The Egoslavian birthdayiest month of the year continues: as of this moment, all three posts on the blog's front page are birthday posts. Gyorgy Ligeti was born eighty-six years ago today. As always with me and composers, I love most if not all of a composer's work but always love the solo piano pieces best. Here's Ubuweb's typically generous Ligeti sound page.
- Austerity and neo-liberalism lead to the neo-fascist right. Duh, of course, but worth reminding.
- Pierre Omidyar and Narendra Modi.
- Categorizing the poor.
- Building a lasting legacy of death.
- Is violence cultural?
- A primer on the new religion of the gun.
- When intellectuals go to war.
- NYT's public editor slaps Michael Kinsley around. Psst. Michael Kinsley doesn't care.
- If Pope Francis pisses off the asshole Netanyahu then Pope Francis gets a point in my book.
- Consent is impossible.
- Skull-blogging, face-in-the-frost edition.
- Beckett, for those of you who do.
from MOZART'S THIRD BRAIN
Translated by Rika Lesser
Not-Orpheus is singing He sings his nothing He sings his night
He sings all the names The name of nothing The only name Since
long ago He didn’t know it And knew it in his night
All things sing All names sing Every tonal difference, every
sound All music in its destruction In its sublation Toward which point?
The mountain of nothing hovers Before it crushes us With its night With its
In the evening I walked through town with you, Dearest, along the river
A clear cold spring evening, the half-moon shone As if walking in a foreign city
Though I recognized parts of it You said it was almost like
walking in Prague, where we would have been if my mother hadn’t fallen ill
When we stood by one corner of the Hotel Svea, where I played in a dance band in
the huge flock of jackdaws, in the trees by the bastion near the castle, flew
out over the river, in micropolyphonic conversation As in a piece by Ligeti
That night I dreamed I crossed a bridge spanning the river, now very broad
The long bridge was swaying, huge ocean swells entering the river from the sea
I walked with a girl, kissed her on the mouth, on the opposite bank
In the morning you came into my bed, Dear, we slinked like teenagers, so my
mother wouldn’t hear us,
where she slept, in the room outside ours She’s already much better
I look at my face in the bathroom mirror Will I manage to go out into the Brain
Trucks pass Traffic goes on, in the great exchange of goods
Gulls, trees, people The degree of virtuality in different goods, the phantasms
also in what we eat, conceptions of origin, contents, effects
Fear Cultivated tastes We are in the immediacy of memory Only in a flash of
astonishment can memory be broken But even lightning is informed I look at
diagrams of Giordano Bruno, read his texts See that all this is exactly as in
Jung, fundamental magical forms, for guiding the divine,
the unknown within the soul Also the similarity with tantric forms
how it is,
I think, both Freud and Jung are magicians, the difference in rationality is
only marginal, Jung’s a little older, Freud’s more modern, a continuation of
Descartes, developed later in Spinoza’s pneumatic model for the passions,
and yet both are found, subsumed in Bruno’s love-flow, the lineage backward,
the tantric flow, also Plato’s Diotima, her flow . . .
Hölderlin saw the stream of people in dark water, streaming over
the ledges in the human-geological world, the levels of the abyss, Para-
dise’s various degrees of stasis
What use can I make of these magical forms? I’m no magician And yet
I acknowledge their power, also within my self If they prevail, sovereignty
is crushed Libero arbitrio There the forms also break down
The stream of love breaks down Fluid lightning The flash of vibrating being
But also the flash of darkness The light of Beatrice’s eyes, their lightning
am I to understand this? How to understand unknowing That I do not!
INFINITE RICHES IN THE SMALLEST ROOM
Silk spool of the recluse as she confects her eventual mythomania.
If it is written down, you can't rescind it.
Spoon and pottage bowl. You are starving. Come closer now.
What if I were gone and the wind still reeks of hyacinth, what then.
Who will I be: a gaudy arrangement of nuclei, an apple-size gray circle
On the tunic of a Jew, preventing more bad biological accidents
From breeding-in. I have not bred-
In. Each child still has one lantern inside lit. May the Mother not
Blow her children out. She says her hair is thinning, thin.
The flowerbed is black, sumptuous in emptiness.
Blue-footed mushrooms line the walkway to my door. I would as soon
Die as serve them in a salad to the man I love. We lie down
In the shape of a gondola. Venice is gorgeous cold. 3 December,
Unspeakable anxiety about locked-in syndrome, about a fourth world.
I cannot presume to say. The violin spider, she
Has six good eyes, arranged in threes.
The rims of wounds have wounds as well.
Sphinx, small print, you are inscrutable.
On the roads, blue thistles, barely
Visible by night, and, by these, you may yet find your way home.