9.08.2018

paradox within paradox, darkness swaddled in darkness

JM Coetzee, The Master of Petersburg (1994). Minerva
The dog howls again. No hint of empty plains and silver light: a dog, not a wolf; a dog, not his son. Therefore? Therefore he must throw off this lethargy! Because it is not his son he must not go back to bed but must get dressed and answer the call. If he expects his son to come as a thief in the night, and listens only for the call of the thief, he will never see him. If he expects his son to speak in the voice of the unexpected, he will never hear him. As long as he expects what he does not expect, what he does not expect will not come. Therefore - paradox within paradox, darkness swaddled in darkness - he must answer to what he does not expect.

[...]

Yet even in this instant of closing the door upon himself he is aware there is still a chance to return to the alley, unchain the dog, bring it to the entryway to No. 63, and make some kind of bed for it at the foot of the stairs - though, he knows, once he has brought it so far it will insist on following him further, and, if he chains it again, will whine and bark till the whole building is roused. It is not my son, it is just a dog, he protests. What is it to me? Yet even as he protests he knows the answer: Pavel will not be saved till he has freed the dog and brought it into his bed, brought the least thing, the beggarmen and beggarwomen too, and much else he does not yet know of; and even then there will be no certainty.

[...]

Standing in the middle of the snow-covered street, he brings his cold hands to his face, smells the dog on them, touches the cold tears on his cheeks, tastes them. Salt, for those who need salt. He suspects he will not save the dog, not this night nor even the next night, if there is to be a next night. He is waiting for a sign, and he is betting (there is no grander word he dare use) that the dog is not the sign, is not a sign at all, is just a dog among many dogs howling in the night. But he knows too that as long as he tries by cunning to distinguish things that are things from things that are signs he will not be saved. That is the logic by which he will be defeated; and, feeling its iron hardness, he is at his wits' end, like a dog on a chain that breaks the teeth that gnaw it. And beware, beware, he reminds himself: the dog on the chain, the second dog, is nothing in itself, is not an illumination, merely an animal likeness!

[...]

In a corner crouches a man, blinking against the light. Though he has a woollen scarf wound around his head and mouth and a blanket over his shoulders, he recognizes the beggar he confronted in the church portico.

[...]

The match goes out. He starts to climb the stairs. But tediously the paradox comes back: Expect the one you do not expect. Very well; but must every beggar then be treated as a prodigal son, embraced, welcomed into the home, feasted? Yes, that is what Pascal would say: bet on everyone, every beggar, every mangy dog; only thus will you be sure that the One, the true son, the thief in the night, will not slip through the net. And Herod would agree: make sure - slay all the children without exception.

8.28.2018

THE SECOND LAW / um poema

I once was a baffled horse.
I felt my teeth gripping the light.
The close God got locked
In my uncertain step.

So eavesdrop the prophets.

For there is a season to ride,
And a season to convert,
A season to preach,
And a season to blaspheme,
A season to shoot,
And a season to hit,
A season for God,
And a season for doubt,
And a gilded season,
For the horsemanship of heresy.

Learn now of the far-away peoples
Who inhabit the steppes,
Who are saddle and rider and horse,
Who are arrow and khan and apostle,
Who know the waiting,
And those who wait.

With a foe's reluctance you'll forget them.
You'll inhabit the Sumerian cities
That the soul puts together in dream.

And then they will come.

You will till the land.
Your daughters and your sons
Will till the land.
You will sacrifice oxen
And your daughters and your sons.

Until the furrows of your brain
Are the dunes creased by your waiting,
You will see no horse and you will see no rider.

Still you may wait and tell of your waiting.

7.12.2018

Cântico de Verão - Hannah Arendt [Sommerlied]


Cântico de Verão

Percorro a madura abundância
Do Verão com minhas mãos.
Sobre a terra grave, sombria
Estendem-se dolorosos meus membros.

Campos que se inclinam soando,
Caminhos que o bosque encobre,
Tudo isto exige um silêncio severo:
Pois amamos, quando sofremos,

Que a vítima, que a abundância
Não ressequem a mão do sacerdote,
Que numa calma clara e nobre
A Alegria não esvaneça.

Porque as águas transbordam,
O cansaço quer destruir-nos,
E nós deixamos a nossa vida
Ao amarmos, ao vivermos.

















Sommerlied

Durch des Sommers reife Fülle
Lass ich meine Hände gleiten.
Meine Glieder schmerzhaft weiten
Zu der dunklen, schweren Erde.

Felder, die sich tönend neigen,
Pfade, die der Wald verschüttet.
Alles zwingt zum strengen Schweigen:
Dass wir lieben, wenn wier leiden,

Dass das Opfer, dass die Fülle
Nicht des Priesters Hand verdorre,
Dass in edler klarer Stille
Uns die Freude nicht ersterbe.

Denn die Wasser fließen über,
Müdigkeit will uns zerstören
Und wir lassen unser Leben
Wenn wir liebenn, wenn wir leben.

6.24.2018

Sobre cada nova forma repousa já a sombra da destruição.

Sobre cada nova forma repousa já a sombra da destruição. Percorre a face de cada um individualmente, a de cada existência comum, e a de todo o mundo, não num arco sempre mais largo e mais belo que se expanda, mas sim num percurso que, assim que atinge o Meridiano, recua para o interior das trevas. Para Browne, até a ciência de como desaparecer na obscuridade está indissoluvelmente ligada à crença de que no dia da Ressurreição, quando, tal como num teatro, as últimas revoluções terão chegado a fruição, todos os actores voltarão a aparecer ainda uma última vez no palco, to complete and make up the catrastrophe of this great piece. O médico, que vê como as doenças dos corpos crescem e se enfurecem, é capaz de conceber melhor a mortalidade do que o florescer da vida. Para ele é um milagre que sejamos capazes de nos manter compostos sequer um dia. Contra o ópio do tempo que passa, escreve ele, não há planta que cresça. O sol de inverno põe em evidência o quão depressa a luz se desfaz na cinza, quão depressa a noite nos agarra. Hora após hora, a conta vai-se acumulando. Até o tempo envelhece. Pirâmides, Arcos de Triunfo, Obeliscos, são colunas de gelo derretendo. Jamais alguém que tenha encontrado um lugar junto das imagens do céu pôde ficar em descanso. Nimrod perdeu-se em Orion, Osiris na Canícula. Os maiores povos não duraram mais do que uns três carvalhos. Colocar o próprio nome numa qualquer obra não garante a ninguém direito à recordação, pois quem sabe se não são precisamente os melhores que desaparecem sem deixar rasto. A semente de papoila cai por toda a parte, e se num dia de verão o sofrimento poisa inesperadamente sobre nós como neve, o nosso único desejo é sermos esquecidos . . .
W. G. Sebald. Die Ringe des Saturn. Tradução minha.
Auf jeder neuen Form liegt schon der Schatten der Zerstörung. Es verläuft nämlich die Geschichte jedes einzelnen, die jedes Gemeinwesens und die der ganzen Welt nicht auf einem stets weiter und schöner sich aufschwingenden Bogen, sondern auf einer Bahn, die, nachdem der Meridian erreicht ist, hinunterführt in die Dunkelheit. Die eigene Wissenschaft vom Verschwinden in der Obskurität ist für Browne untrennbar verbunden mit dem Glauben, daß am Tag der Auferstehung, wenn, so wie auf einem Theater, die letzten Revolutionen vollendet sind, die Schauspieler alle noch einmal auf der Bühne erscheinen, to complete and make up the catastrophe of this great piece. Der Arzt, der die Krankheiten in den Körpern wachsen und wüten sieht, begreift die Sterblichkeit besser als die Blüte des Lebens. Ihn dünkt es ein Wunder, daß wir uns halten auch bloß einen einzigen Tag. Gegen das Opium der verstreichenden Zeit, schreibt er, ist kein Kraut gewachsen. Die Wintersonne zeigt an, wie bald das Licht erlischt in der Asche, wie bald uns die Nacht umfängt. Stunde um Stunde wird an die Rechnung gereiht. Sogar die Zeit selber wird alt. Pyramiden, Triumphbögen und Obelisken sind Säulen von schmelzendem Eis. Nicht einmal diejenigen, die einen Platz gefunden haben unter den Bildern des Himmels, konnten auf immer ihren Ruhm sich erhalten. Nimrod ist im Orion verloren, Osiris im Hundsstern. Kaum drei Eichen haben die größten Geschlechter überdauert. Den eigenen Namen auf irgendein Werk zu setzen, sichert niemandem das Anrecht auf Erinnerung, denn wer weiß, ob nicht gerade die besten spurlos verschwunden sind. Der Mohnsamen geht überall auf, und wenn an einem Sommertag unversehens das Elend wie Schnee über uns kommt, wünschen wir nurmehr, vergessen zu werden ...

6.17.2018

Cinco poemas da Ingeborg Bachmann

Dizer o escuro

Como Orfeu eu toquei
na lira da vida a morte,
e à beleza da terra
e dos teus olhos que do céu cuidavam,
eu sei apenas: dizer o escuro.

Não te esqueças que também tu, subitamente,
naquela manhã, quando o teu leito
estava ainda húmido de orvalho e o trevo
dormia no teu coração,
viste o pé escuro
que diante de ti marchou.

Com a corda do silêncio
esticada sobre a onda de sangue,
eu agarrei o teu coração soante.
As tuas tranças mudaram-se
nos cabelos de sombra da noite,
os flocos negros das trevas
cortaram o teu rosto.

E eu não te ouvi.
Agora ambos nos lamentamos.

Mas como Orfeu eu conheço
nas cordas da morte a vida,
e azula-se-me
o teu olho eternamente fechado.



Sombras Rosas Sombras

Sob um Céu estrangeiro
Sombras Rosas
Sombras
sobre uma Terra estrangeira
entre Rosas e Sombras
numa Água estrangeira
minha Sombra



Salmo


1
Cala-te comigo, como todos os relógios se calam!
No pós-parto do terror
o verme procura novo alimento.
Uma mão Sexta-feira Santa suspensa
no firmamento, faltam-lhe dois dedos,
ela não pode jurar que tudo,
que tudo não tenha acontecido e que nada
venha a acontecer. Mergulha no vermelho das nuvens,
arrasta fora o novo assassino,
e vai em liberdade.
De noite nesta terra
agarrar à janela, dobrar os lençóis
para que os segredos do doente se exponham,
uma jura de alimento, dores sem fim
para todos os gostos.
Os talhantes sustêm, de luvas nas mãos,
a respiração dos despidos,
a lua na porta cai até ao chão,
deixa os estilhaços para lá, a pega . . .
Estava tudo orientado para a extrema unção.
(O Sacramento não pode ser completado.)


2
Quão vão é tudo.
Se uma cidade se valsear daqui para fora,
ergue-te do pó desta cidade,
apodera-te duma respiração
e dispõe-te
para te opores a seres exposto.
Cumpre a promessa
diante de um espelho cego na brisa,
diante duma porta fechada ao vento.
São intransponíveis os caminhos pelos penhascos do céu.


3
Ó olhos, queimados pela terra acumuladora de Sol,
carregada do peso da chuva de todos os olhos,
e agora presa em ilusões, presa na teia
da aranha trágica
do passado . . .


4
No fosso da minha mudez
põe uma palavra
e traz bosques muitos para ambos os lados
para que a minha boca
fique toda à sombra.


A Noite dos Esquecidos
O Fim do Amor
[da Nachlass] 
Uma lua, um sol
e o mar escuro.
Agora, tudo escuro.
Apenas porque é de noite
e nada de humano
se entretece neste detalhe trabalhado.
Aquilo de que tu me acusas
E tanta amargura,
Não o faças.
Eu não sabia nada melhor
do que amar-te, eu
não pensei,
que pelo suor da pele
o [--] mundo
e que o centavo caiu

[da Nachlass] 
Não conheço nenhum mundo melhor.
A moral imbecil da vítima não permite ter muita esperança.
Uma pergunta execrável, com sinceridade, sozinha,
chega ao torturado, para lhe mostrar o valor
de ter sobrevivido, ao ser atacado, para baixar a guarda,
para elevar até si a moral imbecil da vítima
mas sem anunciar
aos torturados este chinfrim por uma hora que seja
Para os torturados, quer este chinfrim seja
ainda um Anúncio, para a moral imbecil
da vítima.
As perguntas execráveis vão agora sozinhas
até aos torturados.
Chegam às perguntas execráveis
um dia silenciosas, activas, respostas.
Às perguntas execráveis, não às santas,
que para as santas não há,
os que lá as sofrem
no que de mais execrável há
descobriram uma resposta.
Quem lá sofre deixa-se estar.
A alma bela

Ingerborg Bachmann. Traduções minha. 
in Sämtliche Gedichte. (2010) Piper
in Ich weiß keine bessere Welt: Nachgelassene Gedichte. (2016) Piper



Dunkles zu sagen

Wie Orpheus spiel ich
auf den Saiten des Lebens den Tod
und in die Schönheit der Erde
und deiner Augen, die den Himmel verwalten,
weiß ich nur Dunkles zu sagen.

Vergiß nicht, daß auch du, plötzlich,
an jenem Morgen, als dein Lager
noch naß war von Tau und die Nelke
an deinem Herzen schlief,
den dunklen Fluß sahst,
der an dir vorbeizog.

Die Saite des Schweigens
gespannt auf die Welle von Blut,
griff ich dein tönendes Herz.
Verwandelt ward deine Locke
ins Schattenhaar der Nacht,
der Finsternis schwarze Flocken
beschneiten dein Antlitz.

Und ich gehör dich nicht zu.
Beide klagen wir nun.

Aber wie Orpheus weiß ich
auf der Seite des Todes das Leben,
und mir blaut
dein für immer geschlossenes Aug.



Schatten Rosen Schatten

Unter einem fremden Himmel
Schatten Rosen
Schatten
auf einer fremden Erde
zwischen Rosen und Schatten
in einem fremden Wasser
mein Schatten



Psalm 
1
Schweigt mit mir, wie alle Glocken schweigen!
In der Nachgeburt der Schrecken
sucht das Geschmeiß nach neuer Nahrung.
Zur Ansicht hängt karfreitags eine Hand
am Firmament, zwei Finger fehlen ihr,
sie kann nicht schwören, daß alles,
alles nicht gewesen sei und nichts
sein wird. Sie taucht ins Wolkenrot,
entrückt die neuen Mörder
und geht frei.
Nachts auf dieser Erde
in Fenster greifen, die Linnen zurückschlagen,
daß der Kranken Heimlichkeit bloßliegt,
ein Geschwür voll Nahrung, unendliche Schmerzen
für jeden Geschmack.
Die Metzger halten, behandschuht,
den Atem der Entblößten an,
der Mond in der Tür fällt zu Boden,
laß die Scherben liegen, den Henkel ...
Alles war gerichtet für die letzte Ölung.
(Das Sakrament kann nicht vollzogen werden.) 
2
Wie eitel alles ist.
Wälze eine Stadt heran,
erhebe dich aus dem Staub dieser Stadt,
übernimm ein Amt
und verstelle dich,
um der Bloßstellung zu entgehen.
Löse die Versprechen ein
vor einem blinden Spiegel in der Luft,
vor einer verschlossenen Tür im Wind.
Unbegangen sind die Wege auf der Steilwand des Himmels. 
3
O Augen, an dem Sonnenspeicher Erde verbrannt,
mit der Regenlast aller Augen beladen,
und jetzt versponnen, verwebt
von den tragischen Spinnen
der Gegenwart ... 
4
In die Mulde meiner Stummheit
leg ein Wort
und zieh Wälder groß zu beiden Seiten,
daß mein Mund
ganz im Schatten liegt.


DIE NACHT DER VERLORENEN
DAS ENDE DER LIEBE 
Ein Mond, ein Himmel
und das dunkle Meer.
Nur, dunkel alles.
Nur weil es Nacht ist
und nichts Menschliches
dies feingewirkte auch durchwebt.
Was wirfst du mir noch vor
und solche Bitterkeit,
Tu's nicht.
Ich hab nichts Besseres gewußt
als dich zu lieben, ich hab
nicht gedacht,
daß durch den Schweiß der Haut
die [– –] Welt
und daß der Groschen fiel

Ich weiß keine bessere Welt.
Die schwachsinnige Moral der Opfer läßt wenig hoffen.
Eine verruchte Frage, auf Ehre, allein,
kommt dem Gefolterten, dies Überlebens
sich wert zu zeigen, im Angriff, abzulegen
die schwachsinnige Moral der Opfer
sich zu erheben, dieses Geröchel
nicht mehr zu werben um eine Stunde.
an die Gefolterten, ob dies Geröchel noch
Werbung ist, für die schwachsinnige Moral
der Opfer.
Die verruchten Fragen gehn jetzt allein
an die Gefolterten
Auf die verruchten Fragen kommt sie
eines Tages, die lautlose, tätige Antwort.
Auf verruchte Fragen, nicht die seligen,
gibt es nicht auf die seligen,
der die da leiden
auf die verruchtesten
finden sich eine Antwort.
der die da leiden, lassen sich stellen.
Die schöne Seele

6.15.2018

!نور على نور

Deus é a luz dos céus e da terra. A parábola da sua luz é como se houvesse uma reentrância com uma candeia lá dentro, e a candeia está num vidro, e o vidro é como uma estrela cor de pérola acendido pela árvore abençoada da oliveira que não se inclina nem para oriente nem para ocidente, e cujo óleo brilharia mesmo se nenhum fogo a tocasse. Luz sobre Luz! Deus guia até à sua luz quem quer, e cunhou parábolas para a Humanidade - e Deus é de tudo sabedor. 
Qurão, Sura da Luz [24.35] Tradução minha. 
اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونِةٍ لَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ نُّورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاء وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

5.31.2018

O Erro de Sócrates

László Krasznahorkai. War and War. George Szirtes trad. (2016) Tuskar Rock Press
. . . this was the point, he said, especially in the way it came to him in all its banality, vulgarity, at a sickening ridiculous level, but this was the point, he said, the way that he, at the age of forty-four, had become aware of how utterly stupid he seemed to himself, how empty, how utterly blockheaded he had been in his understanding of the world these last forty-four years, for, as he realized by the river, he had not only misunderstood it, but had not understood anything about anything, the worst part being that for forty-four years he thought he had understood it, while in reality he had failed to do so, and this in fact was the thing of all that night of his birthday when he sat alone by the river, the worst because the fact that he now realized that he had not understood it did not mean that he did understand it now, because being aware of his lack of knowledge was not in itself some new form of knowledge for which an older one could be traded in, but one that presented itself as a terrifying puzzle the moment he thought about the world, as he most furiously did that evening, all but torturing himself in the effort to understand it and failing, because the puzzle seemed ever more complex and he had begun to feel that this world-puzzle that he was so desperate to understand, that he was torturing himself trying to understand was really the puzzle of himself and the world at once, that they were in effect one and the same thing, which was the conclusion he had so far reached, and he had not yet given up on it, when . . .

5.21.2018

Rhyme or Reason

Leo Spitzer, Classical and Christian Ideas of World Harmony: Prolegomena to an Interpretation of the Word "Stimmung". 1963. The John Hopkins Press
To the traditional interpretation of the new rhyme technique as due to the decay of ancient quantity and the rise of stress in the Romance languages, I should like to add a further explanations based on the different function of phonetic consonance in the ancient and modern languages respectively: The device of homoioteleuton was used in the ancient languages to express intellectual correspondences: nect- , flect- , plect- , or, especially, in the endings of the declension: omnia praeclara rara; abiit, fugit, evasit. A language which has established the principle of rhyme as a basis of grammatical accord can draw from it little poetic effect (in French the scant remainders of grammatical consonance , -er, -ais are never poetic). Rhyme as a poetic device has originated in our modern languages because it is no longer used for grammatical concordance: it serves to link words which precisely are not easily connected, and therein lies its charms. The Latin sequence quoted above appears in modern languages without grammatical rhyme (toutes les belles choses sont rares), and we may assume that the decay of the Latin nominal and verbal declension system must have contributed to the development of rhyme as a poetic device. While the inflectional system was still in full vigor, the poetic flavor of language could be enhanced only by quantitative prosody. That the disappearance of grammatical rhyme opened the way to poetic rhyme is also suggested by the fact that in late antiquity (and later, through the Middle Ages in the so-called Reimprosa) rhyme was used, in prose alone, as a device for underlining intellectual parallelism (cola). It was employed by Tertullian (according to Vossler) because it belonged to the “sophistical and rhetorical apparatus of Greco-Latin artistic prose” —and Christian propaganda should not show a style inferior to that of the heathen. It is well known that Augustine, although in his discussion of metrics (De musica) he fails to mention rhyme as a “musical phenomenon”, was the first to use the rhyme form in a poem; it is to be found in a psalm, reminiscent of later Romance tirades, contra Donatianum, which is somewhat in the middle between poetry and dogmatic propaganda. I would suggest that, in the rescue of rhyme from its prosaic commitments, nothing was more influential (in a Latin which had freed itself from the quantitative system and which —at least in the case of the spoken form, Vulgar Latin— was about to lose its declension system) that was the idea of (the musical) world harmony. With the Romans, the expression consonantia vocum (which, as we have already seen, was a by-product of their world harmony) was applied to grammatical accord, but now we find “consonance” used as the name for the rhyme ([con]sonans, acordans in the old Provençal Leys d’Amors, etc.), since this, likewise, is an echo of the world harmony (the German word for rhyme meant originally “order” and may render the idea of the numeri. Rhyme as a musical device is in line with Ambrose’s addition of oriental music to the text of his hymns in praise of world harmony —oriental music that would have sounded as barbarous to the nice ear of the Greeks as the rhyme. The tremendous development of music is not thinkable without the Christina idea of world harmony: as Ambrose says in his History of Music (quoted by Vossler), music was “freed from the shackles of metrics”: in the alleluias, or in the final lines of psalms, music went its own way, apart from the text. Now rhyme itself is perhaps of a parallel “barbaric,” oriental original (Lydian according to Vossler, but Syrian according to W. Meyer aus Speier); it is also a typically Christian device (“In the first six centuries there is hardly a single rhymed poem to be found in Latin that is not inspired by Christian sentiment” —Vossler). Is it, then, too bold to assume, along with the introduction of a music joined with words and expanding beyond the range of words the introduction also of a second music within the words themselves, i.e., rhyme, used as a devise in unison with the idea of world harmony and possessed of all the emotional, unintellectual impact of this idea? The Gesamtkunstwerk technique implies generally synesthetic devices: the “musicalization of poetry”  by the rhyme would be only another feature of the conception of art as musical art. The polyphony in which the manifoldness of the universe is brought to unity, is echoed within the poem by a device which holds together words that strive apart. Both polyphony and rhyme are Christina developments, patterned on world harmony; in the ambiguity of the word consonantia in the Middle Ages (“chord” or “rhyme”) we may grasp the fundamental kinship of the two meanings. Rhyme is now redeemed from intellectualism, it is an acoustic and emotional phenomenon responding to the harmony of the world.

Xadrez e Filosofia Política