Friday, 2 October 2009

reading Kafka, a not-so-hermetic screenplay for autumn nights

inspired by Prospero's last comment
(and secretely dedicated to him, the music-omniscient one)

(please excuse the poor quality of the compression - alas, what can i do, unfortunately the Bridge, albeit miraculously still floating, is not enhanced with such awesome technical abilities)

it seems that for some readers the screenplay was indeed hermetic, in spite of my intentions, because the clip didn't work.
if you cannot watch the slideshow, but you are keen on seeing it anyway (completely futile for the ones who have already reached satori while contemplating the white rectangle :-), try going here


  1. An achingly sublime journey tinged with sadness and yet, hope, and awe; Maestra you.
    This is my life right now encapsulated in calm, lucid beauty.

  2. All I see here is a white rectangle, which I think must be a snowscape taken at high altitude in the Romanian Alps...

    This morning on the news were images of a heavy snowstorm in Georgia, with flooding, then to the earthquakes in Sumatra, then the tsunami in Samoa, then the typhoon bearing down on the Philippines on the heels of the last one, then missiles launching in Iran, bombs falling on Afghanistan, and so on and on and on and on, and I would prefer to look at a white rectangle and blank my mind and forget about the madness all around, disappearing back into the snowy forest... but there are chains and ties and tethers and ropes and fences and houses and cars and jobs that prevent such flights... flights of fancy...

  3. :)ce glumeţii!

  4. dear merc - you understand so well, the sadness and the hope, and also the longing for "calm, lucid beauty"... i always feel the urge to thank you for that, even if i know i don't need to, you know that so well...

  5. ah, Owen - now after reading your poetical comment i regret not posting a white rectangle :-) because no, i don't think what happened, why it didn't load from Divshare, this should be small video clip that i made hmmm - it works fine on my computer, i wonder if this is a permanent error over there, then i should find a solution. please let me know if you are still unable to watch it.

  6. ora25, glumeţiile erau în videoclip sau şi tu crezi că postarea a fost mai profundă decât este pentru că nu ai văzut decât un dreptunghi alb? :-)

    spune-mi te rog, să ştiu ce fac.

  7. Merci Roxana pour ces belles images et cette musique. C'est beau, tout simplement.
    PS: j'ai regardé ta série sur les cerisiers en fleurs, ils sont magnifiques!

  8. ah, quelle joie, tu aimé mon petit jeu avec les livres et la nuit :-) merci de tout coeur, chère K’line !

  9. Le jeu des livres et de la nuit...cela m'évoque des souvenirs et des nuits blanches, la petite lampe de chevet allumée près de moi lorsque j'étais étudiante en lettres...

  10. Hello

    I would have told you anyway that i decided to post again on the old blog. i will not pursue the cronopios blog because even one is too much!it makes no sense, so xanadu will remain for some time.

    why write again? i just wanted to dissipate my Lispector enthusiasm. another phase i guess.don't know for how long though but thanks for visiting as always.

    re your last kafka post, a friend of mine who is a CAT analyst( cognitive analytical) told me after i was discussing your story with her. she said "unconditonal positive regard" is the mainstay of most such therapies. i made an arbitrary link between that story cycle and therapy. this unconditional positive regard builds trust and an alliance between the therapist and the includes a certain negation of false hopes.

    this story in itself is so fascinating. it suggests creativity whatever else it may not. thanks for sharing it.

  11. dearest,

    we have to stop meeting like this (cliché #27)
    thankfully, they never do (conclusion #9)

    First, some unfinished business. You have an uncanny ability, dare i say gift, at divining the most grievous (heart-stopping) flora. Sacred Datura, sometimes known as la Yerba Del Diablo, has a diverse ethnobotanical history. In certain rites of passage a young person, under supervision of a Shaman, drinks a brew of Datura leaves (seeds and roots) - and waits for visions.

    And now, this torrent. You know that you've got to me when I watch something and get goose bumps. It's beyond capacity for reason. Those long fingers, pianist's fingers, cradling the book; the plodding Philip Morris Glass-like music, the pacing; the piercing, soul-waking images. A dissolve, and finally - apotheosis: a dark figure struggles to be seen; to be alive.

    thank you, dearest

  12. Lost here. I want to swirl and seep here. And no, I don't want to leave. Ever.

  13. Hi Roxana, I should have tried opening the page in Mozilla, because when I did that it worked fine... but it doesn't seem to work on my machine when I use Windows Internet Explorer... (thanks Bill G.) but you know, a pure white virgin rectangle was ok too... I thought it was a zen exercise in minimalism, the white unwritten page of magical potential, the blizzard covered fields where no one has walked, our mind at birth, the surface of the universe at the moment of the big bang, the flank of the white whale, peace, total peace...

  14. Hi Roxana

    I was not talking about your distance from a sensual picture but generally. this is only in the context of the Musil quote. let me explain.

    Musil hears his mother undressing in the room. this evokes a certain image in his mind. as always, he subjects or yields himself to the "sway" of the moment and also sees his own reaction at a distance. thus he is constantly like a statistician or an experimenter, analysing, measuring.

    when i spoke of your images, i speak of a sensuality. any comments that you usually receive( with respect to them all) like brilliant or good or terrific do not touch the real point. and what is the point?

    as you said last night, a relationship with your images. if Musil steers "clear" from his words, what i was thinking was of a kind of emotion, which even if excessive, is recognized as such. a recognition that leads to a maturity of the sensuality that i think you are achieving gradually.

    or, you are still waiting for your boldest, most 'dramatic', most intimate image.

    i mean this in the same way as Bakhtin speaks of a polyphonous novel. i imagine Dostoevsky separate from his characters. that leads to an objective distance. more some other time.

  15. PS And I did enjoy the film when I finally saw it... was imagining bats flying around chimneys in the midnight blue dusk, bats who had been sleeping in dark cellars under castles in Transylvanian hills... yes, a haunting piece of music and imagery... The sorceress has struck again, casting spells reaching far and wide...

    @ Prospero,
    Salvia Divinorum is another fascinating plant of interest to ethno-botanists everywhere, used in certain other rites of passage or simply for visionary purposes, growing naturally in northern Mexico, the lands that Carlos Castaneda so richly described...

  16. K’line, exactement! moi aussi j’ai fait des études de lettres, une autre coïncidence :-) ah, et j’ai oublié de te remercier pour les cerisiers, le fait que tu es venue les regarder signifie beaucoup pour moi :-)

  17. Kubla, as i told you before, i think your take on the story is very interesting, the therapy-connection is indeed one which is worth discussing, so i am glad you made that "arbitrary link" (there are so many different bits of topic threads in our dialogue here, i have to switch from one another quickly :-)

    and even more interesting the discussion leading from Musil to my photographic style - no, more than style, i would call it "poietics" because you also take into account the generating act, my involvment in the process of taking the pictures. i don't usually speak about this, but now that you force me to :-) - i will say that there are two steps, the photographic act as such, at which point this kind of Musil-like autoscopy is simply out of the question for me (and for photographers in general, i would assume) - because it is an act taking place beyond the conceptualizing level. yet there is the second step, that of the processing, and here i can deliberately try to render a specific emotion or state. so this kind of "distancing" you talk about can only take place at this level. and i think there is a part of "splitting, or doubling" of the consciousness in every creative process - the paradox of Flaubert who is Emma Bovary and yet he is not her at the same time.
    but i think the way the viewer or reader perceives or appreciates that in the works is a different story, it is entirely up to the different types of subjectivity, temperament etc. for you, my most "dramatic" image would be the best, for other persons it might be my most "subdued".
    ps. i think there are other people as well who see that "sensuality" you talk about in my pictures, so there must be something true about that -

  18. Prospero


    perhaps Owen is right then and i might be a sorceress after all, with all that divining taking place in the mysterious garden (though i suspect it is only the magician master's influence and not my native gift). so even if the flowers are gone, i could go back and make a brew of the leaves and seeds? but how dark will the Bridge visions then become, would they still be bearable?

    and you say: Glass-like music. ah! (it's Metamorphosis 1, of course) - but i knew that you would know (again, of course!). i would trust you blindly on that. (would i trust you blindly if you offered me a brew in that garden? that is the question :-)

    it is entirely beyond my imaginative powers how you can do that - the music, i mean.

    i am happy that you liked it. very.

  19. yes, Owen, i told you, after contemplating the white rectangle, anything that slideshow could have contained couldn't have been a match :-) even if it was quite an ordinary white reactangle, nothing like this:

    and i suspected you might be sensitive to that dark atmosphere, though still no bats around :-P
    they are waiting for you, i think. in decaying cars. exactly.

    (Salvia Divinorum, hmmm - what a wonderful name - Roxana Divinorum doesn't sound that bad either :-P, who knows how many seers are here on this Bridge)

  20. reading kafka makes you smarter, they say :)

  21. i assume this slideshow is merely a precursor to the actual video proper which will be coming soon :-P

    in these static images i so miss the slight waver of the light and mist, the trembling of the hand holding the camera, etc. -- all of which i am sure would enhance the mood and impact of such a melancholic (and no less romantic) vision as yours. yes, the added dimension of temporality can only benefit such a sentimental nature as yours... ;-P

  22. chiar apăsasem pe toate zăpezile să văd dacă nu cumva se deschide o trapă secretă, ca în filme :D. aham, citeşti prea de-aproape! ce frumos e setul de degete.

  23. The warm, lighted window in the immense and indifferent night --- like the spark of consciousness wondering about itself --- and books by the bedside ... as for many others, these images are for me so evocative of times I have spent becoming myself by immersion in the minds of others ... and melancholy to think that this loneliness is among the happiest of times ....

    Her graceful (sensuous, which is becoming a contested word here)fingers holding the book --- should we speculate on the fact that they point clearly to the phrase "Tode des Dichters"? But we can't see the preposition! I will guess the phrase is "nach dem Tode des Dichters" ... but it is ambiguous ... it could be "zum Tode," for instance.... and this in your first video post!! (just teasing you ... mostly)

  24. The hermetic life is and is not. Sensuous and ascetic exist at the same moment.
    Living within this tension of opposites is hermetic and not at the same time.
    White triangle satori, hehe, those that don't see, still see.

  25. Manu, so they say, so they say :-)

  26. Michael!
    melancholic, sentimental, romantic - are you talking about the Bridge?! and this despite the on-going laughing and laughable, playful vanity fair of this comment section?!! (which i see has even managed to corrupt the majestic Pensum, for the first time in the history of blogging he uses a tongue, no, two tongues, in a comment, i have marked this day in the darkest, most melancholic, sentimental and romantic of my blacks, never to forget it :-P)

    [waiting for a video is not the wisest option, though, by the looks of these editing softwares which all refuse the dialogue, i don't know if they have something against me or the D90 :-(]

  27. ora25, nu erau mai frumoase zapezile nepatate? :-)
    deh, se vroia acolo o simbolistica, de-aia cartea asa de aproape, ceva gen cititul ca masca etc - dar ma bine sa le dam incolo de simbolistici si sa ne bucuram doar de muzica si culori :-)

    (setul de degete e incantat :-)

  28. James, one of the most beautiful moments that can ever be, no? and not only the reading, but making a pause after a word or an image (a poetic image, as Bachelard would say), leaving the page to enter the world of dreams that word or image have opened for us, within us ("quitter la page", he says).
    and then, after a while, this also fades (i am going to spoil you tonight with another author you like :-): "diese Stunden, in denen er endlich nicht mehr gruebeln oder vorausdenken musste, bloss noch ruhig dasass" - hours in which he (the writer, Handke speaking) doesn't have to think, to ponder any longer, he only sits there quietly, in silence...
    i love it when you speculate: about the death of the poet, the line to which her fingers point, but, above all, about the gracefulness of those fingers (yet: am i allowed to doubt that, just that last bit of it? :-)

  29. merc, i have always thought that, that it is possible to experience sensuous and ascetic at the same time - or at least i have thought it a beautiful adventure to search for that moment of unity. amazing, that you see this :-)

  30. Thank you for the Handke guote. He is, of course you know, a favorite ...

    But this doubt you mention --- no no, I'm sorry, it is not permitted....

  31. sa le dam in colo de simpolistici :))