Saturday, September 29, 2007

leonora carrington

Paul De Angelis - What worries you today?

LeonoraCarrington - Above all, the idea of death, the fact that I'm old and our attitude to death is totally erroneous. In reality we know very little about death, but if we know that a series of worlds exist that appear to be transforming.

Paul- Worlds more there than life?

Leonora- Yes, we distinguish life from death, but in my opinion things are not how they are explained to us. I believe that they are different for each person, like dreams. I think that to reach an understanding about death first we must understand the distinct places that exist within us, and dreams are one of these places; this is to say that The Paul and the Leonora of a dream are in a way a different Paul and Leonora. It almost appears to be like worlds in reverse. It seems that we have a body which unfolds activities, meanwhile our physical body remains inactive when we are asleep; with our bodies we do things, we go to places, drive cars, ride bikes. . .

Paul- Do you believe in reincarnation? You have an interest in Tibetan Buddhism which believes in reincarnation.

Leonora- Yes, I find it interesting, but I couldn't say at what point the conscious personality outlives death. We only need to sleep to convert ourselves into different personalities. That is why I think that talking about reflexive consciousness, perception, or the conscious- that in saying it, we better express the idea. In our dreams we conserve a certain degree of consciousness, but we are not conscious of what we call out, or what things can be called, the physical three dimensional world. Right now you could visualize for example, a rabbit, but obviously it would not be a three dimensional rabbit. Like I said, perhaps reincarnation exists, but I think we could reincarnate in different entities. We could for example reincarnate into an ant farm, full of ants. Do you understand? The Tibetans say that the best thing is to be human. In my opinion, as humans, our attitude makes the rest animals. We being human animals is very mistaken. We have adopted a totally false attitude in believing we are superior to the other animals, that we have rights over them. In my opinion, the animal world is universal and will continue unexplored. We have no idea about the capacity, consciousness or the intelligence which animals possess. Take for example the snout of a dog, in it we will find ample language, and the capacity to identify thousands of things solely by its sense of smell.

Paul- Do animals have a spirit?

Leonora- Of course, everything, the trees, the rocks, everything has life. The earth is alive and everything has consciousness/awareness. I am sure that moreover, many Gods exist. There probably exist Gods of the informatica. For example, now instead of insulting someone you insult the one that ordained them. The other day I went to the bank, and there was a man who was furious with one of the employees for not doing as he asked for. But he didn't call him an idiot, he said that his boss was an idiot. He was probably imposing the new style of insulting someone.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

christa wolf

"Even dead gods reign" (Christa Wolf in Medea)

Thinking of great beginnings (e.g. Kafka's 'The Castle'), I remembered Christa Wolf's Medea:

"Even dead gods reign. Even the hapless fear for their happiness. The language of dreams. The language of the past. Help me up, up out of this shaft, away from this clanging in my head, why do I hear the clash of weapons, does that mean they're fighting, who's fighting, Mother, my Colchians, am I hearing their war games in our inner courtyard, or where I am, because the clashing keeps getting louder. Thirsty. I must wake up. I must open my eyes. The pitcher next to the bed. Cool water doesn't just quench my thirst, it stills the noise in my brain too. But I know about that. You sat there next to me, Mother, and if I turned my head like this I could see out the window, as I can here, where I am?"

Margaret Atwood said about this book: "The question it asks the reader, through many voices and in many different ways, is: What would you be willing to believe, to accept, to conceal, to do, to save your own skin, or simply to stay close to power? Who would you be willing to sacrifice?"

Monday, September 24, 2007

cesare pavese

"We don't remember days; we remember moments." (From Diaries, 1940)

Some have talked about the synchronicity between C Pavese and the narrator of The Moon and the Bonfires: this sense of exclusion, of internal exile that finds its counterpoint in physical exile.

The novel takes place after the Second World War, when the narrator returns from America, where he has made a fortune, to the village where he grew up. He has left the village out of a “rage at being nobody . . . to come home after everyone had given me up for dead”. He is well aware of his background: an orphan accepted by a family because of the money the government offered.

“But how often I’d seen the noisy carts go by, crammed full of women and boys on their way to the fair, to the merry-go-rounds of Castiglione, Cossano, Campetto, everywhere, and I was staying behind with Giulia and Angiolina under the hazel trees or the fig tree or by the side of the bridge, those long summer evenings, looking always at the same vineyards and sky. And then at night you could hear them coming home along the road, singing, laughing, shouting to each other across the Belbo. On evenings like that, a light, a bonfire seen on a distant hill, would make me cry out and roll on the ground because I was poor, because I was a boy, because I was nothing. I was almost happy when a thunderstorm, a real summer disaster, blew up and drenched their party. But now, just thinking about them, I was missing those times and wanting them back”.

“For better or worse, you know me. For better or worse, let me live.”