Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Was it a Wagnerian opera, or was it just your stomach rumbling?


Look at the shape I'm in
Talking to the walls again
Look at the state I'm in

--Finger Eleven

Dante's hell lasted only one night. Our own seems considerably longer as some of us are well over Dante's age of 47 at his death
Back in the days of political incorrectness, my pal would say, "Beware of Wops Bearing Gifts" and actually wrote something about Fellini movies.
"Yeah I saw Satyricon. The intellectual hippies said it was great, but I really got tired of badly built boats, farting gryffons and Robin in exile looking for Batman."

But Dante Alleghieri. Nothing Greek about his gift.

He was the gretest poet of the middle ages, possibly all ages. No wonder Harvard University still publishes him along with the motto, Truth.

Ah the truth of one bad night.

You are ill. You can sense the life force in your hard drive, but you can't bring up the video so you see your life as an exercise in futility and how can you hope for a future when you know for sure you're going to die?

It is small wonder that 19th century hotels would have bottle of brandy at bedside "for to keep off the chills."

I had a Dante dream last night, possibly triggered by a tooth extraction and a root canal.

In the middle of the dream, everything seemed grey, grey, grey. No colour. And something was chasing me. You know the dude. The dark- robed guy
That wasn't a weed whacker he was carrying over his shoulder; he had hoodie.

Scrooge come to collect. Your life.

Ah all the families you mislaid. All the women you have scorned to your regret.
Your insecurity over having a genius son.

The Ulyssean voyage is often not altogether noble. But I think Fellini got it wrong. There was nothing gay bout Odysseus, dallying with Nusicaa on the island of Calypso whlle Penelope kept the flame and warded off the suitors.( The bloody massacre of the suitors later, aided by his son! Hoary old poontanger, but a hero all the same. Yeah Pagan. But the Odyssey is nevertheless one of thetwin Bibles of the Greeks and its message is not feminine, like our New Testament.

Obviously, a closet warrior like Nietzsche would have loved Odesseus as he obviouly loved Zarathustra, his Superman.
But Zarathustra came from ancient Persia, and not the school of paper hanging as some historians might submit. Nietzsche believed in special strengh of all the races and only by combining the best qualities (he says) could man achieve Superman status.

Of course, once spurned and even ridiculed by Wagner's wife, Nietzsche would go home and sulk. "These people are not fit to shine my boots."

Also Sprach Zarathustra!

In any event. Back to the nighttime creeps and and the intimation that all is futile and we're all going to die.

It is the talent that struggles thus.

For you know in the morning that you will be born again. Miraculously.

And you will wonder what all that Sturm und Drang was in the middle of the night
There is a sunflower that has only just budded out in a halo in your garden.

9 comments:

the walking man said...

Daily when the light fades to varying shades of dark I am well suited to die and return before the sun rises. I don't fear my impending demise so no reaper need follow me, I will go whenever the time comes, yet there is always another root canal to ward that time off.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

You're a braver man than I Gunga-Din.
I guess I operate on Murphy's law.

"If sometihng can go wrong, it will. If it doesgo wroong it'll go wrong where it will do the most damage.
And if you get through the night, you are one lucky MoFo.

Lana Gramlich said...

How PinkFloydian of you, this post! *L*

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Sure wish I had Stevie Ray Vaughan to play b.g.

the walking man said...

I am not so much brave as I am discontent. Not suicidally discontent just *shrug* discontent.

Ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

I think I have been there.
Not hit by a car, as was your sad plight at the time, but kinda hit by life.
Make a long story short, when I received the document that drove me mad, my mistress had said, somewhat archly, "That's what happens when you **** around with us broads."
It was the time of my mid-life crisis. Heretofore I would go this way and that, not sure of what I wanted. Yep. Discontent.

Heh. I guess it was a kick in the ass that I wanted.
Sure got it.
Don't life kick you in the ass sometimes?

Lying in the gutter in Toronto's Yorkville hippie district.
Ukrainian mother passes with her l9-year old son.
"See that old hippie in the gutter? A good Ukrainian boy would never let himself go like that."

I lifted my head from the culvert and said, "Shto?"

JR's Thumbprints said...

What ever happened to ZED TV? I liked watching all those short films, especially the one about a young man and his weedwacker. Perhaps I'll Google it. Or Cuil it.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Zed was extraordiary. Muy avant-garde. Now we got some Greek fop trying to be whatever.
Zed was what Google was to cuil.
Or Google thinks its still cuil.

Anonymous said...

Interesting note of 7.11.08. It's from The Editors at THE NEW YORKER. The note reads:



The Desk: The idea behind this piece is great! Try to polish the writing a little, the first few pages especially.



There's nothing else.



----


a friend of mine in denver is hopefully right now looking at this with advice on how i ought to, in her opinion, "polish" this.


----


here's something that arrived from the u.k. a day or two ago.





Jul 29, 2008



Dear Alfred Warkentin,



Thank you for your submission to The London Magazine. Unfortunately we have decided not to publish your stories (How Georgina and the Queen Tried to Help, Doing the Devil's Bidding) this time.



There are some very interesting themes here and with work could be very good stories. But both are too long for us and they also need some grammar, plot, and character development.



Best wishes,

Selah



Selah Hennessy

Editorial Assistant

The London Magazine



-----



QUESTION.



if you know of anyone who'd love to give me feedback on the stories that THE LONDON MAGAZINE mentioned, i'd be most interested in hearing from these people.



best,



alf