as those of Verdi and Boito, Gilbert and Sullivan, Strauss and Hofmannstal, or Wagner with himself." The surprising thing is how one is allowed to enumerate Wagner's incestuous self-relationship in a series with other, "normal," relationships, implying that Wagner was lucky to encounter the right librettist, i.e. himself - a formulation which fits perfectly Wagner's unabashedly self-centered reading of the previous history of the opera and music in general: the features he emphasizes as most progressive in previous composers (say, the great finale of the Act II of Mozart's Le nozze) are the features he is able to read as pointing forward towards himself, toward his own notion and practice of the "music drama." However, what if Wagner was right? What if his work effectively marks a unique achievement, a turning point which enables us to interpret properly retroactively the ambiguities and breaks of the previous composers, as well as to conceive of what follows as the disintegration of the unique Wagnerian equilibrium? Borges once remarked, apropos of Kafka, that some writers have the power to create their own precursors - this is the logic of retroactive restructuring of the past through the intervention of a new point-de-capiton: a truly creative act not only restructures the field of future possibilities, it restructures the past, resignifying the past contingent traces as pointing towards the present. The underlying wager of the present essay is to endorse the notion that such is the position of Wagner - to put it in a naive and direct way: what if Tristan and Parsifal simply and effectively ARE (from a certain standpoint, at least) the two single "greatest," absolute, works of art in the history of humankind?
The proper approach would thus have been to start with The Flying Dutchman, which occupies in Wagner's opus the same structural role as The Abduction from the Seraglio in Mozart: it directly renders its elementary matrix. That is to say, while Mozart's operas present a series of variations on the same basic motif (the Master's gesture of Mercy which reunites the amorous couple), The Abduction From the Seraglio, with its uniquely naive assertion of the all-conquering force of Love, clearly stands out as - in no way "the best," and precisely for that reason - directly embodying this basic motif (the finale of its Act II with its triumphant "Es lebe die Liebe!" quartet is unique in its naivety, in its lack of later famous Mozartean irony). When, after the low point of Cosi fan tutte, with its uncanny "mechanistic" Pascalean conclusion that love is mechanically generated by following the external ritual, Mozart endeavors to reestablish the pure naivety of the power of love in The Magic Flute, this return to origins is already faked, tainted with artificiality, like the parents who, in telling stories to the children, just pretend to be naive and really to believe it.
And it is similar with Wagner: with regard to the purity of The Flying Dutchman, one is even tempted to claim that Tannhaeuser and Lohengrin, although (in Wagner's lifetime) his most popular operas, are not truly "Wagnerian" works (see Tanner 1997): they lack a proper Wagnerian hero. Tannhaeuser is "too common," simply split between pure spiritual love (for Elizabeth) and the excess of earthly erotic enjoyment (provided by Venus), unable to renounce earthly pleasures while longing to get rid of them; Lohengrin is, on the contrary, "too celestial," a divine creature (artist) longing to live like a common mortal with a faithful woman who would trust him absolutely. Neither of the two is in the position of a proper Wagnerian hero, condemned to the "undead" existence of eternal suffering (the closest we come to it is, towards the end of Tannhaeuser, the hero's long "Rome narrative," the first full example of the Wagnerian hero's protracted suffering which prevents him to die). And is it not that, again, in a similar way, Meistersinger is "too common" with its acceptance of social reality, and Parsifal "too celestial" in its rejection of sexual love, so that the triad of Tristan, Meistersinger and Parsifal repeats at a higher potency/power the triad of The Flying Dutchman, Tannhaeuser and Lohengrin? However, since I already made an attempt in such a reading , I would prefer to accomplish here a similar move in the opposite direction: to read Wagner's Tristan as the zero-level work, as the perfect, ultimate, formulation of a certain philosophico-musical vision, and then to read the later works (of Wagner himself as well as of other composers) as the variations on this theme, as posts on the path of the disintegration of Tristan's unique synthesis which culminates in the much-celebrated Liebestod towards which the entire opera tends as towards its final resolution.

Death Drive and the Wagnerian Sublime

We sing for different reasons: at the very beginning of his Eugene Onegin, Pushkin presents the scene of women singing while picking strawberries on a field - with the acerbic explanation that they are ordered to sing by their mistress, so that they cannot eat strawberries while picking them... So why does Isolde sing? The first thing to note is the performative, self-reflective, dimension of Isolde's final song. When, in the finale of Prokofjev's ballet Romeo and Juliet, Romeo finds Juliet dead, his dance renders his desperate effort to resuscitate her - however, here, the action in a sense takes place at two levels, not only at the level of what the dance renders, but also at the level of the dance itself. The fact that the dancing Romeo is dragging around the dead corpse of Juliet which is suspended like a dead squid out of water, can also be read as his desperate effort to return this inert body to the state of dance itself, to restore its capacity to magically sublate the gravity and freely float in the air, so that his dance is in a way a reflexive dance, a dance aimed at the very (dis)ability to dance of the dead partner. The designated content (Romeo's lament of the dead Juliet) is sustained by the self-reference to the form itself. And it is homologous with Isolde's singing: in the "sublime" moment of Liebestod, Isolde's singing as such is at stake. Here singing does not simply "represent" her inner state, her longing to unite herself with Tristan in her death - she dies OF singing, OF immersing into the song, i.e., the culminating identification with the voice is the very medium of her death.
In what, then, does this Liebestod consist? The answer seems to be clear: Wagner's eclectic combination of Buddhist nirvana (mediated through Schopenhauer) and metaphysical eroticism. The structuring opposition is the one between Day and Night: the daily universe of symbolic obligations, honors, etc., versus its nightly abrogation in the "hoechste Lust" of erotic self-obliteration. No wonder that this sinking into the oblivious Night is associated with Ireland - as Heinrich Boell reports in his marvelous Irish Diary from the 50s (see Boell 1957), there were in Irish pubs small booths, seats isolated with a leather curtain, with straps by means of which a drunkard can attach himself to the seat, to immerse himself alone into the "night of the world," to get away from the daily world of family, honor, profession, obligations, and to swim in the darkness till he runs out of money and is thus reluctantly compelled to return to the daily universe of obligations. So everything seems clear: the eroticized death drive, the suspension of the symbolic order... here, however, the first complication arises. Yes, Tristan is the story of a lethal passion which finds its resolution in the ecstatic self-obliteration; but the very mode of this self-obliteration is as far as possible from the passionate violation of all rules - the immersion into the Night is rendered as a cold, declamatory, distanced procedure. No wonder that perhaps the ultimate staging of Tristan in the last decades, the one by Heiner Mueller, Brecht's unofficial heir, emphasized precisely this aspect of an almost mechanically enacted ritual.
A look at the other Wagnerian heroes can be of some help here: from their first paradigmatic case, the Flying Dutchman, they are possessed by the unconditional passion for dying, for finding ultimate peace and redemption in death. Their predicament is that, some time in the past, they have committed some unspeakable evil deed, so that they are condemned to pay the price for it not by death, but by being condemned to a life of eternal suffering, of helplessly wandering around, unable to fulfill their symbolic function. This gives us a clue to the exemplary Wagnerian song, which, precisely, is the complaint (Klage) of the hero, displaying his horror at being condemned to a life of eternal suffering, to err around or dwell as the "undead" monster, longing for peace in death (from its first example, Dutchman's great introductory monologue, to the lament of the dying Tristan and the two great complaints of the suffering Amfortas). Although there is no great complaint by Wotan, Bruenhilde's final farewell to him - "Ruhe, ruhe, du Gott!" - points in the same direction: when the gold is returned to Rhine, Wotan is finally allowed to die peacefully.
Wagner's solution to Freud's antagonism of Eros and Thanatos is thus the identity of the two poles: love itself culminates in death, its true object is death, the longing for the beloved is the longing for death. Is, then, this urge which haunts the Wagnerian hero what Freud called the "death drive /Todestrieb/"? It is precisely the reference to Wagner which enables us to see how the Freudian death drive has nothing whatsoever to do with the craving for self-annihilation, for the return to the inorganic absence of any life-tension. Death drive does NOT reside in Wagner's heroes' longing to die, to find peace in death: it is, on the contrary, the very opposite of dying - a name for the "undead" eternal life itself, for the horrible fate of being caught in the endless repetitive cycle of wandering around in guilt and pain. The final passing-away of the Wagnerian hero (the death of the Dutchman, Wotan, Tristan, Amfortas) is therefore the moment of their liberation from the clutches of the death drive. Tristan in Act III is not desperate because of his fear of dying: what makes him desperate is that, without Isolde, he cannot die and is condemned to eternal longing - he anxiously awaits her arrival so as to be able to die. The prospect he dreads is not that of dying without Isolde (the standard complaint of a lover), but rather that of the endless life without her... The paradox of the Freudian "death drive" is therefore that it is Freud's name for its very opposite, for the way immortality appears within psychoanalysis, for an uncanny EXCESS of life, for an "undead" urge which persist beyond the (biological) cycle of life and death, of generation and corruption. The ultimate lesson of psychoanalysis is that human life is never "just life": humans are not simply alive, they are possessed by the strange drive to enjoy life in excess, passionately attached to a surplus which sticks out and derails the ordinary run of things.
Such a striving to experience life at its excessive fullest is what Wagner's operas are about. This excess inscribes itself into the human body in the guise of a wound which makes the subject "undead," depriving him of the capacity to die (apart from Tristan's and Amfortas' wound, there is, of course, THE wound, the one from Kafka's "A Country Doctor"): when this wound is healed, the hero can die in peace. On the other hand, as Jonathan Lear is right to emphasize (see Lear 2000), the figure of the balanced Ideal Life delivered of the disturbing excesses (say, the Aristotelian contemplation) is also an implicit stand-in for death. Wagner's insight was to combine these two opposite aspects of the same paradox: getting rid of the wound, healing it, is ultimately the same as fully and directly identifying with it. Does this insight not concern the very core of Christianity? Is Christ not the One who healed the wound of humanity by fully taking it upon himself? It is here that the originality of Wagner appears: he gave to the figure of Christ an uncanny twist. While Christ was the Pure One who took upon himself the Wound (the highest suffering), Parsifal (the Wagnerian Christ) does NOT heal the wound of Amfortas by taking it upon himself: in clear contrast to Christ, he brings redemption by fully retaining his purity, by resisting the temptation of the Excess of Life (the temptation which brought the devastation to the Kingdom of the Grail, when Amfortas' father Titurel also succumbed to it by excessively enjoying in the Grail), NOT by assuming himself the burden of the Sin. For this reason, Parsifal does NOT have to die, but can directly impose himself as a new Ruler - Robert Gutman is right to claim that Parsifal's "temple scenes are, in a sense, Black Masses, perverting the symbols of the Eucharist and dedicating them to a sinister god."(Gutman 1990, p. 432)
In the history of opera, this excess of life is discernible in two main versions, Italian and German, Rossini and Wagner - so, maybe, although they are the great opposites, Wagner's well-known private sympathy for Rossini, as well as their meeting in Paris, do bear witness to a deeper affinity. In contrast to Wagner, Rossini's universe is decidedly pre-Romantic - a universe in which, as well as in later melodramas, the evil characters feel the need to DECLARE their evil to their victims - even Pizarro in Beethoven's Fidelio, in the great confrontation in Act II, declares who he is to Florestan before proceeding to kill him, i.e. he wants Florestan to KNOW who will kill him. The darker undertone of such self-display can be discerned in de Laclos's Les liaisons dangereuses, in which Valmont, the hero, wants to seduce Madame de Tourvel not in a reckless moment of passion, but in her full consciousness - he wants her to SEE HERSELF being humiliated and unable to resist it - to experience her splitting: "Let her believe in virtue, but let her sacrifice it for my sake; let her be afraid of her sins, but let them not check her." Valmont's plan is thus "to make her perfectly aware of the value and extent of each one of her sacrifices she makes; not to proceed so fast with her that the remorse is unable to catch up; it is to show her virtue breathing its last in long-protracted agonies; to keep that sombre spectacle ceaselessly before her eyes."(Laclos 1961, p. 150) What we have here is the opposite of the standard seduction (as exemplified by don Giovanni), where the seducer is trying to persuade the woman to surrender herself in a moment of passion which blinds her judgement, so that it is only "the morning after" that the awareness of her act catches up with her: Valmont wants her fully aware of what is happening to her, he wants her in a position of "I know VERY WELL what is happening to me, I am fully aware of the irretrievable consequences of my act, but nonetheless I cannot help it, I want it and I will do it..." The position is here anti-tragic: in a tragedy proper, the subject accomplishes the fateful act unaware of its consequences which, afterwards, catch up with him, so that he gets the message of his act with a delay; here, however, there is no temporal gap opening up the space for the tragic experience, since the act itself coincides with the full awareness of its consequences. This is the sadist's position of transposing onto the Other the subjective split at its purest.
In a homologous way, the two men in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte want to have their fiancees SEE THEMSELVES HUMILIATED: the point is not just to test their fidelity, but to embarrass them by way of compelling them to confront publicly their infidelity (recall the finale, when, after the marriage contract with the two "Albanians," the two men return in their proper dresses and then let the fiancees know that they were the "Albanians"). The desire that is enigmatic here is not the feminine one (is it stable or are women's emotions fleeting?), but MAN'S desire: what kind of the "imp of perversity" propels the two young gentlemen to submit their fiancees to such a cruel ordeal? What is pushing them to throw in disarray the harmonious idyll of their love relationship? Obviously, they want their fiancees back, but properly humiliated, confronted with the vanity of their feminine desire. As such, their position is strictly that of the Sadean pervert: their aim is to displace to the Other (victim) the division of the desiring subject, i.e. the unfortunate fiancees must assume the pain of finding repulsive their desire itself.
With the typical late Romantic villain (say, Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca), we get a thoroughly different constellation, discernible not only in the supremely obscene Finale of Act I, but throughout the whole Act II: Scarpia not only wants to possess Tosca sexually - he wants to witness her pain and her impotent fury provoked by his acts: "How do you hate me! ... This is how I desire you!" Scarpia wants to generate in his object a hatred which arises from the fury at being reduced to impotence; he doesn't want her love - he wants her to give herself to him as the act of utter humiliation, on behalf of her love for Mario - on behalf of her desire for ANOTHER man, not for him. His is the HATRED of the feminine object: Scarpia's true partner is the man desired/loved by the woman, which is why his supreme triumph is when Mario sees Tosca to surrender herself to Scarpia out of love for him and CURSES/REJECTS her violently for that. Therein resides the difference between Scarpia and Valmont: while Valmont wants the woman to hate HERSELF while surrendering herself, Scarpia wants her to hate HIM, the seducer. (See Braunstein 1986, p. 91-92.)
Rossini belongs to this same series of the self-display - however, with a twist. His great male portraits, the three from Barbiere (Figaro's "Largo il factotum," Basilio's "Calumnia," and Bartolo's "Un dottor della mia sorte"), plus father's wishful self-portrait of corruption in Cenerentola, enact a mocked self-complaint, where one imagines oneself in a desired position, the one bombarded by demands for a favor or service: the subject assumes the roles of those who address him, and then feigns a reaction to it. Let us take the father in Cenerentola: when his daughter will be married to the Prince, people will address him for services at the court, offering him bribes, and he will furiously react, overwhelmed by it... The culminating moment of the archetypal Rossini aria is this unique moment of happiness, of the full assertion of the excess of Life, or, even, the Rossinian Sublime, which arises when the subject is overwhelmed by demands, no longer being able to deal with them. At the highpoint of his "factotum" aria, Figaro es: "What a crowd /of the people bombarding me with their demands/ - have mercy, one after the other /uno per volta, per carita/!", referring therewith to the Kantian experience of the Sublime, in which the subject is bombarded with an excess of the data that he is unable to comprehend. The basic economy is here obsessional: the object of desire is the other's demand. This excess is the proper counterpoint to the Wagnerian Sublime, to the "hoechste Lust" of the immersion into the Void that concludes Tristan. There is, of course, something pre-Romantic, pre-psychological, caricatural, in this total self-display, which is why, with the onset of the Romantic psychology, Rossini was right to stop composing and to adopt the satisfied stance of a bon vivant - this was the only properly ETHICAL thing to do (his long silence is comparable to that of Sibelius and, in literature, to those of Rimbaud and Hammett). - This opposition of the Rossinian and of the Wagnerian Sublime perfectly fits the Kantian opposition between the mathematical and the dynamic Sublime : as we have just seen, the Rossinian Sublime is mathematical, it enacts the inability of the subject to comprehend the pure quantity of the demands that overflow him, while the Wagnerian Sublime is dynamic, it enacts the overpowering force of the ONE demand, the unconditional demand of love.

The Forced Choice

The reference to this excess of life enables us to account for one of the alleged "contradictions" in the plot of the Ring: in their downfall, gods are supposed to pay the price for disturbing the cosmic balance (appropriating the gold which should have been left to rest at the bottom of Rhine); however, since the gold - the ring - is finally returned to Rhine, why do gods nonetheless perish? The only way to answer this enigma is to introduce the difference of two deaths: the biologically necessary demise AND the "second death", the fact that the subject died in peace, with his accounts settled, with no symbolic debt haunting his memory. Wagner himself changed the text of the Ring with regard to this crucial point: in the first version of Erda's warning in the final scene of Rheingold, gods will perish if gold is not returned to Rhine, whereas in the final version, they will perish anyway, the point is merely that prior to their demise, the gold should be returned to Rhine, so that they will die properly and avoid the "irretrievable dark perdition." The unpaid debt, the "original sin" of disturbing the natural equilibrium, is that which prevents Wotan from dying - he can only die and find peace after he settles his debt.
What we encounter in this uncanny space between the two deaths is the palpitation of a life-substance which cannot ever perish, like Amfortas' wound in Parsifal. Suffice it to recall Leni Riefenstahl who, in her unending search for the ultimate life substance, focused her attention first on the Nazis, then on an African tribe whose male members allegedly display true masculine vitality, and finally on deep-sea animals - as if it was only here, in this fascinating crawling of primitive life forms, that she finally encountered her true object. This underwater life seems indestructible like Leni herself: what we fear when we are following reports on how, almost 100 years old, she is engaged in diving in order to make a documentary on deep-sea life, is that she will never die - our unconscious fantasy is definitely that she is immortal... It is crucial to conceive the notion of death drive against the background of this "second death", as the will to abolish the indestructible palpitation of life beyond death (of the Dutchman, of Kundry and Amfortas), not as the will to negate the immediate biological life cycle. After Parsifal succeeds in annihilating the "pathological" sexual urge in himself, this precisely opens up his eyes for the innocent charm of the immediate natural life cycle (the Magic of the Good Friday). - So, back to Wotan, he wants to shed his guilt in order to die properly, in peace, and thus to avoid the fate of an undead monster who, unable to find peace even in death, haunts the common mortals - this is what Bruenhilde has in mind when, at the very end of The Twilight of Gods, after returning the ring to the Rhinemaidens, she says: "Rest now, rest now, you god! /Ruhe, ruhe, du Gott!/" Consequently, there is a dimension of life which death drive wills to annihilate; however, this life is not the simple biological life, but the very "undead" life of the eternal longing "between the two deaths."
This notion of the "second death" enables us to locate properly Wagner's claim that Wotan raises to the tragic height of willing his own downfall: "This is everything we have to learn from the history of mankind: to will the inevitable and to carry it out oneself." (Quoted from Cord 1983, p. 125) Wagner's precise formulation is to be taken literally, in all its paradoxicality - if something is already in itself inevitable, why should we then actively will it and work towards its occurrence, one might ask? This paradox, central to the symbolic order, is the obverse of the paradox of prohibiting something impossible (incest, for example) which can be discerned up to Wittgenstein's famous "What one cannot speak about, thereof one should be silent" - if it is in any case impossible to say anything about it, why add the superfluous prohibition? The fear that one would nevertheless say something about it is strictly homologous to the fear that what is necessary will not occur without our active assistance. The ultimate proof that we are not dealing here with futile logical games is the existential predicament of predestination: the ideological reference which sustained the extraordinary explosion of activity in early capitalism was the Protestant notion of Predestination. That is to say, contrary to the common notion according to which, if everything is decided in advance, why bother at all, it was the very awareness that their fate is already sealed up which propelled the subjects into frantic activity. The same goes for Stalinism: the most intense mobilization of the society's productive effort was sustained by the awareness that they are merely realizing the inexorable historical necessity...
At a different level, Brecht gave a poignant expression to this predicament in his "learning plays", exemplarily in Jasager in which the young boy is asked to accord freely with what will in any case be his fate (to be thrown into the valley). As his teacher explains to him, it is customary to ask the victim if he agrees with his fate, but it is also customary for the victim to say yes... All these examples are far from exceptional: every belonging to a society involves a paradoxical point at which the subject is ordered to embrace freely, as the result of his choice, what is anyway imposed on him (we all must love our country, our parents...), i.e. at a certain point, everyone of us was ordered to choose freely what was imposed on her or him. - Our point, however, is that all these paradoxes can only occur within the space of symbolization: the gap on account of which the demand to embrace freely the inevitable is not a meaningless tautology can only be the gap that forever separates an event in the immediacy of its raw reality from its inscription into the symbolic network - to embrace freely an imposed state of things simply means to integrate this state of things into one's symbolic universe. In this precise sense, the gesture of willing freely one's own death signals the readiness to come to terms with one's death also on the symbolic level, to abandon the mirage of symbolic immortality.
This paradox of "willing (choosing freely) what is necessary", of pretending (maintaining the appearance) that there is a free choice although effectively there isn't one, is closely connected to the splitting of the law into Ego-Ideal (the public-written law) and superego (the obscene-unwritten-secret law). Since, at the level of Ego-Ideal, the subject wants the semblance of a free choice, the superego injunction has to be delivered "between the lines". Superego articulates the paradoxical injunction of what the subject, its addressee, has to choose freely; as such, this injunction has to remain invisible to the public eye if the Power is to remain operative. In short, what the subject effectively wants is a command in the guise of freedom, of a free choice: he wants to obey, but simultaneously to maintain the semblance of freedom and thus to save his face. If the command is delivered directly, by-passing the semblance of freedom, the public humiliation hurts the subject and can induce him to rebel; if there is no order discernible in the Master's discourse, this lack of a command is experienced as suffocating and gives rise to the demand for a new Master capable of providing a clear injunction.
We can see, now, how the notion of freely choosing what is anyway inevitable is strictly codependent with the notion of an empty symbolic gesture, a gesture - an offer - which is meant to be rejected: the one is the obverse of the other, i.e. what the empty gesture offers is the possibility to choose the impossible, that which inevitably will not happen (in Brecht's case, the expedition turning around with the sick boy instead of getting rid of him by way of throwing him into the valley). Another exemplary case of such an empty gesture is found in John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany: after the little boy Owen accidentally kills John's - his best friend's, the narrator's - mother, he is, of course, terribly upset, so, to show how sorry he is, he discretely delivers to John a gift of the complete collection of color photos of baseball stars, his most precious possession; however, Dan, John's delicate stepfather, tells him that the proper thing to do is to return the gift. What we have here is symbolic exchange at its purest: a gesture made to be rejected; the point, the "magic" of symbolic exchange, is that, although at the end we are where we were at the beginning, the overall result of the operation is not zero but a distinct gain for both parties, the pact of solidarity. And is not something similar part of our everyday mores? When, after being engaged in a fierce competition for a job promotion with my closest friend, I win, the proper thing to do is to offer him to retract, so that he will get the promotion, and the proper thing for him to do is to reject my offer - this way, perhaps, our friendship can be saved... In short, far from standing for an empty Romantic hyperbole, Wagner's notion of freely embracing the inevitable points towards a feature constitutive of the symbolic order.
However, Wotan's gesture of willing his own destruction in order to shed his guilt, and Tristan and Isolde embracing their disappearance into the abyss of Nothingness as the climactic fulfillment of their love, these two exemplary cases of the Wagnerian death drive, are to be supplemented by a third one, that of Bruenhilde, this "suffering, self-sacrificing woman" who "becomes at last the true, conscious redeemer"(quoted in Cooke 1979, p. 16-17). She also wills her annihilation, but not as a desperate means to compensate for her guilt - she wills it as an act of love destined to redeem the beloved man, or, as Wagner himself put it in a letter to Liszt: "The love of a tender woman has made me happy; she dared to throw herself into a sea of suffering and agony so that she should be able to say to me 'I love you!' No one who does not know all her tenderness can judge how much she had to suffer. We were spared nothing - but as a consequence I am redeemed and she is blessedly happy because she is aware of it." (Quoted from Donington 1990, p. 265.) Once again, we should descend here from the mythic heights into the everyday bourgeois reality: woman is aware of the fact that, by means of her suffering which remains invisible to the public eye, of her renunciation for the beloved man and/or her renunciation to him (the two are always dialectically interconnected, since, in the fantasmatic logic of the Western ideology of love, it is for the sake of her man that the woman must renounce him), she rendered possible man's redemption, his public social triumph - like Traviata who abandons her lover and thus enables his reintegration into the social order; like the young wife in Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence who knows of her husband's secret adulterous passion, but feigns ignorance in order to save their marriage... Examples are here innumerable, and one is tempted to claim that - like Euridice who, by sacrificing herself, i.e. by intentionally provoking Orpheus into turning his gaze towards her and thus sending her back to Hades, delivers his creativity and sets him free to pursue his poetic mission - Elsa also intentionally asks the fateful question and thereby delivers Lohengrin whose true desire, of course, is to remain the lone artist sublimating his suffering into his creativity... We can see here the link between death drive and creative sublimation which provides the coordinates for the gesture of feminine self-sacrifice, this constant object of Wagner's dreams: by way of giving up her partner, the woman effectively redeems him, i.e. compels him to take the path of creative sublimation and perlaborate the raw stuff of the failed real sexual encounter into the myth of absolute love. What one should do is, therefore, read Wagner's Tristan the way Goethe explained his Werther: by way of writing the book, the young Goethe symbolically acted out his infatuation and brought it to its logical conclusion (suicide); this way, he relieved himself of the unbearable tension and was able to return to his everyday existence. The work of art acts here as the fantasmatic supplement: its enactment of the fully consummated sexual relationship supports the compromise in our actual social life - in Tristan, Wagner erected a monument to Mathilde Wesendonck and to his immortal love for her, so that, in reality, he was able to get over his infatuation and return to normal bourgeois life.

The Disavowal

Tristan is not just an opera: Michael Tanner was right to point out that, if one is to make sense of Tristan, one has to approach it not simply as a work of art, but as an "ontological" statement about the last things, about the "meaning of life." (See Tanner 1997.) The problem here is not the standard postmodern quip about who, in our cynical post-ideological era, can still take seriously big metaphysical solutions like the Wagnerian Liebestod, but, rather, the opposite one, i.e. today's ambiguous relationship towards belief (or firm convictions as such). Suffice it to mention two thoroughly different examples. Isn't it deeply symptomatic how - in some European countries, at least - priests and Rightist populist politicians are among the most popular guests in round table TV debates? What makes them so fascinating is their very "naive" sticking to firm conditions: it is the fact that they dare to stick publicly and firmly to their convictions that makes them such an easy target. The second example: why do fans insist on watching a soccer match LIVE, even if it is in front of the TV? Why is this never the same as watching it later? The only honest answer is: to help their club, i.e. to magically influence the game (which is why, even if they are only in front of the TV screen, they hiss and shout in support of their side). Is this not confirmed by the opposite experience: 30 years ago, when the public was still thrilled by the heart transplants, the plans for their live TV transmission were rejected on ethical grounds - why? Because of the possibility that the operation can fail and the patient die - as if the public would somehow be co-responsible for it... The logic at work here is, of course, that of the fetishist disavowal, of "I know very well, but nonetheless...," operative everywhere in our daily lives (see Mannoni 1969). When we observe a magician in the circus or in a night club, we know very well that there is no real magic, that he is just performing a clever sleigh-of-hand, but we are nonetheless deeply disappointed if we are able to see through it and discern how it was done - we want it to be perfect. And does something similar not hold for the movie aficionados dedicated to the art of discovering gaffes (small inconsistencies or mistakes which seem to ruin the perfect illusion). The identification of gaffes brings immeasurable pleasure, especially when they are found in the beloved works of great classics; recall the most famous case from Hitchcock: in his North by Northwest, the kid in the restaurant covers his ears with his hand seconds BEFORE Eva-Marie Saint shoots at Cary Grant - obviously, he knew when the bang will occur from the previous endless repetitions of the same take, so he covered his ears in advance to avoid the unpleasant impact of the sound... The magic of such discoveries is that, far from disturbing our pleasure and ruining our "suspension of disbelief," they even strengthen our transferential relationship to the Master (in exactly the same way that learning some common weakness about a public person - i.e., the fact that he is, after all, human like all the rest of us - only strengthens our admiration for him, that is to say, his extra-ordinary status. - There are, however, two opposite versions of the "I know very well, but nonetheless..." logic with regard to the distinction between belief (croyance) and faith (foi):
- "I don't believe it (i.e., I know very well it is not true), but, nonetheless, I have faith in it!" Is this not the concise formula of Judaism, in which the question is not that of "believing in God," but of having faith (belief) IN him, of the symbolic engagement/commitment. Due to this precise feature, Judaism comes closest to the paradox of the atheistic religion: what really matters are not your intimate beliefs in God's existence or His goodness, but the fact of honoring the pact with Him, of keeping your word and following the divine commandments. The supreme examples is here the well-known passage from the diaries of Anne Frank, in which she naively-pathetically asserts her faith in the goodness of mankind: "having to witness the Nazi bestial crimes, I don't really believe people are essentially good, I am well aware how evil they can be, but I nonetheless have faith in the essential goodness of the mankind." And is this not also the most elementary strategy of a figure of authority to put pressure on a weak person: "I know you are wavering, your are not up to the task, you yourself do not believe you can do it, but I have faith in you!"
- "I don't have faith in it, but I nonetheless believe in it!" According to Lacan, this, again, is the attitude of the Ancient Jews towards the pagan gods and spirits: they didn't have faith in them (their faith was reserved for the jealous One God), yet they nonetheless feared them, since they believed in their existence and evil powers.

And is the Wagnerian metaphysics not caught in the same predicament? The key feature of Wagner's famous formula about the relationship between art and religion ("where religion becomes artificial, art has the privilege to redeem the kernel of religion" - Wagner 1972, Vol. 6, p. 211.) is that it turns around the standard Hegelian notion of the sublation (Aufhebung) of art in religion as the higher form of the expression of the Idea: in Wagner, it is the art which saves the kernel of the authentic religious experience when this experience is ossified in the lifeless institutional rituals. The problem with this solution, of course, is that it suspends religious BELIEF proper, turning the religious experience into an aesthetic spectacle which seduces us without obliging us to engage ourselves seriously in it. In short, the question "How seriously are we to take Wagner's solution today?" is to be turned around: did Wagner himself take it seriously? Did it not function in the mode of the fetishist disavowal?
Perhaps, the deadlock which underpins the Wagnerian aestheticization of religion transpires most succinctly in the following dilemma: if art is a speech which "doesn't know what it says," does it mean that it says what it doesn't know? And does the opposite also hold: if I "do not say what I know," does this mean that I know what I do not say?

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1 DEEPER THAN THE DAY COULD READ

The 'What-Ifs'
The myth of Tristan and Isolde was the first to give full expression to the axiom of courtly love: love is an act of radical transgression which suspends all socio-symbolic links and, as such, has to culminate in the ecstatic self-obliteration of death. (The corollary to this axiom is that love and marriage are incompatible: within the universe of socio-symbolic obligations, true love can only occur in the guise of adultery.) It is, however, all too simple to reduce Wagner's Tristan to the fullest realization of this transgressive notion of love: its greatness resides in the very tension between its "official" ideological project and the distance towards it inscribed into its texture - in old Althusserian terms, Wagner's writing undermines its own explicit ideological project. The opera seems to celebrate this self-obliterating immersion into the Night - but what does it effectively render? The first attempt at this self-obliteration (the duet in Act II) is brutally cut short by what is arguably the most violent coitus interruptus in the entire history of art, Brangaene's scream. The second attempt succeeds, but in a displaced way: the two lovers don't die together, but one after the other, their death being separated by - again - the intrusion of external common reality. First, Tristan dies when, in an act of hysterical precipitation, he "hears the light" of Isolde's arrival; then, Isolde alone dies - or does she? This entire chapter can also be read as a sustained argument in favor of Jean-Pierre Ponelle's Bayreuth staging from 1983 in which it is only Tristan who really dies - Isolde's coming and death is just the vision of the dying Tristan, while Isolde opportunistically remained with her husband... There is thus no full reunion: what we actually get is, first (in Act II), a failed, interrupted, reunion, followed (in Act III) by the self-obliteration and release as a lone male fantasy.
The way Tristan tears up his bandage in a gesture of suicidal hysterical precipitation is more ambiguous than it may appear - it can also mean that, being aware of Isolde's imminent arrival into which he invested so much, he cannot endure the prospect of actually encountering her and prefers to erase himself out of the picture. (Or is it, perhaps, an act of aggressivity aimed at Isolde, the source of his suffering: better to die before she arrives so that she will have to die alone, deprived of the shared lovers' death - we should not forget that, in his long monologue, Tristan curses the drink which made him fall in love with Isolde!) Therein resides another asymmetry between Tristan and Isolde: it is Isolde, not Tristan, who, long before the events directly staged in the opera, did the act which sealed up their fatal love link. In her great narrative to Brangaene, the focal point of Act 1, Isolde tells how, after killing her betrothed Morold in a duel, the wounded Tristan took refuge with her, pretending that he is someone else ("Tantris"); out of compassion, Isolde, well-known for her magical healing capacities, took care of him, but then learned from the incision in the blade of his sword (which perfectly fitted the shrapnel piece she recovered from Morold's body) that she is taking care of the murderer of her betrothed. When, following the mores, she raised the sword to stab him, their gazes met, and the suffering helpless surrender discernible in his gaze aroused not only her compassion, but also her love, so she interrupted her movement and let him go. This act of her was an act of love in the Paulinian sense of suspending the reign of Law: by way of helping Tristan, Isolde violated the rules of the ethical substance to which she belonged and which imposed the duty of revenge. In contrast to Isolde whose love resulted from a free act of compassion which suspended the predominant moral law, Tristan's love for her is rooted in the disturbances of his family past condensed in the old tune /die alte Weise/ which haunts him - basically, Isolde is for Tristan a means to work through his traumatic past.
Wagner's explicit ideological project in Tristan is radical in its very superficial simplicity: it brings together what his mentor, Schopenhauer, opposed. For Schopenhauer, the only salvation consists in the total self-obliteration of the Will to life whose ultimate expression is sexual craving, while Wagner simply COMBINES these two opposites: our very exhaustive surrender to the sexual love brings about the redemptive self-obliteration. One should thus never forget that (in contrast to, say, Romeo and Juliet) Wagner's Tristan is NOT a tragedy, but a sacred, aesthetico-religious musical play with a "happy" outcome of attaining the looked-for bliss. However, as we have already emphasized, crucial for Tristan is the gap between this opera's "official ideology" and its subversion through the work's texture itself. This subversion in a way turns around the famous Mozartean irony, where, while the person's words display the stance of cynical frivolity or manipulation, the music renders their authentic feelings: in Tristan, the ultimate truth does not reside in the musical message of passionate self-obliterating love-fulfillment, but in the dramatic stage action itself which subverts the passionate immersion into the musical texture. The final shared death of the two lovers abounds in Romantic operas - suffice it to recall the triumphant "Moriam' insieme" from Bellini's Norma; against this background, one should emphasize how in Wagner's Tristan, the very opera which elevates this shared death into its explicit ideological goal, this, precisely, is NOT what effectively happens - in music, it is as if the two lovers die together, while in reality, they die one AFTER the other, each immersed in his/her own solipsistic dream. - Along the same lines, one should just imagine how easy it would be for Tristan to end three times (at least) before its official ending:
- what if, towards the end of Act I, when Tristan and Isolde discover their love for each other and simultaneously acknowledge the hopelessness of their situation, they would drink the cup of poison and die embraced, so that the ship would bring to Cornwall two corpses?
- what if, towards the end of Act II, the two lovers were left to consummate their lethal passion in the orgasmic culmination and to "die undivided," as they announce in their song? Or, what if Tristan's suicidal gesture of dropping his sword were to succeed, so that, instead of just wounding him, Melot would effectively kill him?
- what if, towards the end of Act III itself, Isolde were to arrive just on time, so that the two lovers would be able to resume their orgasmic dialogue from Act II and die together? Or, the last subtle variation, what if the second ship were NOT to arrive, so that Isolde would be allowed to finish her final song and die when she first takes that road, immediately after Tristan's death - in short, what if we were to have a kind of "Romeo and Juliet" scenario in which one lover dies after the other? Many a commentator has noticed that at this point, just prior to Brangaene's arrival, the music could have moved straight into the final Transfiguration.
The most interesting is this last interruption, i.e. the arrival of the second ship which accelerates the slow pace of the action in an almost comic way - in five minutes, more events happen than in the entire previous opera (the fight in which Melot and Kurwenal die, etc.) - similar to Verdi's Il Trovatore, where in the last 2 minutes a whole package of things happen. Is this simply Wagner's dramatic weakness? What one should bear in mind here is that this sudden hectic action does NOT just serve as a temporary postponement to the slow, but unstoppable drift towards the orgasmic self-extinction - if we read Isolde's death as Tristan's apparition, this hectic action HAD to occur as a brief "intrusion of reality," permitting Tristan to stage the final self-obliterating act of Isolde. Without this unexpected intrusion of reality, Tristan's agony of the IMPOSSIBILITY to die would drag on indefinitely.
If, then, each of the three Acts of Tristan culminates in an attempt to die (the drinking of the potion in Act I, the love duet and then Tristan's suicidal exposure to Melot in Act II, Isolde's immersion into the trance interrupted by Brangaene's arrival), and if, each time, this attempt is thwarted by the intrusion of daily reality (the substitution of the potion and the Sailors' Chorus announcing the ship's arrival to Cornwall; the arrival of the King Mark which cuts short the lovers' immersion; again, the arrival of Brangaene and King in Act III), where, then, is the Lacanian Real here? Is it the Night into which the couple wants to disappear, or the unexpected intrusion that thwarts the trance of this self-obliteration? Paradoxically, the Real is not the abyss of the Night in which reality disintegrates, but the very contingent obstacle which again and again pops up, preventing the smooth run of the ecstatic immersion into the Night: this obstacle materializes the inherent impossibility that undermines from within the fantasmatic immersion into the Night.
What Tristan and Isolde are striving for is the shared specular immersion into the Thing in which their very difference is cancelled - this is what the long duet in Act II is about, with its (precocious) conclusion: "thou (I) Isolde, Tristan (I) (thou), no more Tristan, no more Isolde! Ever nameless, never parting, newly learning, newly burning; endless ever joined in joy /ein-bewusst/, ever-glowing love, highest love pleasure /hoechste Liebeslust/." The articulate language itself seems to disintegrate in this process, more and more resembling a child-like mirror inversion with less and less syntax... Does the linguistic "regression" which articulates this fusion, this blurring of individual identities, not function as a kind of inversion of the famous lines from Tarzan - "Me not Tarzan, you not Jane"? Poizat is justified in calling this suspension of syntax and meaning echolaly: Tristan and Isolde are more and more just echoing each other's words, regardless of their meaning, which is why the text is here untranslatable (see Poizat 1998, p. 209). This irrepressible elevation towards the supreme bliss of self-obliteration is all of a sudden brutally interrupted by Brangaene (who already before gently reminded the lovers that the night will soon be over) in what is the strongest operatic rendering of coitus interruptus - here is Wagner's stage direction: "Brangaene utters a piercing shriek. Tristan and Isolde remain entranced." The reality of the day intervenes: the King Mark has surprised the two lovers. Two features are crucial here: first, that the ecstatic rise of the melody is cut short by the inarticulate SCREAM; secondly, that this scream, although it intervenes in a totally unexpected way, as a violent sudden intrusion, is nonetheless necessary for strictly structural reasons, giving body to the obstacle which inherently prevents the full actualization of the fantasy of self-obliteration. In other words, as, again, Poizat is right to emphasize, this shriek, although a shocking unexpected intrusion, appears at the place which is prepared, hollowed out, for it by the entire preceding musical intensification: it could have emerged at no other place but this, i.e. at the very threshold at which the couple approached the abyss of the "highest love pleasure," designating the sudden inevitable reversal of the excessively intense pleasure into horror. (See Poizat 1998, p. 210.) Which is why, if we were to listen to the music without knowing who is singing what, we would spontaneously tend to attribute Brangaene's scream to Isolde herself, as if, getting too close to the excessive jouissance, bliss has to turn into horror. The true trauma is thus NOT the intervention of external reality which interrupts the blissful immersion, but the inversion of this bliss itself into unbearable horror - external reality intervenes in order to externalize the inherent impediment, in order to sustain the illusion that, without its intervention, the blissful immersion would have gone on to its ecstatic climax.
The attentive reading of the text of the long duet in Act II can easily discern the almost imperceptible, but crucial, features that distinguish Tristan's position from Isolde's. Say, just before the shift from the long reflexive exchange to the final declamatory ecstasy which begins with the famous "So stuerben wir, um ungetrennt," after Tristan babbles about how even if he were to find the death he longs for, the love within him could not perish ("If love will not die in Tristan, then how can Tristan die in loving?"), Isolde gently, but firmly, reminds him that he is not alone in the affair: "But our sweet loving, is it not Tristan and - Isolde?" When Tristan repeats his claim that death could not destroy their love, Isolde provides the concise formula of their death: "But this little word 'and' - if it were to be destroyed, how but through the loss of Isolde's own life could Tristan be taken by death?" - in short, it is only in and through her death that he will be able to die. Does then Wagner's Tristan not offer THE case of the interpassivity of death itself, of the "subject supposed to die"? Tristan can die only by way of transposing/displacing his death onto Isolde, i.e. insofar as she experiences the full bliss of the lethal self-obliteration for him, at his place. In other words, what "really happens" in Act III of Tristan is ONLY Tristan's long "voyage to the bottom of the night" with regard to which Isolde's death is Tristan's own fantasmatic supplement, the delirious construction that enables him to die in peace.
In his famous analysis of the Being-towards-Death in Sein und Zeit, Heidegger emphasizes that I cannot die by a proxy - death is radically mine, another can die FOR me, but he cannot take away from me my death (Heidegger 1977, p. 240). Is, then, this what takes place at the end of Tristan? Not quite - what we see there is the split between the Real of death and the fantasy at its most radical: while Tristan is dying himself, he is experiencing his own (horrible) death as the (blissful) death of another person, of his beloved. (The logic, well-known from dreams, of incorporating an external stimulus into the dream narrative - say, when a sound threatens to awaken me, I prolong my sleep by quickly inventing a scene which includes this sound - is here brought to extreme.) What, however, about Lacan's point that we awaken into reality in order to escape the trauma encountered in the dream? In other words, why does Tristan not awaken when he is being swallowed by Isolde's Liebestod? Because, in awakening, he would have to confront the truly unbearable trauma (Isolde did NOT arrive, he is alone), i.e., he would have to abandon the ultimate fantasy of the Feminine and open himself to the Real of the woman's desire. - So, again, there is "no sexual relationship" - no simultaneous orgasmic self-obliteration of a couple (like the triumphant "Moriam' insieme" at the end of Norma), but the lone man lulled into a false bliss through delirium. As such, Act III of Tristan is effectively almost unbearable in its intensity - Wagner was in no way exaggerating when, in April 1859, he wrote these half-joking half-serious lines to Mathilde Wesendonck:

"This Tristan is turning into something terrible! This final act! ... I fear the opera will be banned - unless the whole thing is parodied in a bad performance -: only mediocre performances can save me! Perfectly good ones will be bound to drive people mad, - I cannot imagine it otherwise. This is how far I have gone!!" (Quoted from Vetter 1992, p. 153.)

Tristan's dying seems to be the epitome of the tragic dimension reversing into the comic one: dying as a process of well over an hour of exhausting singing - no wonder that the first Tristan, Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld, effectively died of exhaustion after the first performances in Munich in 1865? Is it not significant to what extent Tristan's long monologue in Act III is about HIM only, not about Isolde? "Act III is centrally concerned with him. Isolde does not enter until he is ready to die, and her Liebestod /is/ an amplifying reflection of his more active conversion"(Kerman 1988, p. 162). The "old tune /alte Weise/" which haunts Tristan from the very beginning of Act II, and is played by the shepherd who is watching for the arrival of Isolde's ship, is a kind of cypher of Tristan's destiny, condensing his relationship to his parental couple and thus staking the coordinates of his desire. In short, this tune stands for the primordial lack that Isolde, endowed with extraordinary healing powers, is expected to remedy. (A feature that unites Tristan and Parsifal is that both their mothers were marked by immense pain - Parsifal also learns that his mother's name is Herzeleide, two one with the suffering heart.)

Tristan's Journey to the Bottom of the Night

The wounded Tristan's "inner journey" in Act III occurs in two cycles, each of them structured as the succession of recollection-curse-relapse-anticipation (see Kerman 1988, p. 162-168). In Act III, Tristan is already a living dead, dwelling between the two deaths, no longer at home in reality, pulled back into the daily life from the blissful domain of the Night and longing to return there; in the first cycle, Tristan blames his love for Isolde to drag him from the "boundless realm of endless night" back into the common reality of the Day: "Love came to grieve me, love it was that drove me forth and made me seek the daylight." Because of his love for her, it is now only in the unification with her that Tristan can find peace again: "I must seek her, I must see her, I must find her, for with her alone united can Tristan find release." This recollection culminates in the curse of the Day which disturbed his peace: "Accursed day, you shine again!" After sinking back exhausted, he gets alive again by precipitously hallucinating her arrival: "It nears! It nears so bravely and fast. It waves! It waves, the flag on the mast. The ship! The ship! It's rounding the reef! Do you not see? Kurwenal, do you not see?" Disappointed when he learns that there is no ship, Tristan goes into a deeper recollection: after providing an apt description of his "undead" predicament ("Though I am yearning to die, this very yearning prevents me to die!"), he identifies his cause in the love potion: "I hoped the draught would wholly cure me, instead a mighty enchantment came over me: that death would never find me, that grief would ever bind me." However, far from simply blaming the drink, he admits that he himself brewed it (i.e. concocted his sad fate) from the line of events which started with his parent's early death: "By me, by me, that potion was brewed. From father's grief and mother's woe, from lover's tears of long ago /.../ I have distilled the poison of madness." Consequently, this proto-Freudian wild self-analysis can only end in Tristan assuming full responsibility for his fate, i.e. cursing himself: "I curse you, dark fatal drink! And curse him by whom it was brewed!" This fact of REPETITION is crucial: one cannot directly acquire the authentic position; the first attempt necessarily ends up in the "reifying" mystification ("It's the Fate, not me!"), it is only through REPEATING the cycle of recollection that one can effectively assume one's past.
Apropos of Beethoven's The Great Fugue Op. 133, one is almost tempted to quote the Pravda attack on Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth: "the music quacks, hoots, pants, and gasps." The mystery: is it really mystical depth? What about two different approaches: (1) the testimony of a heroic, ultimately failed, strle to master the musical material. Proof: somehow like the beginning of the 4th movement of the 9th symphony, we get, at the beginning, four utterly incongruous themes made out of the same note-set, something "like a mnemonic sheet out of a sketchbook, a random series of jottings"(Kerman 1966, p. 277-278), in contrast to the 9th, where Beethoven just recapitulates the previously already heard themes of the first three movements. After two failed attempts to organize the material, we fall back to the same series of jottings - the synthesis disintegrates. (2) A comical exercise, not tragic-metaphysical, a kind of joke in musical technique. Whatever the outcome, the fact remains that The Fugue is "a controlled violence without parallel in music before the twentieth century and anticipated only by Mozart in the from C minor fugue for two pianos (K.426)"(Lam 1986, p. 109). More precisely, the uniqueness of The Fugue is that it is not simply an expressionist outburst in the "Dionysiaque" style, but a much more unsettling outburst of violent madness WITHIN THE CONFINES OF REASON, which thus renders palpable the madness and violence inherent to reason itself: "The power of this climax comes from its underlying harmonic structure, which is of Bach-like symmetry. Any expressionist can produce an effect of chaotic violence, but Beethoven never lost touch with the Age of Reason. There is a background of perfectly normal harmonic progression supporting the ceaseless thrills of the first violin, the weird figure of the counter-theme in the second, and the relentless canon of the two lower parts."(Lam 1986, p. 113) - The interest for us resides in the structural parallel between The Fugue and the Act III of Tristan: they both share the same repetitive structure of the double failed attempt to elevate oneself, as well as the similar chromaticism.
It is as if Isolde is allowed to arrive only after Tristan has clarified his subjective position: Tristan's second collapse after the curse is followed by the new anticipatory enthusiasm, which this time proves justified - instead of the sad old tune, the shepherd starts to play a merry song, signalling that Isolde's ship is actually landing. The reaction of Tristan to this news is significant: in an outburst of violent hallucinatory madness, he stands up and tears the bandage from his wound, letting his blood freely flow, since he knows that now he can finally die ("Heia my blood! Joyfully you flow now! Dissolve o world, as I hasten to her."), and then, in the final unique precipitating vision which mixes the senses ("What, hear I the light?"), he dies in Isolde's arms. - Is this "I hear the light!" not the encounter of the impossible Real at its purest? That is to say, insofar as the Object-Voice is that which cannot ever be heard (with our ears), the only way to perceive it is with our eyes, and vice versa, the only way to perceive the visual object (the gaze) is with our ears, it is to hear it. Maybe this passage is effectively the birthplace of the true modernism (as August Everding once claimed): modernism begins with this criss-cross between different modes of perception, when we "hear with our eyes" and "see with our ears."
The final Liebestod - or, rather, ascension, as it was called by Wagner: in a curious displacement, Wagner's designation of the Prelude as Liebestod is now commonly applied to the finale - signals the plunging into the eternal bliss of self-obliteration which was hitherto repeatedly interrupted. Crucial is here the difference between Tristan and Isolde: Tristan is, up to his death, histerically over-nervous, precipitating himself, even his death is a jumping-forward, not a calm self-obliteration and "letting go" - only Isolde can finally achieve this, and she is, as such, TRISTAN'S fantasy. Isolde's death is thus effectively just the culmination of Tristan's long process of dying: through her self-obliterating immersion in the "highest enjoyment," it is HE who finally finds peace. In the final Liebestod, Isolde is thoroughly the symptom of man (Tristan) - for this reason, one should listen to Isolde's final "aria" as the conclusion of the entire Act III (or even opera), not to fetishize it into a separate seven minutes piece. Isolated, it is meaningless, since it lacks the background of the tension which it finally resolves: the usual performance of Isolde's Liebestod as a separated seven minutes "aria" is totally misleading. What gets lost in this isolation is its topological aspect, i.e. the fact that Isolde's final song is the culminating point of Tristan's long process of dying - Tristan only finds final release when he identifies to a pure gaze observing the specter of Isolde. The structural parallel with Syberberg's version of Parsifal is here crucial: in the same way that, in Syberberg's film, after Parsifal's transferential experience of Amfortas' suffering ("The wound! The wound!") and the ensuing rejection of Kundry's advances, Parsifal I (a young boy) is replaced by Parsifal II (a cold young woman), in Tristan, after Tristan's completed "inner journey" of his painful self-analysis, a woman has to replace him in order to perform the final act of Transfiguration. What this means is that, paradoxically, in the opposition between Tristan and Parsifal, it is the latter opera which, in spite (or, rather, because) of its apparent and misleading misogyny, harbors secret feminist potentials (after his rejection of the feminine advances, Parsifal himself assumes a feminine subjective position, extracting himself from the phallic logic), while Tristan's very clinging to the appearance of Isolde as his final redeemer bears witness to the fact that Isolde herself is reduced to a male fantasy.
Furthermore, far from being the case of the simple self-obliteration into the Night of the World in which all symbolic links to others are suspended, this Tristan's final delirium involves the reference to the big Other as the THIRD element, present in the guise of the Gaze at which the specter of Isolde is addressing her plea: in her final song, Isolde starts with echoing Tristan's earlier appeal to Kurwenal ("Do you not see? Kurwenal, do you not see?"): "Can't you see how he /Tristan/ is smiling," etc. The dying Tristan is not fascinated directly by the vision of Isolde, but by the gaze which perceives this vision: the proper object of fantasy is the fantasized gaze, not the fantasmatic scene itself. More precisely, Isolde's Liebestod is clearly divided into two parts: the first one, the more calm narrative in which the tension is just building up, is addressing the Other ("See you not? /.../ See him, friends!"), while the second one begins when Isolde assumes her solitude, conceding that she alone sees Tristan alive and smiling: "Feel and see you not? Can it be that I alone hear this wondrous, glorious tone?" (One should note here how Isolde here repeats Tristan's confusion of senses: she also HEARS what others cannot SEE.)
It is this assumption of her solitude, this withdrawal from the symbolic community, that allows Isolde to lose herself into the deadly-orgasmic trance. What this means is that, in this second part, Isolde fully assumes the Weiningerian position of being nothing but the figure in Tristan's dream: in the hallucination of her orgasmic self-obliteration, Tristan fantasizes HIS OWN real death. (Ponelle's staging can be further justified by the fact that, earlier in his narrative, Tristan already had a hallucination of Isolde's ship arriving - Ponelle merely repeats the hallucination.) In this self-obliterating climax the orgasmic "small death" coincides with the real "big death"; that is to say, we all know the common designation of orgasm as "the small death" - so what takes place in the Wagnerian Liebestod is precisely the conflation of the two deaths, the small one (orgasm) and the big one (death itself, full self-obliteration). In Lacanian terms, we are dealing with the catastrophic conflation of the impossible Thing-jouissance with its remainder, the objet petit a, the conflation which found its ultimate expression in "Once more," Nietzsche's poem, from Zarathustra, about the depth of the night which eternally wills jouissance.
Transgression? No, thanks!

Our result is thus that, apropos of the empirical obstacles which pop up in Tristan again and again, preventing the final lethal fusion, it is not enough to point out that they are "structurally necessary." Wagner is well aware that true love is impossible to realize in social reality, so that the external (contingent, empirical) obstacles are here to mask an inherent impossibility; it is this very myth of inherent impossibility that has to be abandoned. As Tristan itself demonstrates, the truth of such unconditional love is the double Narcissistic fusion, a self-immersion which disavows the Other - the place for the post-Wagnerian operatic variations on the Tristan-motif is opened up already by these cracks in Tristan's edifice. In what, precisely, does this crack consist? Why is the notion of the adulterous ecstatic self-obliteration which transgresses the bounds of marriage insufficient? There is something in marriage which gets lost when we locate marriage in the opposition between, on the one hand, its legal-economic role (guaranteeing inheritance, etc.), and its emotional psychic role: the symbolic act of publicly declaring the mutual unconditional attachment on the two persons involved. This act should NOT be reduced to the expression of one's emotions: it in a way declares "We are committed to each other, whatever the fluctuations of our sentiments!" So when, say, Judith Butler insists, against the demand for the recognition of gay marriages, on the need to dissociate the form of marriage from the actual entitlements that are legally bestowed on the married subjects (healthcare, childcare, inheritance...), the problem is still what remains of this form itself, of the formal symbolic act of marriage which publicly proclaims the most intimate commitment. What if, in our postmodern world of ordained transgression, in which the marital commitment is perceived as ridiculously out of time, those who cling to it are the true subversives? One should recall again G.K.Chesterton's old perspicuous remark, in his "A Defense of Detective Stories," about how the detective story

"keeps in some sense before the mind the fact that civilization itself is the most sensational of departures and the most romantic of rebellions. When the detective in a police romance stands alone, and somewhat fatuously fearless amid the knives and fists of a thief's kitchen, it does certainly serve to make us remember that it is the agent of social justice who is the original and poetic figure, while the burglars and footpads are merely placid old cosmic conservatives, happy in the immemorial respectability of apes and wolves. /The police romance/ is based on the fact that morality is the most dark and daring of conspiracies." (Chesterton 1946, p. 6)
What, then, if the same goes for marriage? What if, today, marriage is "the most dark and daring of all transgressions"? When, in 1916, Lenin's (at that point ex-)mistress Inessa Armand wrote him that even a fleeting passion was more poetic and cleaner than kisses without love between man and woman, he replied:
"Kisses without love between vulgar spouses are filthy. I agree. These need to be contrasted ... with what? ... It would seem: kisses with love. But you contrast 'a fleeting (why a fleeting) passion (why not love?)' - and it comes out logically as if kisses without love (fleeting) are contrasted to marital kisses without love ... This is odd." (Quoted from Service 2000, p. 232.)
Lenin's reply is usually dismissed as a proof of his personal small-bourgeois sexual constraint, sustained by his bitter memory of the past affair; however, there is more to it: the insight that the marital "kisses without love" and the extramarital "fleeting affair" are the two sides of the same coin - they both shirk from COMBINING the Real of an unconditional passionate attachment with the form of symbolic proclamation. The implicit presupposition (or, rather, injunction) of the standard ideology of marriage is that, precisely, there should be no love in it: one gets married in order to cure oneself of the excessive passionate attachment, to replace it with the boring daily custom (and if one cannot resist the passion's temptation, there are extra-marital affairs...). Consequently, the ultimate subversion is to NOMINATE the love union, to proclaim it publicly instead of concealing it. Alyosha's Love, a Soviet film from the early sixties (the time of the so-called "Khrushchev's thaw"), takes place in a group of geologists camping near a small town in the middle of the Siberian wilderness. The young Alyosha falls in love with a girl from the town; notwithstanding all the troubles that accompany his love (the girl is at first indifferent towards him; her ex-boyfriend's companions give him a brutal beating; his own elder colleagues deride him cruelly; etc.), Alyosha saves all his free time for long walks to the town, so that he can cast a quick and distant glance at the girl. At the end of the film, the girl gives way to the force of his love: she changes from the beloved to the loving one, takes the long walk herself and joins him in the camp. Alyosha's colleagues who work on the hill above the camp suspend their digging, stand up and silently follow the girl who approaches Alyosha's tent: it is over with the cynical distance and derision, the big Other itself is compelled to recognize its defeat, its fascination with the force of love - the sublime reversal occurs when the hero's passionate love is finally publicly acknowledged by his seemingly ignorant and cynical peers. No matter how manipulative such scenes can be in commercial films (recall, also, the final scene at the subway station of Crocodile Dundee, and the restroom reconciliation between Cameron Diaz and Julia Roberts in My Best Friend's Wedding), there always remains a minimal utopian emancipatory potential in them. This public proclamation is what marriage is ultimately about: a symbolic COMMITMENT, not just an expression of our (fluctuating) emotions - in the marriage ceremony, one makes a vow, one gives one's word. Which is why Romeo and Juliet are the very opposite of Tristan and Isolde: their aim is not to conduct a secret affair (they could have done this without disturbing the war between their respective families), but to get married, to proclaim immediately to the public their mutual commitment.
So, although one should, of course, defend the right to divorce, one should nonetheless insist that, in its concept, marriage should be conceived of as valid forever and undissolvable: if there is a divorce, it does not mean that a marriage is simply over, it means, more radically, the retroactive constatation that this marriage NEVER REALLY WAS ONE. In his Me-Ti, Bertolt Brecht referred to Communism as the "great Order," resisting the fascination with the negative power of revolt, of undermining and transgressing the existing Order, as the ultimate horizon of the revolutionary practice. Following Brecht, one should - today more than ever - reject the seductive celebration of the ecstatic transgressive experience, the experience of going to (and beyond) the limits, as the ultimate authentic human experience. If the fate of subjectivity in late capitalism has anything to teach us, it is how such ecstatic transgressive gestures (from Bataille to Foucault, and, perhaps, inclusive of Lacan himself in his fascination with the figure of Antigone) are in advance "part of the game," not only tolerated, but even directly elicited, by the capitalist system.
It was already Flaubert who made a crucial step in undermining the coordinates of the transgressive notion of love. That is to say, why was Madame Bovary dragged to court? Not, as it is usually claimed, because it portrays the irresistible charm of adultery and thus undermines the fundamentals of bourgeois sexual morality. Madame Bovary rather inverts the standard formula of the popular novel in which the adulterous lovers are at the end punished for their transgressive enjoyment: in this kind of novel, of course, the final punishment (mortal illness, exclusion from society) only enhances the fatal attraction of the adulterous affair, at the same time allowing the reader to indulge in this attraction without penalty. What is so profoundly disturbing and depressing about Madame Bovary is that it takes away from us even this last refuge - it depicts adultery in all its misery, as a false escape, an inherent moment of the dull and grey bourgeois universe. This is the reason why Madame Bovary had to be brought to trial: it deprives the bourgeois individual of the last hope that an escape is possible from the constraints of the meaningless everyday life. A passionate extramarital liaison not only does not pose a threat to the conjugal love, it rather functions as a kind of inherent transgression which provides the direct fantasmatic support to conjugal link and thus participates in what it purports to subvert. It is this very belief that, outside the constraints of marriage, in the adulterous transgression, we can really obtain "that", the full satisfaction, which is questioned by the hysterical attitude: hysteria involves the apprehension that the "real thing" behind the mask of the social etiquette is itself void, a mere mirage. If there is a feature which serves as the clear index of modernism - from Strindberg to Kafka, from Munch to Schoenberg's Erwartung -, it is the emergence of the figure of the hysterical woman which stands for the radical disharmony in the relationship between the two sexes. Wagner doesn't yet venture this step into hysteria: the problem with him is not his hysteria (as Nietzsche thought), but, rather, that he is not hysterical enough. Although his dramas provide all possible variations of how "love can go wrong", all this takes place against the fantasmatic background of the redemptive power of full sexual relationship - the very catastrophic outcome of the stage action seems to assert per negationem the belief in the redemptive power of sexual love. This Wagnerian fantasm of sexual relationship offers the framework to interpret also the political dimension of his work.

Wagner's Sexualized Politics

The debate on "Wagner and politics" usually centers on the change in the ending of The Twilight of Gods: from Feuerbach to Schopenhauer, from the revolutionary assertion of new humanity delivered from the oppressive rule of gods and finally free to enjoy love to the reactionary resignation and disavowal of the very will to life - in a paradigmatic case of ideological mystification, Wagner inflates the defeat of the revolution and his betrayal of the revolutionary ideals into the end of the world itself... However, on a closer look, it soon becomes clear that the true state of things rather resembles the good, old Soviet joke on Rabinovitch: Did he really win a car in the lottery? In principle, yes, only it wasn't a car but a bicycle; besides, he didn't win it, it was stolen from him... So the standard story of the changed ending of the Twilight of Gods is also in principle true, only that the ending we actually have is closer to the original one (people, common mortals, do survive and just stare as mute witnesses at the cosmic catastrophe of gods); furthermore, the early revolutionary Wagner is definitely more proto-Fascist than the late one - his "revolution" looks rather like the restitution of the organic unity of the people who, led by the Prince, have swept away the rule of money embodied in Jews...
It is interesting to note that we find a similar ambiguity in the young Marx, when he claims that the full emancipation of Jews (their integration into our Western societies) can only occur as the result of emancipation of our societies themselves from the Jewishness, the problem here is the interrelationship of these two mentions of "Jews": when we speak of Jews not being integrated, we mean the way the Jewish people maintained their identity; when we speak of the "emancipation of our societies from the Jewishness," we mean the IDEOLOGICAL (ultimately anti-Semitic) notion of "Jewishness" (exploitation, obsession with money, etc.). What is problematic in Marx's formula is the implied IDENTITY of these two mentions. Furthermore, does not therein reside the ultimate paradox of the State of Israel? In it, Jews themselves are effectively emancipating themselves of their Jewishness: in its first, ascetic-revolutionary kibutzin period, in which farmers had on their night table Marx's Capital and the Old Testament, the basic goal was precisely to change the very Jewish identity from the unproductive focusing on the circulation (money and trade) to the hard labor, to production.
However, the true problem lies elsewhere. In his Ring, Wagner addresses the fundamental ethico-political question of German Idealism: how is it possible to unite love and Law? In contrast to German Idealists whose political vision involved the hope of a reconciliation between the assertion of an authentic intersubjective bond of love and the demands of the objective social order of contracts and laws, Wagner is no longer prone to accept this solution. His apprehension articulates itself in the opposition between Wotan and Alberich, between contractual symbolic authority and spectral invisible Master: Wotan is a figure of symbolic authority, he is the "God of contracts", his will is bound by the Word, by the symbolic pact (the giant Fasolt tells him: "What you are, / you are through contracts only"(Wagner 1977, p. 24), whereas Alberich is an all-powerful because invisible agent not bound by any law:

"Nibelungs all, / bow down to Alberich! / He is everywhere, / watching you! / ... You must work for him, / though you cannot see him! / When you don't think he's there, / You'd better expect him! / You're subject to him for ever!"(Wagner 1977, p. 40)

Wagner's crucial insight is, of course, that this opposition is inherent to Wotan himself: the very gesture of establishing the rule of Law contains the seeds of its ruin - why? Wagner is here guided by a perception which was given different theoretical articulations by Marx, Lacan and Derrida: equivalent exchange is a deceptive mirage - what it conceals is the very excess on which it is grounded. The domain of contracts, of giving and receiving something in return, is sustained by a paradoxical gesture which provides in its very capacity of withholding - a kind of generative lack, a withdrawal which opens up space, a lack which acts as a surplus. This gesture can be conceptualized as the Derridean gift, the primordial Yes! of our openness to dissemination, or as the primordial loss, the Lacanian "symbolic castration". (In Wagner's mythical space, this violent gesture of grounding the domain of legal exchange is depicted as Wotan's tearing out of the World Ash-Tree, from which he then cuts out his spear and inscribes on it the runes containing laws; this act is followed by a whole series of similar gestures: Alberich's snatching the gold, Siegmund's pulling out the sword...) Wagner is thus well aware that the very balance of exchange is grounded on the disturbance of the primordial balance, on a traumatic loss, "out-of-joint", which opens up the space of social exchange. However, at this crucial point, the critique of exchange becomes ambivalent: it either endeavors to assert the primordial Yes!, the irreducible excess of the openness towards the Otherness which cannot be constrained to the field of balanced exchange, of its "closed economy"; or it aims at restoring the primordial balance prior to this excessive gesture. Wagner's rejection of (the society of) exchange, which provides the basis of his anti-Semitism, amounts to an attempt to regain the prelapsarian balance. Nowhere is this more obvious than in his sexual politics which asserts the incestuous link against the exogamic exchange of women: Sieglinde and Siegmund, the "good" incestuous couple, against Sieglinde and Hunding, the "bad" couple based on exchange; Bruenhilde and Siegfried against two further couples based on exchange (Bruenhilde and Guenther, Gutrune and Siegfried)...
In dealing with Wagner's anti-Semitism, we should always bear in mind that the opposition of German true spirit versus the Jewish principle is not the original one: there is a third term, modernity, the reign of exchange, of the dissolution of organic links, of modern industry and individuality - the theme of exchange and contracts is the central theme of the Ring. Wagner's attitude towards modernity is not simply negative but much more ambiguous: he wants to enjoy its fruits, while avoiding its disintegrative effects - in short, Wagner wants to have his cake and eat it. For that reason, he needs a Jew: so that, first, modernity - this abstract, impersonal process - is given a human face, is identified with a concrete, palpable feature; then, in a second move, by rejecting the Jew which gives body to all that is disintegrated in modernity, we can retain its fruits. In short, anti-Semitism does not stand for anti-modernism as such, but for an attempt of combining modernity with social corporatism which is characteristic of conservative revolutionaries. - So, since the rule of Law, the society of "contracts", is founded on an act of illegitimate violence, Law not only has to betray love but also has to violate its own highest principles:

"The purpose of their /the gods'/ higher world order is moral consciousness: but they are tainted by the very injustice they hunt down; from the depths of Nibelheim /where Alberich dwells/ the consciousness of their guilt echoes back threateningly."(Quoted from Dahlhaus 1979, p. 97.)

Aware of this impasse, Wotan concocts the figure of the hero not bound by any symbolic bond and thereby free to deliver the fallen universe of contracts. - This aspect of Wagner is to be located within the great ideologico-political crisis of the late 19th century which turns around the malfunctioning of "investiture", of assuming and performing the paternal mandate of symbolic authority. This crisis found its most aggravated expression in the fate of Daniel Paul Schreber whose memoirs were analyzed by Freud: Schreber fell into psychotic delirium at the very moment when he was to assume the position of a judge, i.e. a function of public symbolic authority: he was not able to come to terms with this stain of obscenity as the integral part of the functioning of symbolic authority. The crisis thus breaks out when the obscene, joyful underside of the paternal authority becomes visible - and is not Alberich the paradigmatic case of the obscene ludic father on account of which Schreber failed in his investiture? The most disturbing scene of the entire Ring, the "mother of all Wagnerian scenes", Wagner at his best, is probably the dialogue between Alberich and Hagen at the beginning of the Act II of The Twilight of Gods: Wagner put a tremendous amount of work in it and considered it one of his greatest achievements. According to Wagner's own stage indications, throughout this scene, Hagen must act as if asleep: Alberich is not effectively there, as a part of everyday reality, he is rather an "undead" who appears as Hagen's Alptraum, nightmare or, literally, "elf-dream" (another occasion which would fully justify the procedure of staging part of the action as the delirious delusion of one of the stage persons). We all know the classical Freudian dream in which the dead son appears to his father, addressing him with a horrifying reproach "Father, can't you see I'm burning?" - what we have in this scene from The Twilight of Gods is a father appearing to his son, addressing him with "My son, can't you see I'm burning?" - burning with obscene enjoyment underlying his overwhelming passion to take revenge. When confronted with such a figure of a humiliated, ludic, tragi-comical dwarf of a father, what can the subject do but assume an attitude of shuddering coldness which contrasts clearly with father's overexcited agitation - it is here, in the figure of Hagen, that we have to look for the genesis of the so-called "totalitarian subject." That is to say, far from involving a "repressive" symbolic authority, the "totalitarian" subject rather emerges as a reaction to the paternal authority gone awry, run amok: a humiliated father, a father transformed into the obscene figure of ludic enjoyment, is the symptom of the "totalitarian" subject. - How, then, are we to resolve this deadlock of legal power which participates at what it officially prohibits, i.e. at illegitimate violence? The deadlock of property which is in itself, in its very notion, a theft, of contract which is in itself a fraud? It is the reference to sexual relationship that serves as the ultimate support for Wagner's political project:

"The mediator between power and freedom, the redeemer without which power remains violence and freedom caprice, is therefore - love" (quoted from Cooke 1979, p. 17). / "Love in its fullest reality is only possible between the sexes: only as man and woman can we human beings truly love. Every other love is merely derived from this, arisen from it, connected with it, or artificially modelled on it" (quoted from Cooke 1979, p. 18).

In order to grasp how Wagner is able to use sexual relationship as the paradigm for authentic political order, one has only to bear in mind the way, according to him, man and woman complement each other: Woman is the all-embracing unity, the Ground which bears man, yet precisely as such she has, in her positive, empirical existence, to be subordinated to the "formative power" of man. For that reason, the elevation of and subordination to the essential Woman goes hand in hand with the exploitation of and the domination over actual flesh-and-blood women. Suffice it to recall here Schelling's notion of the highest freedom as the state in which activity and passivity, being-active and being-acted-upon, harmoniously overlap. Schelling gives here a specific twist to the distinction between Vernunft and Verstand, Reason and Understanding, which plays a crucial role in German Idealism: "Vernunft is nothing else than Verstand in its subordination to the highest, the soul." (Schelling 1856-1861, Vol. VII, p. 472) Verstand is man's intellect as active, as the power of active seizing and deciding by means of which man asserts himself as a fully autonomous Subject; however, man reaches his acme when he turns his very subjectivity into the Predicate of an ever higher Power (in the mathematical sense of the term), i.e. when he, as it were, yields to the Other, "depersonalizes" his most intense activity and performs it as if some other, higher Power is acting through him, using him as its medium - like an artist who, in the highest frenzy of creativity, experiences himself as a medium through which the impersonal Spirit expresses itself. What is crucial is the explicit sexual connotation of this highest form of freedom: the feminization (the adoption of a passive attitude towards the transcendent Absolute) serves as the inherent support of masculine assertion. It is therefore clearly wrong to interpret the Wagnerian elevation of the Feminine as a protest against the male universe of contracts and brutal exercise of power, as the utopian vision of a new life beyond aggressive modern subjectivity: the reference to the eternal Feminine towards which the male subject adopts a passive attitude is the ultimate metaphysical support of the worldly aggressive attitude - and, incidentally, the same goes for the contemporary New Age assertion of the feminine Goddess.

The Moebius Band

What, then, is inherently wrong with Isolde's Liebestod? In the first of his Duin Elegies, Rainer Maria Rilke makes his famous claim that "das Schoene ist nichts als des Schrecklichen Anfang /the Beautiful is nothing but the beginning of the Horrible/" - and, in his Seminar on the Ethics of Psychoanalysis, Lacan points in the same direction when he determines the Beautiful as the last veil which covers the Real. This step from the Beautiful to the Real Horrible is, in musical terms, the step from the singing voice to the Scream - as Lacan pointed out in Chapter II of his Ethics of Psychoanalysis, the existence of the hostile Object (what Freud called "das feindliche Object," the ex-timate foreign body (the "Thing from the inner space") in the very heart of the subject) is the subject's scream, i.e. in the scream, the veil of beauty dissolves and the subject directly confronts the Real. The ultimate fantasy of Tristan is that it is possible to arrive at peace with the Thing, to peacefully immerse oneself into it - which is why Wagner has, at any price, to PREVENT this reversal of the Beautiful into the Horrible. As Michel Poizat puts it succinctly, the scream signals that Woman doesn't exist, that the Grail is a void, a place in which one can encounter only an excremental object of horror (Poizat 1986, p. 274). At the opera's end, Isolde's culminating voice NEEDS the orchestral supplement: this supplement is here to fill in the Void of the silent Scream, which would have been the direct embodiment of the horrifying Real.
Which, then, is the dimension of the voice Wagner is desperately trying to avoid? Let us recall the expression "the voice of conscience" - why does the ethical agency use a VOICE to address us? Is this just a(nother) metaphor? One should turn here to Lacan's notion of voice as objet petit a: when we "effectively" talk, our words are ultimately always a babble - whenever we talk, we "talk too much," we talk in order to escape the unbearable SILENCE, and this silence is the voice as object. Consequently, it is only when our words fail that we confront the Voice reminding us of our fundamental responsibility. The "voice of conscience" is the pressure exerted on us by silence itself, its reverberation. Imagine a situation in which one enumerates arguments in order to rid oneself of the responsibility for some deplorable act: one talks and talks, and when, finally, one runs out of words, the silence that follows is the "voice of conscience." Far from being exceptional, such a situation is the basic situation of human speech. The ultimate image of this silent voice is, of course, Munch's Scream: it renders the utter anxiety of the voice en puissance, stuck in throat, unable to externalize itself. The moment this voice is vocalized, the anxiety is released. And is not all of Wagner an attempt to arrive at this release, to get rid of this anxiety?
One of the best-known anecdotes about Kant concerns his relationship with his faithful servant Lampe. In his old age, Kant was deeply disturbed by the news about Lampe's severe illness; the doctor advised Kant not to think too much about Lampe, since this may be bad for Kant's own health. However, Kant couldn't help worrying about the poor Lampe; so he wrote a reminder on a piece of paper: "Der Name Lampe muss unbedingt vergessen werden! /The name Lampe should be unconditionally forgotten!/" Is not something of the same order at work in Isolde's Liebestod - the same paradox of the conscious intention to forget everything and sink into the unconscious Absolute/Void? Furthermore, is this paradox not discernible in the Kantian categorical imperative itself? Is it not in a way its concealed "truth," expressly articulated later in Fichte and Schelling, who make it clear that the unconditional/absolute act of Self-Consciousness itself has to be unconscious? Or, closely to the ethical domain, is it not that every conscious ethical injunction is already minimally "pathological," tainted by some particular interests, so that the only actual existence of the purely ethical imperative should be unconscious - we really act ethically only if we follow an injunction which has to be forgotten as an injunction, and only such a forgotten injunction can be truly unconditional?
This crack in the Kantian edifice opens up the way for Sade as the "truth" of Kant. In a first approach, it may seem that Sade is the very opposite of Kant: while Kant demand that we make the effort to discard our "pathological" considerations of pleasure and act out of the universal duty alone, Sade enjoin us to follow to the end the propensity to ruthlessly exploit all our neighbors, to give way to all our "pathological" caprices, in order to obtain the maximum imaginable of pleasure. However, in his very radicality, Sade unexpectedly comes close to Kant; in his first move, Sade denounces all ethical considerations as unwarranted limitations of the true natural order: "God" or "Morality" are parasitical entities which impede the full realization of our natural urges. In a second move, he then turns against nature itself: the order of Nature, this complex network of the eternal circular movement of generation and corruption, is also a constraint on our freedom, outlining in advance the scope of our desires and acts. In order to be truly free, the subject has thus to commit an absolute crime, a radical act of destruction which will undermine the very natural order, interrupting the eternal movement of generation and corruption. The paradox, of course, is that such an excessive act of freedom fits the formal conditions of the Kantian ethical act: insofar as its caprice is absolute, it is not motivated by any pathological motive like pleasure - in it, a noumenal dimension transpires which introduces a gap in the phenomenal order. It is this Kant read through Sade which provides the coordinates of the "highest pleasure" of the Liebestod.
Perhaps, today's equivalent to Sade is Peter Singer, the Australian whose books sell in hundreds of thousands of copies, and who needs a bodyguard to protect him from attacks at Harvard where he now teaches. Singer is not controversial because he adopts some extravagant axioms, but because he simply draws the ultimate consequences from the commonly accepted axioms, ignoring hidden qualifications which enable us to avoid these unpleasant conclusions. (See Singer 2000.) Although Singer is today's utilitarian anti-Kant, he shares this attitude of feralessly drawing the consequences of one's premises with Kant. Recall not only Kant's definition of marriage, in Metaphysical Elements of Justice, which scandalized Hegel ("the binding together of two persons of different sexes for the lifelong reciprocal possession of their sexual attributes"(Kant 1999, p. 88), i.e., the legitimization of "the reciprocal use that one person makes of the sexual organs and faculties of another person" - Kant 1999, p. 87). Later in the same work, Kant even considers legitimizing the infanticide of illegitimate children:

"A child born into the world outside marriage is outside the law (for this is /implied by the concept of/ marriage), and consequently it is also outside the protection of the law. The child has crept surreptitiously into the commonwealth (much like prohibited commodities), so that its existence as well as its destruction can be ignored (because by right it ought not to have come into existence in this way)." (Kant 1999, p. 143)

Like Kant, Singer - usually designated as a "social Darwinist with a collectivist socialist face" - is also ready to tolerate infanticide in certain specific situation, although his argumentation is the very opposite of that of Kant. Singer starts innocently enough, arguing that people will be happier if they lead lives committed to ethics: a life spent trying to help others and reduce suffering is really the most moral and fulfilling one. He radicalizes and actualizes Jeremy Bentham, the father of utilitarianism: the ultimate ethical criterion is not the dignity (rationality, soul) of man, but the ability to SUFFER, to experience pain, which man shares with animals. With inexorable radicality, Singer levels the animal/human divide: better kill an old suffering woman that healthy animals... Look an orangutan straight in the eye and what do you see? A none-too-distant cousin - a creature worthy of all the legal rights and privileges that humans enjoy. One should thus extend aspects of equality - the right to life, the protection of individual liberties, the prohibition of torture - at least to the nonhuman great apes (chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas).
Singer argues that "speciesism" (privileging the human species) is no different from racism: our perception of a difference between humans and (other) animals is no less illogical and unethical than our one-time perception of an ethical difference between, say, men and women, or blacks and whites. Intelligence is no basis for dermining ethical stature: the lives of humans are not worth more than the lives of animals simply because they display more intelligence (if intelligence were a standard of judgment, Singer points out, we could perform medical experiments on the mentally retarded with moral impunity). Ultimately, all things being equal, an animal has as much interest in living as a human. Therefore, all things being equal, medical experimentation on animals is immoral: those who advocate such experiments claim that sacrificing the lives of 20 animals will save millions of human lives - however, what about sacrificing 20 humans to save millions of animals? As Singer's critics like to point out, the horrifying extention of this principle is that the interests of 20 people outweighs the interests of one, which gives the green light to all sorts of human rights abuses. Consequently, Singer argues that we can no longer rely on traditional ethics for answers to the dilemmas which our constellation imposes on ourselves; he proposes a new ethics meant to protect the quality, not the sanctity, of human life. As sharp boundaries disappear between life and death, between humans and animals, this new ethics casts doubt on the morality of animal research, while offering a sympathetic assessment of infanticide. When a baby is born with severe defects of the sort that always used to kill babies, are doctors and parents now morally obligated to use the latest technologies, regardless of cost? NO. When a pregnant woman loses all brain function, should doctors use new procedures to keep her body living until the baby can be born? NO. Can a doctor ethically help terminally ill patients to kill themselves? YES.
One cannot dismiss Singer as a monstrous exaggeration - what Adorno said about psychoanalysis (that its truth resides in its very exaggerations) fully holds for Singer: he is so traumatic and intolerable because his scandalous "exaggerations" directly renders visible the truth of the so-called postmodern ethics. Is effectively not the ultimate horizon of the postmodern "identity politics" Darwinian - defending the right of some particular species of the humankind within the panoply of their proliferating multitude (gays with AIDS, black single mothers...)? The very opposition between "conservative" and "progressive" politics can be conceived of in the terms of Darwinism: ultimately, conservatives defend the right of those with might (their very success proves that they won in the strle for survival), while progressives advocate the protection of endangered human species, i.e., of those losing the strle for survival.
One of the divisions in the chapter on Vernunft in Hegel's Phaenomenologie des Geistes speaks about "das geistige Tierreich": the social world which lacks any spiritual substance, so that, in it, individuals effectively interact as "intelligent animals." They use reason, but only in order to assert their individual interests, to manipulate others into serving their own pleasures. Is not a world in which the highest rights are human rights precisely such a "spiritual animal kingdom," a universe? There is, however, a price to be paid for such liberation - in such a universe, human rights ultimately function as ANIMAL rights. This, then, is the ultimate truth of Singer: our universe of human right is the universe of animal rights. The obvious counter-argument to this is: so what? Why should we not reduce humankind to its proper place, that of one of the animal species? What gets lost in this reduction? The Thing, something to which we are unconditionally attached irrespective of its positive qualities. In Singer's universe, there is a place for mad cows, but no place for an Indian sacred cow. Singer's universe is the positive universe of qualities in which there is no place for what Kant would have called the eruption of the noumenal dimension in the order of phenomenal reality, no place for the dimension of "beyond the pleasure-principle," no place for love in the radical sense of the term: when the lover who fears to be rejected by his/her partner retorts "You will not find anyone better than me!", we can be sure that the game is over - the moment one argues in the terms of (comparative) qualities, there is no love.
What already Kant himself tries to elude is that there are three elements in play in his ethical edifice, not just the opposition between pleasures and moral duty: on the top of these two, there is the excessive enjoyment which not only violates the moral law, but also threatens our well-being and self-preservation, leading to self-destruction (excessive sexual pleasures, gluttony, drinking, exercise of violence). The true tension is not the one between my egotistic-utilitarian concerns and the call of moral duty (as it may still appear in Tannhaeuser), but the one, inherent to pleasure itself, between the moderate pleasure which serves the subject's self-preservation and the excessive self-destructive pleasure (jouissance). Paradoxically, the egotistic-utilitarian "calculation of pleasures" and the moral duty which obliges me to forgo my striving for pleasures, thus fund themselves on the same side, both of them a form of defense against the excess of jouissance - or is it so? Is it not also that this excessive jouissance and the moral duty are brought so close that, at some point, they can no longer be clearly separated: they both suspend the reign of the utilitarian-egotist self-preservation stance. When I put everything, inclusive of my life, at risk in order to attain some jouissance, jouissance itself starts to function as a kind of "duty." The paradoxical result is thus that, sometimes, the only way to sustain the reign of the pleasure principle is to sacrifice (some excessive) pleasure, and vice versa, the only way to undermine the rule of the pleasure principle is to follow the pleasure to its horrifying unbearable excess.
Perhaps, DISGUST is here a more appropriate term than horror or anxiety. In psychoanalysis, the proper opposite of pleasure is not pain, but DISGUST, the most elementary psychic operation, the repulsing of the libidinal object which opens up the space for subjectivity. Disgust occurs when we get TOO CLOSE to the object of desire - see the well-known courtly love motif of the beautiful Lady who, when we get too close to her, turns into an abhorrent creature, her face full of worms... Pleasure and disgust are therefore related as the two sides of the Moebius band: if we proceed far enough on the side of pleasure, we all of a sudden find ourselves in disgust. As such, disgust cannot be explained away as the secondary effect of repression (we turn away in disgust from libidinal objects which are prohibited by the symbolic norms): it is, on the contrary, prohibition itself which should be accounted for as a means to avoid the paradox of disgust, i.e. the fact that we turn away with disgust when the very object of desire comes too close. Prohibition transposes this inherent self-blockade into the effect of the external obstacle: if it were not for the prohibition which prevents the access to it, the object would give full satisfaction.
This structure of the Moebius band, then, is what Wagner is obfuscating in his ecstatic staging of the Liebestod: the fact that when we reach "the highest pleasure /die hoechste Lust/" in which Isolde's deadly trance culminates, we fins ourselves on the other side, pleasure necessarily turns into disgust. One is tempted to make the same point even in the poignant terms of a real life experience. In the "After Words" to Ruth Picardie's Before I say Goodbye, which collects the writings (newspaper columns, emails) from the last year in the life of the British journalist who, in 1997, died of the metastasized breast cancer, her husband Matt Seaton admits how "the fantasy of terminal tendresse fell far short of the mark": "The dying person has to break her bonds with the world, to separate herself off: it is the process of alienation I still bitterly regret, but it is also a necessary part of letting go." (Picardie 2000, p. 128-129) This cruel self-withdrawal of the dying person into absolute loneliness impedes any authentic contact, any empathic shared experience:

"At times I became haunted by something in Ruth's blank expression and uncomprehending, frightened eyes that I had seen somewhere before: they reminded me of nothing so much as some footage of a cow in the final stages of BSE, lurching and stumbling, knowing nothing but its incomprehension and fear. That sounds a terrible way to speak of someone you love, but there is nothing more terrible than to find that person spirited away and a brain-damaged, zombie-like doppelgaenger usurping her place." (Picardie 2000, p. 121)

This dimension of dying is utterly obfuscated by the Wagnerian fantasy of the Liebestod. What, then, comes - what CAN come - after Tristan? Let us try the obvious empirical answer: Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg.

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2 THE EVERLASTING IRONY OF THE COMMUNITY

Wagner with Kierkegaard

Nietzsche was right in conceiving Meistersinger as complementary to Tristan: if we are to survive in the everyday world of social reality, one has to renounce the absolute claim of love, which is precisely what Hans Sachs does, thereby enabling the only semblance of a happy end in Wagner. By adding to this list Parsifal, one obtains three versions of the redemption which follow the logic of the Kierkegaardian triad of the Aesthetic, the Ethical and the Religious. In all these three Kierkegaardian "stages", the same sacrificial gesture is at work, each time in a different "power/potential" (in Schelling's sense of the term ). The religious sacrifice is a matter of course (suffice it to recall Abraham's readiness to sacrifice Isaac, Kierkegaard's supreme example), so we should concentrate on the renunciation that pertains to the "ethical" and the "aesthetic":

- The ethical stage is defined by the sacrifice of the immediate consumption of life, of our yielding to the fleeting moment, in the name of some higher universal norm. In the domain of erotics, one of the most refined examples of this renunciation is provided by Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. If his Don Giovanni embodies the Aesthetic (as was developed by Kierkegaard himself in his detailed analysis of the opera in Either/Or), the lesson of Cosi fan tutte is ethical - why? The point of Cosi is that the love that unites the two couples at the beginning of the opera is no less "artificial", mechanically brought about, than the second falling in love of the sisters with the exchanged partners dressed up as Albanian officers that results from the manipulations of the philosopher Alfonso - in both cases, we are dealing with a mechanism that the subjects follow in a blind, puppet-like way. Therein consists the Hegelian "negation of negation": first, we perceive the "artificial" love, the product of Alfonso's manipulations, as opposed to the initial "authentic" love; then, all of a sudden, we become aware that there is actually no difference between the two - the original love is no less "artificial" than the second. So, since one love counts as much as the other, the couples can return to their initial marital arrangement. This is what Hegel has in mind when he claims that, in the course of a dialectical process, the immediate starting point proves itself to be something already-mediated, i.e. its own self-negation: in the end, we ascertain that we always-already were what we wanted to become, the only difference being that this "always-already" changes its modality from In-itself into For-itself. Ethical is in this sense the domain of repetition qua symbolic: if, in the Aesthetic, one endeavors to capture the moment in its uniqueness, in the Ethical a thing only becomes what it is through its repetition.
- In the aesthetic stage, the seducer works on an innocent girl whom he considers worthy of his efforts, but at a crucial moment, just prior to his triumph, i.e. when for all practical purposes her surrender is already won and the fruits of his labor have only to be reaped, he has not only to renounce the realization of the sexual act but, over and above, to induce her to drop him (by putting on the mask of a despicable person and thus arousing her disgust). Why this renunciation? The realization of the process of seduction in the sexual act renders visible the goal the seducer was striving at in all its transiency and vulgarity, so the only way to avoid this horror of radical "desublimation" is to stop short of it, thereby keeping awake the dream of what might have happened - by losing his love in time, the seducer gains her for eternity. One must be careful here not to miss the point: the "desublimation" one tries to avoid by renouncing the act does not reside in the experience of how realization always falls short of the Ideal we were striving for, i.e. of the gap that forever separates the Ideal from its realization; in it, it is rather the Ideal itself that loses its power, that changes into repugnant slime - the Ideal is, as it were, undermined "from within", when we approach it too closely, it changes into its opposite.
In all three "stages", the same gesture of sacrifice is thus at work in a different "power/potential": what shifts from the one to the other is the locus of impossibility. That is to say, one is tempted to claim that the triad Aesthetic-Ethical-Religious provides the matrix for the three versions of the impossibility of sexual relationship. What one would expect here is that, with the "progression" (or rather leap) from one to the next stage, the pressure of prohibition and/or impossibility gets stronger: in the Aesthetic, one is free to "seize the day", to yield to enjoyment without any restraints; in the Ethical, enjoyment is admitted, but on condition that it remains within the confines of the Law (marriage), i.e. in an aseptic, "gentrified" form that suspends its fatal charm; in the Religious, finally, there is no enjoyment, just the most radical, "irrational" renunciation for which we get nothing in return (Abraham's readiness to sacrifice Isaac). However, this clear picture of progressive renunciation immediately gets blurred by the uncanny resemblance, noticed by many a sagacious commentator, between Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac (which, of course, belongs to the Religious) and Kierkegaard's own renunciation to Regina (which belongs to the aesthetic dialectics of seduction). On a closer look, one can thus ascertain that, contrary to our expectations, the prohibition (or rather inhibition) loosens with the leap from one to the next stage: in the Aesthetic, the object is completely lost, beyond our reach, due to the inherent instability of this level (in the very gesture of our trying to lay our hands on the fleeting moment of pleasure, it slips between our fingers; in the Ethical, enjoyment is already rendered possible in a stable, regular form via the mediation of the Law; and, finally, in the Religious... what is the religious mode of erotic, if its aesthetical mode is seduction and its ethical mode marriage? Is it at all meaningful to speak of a religious mode of erotics in the precise Kierkegaardian sense of the term? The point of Lacan is that this, precisely, is the role of courtly love: the Lady in courtly love suspends the ethical level of universal symbolic obligations and bombards us with totally arbitrary ordeals in a way which is homologous to the religious suspension of the Ethical; her ordeals are on a par with God's ordering Abraham to slaughter his son Isaac. And, contrary to the first appearance that sacrifice reaches here its apogee, it is only here that, finally, we confront the Other qua Thing that gives body to the excess of enjoyment over mere pleasure. If the aesthetical endeavors to seize the full moment end in fiasco and utter loss, paradoxically, the religious renunciation, the elevation of the Lady into an untouchable and unattainable object, leads to the trance of enjoyment that transgresses the limits of Law.
And is not this extreme point at which radical ascetic renunciation paradoxically coincides with the most intense erotic fulfillment, the very topic of Wagner's Tristan? One can also see why Nietzsche was right in claiming that Parsifal is Wagner's most decadent work and the antithesis to Tristan. In Parsifal, the normal, everyday life totally disappears as a point of reference - what remains is the opposition between the hysterically overexcited chromatics and the asexual purity, the ultimate denial of passion. Parsifal thus offers a kind of spectral decomposition of Tristan: in it, the immortal longing of the two lovers, sexualized and simultaneously spiritualized to extremes, is decomposed into its two constituents, sexual chromatic excitation and the spiritual purity beyond the cycle of life. Amfortas and Parsifal, the suffering king who cannot die and the innocent "pure fool" beyond desire, are the two ingredients which, when brought together, give us Tristan.
We can see, now, in what precise sense Tristan embodies the aesthetic solution: refusing to compromise one's desire, one goes to the end and willingly embraces death. Meistersinger counters it with the ethical solution: the true redemption resides not in following the immortal passion to its self-destructive conclusion; one should rather learn to overcome it via creative sublimation and to return, in a mood of wise resignation, to the "daily" life of symbolic obligations. In Parsifal, finally, the passion can no longer be overcome via its reintegration to society in which it survives in a gentrified form: one has to deny it thoroughly in the ecstatic assertion of the religious jouissance. The triad of Tristan, Meistersinger and Parsifal thus follows a precise logic: Meistersinger and Tristan render the two opposite versions of the Oedipal matrix, within which Meistersinger inverts Tristan (the son steals the woman from the paternal figure; the passion breaks out between the paternal figure and the young woman destined to become the partner of the young man), while Parsifal gives the coordinates themselves an anti-Oedipal twist - the lamenting wounded subject is here the paternal figure (Amfortas), not the young transgressor (Tristan). (The closest one comes to lament in Meistersinger is Sachs's "Wahn, wahn!" song from Act III.) Wagner planned to have in the first half of Act III of Tristan Parsifal to visit the wounded Tristan, but he wisely renounced it: not only would the scene ruin the perfect overall structure of Act III, it would also stage the IMPOSSIBLE encounter on a character with (the different, alternate reality, version of) ITSELF, as in the time travel science fiction narratives where I encounter MYSELF. One can even bring things to the ridicule here by imagining the THIRD hero joining the two - Hans Sachs (in his earlier embodiment, as King Mark who arrives with a ship prior to Isolde), so that the three of them (Tristan, Mark, Parsifal), standing for the three attitudes, debate their differences in a Habermasian undistorted communicational exchange...
This triad of Tristan, Meistersinger and Parsifal presupposes the notion of woman as the object of exchange between men, whose logic was elaborated by Levi-Strauss in his Structures elementaires de la parente (1949). Already the first truly Wagnerian opera, The Flying Dutchman, is about the exchange of Senta between her father and the Dutchman - a false exchange, for sure, since, instead of the young hunter Erik, her "normal" partner, Senta gets the incestuous Dutchman about whom she was dreaming, and who is more her father's colleague. The final catastrophe occurs because the dream that haunted her is realized: it is as if Eva in Meistersinger were to marry Hans instead of Walter. And the three operas on which we focused not stage the three versions of how the "normal" exchange can be disturbed:
- In Tristan, the exchange fails, the mediator takes over the bride. Responsible for this failure is the fact that the exchange itself was a wrong one: Isolde is given to a wrong man (to the paternal figure), i.e. Tristan SHOULD have been Isolde's partner in a "normal" exchange. What, however, would have happened in that case? The answer is simple: if their love were to be left free to realize itself in a marital link, deprived of its transgressive dimension, Tristan and Isolde would have been an ordinary couple, with Isolde engaged in transgressive dreams about whom? About King Mark, of course, which brings us to the next opera:
- In Meistersinger, the exchange is "normal," the winner of the song contest gets Eva; however, in her incestuous outburst in Act III, Eva makes it clear that her true love is the paternal Hans Sachs himself (who, in his answer to her outburst, compares himself explicitly to the unfortunate Marx!).
- And, finally, in Parsifal, Kundry is the object of exchange, manipulated by Klingsor. Is Klingsor not a kind of false father who offers Kundry to men not to redeem them, but to destroy them? In a kind of mocking synthesis of Tristan and Meistersinger, Kundry is offered first to the older Amfortas (i.e. Mark-Hans), and then to the younger Parsifal (Tristan-Walter). Klingsor, who wins the first time, is vanquished when no exchange takes place, since Kundry's advances are rejected by Parsifal.

This, then, is how we are to interpret Wagner: the "meaning" of Tristan becomes visible when we establish the connection between it and the two other music dramas (in short, when we apply to it the structural interpretation of myths elaborated by Claude Levi-Strauss, himself a great Wagnerian). What really matters is not the pseudo-problem of which of the three solutions reflects Wagner's "true" position (did he really believe in the redemptive power of the orgasmic Liebestod? did he resign himself to the necessity of returning to the everyday world of symbolic obligations?), but the formal matrix which generates these three versions of redemption. What defines Wagner's position is not any of the three determinate solutions, but the underlying deadlock to which these three operas (Tristan, Meistersinger, Parsifal) provide each its own solution, the unstable relationship between the "ethical" universe of social-symbolic obligations ("contracts"), the overwhelming sexual passion which threatens to dissolve social links (the "Aesthetical") and the spiritualized self-denial of the Will (the "Religious"). Each of the three operas is an attempt to compress this triangle into the opposition between two elements: between the spiritualized sexual passion and the socio-symbolic universe in Tristan, between sexual passion and the spiritual sublimation of socialized art in Meistersinger, between sexualized life and pure ascetic spiritualism in Parsifal. Each of these three solutions relies on a specific musical mode which predominates in it: the chromaticism of Tristan, the choral aspect of Meistersinger, the contrast between chromaticism and static diatonics of Parsifal.

Kundry's Laughter ...

Why, then, is Parsifal's ascetic renunciation false? The reference to Nietzsche is crucial here: Nietzsche was not against ascetism as such, but against ascetism secretly grounded in envy. That is to say, what Nietzsche and Freud share is the idea that justice as equality is founded on envy - on the envy of the Other who has what we do not have, and who enjoys it; the demand for justice is thus ultimately the demand that the excessive enjoyment of the Other should be curtailed, so that everyone's access to jouissance should be equal. The necessary outcome of this demand, of course, is ascetism: since it is not possible to impose equal jouissance, what one CAN impose is only the equally shared PROHIBITION. However, one should not forget that today, in our allegedly permissive society, this ascetism assumes precisely the form of its opposite, of the GENERALIZED superego injunction "Enjoy!". We are all under the spell of this injunction, with the outcome that our enjoyment is more hindered than ever - recall the yuppie who combines Narcissistic "Self-Fulfillment" with utter ascetic discipline of jogging, eating health food, etc. This, perhaps, is what Nietzsche had in mind with his notion of the Last Man - it is only today that we can really discern the contours of the Last Man, in the guise of the hedonistic ascetism of yuppies. Nietzsche thus does not simply urge life-assertion against ascetism: he is well aware how a certain ascetism is the obverse of the decadent excessive sensuality - therein resides his criticism of Wagner's Parsifal, and, more generally, of the late Romantic decadence oscillating between damp sensuality and obscure spiritualism.
So what IS envy? From the most elementary case of a sibling envying his brother who is sucking the mother's breast (evoked by Saint Augustin at the beginning of his Confessions), the subject does not envy the Other's possession of the prized object as such, but rather the way the Other is able to ENJOY this object - which is why it is not enough for him simply to steal and thus gain possession of the object: his true aim is to destroy the Other's ability/capacity to enjoy the object. As such, envy is to be located into the triad of envy, thrift and melancholy, the three forms of not being able to enjoy the object (and, of course, reflexively enjoying this very impossibility). In contrast to the subject of envy, who envies the other's possession and/or jouissance of the object, the miser possesses the object, but cannot enjoy/consume it - his satisfaction derives from just possessing it, elevating it into a sacred, untouchable/prohibited, entity which should under no conditions be consumed (recall the proverbial figure of the lone miser who, upon returning home, safely locks the doors, opens up his chest and then takes the secret peek at his prized object, observing it in awe); this very hindrance that prevents the consummation of the object guarantees its status of the object of desire. The melancholic subject, like the miser, possesses the object, but loses the cause that made him desire it: this figure, most tragic of them all, has free access to all he wants, but finds no satisfaction in it.
The common topic of the Leftist (psycho)analysis of Fascism is how the people's submission, their renunciation to pleasure, is bought by the "perverse" pleasure generated by this submission itself: beneath the totalitarian call "Enough of pleasure! Sacrifice yourself!", one should discern the hidden superego injunction "Enjoy!". Is the ultimate proof of it not Joseph Goebbels' infamous "Total War" speech in Sportpalast, Berlin, on 18 February 1943, culminating in a series of rhetorical questions, to which the gathered crowd answered with a frenzied, stomping "YES!". All his questions (Do you want theaters and restaurants to be closed, etc.etc. in order to achieve total mobilization?) ultimately asked for the same thing - MORE RENUNCIATIONS: "Do you want a total war - more total and radical than we can even imagine today?" However, one should also take into account its opposite, i.e. the paradox which emerges in our allegedly permissive hedonist liberal societies in which the subjects are directly called to enjoy (to organize their life around the "use of pleasures," to realize the inner potentials of their Self): far from spontaneous rule of pleasures, the result is a globalized ascetism: in order to really enjoy yourself, you have to submit to a strict diet, to avoid smoking and drinking, to jog regularly, plus to avoid sexual and other harassments in order not to frustrate others in their enjoyment...
The opposition we are dealing with here is, of course, none other than Gemeinschaft (community) and Gesellschaft (society). Since the obvious ideological aim of Parsifal is to reinstate community against the alienated society, one should be careful not to accept this opposition as self-evident: what IS Gemeinschaft as opposed to Gesellschaft? When does one belong to a community? The difference concerns the netherworld of unwritten obscene rules which regulate the "inherent transgression" of the community, the way we are allowed/expected to violate its explicit rules. This is why the subject who closely follows the explicit rules of a community will never be accepted by its members as "one of us": he does not participate in the transgressive rituals which effectively keep this community together. And society /Gesellschaft/ as opposed to community is a collective which can dispense with this set of unwritten rules - since this is impossible, there is no society without community. This is where the theories which advocate the subversive character of mimicry get it wrong; according to these theories, the properly subversive attitude of the Other - say, of a colonized subject who lives under the domination of the colonizing culture - is to mimic the dominant discourse, but with a distance, so that what he does and says is like what the colonizers themselves do... almost like it, with an unfathomable difference which makes his Otherness all the more palpable. One is tempted to turn this thesis around: it is the foreigner emulating faithfully the rules of the dominant culture he wants to penetrate and identify with, who is condemned forever to remain an outsider, because he fails to practice, to participate in, the self-distance of the dominant culture, the unwritten rules which tell us how and when to violate the explicit rules of this culture. We are "in," integrated in a culture, perceived by their members is "one of us," only when we succeed in practicing this unfathomable DISTANCE from the symbolic rules - it is ultimately only this distance which exhibits our identity, our belonging to the culture in question. This, then, is how one should perceive the Grail community at Montsalvat: as a closed circle engaged in the obscene ceremony of disclosing their shared secret, a ceremony closer to a Satanist "Black Mass" than to a Christian ritual - an uncanny opera "midway between Mass and orgy," in which the consecration of a theater turns into the desecration of a church (see Conrad 1989, p. 183).
On the other hand, one should be careful not to succumb to the liberal temptation of condemning all collective artistic performances as inherently "totalitarian." Both the Thingspiel in the early Nazi years and Bertolt Brecht's "learning plays /Lehrstuecke/" involved a mass ideologico-aesthetic experience (of songs, speeches and acts) in which spectators themselves served as actors - does this mean that the Left in the 30s participated in the same "proto-Fascist" totalitarian experience of the "regressive" immersion into pre-individual community as Nazism (the thesis of, among others, Siegfried Kracauer)? If not, does the difference reside in the fact that the Nazi Thingspiel staged a pathetic-emotional immersion, while Brecht aimed at a distanced, self-observing, reflected process of learning? However, is this standard Brechtian opposition of emotional immersion and reflexive distance sufficient? Let us recall the staged performance of "Storming the Winter Palace" in Petrograd, on the third anniversary of the October Revolution, on 7 November 1920. Tens of thousands of workers, soldiers, students and artists worked round the clock, living on kasha (the tasteless wheat porridge), tea and frozen apples, and preparing the performance at the very place where the event "really took place" three years earlier; their work was coordinated by the Army officers, as well as by the avant-garde artists, musicians and directors, from Malevich to Meyerhold. Although this was acting and not "reality," the soldiers and sailors were playing themselves - many of them not only actually participated in the event of 1917, but were also simultaneously involved in the real battles of the Civil War that were raging in the near vicinity of Petrograd, a city under siege and suffering from severe shortages of food. A contemporary commented on the performance: "The future historian will record how, throughout one of the bloodiest and most brutal revolutions, all of Russia was acting"(quoted from Buck-Morss 2000, p. 144); and the formalist theoretician Viktor Shklovski noted that "some kind of elemental process is taking place where the living fabric of life is being transformed into the theatrical"(quoted from Buck-Morss 2000, p. 144). We all remember the infamous self-celebratory First of May parades that were one of the supreme signs of recognition of the Stalinist regimes - if one needs a proof of how Leninism functioned in an entirely different way, are such performances not the supreme proof that the October Revolution was definitely NOT a simple coup d'etat by the small group of Bolsheviks, but an event which unleashed a tremendous emancipatory potential?
So, back to Parsifal: what is wrong with it is not the collective ritual as such, but its flavor of the obscene secret ceremony. Like every compulsive ritual, this ceremony is a defense formation - a defense against the Real of the feminine desire. In his perspicuous Lacanian interpretation, Michel Poizat reads Parsifal as telling the story of the closed incestuous community, immobilized by the jouissance of the privileged Object-Thing (Grail), which is derailed when Amfortas, its leader, succumbs to the feminine seduction; the function of Parsifal himself is then to heal the wound and thus reestablish the close circle of the Grail community. Parsifal and Klingsor, Kundry's master, stand for the two opposed ways to avoid the encounter of the desiring woman and its castrative effect: Parsifal renounces desire, rejects the woman, closes himself to the encounter, while Klingsor avoids this encounter by castrating himself IN THE REAL (he actually castrated himself in order to be able to resist Kundry's advances and thus to be able to function as her Master, indifferent to her charms). Wagner's admiration of The Oresteia is well-known - is it then too daring to sest that THE model of Parsifal's rejection of Kundry is Orestes' murder of Clitaimnestra, his mother? Here is how Aeschylos renders his words:

"Quickly! Listen to me! One last time!
It carries me away!
I sit in a chariot,
but I do not drive.
It is the horses
who hold the reins.
I have no more power over them,
I ... can ... not ... think.
Think? No! Someone else
Is thinking for me!
And deep in the heart sits fear
and sings and begins to dance.
Therefore, so long as I am in my right senses
- am I still in my right senses? -
I will say to you quickly:
It was just that I killed my mother,
the woman abhorred by the god -
a horror hated by the earth!"


(Quoted from Christa Wolf 1988, p. 222-223)

Is this not the most concise description of an autonomous free act? Of the Real of an act which the subject cannot ever assume/subjectivize, which is necessarily experience as a foreign body, as something "in me more than myself" which acts through me? Do, then, these lines not point towards what Kierkegaard called the madness of an actually free decision? In his Adieu a Emmanuel Levinas, Derrida tries to dissociate the decision from its usual metaphysical predicates (autonomy, consciousness, activity, sovereignty...) and think of it as the "other's decision in me": "The passive decision, condition of the event, is always, structurally, an other decision in me, a rending decision as the decision of the other. Of the absolutely other in me, of the other as the absolute who decides of me in me."(Derrida 1997, p. 87) The difference between Orestes and Parsifal, of course, is that their respective acts are clearly opposed with regard to their scope: although, in both cases, the feminine is rejected, Orestes' murder marks the rupture with the Maternal-Feminine, the installment of the paternal Law, while Parsifal cast off the woman's desire on behalf of the Maternal-Feminine. For this reason, Orestes has effectively to kill a woman (his mother), while in the case of Parsifal, we are dealing with a negative gesture of shirking. For this reason also, it is only Orestes who commits a true act: Parsifal's gesture is ultimately a non-act, a withdrawal from the Real of the Other's desire. What, then, is so threatening in Kundry?
In his Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel introduces his notorious notion of womankind as "the everlasting irony of the community": womankind "changes by intrigue the universal end of the government into a private end, transforms its universal activity into a work of some particular individual, and perverts the universal property of the state into a possession and ornament for the family." (Hegel 1977, p. 288) These lines fit perfectly the figure of Ortrud in Wagner's Lohengrin: for Wagner, there is nothing more horrible and disgusting than a woman who intervenes into the political life, driven by the desire for power. In contrast to the male ambition, a woman wants power in order to promote her own narrow family interests or, even worse, her personal caprice, incapable as she is of perceiving the universal dimension of state politics. How are we not to recall F.W.J. Schelling's claim that "the same principle carries and holds us in its ineffectiveness which would consume and destroy us in its effectiveness"(Schelling 1946, p. 13; translation quoted from Bowie 1993, p. 105)? A power which, when it is kept at its proper place, can be benign and pacifying, turns into its radical opposite, into the most destructive fury, the moment it intervenes at a higher level, the level which is not its own: THE SAME femininity which, within the close circle of family life, is the very power of protective love, turns into obscene frenzy when displayed at the level of public and state affairs... In short, it is OK for a woman to protest the public state power on behalf of the rights of family and kinship; but woe to a society in which women endeavour directly to influence decisions concerning the affairs of state, manipulating their weak male partners, effectively emasculating them (as Ortrud does in Lohengrin). And are Isolde and Kundry not the two further versions of this "everlasting irony" which leads to the dissolution of the social link? Isolde is the opposite of Ortrud: instead of operating WITHIN the social structure, intervening in the power strle by way of manipulating the (male) hero, she entices Tristan to step out of this realm of the Day into the abyss of the Night. Kundry, however, occupies a third position: neither intervening in the power edifice nor simply longing to step out of it and obliterate herself, but, literally, functioning as its "everlasting irony," mockingly undermining its authority.
The main sign and weapon of Kundry's subversive irony is her laughter, so it is crucial to probe into its origins: the primordial scene of laughter is the Way of the Cross where Kundry was observing the suffering Christ and laughing at him. This laughter then repeats itself again and again apropos of every master Kundry served (Klingsor, Gurnemanz, Amfortas, Parsifal): she undermines the position of each of them by means of the surplus-knowledge contained in her hysterical obscene laughter which reveals the fact that the master is impotent, a semblance of himself. This laughter is thus profoundly ambiguous: it does not stand only for making a mockery of the other, but also for despair at herself, i.e. for her repeated failure to find a reliable support in the Master. The question that one should raise here is that of the parallel between Amfortas' and Christ's wound: what do the two have in common? In what sense is Amfortas (who was wounded when he succumbed to Kundry's temptation) occupying the same position as Christ? The only consistent answer, of course, is that Christ himself was not pure in his suffering: when Kundry observed him on the Way of the Cross, she detected his obscene jouissance, i.e. the way he was "turned on" by his suffering. What Kundry is desperately searching for in men is, on the contrary, somebody who would be able to resist the temptation of converting his pain into a perverse enjoyment.

... and her Kiss

The unique achievement of Parsifal is to unite, in the figure of Kundry, the two traditionally opposite figures (which, in his early Tannhaeuser, are kept apart): the devastating seductress and the angelic redemptrix - or, as Wagner put it in his famous letter to Mathilde Wesendonck from August 1860: "Have I already told you that the fabulous, savage messenger of the Grail has to be one and the same as the seductress in the second act? Since that dawned upon me almost everything to do with it has become clear to me" (quoted from Dahlhaus 1979, p. 152-153) - the motto from the finale of Parsifal "the wound is healed only by the spear that smote you" holds also and especially for Kundry. This fact that the identity of Kundry has popped up as a solution is to be taken literally: the "secret" of Kundry is that she does stand for the psychological unity of a "real person," but for an artificial composite invented in order to resolve a certain (narrative and, simultaneously, ideological) deadlock. The first to describe this logic in detail was Claude Levi-Strauss, in his famous analysis of the facial decorations of the Caduveo Indians; he begins by identifying, in purely visual terms, the antagonistic tension of a "complicated situation based upon two contradictory forms of duality, and resulting in a compromise brought about by a secondary opposition between the ideal axis of the object itself /the human face/ and the ideal axis of the figure which it represents."(Levi-Strauss 1971, p. 176) He then goes on to interpret this visual dynamics as the imaginary solution for the unresolved antagonism/imbalance of their social structure: an attempt to supplant the imbalance of the emerging hierarchical distinctions, insurmountable in their own terms, by displacing them onto "horizontal" division of the tribe into groups - at this level, the imaginary compromise can at least be staged.
And was it not the same with Heidegger in 1933? The primary opposition there was also the class distinction, and the secondary opposition the one between Heidegger's attachment to the traditional local folk community and his commitment to Nazism as a modern mass political movement. How, then, did Heidegger try to resolve this double tension? In his attire itself - Karl Loewith reports that, in 1933, Heidegger attracted the attention of bypassers with the "queerness of his clothes: a kind of Schwarzwald peasant jacket with wide lapels and a half-military collar, accompanied by knickerbockers, both made from a dark-brown cloth /.../ a unique compromise between the ordinary local attire and the S.A. uniform."(Loewith 1986, p. 43) Is this not the exact equivalent to the facial decorations of the Caduveo Indians? Did Heidegger not first displace the class antagonism onto the antagonism between folk roots and modern mass movement, and then try to resolve their tension by, literally, enacting on his body itself their utopian reconciliation in his clownish attire which combines the two dimensions? And the figure of Kundry follows the same logic: she HAD to be invented to provide an imaginary solution which allowed Wagner to bring Parsifal to conclusion.
So, when, after receiving Kundry's kiss, Parsifal pushes her away with the cry "Amfortas! The wound!", signalling his compassionate identification with the suffering Amfortas (a scene which, incidentally, cannot but provoke laughter in today's public), Poizat is fully justified in conceiving this identification of Parsifal with Amfortas in the moment of Kundry's kiss along the lines of the science-fiction stories in which, to paraphrase Hamlet, the time is out of joint, and the hero sets it right by travelling back to the moment when things took the wrong turn (recall numerous alternate history novels in which the hero goes back in time in order to change the detail which set in motion a later catastrophe, like preventing the birth of Hitler).(Poizat 1998, p. 121) We are thus here as far from Hegel as possible, even if Wagner's "the wound is healed only by the spear that smote you" may sound vaguely "Hegelian." When Hegel says that "knowledge heals the wound it itself is /Erkennen heilt die Wunde, die es selber ist/," his idea is that the split introduced by knowledge into our being (the loss of innocence, of the immersion into immediate life, i.e. the rise of the reflexive distance of consciousness, of the gap between subject and object, between thought and act) is ITSELF its own self-sublation: we overcome the limitation of our knowledge when we become aware of how the wealth of the pseudo-concrete sensual content that we lose in the passage from direct experience to notional knowledge, is in itself null, worth losing. Hegel's point is thus not to regain what was lost, but to accept the loss itself as liberating. In contrast to Hegel, Wagner's Parsifal does not "sublate" the Fall in a later Reconciliation-through-synthesis; he, rather, travels back in time in order to retroactively UNDO the Fall. In short, for Wagner, "the wound is healed only by the spear that smote you" means: the only way to undo the Fall (the wrong turn of the events) is to return back to the moment of the wrong decision and to REPEAT the choice, this time making the right decision. What, however, Wagner does not take fully into account is the very NECESSITY of this repetition: Parsifal's right decision can only take place as a repetition, after Amfortas, in his first choice, made the wrong one. And, perhaps, therein resides the core of the Wagnerian fantasy, Wagner's ultimate retreat from the Real: instead of endorsing the wound, reconciling himself with it, he sticks to the dream of fully undoing it - here is his famous rendering of Tristan and Isolde's predicament:

"Thanks to the potion their passion suddenly flares up and they have to confess mutually that they belong only to each other. And now there were no bounds to the longing, the desire, the bliss and the anguish of love: the world, power, fame, glory, honor, chivalry, loyalty, friendship, all swept away like chaff, an empty dream; only one thing is left alive: yearning, yearning, insatiable desire, ever reborn - languishing and thirsting; the sole release - death, dying, extinction, never more to wake!" (Quoted from Dahlhaus 1979, p. 150.)

It is clear what is the trouble with this confused Buddhist-vision: in it, the three levels (the daily world of symbolic obligations; the insatiable desire; the eternal peace) are squeezed into two. The principal tension is not between the Day and the Night, it is the tension, inherent to the Night itself, between the longing and the peace: it is the very longing for peace which forever DISTURBS our daily routine, preventing us from finding peace in our lives. So, in a Hegelian way, one should claim that the Day HAD to be invented in order for us to sustain the INHERENT DEADLOCK of the longing for peace. Or, to put it in a slightly different way, the obstacle of the Day, of socio-symbolic conventions, is necessary for the metaphysical longing to flare up - THIS is how "the wound is healed only by the spear that smote you": in the reconciliation, "the negative force recognizes in what it fights its own force"(Hegel 1969, p. 174), that is to say, the Night has to recognize in the obstacles posed by the obligations of the Day its own condition of possibility.
One should distinguish TWO phases of Kundry's advance in the great Act II duet: first, Kundry tries to seduces him from the position of the abyssal incestuous Thing, playing the evil femme fatale who intends to devour her victim. At the end of this first phase, Parsifal resists Kundry's advances by means of his identification with Amfortas' wound: at the very moment of Kundry's kiss, he retreats from her embrace, shouts "Amfortas! The wound! The wound!", and seizes his thighs (the site of Amfortas' wound) - this comically-pathetic gesture is a clear case of hysterical identification, a step into the hysterical theater. (See Bronfen 1996.) The true hysteric of the opera, of course, is Kundry herself, and it is as if Parsifal's very rejection of her contaminates him with hysteria. - After the kiss and Parsifal's rejection of it, Kundry's SECOND approach is therefore totally different - here, we no longer have the deadly femme fatale playing cruel games, but a real desiring woman desperately in love with Parsifal. Instead of flirting with the incestuous identification with Parsifal's mother, she now opens up to him the very core of her trauma, the original sin which turned her into an undead specter desperately looking for the savior. Which is why Kundry's outburst of rage at the end of the duet is in a way justified: it is the reaction of a loving woman deeply hurt by the cruel and cold rejection of her sincere offer... The parallel with The Magic Flute is here crucial: if Parsifal were to be a "normal" Oedipal opera, one rejection would have been enough, i.e. Parsifal would have been allowed to accept Kundry the second time, after rejecting her, since he is now dealing with a woman who accepted the symbolic Law (in the same way Tamino is allowed to accept Pamina after she sustains the ordeal of his silence/rejection). Parsifal is thus unable to accomplish the "normalizing" gesture of renouncing the fantasmatic Feminine in order to gain access to the real woman's love: instead, he immerses himself into the bliss of the fantasmatic Feminine by way of rejecting the real of the woman's desire.
The opposition between actual woman and the Feminine is brought to extreme here: the actual desiring woman drops dead (Kundry is silenced already at the end of Act II, reduced in the entire act III to a half-catatonic mute presence whose only words are "To serve! To serve!", and whose only act is to wash with her own hair Parsifal's feet at the ceremony of his anointment), while the Eternal-Feminine triumphs. What is crucial here is the thorough ambiguity of the feminine reference: on the one hand, woman is the external intruder which disturbs the closed circle of male community - the encounter of a woman stands for the encounter of the real of the other's desire in all its traumatic opacity; on the other hand, however, breaking the circle, introducing division, is a male act par excellence, while the Feminine is identified with the harmonious Whole of the substantial Ground prior to its disturbance by means of the subjective Act - when the circle is closed again, when we return to the harmonious balance, is this not equal to the return to the safe protective haven of the Feminine?
Wagner's ambiguous relationship towards the Feminine - woman as the notorious spear which can only heal the wound it itself dealt (as Wagner puts it in Parsifal), i.e. at the same time the cause of man's Fall and his Redemptrix -, is, of course, to be located into the long German tradition, which found its supreme expression in the notion of the "Eternal-Feminine" from the very last lines of Goethe's Faust: "Das Unbeschreibliche / Hier ist's getan; / Das Ewig-Weibliche / Zieht uns hinan." (A paraphrase: "What cannot be described / Is here accomplished; / The Eternal-Feminine / Draws us up towards itself.") In Goethe, this "Eternal-Feminine" appears in the guise of saintly feminine figures withdrawn from active life, whose very immobility moves men to act, from Iphigenia to Ottilie in The Selective Affinities ; what is still missing here, what is only implied, not yet explicitly posited, is the lethal-destructive dimension of this Eternal-Feminine. And is this dimension, this excess of life in its connection with death, not the very stuff, the minimal definition, of Romanticism? Novalis already wrote "Hymns to the Night," the idea that ultimate fulfillment can be found only in the self-obliterating immersion into the Night. This "transgressive" matrix of love which found its first clear expression in the notion of courtly love: the idea that a love relationship inherently tends towards the self-obliteration immersion into the Night that suspends the universe of symbolic obligations. This Romantic notion of love involves the claim that marriage is contrary to the truly passionate love, its worst enemy, an institution violently imposed on love through state and church institution for reasons which concern ideological control and transference of private property. The interesting point here is that this celebration of extra-marital love, far from involving anti-religious hedonism, can experience and present itself as a quasi-religious "suspension" of the moral link of marriage.
The first to provide the highest philosophical expression to this disturbance in the status of femininity was Schelling, in his distinction between (logical) Existence and the impenetrable Ground of Existence, the Real of pre-logical drives: this proto-ontological domain of drives is not simply "nature," but the spectral domain of the not-yet fully constituted reality. (See Schelling 1987.) Schelling's opposition of the proto-ontological Real of drives (the Ground of being) and the ontologically fully constituted Being itself (which, of course, is "sexed" as the opposition of the Feminine and the Masculine) thus radically displaces the standard philosophical couples of Nature and Spirit, the Real and the Idea, Existence and Essence, etc. This notion is crucial not only with regard to the history of ideas, but even with regard to art and our daily experience of reality. Recall the protracted stains which "are" the yellow sky in late van Gogh or the water or grass in Munch: this uncanny "massiveness" pertains neither to the direct materiality of the color stains nor to the materiality of the depicted objects - it dwells in a kind of intermediate spectral domain of what Schelling called geistige Koerperlichkeit, the spiritual corporeality.
No wonder, then, that Schelling was also the first and only to elevate art into the highest expression of the Absolute, higher than philosophy which remains within the confines of the opposition between Subject and Object. One is tempted to claim that this obsession with the Eternal feminine as the dark background of the male Reason provides the key to German art. From Goethe onwards, something gets perturbed in the German attitude towards women, something stronger than the standard discord that constitutes the impasse of sexual relationship. The "Eternal Feminine" enters the stage as the placebo, the abyssal background of male identity, the ambiguous threatening-protective foundation, which then provokes a multitude of reactions, from the trusting reliance on it to its paranoiac refusal (in, say, Otto Weininger). Is this "Eternal Feminine" not also the support of the specific German notion of the self-destructive artistic genius? Does it not sustain the German notion of sexual life (or, rather, life itself) as something rotten, sick, which finds its culmination in death or outright self-destruction (see Thomas Mann's Death in Venice)? Even Bertolt Brecht, the very opposite of this damp Romantic obsession with lethal sexuality, in a way reacts to it - see, in his posthumously published erotic poems, two features of his attitude towards the sexual act: his opposition to the simultaneous orgasm as too close to the mystical self-immersion, i.e. his preference for "first I do it to you, then you do it to me"; his obsession that, AFTER (not before) the sexual commerce, one should take a bath, as if to wash off the filth... And does this reference to the Eternal Feminine also not sustain Wagner's scenario of the culmination of love in Liebestod, in a climactic self-obliteration in which all distinctions disappear?
The link between Wagner and Heinrich von Kleist (see Maar 2000) is indicative here, insofar as Kleist brought to its extreme the Romantic notion of unconditional love to death: not only is there a direct connection (Wagner's uncle, the crucial influence in his formative years, was a literary critic who was the only public figure in Germany to defend Kleist after his suicide, and introduced the young Richard to Kleist); not only are there lines in the libretto of Tristan which repeat verbatim Kleist's suicide note; moreover, the Liebestod in Wagner's Tristan could be read as a kind of repetition which tries to pacify the truly traumatic dimension of the ultimate Kleistian Liebestod in Penthesilea, arguably Kleist's most unsettling play, even today often avoided and dismissed as disgusting - the line that separates the Beautiful from the Disgusting is here definitely violated. The Liebestod in Penthesilea gives a literal twist to the pathetic words of the two lovers about becoming one, immersing themselves into each other: Penthesilea literally cuts Achilles, her love, to pieces, reducing him to a corps morcele, devours the pieces, and then kills herself. Not only do we thereby make a shift from the Wagnerian ecstatically-hypnotic Sublime to the domain of Disgust, not only is Achilles, the object of love, openly asserted as das feindliche Objekt; Kleist also clearly renders the ultimate FAILURE of this "Dionysiaque" reunion: "Even though she chews him up, she fails, as she must. Penthesilea can never strike Achilles where she intends to, for to do so would pull the rug out from under her own feet."(Chaouli 1996, p. 138) This precise formulation cannot but recall Lacan's description of Hamlet's predicament whose problem apropos of his obligation to kill the King is how to do it so that his strike will hit also the objet a in the King, the "Thing" that is in the King. The objet a, although the remainder of the Real external to the Symbolic, can only emerge as the inherent excess within the symbolic field itself, so that when we strike at the Real of the body, we by definition always miss the Thing which eludes us (the same was with Jews in the Nazi universe: the more their biological bodies were destroyed, the more powerful remained the specter of the Jew). In short, Penthesilea is the victim of a kind of Kantian transcendental illusion, confusion the reality of the biological body with the Real of the Thing. THIS horror, disgust even, and this failure are the truth from which Wagner retreated in his fantasy of the blissful immersion into the Night.

The Feminine versus Woman

The fantasmatic Feminine, the destructive abyss which threatens to swallow the male subject who succumbs to its sirene's voice, is THE SAME as the sublime bliss of the spiritual Feminine promising peace eternal - THIS is what Wagner meant when he asserted the identity of Kundry the Seductress with Kundry the Redemptrix, THIS is how "the wound is healed only by the spear that smote you": while the destructive lethal Woman-Thing wounds the (male) subject, it is only its own obverse, the pacifying Eternal-Feminine, which can heal the wound. The difference between Tristan and Parsifal is that, in Tristan, the "real" woman also sustains the immersion into the Eternal Feminine, while in Parsifal, the Eternal Feminine is reached through the rejection of the "real" woman. It is significant that the text on which Wagner was working in the days prior to his death in Venice, was "On the Feminine in the Human" - it was while writing it that he was taken by a heart seizure and died (at midday on 13 February 1883). The essay's main thesis is a rather conventional one: the oppression of the woman is a symptom of the history of mankind's degeneration; woman is the victim of power structures determined according to masculine principles and reproduction, she is a victim of the system of ownership, in whose interests marriages are arranged and families founded; female emancipation thus forms part of the regeneration of mankind... What then follows, however, is the specifically Wagnerian twist: first, Wagner refers to Buddha who, in his late years, revoked his exclusion of women from the possibility of sainthood; then, he qualifies this opening towards the feminine with the very last words he wrote, while already feeling the seizure coming: "However, the process of the emancipation of women only proceeds in ecstatic convulsions. Love - Tragedy."(Wagner 1972, Vol. 8, p. 398) What took place at this moment, when the pain of the seizure made itself felt, was it not the identification of Wagner with Kundry herself, with her "ecstatic convulsions"?
It is here, at this crucial juncture, that Poizat falls short by way of relying on the opposition between the access to the libidinal object mediated by the symbolic Law, and the direct confrontation to the Real, which is that of the jouissance of the incestuous deadly Thing: he reduces the passage from fantasy to the Real of feminine desire to the passage from the fascination with the fantasized spectre (which occludes the real woman) to opening up to the desire of a real flesh-and-blood woman - ultimately, a simple replacement of the delusive fantasy with the real person accessible through the paternal Law. This replacement accounts for the motif of the "lady who vanishes," the motif which, perhaps, found its clearest expression in Veit Harlan's Die verwehte Spuren (1938). What makes Harlan's film so interesting is its difference from the standard "lady vanishes" story which also served as a model for Hitchcock's Lady Vanishes (from 1939), as well as for Cornell Woolrich's The Phantom Lady (filmed by Robert Siodmak in 1942) - interestingly, all of them made in the late same period. The model of all these stories is an event which allegedly occurred during the Paris world exhibition in 1867, when a Canadian daughter and her mother visited Paris. Feeling tired, mother went to the hotel room, while the daughter stayed out. When she returned to the hotel, not only her mother disappeared, but everyone even denied her existence: what had been the mother's room was now an empty room in which workers were repairing the walls; the hotel personal remembered only the daughter; the ship and hotel registers showed only her name... After a desperate search, authorities disclosed the truth to the daughter: the mother died of plague, and in order to avoid mass panic, they had to deny her existence...
While in all other versions (inclusive of the original story itself), our - the spectator's or reader's - perspective is limited to that of the young girl, Harlan strangely opted for disclosing the secret of the mother's disappearance (plague) immediately, so that the spectator knows the truth all the time and there is no enigma - the question is only when and how will the daughter learn the truth. Why did he do it? Perhaps, in order to accentuate the obvious Oedipal background of the story: the imposition of the paternal Law erases out of the picture the obscene sick excessive Mother, it cuts the daughter's link with her, her "passionate attachment" to her mother, and thus renders her able to enter the "normal" heterosexual relationship. After the mother, this Mozartean "Queen of the Night," returns to her hotel, the daughter goes out and engages in a heavily charged flirt with Dr. Moreau, whom they met earlier on a street parade. Then, in one of the film's most effective scenes, the shots of the couple-to-be making a date across the hotel balcony and then going together to a wild partying on the crowded street, interchange with the shots of the dying mother, her distorted face full of sweat, desperately shouting her daughter's name ("Serafine!") - as if the access to the male partner is to be paid by mother's death. And, effectively, when Serafine accepts the doctor's invitation to go out with him, we get a cut to mother's cry "Josefine!", as if admonishing her daughter for her transgression, for abandoning her; then, in a nice detail, mother's last words in this shot - "Mein Gott!" - are litterally repeated by the doctor when we cut to the couple in a coach.
The second difference concerns the ending: when Serafine learns the truth, the prefect of the Paris police asks her to do the ultimate citizen's sacrifice - since rumors about her mother have already started to circulate, he implores her to sign the document confirming the lie, stating freely that she came to Paris alone, without her mother. After she does this, the couple of her and Dr. Moreau stays alone in the hospital room, confessing their love to each other now that mother is also officially erased out of the picture. (This excessive sticking to the lie for the benefit of society points towards the authoritarian Nazi credentials of Harlan.) The path is thus clear: in order to be fully integrated into the symbolic space of mature relations, the girl has to endorse publicly the lie on which social order is based, erasing the maternal threat out of the picture - the film is almost subversive in this admission of how the public order has to relie on a lie.
However, the alternative which underlies this narrative - either the deadly fascination with the fantasmatic lawless Feminine, or the access to a real woman mediated by the paternal symbolic Law - does not cover the entire field of options: far from presenting a choice, the two poles depend on each other, i.e. the paternal Law SUSTAINS itself by the specter of the unbridled-devouring Woman-Thing which would swallow us without its protective barrier. In other words, far from enabling us to really confront and accept the Real of the woman as the desiring Other, i.e. the traumatic impact of encountering the Other's desire, the mediation of the symbolic Law functions as a protective shield/filter which domesticates/gentrifies its traumatic impact. Poizat is right to emphasize that the abyssal fantasmatic Real of the Feminine which threatens to devour the male subject, is, in its very horror, a DEFENSE, an escape from the Real of the Other's (woman's) desire: when, in this terrifying image, the Real is posited as impossible (as something that can be achieved only in the lethal self-obliteration, as something whose encounter is forever postponed), what is thereby occluded is the way in which, in our common daily lives, the "impossible" CAN happen - in the magic moments of love, we CAN encounter the real Other's desire.
The real of the woman's desire is thus encountered neither in the fantasy of the Eternal Feminine nor in the woman reduced to the object of exchange among men regulated by the symbolic Law. When Poizat claims that the only access to the Real of the (desiring) woman is through the paternal Law, through the acceptance of the wound of symbolic castration, this mistake of his leaves its trace in an interesting conceptual confusion: he directly equals the imposition of the paternal Law as regulating the access to women, the acceptance of "symbolic castration," with "traversing the fantasy" - this is how he reads Mozart's The Magic Flute: in the course of the opera, Tamino "confronts this fantasy /of the Woman-Thing/, taking the risk of a symbolic death, and of the suffering which originates in it, but which he must assume in order to gain access to desire. He can thus 'traverse' the fantasy and encounter the real woman and her desire."(Poizat 1998, p. 124) In the course of the opera, Tamino thus passes from the fascination with the mere image of the woman given to him by the Queen of the Night, this figure of the unbridled, lawless, lethal jouissance of the fantasmatic Mother, to the subordination to the PATERNAL Law which enables him the access to a real woman. However, one should not forget that this access to the woman is mediated with the subordination to the paternal Law: in order to regain Pamina, Tamino has to abandon her, refusing to answer her desperate entreaties (during the trial of silence), and thus pushing her to the very border of suicide! In other words, he gets Pamina after he demonstrates that he is ready to abandon her...
Of course, Poizat would have pointed out that he is here far from confusing the fantasy and the Real - is he not making precisely the point that "the function of this fantasmatic elaboration /of the Feminine as the destructive abyss of excessive and unbridled jouissance/ is precisely to protect the man from encountering the real, desiring, woman"(Poizat 1998, p. 119). Or, as he puts it even more concisely a couple of pages later: "Parsifal puts together an entire fantasmatic organization of the feminine, whose permanent aim, behind the appearance of the search for the feminine, is to carefully spare us the trouble of 'getting to know' the feminine"(Poizat 1998, p. 121) - the verb "to know," of course, is to be read here in its biblical double meaning: having sex with the woman AND effectively acquainting oneself with her. Is, however, this encounter of the feminine really possible only through the mediation of the paternal symbolic Law? Significantly, Poizat oscillates between two notions of the Real: there is the pre-symbolic Real of the excessive impossible jouissance, embodies in the lethal incestuous Woman-Thing; and there is the Real of the woman as the desiring other. Does, however, this very opposition - either the monstrous devouring Woman-Thing or the woman subordinated to the symbolic Law - not stand for the two ways to avoid the encounter of the Real of the Other's (woman's) desire? Here, Poizat's misreading is fatal: Amfortas' wound does NOT stand for the symbolic castration (as Poizat claims - Poizat 1998, p. 120), but, QUITE ON THE CONTRARY, for the remainder which RESISTS castration-symbolization, for what Lacan called "lamella," for the Real of an "undead" partial object, of the embodiment of the excessive jouissance (objet petit a as plus-de-jouir) that insists, resisting its integration into the symbolic reality.
Furthermore, this misperception also prevents Poizat from locating the true source of the disturbance in the Grail community: contrary to the misleading appearances, it is NOT Amfortas' succumbing to Kundry's advances which sets in motion the catastrophe, but TITUREL's (Amfortas' horrifying superego father's) excessive attachment to, his fixation on, the Grail: Titurel turns into a monstrous "undead" specter who lives off the rays of the Grail. In short, what goes wrong is not the EXTERNAL intrusion of the desiring Other which introduces a gap into the circle, but the INTERNAL excess of drive, of its excessive and suffocating fixation on the Thing-jouissance. Because of this, there is effectively a change at the end of the opera: against Poizat, who reads the finale as a simple reestablishment of the balance which was disturbed by the intrusion of the desiring Other, one should take note of how Parsifal, when he takes over the Grail community, changes its rules, announcing that from now on, the Grail will remain forever disclosed. And it is also because of this that Poizat's rejection of those stagings which discern in the finale a kind of reassertion of - or, rather, opening towards - the Feminine, falls short: prior to Parsifal's reign, the Grail community effectively was a self-enclosed male circle, while Parsifal opens it towards the Feminine. Consequently, what one should focus on is rather the relationship between woman and the wound.
Rilke's quote about the Beautiful being the beginning of the Horrible goes on "... since, with indifference, it /the beautiful/ delivers us to decay" - a concise characterization of what goes on in Mann's Death in Venice, in which the blissfully indifferent specter of the beautiful Tadzio drags the narrator towards moral and physical disintegration. What an abyss separates this late Romantic decadent ideology of pleasure-in-decay from, say, the "undead" wound in "A Country Doctor," Kafka's key story and, for that very reason, definitely not among his best ones: it is all too directly delirious, lacking the cold, austere precision of his great texts, their strange "realism" which makes his universe all the more uncanny. "A Country Doctor" reads straightaway as a nightmarish dream, which is why it can allow itself to render directly the fantasies underlying Kafka's universe. In deep cold winter, a country doctor and his young maid Rosa are desperately looking for a horse carriage which would take the doctor to a patient at a lone farm. All of a sudden, the doctor senses a warmth and smell of horses in the abandoned pigpen at his backyard - and, for sure, there is a young strong groom there, ready with two fresh horses. "People don't know what they've got available in their own house," says Rosa with laughter; however, the groom immediately embraces her and shoves his face against hers; after the terrified Rosa withdraws to the doctor, two rows of teeth have left their red marks on her cheek. Against his will, the doctor is dragged by the horses away to his patient, impotently observing how the groom is proceeding to rape Rosa. There, at the lone farm, the family shows him a young boy who at first seems perfectly healthy. "Then, with no fever, not cold, not warm, with expressionless eyes, without a shirt, the boy raises himself up under the feather bed, embraces my neck and whispers in my ear: 'Doctor, let me die.' I look around; no one has heard; his parents are standing in silence"(Kafka 1996, p. 77). All of a sudden, we thus enter the Wagnerian territory: the horror of being condemned to the life of eternal suffering, and the longing to find release in death. In what does this suffering consist? Taking a second look, the doctor all of a sudden becomes aware of a terrible wound on the boy's right hip (the very place of Amfortas' wound):

"On his right side, around the hip, a wound as large as the palm of one's hand has opened up. Pink /in German Rosa - the very name of the raped maid!/, in many shades, dark as it gets deeper, becoming light at the edges, softly granular, with irregular accumulations of blood, wide open as the surface entrance to a mine. That's how it looks from some distance. But, close up, a complication can be seen, as well. Who can look at it without giving a low whistle? Worms as long and thick as my little finger, naturally rose-colored and in addition spattered with blood, firmly attached to the inside of the wound, with white heads and many legs, are writhing upward into the light. Poor boy, there's no hope for you. I have discovered your great wound; you will be destroyed by this flower on your side. The family is happy..."(Kafka 1996, p. 79) -

- why are they happy? Because, as it is clear from a series of details, they cannot see the wound or hear the boy's complaint! They are here only for the doctor's eyes and ears (in exactly the same way we learn at the end of the parable about "The Door of the Law" in The Trial that the door was there only for the man from the country), which means that the status of the wound is thoroughly fantasmatic. The wound (whose literary model is, of course, Philoktet's stinking wound from the Ancient Greek tragedies) is the Lacanian objet petit a, the "undead" partial object - which is why Syberberg was fully justified when, in a true stroke of a genius, he filmed Amfortas' wound as a separate object, a round peace of flesh with a vagina-like cut out of which blood is slowly, but continuously, dribbling. No wonder that the doctor brings a relief to the boy by pointing out that the wound is a privilege he enjoys, something other people are striving for, but cannot get it: "your wound isn't that bad. Brought on by two hatchet blows at an acute angle. Many people offer their sides and scarcely hear the hatchet in the forest, let alone having it come closer to them."(Kafka 1996, p. 89) And, effectively, who would not like to become infected with the disease of immortality? The boy thus cannot but remain "completely dazzled by the life in his wound"(Kafka 1996, p. 79): what he sees there is the "non-castrated" life-substance itself, a little piece of the Noumenal, of the Thing-in-itself, which tears apart the texture of our phenomenal reality. It is nonetheless difficult and painful to sustain this excess of life, which is why the boy whispers to the doctor with a sob "Will you save me?"(Kafka 1996, p. 79) - how? By enabling him to die, of course.
It is, however, crucial to locate this climactic moment in its context: let us not forget that "A Country Doctor" tells the catastrophic consequences of having the luck of magically finding what one is desperately looking for (the carriage with horses); furthermore, one should follow Kafka's wordplay with "Rosa" and focus on the link between the wound and the raped maid. The wound is not a simple stand-in for the absent maid: it is not that the "true" focal point of the story is the doctor's impotence, his inability to "pass to the act" in his relationship with his young maid, with his aggressivity towards the obscene and brutal groom, as well as his protective concern about the maid's security, just masking its opposite (the fact that the maid may enjoy the advances of the groom). Although there are signs which appear to point in this direction (after the doctor discovers the wound, the boy's relatives forcefully undress him and place him in the bed alongside the boy - he thus in a way repeats the groom's sexual experience, since he also finds himself naked in bed with "Rosa"), the boy's disgusting wound is not a mere displacement, a lure destined to obfuscate its true nerve center: it is rather something "primordially repressed" which returns in the gaps of sexual relationship. In Freudian terms, we are dealing here with the irreducible tension between sexual relationship and the jouissance of partial objects, in which none of the two terms can be derived from the other's failure: on the one hand, the persistence of the partial objects, these islands of non-castrated jouissance, renders sexual relationship "impossible," condemning it to the ultimate failure; on the other hand, the specter of sexual relationship sustains a gap which forever prevents the subject to attain full satisfaction in the imbecile jouissance of partial objects.
One should recall how, in "A Country Doctor," sexual act and the wound are related along the axis of absence and presence: the rape (sexual act) occurs in absentia, the doctor dragged away from it, so that he can only fantasize about what went on between Rosa and the groom, while the wound is intrusive in its exuberant over-presence. What if, then, the doctor secretly prefers the excessive enjoyment of the partial object to the woman? What if his being dragged away from his home conceals the fact of his escape from the "scene of the crime"? And, mutatis mutandis, the same goes for Parsifal: the wound is not a displaced trace of Kundry, but something "primordially repressed" which returns when Kundry withdraws, the partial object which renders sexual relationship impossible. What, then, if this is the ultimate secret obfuscated by Wagner, Parsifal's ultimate "speculative identity": the Grail IS the wound (the undead partial object), revealing the Grail equals revealing and displaying the disgusting obscene wound?
Consequently, the problem with Parsifal is not its disavowal of the symbolic Law in the fantasy of the self-enclosed Grail community: Wagner is aware that the ultimate source of disturbance is this self-enclosure. Wagner also cannot be simply accused of ignoring the illusory nature of his metaphysical solution - he KNEW it, he KNEW that Reconciliation is impossible, that it equals death. The key unanswered question is: is the only approach to the Real effectively the lethal transgressive experience of going beyond the (symbolic) limit, or is there another approach to the Real? In order to find an answer to this question, one should look beyond Wagner.

INTERLUDE: THE FEMININE EXCESS

Everyone knows by heart the famous chorus from Antigone celebrating the unique uncanny and excessive, out-of-joint, position of man in the midst of beings, constrained only by the ultimate limit of mortality ("There exists much that is strange, yet nothing / Is more strange than mankind: / For this being crosses the gray sea of Winter / Against the wind, through the howling sea swell..."); in The Oresteia, written a couple of decades before, we find a parallel celebration which, however, directly passes from mankind in general to women as the site of the radical excess:

"Marvels, the Earth breeds many marvels,
terrible marvels overwhelm us.
The heaving arms of the sea embrace and swarm
with savage life. And high in the no man's light of night
torches hang like swords. The hawk on the wing,
the beast astride the fields
can tell of the whirlwind's fury roaring strong.

Oh but a man's high daring spirit,
who can account for that? Or woman's
desperate passion daring past all bounds?
She couples with every form of ruin known to mortals,
Woman, frenzied, driven wild with lust,
twists the dark, warm harness
of wedded love - tortures man and beast!"


(Aeschylus 1977, lines 572-585)

If one is to trust the German translation to which Christa Wolf refers in her Cassandra, the passage from man to woman at the beginning of the second strophe is to be read as the step from the general excess ("daring spirit") that characterizes mankind to its highest and worst expression, that of the feminine excess: "And then, / worst of all, / the inordinate desire, / the lust of the woman." (Quoted in Wolf 1988, p. 222.) Far from being gender-neutral, the uncanny excess of life which condenses the utmost characteristic of the humankind (and which, as we have already seen, is the ultimate topic of psychoanalysis) is therefore feminine: sexual difference is ultimately not the difference between the two species of the humankind, men and women, but between man ("human being") qua species and its (feminine) excess. Consequently, one should resist the temptation to historicize this disparaging of the feminine, reading it as the expression of the passage from the old matriarchal order (in which the ruling divinity itself was feminine) to the new patriarchal order, from which what was before elevated into the sublime feminine figure appears as the abyss of the feminine excess threatening to swallow the male subject: more than ever, one should insist that the two, the elevation and the condemnation of the Feminine, are two sides of the same strategy of coming to terms with the feminine excess. It is rather history itself which should be conceived as the series of attempts to come to terms, through temporal displacement, with the unbearable "eternal" antagonism of the Feminine: the history of literature (and of the "real life") from Antiquity onwards offers a series of figures which endeavor to "normalize" this excess.
In the universe of the Greek tragedy, there are two ways, for a woman, to break out of the private domain and penetrate the public space otherwise reserved for men. The first is the unconditional self-sacrifice for the husband or father. Iphigenia and Polyxena, they both insist on assuming freely the sacrificial slaughter that is imposed on them by the male warrior community - in this purely formal act of willing freely, of assuming as the result of one's free decision, what is in any way brutally imposed on the individual as an inevitable necessity, resides the elementary gesture of subjectivization. In both cases, the woman accomplishes it for the gaze of the big Other - she readily sacrifices the pleasures of her young life for her posthumous fame, i.e. for the awareness that she will survive in the memory of Greece. The counterpoint to these two sacrificed virgins is the case of Alcestis who sacrifices herself for her husband Admestos: her act is effectively a free choice - she assumes his place, dies (goes to Hades) instead of him. Prior to her act, she extorts from her husband the promise that he will not remarry, but indulge in eternal mourning for her. Admestos accepts this condition, and even tells her that he will keep a stone statue of her in his bed, to remind him of her loss and to make it easier to endure (an ambiguous gesture, since this fetishistic substitute in a way makes it easier for him to survive her loss). The story then turns to comedy: Heracles brings Alcestis back from Hades, veiled as an unknown woman, and offers her to Admestos as a guest's gift. On behalf of his fidelity to his wife's memory, Admestos resists the guest's gift, although the woman uncannily reminds him of his dead wife; finally, after accepting the gift, he is glad to discover that the unknown woman is none other than his beloved Alcestis - to repeat the Marx brothers' joke, no wonder she looks like Alcestis, since she IS Alcestis. We enter her the domain of the Uncanny, of the undead and the double: the paradox is that the only way for Admestos to get back his beloved wife is to betray her memory and to break his pledge to her...
This domain of the double provides the answer to the question: what is so unsettling about the possibility that a computer might "really think"? It's not simply that the original (me) will become indistinguishable from the copy, but that my "mechanical" double will usurp my identity and become the "original" (a substantial object), while I will remain a subject. It is thus absolutely crucial to insist on the asymmetry in the relationship of the subject to his double: they are never interchangeable - my double is not my shadow, its very existence on the contrary reduces ME to a shadow. In short, a double deprives me of my being: me and my double are not two subjects, we are I as a (barred) subject plus myself as a (non-barred) object. For this reason, when literature deals the theme of the double, it is always from the subjective standpoint of the "original" subject persecuted by the double - the double itself is reduced to an evil entity which cannot ever be properly subjectivized.
This is what the fashionable critique of the "binary logic" gets wrong: it is only in the guise of the double that one encounters the Real - the moment indefinite multitude sets in, the moment we let ourselves go to the rhizomatic poetry of the "simulacra of simulacra endlessly mirroring themselves, with no original and no copy," the dimension of the Real gets lost. This Real is discernible only in the doubling, in the unique experience of a subject encountering his double, which can be defined in precise Lacanian terms, as myself PLUS that "something in me more than myself" which I forever lack, the real kernel of my being. The point is thus not that, if we are only two, I can still maintain the "non-deconstructed" difference between the original and its simulacra/copy - in a way, this is true, but in the OBVERSE way: what is so terrifying in encountering my double is that its existence makes ME a copy and IT the "original." Is this lesson not best encapsulated in the famous scene from Duck Soup, in which one of the brothers (the house-breaker) tries to convince the other (Groucho, the President of Freedonia) that he is just his mirror-image, i.e. that the door frame into the next room is really a mirror: since they are both dressed in the same way (the same white nightgown with a night-cap), the intruder imitates in a mirror-like way Groucho's gestures, with the standard Marx brothers' radicalization of this logic ad absurdum (the two figures change sides through the mirror-frame; when the double forgets to follow closely one of Groucho's gestures, Groucho is for a brief moment perplexed, but when, after a delay, he repeats the gesture, as if to test the fidelity of the mirror-image, and, this time, the double copies it correctly, so Groucho is again convinced of the truth of his mirror image). The game is only ruined when the THIRD Marx brother arrives, dressed in exactly the same way...
Back to the Greek tragedy: the other series, opposite to this line of self-sacrificing women, is that of the excessively destructive women who engage in a horrifying act of revenge: Hekabe, Medea, Phaedra. Although they are first portrayed with sympathy and compassion, since their predicament is terrible (Hekabe sees her entire family destroyed and herself reduced to a slave; Medea, who sacrificed all - her country - for the love of Jason, a Greek foreigner, is informed by him that, due to dynastic reasons, he will marry another young princess; Phaedra is unable to resist her all-consumming passion for Hippolytus, her stepson), the terrible act of revenge these women concoct and execute (killing their enemies or their own children, etc.) is considered pathologically excessive and thus turns them into repulsive monsters. That is to say, in both series, we begin with the portrayal of a normal, sympathetic woman, caught in a difficult predicament and bemoaning her sad fate (Iphigenia begins with professing her love of life, etc.); however, the transformation which befalls them is thoroughly different: the women of the first series find themselves "interpellated into subjects," i.e. abandon their love of life and freely assume their death, thus fully identifying with the paternal Law which demanded this sacrifice, while the women of the second series turn into inhuman avenging monsters undermining the very foundations of the paternal Law. In short, they both transcend the status of normal mortal suffering women, prone to human pleasures and weaknesses, and turn into something no-longer-human; however, in one case, it is the heroic free acceptance of one's own death in the service of community, while, in the other case, it is the excessive Evil of monstrous revenge.
There are, however, two significant exceptions to this series: Antigone and Electra. Antigone clearly belongs to the first series of the women who accept their sacrifice on behalf of their fidelity to the Law; however, the nature of her act is such that it doesn't fit the existing public Law and Order scheme, so her no-longer-human insistence does not change her into a hero to be worshipped in public memory. On the other side, Electra is a destructive avenger, compelling her brother Orestes to kill their mother and her new husband; however, she does this on behalf of her fidelity to her betrayed father's memory. The destructive fury is thus here in the service of the very paternal Law, while in the case of Antigone, the self-sacrificing sublime gesture is accomplished in resistance to the Law of the City. We thus get an uncanny confusion which disturbs the clear division: a repulsive avenger for the right Cause; a sublime self-sacrificial agent for the wrong Cause. - The further interesting point is the "psychological" opposition between Antigone's inner certainty and calm, and Electra's obvious hysterical theater: Electra indulges in exaggerated theatrical self-pity, and thereby confirms that this indulgence is her one luxury in life, the deepest source of her libidinal satisfaction. She displays here inner pain with neurotic affectation, offering herself as a public spectacle. After complaining all the time about Orestes' delay in returning and avenging their father's death, she is late in recognizing him when he does return, obviously fearing that his arrival will deprive her of the satisfaction of her grievance. Furthermore, after forcing Orestes to perform the avenging act, she breaks down and is unable to assist him.
In the case of Antigone and Medea, the "radical" act of the heroine is opposed to a feminine partner who "compromises her desire" and remains caught in the "ethics of the Good": Antigone is contrasted to gentle Ismene, a creature of human compassion unable to follow her sister in her obstinate pursuit (as Antigone herself puts it in her answer to Ismene: "life was your choice, when mine was death"); Medea is contrasted to Jason's young new bride (or even herself in the role of a mother). In the case of Iphigenia, her calm dignity, her willing acceptance of the forced choice of self-sacrifice on behalf of her father's desire, is contrasted to the furious outbursts of her sister Electra, hysterically calling for revenge, yet fully enjoying her grief as her symptom, fearing its end. - Why, in this triad of the "radical" heroines (Iphigenia, Antigone, Medea), do we tend to prefer Antigone, elevating her to the sublime status of the ultimate ethical hero(ine)? Is it because she opposes the public Law not in the gesture of a simple criminal transgression, but on behalf of ANOTHER Law? Therein resides the gist of Judith Butler's reading of Antigone:

"the limit for which she stands, a limit for which no standing, no translatable representation is possible, is /.../ the trace of an alternate legality that haunts the conscious, public sphere as its scandalous future."(Butler 2000, p. 40)

Antigone formulates her claim on behalf of all those who, like the sans-papiers in today's France, are without a full and definite socio-ontological status: as Butler emphasizes through a passing reference to Giorgio Agamben (Butler 2000, p. 81), in our era of self-proclaimed globalization, they - the non-identified - stand for the true universality. Which is why one should pin down neither the position from which (on behalf of which) Antigone is speaking, neither the object of her claim: in spite of her emphasis of the unique position of the brother, this object is not as unambiguous as it may appear (is Oedipus himself also not her (half)brother?); her position is not simply feminine, because she enters the male domain of public affairs - in addressing Creon, the head of state, she speaks like him, appropriating his authority in a perverse/displaced way; and neither does she speak on behalf of kinship, as Hegel claimed, since her very family stands for the ultimate (incestuous) corruption of the proper order of kinship. Her claim thus displaces the fundamental contours of the Law, what the Law excludes and includes.
Butler develops her reading in contrast to two main opponents, not only Hegel but also Lacan. In Hegel, the conflict is conceived as internal to the socio-symbolic order, as the tragic split of the ethical substance: Creon and Antigone stand for its two components, state and family, Day and Night, the human legal order and the divine subterranean order. Lacan, on the contrary, emphasizes how Antigone, far from standing for kinship, assumes the limit-position of the very instituting gesture of the symbolic order, of the impossible zero-level of symbolization, which is why she stands for death drive: while still alive, she is already dead with regard to the symbolic order, excluded from the socio-symbolic coordinates. In what one is almost tempted to call a dialectical synthesis, Butler rejects both extremes (Hegel's location of the conflict WITHIN the socio-symbolic order; Lacan's notion of Antigone as standing for the going-to-the-limit, for reaching the OUTSIDE of this order): Antigone undermines the existing symbolic order not simply from its radical outside, but from a utopian standpoint of aiming at its radical rearticulation. Antigone is a "living dead" not in the sense (which Butler attributes to Lacan) of entering the mysterious domain of ate, of going to the limit of the Law; she is a "living dead" in the sense of publicly assuming an uninhabitable position, a position for which there is no place in the public space - not a priori, but only with regard to the way this space is structured now, in the historically contingent and specific conditions.
This, then, is Butler's central point against Lacan: Lacan's very radicality (the notion that Antigone locates herself in the suicidal outside of the symbolic order), reasserts this order, the order of the established kinship relations, silently assuming that the ultimate alternative is the one between the symbolic Law of (fixed patriarchal) kinship relations and its suicidal ecstatic transgression. What about the third option: that of rearticulating these kinship relations themselves, i.e., of reconsidering the symbolic Law as the set of contingent social arrangements open to change? And does the same not hold also for Wagner: is the obliteration of the Law of the Day in Tristan not the obverse of the inability to envision its radical rearticulation? Is then Lacan - in his celebration of Antigone's suicidal choice of ecstatic death - the ultimate Wagnerian, the "last Wagnerite," if not the perfect one, as G.B.Shaw would have put it? It is here that we encounter the crucial dilemma: can that what Lacan calls ate really be historicized, as the shadowy spectral space of those to whom the contingent public discourse denies the right to full public speech, or is it the other way round, so that we can REARTICULATE the symbolic space precisely insofar as we can, in an authentic ACT, take the risk of passing through this liminal zone of ate, which only allows us to acquire the minimum of distance towards the symbolic order? Another way to formulate this dilemma is with regard to the question of purity: according to Butler, Antigone speaks for all the subversive "pathological" claims which crave to be admitted into the public space, while for Lacan, she is precisely the PURE one in the Kantian sense, bereft of any "pathological" motivations - it is only by entering the domain of ate that we can attend the pure desire. This is why Antigone is, for Lacan, the very antipode of Hegel's notorious notion of womankind as "the everlasting irony of the community"(Hegel, 1977, p. 288).
Butler was right to emphasize the strange passage from the (unique) individual to the universal which takes place at this point of Hegel's Phenomenology (Butler 2000, p. 38): after celebrating the sublime beauty of Antigone, her unique "naive" identification with the ethical substance, the way her ethical stance is part of her spontaneous nature itself, not something won through the hard strle against the egotistic and other evil propensities (as is the case with the Kantian moral subject), Hegel all of a sudden passes into GENERAL considerations about the role of "womankind" in society and history, and, with this passage, the pendulum swings into the opposite extreme: woman stands for the pathological, criminal even, perversion of the public law. We can see how, far from bearing witness to an inconsistency in Hegel's argumentation, this reversal obeys an inexorable logic: the very fact that a woman is formally excluded from the public affairs, allows her to embody the family ethics as opposed to the domain of public affairs, i.e., to serve as a reminder of the inherent limitation of the domain of "public affairs." (Today, when we are fully aware of how the very frontier that separates the public from the private hinges on political rapport of forces, one can easily perceive women as the privileged agents of the repoliticization of "private" domains: not only of discerning and articulating the traces of political relations of domination in what appears to be an "apolitical" domain, but also of denouncing the very "depoliticization" of this domain, its exclusion from the political, as a political gesture par excellence.)
Is this, however, the ultimate scope of the feminine political intervention? It is here that one should consider the break which separates modernity from Antiquity: already in the late Medieval time, with Joan of Arc, a new figure of the feminine political intervention appeared which was not taken into account by Hegel: on behalf of her very universal exclusion from the domain of politics, a woman can, exceptionally, assume the role of the direct embodiment of the political AS SUCH. Precisely as Woman, Joan stands for the political gesture at its purest, for the Community (universal Nation) as such against the particular interests of the warring factions. Her male attire, her assumption of male authority, is not to be misread as the sign of unstable sexual identity: it is crucial that she does it AS A WOMAN. Only as such, as a woman, can she stand for the Political Cause in its pure universality. In the very gesture of renouncing the determinate attributes of femininity (a virgin, no children, etc.), she stood for Woman as such. This, however, was simultaneously the reason she HAD to be betrayed and ONLY THEN canonized: such a pure position, standing directly for the national interest as such, cannot translate its universal request into a determinate social order. It is crucial not to confound this Joan's feminine excess (a woman who, by way of renouncing feminine attributes, directly stands for the universal political mission) with the reactionary figure of "Mother-Nation" or "Mother-Earth" figure, the patient and suffering mother who stands for the substance of her community, and who, far from renouncing feminine attributes, gives body to the worst male ideological fantasy of the noble woman.
The charge against Joan at her trial can be summed up in three points: in order to regain mercy and be readmitted into the Catholic community, she should (1) disavow the authenticity of her voice, (2) renounce her male dress, and (3) fully submit herself to the authority of the Church (as the actual terrestrial institution). These three points, of course, are interconnected: Joan did not submit to the authority of the Church, because she gave priority to the divine voices through which God addressed her directly, bypassing the Church as institution, and this exceptional status of her as the warrior directly obeying God, bypassing the customs of ordinary people, was signalled by her cross-dressing. Do we not encounter hear, yet again, the Lacanian triad of the Real-Imaginary-Symbolic: the Real of the hallucinated voices, the Imaginary of the dress, the Symbolic of the ecclesiastic institution? Therein resided the core of Joan's subversion, ultimately intolerable for the Church and State alike: although she firmly stood for hierarchy and order, she claimed for herself the right to decide who is the legitimate bearer of this order - her direct contact with the divine Voices allowed her to bypass the mediation of the social Institution. In short, her very position of enunciation was that of an EXCEPTION to the Order, contradicting her message of Order. This exceptional position grounded the massive effect of transference, of which Joan was fully aware and deftly manipulated it - when, in Orleans, a delegation of citizens told Joan that they want to fight, although the captain (official commander of the French army) was opposed to it, and formally requested her to lead them, Joan answered: "In God's name, I will do it, and he who loves me will follow me." (Quoted from Lucie-Smith 2000, p. 116.) The main insignia of this exceptional position was Joan's insistence on wearing man's dress. The judges at Rouen blackmailed Joan, who desperately wanted to make a confession and attend a mess: she will be allowed to do it only if she changes her man's attire for the woman's dress appropriate to a Christian lady - yet she rejected this condition, persisting in her choice to the very end. This very persistence in "cross-dressing" was also what triggered her downfall: her "relapse into heresy" after the brief abjuration and admission of guilt was signalled by her changing back into man's dress.
However, the very fact of Joan's short-lived abjuration demonstrates that Joan "had none of the masochism which has often marked the temperament of martyrs. She never embraced suffering for its own sake, and she seems, indeed, to have had unusual sensitivity to physical pain." (Quoted from Lucie-Smith 2000, p. 278.) This abjuration, when she publicly signed the document proposed to her and thus got her excommunication lifted, and her death sentence exchanged for perpetual imprisonment, was accomplished in a peculiar way: she spoke her words laughing, and one can interpret this eerie laughter either as a case of fou rire, as the sign of her incoming psychic breakdown after such a prolonged suffering, or as the sign that she had not really committed herself, i.e. that, from her standpoint, her signature was void, "performatively invalid," as we would have put it today. What is even more interesting is the almost Pascalean/Althusserian nature of her "relapse" which followed a couple of days later: according to the most reliable sources, men's clothing was initially forced upon her by her guards (they stripped her naked and then left near her bed, to which she was chained, only men's clothing, thus compelling her to use them in order to avoid the sexually embarrassing situation of being exposed to her guards who taunt her all the time with obscene remarks and threats of rape), without doubt in accordance with the English authorities, who wanted her relapse to justify her public burning. However, as the next day's interrogation sests, men's clothing was soon "internalized," turned into a matter of her deliberate choice. Her own account of this choice is ambiguous: on the one hand, it coincides with the return of her voices and her belief in her Mission; on the other hand, knowing that this meant her certain death, she opted for it to put an end as soon as possible to her miserable situation: "She said that she preferred to do her penitence once and for all, that is to say by dying, than to endure longer her pain in prison." (Quoted from Lucie-Smith 2000, p. 275.) What was first imposed from without, as an enforced social custom, thus paradoxically enabled Joan to regain the fortitude of her "inner" conviction.
As to the status of this conviction, one should reject as impertinent the boring psychiatric questioning of the nature of Joan's voices: of course they were not "real," of course she was not "really" mandated by Christ; however, although self-posited, i.e. authorized in no external authority but only in her own act of declaration, her "mission" was no less authentic. (One is tempted to repeat here Lacan's formula of the analyst: Joan ne s'autoriserait que d'elle-meme.) So was Joan a psychotic (hearing voices), a pervert (perceiving herself as the instrument of a divine mission)? What about hysteria (recalling Lacan's formula of the hysteric's desire in answer to Freud's notorious Was will das Weib?: the woman wants a Master, but a Master whom she could dominate)? Was Joan's troubled relationship with the proverbially irresolute Charles VII not that towards a Master whom she effectively wanted to dominate? It is this reference to hysteria which perfectly accounts for the curious ritual which Joan succeeded in imposing upon the King, the ritual which cannot but appear as unworthy of the royal dignity:

"One day, the Maid asked the king for a present. The prayer was granted. She then asked for the kingdom of France itself. The king, astonished, gave it to her after some hesitation, and the young girl accepted. She even asked that the act be solemnly drawn up and read by the king's four secretaries. The charter having been written and recited, the king remained somewhat astonished when the girl said, showing him to those who were by: 'Here you see the poorest knight in his kingdom.'
And a little later, in the presence of the same notaries, acting as mistress of the kingdom of France, she put it into the hands of all-powerful God. Then, at the end of some moments more, acting in the name of God, she invested King Charles with the kingdom of France; and she wished a solemn act to be drawn up in writing of all this." (Quoted from Lucie-Smith 2000, p. 67.)

THIS is hysteria at its purest: I take it (the symbolic authority) from you only to give it back to you immediately, thus asserting myself as the one who rules over the ruler himself. Do we not encounter here again the structure of the offer made to be rejected? Joan did not really want to rule France; she wanted the king to give her the kingdom so that she could give it back to him (on behalf of God). This hysterical knot forms the very core of Joan's fantasy, to which she holds to the end. Asked to swear to tell the truth, she replied to her judges: "I do not know about what you wish to interrogate me, and perhaps you will ask me things that I will not tell you." The following dialogue then ensued:

"'Swear to tell the truth concerning whatever will be asked you had to do with the Catholic faith and with anything else that you know.'
'About my father and mother, and everything that I have done since I took the road to come to France, I shall willingly swear; but never have I said or revealed anything about the revelations made to me by God except to Charles, my king. And even if you wish to cut my head off, I will not reveal them, because I know from my visions that I must keep them secret." (Quoted from Pernaud and Clin 2000, p. 109.)
Finally, she consented to take a limited oath: she will tell the truth and the entire truth about REALITY (her military-political activity, etc.) as well as matters concerning religious belief, maintaining her silence about the messages she claimed to receive from God, especially about the secret message that she revealed to the king. THIS is the true fidelity: not to the facts, but to one's innermost fantasmatic kernel which the subject refuses to share. One should recall here that, for Lacan, truth is non-all: one cannot "say it all," not because we cannot ever know it all, only approach it indefinitely, but because the field of truth is IN ITSELF non-all, inconsistent - and it is precisely these gaps of inconsistency which are filled in by fantasy. So the point of Joan is not simply "I will not tell you everything I know," but: "I will tell you all I know, I will not keep from you any truth known to me - I just refuse to share with you what I DON'T know, the way I try to come to terms with the abyss of what I don't know..." - And is it not that, after Antigone and Joan, Wagner's Kundry stands for the third socio-political version of the feminine excess: neither the defiance to the male public sphere on behalf of the family and kinship (Antigone), nor the direct claim to the leading position in the political strle itself (Joan), but the ironic undermining of the sphere of power, the denunciation of its fake, through hysterical laughter. It is in Kundry that the feminine excess arrives at its truth: that of the hysterical inconsistency, of not wanting what one claims to want. With Kundry, the woman is no longer a substantial force opposing itself to the male subject, but the pure non-substantial excess of subjectivity itself - or, as Lacan put it: "I ask you to refuse what I offer you because that's not it."(Lacan 1998, p. 111) The male dread of woman, which so deeply branded the zeitgeist at the turn of the century, from Edvard Munch and August Strindberg up to Franz Kafka, thus reveals itself as the dread of feminine inconsistency: feminine hysteria, which traumatized these men (and which also marked the birthplace of psychoanalysis), confronted them with an inconsistent multitude of masks (a hysterical woman immediately moves from desperate pleas to cruel, vulgar derision, etc.). What causes such uneasiness is the impossibility of discerning, behind the masks, a consistent subject manipulating them: behind the multiple layers of masks is nothing, or, at the most, nothing but the shapeless, mucous stuff of the life-substance. Suffice it to mention Edvard Munch's encounter with hysteria, which left such a deep mark upon him. In 1893 Munch was in love with the beautiful daughter of an Oslo wine-merchant. She clung to him but he was afraid of such a tie and anxious about his work, so he left her. One stormy night a sailing-boat came to fetch him: the report was that the young woman was on the point of death and wanted to speak to him for the last time. Munch was deeply moved and without question went to her place, where he found her lying on a bed between two lit candles. But when he approached her bed, she rose and started to laugh: the whole scene was nothing but a hoax. Munch turned and started to leave; at that point, she threatened to shoot herself if he left her; and drawing a revolver, she pointed it at her breast. When Munch bent to wrench the weapon away, convinced that this too was only part of the game, the gun went off and wounded him in the hand... (See Hodin 1972, p. 88-89.) Here we encounter hysterical theater at its purest: the subject is caught in a masquerade in which what appears to be deadly serious reveals itself as fraud (dying), and what appears to be an empty gesture reveals itself as deadly serious (the threat of suicide). The panic that seizes the (male) subject confronting this theater expresses a dread that behind the many masks, which fall away from each other like the layers of an onion, there is nothing, no ultimate feminine Secret.
And insofar as this feminine excess is another name for subjectivity, we can also see in what precise sense subjectivity "as such," at its most radical, is feminine. The parallel with Marx is instructive here: in a first approach, one can, of course, claim that, in the class antagonism between capitalists and proletarians, capitalists are the subjects who dominate proletarians, the latter being reduced to objects manipulated, put to use, by the capitalists-subjects. However, as Marx repeatedly emphasizes, the point of pure (substanceless) subjectivity is here the proletarian whose productive efforts are continually frustrated, who is unable to attain a satisfied substantial Being, since he is compelled to sell his innermost, his productive capacity, as a commodity on the market: when I find myself totally "alienated," externalized, reduced to something which can be bought for a piece of money, deprived of all substantial content, at that point only I experience myself as subject. And, mutatis mutandis, a woman stands for the radical subjectivity insofar as she is reduced to an object of exchange between men. Or, to put it in a different way, women are subjects precisely insofar as their identity consists in layers of masks with no true substantial content beneath them. Therein resides the key feature of the properly Hegelian dialectic of the subject-object: the couple subject-object is never a simple duality, since one of its terms (subject) is structurally split into subject as opposed to object (the subject in the common sense, the agency which mediates, dominates, forms, the object), and subject insofar as it emerges in the domain of objectivity itself as the void of negativity, as the radical frustration of all endeavor to attain objective existence: I am effectively a subject when I fail to find any "objective correlative," any objective content in which I can fully recognize myself, apropos of which I can say "That's me!". Hysteria is the name for this frustration, for the question "Is that really ME?" which arises apropos of every identification.
So, in a strict homology to the identity between the sublime and the dreadful Feminine, the women's objectivization equals the birth of the feminine subjectivity: the historical narrative of how women were deprived of their voice by the victory of the patriarchal warrior society, and are then endeavoring to regain this stifled voice, is an attempt to escape the debilitating synchronicity of this antagonism. Therein resides the problematic nature of Christa Wolf's Cassandra which, according to Wolf, "plumbs to the depths of what it means to be turned into an object exploited by others."(Wolf 1988, p. 264) She constructs the historical background of Cassandra's fate as the narrative in two movements: first, the downward movement of alienation ("The woman is deprived of her living memory, and an image which others make of her is foisted upon her in its place: the hideous process of petrification, objectification, performed on living flesh. Now she is classed among the objects, among the res mancipi /.../ The recipient /.../ has the right to manu capere, grasp her with the hand, lay his hand on her."(Wolf 1988, p. 298)), followed by the upward movement of the painful effort to regain one's voice ("Do people suspect, do we suspect, how difficult and in fact dangerous it can be when life is restored to an 'object'? When the idol begins to feel again? When 'it' finds speech again? When it has to say 'I,' as a woman?"(Wolf 1988, p. 298)). What gets lost in this narrative is the zero-level of overlapping between the two processes, the unbearable point at which being reduced to a helpless object ALREADY IS free subjectivity. In a way, Wolf was nonetheless aware of this paradox, namely of the fact that the first act of freedom is therefore the free acceptance of the inexorable fate - or, as she puts it at the very beginning of Cassandra: "Here I end my days, helpless, and nothing, nothing I could have done or not done, willed or thought, could have led me to a different goal."(Wolf 1988, p. 3)
This attitude of radical impassivity, of the helpless witness who can only observe the inexorable run of things, unable to affect its course with her intervention, IS the zero-level of subjectivity: I can only experience this inexorable fate as an unbearable dread insofar as I subtract from it my subjective position of enunciation, insofar as I am not fully immersed into it. So, paradoxically, when Wolf claims that "Cassandra is one of the first women figures handed down to us whose fate prefigures what was to be the fate of women for three thousand years: to be turned into an object"(Wolf 1988, p. 227), this statement is STRICTLY EQUIVALENT to the claim that "Cassandra is one of the first women figures handed down to us whose fate prefigures what is to be a subject." We only "find speech" by "finding it again," after being reduced to muteness: at the beginning, we are deprived of what we never possessed.

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3 RUN, ISOLDE, RUN

The Cyberspace Tristan

As Walter Benjamin noted long ago, old artistic forms often push against their own boundaries and use 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 endeavored to render by means of their "excessive" experimentations:

"The history of every art form shows critical epochs in which a certain art form aspires to effects which could be fully obtained only with a changed technical standard, that is to say, in a new art form. The extravagances and crudities of art which thus appear, particularly in the so-called decadent epochs, actually arise from the nucleus of its richest historical energies."(Benjamin 1969, p. 237)

While Benjamin himself evokes the case of Dadaism, one is tempted go much further back: 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 Charles 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' great novels or of Madame Bovary.
And is it not that, today, we are approaching a homologous threshold: a new "life experience" hangs in the air, the 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 (see Gould 1989). 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 Krzysztof Kieslowski's Chance, Peter Howitt's Sliding Doors; even "serious" historians themselves recently produced a volume Virtual History, the reading of the crucial Modern 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 specter 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. Do Brecht's three versions of his first great "learning play," Der Jasager, also not point forward towards such a hypertext / alternate reality experience: in the first version, the boy "freely accepts 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. (There is an unexpected ideological link between Brecht and Wagner here: for both, the highest, true freedom is the freedom to freely assume/accept what is necessary imposed on us, i.e. the freedom to choose the inevitable.)
A more recent and better known example from popular culture is, of course, Tom Tykwer's Run, Lola, Run (Lola rennt, Germany 1998), which renders three versions, three outcomes of the tense situation where Lola, a Berlin punk girl, has to collect by any means 100.000 German Marks to save her boyfriend from certain death. (1) Her boyfriends gets killed; (2) she gets killed; (3) she succeeds, AND her boyfriend finds the lost money, so that they end up happy together with 100.000 DM profit. We are here in the world of alternative realities in which, as in a cyberspace game, when one choice leads to the catastrophic ending, we can return to the starting point and make another, better, choice - what was the first time a suicidal mistake, can be the second time done in a correct way, so that the opportunity is not missed. The interest of Lola resides precisely in its tonality: not only the fast rhythm, the rapid-fire montage, the use of stills (frozen images), the pulsating exuberance and vitality of the heroine, etc., but, above all, in the way this visual features are embedded in the soundtrack - the constant, uninterrupted, techno-music soundscape whose rhythm stands for (renders) Lola's - and, by extension, ours, the spectators' - heartbeat. One should always bear in mind that, notwithstanding all the dazzling visual brilliance of the film, its images are subordinates to the musical soundscape, to its frenetic compulsive rhythm which goes on forever and cannot be suspended even for a minute - it can only explode in an outburst of exuberant vitality, in the guise of Lola's uninhibited scream which occurs in each of the three versions of the story. Which is why a film like Lola can only appear against the background of the MTV, music-video, culture. One should accomplish here the same reversal Fred Jameson accomplished apropos of Hemingway's style: it is not that Lola's formal properties adequately render-express the narrative; it is rather that the film's narrative itself was invented in order to be able to practice its specific style. The first words of the film ("the game lasts 90 minutes, everything else is just theory" - the words of Sepp Herberger, Germany's legendary soccer coach) provide the proper coordinates of a video game: as in the usual survival video game, Lola is given three lives. "Real life" itself is thus rendered as a fictional video-game experience.
This, then, is what the title refers to: Run, Isolde, Run... to Tristan, with different possible results. She runs to Kornwall, arriving there just in time to catch the dying Tristan's last words, and then dies herself (the standard outcome); King Mark, who also runs after her to Kornwall, forgives the two lovers their passion, so that they can live happily thereafter; upon arriving to Kornwall, Isolde turns into a Lady Macbeth creature, convincing Tristan that they should murder King Mark, what they actually do when, shortly thereafter, he arrives; after Isolde reaches Tristan, they discover with horror that they cannot find fulfillment in the shared death - they are condemned to live forever; and, finally, in what is arguably the most depressing option, Isolde simply doesn't run, but stays with her husband, so that Tristan dies alone... The point, of course, is not to play empty mental video-games: such variations often reveal hidden presuppositions of the "official" storyline and its repressed alternatives; as such, they can generate a powerful effect of truth.
Another, symmetrical, possibility would have been to take Wagner's Tristan, its metaphysical notion of the Liebestod, as the point of culmination of a long operatic tradition. Is the lovers' duet when they await Pasha Selim's verdict in Mozart's Seraglio not the premonition of the Wagnerian scene of the lovers willingly accepting death? The next stage here is Beethoven: not Fidelio, but Leonore, the 1805 first version of Fidelio, in which the "O namenlose Freude" duet of the reunited Florestan and Leonora plays an entirely different role than in Fidelio: the couple in the dungeon hears the angry threatening sounds of the crowd from above; however, unaware that the Minister is already here, they misperceive these shouts and cries as the calls of the wild mob which, instigated by Pizarro, is getting ready to lynch them - in this situation, they sing "O namenlose Freude," signalling their readiness to accept death, now that they are reunited. In short, what we get in Leonora is a kind of Liebestod avant la lettre, pointing towards "So stuerben wir ungetrennt..." from Tristan. It is only in the reworked Fidelio that this same duet loses this dimension of the Wagnerian Liebestod, of voluptuously embracing death, and, in an exemplary case of what Stephen Jay Gould calls ex-aptation, is transfunctionalized into an expression of the simple joy at being reunited in triumph over the forces of evil. - However, I think it is more interesting and productive to take Tristan as a starting point, and to elaborate the multiple ways this unique fantasmatic moment of full satisfaction is denounced as a fantasy and disintegrates into its incoherent ingredients. After dealing with the three later operas which can be read as the alternate versions of Tristan, I will return to Tristan and propose a fourth solution, a rewriting of Tristan itself. These three later operas stage the three outcomes of the disintegration of the impossible Wagnerian resolution enacted in Tristan: Richard Strauss' Rosenkavalier, Dmitri Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsentsk District, and the least-known of them, Erwin Schulhoff's Flammen. Rosenkavalier restores the rights of the "day," the world of etiquette, manners and obligations, against the fatal attraction of the Night in Tristan; Lady Macbeth renders the raw "unsublimated" sexuality, bereft of its cosmic-metaphysical baggage; and, in what is perhaps the most subversive move, Flammen assert the death drive at its purest, opposed to the nirvana-principle.
So why exactly THESE operas? Why not also, at least, Strauss' Salome and Berg's Lulu, the two other great post-Wagner "sex operas"? Is not Salome yet another version of the possible outcome of Tristan? What if, at the end of Act II, when the King Mark surprises the lovers, he were to explode in fury and order Tristan's head to be cut off; the desperate Isolde would then take her lover's head in her hands and start to kiss his lips in a Salomean Liebestod... There is nonetheless a precise reason to exclude Salome and Lulu: they are not "hypertext variations" on Tristan, but, clearly, on Parsifal. Salome is a Kundry gone wild, having Parsifal killed and fondling his head after he rejected her seduction; Lulu, on the other hand, is an uncanny perverted reincarnation of Parsifal himself (as direct ironic references to Parsifal in Lulu's libretto amply indicate).
It was often noted that the closing scene of Richard Strauss' Salome is modelled on Isolde's Liebestod; however, what makes it a perverted version of the Wagnerian Liebestod is that what Salome demands, in an unconditional act of CAPRICE, is to kiss the lips of John the Baptist ("I want to kiss your lips!") - not the contact with a person, but with the partial object. Salome is first fascinated by another partial object, John's voice - throughout most of the opera, we just HEAR his voice singing "off," and her first comment is "Whose voice is that?", so that one can conceive of Salome's fixation on John's head (more precisely: his lips which she wants to kiss) as the materialization, embodiment, of John's voice. This capricious fixation is emphasized when, after the famous "dance of the seven veils," Herod is horrified and dismisses Salome's demand; he offers Salome in exchange all manners of riches and valuables, even the curtain of the Holy Sacrament, but she stubbornly rejects this substitution, insisting that her wish be fulfilled, repeating seven times "I demand the head of Jochanaan!", as a kind of perverted Antigone who cannot be talked out of burying properly her brother. This demand, although formulated only after her Dance of the Seven Veils, resonates in a simple orchestral motif made up of a third and a triton, first heard after Jochanaan brusquely rejects Salome's advances and then frequently repeated, till, 34 minutes after it was first played by the orchestra, it finally acquires a text: "I demand the head of Jochanaan!" - the unconscious desire finally explodes into an open demand.
Which is why it is totally wrong to read her revengeful demand to Herod as the demand to kill John - what she demands is, precisely, his head on a silver plate, the partial object which she then starts to kiss once she gets it. (One cannot but recall here the very first sentence of Patricia Highsmith's acerb Kafkaesque short story "The Hand" from her Little Tales of Misogyny: "A young man asked a father for his daughter's hand, and received it in a box - her left hand."(Highsmith 1980, p. 7)) One should oppose the "dance of the seven veils" to Salome's final ecstatic immersion into jouissance of the partial object: the first is the spectacle staged for the male gaze, the slow revealing of the feminine mystery concealed beneath the veils, while the second is the jouissance of the woman herself, the "Richard the Second"'s perverted version of the "Richard the First"'s Liebestod. THIS is what horrifies Herod so that he orders the guards to kill Salome: her ecstatic enjoyment of the partial object (the head), with music fully rendering her sexual fervor; it is to this excess that he reacts with his order: "Man toete dieses Weib." / "This woman should be killed." (Significantly, this order is impersonal - the Heideggerian "Man" instead of "I order this woman to be killed!", so its proper translation is thus: "This woman is to be killed.") The ensuing slaughter of Salome is simultaneously the death of a woman and of music - in Salome, "Herod has a final word."(Leppert 1995, p. 150) What follows Herod's spoken words is no longer the melodic music, but something which is "more noise than music /.../, the traditional sonoric inscription of male authority, the military sounds of brass and percussion, rhythmically punctuated at the loudest possible volume"(Leppert 1995, p. 150-151) - as if the male word is not enough to stifle the outburst of the woman's sexualized musical jouissance, but has to be sustained by the violent flare-up of the crashing noise.
The shift from Kundry to Salome is clearly discernible here: while Kundry still plays the standard game of corruptive seduction, all Salome wants is to enjoy her partial object. At the level of Salome, Kundry would have to kiss and embrace Amfortas' Wound itself (appropriately staged by Syberberg as a vagina-like partial object dispose on a pillow carried by the pages in front of the Fisher King). As such, Salome rather fits into a triad with Lulu and, perhaps, Schoenberg's Moses und Aaron: both Salome and Lulu are the unique extreme child-vamp figures in which utter corruption overlaps with childish innocence (Strauss himself emphasized that Salome is not a promiscuous nymphomaniac, but a chaste virgin). The obvious feature shared by Moses and Lulu is that they are the two UNFINISHED masterpieces, the two supreme candidates for the title of the "last (true) opera." On the other hand, both in Moses and in Salome, the male Word interrupts the orgy of images and music (the dance of the Golden Calf and of the Seven Veils).
What, then, about the third unfinished piece from the 20s, Puccini's Turandot, which seems to fit perfectly our frame? The impoverished Tatar prince Calaf, accompanied by Timur, his blind father and deposed king, and the faithful servant maid Liu, enters Beijing in order to challenge Princess Turandot, the Emperor's daughter. Turandot is an ice-cold frigid femme fatale: her suitors have to answer her three questions - if their answers are correct, they get her hand, if not, they are beheaded (and there is a long row of heads displayed on the wall of her palace). After Calaf answers correctly, Turandot explodes in an impotent fury and wants to renege on her terms; in order to break this dramatic deadlock, Calaf then remembers Lohengrin and makes Turandot an additional offer: if, till next morning, she divines his name, she can behead him, otherwise she has to marry him. In despair, Turandot orders the faithful Liu (who was seen with Calaf) to be tortured so that she will betray the contestant's name; however, Liu loves Calaf so much that, rather than to tell his name, she stabs herself to death in order to avoid unbearable pains. While the observing crowd is shocked and experiences fearful guilt, Turandot remains cold; although Calaf is mad at her, the faithful Liu's death makes him desire her even more, so he simply grabs her and violently kisses her, and the male touch works wonders - Turandot suddenly melts down, discovers her feminine tenderness and agrees to marry Calaf...
This story of Turandot is, of course, rooted in old oriental tales - with the significant exception of the figure of Liu, which was invented by Puccini and his librettist. Perhaps, the only way to describe what happens in the last scene of Turandot is via the reference to the Freudian notion of isolation: it can happen that the traumatic experience "is not forgotten, but, instead, it is deprived of its affect, and its associative connections are suppressed or interrupted so that it remains as though isolated and is not reproduced in the ordinary process of thought"(Freud 1979, p. 276). Although Liu's suicide is not directly obliterated, it has to be "deprived of its affect" if we are to have the happy ending, i.e. if Calaf is to pursue Turandot as if nothing happened. The counterpoint to this isolation is the uncanny non-psychological character of Turandot herself: rarely do we encounter the fantasy of a Woman-Thing in such a pure form: Turandot is a pure fantasy, "less a character than a complex: a vagina dentata"(Conrad 1987, p. 200). No wonder her symbol is the moon, described as a bloodless, pale severed head in transit across the sky - the monstrous specter of a detached partial object freely floating around. The libretto itself sests that she "exists only in the haunted minds of men," that "there is no such person, that she is only the void in which Calaf will be annihilated - or the vacancy in which he sexually spends himself"(Conrad 1987, p. 201) - is this not a succinct definition of the Lady in courtly love, of this "feminine object /.../ emptied of all real substance"(Lacan 1992, p. 149)? This abstract character of the Lady has nothing to do with spiritual purification; it rather points towards the abstraction that pertains to a cold, distanced, inhuman partner - the Lady is in no way a warm, compassionate, understanding fellow-creature: "By means of a form of sublimation specific to art, poetic creation consists in positing an object I can only describe as terrifying, an inhuman partner. /.../ she is as arbitrary as possible in the tests she imposes on her servant."(Lacan 1992, p. 150) The relationship of the knight to the Lady is the relationship of the subject-bondsman, vassal, to his feudal Master-Sovereign who subjects him to frustratingly senseless capricious ordeals.
The Lady is thus as far as possible from any kind of purified spirituality: she functions as an inhuman partner in the sense of a radical Otherness which is wholly incommensurable with our needs and desires; as such, she is simultaneously a kind of automaton, a machine which at random utters meaningless demands. This coincidence of absolute, inscrutable Otherness and of pure machine is what confers on the Lady her uncanny, monstrous character: the Lady is the Other which is not our "fellow-creature," no relationship of empathy is possible with her - this traumatic Otherness is what Lacan designates by means of the Freudian term das Ding, the Real Thing. A further coincidence of the opposites characterizes the Lady: precisely as such a Real - as a cruel, inhuman, partner who obeys no rules, with whom no compromise is possible, who is totally oblivious of the suffering she causes, with whom no shared compassion is possible, who never shows any consideration, whose wishes are unconditional orders on which she all the more insists, the more they express her pure caprice... in short, as a monstrously perverted version of a Kantian ethical machine, whose message to us is "You can, because you must!" -, the Lady is purely fantasmatic, a spectral entity without substance, a mirror onto which the subject projects his narcissistic ideal. In other words -- those of Christina Rosetti whose sonnet "In an Artist's Studio" speaks of Dante Gabriel Rosetti's relationship to Elizabeth Siddal, his Lady -- the Lady appears "not as she is, but as she fills his dream."
The structural counterpart to Turandot the Woman-Thing is Liu, the woman of suffering flesh and blood, the faithful and compassionate servant, the "vanishing mediator" whose sacrifice renders possible the happy end. It is, however, precisely this ending which is problematic - what does it actually amount to? Let us imagine the same story in a contemporary noir setting, with the hero split between the icy femme fatale and the silent compassionate friend for whose profound unobtrusive love he is blind. The compassionate woman sacrifices herself for the hero, tortured by the accomplices of the femme fatale on her command; after her death, the hero, although shocked by this act of utmost fidelity, simply goes on to seduce the frigid femme fatale (who is set on the revenge on all men because of a past trauma: her best friend was raped and killed in front of her eyes). He violently embraces her, half-raping her, and she is magically cured, turned into a warm loving woman - is Kerman not right when he defines Turandot as "depraved, and the adjective is carefully chosen"(Kerman 1988, p. 205)? The problem Puccini wasn't able to resolve is: how should the Thing subjectivize itself? His solution is a sordid one: beneath the icy appearance, there is an ordinary sentimental woman who surrenders herself before potent male advances: "The inescapable central message of the piece, then, is that the way to proceed with a frigid beauty is to get your hands on her."(Kerman 1988, p. 206)
It is thus easy to mock the stupidity of Turandot's ending, and the total lack of justification for the final "normalization" of Turandot; it is much more difficult to tackle the underlying deadlock. The surprising element is here the very fact of the happy end: what compelled Puccini to opt for such a ridiculous and unconvincing denouement, for the worst case of the deux ex machina? Since he was no stranger to tear-jerking pathetic finales (from La boheme to Tosca), why did he not choose one of the tragic options? The obvious one would have been that, as a consequence of Liu's suicide, the specter of Turandot disintegrates: when it is already too late, after Liu's death, the broken Calaf becomes aware of how he already HAD right in front of his eyes, in Liu, what he was looking for in the elusive Turandot... or: the shattering experience of Liu's death breaks Turandot down, compelling her to rediscover her humanity... or: after Liu's suicide, Calaf explodes in rage, killing Turandot AND himself, so that, at the opera's end, Timur remains alone on the stage, a blind and embittered Oedipus-at-Colonus figure... In short, the opera should have ended with Turandot herself singing Liu's pathetic "Tu che di gel sei cinta" which announces her suicide, assuming this designation of herself in the first person singular ("I who was made of ice...").
The musical-dramatic problem of Turandot is that the scene of Liu's suicide already is a climactic Puccini finale - what follows is a worthless stuff not even composed by Puccini himself. This failure of Turandot is dramatic ("Drama is entirely out of the question," as Kerman put it with his usual ruthlessness - see Kerman 1988, p. 207) as well as musical: in the ears of today's listener, the combination of a couple of overexploited "good melodies" with the uninventive, mechanically composed, material which fills in the space between the "hits" cannot but evoke the name of Andrew Lloyd Weber. However, the ultimate paradox is that Puccini was right to abandon the pathetic-tragic finale which served him so well in his earlier works - let us not forget that Turandot was composed in the early 20s, when Puccini already heard the music of Schoenberg and Stravinsky, when Freud's discovery already exerted its impact. Within these coordinates (which do leave their trace in the very figure of Turandot - there is no place for such a ghastly femme fatale in the late Romantic universe), the standard Puccini pathetic finale is structurally impossible: the only way to avoid the happy ending would have been to accomplish the fateful passage into the properly modern post-tragic universe, a universe whose horror undermines the very possibility of tragic dignity, and in which monstrous figures like Lulu and Salome abound - a step Puccini was not ready to do.
"Character" is not something which goes by itself in the opera: it emerged with Mozart and disappeared with the modernist break. This is the reason why a figure like Turandot belongs to the space of modernism: it is already a post-psychological entity. The unfinished status of Turandot thus obeys a deeper necessary: Puccini's unexpected death was a godsend which enabled him to save his face, i.e. to avoid the acknowledgment of a humiliating defeat, by way of letting his pupil Franco Alfano to orchestrate the lackluster final scene. Turandot's happy ending is simultaneously a sign of Puccini's artistic failure AND integrity: the very obvious ridicule of the last scene signals that something else should have been there, something Puccini didn't dare to encroach upon, but whose absence he was nonetheless honest enough to render palpable.

The Morning After

Let us then begin with the proper variations on Tristan. The first crack in Tristan's edifice becomes visible if we simply read Tristan together with Meistersinger, its counterpoint (indicated already by the fact that, in the key moment of the entire opera, the violent outburst of the TRUE passion between Hans Sachs and Eva, Sachs himself refers to the sad fate of the King Mark in Tristan, implying that he wants to avoid this position). The opera which realized this scenario is Strauss' Rosenkavalier - there is a clear parallel between Meistersinger and Rosenkavalier: in both cases, we have the renunciation after the outburst of the incestuous passion (die Marschallin is usually referred to as "the female Sachs"). In an ultimate gesture of loving sacrifice, the older figure (Hans Sachs, die Marschallin) surrenders her younger partner to another; this gesture is then followed by the great musical ensemble of reconciliation (the quintet in Meistersinger, the trio in Rosenkavalier). And it is crucial to perceive how this gesture has the structure of the forced choice: at the end of Rosenkavalier, when the Marschallin relinquishes her claim to Octavian, she commits the empty gesture of freely choosing the inevitable (the passage of time).
These ensembles of reconciliation provide the only truly sublime moments in Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, even Richard Strauss - the moments in which time seems to reach a kind of transient standstill: the course of action is suspended, the subjects enjoy the precious prolonged moment of a timeless stasis which provides a blissful inner peace. Here are (the most conspicuous of) these moments, best encapsulated by the words from Beethoven's Fidelio, "Welch'ein Augenblick": in Mozart, the Count's plea for forgiveness and the ensuing ensemble from the finale of Le nozze, just before the opera's joyous last notes ("Contessa, perdona"), the trio "Soave il vento" from Cosi; in Fidelio alone, there are three such moments: the canon-quartet in Act I, the sudden suspension of the frantic action in the underground cell when the trumpet announces the arrival of the minister, Leonora's unlocking of Florestan's chains in the opera's finale. In Wagner, such moments of stillness signal the hero's repose and gathering of strength before the decisive ordeal (the quintet in Meistersinger before the song contest; the "forest murmurs" in Siegfried before Siegfried's strle with Fafner the dragon; the Good Friday music in Parsifal before Parsifal's redemption of Amfortas and unveiling of the Grail). Finally, there is, of course, the final trio in Strauss' Rosenkavalier. These moments of magic stillness, whose function is a kind of mirror-reversal of the strange necessity which regulates the sudden unexpected outbursts of precipitous stage action just before the end of Wagner's Tristan (the arrival of two ships, the multiple killings) or Verdi's Trovatore (after seeing that Leonora poisoned herself, thus betraying him, the Count orders Manrico's execution, just to learn immediately afterwards that Manrico is his half-brother), have nothing to do with the blissful peace towards which the Wagnerian heroes strive; one is almost tempted to claim that they stand for its exact opposite: the magic stillness renders the precious moments when the subject is able to withdraw from the crazy rotary movement of the drives which pulls him/her towards the final (self)annihilation - it stands for the escape from drive, while the Wagnerian ecstatic self-obliteration designates the willing surrender to the pull of the annihilating drive.
The action of Rosenkavalier begins "the morning after," with the onset of the daylight after the passionate night of love: a clear counter-movement with regard to Tristan whose end finally brings to completion the full immersion into the Night. No wonder, than, that, like Hans Sachs in Meistersinger, the Marschallin is the figure of Wisdom: wisdom about the inexorable effects of the passing of time, wisdom about how the common necessities and obligations of the daily life finally win over the unconditional dark love passion. This anti- (or, rather, post-) Wagnerian thrust is nicely rendered in the opposition between Octavian and the Marschallin in the very first scene: while, in a mockingly Wagnerian mood, Octavian babbles about the dissolution of the frontier between Me and You in the love act, about his wish to remain immersed in the night and avoid the day ("What does 'you' mean? What 'you and I'? Does it make any sense? /.../ I am that desires you, but the 'I' is lost in 'you' ... /.../ Why must there be day? I want no day! What good is day? Then you belong to them all! Let it be dark!"), the Marschallin gently castigates him about his manners and tells him to hide behind the Chinese screen when they hear the commotion outside - from the Wagnerian self-oblivious passion, we are back in the universe of the rococo love confusions and hide-games a la Beaumarchais. So although Strauss claimed that, with Rosenkavalier, he wanted to compose "a Mozart opera," although the beginning of Rosenkavalier can be read as a version of the third installment of the Figaro trilogy, in which the Countess Rosina has an affair with Cherubino, it is a nostalgic Mozart that comes after Wagner - in the Mozartean universe, such a direct reference to the sexual act as hits us in the very first lines of the opera ("Wie du warst! Wie du bist! Das weiss niemand, das ahnt keiner!" - which simply means "How good you were in bed!", i.e., a direct reference to the exquisite love-making qualities of the Marschallin, musically rendered a minute before in the orchestral prelude) would have been thoroughly out of place.
The feature which Rosenkavalier shares with Mozart, in clear contrast to Wagner, is the cross-dressing: does the charm of the final trio in Rosenkavalier not reside in the fact that, effectively, we have a trio of WOMEN singing? The secret libidinal message is therefore that of a feminine community, an extension of the famous duo "O rimembranza" from Norma. It is interesting to note how Le nozze, Fidelio and Rosenkavalier raise the cross-dressing to the second potency: in Le nozze and Rosenkavalier, the woman singing a man (Cherubino, Octavian) has, within the narrative content, to cross-dress again into a woman for the reasons of concealing her identity to the intruders, so that we encounter a woman singing a man dressed up into a woman. Even in Fidelio, where the situation is more straight (Fidelio "really is" Leonora, i.e. sexes of the singer and the narrative person coincide), we have a woman playing a woman who dresses up as a man. Perhaps, in this politics of sexual difference, it is worth noticing the shift in the title of Beethoven's opera from Leonora to Fidelio - is this shift not somehow related to the restructuring of the opera's content, best rendered by the changed status of the "O namenlose Freude" duet? Furthermore, one is tempted to speculate that, at a deeper libidinal level, Marzellina loves Fidelio because she is secretly aware that "he" really is a woman. Typically, Beethoven rejects the frivolous idea of a woman singing a young attractive man - in his opera, cross-dressing is fully justified by the narrative necessity (Leonora has to dress as Fidelio in order to gain access to her imprisoned husband); however, the fact that Mozart - and others - were doing what Beethoven rejected is far from frivolous; it obeys a deep libidinal necessity: can one imagine a more vulgar gesture than the "logical realistic" staging that would have the role of Cherubino (or Octavian) sung by a young tenor?
The gap that nonetheless separates Strauss from Mozart concerns the status of the sexual act. It's not that people do not make love in Mozart - on the contrary, all his plots turn around it -; the point is, rather, that the reference to the sexual act itself is wholly abstract, lacking the earthly substance, somehow like the fade-in after the couple's embrace in the good old Hayes Production Code Hollywood. It is only with Wagner that the musical texture itself becomes directly sexualized: the point about the "orgasmic" structure of the ouvertures to Lohengrin and Tristan, although a commonplace, nonetheless hits the mark, so that one can effectively claim that Wagner "investigates the secrets of orgasm"(Conrad 1989, p. 181). However, one is tempted to argue here that, even in this rendering of the orgasmic acceleration, Wagner is male-oriented. As is well known, when a woman is approaching orgasm, the acceleration progresses in two steps (two jumps from quantity into a new quality, to put it in the terms of dialectical materialism): first, there is the "point of no return," the rhythmic movement of hips, which signals that the woman is no longer in control, that she is already sliding (being drawn) towards the climax; then, the arrival of the climax itself is announced by the breakdown of this regular rhythm, by the onset of irregular seizures. What is missing in the Wagnerian musical rendering of the orgasm is this last stage of chaotic, disordered, convulsions: in a typically male way, he (mis)perceives orgasm as a gradual linear movement of acceleration.
Perhaps, in spite of his proverbial aversion to coarse sexuality, the missing link between Mozart and Wagner is Beethoven himself: does the gap between the "O namenlose Freude" duet and the Finale of Fidelio, usually filled in by the Leonore 3 ouverture (with, again, its all too obvious double orgasmic structure), not mark the non-depicted passionate love-making of the finally reunited couple? The act is here for the first time inscribed, although (to use the old structuralist jargon) in the mode of absence, as a gap in the musical texture - in Mozart, its absence doesn't even cause a gap. - Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth makes a radical step further in this graphic musical depiction of the sexual act. With regard to this depiction, it would be interesting to compare Lady Macbeth with Tristan and Rosenkavalier. What predominates in Wagner is the raising of the inner tension and its orgasmic resolution (the end of Act II has the most shocking coitus interruptus in the history of the opera, while the finale finally brings the orgasmic resolution); the most notorious feature of Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth is the graphic orchestral depiction of the first violently-passionate sexual exchange between Katarina and Sergei in Act III: the "external" mickeymousing of the gasps and thrusts of the act of copulation, inclusive of the explicit trombone slides providing the half-comic rendering of the post-orgasmic reprieve. The brief orchestral prelude to Der Rosenkavalier - which also renders a scene of exuberant love-making, complete with the imitation of the thrusting moves, the climax on whooping horns, and luxurious afterglow - is somewhere in-between, the outburst of the raw sexual passion muffled by the affected rococo manners, in accordance with the "half-imaginary, half-real" mode of the opera itself.
In what, then, does this opening love encounter in Rosenkavalier differ from the immersion into the Night of Tristan? It is not only that Rosenkavalier goes through Tristan's path as it were in the opposite direction, starting with the nightly bliss of the love encounter and then returning to the universe of the Day with its formal social obligations; it is not only this "morning after" effect that spoils the Wagnerian solution - the immersion into the bliss of the sexual act itself is already disturbed. While the Marschallin and Octavian chat drinking hot chocolate in the morning, she in passing informs the surprised Octavian that, while they were making love during the night, she thought of the Marshal, her absent husband who was at that time hunting wild boars in Croatia - the gap that separates the reality of the sexual act from its fantasmatic support is thereby confirmed (it is the whole point of Tristan that, at the highest ecstatic bliss, this gap is suspended, reality and fantasy coincide). To the angry Octavian who asks her: "How could you dream about HIM while we were...," she promptly replies: "I do not order my dreams." Usually, Freud's alleged "pansexualism" is taken to mean that "whatever we are doing and saying, we are ultimately always thinking about THAT" - the reference to the sexual act is the ultimate horizon of meaning. The Freudian notion of fantasy points in exactly this direction: the problem is not what we are thinking when we do other, ordinary things, but what we are thinking (fantasizing) when we effectively are "doing THAT" - the Lacanian notion that "there is no sexual relationship" ultimately means that, while we are "doing THAT," while we are engaged in the sexual act itself, we need some fantasmatic supplement, we have to think (fantasize) about something else. We cannot simply "fully immerse ourselves into the immediate pleasure of what we are doing" - if we do that, the pleasurable tension gets lost. This point is made clear in Rosenkavalier: it is not that, while making love with her boring husband, the Marschallin dreams of the young virile Octavian, but the other way round - while making love to Octavian, the specter of her boring and pompous husband haunts her in her imagination.

"It quacks, hoots, pants, and gasps"

The passage from Rosenkavalier to Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth is the passage from the refined aristocratic etiquette to the vulgar reality in which we are not only melancholically aware of how things pass, but in which people actually beat up and poison each other - and copulate. The spirit of this passage was nicely captured by Anthony Burgess who, in his retelling of Rosenkavalier as a novella, ended it up with: "Octavian lost a leg and an eye in the War of Austrian Succession. Sophia died bearing her second child. The widowed Marschallin entered a nunnery. Baron Ochs married the richest heiress of all Austria and died at ninety-one in his bed."(Burgess 1982, p. 68) In such a universe, of course, sex is neither a mystical reunion nor the scintillating affair. Listening to the orchestral depiction of the sexual act in Lady Macbeth, one is almost tempted to agree with Comrade Stalin who, after furiously leaving the Bolshoi theater after this very scene of the sexual encounter, in his infinite wisdom ordered the anonymous article "Muddle Instead of Music" to be published in the January 28, 1936, issue of Pravda, in which it says: "The music quacks, hoots, pants, and gasps in order to express the love scenes as naturally as possible" - Prokofjev himself ironically designated Shostakovich's Macbeth music as the next step in the progress from monophony to polyphony - "pornophony." However, the lesson of this mickeymousing is the Hegelian one: pure tautological repetition is the greatest contradiction. We (wrongly) think that the music merely follows visual movements, while it actually strongly colors, distorts even, our visual perception, giving an exaggerated comical twist to gestures on the stage (or screen). We all know of the comical effect which occurs when, while we watch an opera on TV, the sound is suddenly suspended: deprived of their vocal ground, the singer's dignified gestures change into ridiculous gesticulating. What we get in Lady Macbeth's sexual scenes is the obverse effect: it is the very addition of music which, although it only slavishly echoes sexual gestures, "extraneates" the passionate quasi-animal coupling into a ridiculous performance, transforming the lovers into puppets who blindly follow the rhythm set by the music.
Shostakovich's redemption of Katerina's two murders as the justified acts of the victim of patriarchal oppression is effectively more ominous than it may appear: the price for this justification, the only way to make the murders palpable, is the derogation, dehumanization even, of the victims (her husband's father is portrayed as an old lecherous ruffian, while the son is an impotent weakling without any clear characterization, avoided since it may give rise to a sympathy for him in the murder scene). In a complementary way, Katerina herself is purified of any ethical ambiguity (there are no hints of an inner ethical strle while she commits the murders, or of any pangs of conscience afterwards): she is portrayed not so much as a fighter for personal freedom and dignity against patriarchal oppression, but as a woman totally enslaved to her sexual passion, ready to crash ruthlessly everything that stands in the way to its gratification - in this sense, she is also dehumanized, so that, paradoxically, the only human element in the opera is a collective one: the convict's chorus with its two laments in the last act. Furthermore, Taruskin was right to emphasize the historical context of the opera: the years of the ruthless terror against the "kulaks" - are the murdered father and son not two exemplary "kulaks"? In the first two years of the opera's triumphant performance, before Stalin's ban, was it possible for the public not to perceive how its violent content echoes the violence of "dekulakization"? The opera's official condemnation should thus not blind us for the fact that it is a deeply disturbing Stalinist work which legitimizes the ongoing murderous anti-kulak campaign. Taruskin's conclusion is thus that Lady Macbeth is "a profoundly inhumane work of art": "if ever an opera deserved to be banned it was this one, and matters are not changed by the fact that its actual ban was for wrong and hateful reasons"(Taruskin 1997, p. 509).
And does the same not go for another prohibited (in this case literally destroyed) Soviet masterpiece from exactly the same period, Sergei Eisenstein's Bezhin Meadow from 1934-36, of which the negatives themselves were burned, the veritable missing link (or, rather, vanishing mediator) between Eisenstein I (of the "intellectual montage" and brilliant dialectical use of formal antagonisms) and Eisenstein II (of Nevsky and Ivan, of the pathetic rendering of large historical frescoes in an "organic" form), was partly based on the story of Pavlik Morozov, the young village hero who was killed by his relatives in the northern Urals in 1932 because he had denounced his father to the village soviet for speculating - after his death, Morozov was elevated to a cult figure all around the Soviet Union. In the film, Stepok, a young village boy, organizes the local Young Pioneers to guard the harvest of the farm collective each night, thereby frustrating his own father's plans to sabotage it. In the film's climax, the nightly confrontation between the father and the son, the father kills Stepok. Next morning, a typical Eisenstein scene celebrating the exuberant orgy of revolutionary destructive violence (what Eisenstein himself called "a veritable bacchanalia of destruction") takes place, when the frustrated Pioneers force their way into the local church and desecrate it (recall the similar scene from October, in which the victorious revolutionaries, after penetrating the vine cellars of the Winter Palace, indulge there in the ecstatic orgy of smashing thousands of the expensive vine bottles):

"On one level, the audience is encouraged to sympathize with the peasants robbing the church of its relics, squabbling over an icon, sacrilegiously trying on vestments, heretically laughing at the statuary - while Eisenstein's profound admiration and knowledge of religious art creates a parallel revulsion at the vandalism. A young girl is framed in a mirror as if in a picture of the Virgin Mary, a young child is a cherub, a statue of the crucified Christ is held as in a Pieta."(Bergan 1997, p. 287)

When, on March 17 1937, Boris Shumyatsky, the official head of the Soviet film industry (till he was, only two years later, accused to be an English spy, arrested and shot), vetoed the film, he explained his reasons in an interesting article in Pravda. His main reproach was that, instead of locating the conflict in the concrete circumstances of the class strle in the countryside (the "dekulakization"), he staged the conflict in an almost biblical, atemporal mythical space, as an abstract fight between "good" and "evil" as elementary cosmic forces. Stepok is presented in pale and luminous tones, a pale boy in his white shirt, as if wrapped up in a halo, as a kind of spectral innocent saint whose fate was already decided by a supernatural destiny. (In the self-criticism which, of course, followed, Eisenstein himself claimed that the father's killing of the son was "reminiscent of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac." (Bergan 1997, p. 283)) Connected with this reproach was the standard accusation of formalism, of indulging in eccentric framing, lightning and cuts, instead of deploying the story in a direct psychologically "realist" way which would allow an easy emotional identification of the viewer. From today's perspective, of course (and bearing in sight Eisenstein's fascination with and detailed knowledge of psychoanalysis), it is easy to identify this "eternal" mythic space as the scene in which the underlying libidinal economy of the father/son conflict (the inverted Oedipus in which the obscene corrupted father kills the innocent asexual son) is played out. Far from being simply too intellectual, prohibiting the viewer's empathy, Bezhin Meadow was so disturbing because its very "formalist excess" allowed the repressed libidinal tension to be directly articulated.
The reason the film had to be prohibited was thus that such a direct rendering of the underlying libidinal tensions, such a direct celebration of the ecstatic and destructive sacrilegious revolutionary violence, was not admissible in the new conditions of "Socialist Realism" - why not? Because, precisely, the Stalinist ideology functioned only on condition that it did NOT directly display this underlying libidinal economy. (No wonder Eisenstein was enthusiastic about Alexander Medvedkin's Happiness from 1935, in which similar revolutionary obscenities abound: in an extraordinary moment, a priest imagines he sees the breasts of a nun through her habit.) And, back to Shostakovich, what if his Lady Macbeth was also prohibited for similar reasons: not because the openly depicted sexuality, but because this open depiction, AS WELL AS the open support of the killing of the kulak patriarchal "oppressors," had to be publicly disavowed. And this also enables us to see why Taruskin's accusation against Lady Macbeth as the legitimization of the mass murder of the kulaks, of their "liquidation as a class" (as Stalin put it), misses the point: the direct violent aspect of it HAD to be publicly disavowed, which is why its direct rendering was inacceptable. The direct depiction of sex and of violence were the two sides of the same coin (which openly coincide in the erotically charged, "orgasmic," character of the church desecration in Bezhin Meadow.)
It is at this precise point concerning political terror that one can locate the gap that separates Leninism from Stalinism : in Lenin's times, terror was openly admitted (Trotsky sometimes even boasted in an almost cocky way about the non-democratic nature of the Bolshevik regime and the terror it used), while in Stalin's times, the symbolic status of the terror thoroughly changed: terror turned into the publicly non-acknowledged obscene shadowy supplement of the public official discourse. It is significant that the climax of terror (1936/37) took place after the new constitution was accepted in 1935 - this constitution was supposed to end the state of emergency and to mark the return of the things to normal: the suspension of the civil rights of the whole strata of population (kulaks, ex-capitalists) was recalled, the right to vote was now universal, etc.etc. The key idea of this constitution was that now, after the stabilization of the Socialist order and the annihilation of the enemy classes, the Soviet Union is no longer a class society: the subject of the State is no longer the working class (workers and peasants), but the people. However, this does NOT mean that the Stalinist constitution was a simple hypocrisy concealing the social reality - the possibility of terror is inscribed into its very core: since the class war is now proclaimed over and the Soviet Union is conceived of as the classless country of the People, those who (are still presumed to) oppose the regime are no longer mere class enemies in a conflict that tears apart the social body, but enemies of the People, insects, worthless scum, which is to be excluded from humanity itself.
Katarina Izmajlova is a kind of Madame Bovary going wild, reacting to her stuffed condition of the unsatisfying marriage with the wild explosion of murderous violence, in the long tradition that reaches from the naturalism of Zola's Theresa Raquin to the American film noir (not so much Double Indemnity, but rather The Postman Always Rings Twice). Within this tradition, misogyny is inextricably linked to the feminist potential (it is the desperate patriarchal condition that drives a wife to such outburst of violence).

The Separated Flames

The next and last joint is here Erwin Schulhoff's half-forgotten outstanding Flammen (Flames) from 1932, the modern reworking of the don Juan myth (now available in the London "Entartete Musik" series). (As a curiosity, one should remember that the other great work of this follower of Schoenberg is a large-scale oratorio on the text of the Communist Manifesto.) It is only with Schulhoff that we pass to radical atonal expressionism. What, exactly, does this mean? Here is Charles Rosen's perspicuous description of "the secret of the continuous and violent expressivity of Schoenberg's music":

"the expressive force, finding no outlet in a large 'homophonic' harmonic structure, pervades the melodic line of all the different instruments and voices. /.../ This radical expressivity, congenial to Schoenberg's temperament, and obviously closely related to the movements in other arts of his time, is therefore also a logical development of his extension of the musical language. Technically speaking, it may be described as a displacement of the harmonic tension to the melodic line."(Rosen 1976, p. 54)

Brecht's well-known sarcastic remark that Schoenberg's atonal music is "all too melodic," thus inadvertently hits the mark: the melodic line has to take upon itself the burden of harmony. One should put to Brecht's credit that he perceived the error of the usual reproach according to which atonal music lacks melody - it's the opposite which holds, in the atonal music, the excessively expressive melody pays the price for the prohibited harmony, and it is this lack of harmony which creates the unpleasant experience in the common listener. The further thing to do here is to introduce the rather obvious link between the couple harmony/melody and two other couples: space/time and synchrony/diachrony. In Schoenberg, the prohibited synchrony (harmony) returns in (is displaced on) the diachronic melody - or, space returns in time (and is it necessary to add that the term "displacement /Verschiebung/" acquires here its whole Freudian weight?). What this means is that, in order to comprehend Schoenberg properly, one has to temporalize (translate into melodic line) space itself. Schoenberg is here anti-mythical: if, as Levi-Strauss claimed, the most concise definition of the myth is Wagner's designation of the Grail domain in Parsifal ("Zu Raum wird hier die Zeit - Here time becomes space"), in Schoenberg, it is space itself which becomes time. It is here that the term "expressionism" acquires its proper place: it is only when the "direct," "natural" (harmonious), expression of the subject is prohibited, that this "barred" subject can effectively "express" itself, in a gesture in which expression is forever linked to its inherent failure. In other words, the paradox of expressionism is that it emerges at the very point when the direct organic "expression" of the subject's inner essence is barred - no wonder that the ultimate icon of expressionism in painting is Munch's Scream, this paradigm of the alienated individual unable to connect with the world.
Although the immediate and obvious reference of Flames is Mozart's Don Giovanni, its hidden reference to Wagner's Tristan is more crucial. Schulhoff submits the don Juan myth to a series of displacements: his hero is not just confronted with the series of conquested women - central is his more fundamental attachment to "La Morte," a woman in the guise of death. The true attachment which cannot ever be consummated is between the two of them, which is why all the passionate pleasure-cries of the seduced women cannot satisfy him. When the statue of the Commendatore appears, it condemns don Juan not to death, but to eternal life - here is the crucial dialogue between don Juan and La Morte (and, incidentally, the libretto was co-written by Max Brod!):

"Don Juan (in a paroxysm): How beautiful, how enticing, to suck love out of your empty eye-sockets, lust from your arid lips and the balsamic scent of fleshless breasts!
La Morte (stretches her arms out): So you do not recoil, the only man to endure the test!
Don Juan: And no Commendatore from hell can deny me this happiness! Give yourself now, give yourself utterly! Now is the time!
(Here the statue appears and raises his fist against Juan.)
La Morte (to Juan): Futile striving, you may not join the dance of death! Juan, don't you see how the stony fist pronounces judgement upon you, eternal judgement - you are Juan, who can never die.
(Juan presses a Browning to his temple and shoots himself, but he immediately reawakens in a cabaret with a jazz band playing.)
Don Juan: I have to be like this for ever, ever and ever!"

So, although we do have here the Oedipal constellation, inclusive of the fourth impossible-real partner, Death itself, the function of the paternal figure is to prohibit contact with Death itself, more precisely: the consummation of jouissance in death - here are the last lines of the opera:

"La Morte: Flames of love and death, when will they finally join together...
Shadows: Passionate breathing intensifying ... and red light from the window! ... Intoxicated moaning! ... The light dies down.
La Morte: The star so near, drowning in night, that which would bring us salvation /Erloesung/ is so distant again, so distant."

In short, what is prohibited here is precisely the climactic salvation of the Wagnerian Liebestod, the unity of the "flames of love and death": the two dimensions, that of the undead "flames" of drive which follow Juan like the fire which "walks with me" in David Lynch's films, and that of the final peace in death, remain forever separated. This separation can be put in very precise theoretical terms: it is the separation between the "death drive" proper (the Freudian name for immortality, for the "undead" passion that persists beyond the cycle of life and death, of generation and corruption) and the so-called nirvana, the extinguishing of the life-drive, the entry into the eternal peace - the separation of the two dimensions that were confused not only by Wagner, but also by Freud himself.
One is tempted to add here another version, a kind of subspecies of Schulhoff, the one enacted in Leos Janacek's The Makropulos Case: what if only Tristan dies, while Isolde survives and, in order to cope with the trauma of her love's death, turns into an undead monster, a cold cynical seductress destroying men's lives? Makropulos is a grotesque comedy about Emilia Marty, the extraordinarily beautiful opera diva and femme fatale who, at the end, turns out to be the 337 years old Elina Makropulos. The action takes place in Prague of the 1920s: surviving on the elixir-of-life, Emilia engages in a legal plot in order to get back the secret formula of this elixir which got lost among the papers of one of her deceased relatives - she needs a new measure of the elixir in order to stay alive. At the beginning of the last act, we see her together with Baron Prus with whom she spent the night in order to get from him the formula. Although he complains that her lovemaking was cold and passionless, the Baron fulfills the bargain and hands over the envelope with the formula. After obtaining the formula, Emilia at last tells her full story to the other protagonists. However, in telling her story to the gathered community (the "big Other"), she realizes that she has lived all too long, since life is precious and meaningful only when it is finite. A cynical predator ruthlessly exploiting and destroying men, she is now overwhelmed by disgust at herself, and gradually slides into drunken despair and panic at the utter meaninglessness of her life. Finally, she gives the formula to her young colleague-singer Krista (who immediately burns it), and is really to calmly accept, welcome even, death as the release from the intolerable burden of life.
The last half an hour of the opera provides a kind of negative to Wagner's Liebestod in which Isolde also finds release in death: it display the painful process of the disintegration of the subjective stance of the ruthless cynical exploitress, going through self-disgust, hysterical despair and utter panic, up to the final acceptance of death. One is tempted to claim that THIS is the truth about Isolde's death repressed in Wagner. The opposition of Flames and Makropulos (both operas composed in the same decade in the Czech republic!) runs along the lines of sexual difference: don Juan is condemned to live eternally, while Emilia nonetheless finds peace in death.

No More Running

So, perhaps, in the digitalized future of the multiple versions of the narrative denouement, one can well imagine that one will be able to choose between different endings of Tristan, or to watch them consecutively: Wagner's standard ending (first Tristan dies, then Isolde dies); then Tristan translated into Rosenkavalier (Mark comes and forgives the lovers their betrayal, his forgiveness has a miraculous curing effect on Tristan's wound, so all three finish up with a resigned trio in which the old Mark, like Sachs or Marschallin, quotes the very words of Marschallin - "I chose to love her in the right way, so that I would love even her love for another!" - and cedes Isolde to Tristan, while they both sing a praise to Mark's benevolent forgiveness and then stay together, living happily thereafter); then the Lady Macbeth version (Tristan and Isolde plotting to kill king Mark after they are discovered at the end of Act II - this would have been the true Tristan noir); finally, the Flames version: unable to die, Tristan, like a new incarnation of the Flying Dutchman, is condemned to endlessly wandering around in search for his Isolde.
We have here four attitudes towards sexual love: the Wagnerian deadly immersion into the unremitting jouissance of the Night; the Meistersinger-Rosenkavalier resigned "wisdom," acceptance that time passes, rendered in a "half-imaginary, half-real" dreamy Mozartean mode; Shostakovich's brutal naturalism of the vulgar daily life - "just the story of an ordinary quiet Russian family whose members beat and poison each other," as Shostakovich himself put it sarcastically; and, finally, Schulhoff's assertion of the "undead" spectral compulsion as the ultimate dimension of sexual love. However, there is effectively a kind of internal displacement at work within each of these four attitudes:
- in his endeavor to render the ecstatic deadly immersion, Wagner effectively resorts to etiquette, to a customized ritual - say, when the love-duet in Act II, after the long psychological self-ruminations, catches up for the coital finale, is it not as if the two singers all of a sudden drop their psychology, change into a declamatory mode, and get caught in a ritualized compulsion and sing/act like automatized puppets, their passion turning into a cold self-propelling mechanism?
- in his endeavor to render the gentle Mozartean world of etiquette, Strauss effectively brings forward the insipid daily life. Therein resides the fundamental tension and paradox of Rosenkavalier: the very attempt to render the "realistic" lesson of the daily life (getting old and dying) has to be done in the mode of the idealized lost world of the old aristocratic etiquette.
- while trying to render the oppressive vulgarity of the daily life, Shostakovich's depiction of Katarina's unconditional passion effectively generates the sublime effect.
- finally, Schulhoff, in his very modern, post-Wagnerian, turn to the banality of the night-clubs with jazz bands, distills the pure lethal eroticism. What changes from Shostakovich to Schulhoff is the nature of the unconditional sexual drive: no longer the earthly erotic drive constrained and thereby perverted by the boring provincial life, but the spectral undead passion.

We thus encounter here a quadruple tension: between the message of the lethal erotic drive to self-obliteration in the depth of the Night and its ritualized declamatory mode of expression; between the message of the realistic acceptance of the obligations of the common daily reality and its dreamy nostalgic mode of expression; between the message of the horror of boring frustration of the provincial daily life and the effect of the sublime its expression engenders; between the decadent undead spectral drive and its "objective correlative" in the cheap contemporary night life. - It is, however, clear that these four attitudes do not move at the same level: Tristan is the exception, the point of impossible fantasmatic unity, and the three other operas are the outcomes of the disintegration of this unity. One should thus raise here the reflexive question: how are we to rewrite Wagner's Tristan so that we could inscribe him into this series of the outcomes of its disintegration? In Hegelese: where and how, in this series, can Tristan encounter itself in its "oppositional determination"?
It is in Ponelle's staging, which we analyzed in the first chapter, that we get this Tristan in its "oppositional determination." Far from being guilty of the retroactive projection into Wagner of a contemporary sensibility, Ponelle's intervention hits the mark, because it brings forward a certain gap which is already there in the first great Wagnerian love dialogue, that of the Dutchman and Senta from The Flying Dutchman: the two lovers seem to ignore each other's physical presence, they do not even look each other face to face, they simply engage each in his/her intimate fantasmatic vision of the other - for both of them, the Other whom they finally found is simply the materialization of their dream image (when Senta first encounters the Dutchman, it is literally as if he steps out of his portrait that Senta is admiring). For this reason, the Third Gaze for whom the act is staged is needed - which gaze? Most of the James Bond films close with the same strangely utopian scene of the sexual act which is at the same time intimate and a shared collective experience: while Bond, finally alone and united with the woman, makes love to her, the couple's activity is observed (listened to or registered in some other - say, digital - way) for the big Other, who is here embodied by Bond's professional community (M, Miss Moneypenny, Q, etc.); in the last Bond, The World Is Not Enough (1999), this act is nicely rendered as the warm blot on the satellite image - Q's replacement (John Cleese) discreetly turns off the computer screen, preventing others from satisfying their curiosity. This same Third Gaze, to which Isolde appeals in her death song, finds its vulgar culmination in the recent "Big Brother" reality soap.
Our thesis is thus that Ponelle's version is not just one in the series of variations that render the disintegration of Wagner's impossible fantasmatic resolution: it occupies the exceptional place of the repressed "truth" of Wagner's Tristan itself - to put it in all naivety, Ponelle stages what "effectively happens" in Wagner's Tristan, he unmasks the full fusion of reality and fantasy in the blissful love encounter as a male fantasy. The path that we covered is thus a kind of proto-Hegelian triad: first the "thesis," Wagner's Tristan; then the "antithesis," the subordinated triad of its variations/negations; then, finally, the return to Wagner's Tristan itself, reflexively transformed through its subsequent variations in such a way that the fantasmatic Third Gaze is directly rendered visible.
Is it possible to escape this gaze, to suspend the need for it? The history of modern music provides an answer. That is to say, why is Wagner not yet properly modern? To put it in dogmatic Lacanian terms: because for him, the big Other still exists - as we already pointed out, in her Liebestod, Isolde still refers to this Other in the guise of the ideal Witness supposed to REGISTER what is going on ("Can't you see that he /Tristan/ is smiling?"). It is not even Schoenberg who fully abandons this reference: the true break occurs between Schoenberg and Webern. While Schoenberg, although already totally resigned that there is no actual public which can directly respond to his work, still counted on the symbolic fiction of the One purely hypothetical, imagined, listener, needed for his composition to function properly, Webern renounced even this purely hypothetical supposition and fully accepted that there is no big Other, no ideal Listener at all for his compositions. Sibelius and Shostakovich were unable to accomplish this step - significantly, Shostakovich's attack on the Western musical modernism were more ambiguous than it may seem. Although they were often written under the pressure of the official cultural bureaucracy and as such simply expressed the Party line, they nonetheless at the same time undoubtedly give voice to Shostakovich's sincere conviction that today's music must remain accessible, must continue to aim at generating the public response. The need for a live communication with the "ordinary" public way a constant in Shostakovich's life.
One often hears the cliche that, even before the historical occurrence of the holocaust, Schoenberg's music already rendered its horror - perhaps, one should introduce a slight change in this cliche by replacing Schoenberg with Webern. That is to say, in his classic If This Is a Man, Primo Levi recalls how he discovered with amazement that most of the inmates at Auschwitz shared the same dream: after miraculously surviving the camp, they are at home, telling about their horrible experiences to their friends and family, when, all of a sudden, they notice that the listeners are completely indifferent, bored, that they speak among themselves as if the survivor is not there, or simply leave the table - does this "ever-repeated scene of the unlistened-to story"(Levi 1987, p. 60) not render the fact that "the big Other doesn't exist," that there is no ideal Witness ready to register our experience? - It is interesting to note that, in the very last paragraph of The Truce, Levi reports of a dream which haunted him long after the war and which, while it starts with the same scene as the Auschwitz dream (sitting at home, telling about his horrible experiences to friends and family), follows a different twist: what disturbs this scene of reconciliation is not the indifference of the listeners, but the emergence of a "dream within a dream": all of a sudden, everything starts to collapse and disintegrate around him, he is alone in the centre of a grey and turbid nothing - in the Lager once more, aware that the family scene was a mere deception, a dream, anxiously awaiting the well-known voice of the Kapo pronouncing the feared foreign word: "Wstawach!", "Get up!" (Levi 1987, p. 379-380). This is what Lacan meant when he claimed that, within a dream, the real appears in the guise of the dream within a dream. The link between the two denouements is easy to discern, they ultimately amount to the two versions of the same outcome: the obscene superego voice is precisely the foreign intruder which causes the disintegration of the big Other.
Such a heroic acceptance of the non-existence of the big Other is, perhaps, the only thoroughly radical ethical stance today, in art as well as in "real life." Not only Wagner, but Nietzsche himself, his most bitter critic, was not able to persevere in this stance - witness Nietzsche's final madness, which is structurally strictly homologous to the suicidal passage a l'acte: in both cases, the subject offers himself as the object to fill in, in the Real, the constitutive gap of the symbolic order, i.e. the lack of the big Other. That is to say, the key enigma of Nietzsche's final madness is: why did Nietzsche have to take recourse to what cannot but appear to us as ridiculous self-aggrandizing ("Why I am so brilliant?", etc.)? This is an inherent PHILOSOPHICAL deadlock, which has nothing whatsoever to do with any private pathology: his inability to accept the non-existence of the big Other. (Within these coordinates, suicide occurs when the subject perceives that the megalomaniac solution doesn't work.) And it is only within this horizon that Isolde will no longer have to run.

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- 06:23 - Komentari (1) - Isprintaj - #

utorak, 11.11.2008.

Fus-nota: Simon Critchley & Tom McCarthy

...committing suicide by holding his breath.

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Časkajući s gosparom Marijem Kopićem o Simonu Critchleyu, primjetio sam da je riječ o Prvom filozofu društva čiji je Tom McCarthy osnivač: Međunarodnog nekronautičkog društva.
O Tomu, kao i o tom društvu, Vaseljena je pisala prošle godine, 12. i 14. lipnja, neposredno prije promocije "Truliksa".
Prisjetit ćemo se te prve informacije o autoru u nas prevedenog Ostatka, blagovremeno predstavljenog postom Remainder.
Budući da je Prvi filozof nekronautičkog kružoka nedavno objavio knjigu "The Book of Dead Philosophers" - proširenu obradu teze da filozofirati znači učiti kako umrijeti - kao uvod u temu donosim bizarnu top-listu:

Simon Critchley's top 10 philosophers' deaths

Simon Critchley was born in Hertfordshire in 1960, and currently lives and works in New York as Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. He failed dramatically at school before failing in a large number of punk bands in the late 70s and failing as a poet some time later. This was followed by failure as a radical political activist. By complete accident, he ended up at university when he was 22 and decided to stay. He found a vocation in teaching philosophy, although his passions still lie in music, poetry and politics. The Book of Dead Philosophers is his eighth book.

"It is the ambition of The Book of Dead Philosophers to show that often the philosopher's greatest work of art is the manner of their death," says Critchley.

1. Heracleitus (540-480 BC)

Heracleitus became such a hater of humanity that he wandered in the mountains and lived on a diet of grass and herbs. But malnutrition gave him dropsy and he returned to the city to seek a cure, asking to be covered in cow dung, which he believed would draw the bad humours out of his body. In the first version of the story, the cow dung is wet and the weeping philosopher drowns; in the second, it is dry and he is baked to death in the Ionian sun.

2. Diogenes (d.320 BC)

Once described as "a Socrates gone mad", Diogenes asked to be buried face down "because after a little time down will be converted into up". He is said to have been nearly 90 when he died, either after eating raw octopus or by committing suicide by holding his breath.**

3. Chrysippus (280-207BC)

Perhaps the greatest of the Stoics. There are two stories of his death, both involving alcohol. In the first, he took a draught of sweet wine unmixed with water, was seized with dizziness and died five days later. But the second is even better: after an ass had eaten his figs, he cried out to an old woman, "Now give the ass a drink of pure wine to wash down the figs". Thereupon, he laughed so heartily that he died.

4. Avicenna (980-1037)

Avicenna wrote some 450 books including The Canon of Medicine, the standard medical textbook in Europe for seven centuries. Towards the end of The Life of Avicenna, his disciple Al-Juzajani writes "The Master was vigorous in all his faculties, the sexual faculty being the most vigorous and dominant of his concupiscible faculties, and he exercised it often". However, Avicenna's priapic performances caused a case of what his disciple vaguely calls "colic". "Therefore," Al-Juzajani continues, "he administered an enema to himself eight times in one day, to the point that some of his intestines ulcerated and an abrasion broke out on him." In addition, one of his servants, who had stolen a large sum of money from Avicenna, gave him a huge quantity of opium in order to try and kill him. In this perilous state, Avicenna journeyed to Isfahan, but he was so weak that was unable to stand. Eventually, he gave in to his illness at the age of 58.

5. Thomas Aquinas (1224/5-1274)

On 6 December 1273 during mass in Naples, something devastating happened to Aquinas that some commentators see as a mystical experience and others see as a cerebral stroke. Either way, he was afterwards unwilling or unable to write and the massive labour of his Summa Theologiae was suspended at Part 3, Question 90, Article 4. Yet, despite his transformation, he was summoned by the Pope to attend the Council of Lyons. On the way, he was injured by the bough of a tree and died at the age of 49. On his deathbed, Aquinas dictated a brief commentary on Solomon's Song of Songs, which sadly has not survived.

6. Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

During a particularly cold winter, Bacon was travelling with a Scottish physician and fell upon the idea that flesh might as well be preserved in snow as in salt. They got out of the carriage at the foot of Highgate Hill and bought a hen from a poor woman who lived there. Bacon then stuffed the hen with snow and was immediately taken ill with a chill. Unable to return home, he was put to bed at the Earl of Arundel's house in Highgate. Sadly, the bed was so damp that his condition worsened and, according to Hobbes, "in 2 or 3 days, he dyed of Suffocation".

7. De la Mettrie (1709-1751)

The author of the materialist manifesto, The Man-Machine, died after eating a huge dinner at the house of the French ambassador to Berlin, Monsieur Tirconnel. Apparently, La Mettrie expired from the effects of indigestion caused by eating a huge amount of slightly dodgy truffle pâté. Voltaire reports that although Frederick the Great was concerned with the manner of the philosopher's death, he said, "He was merry, a good devil, a good doctor, and a very bad author. By not reading his books, one can be very content".

8. Denis Diderot (1713-1784)

After an exhausting return trip from St Petersburg, at the invitation of his patron Catherine the Great of Russia, Diderot became ill, took to his bed, and decided to stop speaking. He enjoyed a brief respite from his illness and was able to sit at table with his wife. He ate soup, boiled mutton and chicory and then took an apricot (some sources claim it was a strawberry). His daughter, Angélique, takes up the story, "My mother wanted to stop him from eating that fruit. 'But what the devil kind of harm do you expect it to do to me?' He ate it, leaned his elbow on the table to eat a compote of cherries, coughed gently. My mother asked him a question; since he remained silent, she raised her head, looked at him, he was no more."

9. AJ Ayer (1910-1989)

The year before he died, after recovering from pneumonia in University College Hospital in London, Ayer choked on a piece of salmon, lost consciousness and technically died. His heart stopped for four minutes until he was revived. A day later, he had recovered and was talking happily about what had taken place during his death. He saw a bright red light which was apparently in charge of the government of the universe. The ministers for space were oddly absent, but Ayer could see the ministers in charge of time in the distance. Ayer then reports that he suddenly recalled Einstein's view that space and time were one and the same and tried to attract the attention of the ministers of time by walking up and down and waving his watch and chain. To no avail, however, and Ayer grew more and more desperate and then regained consciousness. Ayer was shaken by the experience and in an article for the Sunday Telegraph, he sested that it did provide "rather strong evidence that death does not put an end to consciousness".

10. Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Foucault was first hospitalized in June 1984 with the symptoms of a nasty and persistent flu, fatigue, terrible coughing and migraine. "It's like being in a fog," he said. But he carried on working until the end on the second and third volumes of The History of Sexuality, which appeared shortly before his death. Although he was a very early victim of the virus, it seems that Foucault knew that he had Aids. Foucault was fond of reading Seneca towards the end and died on 25 June like a classical philosopher.


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Nego, vidi, bio si nepriseban pa nisi uspio poloviti konce koje sam predao u nejake ruke: ovo je Patologija, a Svijet ima Nekronaute! To ti ništa ne govori? Ne sugerira li ti ta okolnost možda činjenicu da smo na razini svjetskopovijesnog stanja u Duhu!? Morali bi nas staviti izravno na državni proračun, hoću kazati: ako išta u ovoj zemlji ima veze s Okruglim Svijetom, onda je to ova književnost, koja 28. ima debut: tamo Nekronauti, ovdje Patoblozi, i jedan i drugi manifest su tu, prezentni, pa, molim, neka mi netko sada kaže da Hrvatska nema literarnu produkciju koja je u rangu najboljega što svijet može ponuditi! Jasno, tu ponajprije spada moj veličanstveni opus naznačen u izboru Izabranih Lijepih i Uzvišenih Radova na Vaseljeni, potom ova ingeniozna pjesmica o Veni i Ženi, kao i stanoviti patuljci na zlatnim kuglama i nadrealističke kreature koje lebde ponad poda usred začudnog performancea, koji je, možda, poetski jedino nadmašio Liječeni, u svojim borealnim neosemantkonkretističkim mahnitanjima. Dakle, pročitajmo:

Međunarodno nekronautičko društvo

"Tom McCarthy je osnivač i glavni tajnik Međunarodnog nekronautičkog društva (International Necronautical Society), poluizmišljeneavangardne mreže umjetnika koja postoji samo na internetu i koja se među ostalim proslavila provaljivanjem na site BBC-ja i stavljanjem propagande u svoj izvorni kod.
U manifestu INS-a McCarthy kaže kako je njegova glavna uloga osvijestiti nepravedno zatajen fenomen smrti, obratiti i opjevati njenu estetiku, filozofiju i narav, jer normalno bi društvo pojedinaca trebalo veselo i otvorenih očiju jedriti prema smrti, kao nautičari prema horizontu.
Stvaranje sredstva za takvu navigaciju, imaginarnog plovila, kranji je cilj INS-a, piše McCarthy.
INS se bavi i ispitivanjem odnosa umjetnosti i demokracije, tvrdeći da prava demokracija i umjetnost uzajamno igroriraju, čak i preziru, jer je diktatura jedini društveni ustroj koji titra umjetnicima budući da ih treba za svoju propagandu i kolektivno podjarmljivanje."

Markiz: "Zanimljivo, no ipak mi se čini da je McCarthy prije godinu dana plazio patologijom i sad prodaje svoj plagijatorski koncept svijetu. Želim da mi netko pošalje e-mail od McCarthyja da ga upozorim na odmazdu koja će uslijediti nakon takve bezočne krađe. Izgnaniče, Liječeni, ustajte braćo! Satrimo nekronaute u korijenu!"

Nemanja: "Čuj, pogledaj ove frapantne, vrtoglave koincidencije:
ONI: "...diktatura je jedini društveni ustroj koji titra umjetnicima budući da ih treba za svoju propagandu i kolektivno podjarmljivanje."
MI:"...Ništa mu ne znači činjenica što sam, usprkos svojoj monarhijskoj orijentaciji, javno podržao Zombrlea uoči izbora za predsjednika stranke.
Nažalost, datumi idu njemu u prilog."

Markiz: "Oh bože, možda su mi izvanzemaljci presadili McCarthyjev mozak?
Moram pitati Krešimira Mišaka koliko su se zadržali tijekom posljednjeg boravka u Zagrebu."

Nemanja: "Moram te upozoriti na datum tog događaja (vidiš da je to prokleto vrijeme prevažno!):

"Teško je razmišljati bez mozga. Kad su započinjali sekciju odstranili su mi lubanjski svod na koji se zalijepilo malo te smjese. Sad više ne znam kako se to zove jer mi nedostaje baš taj dio nužan za prosudbu. Čuo sam da se nešto zove neurotransmitor, ali mislim da to nije to. Poslije sam vidio taj dio glave na stolu u koji je čistačica šiljila olovku. Možda je to ono što mi nedostaje? Ona je pobjegla pa su došli neki i stavili pincetu u to nešto. Sad samo gledam u ništa i uopće ne znam što. "

(Post je objavljen 04.08.2006. u 08:30 sati, na Patologiji)

P.S.

Bilo je to i inače teško vrijeme; da je tome tako svjedoči i Manistrina izjava, dana toga dana pri zdravoj pameti: "Udajem se! Manistra." Očito je da su vanzemljaci operirali na širem području.

Moram ovdje citirati već klasičnu raspravu "Rigor mortis":

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Rigor mortis

Posjetitelju, zabunom si stigao na Patologiju - ti vjerojatno tražiš Mišaka i njegov blog 'Preko ruba znanosti'. Naime, tamo je elaborirana tema koja je tebi od životne važnosti, ali da ne bazaš uokolo s tim svojim hendikepom na vratu, prosljeđujem ti, dobrohotan kakav već jesam u svojoj notornoj filantropiji, najvažnije informacije:

"Koliko nam je potreban mozak?

Kada je na Sveučilištu u Sheffield-u u Engleskoj, doktor primio jednog od svojih studenata zbog neke manje ozlijede primjetio je da je glava studenta malo veća od prosjeka. Proslijedio ga je na neurologiju kod profesora John Lorber-a na snimanje glave (CAT). Rezultat pregleda pokazao se dosta nevjerovatnim, naime umjesto dvije hemisfere koje bi ispunjavale prostor lubanje, u studentovoj glavi nalazilo se manje od 1 mm cerebralnog tkiva - odnosno, laički rečeno, taj čovjek uistinu nije imao mozga. Kao paradoks svemu tome student je imao IQ 126, i dobro mu je išao studij.
U skladu s onim što znamo o neurologiji, student je po svim pravilima trebao biti mrtav, te nije čudno što je takav nalaz čudio u mjeri u kojoj je fascinirao. No to nije bio izoliran slučaj. 1970 godine, u New Yorku, tijekom autopsije čovjeka od otprilike 35 godina, ustanovljeno je da ni on nije imao mozak. Profesor Lorber je otkrio još ljudi sa istim nedostatkom, no ipak su živjeli posve normalnim životom.
Ovaj paradoks povukao je mnoga pitanja. Jedno od njih svakako je: Gdje pohranjujemo memoriju? Ukoliko mozak nije taj u kojem pohranjujemo sjećanja i iskustva neophodna preživljavanju - čemu on služi? Gdje se nalazi inteligencija i o čemu ovisi? Gdje je naš um?"

Eto. Bitno sam podcrtao ja. Nemoj zahvaljivati, pusti to. I ne boj se! nisi sam! ima i drugih nego ti koji nepoznati od tebe žive tvojim životom. Nažalost, postoji pobratimstvo takvih lica (in fronte) u svemiru: dobri profesor Lorber otkrio je još ljudi s istim nedostatkom, no ipak su živjeli, tja, posve normalnim životom: jeli su, čohali se po trbuhu, navijali za Dinamo, pisali neBuloze, glasovali za HDZ ili SDP, čitali 'Sportske novosti', gledali Red Carpet i Schpitzu, nastupali u Najslabijoj kariki, drkali uz Severinin home-video, pjevali uz Mladena Grdovića, ljetovali na Viru, čitali Bulića, šljakali u EPH (ahahahahahah...)...
Ima puno ljudi koji nemaju tu "tvoju" vrijednu osobinu. Ovo te saznanje može ohrabriti, možda i usmjeriti, no od svega je važnije da odluke kojima postaješ donosiš sam: prije no se otruješ*, popuši si. Kad stigneš na patologiju, konačno ćeš biti u nečemu jedinstven: bit ćeš prvi čovjek bez mozga koji je u glavi imao - kurac!
Nije puno, ali, i to je nešto.
Pogodiš li timing i dozu, možda ti na usnama zauvjek ostane smiješak.
Rigor mortis!
___________________

*Čemu trovanje? A kako si mislio drukčije? Pucanj u glavu gubitak je vremena i metaka: tebi metak uđe na jedno uho unutra, a na drugo izađe, kao čovječanstvu za Prvog svjetskog rata, kao je rekao Kraus. Vješanje se pokazalo neučinkovitim: tako praznoglav visio bi obješen i tijekom cijelog Božića a da se ništa ne promijeni, i samo bi ti stara majka predbacila da si obješenjak.
Da se giljotiniraš, nema svrhe, kako je pokazao slučaj glave Cara Lazara, tvog zagrobnog supatnika:"Pođe glava preko polja sama...". (Usput, pronašao sam u guslarskim napjevima o Kosovskom boju divnu sliku:"očima rasutim po polju: Aj krst i luna na nebu se kolju"; kako je imaginacija srpskog narodnog genija osebujna, primjećuješ li?)
Da ne duljim, ti si gotovo besmrtan: tebi je nemoguće nauditi dekapitacijom, tebi je nužno odstraniti tijelo, a ne glavu!
Dakle, nisam stručnjak, ali mislim da se riješenje krije u blokiranju autonomnog živčanog sustava i pokušaju da obustaviš disanje: jesi li probao ne izdahnuti? To bi bilo originalno!
Bio bi prvi čovjek u povijesti čovječanstva koji je umro Krajnjim Paradoksom: tvoj bi Epitaf glasio: Izdahno je, ne izdahnuvši! E, ako ti ja nisam pomogao, ne znam tko jest!**

Prof.dr.hi-fi Stefan Nemanja, veliki župan 24.03.2007. (07:37) NEMANJA 14.06.2007. 15:57

___________________________

** Vidite kako veliki umovi slično misle! Diogen i ja, svaki u svom vremenu, mislili smo istu, veličanstvenu misao, koju je on, k tome, sproveo u djelo. Kao što je razvidno iz moga teksta, ja nisam znao za taj njegov kapric, tu njegovu rješenost da umre paradoksalno, svojevoljno, zadržavši dah, ne dijeleći tako teoriju od prakse, no sve i da sam znao, ne bih ga u tom naumu zaustavio.

- 02:21 - Komentari (8) - Isprintaj - #

ponedjeljak, 10.11.2008.

Simon Critchley

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Postoji stanovita očajnička osamljenost u vaseljeni Baraka Obame. Prevladava dojam čežnje za vezivanjem, za nečim što povezuje ljudska bića, za zajednicom i običnim svijetom, za nečim što u knjizi Odvažnost nade (The Audacity of Hope) Obama više puta naziva „općim dobrom“. Ovo, naravski, nije nikakva novost. Još od osnovnog tona govora iz 2004. godine, održanog na konvenciji Demokratske stranke, znamo da „ne postoje crna, bijela, latinska niti azijska Amerika, nego samo Sjedinjene Američke Države.“ Obamin lijek protiv sveopćeg razočaranja u američku politiku jest reafirmacija čina njezina ujedinjenja. Ono je moguće samo ukoliko naciji povratimo osjećaj zajedništva, što pak zahtijeva vjeru u opće dobro. Sučeljeni s grotesknim nejednakostima, prevrtljivošću vlasti i općim bezakonjem, moramo „učvrstiti međusobne veze.“ Ovakva vjera u opće dobro jedina je osnova nade. Ukoliko nju nemamo, ništa se ne može učiniti.Takva je po priznanju nevjerojatna osnova Obamine predsjedničke kampanje.
Najočiglednija primjedba koja bi se mogla uputiti jest da se Obamina politika zasniva na antipolitičkoj fantaziji. Na njoj se temelje i pozivanje na „opće dobro“, tvrdnja da „nitko nije izuzet od poziva nalaženja zajedničkih stanovišta“, ili izjava: „Prema mojemu mišljenju, u osnovi nalikujemo jedni na druge sve više, a ne manje.“ Moglo bi se reći da je ovo znana zabluda o kraju politike, pretpostavka da postoji stanje u kojemu možemo zaboraviti na međusobne razlike, prevladati privrženost stranci i ujediniti se kako bismo izliječili naciju. Žudnja za jedinstvom oblikovala je i Obamin diskurs o rasama, kao i njegov apel za jedinstvom crnaca i latinoamerikanaca i umirujuću primjedbu: „Neovisno o tomu je li pravedno, krivica je bijelaca u velikoj mjeri iscrpila samu sebe.“ Obama sanja o društvu bez odnosa moći, bez antagonizma koji sačinjava politički život. Protiv ovakva stanovišta moglo bi se ustvrditi kako je pravda uvijek agon, odnosno konflikt, a nijekati ovu činjenicu značilo bi ostaviti ljudska bića brčkati se u emocionalnom plićaku. Moglo bi se dodati i to da je izvorište ove želje za jedinstvom u njegovom nepostojanju. Mi očajnički želimo vjerovati upravo zato što ne vjerujemo, niti možemo vjerovati. Čežnja za općim dobrom potječe od toga što odbijamo prihvatiti kako Amerikanci možda i imaju suviše malo toga zajedničkog, izuzimajući elemente nekada uspješne civilne religije zasnovane na sentimentalnoj i kadšto, doduše, patetičnoj vezanosti za ustav i vjeru u kvazibožansku mudrost očeva osnivačâ američke države.
Kad se suočimo s ekstremnim političkim stanovištem Georga Busha Mlađeg, prema kojemu je potrebno drastično povećati ovlasti izvršne vlasti i voditi politiku straha zasnovanu na opisivanju neprijatelja kao nemoralnog, nije teško shvatiti koliko pozitivan odjek u javnosti ima Obamina antipolitička vizija. Naspram mesijanske izvjesnosti Busha Mlađeg, Obama obećava povratak blaženom liberalizmu u kojemu se na sve gleda kao na sub specie konsenzus. Ovo je svijet u kojemu demokratski dogovor zamjenjuje decizionizam, a dinamični međuljudski dijalog zauzima mjesto vjerskog apsolutizma. Demokracija nije kuća koju treba graditi, nego 'razgovor koji treba voditi'. Nakon osam godina katastrofalno lošeg upravljanja državom, tajni i laži, ovo djeluje kao svijetla perspektiva.
Naravno, mogli bismo se upitati kako se Obamino odbacivanje odnosâ moći u političkom carstvu slaže s vjerom u kapitalističko nadmetanje, konkurenciju i koristan učinak slobodnog tržišta. Isto tako, mogli bismo se upitati i kako ova politička opcija doista može riješiti problem siromaštva. Ja se, međutim, ne želim baviti klasičnim kritiziranjem liberalizma u kojemu se politika odbacuje u korist razgranavanja etike, s jedne strane, i ekonomije s druge, i gdje je ovo prvo veo hipokrizije kojom se prekriva nasilnost drugog. Ne želim čak ni iznijeti kritiku na račun Obame. Nije to ono najinteresantnije. Ja zapravo želim opisati zbunjenost za koju sam siguran da nije samo moja. Ponajviše me zanima kako bismo mogli nazvati Obaminu subjektivnost, kako ona oblikuje njegovu političku viziju i kako bi se, na osnovi toga, mogla objasniti njegova izvanredna popularnost.
Evo i onoga što me zbunjuje – iako sam slušao bezbroj njegovih govora i pozorno čitao ono što je napisao, i dalje nemam pojma tko je zapravo Barak Obama. Vrlo čudno. Što više čovjek čita i sluša, sve mu je manje jasno. Uzmimo, primjerice, Odvažnost nade – stil je njegova pisanja lak, neformalan i opušten. Piše o odlascima u teretanu, naručivanju hamburgera, o tomu kako osmišljava proslavu kćerina rođendana i tomu slično. Obama spaja svoja temeljna politička načela s autobiografijom vrlo zanimljivo i pitko. Ipak, zatekao sam sebe kako ponavljam pitanje: „Tko je ovaj čovjek?“ To ne činim iz neke zle namjere. Naprosto, preplavio me osjećaj udaljenosti nakon što sam pročitao Obaminu knjigu, a što je iskrenije pisao, to sam se distanciranije osjećao. Obama na početku knjige priznaje da se ne uzrujava tako lako, no ponekad mi je žao što to nije slučaj. Bijes je emocija koja stvara kretanje, raspoloženje koje goni pojedinca na djelovanje. To je možda prva politička emocija.
Glavni lik Odvažnosti nade je netko tko živi na distanci, tko je na distanci od sebe sama i od drugih, i očajnički čezne za vezivanjem, imati nešto što ga obvezuje povezati se s ostalim Amerikancima i što povezuje Amerikance. Kod Obame postoji istinski horror vacui, strah od samoće i od ništavila. On čezne za bezuvjetnom obvezom koja će oblikovati njegov subjektivitet i ispuniti prazan prostor. On želi dodir s nekakvom punoćom, iskustvo ispunjenosti koje bi moglo odagnati njegov osjećaj osamljenosti, ispuniti njegovu izoliranost, stišati beskrajne dvojbe i umanjiti osjećaj napuštenosti. Čini se da je sve to našao u kršćanstvu, na koje ću se za nekoliko trenutaka osvrnuti.
No možda se u ovoj tajanstvenosti krije Obamin politički genij. Čini se da baš taj misteriozni i inertni Obamin značaj stvara želju poistovjećivanja s njim, pa i želju da ga zavolimo. Možda ljudi i u njemu i u sebi vide upravo taj osjećaj unutarnje distance, osamljenosti i napuštenosti. Obama priznaje tu sposobnost intrigantnom i učinkovitom primjedbom: „Ja sam kao prazan ekran na koji ljudi posve različitih političkih orijentacija projektiraju vlastite vizije.“ On je zrcalo koje pokazuje što god gledatelj želi vidjeti. Naša osamljenost, dvojba i napuštenost su se koncentrirale i stopile s njegovim. Obamina želja za jedinstvom, u cilju općeg dobra, sjedinila se s našom. U tom času, i možda samo tada, mi vjerujemo i nadamo se. Posrijedi je neobično obuzdana ekstaza, no svejedno, ekstaza.
Liričnost Obamine proze ponekad ima izuzetnu ljepotu. Njegova je sumnjičavost spram očinstva i toga što je suprug u posljednjem poglavlju dirljiva i iskrena. A kad poput mladog Rousseaua završi knjigu riječima: „Moje je srce puno ljubavi prema ovoj zemlji“, ni na čas ne osjećam cinizam. Ipak, Obama piše i govori iz perspektive antropologa, uz osjećaj da ne sudjeluje u svijetu s kojim se tako očajnički želi zbližiti. Iskustvo se vazda ima i drži na distanci.
Trenutak u knjizi u središtu kojeg je ono o čemu sam upravo pričao i koji otežava problem kojim se želim pozabaviti jest smrt njegove majke od raka kada joj je bilo pedeset i dvije godine, a Obami samo trideset četiri. Obama piše ovog puta uz jak izljev emocija: „Više sam puta vidio kako joj se strah cakli u očima. Mislim da ju je sama osamljenost u smrti plašila više nego strah od bola ili od nepoznatog – spoznaja da na svom zadnjem putovanju, tom zadnjem podvigu, neće imati s kim podijeliti iskustva, jer s njom neće biti nikoga tko bi se divio sposobnosti tijela da samom sebi nanosi bol ili da se smije očitoj besmislici života kada čovjeku počne opadati kosa, a žlijezde slinovnice presuše.“
Njegova je majka bila antropolog. Umrla je kao antropolog s osjećajem udaljenosti od drugih, ne mogavši komunicirati s njima i prenositi im svoj bol. Možda otuda potječe Obamin horror vacui, osjećaj osamljenosti i napuštenosti. Međutim, da bismo ovo shvatili, moramo se okrenuti njegovim stavovima o religiji.
Zbog čega nam je religija potrebna? Obama priznaje da se ljudi okreću religiji, jer žele „narativni svod života, nešto što će ublažiti kroničnu osamljenost ili će ih izdići ponad stalnih i iscrpljujućih napora što ih donosi svakodnevni život.“ Alternativa je bjelodana – nihilizam. Ovo zadnje znači „kretanje dugim putem prema ništavilu.“ Religija zadovoljava potrebu za iskustvom ispunjenosti, za transcendentnošću koja ispunjava prazninu. Ovdje se moramo vratiti na Obaminu majku. Njegov put prema kršćanstvu odvija se unatoč tome što je njegova majka antropolog udaljena od religije.
Kao i mnogi od nas, Obama se na početku obraća za pomoć onome što naziva „politička filozofija.“ On želi potvrdu vrijednosti koje je naslijedio od majke (iskrenost, empatija, disciplina, strpljenje, vrednoća) i pokušava doznati kako se mogu pretočiti u sustave djelovanja koji bi mogli „pomoći stvoriti zajednicu i ostvariti pravdu.“ Možda i ne čudi što, kao i mnogi od nas, Obama ne nalazi odgovor u političkoj filozofiji nego samo suočavajući se s dilemom koju njegova majka nikad nije razriješila. U poglavlju koji otkriva puno toga Obama piše: „Kršćani s kojima sam radio u meni su prepoznali sebe. Uvidjeli su da poznajem Bibliju, da imamo zajedničke vrijednosti i da pjevam njihove pjesme. No osjetili su da je jedan dio mene odvojen, na distanci, kao promatrač. Shvatio sam da ću bez okvira za svoja uvjerenja, bez jasne pripadnosti određenoj zajednici, biti osuđen u stanovitom smislu ostati odvojen, nevezan kao što je moja majka bila nevezana, ali i sâm kao što je ona na kraju bila.“ (str. 206.)
Za Obamu je sloboda negativno odsustvo obveze koje je ostavilo njegovu majku udaljenu i samu, a ta osamljenost kulminirala je njezinom smrću. Takva je sloboda ništavila. Antropološko poštovanje spram svih religija znači da čovjek nije vezan ni za jednu i da je prepušten lutati bez uporišta za svoja najdublja uvjerenja. Imati takvo uporište znači biti vezan za određenu zajednicu. Jedini način da Obama prevlada svoj osjećaj udaljenosti i razriješi majčinu dilemu jest vezivanje za kršćanstvo. Konkretnije, Obama samo kroz povezivanje s tradicionalno crnačkom crkvom može pronaći uporište i osjetiti se ispunjenim. Ovo je kulminiralo njegovim krštenjem u Trinity United Church of Christ koje je obavio pastor Jeremiah Wright u Chicagu. Kako god nama to izgledalo, činjenica da crnačko kršćanstvo zauzima središnje mjesto u Obaminoj knjizi čini njegov prgav odnos s pastorom Wrightom toliko bitnim i intrigantnim. Naposljetku, tu se sve okreće oko odnosa proročanske riječi (Wrigtova Prokleta Amerika) i državničke aktivnosti („Moje je srce puno ljubavi prema ovoj zemlji“). Sve ovo uopće nije jednostavno.
Kod Obamine je vezanosti za kršćanstvo jasno da je izbor, razborit i racionalan izbor, a ne iskustvo preobraćenja, zasnovan na nekom osobnom otkrivenju. On tvrdi: „Vezanost za religiju nije zahtijevala odricanje od kritičkog mišljenja... ona je bila moj izbor, a ne otkrivenje. Pitanja koja sam htio postaviti nisu misteriozno nestala.“ Iako kasnije dodaje: „Osjetio sam kako mi Božji duh priziva“, posrijedi je najtreznije i najsuzdržanije iskustvo vezanosti za religiju, bez ikakva traga epifanijske ushićenosti i ekstaze. Naprosto moram osjetiti kako Obamina vjera žudi za iskustvom bliskosti čemu se protive udaljenost i distanciranost što ih pokušava svladati. Primjerice, kada nije siguran što reći kćeri o smrti, govori: „Pitam se je li joj trebalo reći istinu da nisam siguran što se zbiva kada umremo, kao što nisam siguran ni gdje duša obitava niti čega je bilo prije velikog praska.“
Ovakva skeptičnost spram metafizičkih pitanja posve je razumljiva i ima finu filozofijsku potku. No što potom imamo misliti i što je s pitanjem vjerovanja, koje je okosnica Obamine predsjedničke kampanje? Vraćamo se na početak, to jest na opće dobro. Obama očajnički želi vjerovati u opće dobro kao nešto što će zajamčiti punoću iskustva koje će spriječiti pad u nihilizam. No ponekad mi nije jasno zna li on što znači vjerovanje i što bi značilo vjerovati u to. Sve djeluje tako daleko i tajanstveno. Stalna prisutnost majčine dileme – osjećaja osamljenosti, dvojbe i napuštenosti – djeluje opipljivo i neuklonjivo. Moramo vjerovati, ali ne možemo. Možda je to i tragedija koju neki od nas vide u Obami: promjena u koju možemo vjerovati i porazna spoznaja da se ništa neće promijeniti.

Preveo Mario Kopić

- 17:20 - Komentari (3) - Isprintaj - #

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Nedavno mi je Igor CC Kelčec poslao ovaj briljantni cover novog, 13. albuma "Prljavog kazališta", uz adekvatnu priču kakve prate svaki, pa i najmanji životni korak Jasenka Houre.

Za tu Jajinu osobinu i o njoj publika ne zna, iako je to najmarkantnija crta Hourina profila: Jajo je autentitični narator, jedan od onih dragocjenih ljudi s kojima ćete putovati u istom kupeu, da bi na dolasku jedva što imali za kazati i o putovanju i o destinacijama, dok će on pred vama put pretvoriti u putešestviju, ostavljajući vas istovremeno zapanjenim nad činjenicom da to sami niste primjetili, ali i osupnutima beskrajnom duhovitošću naracije.

Jaju znam još od Križanićeve. Devedesetih smo se često viđali nakon njegovih gaža krateći besanicu u kafiću zajedničkog prijatelja na Selskoj. Unatoč dugotrajnosti našeg poznanstva, jedne me je večeri prilično zatekao prepričavajući anegdote s turneja satima, maestralno, urnebesno, kao genuini jokester, ostavivši me uvjerenog u neisrcpnost te zbirke burleski koje čine život (članova) banda.

Iako je takva vrst komike uglavnom usmeni žanr, ovakav je narator onaj na kojeg misli Forster u Aspektima romana: slušajući Jajine pričice s turneja, hvatate se kako slušate onog prvog naratora, Putnika, koji prepričava što je vidio na svojim ovosvjetskim ili pak duhovnim, onosvjetskim putovanjima. The fundamental aspect of the novel is its story-telling aspect..., kaže Forster, i ako je suditi po tom kriteriju, kao i po zainteresiranosti slušatelja da čuje što je dalje bilo, Jajo bi nakon karijere glazbenika komontno mogao započeti karijeru romanopisca, uzmogne li obnoviti vlastitu intonaciju i kadencu i na papiru.

Kako je, nekim čudom, vrlo sličan tip i Igor Kelčec - recimo, ovih se godina naširoko prepričava Igorovo svjedočanstvo o Štulićevoj sarajevskoj zgodi u backstageu, za koje je Johnny praktički u dahu osmislio budući život Gorana Bregovića, pričajući o svemu što je Bregović kasnije, kao svoj vlastiti projekt, lukrativno realizirao, u širokom potezu od belog odela pa do ciganskog orkestra za leđima... - niti sam mogao ne pitati Igora što je Jajo kazao na rješenje omota, niti bi Igor pošiljku otpravio bez adekvatne priče: kao kod Kundere, jednostavno ima ljudi čije praktičke postupke uvijek prate neke pouzdane teorije, ili barem štorije...

Dakle, veli meni Igor: Otisnuo sam ja to onako u velikom formatu, Jajo se vratio iz Kanade, i sad čekamo svi da to Jajo vidi i veli idemo li s time ili ne. Uzmem ja fascikl, otvorim ga, izvadim sliku, i kako sam je dao Jaji, samo se široko nasmijao. Znao sam - OK je. Imamo naslovnu. I sad, kad su i dečki vidjeli da to Jajo amenuje, mogli su si dozvoliti i poneki kritički osvrt. Jedan nije bio zadovoljan strogošću izgleda, recimo, i taman je počeo jamrati, kad Jajo presiječe svaku spikicu: "Joj, kak si glup, kao da je to važno kak vi izgledate! Gledaj cjelinu, to je važno!"
Ha, ha, ha, poentirao je Igor, gledaj cjelinu, pa to je sjajno, kao da je važno kako tko izgleda, pa to je genijalno, to sad treba stalno ponavljati.



Iako tragedija iznosi istine života, one komičke zvuče životnije; za razliku od uzvišenog, što je zabran tragedije, komedija se bavi običnim i svakodnevnim, a njena univerzalnost, ili mudrost, dolazi upravo iz blizine banalnosti: alkemijski moment posvećenja banalnog otajstvo je umijeća pripovijedanja, da parafraziram Hribara. Zato je jednostavno načelno nemoguće bezostatno objasniti zašto treba gledati cjelinu, a kako to da je nevažno kako izgledaju Filko ili Bodalec, ako to tak Jajo veli. To treba slušati, svejedno da li in vivo, ili još bolje u prepričavanju Igora Kelčeca ili samog Jasenka Houre. Izgleda da naši životi tek u/po tim prepričavanjima poprimaju svoj puni smisao, svoju draž i značaj. Dapače, ljudi poput Houre ili Kelčeca dokazuju da Hitchcock nije imao pravo kazavši da je drama život iz kojega su izbačeni dosadni momenti: nema takvog detalja koji u njihovim pričicama ne bi bio zanimljiv, nema tog dosadnog momenta koji oni ne bi učinili uzbudljivim.

Kundera tvrdi da je ironija u temelju umjetnosti romana, jer je sam život ironijski dvoznačan. Ja mislim da je komika imanentna umijeću pripovijedanja, storytellingu: duhoviti će pripovjedač od svega napraviti priču, kao što svjedoči Kafka, i obratno, priča bez witza, oštroumne dosjetljivosti, bit će beživotno naklapanje.

Uostalom, slika privodi vjeri bolje od riječi, pa razmotrimo donju fotografiju s promocije novoga albuma: pogledajte portrete članova banda: Bodalec je ozbiljan, Vorih zainteresiran, Filko rutinski kontrolira, novi su dečki još uvijek izočni, a Jajo... za razliku od svih ljudi za ovim stolom i u ovoj prostoriji, Houri je već nekaj smiješno.

To je ta razlika. Fundamentalna. Zbog ovakvih izraza lica neku djecu izbacuju sa satova. Kad to učine vašem djetetu, znajte da ste uspjeli: ja osobno, podnio bih i da mi dijete u četvrtom razredu skače 2,34 m u dalj, i da ima 4 iz matematike, da nema sluha koliko Alka ili da ne zna nacrtati niti stolac, ali bih vječno bio ožalošćen da mi dijete završi osnovnu školu a da ga nikada nisu izbacili sa sata zbog zajebancije - e, to ne bih podnio. Jeb'o bi mu mater!

Uostalom, kad vidite Jaju, prestanite gledati ostatak banda: kao da je važno tko kako izgleda; važna je cjelina! Kužite?!

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- 01:10 - Komentari (15) - Isprintaj - #

nedjelja, 09.11.2008.

Pollex Christi

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Kakva je to erudicija?
OK, znam da ne može svatko biti Modni mačak, ali da se ne prepoznaje jakna Harrisona Forda koju je Željko kupio na aukciji u povodu dvadesetgodišnjice kultnog filma Indiana Jones and the Last Crusede, to nikako ne razumijem.

To što ne prepoznajete jaknu koju ja nosim, to još i razumijem, jer naravno da ne postoje pretpostavke njena prepoznavanja: ova je jedina od svoje vrste, i kad smo već kod te fascinantne jakne, zanimljivo bi bilo ispričati njenu priču:

Did I ever tell ya that this here jacket represents a symbol of my individuality, and my belief in personal freedom?, pita Sailor Ripley u romantičnom road filmu Wild at Heart.

Jasno, u mladosti sam i sâm kolekcionirao hoolywoodske memorabilije i parafernalije: saonice Građanina Kanea, katana Hattori Hanza, ruby slippers koje je Gilbert Adrian kreirao '39. za Judy Garland u Ozu, Wieneova redateljska stolica sa seta Kabineta doktora Caligarija, Pescijeva olovka iz Casino pen scene, ogrlica s tanisom iz Rosemary's Baby, origami figurica jednoroga iz Blade Runnera... da ne duljim, skupilo se toga za još jedan Xanadu. I sabiralo bi se i dalje da nije bilo te snakeskin jacket koju Nicolas Cage nosi kao Sailor Ripley: jasno da sam je pokušao nabaviti, ali, avaj!, to je osobna Nicolasova jakna koju je na set donio iz kućne garderobe! Ta primjesa stvarnog naprosto me razčarala.



Ne bi li se nekako utješio, raspitao sam se kod svog dobrog prijatelja N. Senade - za jedne nezaboravne sesije u San Mateu, tijekom koje je Harry Partch dizajnirao harmonium Captain Beefhearta - ima li istine u šuškavoj glasini o ezoterijskom umijeću obrade kože koje kalifornijsko pleme Patwin njeguje već stoljećima: u skladu s tamošnjim legendama dovoljno je jednom prebrisati čelo svetom jelenjom kožom naroda Patwin - na njihovom jeziku, koji je najjužniji i sasvim distingviran odvjetak nekadašnje jezične obitelji Wintun, danas dijelom Penutian grupe, Patwin znači osoba - pa da sve crne misli nestanu kao rukom odnesene, i, što je bolje, da iščezne njihov uzrok! Pleme Patwin obitava na zapadnoj stranu Sacramento Valley, od zaljeva San Francisco Bay pa južnije do Willowsa, nastavajući obje strane rijeke Sacramento.

N.Senada, koji je upravo redigirao posljednju verziju svoga remek-djela Pollex Christi, misteriozno se osmjehivao opominjući da kožu naroda Patwin može nositi samo velik ratnik: nije bilo bijelca koji bi zaslužio tu čast.

Negdje pred svitanje, nas smo četvorica krenuli za Wor-pa'ntibe, jedan od čijih je zaselaka i Wa'i-taluk u Morgan Valley, južno od Cache Creeka. Događaji koji će uslijediti danas su integralni dio predaje naroda Patwin, opisani u već klasičnoj etnološkoj studiji Godwina i Sachsa, "Skagédi And The Man-Eater", Morton Press, 1998., te u Mary Null Boule, "California Native American Tribes - Patwin Tribe", Merryant Publishing, Vashon, Washington; oprobana me skromnost priječi u prepričavanju tih podviga.
(Reći ću tek ovo: šamanu sam poklonio fotografiju Donatiena Alphonsea Françoisa de Sade, Marquisa de Sadea, nakon čega je dobri čovjek gotovo pao u trans, opsesivno ponavaljajući: niizh manidoowag; Captain Beefheart upozorio me je da puni smisao šamanovih riječi može značiti i: Berdashe.)

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Ono što nas ovdje može zanimati, jest taj mali znak pažnje koji je poglavica Qo-Qoy-Mo, na kraju naše spiritualne trampe, kako je razmjenu duhovnih iskustava domaćina i naše male ekspedicije nazvao Partch, uručio N.Senadi, ali za mene!

Objasnit ću tu konvenciju, ili bizariju, kako vam drago: darovi naroda Patwin nikada se ne uručuju izravno, da onoga koji daje i onoga koji prima ne bi povezivala suvišna uzročnoposljedična, 'karmička' veza, što je intrinzični smisao 'p'taha', neprevedivog pojma koji označava tu uzajamnost, ili povezanost duša; ne bi li se prianjanje izbjeglo, svatko tko dar prima, odmah (ga) uzvraća, ali ne izravno, već posredno, čime se anihilacija veze s onime tko bi nas zadužio vrši dvostruko: promptnim izravnjanjem računa, kao i ritualnom posrednošću njegova namirenja.



Sutradan, nakon što smo spavali gotovo 12 sati, razmotao sam svitak kože osjećajući pri tome kako mi dlanovi bride kao da klize najlonkom sapetom bedrom teenagerke: pore mi i danas pamte taj dodir kože štavljene suzama patwinških udovica.
O samom procesu štavljenja nije mi dano govoriti.

Da dovršim: tu sam kožu prošle jeseni odnio u Japan, odlazeći po cloisonné vazu Namikawe Yasuyukia; svratih do prijateljice Rei Kawakubo, i dok smo kontemplirali hokku iz 1685., u kojem Basho komentira vlastiti život pjevajući:

toshi kurenu / kasa kite waraji / hakinagara

njen protégé, Junya Watanabe, vlastoručno je, vođen uputama neprikosnovene Rei, skrojio i sašio jaknu koju ovdje vidite.

Dakle ništa posebno, uglavnom, ali zaista pruža čovjeku smirujuć i ugodan dojam da ta jacket represents a symbol of my individuality, and my belief in personal freedom.

NEMANJA 07.11.2008. 23:40

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N. Senada

(which may be a play on "Ensenada", or "en se nada", meaning "in himself nothing."; N. may stand for "Nigel") was a Bavarian composer and music theorist who formulated the "Theory of Obscurity" and the "Theory of Phonetic Organization". There is a debate as to whether or not he existed, or was simply an invention of The Residents. Supposedly born in 1907 and dying in 1993 at the age of 86, Senada was one of The Residents' earliest collaborators, having arrived in San Mateo, California, with Philip Lithman. It is frequently speculated that, if real, N. Senada may have been famous avant-garde composer and instrument-designer Harry Partch, the influence of whose work may be heard in Residents compositions such as "Six Things To A Cycle"; his passing is also referenced in the song "Death In Barstow".

Another rumor speculates that N. Senada may have been Captain Beefheart because in the late 60s Beefheart and his "Magic Band" lived in a residence on Ensenada Drive in Woodland Hills, CA while recording Trout Mask Replica and Safe as Milk; Beefheart influence can also be heard in early Residents works. The Residents also sent an early demo tape to Warner Brothers executive Hal Halverstadt who had signed Beefheart.

Music

According to Residents' lore, in 1937, N. Senada premiered his masterpiece, "Pollex Christi", which means either Big Toe of Christ or Big Thumb of Christ. This work mainly consisted of borrowed pieces from other composers, namely Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, among others. He also left large holes in the work so that the performers could insert music of their choosing, thus "becoming composers themselves". Senada justified his work with "house" analogies claiming that he didn't make the "bricks" but "cemented them together"; he wasn't the "architect", just the "builder".

Senada allegedly collaborated with The Residents on their pre-Santa Dog work, and then disappeared. He resurfaced in the mid-1970s, returning from an Arctic expedition and bearing a sealed bottle of pure Arctic air; this served as inspiration for the Eskimo project.

The Residents performed "Pollex Christi" as a tribute to Senada on what would have been his 90th birthday. The holes in the piece were filled with a variety of works, such as the television theme from Star Trek. The recording was distributed in two editions of 400 before being deleted.

The Residents are not the only band to pay their respects to N. Senada. The Essex based band Free Beer After 11 have a song named after him. The Track opens with a jazz melody before climaxing with a punk riff with Mysterious N. Senada chants over the top.

Theory of Obscurity

Senada's "Theory of Obscurity" states that an artist can only produce pure art when the expectations and influences of the outside world are not taken into consideration. Senada and his theory are referred to almost exclusively in connection with avant garde musical group The Residents.

Theory of Phonetic Organization

Senada's "Theory of Phonetic Organization" states, "the musician should put the sounds first, building the music up from [them] rather than developing the music, then working down to the sounds that make it up."


- 02:37 - Komentari (4) - Isprintaj - #

interview with Webster Tarpley

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By Daan de Wit

Especially in politics it is of the utmost importance to try to look behind the facade: who makes up the team of the presidential candidate? The future president of the United States of America is for a large part dependent on and being fed by his team of advisors and future cabinet members. Webster Tarpley wrote a book on the men and women behind presidential hopeful Barack Obama. He argues that there is more to Obama than his charismatic appearance and that some of his advisors pose a danger to the US and the world in case Obama might be elected to become the next US president. Whether Tarpleys view is correct for now is a matter of opinion and remains to be seen, but for the public debate it is relevant to take note of his facts and arguments. Therefor DeepJournal interviewed Webster Tarpley on the topic of his recently published book Obama, The Postmodern Coup,The Making of a Manchurian Candidate.

Download the interview. MP3, 16 Mb, 34 minutes.

TRANSCRIPT. Created by Trudie Beverloo, Michiel Bezemer and Marienella Meulensteen.

It's Sunday May 11th, my name is Daan de Wit, from Amsterdam, Holland on the phone with Webster Tarpley in Washington DC, USA. Webster Tarpley, you are the author of 9/11 Synthetic Terror – Made in USA, already in it's fourth edition, you are the co-author of George Bush, the Unauthorized Biography. You go way back covering the news behind the news and you just published Obama, The Postmodern Coup, The Making of a Manchurian Candidate. Now the Herald Tribune a few days ago said it is clear the race is over, same thing was clear to Arianna Huffington from the Huffington Post last Friday on Democracy Now. She talked about a 'lost cause'. Is Hillary out of the race and is Obama going to be the candidate?

Webster Tarpley: Absolutely not! No, this is a hysterical media campaign by the controlled media. We've got the biggest brainwash going that we've ever had. We're going to have the West-Virginia Primary this coming week on Tuesday the 13 th and in the West-Virginia Primary Obama will be handed the most crushing, the most humiliating one sided, lopsided defeat of any of the primary elections since it came down to the two candidates Clinton and Obama. Right now the polls show Clinton leading Obama in West-Virgina by 40 to 42%, in some polls Obama's support in West-Virginia is down in the teens, 18% and two weeks after that you'll have the Kentucky Primary which Obama will lose by about 30 to 35%.

- Why do you say this, how do you know?

Webster Tarpley: These are all polls and they're agreements of various polls, in other words more than one poll shows this. The US Intelligence Community penetrates the news organisations like mad and most of these organisations are now owned by the same bankers who want to put Obama in a kind of dictator. So I think her chances are considerable because Obama is a very weak candidate. When you look at him he wins Republican states that he will never win in the general election.

- I have always wondered, where do these candidates for presidents come from? Is there a grooming process? You actually say Obama has been recruted by Zbigniew Brzezinski as a student on Columbia University?

Webster Tarpley: Yes. This is the interesting about Obama's biography, that he has these lost years and the lost years where nobody knows anything about what he was doing, we're not even sure where he was. 1981, 1982, 1983 his last two years in college. He was a Junior and a Senior at Columbia University, actually Columbia College at Columbia University in uptown Manhattan, Morningside Heights. He had started his career at Occidental College near Los Angeles after going to a very expensive private school in Hawaii, the Punahou School. If you go back to 1981, 1982 - you can do this with the help of Samuel Huntington's Book on American politics, which I quote in my own book, which is called Obama, The Postmodern Coup, the Making of a Manchurian Candidate. If you look in here you will see that they were already sort of summing up their experiences under Carter and they were looking ahead. Huntington is explicitly looking ahead to 2010 and 2030, in other words he believes that there's gonna be a crisis of ungovernability, what he called the ‘creedal passion period'. Political upsurge and economic breakdown perhaps. All of this starting around 2010, which is now where we are, we have reached that point.
My guess is that Obama was recruted by Brzezinski at Columbia 1981, 1982, 1983. You cannot notice this positively, because Obama in his memoires, he has got this thing called Dreams from my Father, he tells you everything about himself, he tells you about marihuana, cocaine, almost heroine, but not quite, tells you all this stuff, but when it comes to Columbia University he tells you nothing. It's exactly puzzling, because why would he tell you about marihuana and cocaine, which are bad and than not tell you about his career, with this wonderful Ivy League prestigious elite Columbia University, he doesn't say anything about it.
The same thing is what The New York Times found. The New York Times, trying to do the life of Obama, they focused on his years in New York City, because they're from New York and they couldn't find anything. They couldn't find out what courses he took, who his friends were, anything that he did, he doesn't seem to be in the yearbook, it's all very strange. Chicago Tribune which is very, very favourable to Obama did the same thing, could not find anything about those years at Columbia. Now they're two possibilities. One is that he's hiding homosexual activity. Obama, I think, is pretty well established to be a bi-sexual, he's accused by Larry Sinclair of homosexual encounters with crack-cocaine. We can talk about that in a minute. But I think the deeper level is what he's covering up in terms of his contacts with Brzezinski.
Obama was a politic's major with his speciality in international relations and a thesis topic that was Soviet nuclear disarmament. Now that has Brzezinski written all over it. In those years Brzezinski was on the campus at Columbia, he was the head of the Institute of Communist Affairs, an anti Soviet thinktank. It seems to me extremely likely that he was recruted by Brzezinski at that point. Meaning that he has been indoctrinated for 25 years. If this is not true, I would invite Obama to tell us the full story of his years at Columbia and he has said zero. No friends, no professors, no transcript, no nothing. It is the biggest obsessive secrecy that we've seen. It's comparible to, you know Bush has tried to hide his drunk driving record. In this case Obama won't let you know what he did at Columbia. He should be saying, 'Oh I'm proud, I was an A-student, I wrote this wonderful thing', the highlight of his early career was to go to Columbia. So, he doesn't do that. What this means then is: 25 years of indoctrination and grooming. With Carter they only had 5 or 6 years at most. They're from 1970, 1971, 1972 until 1976 when he won the presidency. In the case of Obama I think you're looking at a 25 year process where they were guiding his career.
And than if you look at these people around him, he's got the Trilateral-Commission through Brzezinski, he's got the Bilderberger-Group through Joseph Nye. Joseph Nye is the North American Director of the Trilateral Commission and a big wheel of the Bilderberger Group. Joseph Nye writes the books about ‘soft power', because that's what we're talking about. They say: We don't mean military invasion, we need soft power, we need subversion ideology, cultural warfare, economic warfare and diplomacy, meaning to play one against another divide and conquer and so fort. Joseph Nye is a big supporter of Obama on the Huffington-blog with that awful right wing Greek woman. Other than that we got the Ford Foundation, the Council of Foreign Relations through Brzezinski and the rest of them. The Chicago School, this is interesting.
Obama's economic team, there's a guy called Austin Goolsby, who is a professor of economic's at the University of Chicago, this means he belongs to these infamous Chicago boys founded by Milton Friedman. They say: Government is the problem, smash big government and let the market work. And Goolsby has been on television saying that the Obama campaign respects the market much more than mrs. Clinton. Mrs. Clinton has called for a stop on forclosures to prevent people from been thrown out of their house. Goolsby says: No, that interferes with the market. Mrs. Clinton said: Let's lift the gasoline tax on the public and switch the taxation to Exxon Mobil and BP and Chevron and make them pay out of there super profits that they got in speculating in the oil market. These companies are now bringing in 10 billion dollars each every three or four months, so that's obscene super profits. Goolsby says: No, we can't touch any of that. Goolsby is also the guy who was caught negotiating with the Canadians telling them don't mind what Obama says about free trade: He's a free trader, I'm a free trader, we gonna have more free trade sell outs. The North American Free Trade Zone is gonna be preserved and expanded, so don't listen to what he said, he's just demagoguing the issue for these poor little unemployment workers at Pensylvania and Ohio. So, that's Goolsby. So Goolsby is a member of Skull and Bones. If you want an administration without Skull and Bones you better not pick Obama, because his main economics guy is from Skull and Bones and from this Chicago School, so Goolsby is a free trader.
You also got another couple of people with Obama on the economic side who have talked about privatising Social Security. That would be exactly what Augusto Pinochet did in Chile under the guidance of the Chicago School. So Obama's economists are real right wingers. I mean, they're practicaly in the Bush camp when it comes to economics. So if you look at al this together, the idea that Obama is somehow different from the stuff you've seen under Bush, it's not true. He's more aggressive than Bush when it's comes to bombing Pakistan. He's just as reactionary on things like Social Security. But he does it with this left cover and of course the way he does it is the style of the utopian, messianic rethoric, hope ‘I can bring you together, I can overcome partisan divisions'.

If you look at those themes; those are the typical themes of the young Mussolini.

People don't remember what fascism was, I am afraid. A lot of people think, especially here in the U.S. where people are ignorant, people believe that fascism is a purely top down phenomenon. When they think of fascism, they think of something like a dictatorship of Bush Cheney that becomes more and more oppressive, more and more intrusive, more and more totalitarian, more and more dictatorial. That is not fascism. You would not need a new word for that. Fascism is the march on Rome; fascism is the storm troopers fighting in the streets. It is a gutter and street level movement; it is a grass roots movement that has anti-authoritarian cover, anti-parliamentary, anti-congress cover. It has left cover. Mussolini of course was a revolutionary socialist and a lot of people in his movement were left wingers, you now, extreme trade union activists, syndicalists and stuff like this.

- So that is why you compare him in your book cover with Mussolini, Obama?

Well absolutely yes.

- You describe the neocons as lame ducks. Yet Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker, Scott Ritter, the former weapons inspector, Phil Giraldi who writes ‘War with Iran may be closer than you think'. They all expect a war with Iran between now and January when Bush leaves. How about that?

I think there are a couple of things that are working here. One is pure disinformation. There is obviously a great desire to keep people thinking in the old ways. And the old ways is to think that Bush, Cheney and the neocons are the main enemy. They are not. They are now in the process of being ushered out the door. I'll just give you a couple of examples. The Iraq Study Group of December 2006 with Baker and Hamilton essentially said: ‘We are not going to attack Iran , what we want to do is recruit Iran and Syria for our own projects'. And at the end of last year, the year 2007, we had a National Intelligence Estimate that said: There is no Iranian nuclear program. It is not there. In the meantime…



- But since then a lot happened, and now the rhetoric…

I don't know, I don't think anything has happened. What I'll say is the British; the British have signaled who the new enemy is, with the [Alexander] Litvinienko story and the [Anna] Politkovskaya story, both created by Boris Berezovsky - a Russian oligarch working for British intelligence – they have signaled that the new enemy is now the people in Moscow . The other thing is of course… Let's take the key example: I would say the last gasp of the anti-Iranian project was the rogue B-52, which I called attention to. I was putting out warnings against an attack on Iran up to August and into September of last year. The key point was, this rogue B-52 that flew from North Dakota to Louisiana with six live nuclear cruise missiles on board, was supposed to go to the Middle East and attack Iran . It was supposed to take part in that Israeli air attack. The Israelis attacked Syria on September 6, as you recall, and there was supposed to be a U.S. nuclear component against Iran. That was stopped. And it was stopped by personnel on the ground and then as it went up the ladder, the further they went up the ladder, the more resistance they found. To the idea of doing this kind of rogue attack by a network I would assume to be loyal to Cheney. It was stopped.

After that you had Bush's threat of WWIII in the middle of October of last year, and since then I see that the epicenter of confrontation is shifting to other places. And in anyway, I would just point out the absurdity. People say: ‘Oh, Bush is going to attack Iran . He might attack Iran , he might attack Iran'. Well, he is already attacking Pakistan. They are bombing Pakistan every day. Pakistan is two and a half times bigger, with nuclear weapons. They may attack Sudan . That is equally plausible. They may attack Burma. And then the other thing is, they have created an insurrection in China, in Tibet which is 25 times bigger than Iran and has thermo-nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles. Whatever you do to Iran, and this was the logic of the neocons, Iran has zero means of striking the United States. Zero. But once you start messing with China and Russia , you are talking intercontinental ballistic missiles with thermo-nuclear and nuclear warheads and once you are talking about Russia, you are talking about the number one, premier, top nuclear power in the world. So it seems to me that this is infinitely the more dangerous.

I don't have a crystal ball, but it is very interesting that all these left liberals, basically all the names you have mentioned, are the left wing of the U.S. intelligence community, or at least some of them. Hersh certainly is, some of them represent a kind of right wing of the U.S. intelligence community. But Obama is the candidate of the U.S. intelligence community in toto. If you don't believe that, just turn on an American television station and you will see what is going on. So, I would believe that the scenario has fundamentally changed and that people are having a very hard time grasping this. We have got to radically shift our field. What you have seen going on now for the past 18 months to two years is that the field has been shifting. Tony Blair is gone; most of the top neocons have now left the government. They are trying to cash in in the private sector. And you know, you have a whole new crew coming in which are these Brzezinsky types. The Samantha Power-Brzezinsky types, the Soros people, the color revolutions crew, the people power coup crew, and they are on their way in. And that means that the face of U.S. imperialism is indeed getting a facelift.

Let us just for second look at the war aspect if we can. Brzezinsky is known for one thing: He hates Russia. He is a passionate, fanatical hater of Russia. The same goes for his son Mark and he has got another son Ian Brzezinsky who is currently a top official in the Pentagon, and Ian Brzezinsky runs John McCain's foreign policy and writes a lot of McCain's foreign policy material. So, interestingly enough, if you don't want a Brzezinsky dynasty, you'd better support Mrs. Clinton. She is the only way you escape having Brzezinsky in the background running the show through one or more of his two sons.

Brzezinsky's hatred of Russia is now this: Brzezinsky looks at the neocons and he says to the neocons: ‘You bunglers'. Brzezinsky and Samuel Huntington, his right hand man, says: ‘We gave you the clash of civilizations as an idea' and he says: ‘What you should have done is to play these different countries one against the other. The essence of imperialism is you don't attack Iraq , you play Iran against Iraq. You don't attack Venezuela , you play Colombia against Venezuela. You don't attack Somalia, you play Ethiopia against Somalia'. ‘And ultimately you don't attack Russia ' he says, ‘You play China against Russia , or some variation of that'. So the strategy that Brzezinsky has is to say first of all: ‘There should be no attack on Iran. There should rather be an effort to turn Iran against the Russians'. And this is realistic, bas ed on the fact that there is a large degree of anti-Russian resentment in the Iranian population. He would also say: ‘You can probably turn Syria against Russia at the same time'.

But now the heart of Brzezinsky strategy is this. Brzezinsky looks at China. And he says: ‘China can be manipulated through their raw material and oil dependency on Africa, and in particular Sudan. We know that now Sudan is supplying 7, 8% maybe of China 's oil needs, petroleum, in general. Brzezinsky would say: ‘What you have to do first of all is kick the Chinese out of Africa. That is why Bush went to Africa, that is why the U.S, is creating a new Africom, U.S. African command, probably in Ethiopia. That is why you have Al Qaeda in Algeria, Tunesia and Morocco to help this destabilization. You've got the campaign against Mugabe. You got a quasi civil war in Kenya , you've got destabilization in Chad, and most of all you've got this attempted coup now. In the last couple of days there was an attempted bloody coup in Khartoum , Sudan , undoubtedly piloted by these Brzezinsky forces.

So the first step of this is to use Obama as the facelift of U.S. imperialism; a new face for U.S. imperialism in Africa specifically, to kick out the Chinese. At the same time you've got a campaign to dest roy Pakistan as a state, as a nation. And that is being done through bombing now, demanded by Obama, and now going on; a bombing of so-called Al Qaeda bas es in northern Pakistan. It is a very interesting story.

Originally back in the middle of last year, Obama said he wanted to bomb Pakistan without consulting the Pakistani government. Bush said no, McCain said no, Clinton said no. Obama is the most aggressive warmonger of the entire Democratic field. And guess what? Even though Bush said no last year, the US has now been bombing Pakistan without consulting Musharraf or the Pakistani government, in January, February, March, and I belief now into April and May of this year. So he is getting what he wants. The goal here of course is not Al Qaeda, this is a fairytale, but it is to destroy Pakistan . And why? Because Pakistan is a traditional ally of China , an important economic partner of China.

You've also then got this insurrection in Tibet which is being fomented by the US . This is now Gene Sharp and the Albert Einstein Institute. These Tibetan monks, these crazies – and they are terrorists and killers – they were trained in Burma . You've also got in the meantime a possibility for a US humanitarian invasion of Burma , carried out under left cover: No longer will they say “You're a terrorist”. They will say “You have a humanitarian emergency and your government is incompetent and therefore we're gonna invade you”. The ultimate goal I think in the short run, is to have a color revolution revolution or an tempted coup in Beijing in this summer under the cover of the Olympics.

Now, the endgame is the following. Once you have stripped China of all of its allies, cut off their supply of oil and raw materials, destroyed any economic partners that they have, you've got China isolated. At that point the US will essentially say to China : “If you want oil, you go get it in Eastern Siberia .” In other words: To force the Chinese under a weakened government to try to look for oil and raw materials on Russian territory.

The oil wells of Eastern Siberia are of course there – they are very significant. There are very few Russians, lots and lots of oil, lots and lots of minerals. And that is Brzezinski's strategy.
Now, I would point out, this is pure insanity. This goes back to what the British did with Hitler. In the 1930s, the British basically said: “Well, we have Hitler. Let's play Hitler against Stalin, let's play Germany against Russia and destroy both of them that way.” Traditional imperialism. The problem is that this thing is going to blow up in Brzezinski's face because both Moscow and Beijing know exactly what Brzezinski is doing. And if they didn't know I have told them now in my book, which is circulating in Moscow and also in Beijing.

So this is a hopeless task. And the goal of course is that the crisis of imperialism has entered a qualitively new phase: We've had Bear Stearns. We've had banking panic in California last August. We've had Northern Rock in the autumn of last year. Now we've had the panic run on Bear Stearns. We've had the dead agony of the US-dollar. We've got dollar hyperinflation, heating up with oil at $126 a barrel. The whole structure of Anglo-American finance is in deep trouble. What they need to do is to find ways to destroy enemies in a much cheaper way and at the same time to qualitively increase the austerity and sacrifice and gauging here on the home front. The credibility of somebody like Bush for any of this is minimal.

Some of the people who support Obama have argued that if we had a false-flag attack inside the United States now, it would no longer be believed. People would say: “It's Bush's fault.” That would be the majority. And then a strong minority would say: “Bush, you did it!” So they are actually lamenting. They are saying: We need a change of leadership so we can come back to having the kinds of false flags that we would like to have to manipulate the public. Bush's approval is now at a, I don't know if it's an all-time low but it's at a I think a 30 of 40 year low in the American presidency. He gets about 27% support and that of course would go up with a false flag but it wouldn't go up enough to even make it 50% I would guess. So the ruling class is basically saying: We can't accomplish anything more with these discredited and hated and well known, fully exposed methods of Bush, Cheney and the neo-cons, we've got to radically shift our field.



- You call Obama a Manchurian candidate, a sort of mind controlled man. Why do you do that?

First of all Obama is the most synthetic. He is the most prepared, indoctrinated, and I would indeed say brainwashed candidate that we've had. Obama himself is nothing. He has no legislative record, he has no accomplishments, no commitment, no loyalties. He is essentially an empty slate on which people are invited to project what they think.

His pedigree is first of all the Ford Foundation. The Ford Foundation is of course the institution which more than any other, tries to maintain the existing social order in the United States , which is to say: The dominance over this society by Wall Street, by financier oligarchs and the super rich. So his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham - he had a mother named Stanley which is interesting in itself – his mother was a pro-communist who worked for the Ford Foundation. She was part of the gender equality program of the Ford Foundation. She also worked then for the Word Bank and the US Agency for International Development. Obama himself has worked for the Gamaliel Foundation. This is a counter insurgency operation. It is the Saul Alinsky community organizing foundation of Chicago and the Gamaliel Foundation is a satellite of the Ford Foundation. And the idea with them is organizing community control projects, autogestion, local control on a very very local basis , always with the idea of pitting white against black, against Hispanic, against Asian, against Korean or Chinese or whatever it is, always keeping the population fragmented. On the lowest possible level, very parochial, very local and not allowing therefore a challenge to Wall Street to emerge.

He is also associated, this Obama, with the Woods Fund. And here he sat next to Bill Ayres, the Weatherman terrorist bomber, a professed an unrepented terrorist, an odious personality who I had a chance to observe in the late 1960s inside Students for a Democratic Society. Ayres is somebody who has also promoted Obama's carrier. Ayres hired Obama to become president of the board of the Edinburg – Chicago Challenge, which is yet another foundation funded effort at social engineering and racial conflict inside the Chicago school system. So we've also got the fact that Obama attends a church the pastor of which is now a Ford Foundation scholar, a guy who got his college education thanks to the Ford Foundation, and that is the Trinity United Church of Christ. You must have seen things about this.

- But is it fair to go that far to portray a man?

You have to because you're dealing with somebody… This is a man who wants to get his hands on the thermo-nuclear button. How in God's name can you allow access to the thermo-nuclear button by someone of whom you know basically absolutely nothing? Someone who consorts with terrorists, who consorts with gangsters like the Mafioso Rezko, and his backer Auchi, when reaching now into the Iraq world of organized crime, the Iraq - Syria mafia with this character Auchi. The only way to know anything about Obama is to look at his advisors and to look at these people around him. And the overwhelming thing you see around him is what I would call ‘left CIA'. And let me just try to explain this.

The right-wing CIA is clear to everybody. The right-wing CIA is for example the force that brought you 9/11. You can think of the spectacular terrorist events of 9/11 as a provocation staged by the right-wing CIA in order to get the pretext for war, for attacks in Afghanistan , Iraq and all the rest. T hat is the right-wing CIA. Now there is also a left wing. The left wing is made up of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Brzezinski faction, the Soros foundations and in particularly this institution called The Albert Einstein Institution, with its head Gene Sharp. These are the people who organize color revolutions, coup d'états under human rights cover, invasions under human rights cover and things of this sort.

- You link this to Obama…

Yes. This is the thing that Obama is a product of, an asset of the left wing of the US intelligence community so you've got to look in to this.
I just want to add in terms of that church: This Jeremiah Wright is of course a racist provocateur, working in the framework of something called ‘Black Liberation Theology'. It's a synthetic religion created by the Union Theologian Seminary in New York and then spread with the help of the Ford Foundation, in order to do what? In order to perpetuate racial conflict. The model of the Ford Foundation is divide and conquer. Play white against black in every conceivable way to prevent the emergence of a class based challenge to Wall Street. And what they've done is take this into the realm of theology and church affairs, knowing the importance of churches in the black community and in the United States.



- Obama denounced Wright…

He denounced him after sitting at his knee for 20 years, 20 years! Practically half of Obama's life he was sitting at Wright's knee, imbibing hatred and the philosophy of racist provocation and indeed, some would say indeed Satanism. In other words a religion based on hatred cannot be identified with Christianity but is something else.
He first said he could not denounce him. He said: “I can no more disown him then I can disown my own mother or the black community.” That was until the temperature got too high. And once Wright had paraded his insanity [and his racist provocations] at the National Press Club, then, then and only then did Obama finally turn around and separated himself from him or attempt ed to, because he can't. You can't sit at the knee of somebody for 20 years and say: “I'm his disciple, he is my mentor, he is my guru, he is my boss,” and then say: “Oh, sorry, it's now expedient for me to break contact.”

With Obama, if you look at what his program is going to be, we only have to look Zbigniew Brzezinski's writings on this stuff. When Carter came in, he came in as the candidate of the Trilateral Commission; of David Rockefeller, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Paul Volcker. He turned American foreign policy over to Zbigniew Brzezinski, who then did things like start the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan . Brzezinski systematically provoked it and boasts in his memoirs of having provoked it. Brzezinski also started the Iraq – Iran war, with probably a million and a half dead. So Brzezinski is up there at about three, four, five million dead, just based on what he did in the Carter administration. The other side of it, equally destructive in some ways, Paul Volcker, the Trilateral member who was placed by Carter at the Federal Reserve, raised the interest rate to 22% prime rate, which meant 25 to 30% for many people. That systematically destroyed the industrial infrastructure and fabric of the United States . The steel mills, the chemical plants and every kind of other industries shut down, so that what we've got now is this post-industrial rubble field in most parts of the United States that goes back precisely to the last Trilateral administration.

The trick tough was, that Carter had some idea of Christianity in his head. And Carter would sometimes say: “Well, the austerity these bankers want from me is too much.” Brzezinski argues that the American standard of living is still much too high. I would argue that American standard of living has been reduced now by about 2/3 since about say the Kennedy assassination. We've lost 2/3 of the standard of living. Brzezinski says: “No that's still too much. They are opulent,” he says, “they are hedonistic, they have monstrous consumption.” And Brzezinski says: “This is a problem in the world because people are envious and resentful of this so we're going to lower it even further.”

Now, the obvious courses are first of all, a global warming tax, a carbon tax, that will further cut into the standard of living, then probably a Third World solidarity tax. So with Obama they are going to say: “We're gonna teach you now into savage austerity, killer austerity, in the name of the polar bears, the ice cap and the Third World.” Now the trick of course is that none of this money will go for the polar bears, the ice cap and the Third World. It will go into the pockets of David Rockefeller, George Soros and other Wall Street thugs, who are running Obama. Because that is what Obama is today, you can look at the cast of characters. It's pretty much the same as Carter: He's got Zbigniew Brzezinski and Mark Brzezinski, that is to say Zbigniew's son who now is on the scene. Zbigniew Brzezinski is the guru of the entire campaign, although efforts are being made to conceal this fact. Brzezinski has put forward the entire profile, the austerity, the globalization and this question of the final showdown with Moscow.

- 00:36 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

Cheiranthus cheiri

Fűr Modesti
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Svi o jakni nitko o buketiću?

Modesti Blejz 08.11.2008. 18:24
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Moja komšinica

Aleksa Šantić

Ima neko doba sve me čežnja mori,
Sve mi nešto srce uzdiše i gori;
Pa ti nemam, brate, ni mira ni stanka,
Nego duge noći ja bdijem bez sanka
I stišavam srce i njime se mučim,
Pa do zore tako pameti ga učim;
Ali ludo srce ne čuje šta zborim,
Nego me sve pati udarima gorim,
I dršće i strepi, kao list sa pruta,
I zove me tamo odmah preko puta,
Pod širokim dudom od stoljetnih dana
Gdje kućica stoji krečom okrečana,
Pa kô da su vjetri snijeg nanijeli -
Spram jarkoga sunca ona se bijeli,
A noću, kad jasna mjesečina grane,
Pod širokim dudom sva treptati stane...
Tu je, tu je ono što mi srce mami,
S čega noću bdijem do u osvit sami, -
Tu je ono blago, ljepota Mostara,
Kunem vam se, ljudi, svijem na svijetu,
Što je bistre rose na gorskom cvijetu,
Niko ne bi mogô naći kapcu jednu
Tako milu, sjajnu, i čistu i čednu!
Kunem vam se, otkad jarko sunce grije,
Zapamtio niko 'nake oči nije;
Lijepe i mudre, svijetle i crne,
Pune žive vatre gdje mi duša srne!
I kunem se, što je đula i behara,
Sve bi svojim licem zastidila Mara, -
Pa još kosa meka, ona kosa vrana
Bi mehlemom bila i najljućih rana!...
Od jutra do mraka s prozora je gledim,
Pa uzdišem tako, čeznem i blijedim,
A majčino blago posluje i radi,
U široku sofu žuti šeboj sadi,
Do šeboja đurđic i karanfil mio,
Uz crveni karanfil fesliđen se svio,
Pa kad vjetar duhne kroz murvine grane,
Marinim cvijećem mirišu sve strane.
Sad je vidim, eno po tananu platnu
Na đerđefu lakom veze granu zlatnu
I uz sitni vezak, na doksatu, slaže
Onu milu pjesmu što je srce kaže:
"O, sunašce jarko, svom smiraju pođi!
O moj dragi, ti mi pod pendžere dođi!"
Pa put neba često mili pogled pusti,
Ko da jedva čeka da se veče spusti...
Pa još, bolan druže, kad nedjelja svane,
Na avlijska vrata kada Mara stane,
Bih, tako mi boga, adžamija posto,
U mehani pio i bez groša osto!
Jer, da samo vidiš, u lijepe Mare,
Kakve li su, puste, dimije od hare!
Kakva li je na njoj talasija tkâna,
Što joj njedra krije sa dva đula râna!
Kakav li je onaj nad povijom vranom
Crven fesić pusti sa biserli-granom!
Pa da čuješ jošte zveket zlatnih grivnâ
Kad naranču žutu baci cura divna,
I da vidiš osmjeh i slatka joj usta,
Bi i tebe s majkom rastavila pusta!
Pa još one oči što svu milost nude! -
Blago onom čija vjerenica bude!

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tur. şebboy

- 00:09 - Komentari (3) - Isprintaj - #

petak, 07.11.2008.

Booksa: Promocija knjige "Lea ide u Hollywood"

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Možda je manje poznato kako se zabavlja tzv. zlatna metropolitanska intelektualna elita, pa je ovo redak trenutak da zadobijemo dragocen insiderski uvid u te bahanalije dvadesetiprvoga veka, na kojima bi današnjima pozavideo i sam grof Patačić, znamenit sa svojih gornjogradskih balova pod vještičjim Straussovim gudalom.

Pod izlikom da je riječ o promociji knjige - što je ionako nesklapna sintagma, o čijim nedostacima ionako sve znamo, pa ipak se i dalje njome služimo - u Booksi su se na majki svih žurki - kako je netko nazvao ovaj neskromni scenskoglazbeni spektakl - u srijedu okupili neki od najdekadentnijih protagonista noćnog duhovnog života Republike Hrvatske: Car Nemanja, incognito, preobučen u samoga sebe, doduše s maskom, samo malo manje vidljivom, u pratnji svoje Nebeske Garde i kora pravoslavnih angela što su decu zasipalil konfetama a zvanice sumporom, i još mnogi drugi akteri društvenih rubrika ovdašnjih medija.

Među kuriozitetima tu je svakako susret slavljenice, Nine Mimice (90-60-90, IQ 167), i mogula regionalne filmske industrije, miljenika žena, dece i sudbine, Vinka Grubišića 'Surog'; reč je bila o preliminarnim dogovorima oko snimanja Mahabharate u koprodukciji "Jadran-filma" s bolivudskim Yash Raj Films, fabuloznog producenta Yash Chopre.

Ne manje iznenađujuć, bio je vehemantni poset Željka Špoljara-Sakcynskog, koji je žureći na svoju promociju u Osijek prohujao Booksom kao vihor orkanskim visovima, ostavljajući za sobom šum kao kad vetar okrzne vrhove breza.

Pogledajmo sada neke od najkontroverzijih prizora te večeri:

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Čovek koji je ubio Liberty Valancea, Vivian Leigh-Radman i Željko Špoljar, lično.
Ova je fotografija, izložena dan kasnije u Booksi, na aukciji za spas delfina s kojima plivaju miss universe, postigla cijenu od 98 000 funti.

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Nina Mimica u društvu nekih žena koje su pričale oko sat i pol o svojim problemima vezanima uz odlazak na promociju: jednoj je ljubomoran muž, druga se pak žali što je njen odlazak od kuće protekao neprimećen...ah, usmena chick lit. Alapaće.

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Romano Bolković pokušava odgovoriti Vinka Grubišića od snimanja nastavaka 'Neretve' i 'Sutjeske', i predlaže da zajedno snime remake Bergmanove "Persone", ili barem po scenariju Željka Pervana "Hamlet II", kad je već prvi dio izazvao takav i toliki interes.
Željko Špoljar ne može vjerovati svojim ušima, ali je vidno indiferentan: mislima je već u Slavoniji, gdje je valjalo tisućama okupljenih ljubiteljica na stadionu "Osijeka" predstaviti novi rubber fetish roman "Gumeni patak", prvi dio najavljene erotske trilogije tog nagrađivanog pjesnika i humanista s kraja XX. veka.

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Genre-scena s kraja promocije: vidno oduševljeni, uzvanici su iskoristili trenutak i pokrali nekoliko knjiga, iz obijesti i kaprica, kako će kasnije kazati Ž.Š., inspirator te akcije, dočim je Viv Radman plijenila pažnju demonstriravši svoj istančan germanski koloristički ukus: kultna mala crna haljina kao hommage dvadesetima i neprežaljenoj Coco Chanel, svilena žovijalna marama boje teških bordoških vina i, kao akcent, niska posebno retkih bisera s otočja Okinawa, izronjenih na dah osobno od strane Masutatstsu Oyame, sosaia Kyokushinkai škole.

Pa, lepo...

Sve u svemu - večer za pamćenje.

- 17:13 - Komentari (15) - Isprintaj - #

Susan Sontag

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Sadržaj je odsjev nečega, susret kratak kao bljesak munje. Majušan je - doista, sadržaj je veoma majušan.

Willem de Koonig, u razgovoru

Samo površni ljudi ne sude prema izgledu. Misterij je svijeta u vidljivom, ne u nevidljivom.

Oscar Wilde, u pismu


1.

Mora da se početno umjetnost iskušavala kao čarolija, magija; umjetnost je bila instrument rituala. (Primjerice slike iz špilja Lascaux, Altamira, Niaux, La Pasiega, itd.). Prema najranijoj teoriji umjetnosti, teoriji grčkih filozofa, umjetnost je mimezis, imitacija stvarnosti.

Iz tog je pogleda poniklo čudno pitanje o vrijednosti umjetnosti. Jer mimetička teorija, prema samim svojim načelima, zahtijeva od umjetnosti obranu.

Izgleda da je Platon, postavljač teorije, unaprijed želio potvrditi da je umjetnost dvojbene vrijednosti. Kako je obične materijalne predmete po sebi držao mimetičkim objektima, imitacijama transcendentnih formi ili struktura, čak je i najbolja slika kreveta bila samo "imitacija imitacije". Za Platona, umjetnost nije ni posebno korisna (na slici kreveta ne može se spavati), niti, strogo uzevši, istinita. Ni Aristotelovi argumenti u obrani umjetnosti ne dovode u pitanje Platonovo motrište da je sva umjetnost elaborirani trompe l'oeil, te stoga laž. No on osporava Platonovu ideju da je umjetnost beskorisna. Bila laž ili ne, umjetnost, prema Aristotelu, ima stanovitu vrijednost kao jedan vid terapije. Umjetnost je naposljetku medicinski korisna, tvrdi Aristotel, tako što pobuđuje i pročišćava opasna čuvstva.

Prema Platonu i Aristotelu, mimetička teorija umjetnosti ide ruku pod ruku s pretpostavkom da je umjetnost vazda figurativna. No zagovaratelji mimetičke teorije ne bi trebali zatvarati oči pred dekorativnom i apstraktnom umjetnošću. Varka da je umjetnost obvezno "realizam" može se modificirati ili odbaciti, a da se pritom ne iskorači iz problema ograničenih mimetičkom teorijom.

Činjenica je da su sveukupna zapadnjačka svijest i razmišljanja o umjetnosti ostali u granicama što ih je postavila grčka teorija o umjetnosti kao mimezisu ili predstavljanju. Na osnovi te teorije, umjetnost kao takva - neovisno od konkretnih umjetničkih djela - postaje problematičnom i potrebna joj je obrana. A obrana umjetnosti rađa čudnu viziju prema kojoj je ono što smo naučili zvati "formom" odvojeno od onoga što smo naučili zvati "sadržajem", a potom dovodi do dobro mišljena pomaka koji određuje da je sadržaj bit, a forma dodatak.

Čak i u modernim vremenima, nakon što su većina umjetnika i kritičara odbacili teoriju umjetnosti kao predstavljanja izvanjske stvarnosti u prilog teoriji o umjetnosti kao subjektivnom izražavanju, glavna značajka mimetičke teorije i dalje opstaje. Bilo da umjetničko djelo zamišljamo prema modelu slike (umjetnost kao slika stvarnosti) ili prema modelu poruke (umjetnost kao umjetnikova poruka), sadržaj i dalje dolazi na prvo mjesto. Sadržaj se, moguće, promijenio. Sad on može biti manje figurativan, manje jasno realističan. No i dalje se pretpostavlja da je umjetničko djelo njegov sadržaj. Ili, kao što se danas obično kaže, umjetničko djelo po definiciji nešto govori. ("ono što X govori jest....". "Ono što X pokušava reći jest...". "Ono što je X rekao jest....", itd. itd.).

2.

Nitko od nas više ne može povratiti onu nevinost prije svih teorija, kada umjetnost nije poznavala potrebu pravdanja, kada čovjek nije pitao što neko umjetničko djelo govori, zato što je znao (ili mislio da zna) što ono čini. Od sada pa do kraja svijesti, osuđeni smo braniti umjetnost. Možemo se samo prepirati oko jednoga ili drugoga načina obrane. A zapravo je naša obveza odbaciti svaki način obrane i pravdanja umjetnosti koji postaju posebno neizoštreni, ili tegobni, ili neosjetljivi za suvremene potrebe i prakse.

Tako danas stoji stvar s idejom samog sadržaja. Što god bila u prošlosti, danas je ideja sadržaja uglavnom prepreka, smetnja, suptilno ili ne tako suptilno filistarstvo.

Iako nam može izgledati da nas današnji razvoji u mnogim umjetnostima udaljavaju od ideje da je umjetničko djelo primarno njegov sadržaj, ta ideja i dalje zadržava izvanrednu prevlast. Mislim da je to stoga što tu ideju stalno potkrepljuje određen pristup umjetničkim djelima koji se ustalio kod većine ljudi koji ozbiljno uzimlju bilo koju umjetnost. Ono što pretjerano isticanje ove ideje sadržaja podrazumijeva jest vječni, nikada dokončani proces tumačenja. I, obratno, navika da se umjetničkim djelima prilazi da bi se ona tumačila jest ta koja održava ideju da doista postoji nešto tako poput sadržaja umjetničkog djela.

3.

Svakako, ne mislim na tumačenje u najširem smislu, u smislu u kojem je Nietzsche (s pravom) rekao: "Ne postoje činjenice, postoje samo tumačenja". Pod tumačenjem ovdje podrazumijevam svjesni čin uma koji ilustrira stanovitu šifru, stanovita "pravila" tumačenja.

Usmjereno na umjetnost, tumačenje znači izvlačenje jednog skupa elemenata (X, Y, Z i tako dalje) iz cjeline djela. Zadaća je tumačenja u biti prevođenje. Tumač kaže, pogledajte, ne vidite li da je X zapravo - ili zapravo znači - A? Da je Y zapravo B? Da je Z zapravo C?

Kakva je situacija mogla potaknuti ovaj čudan program transformacije teksta? Povijest nam daje materijal za odgovor. Tumačenje se ponajprije javlja u kulturi kasnije klasične antike, kada je znanstveno prosvjetiteljstvo uvelo "realistični" pogled na svijet koji je slomio moć i uvjerljivost mita. Kad se jednom postavilo pitanje, koje i dalje progoni post-mitsku svijest - pitanje o uvjerljivosti religijskih simbola - drevni tekstovi u svom prvotnom obliku nisu više bili prihvatljivi. Tad je pozvano tumačenje da bi se tako drevni tekstovi pomirili s "modernim" zahtjevima. Tako su stoici, da bi uklopili svoje poglede da bogovi moraju biti moralni, alegorijom odstranili grube karakterne crte Zeusa i njegova razuzdanog klana u Homerovim epovima. Ono što je Homer doista htio opisati preljubom Zeusa s Letom, objašnjavali su, jest spajanje moći i mudrosti. Na sličan način, Filon iz Aleksandrije tumačio je književno-povijesne narative hebrejske biblije kao duhovne paradigme. Priča o egzodusu iz Egipta, četrdeset godina lutanja u pustinji, i ulazak u obećanu zemlju, govorio je Filon, zapravo su alegorija o čovjekovoj duši, njezinu oslobađanju, patnjama i konačnom spasu. Tumačenje, dakle, pretpostavlja postojanje diskrepancije između jasnog značenja teksta i zahtjeva (potonjih) čitatelja. Ono nastoji riješiti taj nesklad. Navodno, zbiva se da iz nekoga razloga jedan tekst postane neprihvatljivim; a ipak se ne može odbaciti. Tumačenje je radikalna strategija koja renoviranjem konzervira jedan stari tekst koji smatra odveć dragocjenim da bi se odbacio. Tumač mijenja tekst, iako ga zapravo ne briše, niti ga dopunjuje. Tvrdi da ga samo čini shvatljivim, otkrivajući njegovo istinsko značenje. Ma koliko daleko išli u mijenjanju teksta (jedan zloglasni primjer jest rabinsko i kršćansko "spiritualno" tumačenje jasno erotske "Pjesme nad pjesmama"), oni moraju tvrditi da iščitavaju smisao koji tu već postoji.

No tumačenje je u naše vrijeme još kompleksnije. To stoga što je suvremeni žar za tumačenjem često potaknut ne željom da se problematičan tekst (koji moguće krije agresiju) učini smjernim, nego otvorenom agresivnošću, otvorenim prezirom prema bjelodanom. Stari je stil tumačenja bio neumoljiv, ali pun poštovanja; podizao je novo značenje povrh onoga doslovnog. Moderni stil tumačenja rije, i rijući uništava; rije "iza" teksta da nađe podtekst koji je onaj istinski. Najslavnije i najutjecajnije moderne doktrine, Marxova i Freudova, zapravo se svode na izgrađeni sustav hermeneutike, agresivne i nemilosrdne teorije tumačenja. Svi su vidljivi fenomeni stavljeni u zagrade, Freudovom frazom rečeno, kao manifestan sadržaj. Taj se manifestan sadržaj mora istražiti i odgurati u stranu da bi se ispod njega našlo istinsko značenje - latentan sadržaj. Za Marxa, to su društveni događaji poput revolucija i ratova; za Freuda, događaji individualnoga života (kao neurotični simptomi i omaške u govoru) kao i tekstovi (kao san ili umjetničko djelo) - sve se to tretira kao prilika za tumačenje. Prema Marxu i Freudu, ovi događaji samo izgledaju shvatljivi. Zapravo, oni nemaju nikakva značenja bez interpretacije. Razumjeti znači protumačiti. A protumačiti znači nanovo formulirati fenomen, zapravo naći njegov ekvivalent.

Tako, tumačenje nije (kao što većina ljudi pretpostavlja) apsolutna vrijednost, gesta uma u izvanvremenskom prostoru mogućnosti. Samo tumačenje mora biti procijenjeno, s povijesnog motrišta ljudske svijesti. U nekim kulturnim kontekstima, tumačenje predstavlja čin oslobađanja. To je način revidiranja, prevrednovanja, bijega iz mrtve prošlosti. U drugim kulturnim kontekstima, ono je reakcionarno, drsko, kukavičko, zagušljivo.

4.

Danas je takvo vrijeme, kada je projekt tumačenja uglavnom reakcionaran, zagušljiv. Kao i ispušni plinovi automobila i teške industrije koji prljaju našu urbanu atmosferu, izljevi današnjeg tumačenja umjetnosti truju naše senzibilitete. U kulturi čija je već klasična dilema hipertrofija intelekta na račun energije i osjetilnog kapaciteta, tumačenje je osveta intelekta nad umjetnošću.

I više od toga. To je osveta intelekta nad svijetom. Tumačiti znači osiromašiti, opustošiti svijet - eda bi se podigao svijet sjena "značenja". To znači preokrenuti svijet u ovaj svijet. ("Ovaj svijet"! Kao da postoji neki drugi.)

Svijet, naš svijet, opustošen je i dostatno osiromašen. Treba odbaciti sve njegove duplikate, dok ponovno ne budemo kadri neposrednije doživljavati ono što imamo.

5.

U najnovijim primjerima, tumačenje se svodi na filistarsko odbijanje da se umjetničko djelo ostavi na miru. Prava umjetnost ima sposobnost činiti nas nervoznim. Redukcijom umjetničkog djela na njegov sadržaj i onda njegovim tumačenjem, čovjek pripitomljuje umjetničko djelo. Tumačenje čini umjetnost bezopasnijom, uklopljivijom.

To je filistarstvo tumačenja uzelo maha u književnosti više nego u bilo kojoj drugoj umjetnosti. Već desetljećima književni kritičari smatraju da je njihova zadaća prevesti elemente pjesme ili drame ili romana ili priče u nešto drugo. Pokadšto se pisac osjeća nelagodno pred ogoljenom moći svoje umjetnosti, pa on sam u svoje djelo unosi - iako pomalo stidljivo ili uz trunku dobrog ukusa ironije - jasno i eksplicitno tumačenje. Thomas Mann je primjer takva pisca koji je odveć kooperativan. U slučaju tvrdoglavijih pisaca, kritičar je više nego spreman izvesti taj posao.

Po Kafkinu su djelu, na primjer, masovno harale ništa manje nego tri armije tumača. Oni koji su Kafku čitali kao društvenu alegoriju, u njemu vide studije frustracije i ludila moderne birokracije i konačno totalitarne države koja se iz nje rađa. Oni koji čitaju Kafku kao psihoanalitičku alegoriju, otkrivaju Kafkin strah od oca, njegov kastracijski strah, osjećaj vlastite impotentnosti, njegovu podčinjenost vlastitim snovima. Oni koji Kafku čitaju kao religijsku alegoriju objašnjavaju da K. u Zamku pokušava doći do raja, da Josephu K. u Procesu sudi neumoljiva i misteriozna pravda božja...Još jedno djelo koje privlači tumače kao pijavice jest djelo Samuela Becketta. Beckettove delikatne drame o povučenoj svijesti - ogoljene do esencijalnog, odrezane od svijeta i na sceni podstavljene kao fizički nepokretne - čitaju se kao iskazi o otuđenju moderna čovjeka od smisla ili od boga, ili kao alegorija psihopatologije.

Proust, Joyce, Faulkner, Rilke, Lawrence, Gide...mogli bismo nastaviti navoditi pisca za piscem; beskrajna je lista onih oko kojih se stvorila debela kora tumačenja. No treba primijetiti da tumačenje nije jednostavno kompliment koji mediokritet upućuje geniju. Ono je doista moderni način razumijevanja nečega, i ono se primjenjuje na djela raznovrsne kvalitete. Tako, čitajući bilješke koje je Elia Kazan objavio prilikom svoje postavke drame Tramvaj zvan žudnja, postaje jasno da je Kazan, da bi mogao režirati dramu, morao prvo otkriti da Sranley Kowalski predstavlja senzualni i osvetnički barbarizam koji proždire našu kulturu, dočim je Blance Du Bois zapadnjačka civilizacija, poezija, delikatni duh, prigušeno svjetlo, profinjena osjećanja i sve ostalo, iako, istina, vremenom malo pohabano. Sada je silovita psihološka melodrama Tenessee Williamsa postala shvatljivom: ona je o nečemu, o propasti zapadnjačke civilizacije. Navodno, ako bi ostala kao drama o zgodnom grubijanu po imenu Stanley Kowalski i uvenuloj, zapuštenoj ljepotici Blanche Du Boist, s njom se ništa ne bi moglo.

6.

Nije bitno namjeravaju li umjetnici, ili ne namjeravaju, da njihova djela budu tumačena. Možda Tennessee Williams doista misli da je Tramvaj upravo o onome o čemu Kazan misli da jest. Moguće je da je Cocteau svojim filmovima Krv pjesnika i Orfej želio navesti kritičare na iščitavanja u smislu frojdovskog simbolizma i društvene kritike. No vrijednost ovih djela svakako leži na drugom mjestu, a ne u njihovim "značenjima". Zapravo, upravo u mjeri u kojoj Williamsove drame i Cocteauovi filmovi doista nose ova golema značenja, u toj su mjeri nesavršeni, lažni, izvještačeni, i manjkavi u uvjerljivosti.

Na osnovi razgovora reklo bi se da su Resnais i Robbe-Grillet svjesno namjeravali da se njihov film Prošle godine u Marienbadu može protumačiti na više podjednako uvjerljivih načina. No treba se oduprijeti iskušenjima da se Marienbad protumači. Ono što je bitno u Marienbadu jest čista, neprevodiva, osjetilna neposrednost nekih njegovih slika, i njegova rigorozna, iako uska, rješenja stanovitih kinematografskih formi.

I opet, Ingmar je Bergman možda namjeravao da tenk koji luta praznom ulicom u Tišini bude falusni simbol. Ali ako to jest, to je bila nepromišljena misao. ("Nikada ne vjeruj pripovjedaču, vjeruj priči", rekao je Lawrence.) Uzet kao brutalni objekt, kao neposredni osjetni ekvivalent za misteriozne, iznenadne, nemušte događaje koji se odvijaju u hotelu, ta je scena s tenkom najupečatljiviji moment filma. Oni koji posežu za frojdovskim tumačenjem tenka samo izražavaju svoj nedostatak reakcije na ono što je na platnu.

Tumačenja ovoga tipa uvijek ukazuju na nezadovoljstvo (svjesno ili nesvjesno) samim djelom, želju da se ono zamijeni nečim drugim.

Tumačenje koje je zasnovano na krajnje dvojbenoj teoriji da se umjetničko djelo sastoji od dijelova sadržaja zlostavlja djelo. Ono umjetnost pretvara u artikl za upotrebu, za preuređivanje u mentalnu shemu kategorija.

7.

Tumačenje svakako ne prevladava uvijek. Zapravo, može se reći da je veliki dio današnje umjetnosti motiviran bijegom od tumačenja. Da bi izbjegla tumačenje, umjetnost može postati parodijom. Ili može postati apstraktnom. Ili može postati ("samo") dekorativnom. Ili može postati ne-umjetnošću.

Izgleda da je bijeg od tumačenja posebno karakterističan za moderno slikarstvo. Apstraktno je slikarstvo pokušaj lišavanja sadržaja, u uobičajenom smislu; kako nema sadržaja, ne može biti ni tumačenja. Pop -art suprotnim putem dolazi do istog rezultata; koristeći tako napadan i nedvosmislen sadržaj, "ono što jest", on, također ne može biti tumačen.

Značajan dio modernog pjesništva, počevši od francuske poezije (uključujući pokret koji se varljivo zove Simbolizam) i njihovih eksperimenata da se u pjesme uvede tišina i da se ponovno stvori magija riječi, uspjelo je pobjeći iz čvrstog zahvata tumačenja. Nedavna revolucija u suvremenom ukusu u poeziji - revolucija koja je svrgla Eliota i uzdigla Pounda - značila je okretanje od sadržaja u poeziji u starom smislu, netrpeljivost spram onoga što je modernu poeziju učinilo plijenom žara tumačenja.

Govorim uglavnom o situaciji u Americi, naravno. Tumačenje je ovdje pomahnitalo u onim umjetnostima sa slabom i zanemarivom avangardom: beletristika i drama. Većina američkih romanopisaca i dramskih pisaca zapravo su ili novinari ili gospoda sociolozi i psiholozi. Oni pišu književni pandan programske glazbe. A njihov osjećaj što bi mogli uraditi s formom u beletristici i drami toliko je rudimentaran, neinspirativan i učmao da čak i kada sadržaj nije jednostavno informacija, vijesti, i dalje je čudnovato vidljiv, dostupan, izložen. I upravo do te mjere do koje romani i drame (u Americi), za razliku od poezije i slikarstva i glazbe, ne reflektiraju bilo kakvo interesantno bavljenje promjenama u njihovoj formi, te umjetnosti ostaju izložene napadajima tumačenja.

Ali programski avangardizam - što uglavnom znači eksperiment s formom po cijenu sadržaja - nije jedina obrana protiv pošasti tumačenja u umjetnosti. Bar se tako nadam. Jer to bi značilo da je umjetnosti suđeno biti u stalnom bijegu. (To također utvrđuje samu podjelu na formu i sadržaj, što je, na posljetku, iluzija.) Najbolje je pobjeći tumačima na jedan drugi način, tako što će se stvarati umjetnička djela čija je površina jedinstvena i čista, čiji je zamah tako silovit i koja se tako neposredno obraćaju da djelo može biti...samo ono što jest. Je li to sada moguće? Vjerujem da se to zbiva s filmovima. Zato je trenutno kinematografija najživlja, najuzbudljivija i najvažnija umjetnička forma. Koliko je živa jedna umjetnička forma moguće je odrediti i prema prostoru što ga ona dopušta za greške, a da ipak bude dobra. Primjerice, nekoliko Bergmanovih filmova - premda su prenatrpani nespretnim porukama o modernom duhu, i time pozivaju na tumačenja - trijumfiraju nad pretencioznim namjerama samoga režisera. U Zimskom svjetlu i Tišini vidimo kako pred našim očima ljepota i vizualna sofisticiranost slika podriva nezreli pseudo-intelektualizam zapleta i nekih dijaloga. (Najznačajniji primjer te pojave jest nesklad u djelu D. W. Griffitha.) U dobrim filmovima, uvijek postoji neposrednost koja nas posve oslobađa od svraba tumačenja. Mnogi stari holivudski filmovi, kao filmovi Cukora, Walsha, Hawksa i nebrojnih drugih režisera, imaju tu oslobađajuću anti-simboličku kvalitetu, ništa manje nego najbolji filmovi europskih režisera, kao što su Truffautov Ubiti pijanistu i Jules i Jim, Godardov Do posljednjeg daha i Živjeti svoj život, Antonionijev L'Avventura i Olmijev Vjerenici.

Činjenica da tumači nisu pregazili filmove, djelomice je rezultat jednostavne novine kinematografije kao umjetnosti. Također djelomice duguje sretnom slučaju da su filmovi tako dugo bili shvaćani kao zabava; drugim riječima, da su uvrštavani u masovnu, za razliku od visoke kulture i većina ih je umnih ljudi ostavljala na miru. Potom, osim toga, u kinematografiji uvijek ima još nešto osim sadržaja za što se mogu uhvatiti oni koji ga žele analizirati. Jer kinematografija, za razliku od romana, posjeduje rječnik formi - eksplicitna, kompleksna tehnologija o kojoj se može diskutirati, o kretanju kamere, rezovima i kompoziciji kadra koji su dio pravljenja filma.

8.

Koja je vrsta kritike, komentara o umjetnosti danas poželjna? Jer, ne kažem da su umjetnička djela neiskaziva, da ona ne mogu biti opisana ili prepričana. Ona to mogu biti. Pitanje je kako. Kako bi izgledala kritika koja služi umjetničkom djelu, a ne nastoji uzurpirati njegovo mjesto?

Ono što je prvo potrebno, jest više pozornosti formi u umjetnosti. Ako prekomjerni naglasak na sadržaju provocira aroganciju kod tumačenja, širi i dublji bi je opisi forme ušutkali. Ono što je potrebno jest rječnik formi - rječnik koji opisuje a ne propisuje*.

Najbolja kritika, a ona je rijetka, od one je vrste koja razmišljanja o sadržaju rastapa u razmišljanje o formi. Od takvih kritika o filmu, drami i slikarstvu prema tom redoslijedu, mogu navesti esej Erwina Panofskog "Stil i medij u filmovima", esej Northropa Fryeja "Pregled dramskih žanrova", esej Pierrea Francastela "Uništenje plastičnog prostora". Roland Barthesova knjiga O Racineu i njegova dva eseja o Robbe-Grillet primjer su analize forme primijenjene na djelo jednog autora. (Najbolji eseji u knjizi Mimezis Ericha Auerbacha, kao što je "Odisejev ožiljak", također su toga tipa.) Primjer analize forme primijenjene istodobno na žanr i autora jest esej Waltera Benjamina "Pripovjedač: Razmišljanja o djelu Nikolaja Leskova".

Podjednako bi vrijedne bile kritike koje bi ponudile istinski precizan, oštar, opis izgleda umjetničkoga djela. Ovo izgleda da je još teže učiniti nego obaviti analizu forme. Neke filmske kritike Mannyja Farbera, esej Dorothy Van Ghent "Dickensov svijet", esej Randalla Jarrella o Walt Whitmanu spadaju u rijetke primjere toga o čemu govorim. Ovo su eseji koji otkrivaju osjetilnu površinu umjetničkog djela ne rovareći po njemu.

9.

U današnje vrijeme providnost je vrhunska, najviše oslobađajuća vrijednost u umjetnosti - i u kritici. Providnost znači mogućnost da se doživi luminoznost stvari po sebi, da se stvari dožive onakve kakve jesu. U tomu je veličina, primjerice, Bressonovih i Ozuovih filmova i Renoirovog filma Pravila igre.

Sigurno je nekada (recimo, za Dantea) stvaranje umjetničkih djela koja se mogu doživjeti na nekoliko razina bio revolucionaran i kreativan potez. Sad to nije. To samo potvrđuje načelo redundantnosti što je temeljna nedaća moderna života.

Nekada je (u vrijeme kad je visoka umjetnost bila rijetka) tumačenje umjetničkih djela sigurno bio revolucionaran i kreativan potez. Sada to nije. Ono što nam nikako sada nije potrebno jest daljnje asimiliranje Umjetnosti u Misao ili (još gore) Umjetnosti u Kulturu.

Tumačenje kreće od premise da je osjetni doživljaj umjetničkog djela gotova činjenica. Sada se to ne može uzeti za gotovu činjenicu. Pomislite samo na mnoštvo umjetničkih djela koja su dostupna svima nama, pa na to sukobljujuće ukuse i mirise i prizore urbane sredine koji bombardiraju naša osjetila. Naša je kultura zasnovana na prekomjernosti, na proizvodnji viška; rezultat je stalni gubitak izoštrenosti naših osjetnih doživljaja. Svi uvjeti modernoga života - njegovo materijalno obilje, njegova sama prenatrpanost - udružuju se u otupljivanju naše osjetne sposobnosti. Zadaća se kritičara mora procjenjivati upravo u svjetlu ovog stanja naših osjetila, naših sposobnosti (a ne stanja iz nekog drugog perioda).

Sada je važno povratiti naša osjetila. Moramo naučiti vidjeti više, čuti više, osjetiti više.

Naša zadaća nije naći maksimalnu količinu sadržaja u jednom umjetničkom djelu, još manje iscijediti više sadržaja nego što već postoji. Naša zadaća jest ukloniti sadržaj tako da se stvar uopće može vidjeti.

Cilj svih komentara o umjetnosti sada treba biti taj da nam umjetnička djela - a prema toj analogiji i naša vlastita iskustva - postanu više, a ne manje stvarna. Uloga kritike jest pokazati kako je to što jest, čak i da jest to što jest, umjesto pokazati što to znači.

10.

Umjesto hermeneutike potrebna nam je erotika umjetnosti.

*Jedna od teškoća jest da je naša ideja forme prostorna (grčke metafore za formu izvedene su iz pojmova o prostoru). I stoga imamo pripravniji rječnik za forme prostornih umjetnosti nego rječnik za vremenske umjetnosti. Izuzeće je među vremenskim umjetnostima, naravno, drama; to je možda zato što je drama narativna (tj. vremenska) forma koja se širi vizualno i slikovito na pozornici...Ono što još uvijek nemamo jest poetika romana, jasniji pojam o formama naracije. Možda će filmska kritika u ovome pomoći, budući da su filmovi, iako primarno vizualna forma, isto tako i podvrsta književnosti.


Susan Sontag, Against Interpretation (1964)

Preveo Mario Kopić

- 16:06 - Komentari (1) - Isprintaj - #

četvrtak, 06.11.2008.

Poklon & Čestitka

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Dragi Nemanja,

Umjesto čestitke gdje ti ponavljam riječi od prošle godine kada sam ti iskreno poželio puno zdravlja i sreće a bez volje za ironičnim komentarom u stilu Seinfelda:
"Well, birthdays are merely symbolic of how another year has gone by and how little we've grown. No matter how desperate we are that someday a better self will emerge, with each flicker of the candles on the cake, we know it's not to be, that for the rest of our sad, wretched pathetic lives, this is who we are to the bitter end. Inevitably, irrevocably; happy birthday? No such thing. " , odlučio sam se za nešto konkretno.
U razdoblju intenziviranja djelatnosti i maniri Dr. Housea - "It's not what people say, it's what they do." prilažem attachment sa arhivom linkova Vaseljene. Siguran sam da će koristiti.

I dakako, puno sreće i zdravlja želim. ^_^

Vertebrata

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A evo i obrasca točno napisane čestitke za rođendan Cara Nemanje:

Najdražem, najboljem, najljepšem Nemanji, nadčovjeku kojem nema ravna na našem ili drugim planetima, samozatajnom čuvaru vasione, milosrdnom pronositelju božanskog duha, zaštitniku malenih i modnom znalcu sretan rođendan želi halter s.

halter skelter

- 19:09 - Komentari (15) - Isprintaj - #

Alain Badiou

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Svatko pokušava biti najboljim demokratom. Između različitih demokracija danas neprestance se pojavljuju sva politička protuslovlja. Čak je i rat demokratski postupak protiv lažne demokracije. George je W. Bush opravdao rat u Iraku time da je veći demokrat nego Saddam Hussein. Čini se da je postalo nemogućim ne biti demokratom. Je li razlog možda u tomu što se nahodimo pred krajem poznate forme demokracije? To će se pokazati. No sigurno je da se pojam demokracije mora objasniti.

Počnimo s jednim protuslovljem. S jedne je strane filozofija nužno demokratsko djelovanje. Odmah ću objasniti zašto. S druge pak strane, većina filozofa, od Platona do mene sama, uključujući Hegela, Nietzschea, Wittgensteina, Heideggera ili Deleuzea, dijeli politička uvjerenja koja, u uobičajenom smislu, apsolutno nisu demokratska. Ovo bi mjesto također valjalo objasniti.

Opstoji protuslovlje između istinske prirode filozofije, koja odgovara demokratskom shvaćanju diskusije i mišljenja, i shvaćanja filozofije u političkom polju koja često prihvaća autoritarni okvir za kolektivno određenje ljudi. Suočeni smo tako s paradoksalnim odnosom između tri pojma: demokracija-politika-filozofija. Moramo poći od demokracije prema filozofiji. Jer rođenje filozofije kod starih Grka nedvosmisleno ovisi o pronalaženju prve forme demokratske moći. No moramo i od filozofije stići do politike. Jer je politika u povijesnom razviću filozofije vazda bila veoma važnim poljem filozofije. No dok je politika predstavljala refleksivan predmet za filozofiju, veoma je teško, općenito uzevši, od jednog takvog načina politike prispjeti do demokracije.

Dopustite li: demokracija je prije filozofije bila jedna nužnost, a nakon filozofije nemogućnost. Naše pitanje glasi: Što se mijenja u politici putem filozofijskog djelovanja tako da je demokracija, s jedne strane, nešto nužno, a s druge pak nešto nemoguće ili veoma tegobno? I odgovor glasi: tegobnost leži u odnosu između demokratskog pojma slobode i filozofijskog pojma istine. Ima li nečega takvog poput političke istine, tada je ta istina obvezna za svaki racionalno misleći duh. To pak znači da je sloboda apsolutno ograničena. I obrnuto, nema li nikakve ograničenosti, tada nema nikakve političke istine. No u tom se slučaju ne može uspostaviti nikakav odnos između filozofije i politike.

Tri su dakle pojma – politika, demokracija i filozofija – zahvaljujući pitanju istine međusobno povezana. Time se postavlja pitanje: Što je demokratski koncept istine? Što je, u odnosu na relativizam i skepticizam, demokratska univerzalnost? Što je demokratski zakon koji se može primijeniti na sve nas? Filozofija ima dvije temeljne osobine. Najprije, ona je diskurs koji je neovisan o položaju ljudi koji ga iznose. Filozofija nije diskurs kralja, svećenika, proroka ili nekog boga. Nema nikakva jamstva za filozofijski govor od strane transcendencije, moći ili sakralnih uloga. Filozofija pretpostavlja da je potraga za istinom otvorena za sve. Filozofijsko mišljenje ne vodi brigu o subjektivnom iskazu, nego o objektivnoj dosljednoj riječi. Filozofija je diskurs koji se legitimira iz sebe sama. To je nedvojbeno demokratska osobina.

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S druge strane, filozofija je neposredno izložena sudu drugih. Filozofijski se diskurs izlaže putem anticipiranja prigovora i priznanja rasprave. Njegov je aksiom ravnopravnih svih misli. Ta je ravnopravnost sud za filozofijski diskurs. I to je sud u demokratskom smislu riječi. Socijalna, kulturna ili religiozna pozicija govoreće ili misleće osobe za filozofiju nema nikakve važnosti. Filozofija prihvaća biti od svih. Filozofija je istodobno izložena pristanku ili kritici, i to bez unaprijed danog odlučivanja o osobi koja pristaje ili kritizira. Filozofija prihvaća biti za sve. Tako možemo zaključiti da je navlastita bit filozofije demokratska.

No ne smijemo zaboraviti da filozofija koja prihvaća da je apsolutno univerzalna, kako u svojemu iskonu tako i svojemu pripisivanju (adresiranju), ne može u jednakoj mjeri prihvatiti da je po svojemu određenju ili cilju demokratska. Svatko može biti filozofom ili sugovornikom filozofa. No bilo bi lažno tvrditi da je svako mišljenje jednakovrijedno. Aksiom ravnopravnosti misli daleko je od toga da bude aksiomom ravnopravnosti mnijenja. Kod Platona se, na samim počecima filozofije, najprije pravi razlika između lažnih i točnih mnijenja i potom između mnijenja i istine. Iz tog razloga filozofija očito ne može prihvatiti veliko demokratsko načelo slobode mnijenja. Predstavlja li mnijenje upravo oprečnost istini, tada za njega ne može važiti ova vrsta slobode. Ni u zapadnjačkim demokracijama ne prihvaćaju se sva mnijenja. U Francuskoj, na primjer, ne potpadaju pod slobodu mnijenja kojima se niječu ubijanja Židova od strane nacista. Opstoji zakon koji zabranjuje da se takvo mnijenje iznosi. Općenitije rečeno: filozofija jedinstvo i univerzalnost istine protustavlja pluralitetu i relativnosti mnijenja.

Ima još jedan razlog koji ograničava demokratsko okretanje filozofije. Filozofija je izložena kritičkom sudu drugih. Ta se izloženost pozivlje, međutim, na opće prihvaćanje pravila za diskusiju. Moramo priznati valjanost argumenata. I naposljetku moramo priznati opstojanje univerzalne logike kao formalnog uvjeta aksioma jednakosti misli. Aksiom jednakosti misli sa sigurnošću se nahodi, i nužno, u polju opće logike. To je – u metaforičkom smislu – „matematička“ dimenzija filozofije. Opstoji sloboda u pripisivanju ili adresiranju, no opstoji istodobno nužnost strogog, za sve valjanog pravila diskusije.

Kao i matematika, filozofija je od svih i za sve: ona nema nikakav poseban jezik, no na snazi je strogo pravilo za izvođenje zaključaka. Kada, dakle, filozofija istražuje politiku, ona to ne može činiti prema mjerilu čiste slobode, a tek ne može prema mjerilu slobode mnijenja. Filozofija se puno prije zanima pitanjem: Što može biti jedna politička istina?

Jednakost i univerzalnost karakteristike su jedne valjane politike u polju filozofije. Njezino klasično ime glasi: pravednost. Za pravednost je jednakost važnija od slobode. I univerzalnost je važnija od partikularnosti, identiteta ili individualnosti. Iz tog razloga problematična je opća definicija demokracije kao slobode pojedinaca.

Richard Rorty izjavljuje: „Demokracija je važnija od filozofije“. S ovim političkim načelom Rorty faktički pripravlja teren za gubljenje filozofije u kulturnom relativizmu. Platon na početku filozofije kaže upravo suprotno: filozofija je daleko važnija od demokracije. I ako je pravednost filozofijsko ime za politiku kao kolektivnu istinu, tada je pravednost važnija od demokracije. Velika je kritika demokratske politike kod Platona svakako ambivalentna. S jedne strane predstavlja osobno mnijenje jednog aristokrata. No, s druge pak strane, pokazuje zbiljski problem, naime temeljno protuslovlje između slobode i pravednosti. To je naposljetku naša današnja situacija: cijena naše slobode, ovdje u zapadnjačkom svijetu, jest monstruozna nepravednost unutar naših zemalja, a još više izvan njih. Filozofijski rečeno, nema uopće pravednosti u suvremenom svijetu.

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Najbolja je paradigma pravednosti vjerojatno, kao što je to Platon već izložio, matematika. U matematici nalazimo iskonsku slobodu, slobodu izbora aksioma. Potom vlada potpuna određenost, koja slijedi logička pravila. Moramo prihvatiti konsekvence našeg prvog izbora. A to prihvatiti nije sloboda, nego prisila, nužnost i težak intelektualni rad iznalaženja konkretna dokaza. U matematici nalazimo snažnu univerzalnu jednakost u preciznom smislu: dokaz je dokaz, i to bez izuzeća za sve koji prihvaćaju početni izbor i logička pravila. Izbor - konsekvence – jednakost - univerzalnost. Ta četiri pojma opisuju, u ovom redoslijedu, paradigmu političkog pojma pravednosti.

I ovdje se uostalom susrećemo s paradigmom klasične revolucionarne politike, cilj koje je pravednost. Ponajprije se mora prihvatiti temeljni izbor. Ovdje je izbor između dva puta, kako su to govorili kineski revolucionari: između revolucionarnog puta i konzervativnog, radničke klase ili buržoazije, kolektivnog djelovanja ili privatnog života. I moraju se prihvatiti konsekvence ovog izbora: žrtva i ogorčena borba, nikakva sloboda mnijenja ili životnih stilova, nego disciplina i težak rad eda bi se pronašla strategijska sredstva za pobjedu. A rezultat nije nikakva demokratska država u uobičajenom smislu te riječi, nego diktatura proletarijata koja služi nanošenju poraza neprijateljima. Usto, ova se paradigma predstavlja kao apsolutno univerzalna, jer cilj nije moć određene klase ili skupine, nego ukidanje (Aufhebung) svih klasa i nejednakosti i napokon kraj same države.

„Demokracija“ u ovom shvaćanju označuje svakako dvije posve različite stvari: s jedne strane formu države u Lenjinovu smislu i, s druge, narodni pokret u Maovu smislu. U prvom smislu demokracija nema ništa s revolucionarnom politikom ili pravednošću. U drugom, demokracija nije niti norma niti cilj. Tek je sredstvom za aktivnu prisutnost naroda u političkom polju.

Demokracija nije politička istina, nego sredstvo iznalaženja i realiziranja političke istine.

Danas doduše moramo, budući da se ova klasična sekvenca revolucionarne politike zavazda izgubila, ići novim putem, kako bismo pojmili demokraciju kao mogućnost oslobođenja naroda. Utoliko moje predavanje ima i smisao shvaćanja demokracije kao filozofijskog uvjeta za novo učenje, novi status diskursa. Jer izučiti istinsku politiku, znači opisati nova mjesta za pravednost. Ta pak mjesta ne smiju biti unaprijed određena. Ona ne mogu pripadati državi. To su mjesta na koja se može izaći iz opstojećega subjektivnog svijeta.

Otuda treba naučiti pravi put, spoznati političku istinu i biti njom obuzet.

Možemo reći da je demokracija prigoda/događaj s političkim posljedicama. Ili riječima pjesnika Wallace Stevensa: demokracija je „predznak“, nešto, „što će reći budućnost“. Demokraciju ne možemo reducirati na demokratsku moć jedne države. Demokracija je, ukoliko se prigađa, za filozofe obećanje novosti u političkom polju.

Preveo Mario Kopić

Predavanje Alaina Badioua na Sveučilištu Humboldt u Berlinu, siječanj 2008.

- 18:54 - Komentari (1) - Isprintaj - #

srijeda, 05.11.2008.

Lečenipravoslavac prati USA Izbore 2008!

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Traje li ovdje izborna noć? Prvi crni predsjednik. Kad će Hrvatska dobiti Srbina premijera? Ili Albanca na Pantovčaku? Dobro, to već imamo. Je l' se tko sjeća da je Vlatko Pavletić bil predsednik ove naše lepe domovine. Je l' možda on polusrbin? Tko bi bio hrvatski Obama? Obama-obmana - bi li se tako klicalo na splitskoj rivi? I kad bi se to moglo dogoditi? Postoji li, u suvremenoj hrvatskoj politici, ijedan hrvatski Srbin, osim Svetozara Pribićevića, koji je imao ikakvu realnu vlast nad Hrvatima? Milutin Baltić? Jovanka Broz? Aleksandar Ranković? Khm-khm. Pa nad nama, u najmanju ruku od 1945., vladaju isključivo Jožeki, Štefeki i Iveki. Jučer Tito i Krajačić, ili za civilno društvo zaduženi Šuvar, ili onaj prije drugog svjetskog rata za civilno društvo zaduženi slijepi seljak Radić, danas Manolić i Mesić, članovi prastare partije, i onaj krupni indendant s Jadrana, kao neka iskrivljena, prenapuhana, tobože iz inostranstva prošvercana kopija Ante Trumbića. E da, zaboravil sam Franceke. Ti su na vlasti praktički odvajkad. Od Franje Tahija do Franje Josipa, od Franje Tuđmana do Franje Gregurića. Kaj? Di su tu Srbi? Kaj možda Pupovac? Uzelac? Koji kurac? Bivši Budiša navodno je polutan? O, Nemanjo, je li Udba i dan-danas naša sudba, pitanje je koje si uistinu vidovito već mnogo puta postavio...

Jebi ga, Ranković nije hrvatski Srbin, zajebancija mi pretekla logiku. Dakle: izbacujem Rankovića a umjesto njega ubacujem Milorada Stojčevića. Hi-hi!
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Pa mi zapravo živimo u prilično stabilnom društvu. Ista ekipa je na vlasti već pune 63 godine. I kaj ćemo sad? Vu Evropu. Ukinuli buju nam kolinje i, donekle, pranje love. Narod bu opet postal obična klasno raslojena gibanica, radnici će stanovati u radničkim naseljima a predradnici u predradničkim, s jednom sobom više. Najbogajtiji će pak, prirodno, samo prividno živjeti u Hrvatskoj. Možda ljeti ili na za kakvog humanitarnog turnira na najvišoj razini. Srednja klasa postat će okrutna i stiješnjena, ili plitka ili gramziva. Katkad mislim da nam nema spasa.

lečenipravoslavac 05.11.2008. 01:27

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- 02:44 - Komentari (34) - Isprintaj - #

utorak, 04.11.2008.

Tko se boji Pooke još?

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Ja sam jednom kad sam još vršio nuždu na tuti (bokariću) napravio i 'number1' i 'number2' pa sam se prepao da nisam postao curica jer sam mislio da curice pišaju kroz onu drugu rupu. Sjećam se da sam se prestravio od te mogućnosti i da mi je trebalo dugo da je gurnem u podsvijest. Valjda sam imao lepljivi libido, kako bi rekao Freud... nedovoljno testosterona tijekom trudnoće zbog stresa trudnice... i to je ostalo tamo... 'anal retaintiv' stisnuti šupak koji je diktirao pasivnost i fiksaciju u toj drugoj predgenitalnoj fazi seksualne organizacije. Ali zbog pomicanja afekta sa traumatične predodžbe (afekta straha da se ne otkrije da sam curica) taj emocionalni naboj je pronašao svoj izraz u pasivnoj dobroćudnosti koja je bila više strah da ne napravim nešto loše (pomaknuti afekt) nego zdravo-razumska aktivna dobronamjernost. To je već bilo blizu one stare definicije opscesijske neuroze i ja sam strvarno ponekad imao iracionalne strahove da ću baciti dijete kroz prozor ili napraviti nešto drugo grozno. Srećom sam se ja tog govna jako dobro sjećao, što znači da nije u potpunosti bilo u nesvijesnom već je kao emocionalno inertni podatak ležalo na ladicama dugoročne memorije. E, onda sam uzeo LSD... za Mirnin 16. rođendan pod uvijetom da ga Mirne ne pojede. ali ga je Mirna pojela, a ja sam pojeo prvi put tri četvrtine. Bili smo provalili u Šeherezadu i ja sam htio vanka ali nisam mogao naći izlaz... ali to je nebitno. Kasnije su se oni svi popeli na neki visoki zid i zvali Milana (Milan je bio tad i nikad više spomenut), a ja sam im vikao da siđu jer će pasti. Na to je Bucko odgovorio 'Aaaa, gurnut će nas Lolo sa zida!' i mene je u tom trenutku udario grom. Uz podsvijest koja je plutala naokolo izvan prostora i vremena, neusidrena u mene kao individuu, shvatio sam da me strah za njih jerme strah da ih ja ne gurnem. Umuknuo sam od šoka i smirio se dok nije sve završilo. Kasnije sam čitao Freuda i prepoznavao se u analno fiksiranom opsesijskom neurotičaru koji je dobar jer mu je to samo patološki simptom pretjerane pasivnosti. Pa bih se vatao Kanta da me malo razbistri. A onda opet o Freudovim parovima muško-žensko, aktivno-pasivno... muško je normalan razvoj treće falusne faze, a sluznica rektuma je pasivno-ženska regresija. Pa opet malo Kant. Dok nisam naletio na pomicanje afekta sa traumatične predodžbe i sjetio se onog jebenog govna. I završio višegodišnju psihoanalitičku terapiju sa potpunim uspjehom.
'Life's a Peice of Shit when you look at it... always look on the bright side of life...' - rekli bi genijalni Pythonovci na posteru koji mi visi na zidu... na kojem Brian rukom pokriva kurac kad ga uhvate da sere i otvore mu prozor pa ga svjetina vidi... Brian, 'deliberately missfired Jesus', in flagranti uhvaćen između autonomnog i psiho-socijalnog moralnog sustava.
Eto, to je moj jedini strah iz mladosti... ultra intimna ispovijed ako netko ovo razumije...
Imam još jedan manji strah iz mladosti... da će se ljudi toliko namnožiti da neću moći raširiti ruke, a da nekoga ne dirnem.
Više se ne bojim ničega. Pa ni samog sebe.


pooka, 01.11.2008. u 13:57

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U deficitu barbiturata... je l' to žene ponekad šmrču Fax Helizim? Tako je jedan moj prijatelj nicklovan sa Šmrki kupio od nekih mixera drogu čudnog naziva od koje se ufuro da je seoska starica... i cijelo prijepodne shetao ulicama pognut, sa štapom i crnom maramom na glavi...

lulallay, 21.10.2008. u 20:29

Kad sam bio lima - u vrijeme dok je Ian Curtis još šetao Zemljom - moja je prijateljica isfurala užasan trip: da je naranča i da je gule.
Žasu.

Nemanja

- 16:37 - Komentari (7) - Isprintaj - #

Za Lo & Pooku...i blogere

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P.S.

Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004

By Paul Boutin

Thinking about launching your own blog? Here's some friendly advice: Don't. And if you've already got one, pull the plug.
Writing a weblog today isn't the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It's almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.
If you quit now, you're in good company. Notorious chatterbox Jason Calacanis made millions from his Weblogs network. But he flat-out retired his own blog in July. "Blogging is simply too big, too impersonal, and lacks the intimacy that drew me to it," he wrote in his final post.
Impersonal is correct: Scroll down Technorati's list of the top 100 blogs and you'll find personal sites have been shoved aside by professional ones. Most are essentially online magazines: The Huffington Post. Engadget. TreeHer. A stand-alone commentator can't keep up with a team of pro writers cranking out up to 30 posts a day.
When blogging was young, enthusiasts rode high, with posts quickly skyrocketing to the top of Google's search results for any given topic, fueled by generous links from fellow bloggers. In 2002, a search for "Mark" ranked Web developer Mark Pilgrim above author Mark Twain. That phenomenon was part of what made blogging so exciting. No more. Today, a search for, say, Barack Obama's latest speech will deliver a Wikipedia page, a Fox News article, and a few entries from professionally run sites like Politico.com. The odds of your clever entry appearing high on the list? Basically zero.
That said, your blog will still draw the Net's lowest form of life: The insult commenter. Pour your heart out in a post, and some anonymous troll named r0rschach or foohack is sure to scribble beneath it, "Lame. Why don't you just suck McCain's ass." That's why Calacanis has retreated to a private mailing list. He can talk to his fans directly, without having to suffer idiotic retorts from anonymous Jason-haters.
Further, text-based Web sites aren't where the buzz is anymore. The reason blogs took off is that they made publishing easy for non-techies. Part of that simplicity was a lack of support for pictures, audio, and videoclips. At the time, multimedia content was too hard to upload, too unlikely to play back, and too hungry for bandwidth.
Social multimedia sites like YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook have since made publishing pics and video as easy as typing text. Easier, if you consider the time most bloggers spend fretting over their words. Take a clue from Robert Scoble, who made his name as Microsoft's "technical evangelist" blogger from 2003 to 2006. Today, he focuses on posting videos and Twitter updates. "I keep my blog mostly for long-form writing," he says.
Twitter — which limits each text-only post to 140 characters — is to 2008 what the blogosphere was to 2004. You'll find Scoble, Calacanis, and most of their buddies from the golden age there. They claim it's because Twitter operates even faster than the blogosphere. And Twitter posts can be searched instantly, without waiting for Google to index them.
As a writer, though, I'm onto the system's real appeal: brevity. Bloggers today are expected to write clever, insightful, witty prose to compete with Huffington and The New York Times. Twitter's character limit puts everyone back on equal footing. It lets amateurs quit agonizing over their writing and cut to the chase.

Paul Boutin (paul@valleywag.com) is a correspondent for the Silicon Valley gossip site Valleywag.

- 15:47 - Komentari (5) - Isprintaj - #

ponedjeljak, 03.11.2008.

EMO

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Moja prijateljica Dolores anakroni je odvjetak emo subkulture: budući da taj idiom ne trpi selimovićevske rezignacije u stilu prestar za emo, premlad za smrt, za Dolores se bez krzmanja može kazati da bi bila alegorija emo-curke, kad bi bila klinka: njena je otvorenost prema svojim emocijama, najčešće onim tužnima, zadobila status urbane legende; ispovijedi joj, kroz neko vrijeme prepričavaju kao vlastita iskustva.
Dolores je, dakle, baš kao i većina nas obilježila Sve Svete obilaskom groblja; u njenom slučaju, riječ je o/u pluralu.
Evo naše sms-prepiske, jučer, oko 16.:
- Gdje si?
- Obilazimo groblja.
- Kaj sad i po danu?
- Ha, ha…modern times.
Moram priznati da nisam očekivao odgovor na ovako briljantnu lol-goth foru: Kaj sad i po danu?, ali upravo je zbog modernih vremena Dolores moja prijateljica.
U 22 i 33, valjda zbog simbolike, stigao mi je njen posthumni mail; moja je redakcija minimalna, uvjetovana bontonom i diskrecijom, ne gramatikom i pravopisom.

Danas smo bili na groblju maminima. S mamine strane krošnje porodičnog stabla imam najviše predaka, uključujući i dedu. Dedu je ove godine baka na vlastitu inicijativu premjestila iz zajedničke grobnice da joj one njegove kurve ne dolaze na grob.
Na sva očajnička moljakanja da to ne radi i da je ono jednom što su ga vadili iz groba radi DNK analize vanbračne kćeri jedne od kurvi i previše uznemiravanja spokoja i dostojanstva mrtvog čovjeka, baka samo neumoljivo odgovara: Neki se rastaju u životu, ja se rastajem u smrti!
Grob je, naime, svake godine pretrpan cvijećem i svijećama, a baka osim što dobro zna brojati, ima i estetske koncepte uređenja groba. No pravilan omjer špina, krizantema i svijeća u prikladnoj boji, svake godine naruše kurve zatrpavajući grob plastičnim ružama, šarenim lampašima i nepismenim posvetama na vijencima.
Baki je otprilike dosta. Sud koji upravo ove godine gubi s glavnom kurvom - jer je DNK analiza pokazala da je mala bila dedina - prelijeva čašu i ovo je njena odmazda. Ne usuđujemo se ni pitati gdje je dedin grob, mama i ja. Teta, uvijek na bakinoj strani, samo mrko i pakosno dobacuje mami: Odnesi si svog dragog tatu na Mirogoj kad ga toliko voliš. Bazamo po groblju, raspitujemo se. Konačno ga pronalazimo, na skroz drugom kraju groblja. Neugledan grob, osnovni podaci, bez posvete. Ali...plastične ruže su tu! I hrpa šarenih špina i lampaša svih boja nasumično postavljenih po grobnoj ploči.
Pronašle su dedu njegove kurve.
Smijemo se, mama i ja; ona kaže: Stari, baš si popularan.

- 22:46 - Komentari (7) - Isprintaj - #

nedjelja, 02.11.2008.

Joachim Köhler

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Dragi Nemanja,

Budući da je više nego bilo koji drugi filozof u povijesti naglašavao jedinstvo svoje osobe i djela, tvrdeći da nikada nije zastupao nikakva privatna uvjerenja neovisno od svoje filozofije, biografije su Nietzschea dragocjene za proučavanje njegove filozofije. Zadnjih je godina najviše na njihovu sankcioniranju kao filozofskoj zadaći radio i najviše prašine novim spoznajama pritom podigao njemački filozof i istrazivač Joachim Köhler. Evo njegova priloga za Vaseljenu.

Pozdrav,

Mario

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Nietzscheov san o jednoj iznova rođenoj Grčkoj, rođen u internatu u Pforti i gorko razočaran Wagnerom, nije se mogao ozbiljiti u valjanom Baselu. Strogo uzevši, nije se više mogao nigdje ozbiljiti krajem XIX stoljeća a pritom ne dospjeti u zatvor ili pak ludnicu. No kako je Wagner s nepomućenom vjerom na tomu insistirao, i kako je sproveo svoju verziju helenskoga teatarskog procvata s festivalom u Bayreuthu, Nietzsche nije vidio nikakva razloga svoj ideal žrtvovati mrskom smislu za zbiljnost. Postao je, kako se njegov adlatus Peter Gast polu-šaljivo, polu-sućutno izrazio - "Don Kihot pneumatskog tumačenja".

Kao Cervantesov junak, kojega je Nietzsche toliko blisko doživljavao da ga je samo "s gorkim okusom na jeziku" mogao čitati, upućuje se on preko Alpa, s kovčegom punim odijela i knjiga, bez jasna cilja pred kratkovidnim očima, ukoliko to nije bilo ono "pneumatsko" što mu je pobudilo njegovu neutaživu čežnju za nadčovjekom. Ako je vjerovati njegovim spisima koji sanjare o "velikom odvajanju" i "ponovnom rođenju", u Italiji je našao zemlju u kojoj goli bogovi igraju i lijepa tijela cvjetaju. I nije bio prvi.

Još od vremena Winckelmanna i Platena plačidrugovi sa sjevera Europe doživjeli su ovdje svoje oslobođenje, budući da talijanski zakon, naspram drugih europskih zakonodavstava, nije poznavao nikakvo kažnjavanje muške ljubavi. Mnogi umjetnici, koji su se u novoj Arkadiji naselili, slali su u poetskoj ili fotografskoj formi primamljive signale preko vrhova Alpa u čednu domovinu, čime se začela jedna rana forma seks-turizma na obalama Ligurije i na otocima Capriju i Siciliji.

Nietzsche se također (koji je prijateljima i obitelji vazda inventivno zametao tragove, tako što je neprestance mijenjao adrese) dao privući tim krajevima - u Liguriji je bio „obuzet“ svojim Zaratustrom, u Napulju ga "obuzeše suze i osjećaj, spašen u zadnji čas", a na Siciliji mu je svitala "afrička sreća, fatalna vedrina, jednim okom koje zavodljivo, duboko i strahovito gleda". Očaran govori o "mirisima što izranjaju iz žutoga popodneva mora, od kojih se srce plaši, kao da se zaboravljenih otoka sjeća, gdje je nekoć boravilo, i gdje bi vječno trebalo boraviti...".

Kao "novi Kolumbo" smio se, doduše, radovati samo u svojim pjesmama - obećana je zemlja već dugo bila otkrivena. Na Siciliji, koju je Nietzsche bez znanja svojih najbližih posjetio u travnju 1882. godine, morao je također sresti njemačke izbjeglice, poput znamenita fotografa baruna Wilhelma von Gloedena, koji je uzdizao zemlju oko Etne kao "otok blaženstva u moru civilizacijskog potresa i prevrata". Počevši od 1876. godine, živio je ovaj fotograf, podrijetlom iz Mecklenburga, u Taormini, nedaleko od Messine, gdje je "novi Kolumbo" uplovio i okružio se mladim ribarima i pastirima što su pozirali kao modeli za grčke heroje. Antička vremena, kada muška ljubav nije bila progonjena nego opjevana, izgledala su ovdje kao opetovano rođena, kao da su njegove mramorne statue oživjele.

"Grčke me forme draže", govorio je Gloeden, "isto tako brončani kolorit potomaka starih Grka i pokušavam stari klasični život na slikama ponovno uskrisiti". Tako je on, s pogledom na svoje sjevernoeuropske kupce, pred kamerama puštao promarširati dionizijske mladiće s leopardovom kožom preko ramena i s palicom ukrašenom bršljanom i vinovim lišćem u ruci. Elegantni efebi igrali su na zvuk tamburina i čokotima ovjenčani bahanti pozirali su na ruinama poganskih hramova. Gloedenovi fotografski pozdravi ljubavi preplavili su u to vrijeme wilhelmsku Njemačku, gdje je za strast koja je tim tijelima bila uspaljena bio rezerviran zatvor. Odlazilo se na hodočašće u Italiju ("gen Italien"), kako je glasila dosjetka, i Gloedenova je vila bila mekom prijatelja Grčke od Oscara Wildea do Anatola Francea i pruskog princa Augusta. "Kralj topova", industrijalac Krupp, također je dolazio, i zbog glasina o njegovoj ljubavi prema mladićima, na Capriju je počinio samoubojstvo.

Kako se Meklenburžanin Gloeden veselio poznanstvima diljem Europe, Nietzsche koji se zaputio u avanturu nije imao nikakva razloga ne potražiti ga pri svojoj posjeti Taormini – no imao je svaki razlog to prešutjeti. Malo je ipak otkrio veo kada je, osvrćući se, pjevao: "Sada mi još sve pripada, orao (der Adler, orao, igra riječi s der Adliger, plemić, prim. M.K.) moje nade našao je jednu čistu novu Grčku". U Zaratustri čak odaje da je upravo tamo gdje mu se svijet činio kao "ples i nestašluk bogova", svoju ključnu riječ o nadčovjeku "pobrao s puta".

Usputna je opaska uočljivo u opreci s metafizičkim visokim jezikom iz Tako je govorio Zaratustra. Je li Nietzsche doista glavnu dogmu svoje religiozne objave "pobrao s puta"? Kao nešto što je nezamijećeno ležalo na tlu, nešto što je možda neko zaboravio tko je tuda prošao? U svakom slučaju, bilo je nezamijećeno od svih koji su se uputili tim putem nakon njega.

Naspram drugih učenja koje je, prema vlastitu priznanju, primio na putu inspiracije odozgo i praćen osjećajem, "čista inkarnacija, čist glasnogovornik, čist medij nadmoćnijih sila...", ovdje je posrijedi dakle jedan slučajno iznašašće, zbog kojega se Nietzsche tako reći morao sagnuti. Taormina, u bedekeru kojega je Nietzsche slijedio obilježena zvjezdicom, ležala je na putu i posve je moguće da on ovu nad-čovječansku ideju nije tamo baš "pobrao", nego je o njoj jednostavno - čitao, i to u jednoj knjizi koja je upravo tamo gdje je on otkrio "novu Grčku", ležala na putu i nudila se naklonjenu čitatelju.

Čitav je naraštaj Nietzscheovih istraživača lomio koplje o tomu iz kojega je vrela sudbonosna riječ o "nadčovjeku" mogla poteći. Pomišljalo se na Goethea, na Emersona ili na Wagnera. Još se u Nietzscheovim ranim spisima ona pojavila, no bez dublja značenja. Ipak, nijedna od mogućnosti nije bila uvjerljiva. Zavodljivu opasku o slučajnom pronalasku "s puta pobranom" na "blaženim otocima" nitko nije želio slijediti. Postoji, međutim, jedna knjiga koja nije samo Nietzscheovim istraživačima do danas ostala neznana, koja govori o povratku grčke ljubavi i o "blaženim otocima" u kojoj se pojavljuje također ona riječ puna zlosretnih slutnji koja se danas kao nijedna druga povezuje s ovim misliocem.

Posrijedi je tajna biblija homoseksualnosti, napisana u vrijeme kad pastorski sin, koji je Grke dušom iskao, još nije bio ni rođen. Autor je te knjige bio Švicarac Heinrich Hössli i knjiga se pojavila 1836. godine u Glarusu pod naslovom Eros. Muška ljubav Grka; njezin odnos spram povijesti, odgoja, književnosti i zakonodavstva svih vremena. Razumije se samo po sebi da u Nietszcheovim djelima nema nikakva ukazivanja na knjigu ovakva naslova.

Hösslijeva teza, koja se iznosi sa strašću autodidakta i mnoštvom zaratustrovskih uzvika, ukratko glasi: nešto što je za Platona i stare Grke bilo posvema prihvatljivo, za modernoga je Europljanina prezrivo. Iza toga nešto krije se izopćena muška ljubav. Hössli, predani misionar Platonove filozofije, zastupa gledište koje se do tada još nije čulo u modernoj Europi, gledište da je ljubav među muškarcima, daleko od toga da je treba prezirati, što se čini zbog modernih predrasuda, predstavlja zapravo nešto božansko. Nije slučajno, kaže Hössli, da bogovi nagrađuju vjerne herojske ljubavnike vječnim životom "na blaženim otocima" i zbog toga se ona ne bi trebala suzbijati, nego upravo podupirati.

Ono što je u kršćanskoj kulturi iskonstruirano kao "bestijalno sramoćenje naše prirode u sodomskom grijehu", kod Helena je vrijedilo kao "ideal obogotvorena čovječanstva". Zašto, pita se Hössli, jednostavno ne slijedimo uzvišene mislioce antike i stvaratelje besmrtnih umjetničkih djela? Kada ćemo konačno prestati grčkoga Erosa vidjeti kao "izopačenje" i shvatiti da je on sam omogućio vrhunac kulture? Hössli, zanesenjak, vjeruje u čudo i govori anđeoskim jezikom. Kao njegov potomak, Zaratustra će biti ismijan od strane mase na trgu, a njegova će poruka biti ušutkana.

Čak i kada bi moderan čovjek s njegovim predrasudama imao pravo u tomu da je "platonska ljubav izopačenje", propovijeda Švicarac, i tada bi nas stari Grci daleko nadmašivali, jer su oni prema takvim ljubavnicima "božanski postupali, a mi đavolski". Ta sublimacija seksualnosti u cilju kulturna procvata bila je istodobno i "najveće djelo koje se ikad zbilo, najveće koje je sunce ikad na zemaljskoj kugli obasjalo". Ljubav prema herojskom muškarcu, što se želi vidjeti kao izopačenje, uzdignuta je kod Helena do najvećeg svetišta njihove kulture. Bila je to misao koju će Nietszche prezentirati pedeset godina kasnije u skrivenijoj formi, i vazda u novim inačicama.

Potom dolazi u Hösslijevom pledoajeu ne samo riječ koju je Nietzsche "pobrao s puta", nego i ključna misao njegova cjelokupnog Zaratustrina evanđelja: od naizgled izopačenih, tvrdi Švicarac, stvorili su Heleni svoje besmrtne herojske parove - "od našega ne-čovjeka oblikovali su nad-čovjeka".

To je bila odlučna riječ koju je Hössli iskovao u svetom zanosu svojega govora i koju je "lutajući izbjeglica", kako je Nietzsche sam sebe nazvao, mogao pobrati na putu. On također zagovara jedan takav kulturni čin, zbog kojega Hössli hvali Grke, jednu svjetsko-povijesnu odluku, iz koje bi od izopačena čovječanstva proistekli Nadljudi. Grcima je, kaže Hössli, pošlo za rukom istospolne ljubavnike s njihovim "užasnim unutarnjim konfliktom i nedostojanstvom, njihovom vječnom bezavičajnošću, njihovom bezvrijednošću, njihovim grijehom, prokletstvom njihova opstanka", preinačiti u nešto više. Oni bi prestajali "biti pukim ljudima" i stajali bi "iznad samih bogova", upravo tamo gdje je Nietzsche trebao naseliti svojega Nadčovjeka.

Stave li se na mjesto izopačenih, jer su homoseksualci u sebi razderani, izopačeno čovječanstvo osuđeno na propast, Hösslijeva se teza pretvara u Zaratustrino učenje. Cilj u oba slučaja ostaje isti: nadčovjek koji voli muškarce, koji više ne poznaje nijednog drugog boga do njemu jednakoga. Niti jedan se drugi mislilac prije Nietszchea nije usudio tako pisati, a sam se Nietzsche uzdržao imenovati nekog drugog pokretača njegove inspiracije do misteriozne "nadmoćne sile".

Već u svom "Predgovoru" Zaratustra govori u egzaltiranom tonalitetu psalama, kako mu je Hössli, poput propovjednika koji pobuđuje, izmucao. "Učim vas nadčovjeku", piše Nietzsche pod maskom Zaratustre. "Čovjek je nešto, što se ima prevladati". Ali zašto? Jer on, kao što je Hössli pisao o homoseksualcima, pati od unutarnjega razdora. On je "tek neki razdor i melez između biljke i utvare", kako bjesni Zaratustra o "oskudici i nečisti i bijednoj lagodnosti".

Iz ove nakaze koja izazivlje gađenje, kojega Zaratustra kao "zadnjeg čovjeka" ovjerava, uzdiže se, čudo nad čudima, savršena slika neslućene ljepote, koja zanesene "daleko od boga i bogova odmamljuje...Nadčovjekova mi je ljepota prišla kao sjena. Ah, braćo moja! Što me se tiču još - bogovi!" Zapravo, uopće ga se ne tiču, objavljuje pobjednički, jer su oni ionako svi već mrtvi. I zato "sad hoćemo da živi nadčovjek".

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Začudna predodžba - filozofa volje za moć, čije Zaratustrine riječi "hvale ono što čini čvrstim", kako je glasilo službeno nacističko ispovijedanje vjere, inspirirao je za njegovoga Nadčovjeka jedan pustolovni krojač za gospođe pod imenom Hössli? Iza maske ovoga mita budućnosti krila se idealna slika o oslobođenom, za kulturni procvat doraslom homoseksualcu? Nietzscheova "plava beštija" koja je u fašističkom ludilu uzdignuta do kultnog objekta, bila je uistinu prirodni izdanak hösslijevskih Helena?

Koliko malo Zaratustrin ljudski ideal odgovara idealima Hitlerovih osvajača u vojničkim čizmama, odaje već Nietzscheova sklonost da nadčovjeka prikaže golim, da ga okiti erotskim metaforama i da ga uzdigne do cilja njegovih "božanskih žudnji". "I sad me proždire žeđ, čežnja koja se nikada neće smiriti", ispovijeda prorok, nakon što je prvi put susreo jednog nadčovječanskog pastira-mladića. U ovom bajkovitom biću, što odaje čitavo Zaratustrino evanđelje, ima veoma malo od Himmlera i izuzetno puno od Hösslija.

Ponajprije zanesenjačka ushićenost, kasni utjecaj Sturm und Dranga, kod Nietzschea se anakronistički ponovno vraća kada se u baroknom ljubavnom posrtanju kao "pripravan i zreo poput uzavrele kovine, oblaka bremenita munjom i vimena nabrekla od mlijeka" daje prepoznati, i kako bi otklonio i posljednji ostatak dvojbe u njegovu radost seksualnog ispovijedanja, dodaje: "pripravan za sebe sama i za svoju najskriveniju volju: luk raspaljen za svojom strijelom, strijela raspaljena za svojom zvijezdom: - zvijezda pripravna i zrela usred svojega podneva, užarena, probodena, blažena pred uništavajućim strijelama sunca". Ovdje dakle stoji on, sveti Sebastijan nove vjere, čežnjivo upirući pogled prema onom nebu koje je, prema Hössliju, "grčki duh, kao što to možemo vidjeti kod Platona, ljudima približio" i gdje ljubljenik muškaraca heroj Antinoj "svjetluca u tihoj noći kao zvijezda u moru blistajućih svjetova".

Nietzscheovim su prijateljima ovakve duhovne agonije bile posve poznate. No, nitko se nije osmjelio njegovu ljubav za "muško ophođenje, što ga Vi u Bazelu za večernjih sati imate", kako se Wagner zlobno izrazio, dovede u vezu s tadašnjom tabuiziranom i teško kriminaliziranom žigosanom homoseksualnošću. "Ipak priznajem", piše Franz Overbeck, "da je napose Nietzscheovo odnošenje s muškarcima ono što je kod njega imalo ponajviše nemuški izgled". Kako se težilo da se emotivni odnosi među muškarcima ublaže nevarljivom riječju "prijateljstvo", otpjevao joj je i Nietszche doživotnu pjesmu hvale, koja je u Tako je govorio Zaratustra poprimila oblik prave himne.

"Ne želiš pred svojim prijateljem nositi nikakve odjeće?" - pita prorok. "Treba li biti čast tvojemu prijatelju što mu se predaješ onakav kakav jesi?" S potpunim pravom, misli Zaratustra, pa opet ipak ne: "Ti se za svog prijatelja ne možeš dovoljno lijepo dotjerati: jer ti trebaš biti strijela i čežnja za nadčovjekom". Žena pak ostaje u biološkoj neprivilegiranosti, poražena divnom budućnošću Dioskura koji dohode u susret. "Još žena nije sposobna za prijateljstvo: mačke su još uvijek žene, i ptice. Ili, u najboljem slučaju, krave". - Krave, kojima u svakom slučaju ostaje utjeha u tome da smiju rađati nadljude.

Još od vremena života u internatu Nietzsche se trsio imati prijatelje koji se djelomično pojavljuju u njegovoj službenoj biografiji, djelomično su veličani u pjesmama ili se nalaze na fotografijama što su sačuvane u ostavštini. Dok je duže kontakte sa ženama održavao samo onda kad su se nudile kao zamjena za majku ili sljedbenice, vazda je tražio bliske veze s mlađim muškarcima u koje se zaljubljivao. Zahtijevao je njihovu bliskost, predlagao zajedničke odmore na Jugu, posvećivao im očajničke pjesme - "Prijatelje dugo sam očekivao, spreman dan i noć, gdje ostajete prijatelji? Dođite! Vrijeme je! Vrijeme je!"

U jednom je razgovoru rekao obazrivo da je on u usporedbi s ljubavlju "posve slične duhovne konflikte, samo na jednom puno višem stupnju" pretrpio: "Najprije obostrana privlačnost na temelju zajedničkog uvjerenja, potom sreća zbog pripadnosti jedno drugome" i naposljetku "obostrano obožavanje i uzdizanje" - sve dok se sreća nije rasprsnula, jer su partneri, kako se Nietzsche na drugim mjestima žalio, veoma rijetko bili spremni preskočiti osjetljivu crtu prema pravoj ljubavi. Tada su uslijedili, kako kaže, "nepovjerenje, sumnjičavost" i "izvjesnost da mora doći do razdvajanja, a ipak ne biti u stanju odricanja - sve ove i druge neizrecive patnje". Teolog Franz Overbeck, koji je u Baselu mogao svojega prijatelja godinama pratiti, precizirao je glede Nietzscheova odnosa spram Erwina Rohdea, da mu je on "priredio ljubavne patnje, da ih tako nazovemo" i Nietzsche mu je nakon raskida, kojega je on doživio "kao katastrofu", ispovjedio svoje "ljubavne bolove".

Nietzsche je proizveo i druge ljubavne bolove, kao one koji su počeli jednom pravom eksplozijom požude, one "opasne srceparajuće prolome svake skrivene nesreće, svake neutažene želje, svake neukrotive i podivljale matice ljubavi", tada kada ga obuzimlje "iznenadno ludilo", "gdje osamljenik nekoga grli i ophodi se prema njemu kao prema prijatelju i daru neba, i dragocjenom poklonu, da bi ga sat kasnije sa zgražavanjem odgurnuo od sebe, sa zgražavanjem koje sada i prema sebi, kao prema uprljanom, osjeća, kako se otuđuje od sebe, kako biva u vlastitom društvu bolestan".

Franz Overbeck, kojemu se pripisuje zasluga da je Nietzschea 1889. godine doveo iz Torina u bazelsku ludnicu, postavio je jednom sebi pitanje "u kojoj je mjeri Nietzsche bio homoseksualac". U "autentičnom smislu uopće nije", pisao je teolog nakon njegove smrti - sve bi drugo u jeku Nietzscheova kulta bilo nezamisliv skandal - "no stvar ga je zaokupljala već veoma rano i puno, i mi smo o tomu u našim nekadašnjim bazelskim razgovorima često raspravljali". Istraživači Nietzschea sve do danas ovo nisu uzimali u obzir.

Prijatelj je Overbeck vidio Nietzscheova izjašnjavanja o temi "kao najranija i najupečatljivija otkrivenja one živosti kod njega", one "krajnje poučne srčanosti kojom je prilazio stvarima". Onaj tko je njegove spise "uredno" čitao, on će "već iz njih samih dostatno doznati kako stoje stvari s Nietzscheovom homoseksualnošću i njegovim interesu za tu stvar".

Taj se interes najvjerojatnije pružao i na literaturu koja se istospolnom ljubavlju bavila još od vremena Platona. Neposredno pred njegov duševni slom, Nietzsche je zabilježio na kakvom "neusporedivom dojmu" je zahvalan Petroniju koji je, kao što je znano, u svom Satirikonu bez ustručavanja i veselo opisivao ljubav između muškaraca. To je Nietzsche, doduše, prešutio ali zato aluzivno hvali vedroga pornografa zbog njegova "neobuzdana raspoloženja koje se ničega ne boji i preko svake vrste animalnosti antičkog svijeta graciozno preskače, zbog suverene slobode u odnosu na 'moral' - ne bih mogao nijednu knjigu navesti koja bi u sličnoj mjeri ostavila na mene dojam". Govori li se danas o Nietzscheu dragim književnim djelima, uglavnom se navodi samo Nachsommer (Bablje ljeto) Adalberta Stiftera.

Među knjigama koje su mogle pobuditi Nietzscheov interes a da nikada znanosti nisu zapale za oko, ubrajaju se knjige Karla Heinrich Ulrichsa koji je postao, svjesno slijedeći Švicarca Hösllija, jedan od najznačajnijih prvoboraca za emancipaciju homoseksualaca. Ulrichs je objavljivao svoje borbene spise pod pseudonimom Numa Numantius u periodu od 1864. do 1870. godine u Leipzigu, gdje je Nietzsche studirao klasičnu filologiju. Ulrichs je svima njima, zbog strategije prikrivanja, dao latinske nazive - za studenta Nietzschea zacijelo jedan razlog više da se zainteresira za seriju spisa misterioznih naslova: Vindex, Inclusa, Vindicta, Formatrix, Ara Spei, Gladius Furens, Memnon, Incubus, Argonauticus, Prometheus i Araxes. No kako u njegovoj biblioteci nisu nađeni ovi spisi, niti ih je u bilješkama spominjao, istraživačima su promakli.

No, postoje stvari koje upućuju na to da je te spise Nietzsche poznavao. Štoviše - bez Ulrichsove teze o nastanku homoseksualnosti jedan se određeni aspekt Zaratustre ne bi mogao shvatiti. Ne samo da je njegova originalna, Hösslijem inspirirana teorija seksualnosti našla svoj odraz u Nietzscheovu evanđelju o plemenitim ljudima, nego i Ulrichsove metafore za ono zatajeno područje koje je Zaratustra na "blažena otočja" premjestio.

Odvjetnik Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, rođen 1825. godine u istočnoj Friziji, zauzeo se 1867. godine javno na jednom skupu pravnika za prava homoseksualaca, što prije njega nitko nikada nije učinio. Zbog njemačkog zakona koji mu je prijetio zatvorom, napušta 1880. godine domovinu, godinu dana nakon što je Nietzsche za sobom spalio sve mostove. Ulrichs je živio tri godine u Napulju i preselio se potom u Aquilu, gdje je poput Gloedena u Taormini privlačio posjetitelje sa Sjevera, a možda i Nietzschea.

On se lipnja 1883. godine iz Rima zaputio na izlet u Aquilu da "nađe sebi mjesto za ljetni boravak" ali i stoga što je ovaj grad za njega "suprotnost Rimu" predstavljao, "osnovan iz neprijateljstva prema Rimu". Ali "morao sam ponovno natrag", na onu Piazzu Berberini, gdje je uz žubor fontane "Noćnu pjesmu" ispjevao, onu tužbalicu punu "neutoljive sjete" o tome da nije smio voljeti...

Ulrichsove se misli ne nalaze samo u Tako je govorio Zaratustra nego i u drugim Nietzscheovim spisima, djelom doslovno navedene, djelom poetizirane. Prije svega zanosno agresivan ton, kojim je Ulrichs napadao malograđanski moral i zauzimao se za priznanje muške ljubavi, podsjeća na šuplji pathos Zaratustre, šupalj jer ono što je zapravo htio kazati morao je šifrirati pseudo-biblijskim umjetnim jezikom.

Kod obojice se radi u načelu o istom: konačno raskidanje sa sadašnjošću neprijateljskom prema tijelu i seksu, i raskidanju lanaca u kojima muško tijelo i njegovi nagoni, kako to Nietzsche sažima u Volji za moć, sahnu. Poput Zaratustre kojega su "dobri i pravedni mrzili" i iz grada protjerali, Ulrichs vidi sebe također prognanim; kao i on, nalazi sigurnost samo na "blaženim otocima" svoje izabrane talijanske domovine.

Kako je Ulrichs na svojoj publikaciji Vindex istaknuo oslobodilački motto: "Vincula frango" - "raskidam lance", a 1870. godine, jednu drugu nazvao "Prometheus", tako je Nietzsche sljedeće godine na svoju knjigu Rođenje tragedije iz duha muzike stavio motiv (Vignette), koji prikazuje oslobođenog titana sa slomljenim lancima. Za Ulrichsa je svaki progonjeni zaljubljenik svezan, i čim sretne druga u patnji "čiju tajnu znam, za mene su to, kada čujem kako zveče, nedostojni lanci što ih on nevidljivo sa sobom vuče" - jedna metafora koja je i čitateljima Nietzschea prisna.

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Dok Ulrichs piše da su "progon i ruženje plemenitoga nagona" grčkog erosa, "kojega nikomu nije pošlo za rukom iskorijeniti ga", njega degradirali na razinu "gadnog poroka", to u Nietzscheovu izbrušenom jeziku glasi: "Kršćanstvo je dalo Erosu popiti otrov. On doduše od toga nije umro, ali se iskvario do poroka". Ako Ulrichs vidi kao grešku "proglašavati svrhu oplođivanja za glavnu svrhu spolnog ljubavnog nagona", Nietzsche grmi da je "prokleta laž...govoriti o pravljenju djece kao stvarnom cilju svake pohote".

Što zapravo hoće slast? Za Ulrichsa je odgovor jasan - njegov grčki Eros čezne za pogledom i ljubavlju "lijepih mladića", u čemu se Nietzsche s njim slaže u svom tumačenju Grka. "Što je naše brbljanje o Grcima?" - trijumfalno pita. "Ono što mi razumijemo o njihovoj umjetnosti, njihovoj duši - strast za nagu mušku ljepotu jest!". I u najkuriozitetnijim detaljima nalazimo podudarnosti. Kada Ulrichs Goetheov završetak Fausta sličnim šaljivim okretom parodira "vječno muško vuče nas k tomu", Nietzsche ovo varira u "Vječno-Muško vuče nas u to".

No i u presudnoj točki slijedi Zaratustrin nastup poboljšanja svijeta seksualnu teoriju pobunjena pravnika. Do danas je ostalo zagonetno kako to da Zaratustra s jedne strane može tvrditi da ne postoji nikakva duša - čovjek je "posve i dokraja tijelo, i ništa osim toga", dočim s druge strane sam raspolaže jednom dušom. Zaratustra, smrtni neprijatelj svakog onostranog vjerovanja, posjeduje dušu i čitatelj ga knjige može često prisluškivati dok on tajnovito s njom razgovara. Ta čudna duša u Tako je govorio Zaratustra doista igra ključnu ulogu, budući da utjelovljuje skrivenu bit proroka. Kada mu starica, u možda najčuvenijoj sceni, daje savjet da se prije nego što ode ženama u posjetu opskrbi odgojnim štapom, ona ovu duboku mudrost ne odaje Zaratustri, nego njegovoj duši.

U središtu njegova najdirljivijeg pjevanja - "Noćne pjesme", u kojoj on, uz žubor vodoskoka, o svojoj nemirnoj čežnji za jednim partnerom nariče, ne stoji njegovo izmučeno asketsko tijelo, nego njegova duša. "Noć je: sad se tek bude sve pjesme onih koji ljube. A i moja duša je pjesma jednog koji ljubi". Autor, uzdržavajući se, sada objavljuje svoju tajnu koju nikad otvoreno ne kazuje, nego se usuđuje tek na nju aludirati svojim slikovitim baroknim jezikom. Dopušta da ta unutarnja bit svojega junaka "podrhtava od božanskih požuda", požude koja se ne samo božanski osjeća, nego i upravo za bogom uzdiše. "To je, naime, tajna duša" - obznanjuje on i istodobno zaključuje: "Tek kad je napusti junak, približava joj se, u snu - nad-junak".

Da se odgonetnuti da Nietzsche ovdje asocira na mit o Arijadni koju je njezin ljubljenik Tezej ostavio na osamljenom otoku, gdje čezne za smrću, ali umjesto toga biva spašena od božanskog mladoženje Dionisa. Otuda proistječe da Zaratustrina duša očito pripada ženskom spolu i poput očajne princeze razdire se u čežnji za dalekim ljubljenikom, bilo da je to sada Dionis "nad-junak" ili nadčovjek - muškoga je roda zacijelo, i onaj tko Tako je govorio Zaratustra nepristrano čita, to ga neće čuditi.

Prilikom redovitih razgovora u četiri oka između proroka i njegove duše dolazi konačno do priznanja svoje "velike čežnje" za velikim neznancem. U istoimenom poglavlju, koji je nosio alternativni naziv "Arijadna", filozof govori često o tajnim požudama zbog kojih se duša junaka pati - i upravo stoga jer ne može otvoreno o njoj govoriti. Jer "velika čežnja" njegove duše potpada pod seksualni tabu, i njegov poetski inventivni duh mora se pomučiti za smjele metafore, kako bi progonjenu poruku prenio. "O dušo moja", šapuće Zaratustra, "sprao sam s tebe sitni stid, skrovitu krepost i nagovorio te da stojiš gola pred očima sunca".

Nakon ovoga prvog emancipacijskog koraka, koji uključuje poštenje prema samom sebi i napuštanje malograđanskog morala, mora se polako naviknuti na novi identitet i na nove potrebe prilagoditi. "Oh, dušo moja, svako sam sunce na te prosuo i svaku noć, i svaku šutnju, i svaku čežnju - tako da si mi izrasla kao čokot...s nabreklim vimenima i zbijenim i smeđim i zlatnim gozdovima", dakle atributi oba spola. I s ovim neobičnim "izobiljem" istodobno muškog i ženskog, Zaratustrina duša pruža pogled "preko hučnih mora i traži i čeka" dragog koji će je od "naviranja čokota" seksualne želje spasiti.

Na odgovarajućoj metaforičnoj razini istupa ovaj snoviđeni ljubljenik kao "Vinogradar", koji kao vinovom lozom ovjenčani Dionis u čunu preko mora dolazi da s njegovim oštrim "vinogradarevim nožem" plodove s čokota sječe, što će reći: da izbavi Zaratustrinu dušu od prejakog pritiska zapriječene požude. "Doći će", zaklinje Zaratustra očajnike, "tvoj veliki izbavitelj, o dušo moja, bezimeni!" Zna, zahvaljujući mitološkoj djelatnosti, sasvim izvjesno da njegova duša pripada spolu Arijadne. Skrivena je bit tako muškog Zaratustre, što on sam svojom dušom nazivlje, ženska.

Nietzsche je još od internatskih dana slutio, ali crno na bijelo je tek kod Ulrichsa mogao o tome čitati. Njegova teza, koja je od šezdesetih bila u opticaju, glasi: društvo koje tako loše postupa prema homoseksualnosti, nema pojma o njezinoj pravoj biti, ono jako malo poznaje homoseksualce, koje isključuje i kazneno progoni. Predodžba da je homoseksualac muškarac kojemu je spolni nagon skrenuo u suprotnom smjeru ne odgovara istini.

Strogo uzevši, on nije uopće muškarac, nego pripada, osim muškog i ženskog, "trećem spolu". Homoseksualac, prema Ulrichsu, utjelovljuje jedan spoj oba spola: u muškom tijelu, glasi njegova revolucionarna teza, on ima žensku dušu. Kako seksualnost izbija iz duše, za njega je posve normalno da se osjeća privučenim od muškaraca. Homoseksualnost, to je poruka koju je Ulrichs u bujici publikacija širio, nije nikakva perverzna izopačenost normalne seksualnosti, nego urođeni seksualni nagon trećeg spola, zbog čega nema nikakva razloga da se homoseksualci kazneno progone.

Kakva sugestivna slika za nekoga kao Nietzsche, čija ženska bit nije ostala skrivena nijednom od njegovih prijatelja: Anima mulieribus in corpore virili inclusa, glasila je na latinskom čarobna riječ koju je Ulrichs istakao u svojoj prosvjetiteljskoj kampanji: "Duša žene zatočena u muškom tijelu" gdje ona kao Arijadna s čežnjivim ženskim očima upire pogled prema izbavitelju. I Ulrichs je podsjetio na taj mit kada je govorio da njegovo otkriće o "ženskom spolu duše, ženskosti ljubavnog nagona" jest jedina nit koja iz "labirinta homoseksualnosti" (iz)vodi. Za Nietzschea tamo leže "blaženi otoci". Njegovim riječima: "S onu stranu sjevera, leda, smrti - naš život, naša sreća...Mi smo otkrili sreću, mi znamo put, našli smo izlaz iz stoljeća labirinta".

Taj labirint skriva za homoseksualca mnoge pogibelji. Osim pogibelji izvana, dakle od stalne prijetnje njegovoj građanskoj egzistenciji i slobodi, on mora također živjeti s unutarnjim razdorom, jer duša, znao je Ulrichs, ne stoji suglasno tijelu, nego nasuprot, kao "suprotan pol", i "u stanovitoj mjeri neprijateljski".

Ovaj rat obaju spolova u ljudskom tijelu sreće se ponovno u Nietzscheovim sadomazohističkim "Ditirambima Dionisu". Neposredno pred izbijanje njegova ludila, upućuje na njega i u zagonetnoj pjesmi "Vještica", napisanoj u torinskoj sobici u potkrovlju. "Mislili smo loše jedno o drugom?" počinje dijalog s velikim neznancem. "Bili smo daleko. Ali sada, u ovoj maloj kolibi, poduprti na jednu sudbinu, trebamo li i dalje biti neprijatelji? Mora se sebe voljeti, kad se ne može pobjeći od sebe". Riječi poput onih koje Nietzscheov Dionis, svojoj ljubljenoj u "Plaču Arijadne" šapuće: "Ne mora li se prvo mrziti sebe, ako se treba voljeti sebe? Ja sam tvoj labirint". To je strano, muško tijelo u kojemu je ženska duša cijeloga života zatočena.

Ulrichsa također privlače otočja blaženih heroja. Sanja o jednom raju istospolne ljubavi kojemu on, poput Zaratustrina autora, daje klasično ime "blaženih otoka". Jer onda kada "južnjak, vjesnik proljeća" otopljuje "kruti led" predrasuda stoji također muškarcima sa ženskom dušom "sudjelovanje u blaženstvu" otvorenim. Tako isplovljuje njegov brod, kao onaj Kolumba Nietzschea, na neznano more - "plovim morem, argonaut, prema čudesnim zemljama...žudim vidjeti iskupljujuću zemlju, zemlju moje čežnje", uzdiše Ulrichs. Tamo želi, zajedno s ljubljenim Antinojem, kojega je još Hössli opjevao. "S njim se upućuje rado prema blaženim otocima svjetskog mora... s njim bi on putovao do zemaljskog raja".

Kako je Nietzscheu kriptografski svojemu uslužnom prijatelju Peteru Gastu sa Sicilije pisao? Dospio sam dakle na "svoj rub svijeta", gdje, prema Homeru, blaženstvo prebiva.


Preveo s njemačkog Mario Kopić

- 20:46 - Komentari (3) - Isprintaj - #

subota, 01.11.2008.

U srijedu, 5. studenog, u 20. sati

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Prema proročanstvu španjolskog tv seks simbola upućenog u teorije zavjere smak svijeta se bliži, kozmička evolucijska metla pomest će kutove galaksije i očistiti je od neprilagođenih univerzalnoj inteligenciji srca i uma, i to, kako najavljuje i Lein san, na dan Ribarske noći u Mimicama. Leu boli briga za Smak Svijeta iz dva razloga: prvi je taj što se Ribarska noć u Mimicama ne održava još od rata. Drugi razlog je što se njoj Smak Svijeta već događa! Uvjerena da je njezin redateljski prvijenac kojeg je producent opljačkao potpuni fiasco, na dan projekcije filma hollywoodskim kupcima u Rimu, ona bježi u Brazil kako bi uz koktele zaboravila buduću tugu i shvatila smisao života (ako ga, izvan filmske industrije, uopće ima). Naravno, toliko je show-bizz drama queen, da kad bi joj Smisao Života glavom i bradom pokucao na vrata, ne bi mu otvorila, prezauzeta njegovim oplakivanjem. Pred očima joj lete fragmenti pripreme njezinog nesretnog filma, susreti sa zvijezdama iz vremena kad se i ona smatrala zvijezdom u začeću, glamour visokog budžeta, a zatim njegov krah. I dok Lea oplakuje i sudbinu svijeta koji nikada neće vidjeti nesnimljene scene njezinog filma o Znakovima i jeziku prirode koji bi nas vratio zaboravljenom praiskonu, u Rimu njezin film doživljava potpuni trijumf. Ocijenivši ga jasnim trilerom bez smušenih autorskih poruka, Ameri kupuju film i nude Lei ugovor za snimanje u Hollywoodu. Odnosno, ponudili bi joj ga, da je njezina agentica može pronaći. U potragu za Leom u Brazil kreću njezin muž i sekretarica Sandra jer Hollywood je svakome pa i njima passpartu za vječnost, a put u Brazil zgodan tropski odmor. No kako pronaći nekoga tko ne nalazi sebe? A možda je i bolje. Jer smatrajući se mrtvom kao redateljicom, Lea pokušava osvijestiti jednostavnu ženu u sebi u zagrljaju brazilskog seksi (budućeg) redatelja, čovjeka toliko egocentričnog da je za njega Kopernikova teorija laž: on je centar svijeta! U takvim se okolnostima život jednostavne Lei žene učini kompliciranijim od kompliciranog života redateljice, pa očajna na tren i zažali što Smaka Svijeta neće biti. Istodobno, Hollywoodski producenti šalju ghost writtera u Mimice, Leino rodno selo, da napiše scenarij kakav će se Lei svidjeti, tj. new age triller začinjen pričicom o Znakovima Prirode u koje, zaključuju pragmatično, vjeruju svi u Hrvatskoj. Muvanje čudnog Amera po selu u podsezoni jasan je znak i Mimičani ga pročitaju glatko k'o titlove Čarolije: tip želi kupiti zemlju i nekretnine po Mimicama, bogati će se zapadni turisti vratiti na pansione! Kako ne bi propustili mogućnost zarade, Mimičani odluče oživjeti Ribarsku noć! Smaku Svijeta naglo se počne štucati. A to je tek početak.

Roman scenaristice i redateljice Nine Mimice "Lea ide u Hollywood" za okosnicu radnje ima stvarne događaje sa i oko realizacije njezinog prvog cjelovečernjeg filma "Mathilde" . Susreti sa zvijezdama s kojima je surađivala ili je pregovarala o suradnji (Rupert Everett, Gerard Depardieu, Jeremy Irons, Stephane Audran, Goran Bregović, Harvey Keitel i drugi) dogodili su se upravo onako kako su opisani. Ostatak je fikcija.

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O AUTORICI

Nina Mimica

Rođena je u Splitu 1967.
Od 1989 do 2006 godine živjela je i radila u Rimu.
U Hrvatsku se vratila 2006 kako bi sudjelovala u osnivanju Više škole filmskih umjetnosti i TV u Splitu, određeno kolegija filmskog scenarija i režije.

Obrazovanje

1986 - Srednja Umjetnička škola u Splitu, smjer novinarstvo
1990 - Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, komparativna književnost i talijanski jezik i književnost, Zagreb Hrvatska
1996 - Filmska akademija, smjer filmska i tv režija, (Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia) Rim, Italija
1997 – Seminar Wim Wendersa: Filmska naracija, Rim, Italija
1998 - Seminar Syd Fielda: Filmsko pisanje i struktura, Valencia, Španjolska
2005 - Seminar brazilskih tv scenarista: Arhetipi kroz tekst i sliku telenovela, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Profesionalno iskustvo

- Scenaristica i redateljica cjelovečernjih filmova:

2003 – Mathilde – koprodukcija E.T. Fiction (Italia), Acquarious Film Company (Velika Britanija), Artč, Istituto de Cinema Catalŕ (Spanjolska), Zuta film production (Njemacka).

Uloge: Jeremy Irons, Stephan Audran, Miki Manojlović

Ministarstvo Kulture Italije dodijelilo je scenariju Mathilde nagradu za Film nacionalne važnosti.

2007 – Pescatori di stelle – koprodukcija Pixtar (Italija), 02 Production (Brazil)
projekt u fazi pripreme snimanja

- Scenaristica cjelovečernjih filmova:

2006 – Another world – Star Cinematografica (Italija) režija Marco Guidone
2004 – Imbroglio nel lenzuolo – “Italian Dream” (Italija) režija Vincente Arau

Ministarstvo Kulture Italije dodijelilo je scenariju Imbroglio nel lenzuolo nagradu za Film nacionalne važnosti.

2003 – La messa dell’ angelo – 02 Production (Brazil) režija Flavio Leandro
2000 – Tre giorni in piu – Cinemotion (Italija) režija Antonio Manzini

- Scenaristica i redateljica kratkometražnih filmova:

1997 - La Guerra e finita

Kandidiran za Zlatni Globus 1998
Nagrada za najbolji film, Festival di Bilbao 1998
Nagrada UN-a za promoviranje humanosti, Festival di Bilbao 1998

Uvršten medu najuspješnija ostvarenja u povijesti kratkog filma, sekcija Klasici, Film Festival Uppsala 2007.

Sudjelovao na 18 svjetskih filmskih festivala

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1996 - Open house

Talijanski kandidat za American Academy Award (Oskar) 1996 u kategoriji kratkometražnog filma
Nagrada publike na festivalu Arcipelago3 , Rim, Italija
Nagrada za režiju na festivalu Archipelago3, Rim, Italija

Sudjelovao na 12 svjetskih filmskih festivala

1995 – E poi…

Specijalna nagrada Filmskog festivala u Locarnu

1994 – Tempo in prestito (u produkciji Serit produzioni)

Nagrada za režiju festivala Mediteran fest, Lampedusa

1994 – Pane e stelle

Nagrada za scenarij na festivalu Streetfestival Milano, Italija

1994 – Confessa Mitch

Nagrada za najbolji film, Bracciano, Italija

- Redateljica TV filmova i serija:

Distretto di polizia - produkcija Tao 2 za Canale5 2000
Nagradena Tv Gattom kao najgledanija serija Italije

Insulto – produkcija RAI Educational za RAI 1999

Peppe Carvalho – produkcija Solaris za RAI – second unit 1998

Un’isola d’inverno – produkcija FilmAlpha za RAI – second unit 1999

Avvocato Porta – produkcija Solaris za RAI – second unit 1998

- 1998/99 predavačica je Filmskog Scenarija na Akademiji vizuelnih umjetnosti, Siracusa, Italija

- 1998 izvanredna je predavačica Kratkometražnog Filma na Fakultetu društvenih znanosti i umjetnosti, University of Aarhus, Danska

- 2006 predavačica je Filmskog scenarija na Akademiji za Umjetnost, Rim, Italija

O Nini Mimici kao autorici kratkih filmova objavljena su dvije knjige:

The Art of the Short Fiction Film (1. poglavlje)
Autor: Richard Raskin
Izdavač: McFarland, USA

Nina Mimica, La guerra e finita. En filmbog.
Autor: Richard Raskin
Izdavač: University of Aarhus, Danska

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O knjizi će govoriti izdavačica i urednica Vivijana Radman, teoretičarka književnosti Tatjana Peruško, producentica i glumica Sanja Vejnović, novinarka Snježana Vukić i autorica Nina Mimica. Ulomke iz knjige, uz autoricu, čitat će glumci Nađa i Filip Nola, a jedan od likova romana (plesačicu sambe na karnevalu u Riju) otjelotvorit će plesačica suvremenog plesa Ana Šaškor. Na promociji će premijerno biti prikazani ulomci iz filma 'Mathilde' redateljice Nine Mimice, u glavnim ulogama kojeg nastupaju Jeremy Irons i Miki Manojlović. Rad na tom filmu poslužio je kao okosnica romana te su, u tom smislu, Irons i Manojlović likovi iz romana.

Lea ide u Hollywood zabavna je priča o odrastanju vječne djevojčice u svijetu europskog šoubiznisa. Iskustvom 'trnja' i 'zvijezda' Nina Mimica se u romanu igra na duhovit i dinamičan način kroz lik redateljice Lee koja u svijetu glamuroznog besmisla pokušava snimiti film o smislu života. No Lea ide u Hollywood ne bavi se samo stvarnim događajima.

Autobiografska okosnica brzom se monažom isprepleće s fiktivnim (triler) radnjama na nekoliko kontinenata: u Hollywoodu, Texasu, Mimicama i Brazilu gdje svi traže Leu koja je nestala misleći kako je njen film potpuni fijasko. Žanrovski neobuzdana, Lea ide u Hollywood čita se lako kao što se lako gleda dobar film. Filmskim tehnikama, autorica-redateljica leti iz 'factiona' u 'fiction', iz sadašnjosti u prošlost, iz vremena u bezvremenu dimenziju, kao da je pripovijedanje dječja igra za odrasle, a njen cilj ostavljanje putokaza na kraju knjige, prema gore, prema pravim zvijezdama.

Autorica Nina Mimica odlično poznaje taj sjajni i mračani svijet, u kojem je živjela i radila 18 godina u Italiji. Nakon što je diplomirala komparativnu književnost i talijanski jezik i književnost u Zagrebu, autorica je kao stipendistica Italije diplomirala režiju na prestižnom Centro Sperimentale u Rimu te radila kao scenaristica i redateljica serija na RAI-u, snimala reklame, dokumentarne i kratke igrane filmove koji su osvajali brojne svjetske nagrade.

Njezin prvi scenarij za cjelovečernji film - 'Mathilde', 2003. talijansko Ministarstvo kulture proglašava Filmom od nacionalne važnosti te Nina dobiva najveću potporu u povijesti talijanske kinematografije za realizaciju prvog filma. 'Mathildu' koproduciraju Italija, Velika Britanija, Njemačka i Španjolska, zvijezde poput Jeremy Ironsa, Harveyja Kaitela, Jeanne Moreau pristaju glumiti u filmu ove debitantice smještenom u Hrvatskoj.

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RAZNE RODNE STUDIJE


Nakon velike blamaže zagrebačkog Sveučilišta izazvane razornom akcijom Indeks, ja i moji rodijaci, kojih nije malo, odlučili smo da povratimo poljuljano poverenje u autonomiju Univerze, njen moralni i humanistički dignitet, kredibilitet i značaj, pa smo tako ocenili da je najsvrsishodnije za početak zasnovati neki novi studij, na ovim stranama manje znan i studiran, a u svetu naširoko prihvaćen, etabliran i uvažen, kao što je ovaj kojega smo se poduzeli znajući da će naše opsežno rodijačko iskustvo dragoceno pridoneti održivom rastu struke: u reč, rodne studije dobile su u nama snažnog promotora.

Na simposijumu posvećenom Nini Mimici, njenom imenu, liku i delu, održanom od 24.-27. srpnja ove godine u Cavtatu, pod nazivom: Mimice – razmeđa ili stjecište?, bio sam zamoljen da upravo kao portparole novorodnog studija održim uvodnu reč i predavanje posvećeno Ženi u opusu Nine Mimice.

Treba li da kažem da sam tu retku čast sa zadovoljstvom prihvatio?

Ninu Mimicu, možda tek reč, dve unapred, znam već gotovo tri desetljeća, još iz frankfurtskih dana prve emigracije, kad me je s njom upoznao Bruno Bušić. Sećam se kako je Bruno za nju govorio, onako, nazalno, kako je samo on znao: Šesna je mala, a?

I bila je šesna, još kao devojka, koja je tada činila svoje prve samostalne kreativne, intelektualne i karijerne korake: snimila je rani eksperimentalni low-budget film o kebab-pečenjarama u okolici frankfurtskog kolodvora, u kojemu neki besprizorni musavi glavonja ždere kebab na kebab, opsesivno i nezajažljivo, sve dok ga Tomislav Gotovac maskiran kao Captain America ne otjera od šanka prščući ga zelenom florescentnom tintom iz plastičnoga pištolja-žabe; za taj je preuranjeni uradak Ladislav Galeta kasnije kazao da je reč o ‘mrtvorođenoj lepoti’, koja buržuja u istim mah šokira i objasni. Film je igrao svega tri tjedna u okolici Dortumunda, izdašno financiran proračunom tamošnje crkvene opštine Sv.Antun Padovanski, a onda je zabranjen ukazom regnikolarnog ministarstva za prosvetu i bogoštovlje zbog opscenosti i rehabilitacije gurmanluka.

Moram priznati da vođen svojim danima i poslovima u ta vehementna vremena brzo gubim Ninu Mimicu iz vida, uostalom i sama je vrtirepka i ne drži je mesto, i susrećemo se tek desetljeće i pol kasnije, u baraci HDZ-a, gde me s njome upoznaje Slavko Degoricija, jasno, po drugi puta: Nina je u međuvremenu odrasla i zaboravila Čika Nemanju, barem do večeri koja je usledila u proplamsaju sveća i purpurnoj pospanosti baršuna i nežnih reminiscencija, i u to je vreme parafrazirala Leni Riefenstahl radeći na prvim promo-filmovima avangarde nacionalnog pokreta konca osamdesetih. Pogađate – ubrzo je nestala iz vidokruga, ostavljajući za sobom, kako je rekao Vlado Gotovac, pustoš Patrije, i tek je poneka vest ukazivala na njenu glamuroznu karijeru žene koja je izumila čekrk.

Treći put s Ninom Mimicom susrećemo se sada, na početku njene spisateljske karijere, a to je i razlog da nešto više kažemo, upravo iz perspektive rodnih studija, o ženama-spisateljicama, ženskom pismu i vanvremenoj temi odnosa teksta i tela.

Kao što je u diskusiji poznato, klasična velika katalogizacija žena i srodnih predmeta hi-fi Nemanje Cara Prvovenčanog, takozvana poslednja topika iz 1998., (Opšti uvod u ženu i izvod iz nje, Vittorio Klostermann Verlag, 1998.) žene-spisateljicu smešta na finalno, dvadeset i drugo mesto:

22. Spisateljice. Žene na rubu suicida, s one druge strane. Spisateljice se iz nekog neobjašnjenog razloga dele u tri skupine: u žene koje nama muškarcima nisu izazov, nego konkurencija, i koje nemaju dlake na jeziku osim možda prijateljičinu, dakle one koje pišu lezbijsku poeziju; princeze na zrnu graška: neurotičarke, one koje su postulatorno protiv i koje svaki kurac, a najviše kurac an sich smeta, kojima je neuroza poza i estetski a ne samo društveni gard, pa se sve što jest pretvara u izvor neobične afekcije a svaka njihova gesta ako ne u afekt a onda afektiranje, isprva neobično zabavno, doskora jednako dosadno; katatoničarke, koje prozirnobledih ruku, malih sisica i velikih podočnjaka, svesne prosečnosti, očajavaju nad spoznajom da gde nema invencije ima intencije, što ih polako ali sigurno odvodi u grob: sa svakim svojim pokretom sve se više sapliću, kao muhe u paukovoj mreži, ili jednostavnije: njihovo je prirodno stanište živi pesak! Žene koje žele biti spisateljice najvećma su u kardinalnom nesporazumu s vlastitom umetnošću i svetom u kojem žive: žrtve su krivoshvaćene mimetike, jer misle da je umetnost osveta životu pa opisuju umesto da žive - odatle taj trač kao žensko pismo; logos kao govor poprima specifičan mod ogovaranja, prestajući biti glasno očitovanje umske prirode čovjekove, i počinjući bivati poluglasno bezumlje - ne shvaćajući čak ni etičku dimenziju svoga čina: od njih se ne traži tell, nego samo kiss! To znači ne znati svoje mesto u svetu! Otuda: neumesne žene! Posljedica je da im se život pretvara u čeznuče, 'umiranje za...'; venuti, to je njihov egzistencijalni mod. Život, to je odgođena smrt, monotona agonija. Uzeti život u svoje ruke, znači ubiti se sam, ubrzati prirodan red stvari. Suicidalne, kažem vam, iako je zapravo mistično zašto je žena u blizini olovke i hartije zapravo pred – testamentom.
Žensko pismo = testimonijalna literatura one koja vas želi razvlastiti, nakon što je ionako razdala sve i pošla za nekim tko se predstavio kao Personal Jesus. Ako štogod iza njih i ostaje, ostavljaju to krivoj osobi.
To što poznajem žensku dušu, ne znači da sam ja tu zbog milosrđa. Za to je nadležna druga firma, konkurentska. (Ti, kao ljubitelj čoveka kome je Freud sakrio doktorat znaš da ja govorim kondicionalno, kadgod je reč o ženskoj duši!).
Jasno da spisak nije, ne može i ne želi biti konačan! Kad bih ga jednom završio - tu se moja sudbina ukršta s onom Guadijeve La Sagrada Familiae, koja bi se, kažu, dovršena urušila - prestao bih postojati.
Njetočka, mislim da je sretnija definicija koju predlažeš. One/oni kojima upravo diram sisisce, i one kojima ću dirati sisice. Štapom na daljinsko upravljanje. Ostale ni ne primećujemo, pa ni ne postoje, jer ako igde, a onda u erotskome svetu esse
jest percipii!

Svakako, na veliko traženje prijepomenutih štićenica, udovica i klikuša, nije zgorega u celini doneti tu magistralnu klasifikaciju:
1. Krave: Ima tako jedna krava koja uvek dođe kod nas kad imamo goste da moju mamu traži kafu...Iz knjige "Olovka piše srcem", a deca ne lažu! Barem ne o kravama.
Od krave treba razlikovati kravetinu, kao što se razlikuju konjina, idiot, i konjusina, onaj koji ne dodaje loptu na nogaču.

2. Pičke iz korporativnih komunikacija. Odnose se spram kučki kao šegrti spram majstora: korporativne komunikacije ovdje podrazumjevaju pripravu sendviča za domjenak firme koja se sastoji od dva stola i jedne telefonske linije.

3. Lucprde. Pandan ridikulima. Mani Gotovac.

4. "...i svih drugih prevarenih žena a i nje ...", G. Bregović. Prevarene žene, žasu. Tri banke, 6 propalih veza za vratom, pičke iz korporativnih komunikacija vladaju tržištem...depra. Xanax, žestica, nikotinizam.

5. Klikuše. Histerične krave koje šamaraju dječicu. Stoka.

6. Vučine. Poštene, brkate, ružne, simpatične pičke koje smo pijani pro bono karali između 19-23 godine po tulumuma, oduševljeni jer je pod kupaone pokriven medvjeđim krznom. Prije 19. od tolikog bi alkohola završili u bolnici, a nakon 23. karitativne pobude svaki će mlad, zdravi muškarac definitivno razlikovati od libidalih ispada.

7. Tuđe žene. Kao što je trač ljubav za daljnjeg svoga, tako su tuđe žene u zapadnoj civilizaciji ono što su pralje za brahmana: predmet najvećeg erotskog užitka, izazvanog transgresijom društvene zabrane. Tuđe žene redovito same traže vraga. Nije zabilježen slučaj da bi muškarac prvi započeo koketirati sa ženom nekog bližnjeg. Što traže, to i dobiju.

8. Žene muškaraca koji boluju od neofilije. Vrlo često nemaju ni malo razumjevanja za tu našu slabost, za to prokletstvo beskrajnog lutanja od jedne do druge, stalnog imperativa pronalaženja nove i uvijek nove, nedohvatne Žene. Stvarno su bezdušne!

9. Castelli-defekt: žene s tjelesnim nedostatkom. One koje smatraju da im kurac nekako pripada po prirodi, da i opet ne prizavam klasike psihoanalize. Malo me smaraju. Prije bi otjerao dete s trešnje, nego njih s kurca! Junkies.

11. One čije potpetice klokoču mramornim podovima Korporacija. Obožavam takve žene s jeseni i u zimu: tih me mjeseci čekaju rođendansko i božično slavlje, pa volim upoznati djevojku bez socijalnih ili financijskih skrupula. Bistre djevojke: na kraj im pameti ne pada žrtvovati svoju netom izborenu komociju, status i standard trajnošću veze; drugim riječima, već sam u vrijeme siječanjskih veleslaloma večan, svečan, lep: slobodan!

12. Djevojke u ljetnih haljinama volim. Komadi: novi modeli, proljeće-ljeto 2007.; nove linije, aerodinamične, glupe k'o kurac, čvrst k'o kurac. Mislim ono, kuiš. Ide jedno s drugim. Preplanule, opaljene. Nema tu ni govora o Nabokovu i tim spikicama: rave on, niš se tu ne pita! To su pneumatska pušenja, brale: o istom trošku centriraju bubrege, o kakvim se tu tlakovima radi. Možda se čak radi i o svojevrsnoj estetskoj pravdi: žena je najljepša kad izađe iz mora, govori lokalna predrasuda. Jasno, to je točno do izvjesne granice: do granice punoljetnosti. Jedna od velikih vrlina ove grupacije jest što je u formativnim godinama usred svijeta s onu stranu dobra i zla! Mi smo zaista zlatna generacija! Nigdar ni bilo kao ovih godina: djevojke su konačno postale ono što su, između ostaloga, voljele kod muškaraca: automobil, npr. Kao što s godinama sve snažnije aute vozim sve sporije, tako sve mlađe djevojke pristaju sve brže - bez oklijevanja, bez pitanja, bez predrasuda: bezbrižno. Bezobraznice!

13. Dottorese. Nevjerojatne žene, te liječnice! Toliko žrtvovanja, toliko učenja, toliko dežurstava, toliko skrbi...nema mi ništa boljega nego na nekoj humanitarnoj sezonskoj priredbi upoznati dvadesetosmogodišnju dottoresu s retorikom one koja je propustila sve ostalo: lekcije o povijesnim avangardama, kao i lekcije o načinu stjecanja bolesti kojima se predano bavi u Rockefellerovoj. Kakva mitska čudovišta, kakva kompozitna bića: pametne, a nesigurne, seksi, a sputane! Nevjerojatan je također taj ambivalentan zahtjev da što duže govorite o hrvatskom suvremenom slikarstvu, a da opet, ako je moguće, što prije pronađete zajednički jezik, dakle da ušutite i eventualno zamumlate! Divne žene. Štoviše, predivne: imaju toliko obveza i do te su mjere predane znanosti i brizi za čovječanstvo, da je svaka normalna veza s takvom ženom po definiciji nemoguća. Jer, žena ipak treba po povratku s posla skočiti po dijete, skuhati, pospremiti...ne znam kaj sve tu spada, nikad mi otac nije dozvolio da pitam mamu što su to kućanski poslovi. A valjda nekaj rade, kaj ja znam!

14. Pletilje. Prostodušne piljarice koje se izražavaju u rečenicama bez zareza, a jebu u mraku. Sa suprugom, jasno. S vama, njegovim kumom, čine to iluminirane jasnom spoznajom o zabranjenom voću kao izvoru užika, ili kako bi velečasni Jambrek kazal': grijeha. I kao što je za Sv.Augustina od smrti gore vječno umiranje, tako ni one ne mogu svršiti, nego svršavaju. Mislim da ovdje ima dovoljno djevojaka vičnih jeziku i njegovim finesama da znanstveno sankcioniraju ovu suptilnu razliku. Pletilje su rijetke u našim krugovima, iako su Junakinje našeg doba ili točnije svijeta: Hrvatska je i vremenski i prostorno u tranziciji, između sela i grada, u Predgrađu. Pletilje su djevojke s Klake i ne ćete ih sresti u Bogovićevoj, jer ona zamuckuje u susretu sa stilisticom (pičkom kaj prodaje robu šveranu iz Turske, op.p.) 'Escade'. Zato živnu predveče, kad atavizmi čijanja perja i etnografsko i folklorno nasljeđe njihovih majki i pređa provre u druženju s Ankicom i Zlatom iz susjedstva: uz priče i šale vrijeme brže prođe, a vikendom, kad Mirko s dečkima prejde u lov il' ribičiju, nađe se vremena i za takav mahnit i molećiv seks, da je iskrenom ljubitelju dobre knjige često puta neugodno priznati samome sebi da život piše romane, zapravo!

15. Žene pod haubama: Preteča Interneta iz predmaršalmekluanovskog vremena kad je svijet bio tek lokalno s(ij)elo. Žene pod haubama nisu žene, nego state of mind, ako se tako može kazati, a ne može, budući da je riječ o glavama, i to ženskim, pod haubama. Žene su inače u kombinaciji s haubama dobre jedino poziciji opisanoj u Springsteenovom 'Riveru'. Ovako, izložene cirkuliranju i vlađnog zraka, sapete viklerima, bombardirane infomracijama "Glorije" i susjede Mile koja interpretira kolumnu Žuži Jelinek, žene nemaju ama baš nikakve šanse zadržati minimum dostojanstva: to je vjerojatno najniža točka moralne depresije homo sapiensa: žena pod haubom! Pandan: mušarac pod haubom: vikend-automehaničar. Jezovito.

16. Žuži Jelinek. To je oblik života koji izmiče svakoj klasifikaciji. Hrvatski alien. Stvor koji je Stvar: nešto Tuđe što treba odstraniti iz svake žene, poglavito vlastite! Amoral kaj se zdošel. Kulturalna suprotnost fortune-cookiea. Savjet Žuži Jelinek prednovogodišnje je razočaranje malog Sarajlije kojemu je hodža objasnio da je Djed Mraz šejtan! Početak njena govora, trenutak je kad se u kino-dvorani pale svjetla! Fajrunt svijesti.

17. Prijateljeva mama. Ta je vrst žena iščezla. Kao i srednjoškolske profesorice. Kristalna kocka vedrine. Kinetički citat duplerice. Čisto prekoračenje: žena kao žensko, žena kao zrela žena, žena kao Učiteljica. Podvrsta tog rodnog bića je Susjeda. Žene koje nas kuže. Žene koje nas (m)uče.

18. Obrat koji vas očekuje: kćer najboljeg prijatelja! Isuse, kako vrijeme leti! Podsjetnik na vlastitu smrtnost. I na Selimovića: prestar za rock'n'roll, premlad da umreš! Vrag je u tome što kćeri naših prijatelja ulaze u fazu: prijateljev tata. Prijatelj, to je vaš sin! Kćeri mojih najboljih prijatelja, i moji su najbolji prijatelji, ili tako nekako nakon boce Bushmillsa, over rocks, što se može kojekako shvatiti kad je čovjek pijan.

19. Eye-contact: Trenutak u kojom i vi i nepoznata konobarica u restoranu uz autocestu kojom još 4 sata morate voziti do Muenchena shvatite da bi u nekim drugim okolnostima, da nema svih ovih ljudi među kojima su i vaša žena i njezin šef, srušili restoran do temelja, što ćete i učiniti prvom sljedećom prigodom organiziranom uglavnom zato da biste se zaustavili u restoranu na 4 sata vožnje od Muenchena kako bi pola stoljeća nakon II. Svjetskog rata srušili još jedno germansko zdanje. To je situacija inverzna Lost in translation: ovdje se sve podrazumjeva! Situacija je moguća i na kiosku pred kućom!

20. LoliGoth: Nerazumljiva bića iz druge Kulture/Civilizacije/Galaksije. Žene/suveniri Dalekog Istoka. Zamislite da se nađete u situaciji u kojoj bi se za vas zainteresira autentična gejša ili plesačica balijskog Sanghyang Jaran plesa! Uputstvo: vladati se kao primitivni ignorant! Ta, što vam je alternativa!? Biti pervertit, žudjeti da se bude objekt užitka nekog nerazumljivog drugog koji, da stvar bude gora, izaziva respekt?! Užasna li osjećaja, to prepuštanje nepoznatom! Kao da se upucavate tokijskoj goth-Loliti! Nevjerojatna situacija u kojoj se možda jedini put u životu nalazite pred ženom bez ikakvih motiva: gotovo bez potrebe! A ako ona i postoji, ne možete je sebi objasniti a da ne posumnjate u vlastiti svjetonazor.

21. Wanabee bee: Reaktivno formirane devojčice. Tko o čemu kurva o poštenju, vojska o skraćenju. Lenjima se stalno nešto radi, neurednima čisti. Tako bi i one stalno činile dobro, jer je to dobro: htele bi plivati s Nelsonom Mandelom i dupinima! To su devojke koje vam jednom tjedno operu suđe, i odmah zahtevaju tapšanje: vidi kako sam ja marljiva! Uoči me, barem kao skromnu, glasi paradoks njihove definicije. Nakon kratkog vremena provedonog s njima ubrzo postajete Katolik: one su zoran primer da ima netko tko sve vidi i vodi precizno Knjigovodstvo: ja sam ti skočila po novine, skuhala čaj, gledali smo triller a ne romantičnu komediju...u duši: kelnerice! Stalno nešto zbrajaju, pri čemu imaju sitnoračundžijsku dušu mlade konobarice, koja bi da vas prevari za lovu koju bi ionako dobila kao - bakšiš! Kao i sve žene, one imaju dvostruka merila zasnovana na univerzalnom antroplooškom bugu: naše je sećanje općenito selektvnoga karaktera, jer s jedne strane olako zaboravlja tuđe zasluge, dok je s druge "smešna lupa koja sitne stvari uveličava". U pravilu imaju sestru koja je bila očev miljenik: vape za pažnjom i pohvalom, jednom rečju. A vidi mene..., njihovo je geslo. Nakon što se malo pripijete u društvu i oteža vam jezik, redovito poželite da ih udarite bocom po glavi, koliko te žene laju; jasno, odustajete, ne toliko zbog vina, koliko zbog prilike da se vaši prijatelji uvere u veličinu vaše Pasije: tko je nju poznavao, ni pakao mu neće teško pasti!

Mišljenja sam da u svetlu rečenog roman Nine Mimice "Lea iđe u Hollywood" predstavlja rukavicu u lice ustaljenim kulturnim obrascima pomanja onog ženskog u regionu i južno, prema Bosporu i Dardanelima. Nadam se da će tako biti shvaćen i ovaj moj poziv na javnu diskusiju, u Booksi, 5. ovog meseca, u 20. časova. Živeli!

- 18:49 - Komentari (7) - Isprintaj - #

Njima se mili u svili

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Sve je počelo vrlo naivno.
U petak, 31.10.2008., Kizo je napisao post smjelog naslova: Nisam promiskuitetna.
Najbolje ćemo učiniti pročitamo li post još jednom, zajedno:

Imam 25 godina, zgodna sam, lijepa, obrazovana. Nisam promiskuitetna, ali ovo mi je već peta veza koja će se raspasti zbog istog problema. Naime, ne volim i ne upražnjavam analni seks, što mojim partnerima nije po volji, pa se tu i raziđemo.

Probala sam dva puta, ali ne mogu ja to, boli me i, što je najvažnije, to mi je odvratno. Zašto bih to radila, kad imam savršeno drugo mjesto za umetanje. Čini mi se da su svi današnji muškarci prikriveni pederi jer nema onog kojem nije užasno važan analni seks. Sve moje prijateljice pristaju na njega, mada je malo kojoj drago. Prijašnjim dečkima sam i rekla da si nađu nekog gay dečka pa da mu guraju, na što su svi bili jako uvrijeđeni.

Ovome sadašnjem sam rekla da još malo pričekamo, jer sam, poučena dosadašnjim iskustvom, htjela izbjeći prekid, i volim ga, bar je tako bilo do sada. Naime, on je otišao i korak dalje. Kupio je prije neki dan vibrator. Njime me je jako lijepo zadovoljavao neko vrijeme, kao uvod u ono glavno. Nije bilo loše sve dok nije jučer predložio da ja njemu taj isti vibrator guram u analni otvor i zadovoljavam ga kao i on mene.

Smučilo mi se, pa zar još jedan gay? Nekako sam se pribrala i 'skakanjem' po njemu zaobišla izvršiti traženu radnju. Nije ništa posumnjao. I što ću sada? Ne želim to raditi. Jesam li staromodna i nazadna ili su ti frajeri svi prolupali sa žudnjom za tim analnim otvorima. Gledala sam i neke pornofilmove u zadnje vrijeme i uočila da se ni tim glumicama ne mili ta radnja. Kad ga primaju zada, lice im je kao da žvaču limun sa solju. Što da radim? Da prekidam veze čim dođe u pitanje analni seks ili da stisnem zube kao mnoge i izdržim kojih pet minuta? Postoje li muškarci koji ne žele analni seks, kao i ja?

Kora

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Draga Kora,

možeš pročitati moj prošli odgovor i zaključiti na kakav je prezir naišao, i to većinom kod čitateljica, a kod čitatelja je izazvao porugu i navlačenje na to da sam homić. A djevojka je lijepo tražila još koji mogući način da mu stvori ugodu, ako je moguće orgazam. Kako sam tek dva puta bio u prilici nešto učiniti, obadva puta sam podbacio.

Prvoj curi sam bio preširok, koristili smo maslinovo ulje za podmazivač i nakon dva-tri centimetra prodiranja, ona, koja si je to željela priuštiti, odustala je od bolova i straha. Ne mogu reći ni ja da mi nije laknulo kad smo prestali s analnim igricama.

Druga cura je imala bogato analno iskustvo, ali bio sam stariji i bez problema sam zaustavio ono čemu je moja generacija bila nevična. Dakle, uzmeš starijeg rabljenog tipa i nećeš imati tih problema. Ali problem je u tome što želiš uživati u mladosti, dakle nova linija, snaga, brzina i pripadajuća moć, a ne traume i sveopći umor. Kraće: novi model Fiata – da, a dobro uščuvana Zastava 101, kojoj ne pada na pamet da te ševi u guzu – ne.

Druga je stvar i to što ti dečki nisu i ne žele biti gay. Uopće ih muškarci ne privlače. Oni sami su isprobali taj oblik podražaja jer je u anusu i kod žena i muškaraca skriven taj cijeli erogeni sustav, od podražaja, stimulacije do orgazma. Kako nisu gay i ne žele to biti, a moš mislit kako je 'teško' naći partnera, oni se vrlo često obraćaju svojim djevojkama. U knjigama sam pronašao (a većina vas bi si ruku odrezala, nego knjigu pročitala) da su Tibetanci dva puta tjedno prali anus radi zdravlja i higijene, kao i to da homoseksualci imaju mnogo manje problema s prostatom i hemoroidima zbog povišene higijena i česte stimulacije.

Tibetanci kažu: 'Pokaži mi usta i anus, i znat ću tvoju pravu starost.' Što kažu Tibetanci, kažu mudrost, a mene prošli put na blogu izvrijeđale cure, a narugali se i dečki ne bi li se pred njima dokazali. A ja, da bih odgovorio, morao konzultirati i knjige i praksu. Srećom, u inteligenciji ima gay pojava još od stare Grčke, a neki od njih su mi i frendovi jer nemam predrasuda prema spolnim manjinama i nisam primitivac koji mrzi.

Pa frajeri koji su gay, po čemu su mi oni konkurencija, po tome što oni vole dečke, a ja cure? Ma daj, baš oni koji ih nazivaju pogrdnim imenima - iskazuju potajno (njima i nastrano) zanimanje za njih, a primitivne cure drže ih ravnopravnom konkurencijom. Kao, ako joj dečka mazne gay, i njezin će dečko postati gay. Misle da je to nešto kao gripa. E, umorih se od ove teme, ali pružam ruku pomirenja. I ako se volite, svi se izljubite, od pasa nadolje!

Pusa

Simo


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Ne sluteći nikakvu nedaću, niti je izazivajući, rutinski sam komentirao:

Mislim da dragoj Kori treba kazati i ovo: osnov je svakog zdravog seksualnog odnosa muškarca i žene jasna i postojana svijest da nema jebačine bez harassmenta. Znam da ova teorija protuslovi općeprihvaćenoj predrasudi o ljubavi kao pretpostavci erotskog (užitka), da para djevojačka srca i romantične iluzije o monogamnosti ljudske vrste, ali s onu stranu svih tih spasovnih fanatazija moramo se suočiti s neprijepornom činjenicom da nas ništa ne uzbuđuje kao - bol & poniženje.
Dopusti da o tome prethodno konzultiramo literaturu, dr.Freuda i onog psihijatra koji je poludio od filozofije, notornog Lacana:
Kao što znaš, Freud je suprotstavio nagon smrti (thanatos) seksualnom nagonu, ali Lacan argumentira da nagon za smrću nije separatan, nego je u stvari aspekt svakog nagona! Svaki je nagon pokušaj prekoraćenja principa užitka, zalaženja s onu stranu toga načela u područje ekscesne jouissance, gdje se ugoda iskušava kao patnja!
Važno je jouissance razlikovati od ugode: užitak je "ugoda u neugodi". On označava paradoksalno zadovoljstvo uzrokovano bolnim susretom sa Stvari koja remeti ekvilibrij poznatog "načela ugode" (Freud). Drugim riječima, Užitak je lociran "s one strane načela ugode".
Neka te ne brine ova visokoparna teorija: ona je ovdje samo zato da nam priskrbi razumno opravdanje za sve ono što smo jedni drugima spremni učiniti za to malo užitka, ugode i svekolike naslade: važno je samo da na početku zapamtiš da:
- se u krevetu svatko jebe za svoj orgazam,
- da te nitko ne voli toliko koliko je užitka u boli!
U kotralihtu ovih spoznaja problem analnog seksa izgleda trivijalan kao ubod iglom u jagodicu prsta tijekom šivanja gumba na šinjelu u rovovima prvog svjetskog rata, negdje kod Verduna.
Ako zaista voliš svoje dečke, ili dečke naprosto, morat ćeš se malo opustiti, pa i pretrpiti tih desetak minuta, dok se oni pozabave tvojom guzom, ako ih baš sve po redu ona toliko pali!
Savjetujem ti i mali trik: kaži dečku da te snažno povuče za kosu i koliko god se otimala nek' ne pušta, tako da ti koncentracija iz guzice nekako dođe u glavu.
Bit će to jedinstveno iskustvo u tvome životu.

Avaj! Onda je počelo:

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Elle Woods Gone Brunnette

Dragi Nemanja,

Potpuno si u pravu. Zato bih rado da se susretnemo u mojoj spavaćoj sobi, gdje bih ti prvo zaglavila glavu između šipi na uglavlju, a onda nagurala golemu balancanu (olitiga patliđan) u tvoj dražesni anus, i tamo svrdlala njome dok ti oči ne izlete iz lubanje. I pritom kvačila štipalice za rublje na jaja.
Mmmmm, već se radujem mom i tvom orgazmu...

Kao poprilično promiskuitetna osoba, nisam baš tako često nalijetala na situacije da se toliko inzistira na analnom seksu, a kamoli da veze pucaju zbog toga... Mislim da se radi prije o izdegeneriranim (mlađim) muškim umovima, odgojenima na smiješnoj pornjavi, koji zapravo nemaju pojma o seksu.

A tebi dragi Nemanja, koji savjetuješ nekome, i to ŽENI, da zbog ljubavi izdrži tih 10-ak minuta izrazite neugode, bola i odvratnosti, želim da te što prie opizdi neka prosvjetiteljska munja u glavu!
Zašto oni ne bi iz ljubavi zanemarili svoju želju za analnim seksom, a ne da žena bude ta koja trpi??? Zašto???

Napokon, mene uzbuđuje dominacija (moja), pa ne prekidam veze i ne zahtjevam od muškaraca da nužno pristanu...

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lolina

Draga Kora , dečko je skrouz ok. ti njemu , on tebi;))) moj nije toliko fer , naime on oće samo meni.
da ne ostanem uskraćena u iskustvu kako izgleda muškarac "s one strane načela ugode" pridružujem se EWGB...Nemanja , popij čašu vode... hihi

Nakon ovakvih ispada, što sam drugo mogao nego u nastupu najiskrenijeg samoprijegora ustati u zaštitu Žene od nje same! Nakon što sam posetio maserku, razgibao sam prste, sjeo za tastaturu, i počeo:

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Drage devojčice,

Nemojte me terati da razmišljam o tome držite li ređe u rukama kurac ili knjigu, jer vi znadete moju slabost spram žena uopšte, napose onih vaspitanih, kao i moju neutešnu rezignaciju pred samoskrivljenom devojačkom nezrelošću, žalost pred prizorom nekultivisane lepote, i skrušenu nemoć i očaj usled tvrdokorne devojačke neprosvećenosti; oću da kažem, ja prosto ne mogu da taslačim prostakuše, pa to ti je; mislim, mogu, ali neću, jer ono erotsko i ono vulgarno, da podsetim, nemaju ništa zajedničkog, da se sasvim pojasnim.
Vidite, citirajući Kamova, ja uopšte ne insistiram na tome da tko otraga smije, najslađe smije, ali, i opet, držim da nije ni dobro ni pravedno odbaciti čari guženja mladih štićenica, udovica i klikuša a zbog dve, tri devojačke suze: struktura je ženskoga užitka takva da je svaki kraj novi početak, i istini za volju, izradimo li barem uslovnu topografiju toga užitka, logično smo napućeni da vas zgodimice taslačimo i otpozadi, rutinski, s neminovnošću prirodnih pojava, kao što kiša pada a pas laje, gotovo bezinteresno, jer kažem, takva je narav ovog jouissance feminine.

Da objasnim Lacanovim rečima:

Feminine jouissance differs from masculine or phallic jouissance through its relation to the Other, especially the Other sex, which for Lacan means woman. Although in his earlier work, Lacan attributed to women a jouissance associated with the phallic stage and the clitoris (1977, p. 282), his work of the 1970s moved away from that position. In particular, Lacan posits for women a specifically feminine jouissance that is "beyond the phallus" (1998, p. 74). Women have access both to phallic, or sexual, jouissance, and to a supplementary form of jouissance by virtue of being not wholly subsumed by the phallic function as men are: "being not-whole, she has a supplementary jouissance compared to what the phallic function designates by way of jouissance" (1998, p. 73). It is, however, impossible to know anything about this other jouissance other than that some women (and men) experience it. Lacan's paradigmatic example of feminine jouissance is that of mystics such as Hadewijch d'Anvers, Saint John of the Cross, and Saint Teresa, thus relating feminine jouissance to God. As he asks in relation to mysticism, "Doesn't this jouissance that one experiences and knows nothing about put us on the path of existence? And why not interpret one face of the Other, the God face, as based on feminine jouissance?" (1998, p. 77).

In his later uses of the term jouissance, one can see just where Lacan parts ways with Freud. First, in his claim that "there is no sexual relationship," Lacan asserts the inherent failure of genital sexuality, which Freud did not do. Finally, through his description of a specifically feminine jouissance, one that implies a different type of sexual satisfaction for women, Lacan's later work does away with Freud's notion of libido's being only masculine.

Neverovatno! Vi dakle odbijate poređenje vašega užitka sa samim licem Gospodnjim? Pa to je gotovo bogohulno, koliko je nezahvalno!

I uopšte, stvari ne stoje nimalo beznadno konsultira li se kultunohistorijski ta problematika analnoga sexa; recimo, ova kosmogonijska epizoda:

This Deleuzian procedure has an unexpected theological precedent - not the Christian immaculate conception, to which he himself refers, but the Jewish legend about the birth of the Messiah, reported by Joseph in a monoscript from the 13th century. God wants to give birth to the Messiah, but knows that all of the forces of evil are waiting in front of the vagina of Shekina to kill the Messiah the minute he is born. So God goes at night to his mistress, Lilith, the symbol of evil, and penetrates her anally (the expression used can also mean that he pees into her vagina). The Messiah will come from Lilith after anal sex: this is the way God tricks the forces of evil, by bringing the Messiah through evil. [3] If the founding move that establishes a symbolic universe is the empty gesture, how is a gesture emptied? How is its content neutralized? Through repetition. Giorgio Agamben tried to indicate this process with the notion of profanation: in the opposition between sacred and secular, profanation of the secular does not equal secularization; profanation puts the sacred text or practice into a different context, it subtracts it from its proper context and functioning. As such, profanation remains in the domain of the non-utility, merely enacting a "perverted" non-utility. To profanate a mass is to perform a black mass, not to study the mass as object of the psychology of religion. In Kafka's The Trial, the weird extended debate between Joseph K. and the Priest about the Law (which follows the parable of the Door of the Law) is deeply profanatory - one can even say that Kafka is the greatest profanator of the Jewish Law. As such, profanation - not secularization - is the true materialist undermining of the Sacred: secularization always relies on its disavowed sacred foundation, which survives either as exception or as a formal structure. Protestantism realizes this split between the Sacred and the secular at its most radical: it secularizes the material world, but keeps religion apart, plus it introduces the formal religious principle into the very capitalist economy. (Mutatis mutandis, the same goes for the Stalinist Communism - it is secularized, not profaned religion.)

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Konačno, samo još jedna reč o tome što vi nazivate mukom, patnjom i bolom - nije neophodno biti Slavoj Žižek da bi se (u)videlo o čemu se tu zapravo radi, a radi se o tome da smo mi samo instrument vašega užitka i ovaploćenje vaše fantasije!

Dorothy's apartment is one of those hellish places which abound in David Lynch's films, places where all moral and social inhibitions seem to be suspended, where everything is possible. The lowest masochistic sex, obscenities, the deepest level of our desires that we are not even ready to admit to ourselves, we are confronted with them in such places.
From what perspective should we observe this scene? Imagine the scene as that of a small child hidden in a closet or behind a door witnessing the parental intercourse. He doesn't yet know what sexuality is, how we do it, all he knows is what he hears, this strange deep breathing sound. And then he tries to imagine what goes on.
At the very beginning of Blue Velvet we see Geoffrey's father having a heart attack, falling down, we have the eclipse of the normal paternal authority. It is as if Geoffrey fantasises this wild parental couple of Dorothy and Frank as a kind of phantasmatic supplement to the lack of the real paternal authority. Frank not only obviously acts but even overacts, it is as if he is ridiculously excessive, gesticulating, shouting, and so on - are here to cover up something. The point is of course, the elementary one, to convince the invisible observer that father is potent, to cover up father's impotence, so the second way to read the scene would have been as a spectacle, a ridiculously violent spectacle, set up by the father to convince the son of his power, of his over-potence. The third way would have been to focus on Dorothy herself. Many feminists, of course, emphasise the brutality against women in this scene, the abuse, how the Dorothy character is abused. There is obviously this dimension in it. But I think one should risk a more shocking and obverse interpretation. What if the central, as it were, problem of this entire scene is Dorothy's passivity. So what if what Frank is doing is a kind of a desperate, ridiculous, but nonetheless effective, attempt of trying to help Dorothy, to awaken her out of her lethargy, to bring her into life. So if Frank is anybody's fantasy, maybe he's Dorothy's fantasy. There's a kind of a strange mutual interlocking of fantasies. Its not only ambiguity but ossillation between three focal points. This I think is what accounts for the strange reverberations of this scene.

Stoga, ne jebite po tavanu! Lepo se smestite, i molim, da bi žena bila in, mora nekaj i propatit, kaj ne?

P.S.

Nabavite i pročitajte zbirku priča Marcela Mariëna Likovi s krme. Tu ćete pronaći naročito poučnu storiju o devojci čije je telo gradualno pružalo sve više prigoda za užitak, postajući propusnim za maksimum ljubavnika, pripuštajući ih sve do u blizinu srca, što je gotovo sam rub kršćanske erotike: "čovjek se erotizira jer po propusnosti drugoga poosobljenoga tijela, slobodnoga tijela, dobiva svoje poosobljeno tijelo - utjelovljuje se, jest tijelo. To znači da je za erotiku potrebno ne samo puko tijelo, koje bi inače bilo svedeno na objekt, već tijelo iz kojega progovara sloboda. Erotizacija je zapravo slobodna propusnost dvaju slobodnih tijela jedno za drugo. Iz iskustva erotike sasvim je jasno da svoje tijelo počinjem otkrivati jedino po tijelu drugoga. Po erotizaciji konačno postajem utjelovljen.", kaže teolog Raguž.
Jedna druga priča spomenutog Marcela, ide ovako:

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Prozirnost budućnosti

Niccolo Svolta, sin neke prorocice i nekog zgubidana, vrsio je u Firenci, u jednoj dascari blizu palace Strozzi, rijedak zanat gataoca iz stakla. Njegovom nacinu citanja buducnosti davala je snagu jedna posve izvorna metoda. Ona se ponajprije sastojala u prikupljanju velikog broja naocari, starinskih ocala, cvikera, povecala, dogleda, retrovizora, lornjona, monokla, ogledala, nisana, dalekozora. Ukratko svih sprava za gledanje sto su pripadale najrazlicitijim ljudima svih vremena i iz cijeloga svijeta, bili oni mladi ili stari, bogati ili siromasni. Zatim bi kuhao lece u golemu bakrenom loncu na blagoj vatri. Obicno je dostajao jedan sat kuhanja. Potom je vrac uklanjao posudu s peci i zlatnom zlicom zaimacom vadio stakla, pazeci da ne razbije ni jedno.
Naposljetku, smionim manevrom svojih prenapregnutih, do tad bolno stijesnjenih sposobnosti, koje se iznenada stavljaju u pokret i praskaju, on bi vidio - oh, da - vidio! Lucio bi neopipljivo, neodredivo i nesto poput nevidljiva strujanja koje mu je omogucavalo da sada, u toj smirenoj juhi mrtvih videnja, poput samo jednog munjevitog poteza kise sred plavetnila razotkrije predodraz stvari sto ce ih buducnost pruziti gledanju i dozivljavanju, i da im podari, zahvaljujuci naglom zamrzavanju svoga duha, krv i meso - oblik ako ne tezinu.
Ako se ponekad varao, a sam je to znao i priznavao, varao se zato sto mu je u njegovoj apsolutnoj potrazi za buducnoscu nedostajala neophodna podrska vizija, a takvih je ipak strasno mnogo, koja je u "zivotu" prisutna bez pomoci ikakvih stakalaca. Pa cak ako uzmemo u obzir da su se te vizije, unatoc svemu, prije ili kasnije morale suociti s uzasnom i blagotvornom preprekom zrcala, gatalac je pomisljao kako je mozda dovoljan jedan jedini slijepac, koji tapka u potpunom mraku, pa da njegov pothvat samo zbog te odsutnosti propadne izvrgnut ruglu.
Upravo zato Niccolo Svolta ugasi se jednog dana u Firenci, u susjedstvu palace Strozzi, pokraj svog praznog lonca i hladne peci, a da nije bas pouzdano znao je li uistinu postojao.

Marcel Marien, Likovi s krme (Figures de poupe), Paris 1979

Moram još i ovo reći, kad smo ko pakla tjelesnosti:

Pakao nije mjesto gdje se događaju zle stvari, nego je to zlo mjesto! (Vathek)
U skladu s tim postulatom, Pakao je mjesto koje apsorbira našu osobnu toplinu (Matrix: sustav treba našu energiju), da bi nas beskonačno umnoženom vrelinom svih okupljenih prokletnika vječno mučio.
Pakao se dakle (endotermno) napaja našim grijesima, da bi nas hiperbolički mučio njihovim beskrajnim ispaštanjem.
Vratimo se na trenutak ovom stavu da Pakao kao sustav treba našu energiju: u Paklu mi smo totalno pasivni objekt čija energija biva isisavana. Pitanje zašto Pakao treba energiju, želimo li na nj odogovorit, valja postaviti obratno: Zašto energija treba Pakao?
Energija, naravno, to je libido, naš užitak. Zašto dakle naš užitak treba virtualni univerzum fantazije? Zašto mi trebamo Pakao kao virtualni nadomjestak a ne uživamo izravno?
Odgovor je banalan a nude ga prvi stihovi ove krasne pjesme:

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Žižek’s Movies

Anxiety alone
does not deceive
Subjectivity is to see
what is missing from reality
Libido need fantasy
to sustain itself
before the abyss
of another mind
Fantasy realised is nightmare
but the final nightmare
is immortality not death

Desires are not given
but acquired
and men strle
with the desire
for their fathers
to be dead
Masculinity is illusion
man is terrified
of his own power
afraid of what he might do
because he can

There is too much
in feminine fantasy
for men to match
so they feel threatened
The paradox of pornography
if all can be shown
without restraint
we must render it unreal
to feel safe
Only willed constraint
empowers us
to explore the truth
so we choose not to show
all that can be seen

Film is not an escape
from reality
but a safe place
to explore
what terrifies us

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Da za sada provizorno zaključim: Pakao je sigurno mjesto istraživanja onog što nas plaši!
A što nas to plaši?
Plaši nas žena, kao naša realizirana želja, ili pak krivnja!
Stoga, kad shvatimo da je samo mrtva žena dobra žena, vrlo brzo postajemo svijesni gdje smo: usred Pakla, koji je kao mjesto specifičan po tome što odatle nema van - drugim riječima: tu se žene, tj. vlastite želje ili krivnje, ne možeš riješiti!
Da bismo uopće u ženi mogli uživati, nama je neophodan Pakao: mjesto vječnog povrataka onog Ženskog! Kako god da je odstranimo, žena u Paklu uskrsava, i mi te infernalne prednosti postajemo trijumfalno svijesni: naš užitak postaje to tim veći što su veće muke na koje Ženu stavljamo, savršeno zaštičeni spoznajom da je Žena načeno neuništiva!
Dakle, mi: naš užitak, naša libidalna energija treba Pakao kao mjesto beskrajnog užitak u beskonačnom grijehu: tu se eros, naš užitak u Ženi, stapa s tanatosom, našim stalnim ništenjem žene kao bića koje postoji po sebi: ono je samo naša realizirana želja, ili krivnja, i ništa drugo.
Q.E.D.

Kant, u dijelu svoje Kritike parktičkog uma tajanstveno naslovljenom sa ‘O srazmeri čovekovih saznajnih moći koje su mudro saobražene njegovom praktičkom određenju’, odgovara na pitanje da što bi nam se desilo kada bismo dobili pristup području noumenskog, Stvari u nama:
Međutim, umesto spora koji sad moralno nastrojenje ima da vodi sa sklonostima, u kome se posle nekoliko poraza ipak postepeno može steći moralna jačina duše, pred očima bi nam neprekidno bili Bog i večnost sa svojom strahovitom veličanstvenošću (...) to bi se većina zakonitih radnji događala iz straha, samo malo njih iz nade, i nijedna iz dužnosti, a moralna vrednost radnji, od koje jedino zavisi vrednost osobe i samog sveta u očima najviše mudrosti, uopšte ne bi egzistirala. Ponašanje ljudi, dokle god bi njihova priroda ostala onakva kakva je sad, pretvorilo bi se tako u prost mehanizam, u kome bi, kao u marionetskoj igri, sve gestikuliralo kako valja, ali u figurama ipak ne bi bilo nikakvog života.
Nikakvo čudo da ova vizija o čovjeku, koji bi se kroz izravan uvid u čudovišnost božanskog bića-samog-po-sebi pretvorio u beživotnu lutku, izaziva takvu nelagodu među komentatorima Kanta (obično se preko nje prelazi u tišini ili biva odbačena kao kakvo uznemirujuće strano tijelo). Kant njome isporučuje ništa manje nego, kako to neko nazva, ‘kantovsku temeljnu fantazmu’, interpasivnu drugu scenu slobode, spontanog slobodnog agenta, prizor u kojemu se slobodni agent promeće u beživotnu lutku na raspolaganju perverznom Bogu. Kantova je poanta, naravno, da nema aktivnog slobodnog agenta bez ove fantazmatske potpore, bez druge scene na kojoj njime bezostatno manipulira Drugi. Odnosno, dok kantovski subjekt, prazna tačka samoodnoseće negativnosti, nije ništa do lakanovski ‘prekriženi’ subjekt označitelja - le manque a etre, kojemu manjka potpora u pozitivnom ustroju bića - ono što fantazma inscenira jeste upravo gubitak subjektovog nemogućeg bića, usljed subjektovog ulaska u simbolički poredak. Otud nikakvo čudo da je temeljna fantazma pasivna, ‘mazohistička’, ona koja me svodi na objekt kojim ravnaju drugi: kao da jedino iskustvo krajnjeg bola može subjektu garantirati pristup Biću: la douleur d’exister znači da ‘jesam’ samo dok trpim bol. Sa ovoga bi razloga trebalo iznova formulirati kantovsku zabranu izravnog pristupa području noumene: ono što bi trebalo ostati nedostupno nije noumensko Stvarno, nego sama temeljna fantazma - približi li se previše svojoj fantazmatskoj jezgri, subjekt gubi konzistenciju svog postojanja.

...Bože, kakvim se ja temama moram baviti na ovaj sveti dan!

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- 12:54 - Komentari (12) - Isprintaj - #

Mileniumko Jergović u epizodi:

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Da, zaboravih da kažem da me priča o Jergoviću posebno veseli. Taj je sad zaseo po Politici i šlihta se baba Vidi and co. da sve zvoni.

zhanesa

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Priča na koju se Zhanesa referira, post je Gospođa ministarka. Akoprem su čitatelji Vaseljene odavno navikli na najrazličitija moja proroštva kojih se, kažu, ne mogu nasititi, pa ipak ću zagovornicima moje kanonizacije causu olakšati svježim doprinosom: upravo sam u tom postu najavio Jergovićev Sturm und Drang nach Osten, špiritualnu njegovu Seobu u Beograd:

Jergović gleda u pravcu Beograda, što je naročito neugodna činjenica koja je ujedno indeks njegove ludosti: Jergović sada već sasvim neskriveno oponaša Andrićev životni put u njegovoj zemljopisnoj, ali i duhovnoj putanji. Andrić je prezir prema Zagrebu iskazao opaskom o alkoholiziranom Zagrebu iz kojeg mora pobjeći da bi preživio, Jergović svoj prezir - tekst u "Politici" o hrvatskom kelnerskom mentalitetu - iskazuje kao kupovinu karte za Beograd, u kojem Vida Ognjenović, kažu mi, nije lišena ambicije da postane gospođa ministarka. Moji beogradski drugovi pričaju da nesuđena gospođa ministarka inicirajući osnivanje balkanskoga PEN-a samo obnavlja kandidaturu za resor kulture. Kad samo pomislim na ministarstvo kulture, nadođe mi Hribarova rečenica kao legenda, kao slogan: U hašekovskim kancelarijama nušićevski činovnici financirali su kreativne pokušaje šarlatana iz Iljifa i Petrova.

(...)

Odlazi li dakle Miljenko Ivo Jergović u Beograd? Koga briga.
Bog mu pomogao.
Beogradu.

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Beograd - Tamo gdje knjižare rade od 9 do 23

Piše: Miljenko Jergović

I kod susjeda je pravoj tranziciji put popločan, no jedan segment nisu zahvatile njene posljedice. Unatoč tabloidizaciji, srpske novine i televizija i dalje su puni priloga o knjigama.

Petak je, rano jutro nakon atentata u Staroj Vlaškoj, stojim na prozoru Hotela Balkan, u Prizrenskoj ulici u Beogradu, i uživam u prizoru. Stari hamalin, neobrijane brade, s brkovima, uzbrdo gura trokolicu, do vrha ispunjenu đevrecima i kiflama.

Miriši svježe pecivo na putu prema Knez Mihajlovoj, kao što je s istih kolica mirisalo i prije stotinu godina, a mirisat će, bez obzira na globalizaciju, tranziciju i europske integracije, i za stotinu godina, jer ovo je doista pravi Balkan, koji se ne može tek tako očistiti, oprati i uniformirati, i koji je, na sve dobre i loše načine kulturno i civilizacijski dovoljno neukrotiv da nema onog tko bi staroga hamalina potjerao s ulice ili njegovim gazdama, tamo dolje s pijace na Zelenom vencu, navukao sanitarnu inspekciju na vrat.

I dok ga tako ispraćam s prozora hotelske sobe, dišući njegove đevreke, pada mi opet na um Ivo Andrić koji je u ovoj istoj, Prizrenskoj ulici živio kao podstanar, nakon što je glavom bez obzira izbjegao iz Zagreba, da bi u ovome gradu postao veliki pisac i da bi mu, napokon, Beograd pružio atmosferu u kojoj je napisao sve svoje bosanske romane, i onaj jedan tjeskobni beogradski, o Gospođici, staroj usidjelici koja je štedjela na svemu.

Nakon sretne nedjelje

Andrićevi su prozori u tih nekoliko mjeseci, ili čak koju godinu života u Prizrenskoj bili dolje niže niz ulicu, ali otprilike na jednakoj visini, pa je i on, kao ja sad, u rana jutra mogao gledati starog hamalina i njušiti njegove đevreke. E, vidite, po tome se prepoznaje grad. Kao što se u notornome Joyceovom Dublinu nalaze ulice po kojima kroči duh slavnoga pisca, tako i u Beogradu, u Prizrenskoj i u još nekoliko drugih, međusobno i ne tako udaljenih ulica, živi duh našega jedinog, a zauvijek zajedničkog, književnog nobelovca.

Tu s njime živi i hrvatska književnost, koja može zahvaliti samo jednoj šparnoj teti što je nećaku ostavila škrabicu punu dukata, jer da nije bilo nje izvjesno je da bi se i Krleža trajno doselio u Beograd, pa bi se tako hrvatska politička i hrvatska književna metropola u dvadesetom stoljeću našle u dva međusobno četiristo kilometara udaljena grada. No, ne bi to bila tragedija: u neka dobra doba za tu književnost politička je metropola bila u Beču, Varaždinu ili tko zna gdje, dok je književna, zna se, bila u Dubrovniku.


U Beogradu nisam bio tek tri-četiri mjeseca, a grad kao da se u duhovnom smislu preobrazio. Tada su bili dani od izbora, svi su strepili od najavljivane pobjede radikala, tjeskoba se mogla osjetiti na svakome koraku, s njom i dojam da je Srbija i u Beogradu podijeljena, kao u nekoj fantastičnoj priči, na one kojima vrijeme teče unaprijed i one kojima
teče unatrag, pa iako se takvi nikada ne mogu u stvarnosti sresti i razgovarati, lako bi mogli međusobno zaratiti. Ali nakon što je te sretne nedjelje pobijedila glasačka mašinerija budućnosti, narednih se mjeseci dogodilo nešto neobično, nešto što se u Hrvatskoj moglo osjetiti dan nakon Trećega siječnja.

Počela je tranzicija, stranci su izašli na ulice, pokreću se javni tenderi i sumnjive transakcije u kojima sudjeluje međunarodna zajednica, otvaraju se nove trgovine, privatizira se sve odreda, a u hotelskom se foajeu za susjednim stolovima, za kojim u odvojenim društvima sjede muškarci u sivim i plavim menadžerskim odijelima, čuju američki i ruski. Kao da jedni druge ne primjećuju, iako su, to je sasvim izvjesno, tu o istom poslu.

Sve ostalo je Delta

Kod prijatelja koji su još ljetos osjećali tjeskobu pred četničkom ofanzivom što su je predvodili Toma Nikolić i Aleksandar Vučić, danas već osjećam tjeskobu pred onim što donose i odnose ti menadžeri. Istina, ovaj je strahić neusporediv s onim prethodnim, ali svakako ga valja zabilježiti. Moje je da im ga pojačam pričama o tome što su nam stranci učinili od televizija i od novina, što od svakodnevnog života i radno-pravnih zakona, a što od naftne industrije, trgovačkih lanaca i hotela na obali. Naravno, tu su i domaći, čija imena se u našim novinama više ne smiju spomenuti, osim u laudacijama prikrivenih reklamnih stranica, koji su također došli kao tranzicijski kolonizatori i konkvistadori. Prijatelji mi, pak, odgovaraju sentencom na temu njihovih todorića: “Kosovo je Srbija, a sve ostalo je Delta!” (tko nije razumio, Delta je trgovački lanac onog tajkuna Miškovića, koji je - kako su izvještavale naše novine - kanio graditi u Zagrebu “srpski Manhattan“, ali ga spriječiše Jure Radić i domoljubi iz IGH).

Ćosić pa Paković

Priča li se u Beogradu još o Kosovu, osim kroz tranzicijske šale i viceve? Uglavnom ne, osim s gostima sa strane, a čini se da više nitko i ne zna što bi s tom pričom. Radikali su smrvljeni i podijeljeni: na jednoj je strani ostala fizička većina, a na drugu su prešli prepoznatljivi vođe Nikolić i Vučić. I jednim i drugima argument Kosova je, što gubitkom izbora, a što stranačkim slomom, postao manje atraktivan i upotrebljiv u borbi za vlast. Borisu Tadiću i njegovoj vrlo raznorodnoj, ali i živopisnoj koaliciji priča o Kosovu dođe poput bruha. Moraju silno paziti da se ni u kojem smislu previše ne naprežu, jer bi im crijeva mogla završiti u krilu.

Jednostavno, ne smiju baš jako biti ni za onu opciju koja bi bila od praktičnog interesa za Srbiju i uz koju bi racionalno mogli stati, ali ni za onu opciju za koju se formalno i formalistički zalažu, a u kojoj je patriotski i legitimistički zalog srbijanske cjelovitosti. Kompromis koji bi se našao u podjeli Kosova nemoguć je, jer je on treća krajnost, neprihvatljiva i velikim Srbima, i
svim Albancima, i međunarodnoj zajednici. Na kraju se onda, kao ptica zloslutnica, s feljtonom u kojem će objasniti sve - ono što se događalo u ratovima devedesetih i ono što će se tek dogoditi s Kosovom i Srbijom - pojavio u Politici Dobrica Ćosić. On, recimo, kaže da je rat u Bosni počeo onoga dana kada su Hrvati i Muslimani združeni napali Srbe. Iritantno jest, ali više nije važno.

U istoj toj Politici, u kulturnom prilogu, Zlatko Paković piše, kao u nekom nekrologu sirotome ostarjelom piscu: “Opsežno književno, publicističko i političko delo Dobrice Ćosića svedoči o zabludi ideologije u dvadesetom veku u Srbiji, to tvrdi i njegov autor. Ali, bitno je istaći da je ono, to opsežno delo o ideološkoj zabludi, upravo izraženo tom zabludom; najpre kosmopolitsko-komunističkom, potom otadžbinsko-nacionalnom, u oba slučaja komunitarnom i partikularnom, u čemu se guši ono individualno i univerzalno, koje, avangardno u svom vremenu, nadživljava to svoje vreme, i u politici i u književnosti.”

Vozim se taksijem od Hotela Balkan do Sajmišta, gdje se odvija Beogradski sajam knjiga, manifestacija koja je po svojim razmjerima, značaju te društvenoj i medijskoj podršci neusporediva s bilo kojom knjiškom manifestacijom u Hrvatskoj. Razlika između tog sajma i, recimo, Interlibera i pribrojeno mu, svih manjih knjiških sajmova i izložbi u Hrvatskoj zajedno, jednaka je razlici koja je svojedobno postojala između rezultata ovdašnje skijaške šampionke, svjetske i olimpijske pobjednice Janice Kostelić, i rezultata najbolje srbijanske skijašice, profesorice engleskoga jezika Jelene Lolović. Sigurno se sad smiješite, jer vam je drago barem zbog slavne nam skijaške prošlosti, ali valja znati da spomenuta razlika čini da Zagreb danas ima umjetno osnježenu skijašku stazu, poput Abu Dabija - recimo, a Beograd ima knjižare koje svakodnevno rade od 9 do 23, uključujući subote i nedjelje.



Trotomni Aksjonov

Na ovogodišnjem sajmu izlagalo je više od 800 izdavača, kroz izlagačke hale protekle su rijeke ljudi, pisci su, kao i svake godine, bili najveće zvijezde, a Japan je bio zemlja partner. Na srpski je prevedeno više japanskih knjiga nego u posljednjih tridesetak godina, gledali su se japanski filmovi, proučavala japanska umjetnost vrtova, uzgajanja patuljastog drveća i građenja zmajeva od papira; zainteresirani su mogli sudjelovati u čajnim ceremonijalima ili upisivati kurseve japanskog. Ali u svakom je trenutku bilo zanimljivo gledati kako jedna velika, silno napućena, civilizacijski i kulturno moćna zemlja predstavlja sebe u jednoj maloj, napaćenoj, opustošenoj i izluđenoj zemljici na brdovitom Balkanu.

Nisu u toj priči Japanci bili toliko važni, nego Srbi, koji nisu dopustili da im iz Tokija dođu s jednim folklornim društvom i dva-tri turista s fotoaparatima, nego su bogme Japance stimulirali da idu u Beograd kao da idu u Berlin, Pariz ili Rim. Čovjek ne može a da se s tugom i s pomalo srama ne sjeti kako su se prije koju godinu Poljaci proveli na Interliberu, kada smo im, kao zemlji partneru, pokušali izbiti novce iz džepova za izložbeni štand, a da nas njihova književnost i kultura nisu ni zanimali. Uopće, znate li tko je ove godine zemlja partner na Interliberu? I jesu li hrvatski izdavači od države dobili novce da prevode i tiskaju njezine pisce?

Jedna od istinskih senzacija na ovogodišnjem sajmu bila je srpsko-hrvatska izdavačka kolaboracija, fototipsko izdanje svih brojeva časopisa Zenit, uz prateću monografiju. U tom poslu oživljavanja jedine naše izvorne umjetničke avangarde, kojoj su neki ovdašnji pjesničići i frustrirane budaline od formata posvećivali šovenske knjižuljke, sudjelovalo je više institucija i izdavača, a rezultat je impresivan i pomalo korotni. Po Zenitu sve vidi gdje smo nekoć bili, a gdje nas više nema. Ne, ne mislim na Jugoslaviju…

Na kraju, ne može čovjek koga je, eto, baš i briga za knjige koje bi i čitao, da ne spomene i ponešto od onoga što je u torbama i rancima donio iz Beograda. Recimo, trotomno djelo Vasilija Aksjonova “Moskovska saga”, prevedeno i izdano samo tri godine nakon ruskoga izvornika, sjajno opremljeno fotografijama, glazbenim CD-om i glosarom, u kojemu se na živ i potresan način evocira privatna, kulturna i politička povijest Sovjetskoga Saveza do Staljinove smrti. Aksjonov piše po rubu fikcije, nešto što nije ni historiografska knjiga, ni roman, ni klasični memoarski tekst. Nakon dugo vremena još jedna golema, opsežna i potresna, sasvim ruska knjiga. “Moskovsku sagu” objavila je Informatika.

Kreativni centar

A knjigu Georgesa Minoisa “Istorija samoubistva”, koja će na polici stajati uz Jankelevičevu “Smrt”, objavio je novi, još uvijek mali izdavač Mediteran. Minois piše o tome kako se u različitim društvima, u različitim religijskim i političkim sustavima tretiralo samoubojstvo, te kako se mislilo o samoubojstvu, a ono što knjigu čini dodatno privlačnom jest decentan, precizan i točno izveden dizajn korica, kao i sjajno odabran slog. U posljednjih nekoliko godina tehnička izvedba srbijanskih knjiga općenito se jako podigla, pa više ne stoji onaj prigovor da su im knjige ružne, kao što, uglavnom, više ne stoji ni prigovor da su im prijevodi loši.

Beogradski filmolog, rodom Zagrepčanin, Ranko Munitić objavio je treću knjigu svoga serijala “Čudovišta koja smo voleli”, u kojoj, između ostalih, analizira Pinokija, doktora Jekylla i gospodina Hydea, Dorothy iz “Čarobnjaka iz Oza” te druge likove koji nikada nisu živjeli. Munitićev je nakladnik Kreativni centar, jedna od mojih omiljenih izdavačkih kuća, čiji je maštoviti, luckasti, zaigrani i sasvim blesavi dječji program vjerojatno među najljepšim i najdojmljivijim umjetničkim djelcima koja čovjek danas u ovdašnjim izdavaštvima može vidjeti.

Objavljuju knjige poput monografije velikih ljudi koji su bili loši đaci i propalice, ili slikovnica o seksu, o tome kako postati filmski režiser ili liječnik, a ilustratori i crtači Kreativnog centra apsolutno su superiorni svemu onome što se kod nas po dječjim knjigama crta. Naravno, da se kompleksaši i Hrvatine opet ne nađu uvrijeđenima, nije riječ o tome da kod nas nema crtača i crtačica - jer to i nije istina - nego nemaju gdje tako slobodno da crtaju, pa neće biti čudno ako uskoro i netko naš završi u Kreativnom centru.

Palmina žirafa

I tako, čovjek bi mogao do u nedogled nastaviti o knjigama o kojima se u nas šuti. Ne zato što su srpske, krivo ste shvatili, nego zato što su knjige. Srpske su ih novine, kao i televizija, prepuni. Izuzetak su, možda, samo tabloidi. Ali ni u njima nema one vrste ljudi koji su preplavili ovdašnji javni prostor. Zvijezde tamošnjih tabloida su, ipak, političari. U Beogradu i u Srbiji o Simoni i Anti gotovo da i ne bi imao tko da piše, niti bi autori i glumci u sapunicama imali prostora za svoje stejtmente. E, reći ćete, ali upravo zato oni nemaju tako kvalitetne sapunice kao mi, i bit ćete sasvim u pravu. U skijanju i sapunicama Hrvatice i Hrvati daleko su ispred Srpkinja i Srba.

Pred povratak čitam u novinama o čovjeku koji je presudio srbijanske izbore, vizionaru koji je rekao da se patriotizam ne toči u traktor, jagodinskom šerifu i faktotumu Palmi. On, naime, još uvijek čeka da mu ispune jedan od prohtjeva kojima je uvjetovao koaliciju: kupovinu žirafe za jagodinski zoološki vrt. Odjavljujem se tako na recepciji Balkana i vraćam se u Hrvatsku, tu gdje nikome, u odnosu na Srbiju i srbijanske standarde, ne fali ništa, pa ni žirafa.

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TAJNI SASTANAK #1: BORIS TADIĆ & DRAGAN MARKOVIĆ PALMA U BEOGRADSKOM ZOOLOŠKOM VRTU, OKRUŽENI SLONOVIMA:

TADIĆ (oprezno): Da ne bude zabune, ovo je privatni, neformalni susret, sasvim slučajno smo se sreli u Zoološkom vrtu.

PALMA (opreznije): Ali, vaše je obezbeđenje zatvorilo Zoološki vrt. Samo smo nas dvojica ovde. I životinje.

TADIĆ (žovijalno, grleći Palmu sa obe ruke): Neka nam je sa srećom, Dragane, junače! Da nastavimo da okrećemo evropske pedale, da bicikl razvoja nikad ne stane zahvaljujući našoj budućoj zajedničkoj Vladi!

PALMA (šireći ruke): Nešto mi gimnastika ne ide od ruke, više volim da sedim uz meze, pa muzika na uvce…

TADIĆ (raspoloženo): Vaše su reči melem za našu koaliciju, upravo nam treba tako neko prirodan, običan…

PALMA (mršteći se): Običan?

TADIĆ (panično): Običan u onom sjajnom smislu: da ste neposredni, direktni, da uživate u životu, da ste hedonista…

PALMA (zbunjen): Šta sam ja?

TADIĆ (u sve većoj panici): Da volite sve što je ljudski, punim plućima, da se predajete životu čije evropsko lice lako možemo da dostignemo, samo ako nastavimo da okrećemo pedale.

PALMA (odlučno): Mislim da sam za pedale bio jasan. Ništa ne okrećem.

TADIĆ (depresivno): Nema veze, mi ćemo zajedno da okrećemo umesto vas. Nego, dozvolite da vas pitam: da li ste zadovoljni kadrovskim ishodom u vašoj koalciji?

PALMA (koračajući prema kavezu sa slonovima koji su ga radoznalo gledali): Da se više ne zajebavamo: šta nudiš meni i Krkobabiću?

TADIĆ (mrmljajući): Ali, šta vas dvojica tražite?

PALMA (gledajući u slonove dugim ispitivačkim pogledom): Recimo…

TADIĆ (spušta pogled): Ministarstvo kulture za vas, Ministarstvo omladine i sporta za čika Jovu Krkobabića, nekoliko Upravnih odbora, možda Ministarstvo poljoprivrede ili Jugoslovensko dramsko pozorište, mesto ambasadora u Kairu, Bangkoku, Varšavi i Lisabonu.

PALMA (bacajući slonu kilogram banana): I još?

TADIĆ (očajnički): Sva sredstva Nacionalnog Plana uložićemo u Jagodinu. Izgradićemo vam Diznilend. Novu Ajfelovu kulu. Big Ben. Notr Dam.

PALMA (zabavljen posmatranjem slona): A keš?

TADIĆ (opušten): Ako kažete „da”, Mlađa Dinkić će od vas napraviti Kreza!

PALMA (uvređeno): Nema potrebe da se vređamo. Ja u Jagodini imam većeg i novijeg slona od ove vaše matore drtine, tek da znaš.

TADIĆ (sijajući od sreće): Krez je bio najbogatiji čovek sveta! Kupao se u zlatu, svili i kadifi.

PALMA (hladnokrvno): Dok pare ne legnu na račun, zadrži slobodno tog Kreza.

TADIĆ (držeći se za slona): Ali, sam si, Dragane, rekao da se patriotizam ne toči u traktore. Šta ćeš da radiš ako ti ponište Sporazum o pridruživanju? Kako će Jagodina izgledati ako ne budemo nastavili da okrećemo pedale ka Evropi?

PALMA (ledeno): Kad budeš imao cifru, javi se. A ovo za Minis