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Re: a posteriori.

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  • two_owl_night
    Trinidad, I think you might enjoy this essay. http://situationist.gq.nu/Dazot.htm It answers some questions about the apparent conflict between The Songs of
    Message 1 of 49 , May 6, 2006

      I think you might enjoy this essay.


      It answers some questions about the apparent conflict between "The
      Songs of Maldoror" and "The Poems." The author makes some interesting
      statements, founded in Ducasse's contemporaries and in his
      surrealism . . .

      "Is it necessary to remember the dilemma that the majority of the
      explanations proposed up until the present have gravitated around?
      They all talk about how the Poems followed Maldoror like
      a "conformism without nuances" follows a "revolt without mercy"
      (Camus); how the systematic nihilism of the Songs undertakes a new
      road, wrapped in cynical mystification."

      "With the fall of Maldoror the atrocious tête-à-tête between the self
      and solitude, between an exacerbated sensibility and an ocean of hate
      and passions -- must have shattered. Beyond the self, Ducasse
      discovers the world, ideas, and men, from whence comes the quest for
      a new truth; the Poems of and from the Sircos-Damé group.

      "Why did Lautreamont repudiate Maldoror, the figurehead, the
      revolutionary for the hell of it, the literary insurgent? This is
      explained easily. If Ducasse could have waited for a reader close to
      his conceptions to give an attentive ear to the words his hero
      murmured insidiously to the child of the Tuileries ("Wouldn't you
      like to dominate your peers one day? ... Virtuous and well-meaning
      means get you nowhere...), at least he could have judged to do
      otherwise when he let Maldoror get caught up in the role of nihilist
      jester. The scene with the insane Aghone is revelatory on this
      point: "What was Maldoror's goal? ... To acquire a friend at all
      costs, one who would be naive enough to obey the least of his
      commands," wrote Ducasse, and he adds: "It was Aghone he needed."
      Maldoror, reduced to looking for his public amongst the delirious,
      lets us presume that there is a second reason for his rejection. The
      opposition to progress that integral revolt takes on rejoins here
      with the vanity of violence unilaterally exercised against evil."

      "Thus, it must be admitted that the Poems address themselves above
      all to the decomposing men of the Second Empire, like Fourier's
      Theory of Universal Unity demanded, in order that it be prepared, the
      support of contemporary philanthropists; in those conditions, one
      understands how much the fumbling work of Ducasse reflects the slow
      awakening of the oppressed -- how, alongside Maldoror and his
      monstrous individualism, his will to live for himself in spite of
      others and in defiance of them, in the middle of a world where each
      lived for himself in the fear of others, the desire to live for all
      was born and grew. Thus conceived, all analysis ends up ending by
      stating: Maldoror and the Poems appeared, conclusively, to be a
      reflection of the anarchist movement's double tendency -- and of its
      perpetual oscillation between pure violence and reformist utopia."

      Ducasse, as an artist, fully expecting to change society, resorted to
      poetry. He understood very much at a very young age, then died
      abruptly. His horrifying and puzzling dialectic has intrigued some
      for generations. So he made his mark, and although it hasn't changed
      the world or affected societies as a whole, it has done what
      literature can* do. Create changes in the individual. One could do
      worse than write poetry.


      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Trinidad Cruz" <cruzprdb@...>
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "mariaprophetessa"
      > <mariaprophetessa@> wrote:
      > "A glimmer of hope, Trinidad? Sometimes we just get exhausted, not
      > really cynical. Often I detect a bit of "West's disease" in your
      > literature, but this post suggests to me, for the living, our
      > individual stories are more significant than the larger story. Or
      > rather, the little stories, like battles lost or won, comprise the
      > epic. History happens in spite of historians."
      > Close. I am essentially disgusted with the paralysis of educated
      > people who actually have time to be disgusted people. Consider
      > that evil is essentially giddily optimistic, quite like Maldoror,
      > rather than jaded, and you could say that it may not even be
      > exaggerated in the cynic's eye. The denouement of mysticism ...? How
      > have we come to make marks, to need reminders? Are we really
      > to gain, or is it to lose?
      > Trinidad
    • Exist List Moderator
      ... While I certainly rely a lot on interviews and lexical analysis for my research, I also recognize the fact that some people are more important in the
      Message 49 of 49 , May 13, 2006
        On May 13, 2006, at 8:42, Aija Veldre Beldavs wrote:

        > On Thu, 11 May 2006, Exist List Moderator wrote:
        >> I know this goes off-topic, to an extent, but I think it is also a
        >> chance to reflect on how history is "created" by a number of factors.
        >> History is not a single thing that can be accurately captured. Like
        >> all
        >> human interactions, it is deeply flawed. We know the "truth" only
        >> because we assume our particular sources have all the information
        >> necessary.
        > guess that's why i'm a folklorist/ethnographer who would like for all
        > to
        > have opportunity for voice. in spite of faulty memory and of framing
        > experience in schemas that are put down as fairy tale stereotypes and
        > such, personal experience doesn't lie on the same level as statistics
        > and narratives funded by powerful interest groups.

        While I certainly rely a lot on interviews and lexical analysis for my
        research, I also recognize the fact that "some people are more
        important" in the larger picture of history. This means we need to
        balance our studies of Hitler, Stalin, FDR, and Sir Winston with the
        experiences of soldiers and civilians -- but we must take into account
        the fact Hitler was definitely more influential than some other Germans
        as Stalin was more important than some Russians.

        Maybe "important" is a loaded word, but I don't think the semantics
        matter as much as the basic point -- we study world leaders and major
        events for a reason. They are "praxis" moments that shift cultures and
        even large sections of the globe.

        My point on the individual story causing problems:

        A single story about someone suffering from a disease can cause a
        public reaction that is not relative to the risk. Psychologists have
        long known that too much empathy is as dangerous emotionally as too
        little -- too much empathy is usually a sign of depression, often
        accompanied by compulsive disorders.

        In other words, I cannot know and care about all the suffering in the
        world, or I could not function. I can know there are problems in the
        Sudan and send money to a charity, or even petition my government to
        become involved, but I cannot emotionally deal with every single story
        of rape, torture, and starvation.

        We should record how the bulk of any society exists, which is why pop
        culture is now "standard culture" and studied extensively. We should
        never dismiss the common experience -- but the common are seldom
        responsible for the major shifts in history.

        - C. S. Wyatt
        I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
        that I shall be.
        http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
        http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
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