Wednesday, August 30, 2006

From the heart of the seer and from the distant home of the Truth

Sri Aurobindo
It will be more fruitful to take the main substance of the matter for which the body of Mr. Cousins' criticism gives a good material. Taking the impression it creates for a starting-point and the trend of English poetry for our main text, but casting our view farther back into the past, we may try to sound what the future has to give us through the medium of the poetic mind and its power for creation and interpretation. The issues of recent activity are still doubtful and it would be rash to make any confident prediction; but there is one possibility which this book strongly suggests and which it is at least interesting and may be fruitful to search and consider.
That possibility is the discovery of a closer approximation to what we might call the mantra in poetry that rhythmic speech which, as the Veda puts it, rises at once from the heart of the seer and from the distant home of the Truth, — the discovery of the word, the divine movement, the form of thought proper to the reality which, as Mr. Cousins excellently says,
"lies in the apprehension of a something stable behind the instability of word and deed, something that is reflection of the fundamental passion of humanity for something beyond itself, something that is a dim foreshadowing of the divine urge which is prompting all creation to unfold itself and to rise out of its limitations towards its Godlike possibilities".
Poetry in the past has done that in moments of supreme elevation; in the future there seems to be some chance of its making it a more conscious aim and steadfast endeavour. Works Of Sri Aurobindo > Future Poetry Volume-9 > Introductory Page – 7

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Plays of Sri Aurobindo

PERSEUS THE DELIVERER was originally published in serial form in the weekly Bande Mataram, Calcutta, 1907. Subsequently it was included in Collected Poems and Plays of Sri Aurobindo, published in 1942, with the exception of two scenes which were not available at that time. The missing scenes (Act II, Scenes 2 & 3) were later found and included in the 1955 edition.
VASAVADUTTA exists in several versions, not all of them complete. What seems to be the last complete version has this note at the end: "Revised and recopied between April 8th and April 17th, 1916." An earlier version has a similar entry at the end: "Copied Nov. 2, 1915—written between 18th and 30th October 1915. Completed 30th October. Revised in April 1916. Pondicherry." The first edition of VASAVADUTTA was published in 1957. It was reprinted in 1965.
RODOGUNE belongs to the end of the Baroda period. It is dated February 1906, just before Sri Aurobindo left Baroda for Bengal. It was first published in Sri Aurobindo Mandir Annual, 1958, and also issued in book-form in the same year.
ERIC was written in Pondicherry in 1912 or 1913. Several drafts were made of some of its acts and each carries its own later corrections. One is not always sure which corrections were the last to be made. The text published now is more or less a combination of two or more drafts wherever it was thought that the author's purposes would be served better by this arrangement. Alternatives, however, have been given in the footnotes. ERIC was first published in Sri Aurobindo Mandir Annual, 1960, and also issued in book-form in the same year.
The VIZIERS OF BASSORA is one of the early works of Sri Aurobindo on a major scale. Written in Baroda, it has a curioushistory attached to it. Sri Aurobindo seems to have had especial fondness for this early creation of his. He particularly mentioned it in the Introduction to Collected Poems and Plays as one of the two works, lost—the other being a translation of Kalidasa's Meghaduta (Cloud-Messenger). By a strange turn of destiny the drama was recovered from theGovernment Archives in 1951 along with other manuscripts which had been exhibits in the Alipore Conspiracy Case. This play was published in Sri Aurobindo Mandir Annual, 1959, and also issued in book-form in the same year.
PRINCE OF EDUR was written, as noted in the manuscript, in1907, that is to say, in the very thick of Sri Aurobindo's political activity. It is not complete as it has only three acts and not five. THE PRINCE OF MATHURA, available as a fragment and printedhere for the first time, is a different version of the same theme. PRINCE OF EDUR was first published in Sri Aurobindo MandirAnnual, 1961.
THE MAID IN THE MILL and THE HOUSE OP BRUT are both in-complete and belong to Sri Aurobindo's early Baroda period. They were printed in Sri Aurobindo Mandir Annual, 1962, for the first time.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Eyes of Light

Roy, Dilip Kumar (1897-1980) musician, singer, writer, was born on 22 January 1897 in Krishnanagar under Nadia district, west bengal, son of dwijendralal roy. He lost his mother in childhood and was brought up by his father. At the age of 16, however, he also lost his father and was brought up by his wealthy maternal grandfather. In 1918 he passed BA with honours in Mathematics from Presidency College and went to Cambridge, earning a Tripos in Mathematics.
Dilip Kumar had his first lessons in music from his father. He then received lessons from Surendra Nath Majumder, Radhika Prasad Goswami and Achchhanna Bai. During his stay in London he passed the first part of a course in western music. He went to Berlin to learn German and Italian music, returning to India in 1922. He then practised classical music under the guidance of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, Ustad Fayaz Khan, Pundit Bhatkhande etc.
Dilip Roy was a distinguished composer and singer, whose varied musical experiences transcended the boundaries of his native land. He was equally adept in composition, notation and singing. During 1922 and 1927 he travelled extensively all over India coming in close contact with its entire musical world.
In 1927 Dilip Roy travelled to Europe to deliver lectures on Indian classical music. He had discussions on musical theories with the two chief music experts of his time Rabindranath and Roma Rolland. He had friendship with subhas chandra bose and Jawharlal Nehru. He was also fortunate to get in touch with great men like Mahatma Gandhi and Burtrand Russel. His rendering of songs composed by Dwijendralal Roy, atulprasad sen, kazi nazrul islam, himangshu kumar dutta and Nishikanta was largely responsible for making them popular. He was close to Kazi Nazrul Islam. He played the leading role in publicising and popularising Nazrul's ghazals. Receiving no approval from santiniketan for his attempt to add variety to the music of Rabindrasangit, he gave up singing Rabindranath's songs. He recorded more than 100 songs.
Dilip Kumar was one of the exponents of critical appreciation of modern songs. Backed by his wealth of musical knowledge and creative imagination he attempted to add a new dimension to the musical trend. However he embraced sannyas (renunciation of family life) in the year 1928 and entered Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry where he stayed upto 1950. As a member of the music mission sponsored by the Indian government, he delivered speeches on music in many European countries, the USA, Japan and Egypt in 1953. Returning home he stayed, at the invitation of his friend JV Mehta, at the latter's residence in Pune. Under his influence, Mehta's home gradually turned into a 'Sri Harikrishna temple'.
Dilip Kumar wrote a number of valuable books on music. At the request of the government he wrote in 1938 two books Gitasagar and Sangitiki for the syllabus of Music Department of Calcutta University. Other books he composed on music are Surbihar, Hasir Ganer Swaralipi, Gitamanjari, Dwijendragiti etc. Besides he has written a number of books on various subjects. A total of 80 books are credited to his name.
The notable of them are: novels- Maner Parash (1926), Dudhara (1927), Dola (two vols, 1935), Taranga Rodhibe Ke, Bahuballabh, Dvicharini; drama- Apad O Jalatanka (1926), Sada Kalo (1944), Shri Chaitanya (1948), Bhikharini Rajkanya (1952); essays- Sri Aurvindo O Dharma Bijnan, Chhandasiki, Kavirsi O Gunishilpi (discussion on Aurovindo, Rabindranath, Atulprasad and Sharat Chandra, 1978); travelogues- Bhramyamaner Dinpanjika (1926), Abar Bhramyaman (1944), Bhusvarga Chanchal (1940), Edeshe Odeshe (1940), Deshe Deshe Chali Ude (1955); Satire- Aghatan Ajo Ghate, Chhaya Pather Pathik, Ashruhasi Indradhanu; remembrance- Udasi Dwijendra Lal, Amar Bandhu Subhash, Tirthankar, Sri Aurovindo Prasanga (1942), Among the Great (1940) etc. He also wrote a poetry book titled Eyes of Light (1945).
He was awarded 'Sangit Ratnakar' for his valuable contribution to music. He was also conferred with the membership of the Indian Music and Drama Academy (1965) and the honorary degree DLit of the universities of Calcutta and Rabindarbharati. He was also a fellow of Sahitya (literary) Academy. He died on 6 January 1980 in Mumbai. [Mobarak Hossain Khan] [Chief Editor's Preface] [Board of Editors] [Contributors] [How to Use] [Team: CD Version] [Home] Index:[A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z ] We are highly expecting your Comments. You may write your comments here Or send us mail banglapedia

Monday, August 21, 2006

Mansingh’s influence upon Bidyut Prabha

Sachidananda Mohanty The Critic as the Mentor - Mayadhar Mansingh and Bidyut Prabha (1)Dedicated to the memory of Bidyut Prabha Devi, Panchanan Mohanty, Mayadhar and Hemalata Mansingh
What the Mayadhar Mansingh – Bidyut Prabha association foregrounds is a set of issues central to contemporary critical thinking: the complex role of education for literary creativity, the role of male patronage in the shaping of female literary imagination, and finally, the working of aesthetic and ideological factors in the formation of literary communities. My aim here is not to undertake an “influence study”, comparative in character between Mansingh and Bidyut Phrabha’s poetry, underlining parallel concerns (and there are many), the inevitable differences in approach, and the indebtedness she shows to a senior poet and literature’s influence in terms of idiom, diction and style. This is generally a traditional and expected fare in centennial occasions, and quite legitimate too. But it seems to me that by so doing, we shall be missing the true significance of literary events and personalities, and the complex and ambivalent manner in which they leave a lasting legacy behind them. We must at the outset offer a few caveats. Mansingh’s influence upon Bidyut Prabha, as a writer, although substantial, was not the only one. Nor was it the final or the most decisive one.
There were other significant male literary role models in Bidyut Prabha’s life such as her father: the writer compiler N.C.Das, a relative and short-lived poet Gagan Bihari Mohanty, well established poets and critics like Radha Mohan Gadnayak, Kunja Bihari Das and Krushnachandra Kar, associates like Brajanath Rath and Jadunath Das Mahapatra and later in life, writers and fellow spiritualists such as Mohapatra Nilamani Sahu, Chittaranjan Das, K.C.Pati, Ramakrishna Das and others. Similarly, outstanding women writers both dead and alive such as Kuntala Kumari and Sarala Devi too played their part.
However, a close study of Bidyut Prabha’s life and career shows that Mansingh’s role was unique. In talking about Bidyut Prabha, he raised important questions about the formation of the female poetic self in the regional context and played a vital role in the early shaping of her career. In turn, we find that the younger poet’s respect for Mansingh was deep, consistent and abiding till the end of her life. It bordered on reverence and adulation. His early realization of her promise and his life satisfaction in seeing her swift achievements, his appreciation of her domestic and educational constraints, and his lifelong regret that she could not blossom fully as a poet due to her being denied higher education, are incredibly insightful to his critical assessment and acumen.
I shall attempt to show, basing myself on select literary correspondence hitherto unpublished, as well as some of the archival material that I have collected, that the Mansingh – Bidyut Prabha episode is a significant chapter in Orissa literary history. It illuminates greatly our understanding of the quest of a woman’s literary self in a largely patriarchal order. In being denied higher education by her conservative father, Bidyut Prabha might have missed a vital exposure to trends and experiments in poetry and literature of the larger English-speaking world. But she shows paradoxically and steadfastly throughout her career, as evidenced by the notes and correspondence she has left behind, that one could be self taught and gain entry into multiple traditions of a hybrid kind, which are not automatically granted to the products of higher education. In any case, as Mansingh declares in his History of Oriya Literature that has gone into several reprints, that in the hand of an artist, all exposure into alien traditions need not translate automatically into a native voice.
Regardless of one’s views about Mansingh’s assessment of Oriya modernists like Guruprasad Mohanty, Bhanuji Rao or Binode Nayak,2 it has to be admitted that the question of the influence in the shaping of new voices and genres that Mansingh raised is far from being a settled one. It has to be stated that Mansingh, the critic, was well versed in western literatures, literary canon making, and experiments such as those by T.S.Eliot and Ezra Pound, just as he was widely familiar with the literary scene in Bengal and other provinces as well. His travel to England and his correspondence with academics in the former USSR3 would show that he was not a nativist of an exclusive or chauvinist kind and did not rule out influences from outside in the working of the indigenous literary mind. Mansingh’s correspondence with Bidyut Prabha spans practically her entire career.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Rational spiritual enlightenment

Postmodern spirituality A dialogue in five parts Part V: Can Only A God Save Us? Postmodern Proto-Spirituality And The Current Global Turn To Religion Roland Benedikter
The two poets and thinkers who maybe gave us the best phaenomenological description of inspiration as “free”, open, rational, meta-ideological and spiritual core state of a possible postmodern consciousness of the future, may be the poet of “A moment of true feeling” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 1977), Peter Handke (*1942).
Handke is, in my view, one of the most important European poets and writers of the 20th century, at least for my generation. We read every book from him for 20 years now, and we were deeply influenced by him, more than by most of the academic philosophies. I think he should receive the Nobel Price for Literature well ahead from most other poets. And the other one is the author of the “Philosophy Of Freedom”, Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). He was the founder of Anthroposophy and of the radically democratic political movement of “Social Threefolding”, which currently plays such an eminent role in globalization (cf. Ibrahim Abouleish and Nicanor Perlas, of whom we talked in our first dialogue).
Their works can help you to understand, as an experience but also as a cognitive philosophy in the strict sense, what inspiration is. The best work of Steiner on this topic probably is: Rudolf Steiner: The Levels Of Higher Cognition: Imagination – Inspiration – Intuition. Collected Works No. 12, Dornach 1986; but also his “Truth And Science. A Cognitive Theory” (Collected Works No. 3, Dornach 1992). With re-studying these works, we may progressively understand better, where the void of postmodern deconstruction can positively lead us. And we must not forget: The works for the future, for continuing postmodernity in the 21st century, have still to be written, of course...
If you are in the state of inspiration, new concepts are generated out of the productive void. But it will not be long that you discover: It is not your own normal egoistic “I” which creates them alone. Because this “I” has, at least partially, disappeared. When you are inspired, it can happen, that something subjective-objective is occurring in your mind at the same time. And, again: You feel it. You feel that you are not alone, when you are truly inspired. There is something which helps you, which guides your intuitions. As we said in one of our previous dialogues, it may be the famous “Geist” or “spirit-mind” (as I would translate the term “Geist”) which Hegel underscored so much, when he said that the goal of rational spiritual enlightenment is the discovery that not I myself are producing and thinking my thoughts, but the order of the cosmos is producing my thoughts and thinking through me. (Cf. Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel: Phenomenology of Spirit. Oxford University Press, USA 1979)...
First undergo a true kátharsis, which is the only way to “deconstruct” your illusions properly, by creating inner images of the good, the true and the beautiful. And only if you have created these images in a subjective-objective way, you can proceed safely into the realm of inspiration - by cancelling even those images, and remaining only with the pure pre-formal energies which created those images, and with nothing else. Than you will be able to think safely and rationally in a pre-linguistic, pre-imaginary and pre-formal “subjective-objective” way.
If you try instead to go directly into the inspiration state of thinking, you may possibly fall into new, even more dangerous illusions, than the egoistic and linguistic illusions could be. You will, for example, have the illusion that every thought you think is valuable and great, even if in reality it is not. Being inspired does not mean being infallible; therefore, you first have to learn how to behave precisely in the realm of the subjective-objective. The best school, according to Steiner, to learn precise rational thinking in the realm of the subjective-objective, is to exercise imagination.
For example, making a picture of the sky in the morning, and then imagining how the weather may be in the afternoon. You form a judgement out of that imagination. And in the afternoon you control, if it was true or not. With time passing, your imagination will become always more precise. And in the end, you will know with a high percentage of success out of pure observation of the sky in the morning, how the weather will be in the afternoon. Steiner called that “the empirical exercise of practical imagination”. That was the method Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Steiner spiritual father, used to exercise his faculties of imagination. And only having learned that, you should proceed. Only then, it may be safe enough.

Postmodern emancipation

Postmodern spirituality A dialogue in five parts Part III: The Postmodern Mind – And Its Future Roland Benedikter
Because I cannot make an object out of it. I can try to do that, but I will just become aware that the one who does this trying is the one who would be the one to reach. I become aware that the one who does this trying is the one from which everything else depends. Everything, in the strictest sense of the word. Every sensorial perception, every concept, and every state of ego and “I” I can ever be or imagine. The whole world.
But this one cannot deconstruct itself, because he or her is the one who is trying to do the deconstruction. Therefore, that “I” (or witness) must be something like a last, pre-egoistic, pre-conceptual and pre-objective basis for everything else – an “individual, i.e. non-divisible self” or a “permanent origin in itself” (Jean Gebser: The Ever Present Origin, Reprint Edition, Ohio University Press 1986). This “permanent origin” or “pure pre-conceptual life-stream of attention” (Georg Kuehlewind), or, if you want to call it that way, “last meta-conscious basis of postmodern emancipation and every day life” (cf. Roy Bhaskar: The Philosophy of Meta-Reality, SAGE Publications 2002) seems to be the essence you wake up with in the morning. It is the first think that appears in the morning, then you awake.
It seems to produce every concept, every perception, as well as the pictures and illusions of the normal ego which then become a self-reflected mask or “persona”. It is the witness which does the deconstruction of the normal ego. Deconstruction obviously does not happen “from alone”. Somebody has to do it. And this somebody can be only your “other” or “pre-objective” “I”: the “I” behind the normal “I”, the “I” which is able to observe even the illusionary “I” from the standpoint of “the other” (Lévinas), and to deconstruct it from the standpoint of “the other”. Who is it? And what remains, if the normal ego and its world, its beliefs and its reality eventually have been completely deconstructed?
That's what a normal human being, a contemporary subject who takes postmodernity seriously, must ask, sooner or later, without any chance to avoid these questions. And then, an answer, for a rationally self-aware, contemporarily enlightend (aufgeklärt) subject must be found through and out of deconstruction, not avoiding it.

Speculative connections with literature

This is a list of the current and forthcoming commentaries in the Hermeneia series. For more series, see my post on commentary series
The Hermeneia series is noted especially for its comprehensive attention to parallels in other literature. This will almost invariably involve many speculative connections with literature not necessary for interpreting the biblical text and just amounts to distraction. A number of these commentaries are absolutely excellent and in fact the scholarly standards on their respective books (e.g. Psalms 51-100, Song of Songs, Amos, I Peter. Others are outdated or eccentric (most notably John and the earlier Bultmann I-III John), and such books might be better served by other commentaries.
It uses the original language and will be harder to read by those unschooled in Hebrew and Greek, but there is usually a translation of any non-English, which makes it much easier than some other series. Even though it's more detail than necessary in most cases, some of these volumes really are the best detailed exegesis of the book they cover, and I'll indicate some of those when I do the review of commentaries for each book. In most cases, scholars will need to refer to them, but expositors will not. The series is still very much in process in the Old Testament, with only one volume on the historical works in print, and that was just this year. The prophets and wisdom literature have much better coverage, and the NT is much further along. Non-canonical books also appear in this series.
One misleading element of the following lists is that many volumes are translations of German or French works, and the delay between the original and the Hermeneia translation is sometimes more than a decade. Some of these are much older than they seem to be from the date given, which is the date of its release in English translation in this series . Others were new works produced in English. Volumes out so far: Continue reading... - Jeremy at 09:30 AM Comments (2) TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

"Multiple readings” is intellectual shopping

Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It, by Thomas de Zengotita
One of the points of de Zengotita's book is that we live in a media-saturated age, to such an extent that it is almost impossible for people to have "unmediated" experiences anymore. In other words, we are shut off from the real, and are surrounded by images and messages directed toward us, which facilitates both narcissism and solipsism: "Everything is firing message modules, straight for your gonads, your taste buds, your vanities, your fears." This is such a sharp change from previous generations, that we have failed to appreciate its effect on consciousness, on our very being. One of the effects is that the media present us with so many options of how to be, that we become detached from who we are.
de Zengotita makes a direct connection between our postmodern, mediated selves and academia, noting that one can well understand “why destabilizing fixed categories and opening up multiple readings” is “all the rage at the university.” He calls it “intellectual shopping,” that is, “perpetually entertaining options among undecidables, exercising them provisionally, in accordance with a context and the needs of the moment.... One may lease, as it were, a reading, but one never buys, for interpretations are bound to multiply, and no definitive documentation, no historical condition or authorial intent, will ever secure a settled meaning and resolve the play of language--any more than the purpose of soap or shoes can restrain the way commodities are packaged and marketed as representations of something or other, or the way you construct yourself over time by choosing among all these options--soap, shoes, health practices, readings, relationships, careers, whatever.”
Of course, the purpose of adolescence used to be to sort through the various possibilities of identity, and to eventually settle on one. But now, it seems that people become permanent “adultolescents,” identifying with one’s options rather than a real identity.
The problem is, in the postmodern world, reality is “ironized,” so that people are too detached and reflexive to make a commitment to it. Everything is placed in quotes, so to speak, so that sophisticated people no longer speak of patriotism but “patriotism,” not truth but “truth,” not identity but “identity.” Beginning especially with the 60’s generation, all of these and other categories were thrown so radically into question, that now they are no longer seen as quite real. I don’t want to suggest that I was unaffected by this. For example, I’m quite sure it was one of the reasons why I waited until relatively late in life to have children--children represent one of our last connections to the real--they are simply “given” in the same way that primordial nature is, thereby sharply limiting one's options. Children--especially very young children who have not yet been corrupted by mediated images of themselves--simply are. Furthermore, once you are a parent, that is it. One experiences the same thing to a certain extent in getting married, because that too forecloses the limitless choices ahead of us. But nowadays, even marriage has been destabilized by the nagging thought that there is someone else, somewhere, some other choice, who will better complete the self. There are so many choices that we are affected by "buyer’s remorse" in every single area of our being--relationships, religion, career, truth. Everything can be different than it is, and we are existentially haunted by that fact.
The postmodernists are half right about language, truth, identity and being. It is true that, in the past, we were naive about the infinite nature of language and about the diverse possibilities inherent in human existence. Where the postmodernists go wrong is in using this fact to throw out the possibility of Truth--that some interpretations and identities are truer than others. In other words, while past generations may have prematurely foreclosed the world by insisting on one particular truth, postmodernists foreclose the possibility of transcendent Truth by insisting on absolutizing the relative. Ironically, this is why progressives make progress impossible, because progress is measured by its approximation to transcendent Truth. Instead, they give us only "progress." posted by Gagdad Bob at 8:30 AM 9 comments

Monday, August 07, 2006

Integrity and life are irreconcilable

On Baricco’s Homer Nick Tosches The New York Times: August 6, 2006
Now his “Iliad,” derived from the respected Italian translation of Maria Grazia Ciani (who receives no credit on the cover, title page or copyright page, but is acknowleged in “A Note on the Text”), recasts the song of Troy into a series of monologues by several of Homer’s characters.
In his introductory note, Baricco celebrates the “paradox” of translating a translation. “Borges would undoubtedly have been ecstatic,” he writes, as if certain that Borges would have found this work of interest, as if translations of translations were something new. (Arthur Hall’s “Ten Books of Homers Iliades,” published in 1581, was a translation of a French translation.) Why not inflate the chest even further and say that Homer himself would undoubtedly have been ecstatic?
Baricco’s preciosity detracts from his book’s modest pleasures. His note at the outset aggrandizes what follows, and his note at the end announces a movement for peace that “will succeed, sooner or later, in taking Achilles away from that fatal war.” But Achilles cannot be taken away from that fatal war. As Cedric H. Whitman, the most perceptive of Homeric scholars, wrote, the fate of Achilles, “death-devoted, already dead,” is to learn that “integrity and life are irreconcilable.” Baricco’s “Iliad” is not heroic. It is not much of anything. This is a shame: a waste of Baricco’s considerable gifts, a misrepresentation of something great. Nick Tosches is the author of the novel “In the Hand of Dante” and many other works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
SABDADistributors of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publications
Ilion An Epic in Quantitative Hexameters — Sri Aurobindo
Price: Rs 175 Hard Cover Pages: 148 Dimensions (in cms): 22x28 Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department, Pondicherry ISBN: 81-7058-169-9
Sri Aurobindo had admired the hexameter – the chosen vehicle of Homer, Virgil and other great Greek and Latin poets – since his school days in England. He began work on Ilion – an epic in quantitative hexameters – in 1909 when he was an undertrial prisoner in Alipur Jail. Depicting the events leading up to the fall of Troy, this epic centres around the conflict between the mighty Greek Achilles and the warrior-queen Penthesilea. A Deluxe edition with glossary of proper names and Greek and Latin terms.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Theater emphasized pedagogy, idealism and harmony

(This writing is published to demonstrate that one can write a sophisticated article by using exclusively words of Greek origin)
The genesis of classical drama was not symptomatic. Aneuphoria of charismatic and talented protagonists showed fantastic scenes of historic episodes. The prologue, the theme and the epilogue, comprised the trilogy of drama while synthesis, analysis and synopsis characterized the phraseology of the text. The syntax and phraseology used by scholars, academicians and philosophers in their rhetoric, had many grammatical idioms and idiosyncrasies.
The protagonists periodically used pseudonyms. Anonymity was a syndrome that characterized the theatrical atmosphere. The panoramic fantasy, the mystique, the melody, the aesthetics, the use of the cosmetic epithets are characteristics of drama. Eventhrough the theaters were physically gigantic, there was noneed for microphones because the architecture and the acoustics would echo isometrically and crystal - clear. Many epistomologists of physics, aerodynamics, acoustics, electronics, electromagnetics can not analyze - explain the ideal and isometric acoustics of Hellenic theaters even today.
There were many categories of drama: classical drama, melodrama, satiric, epic, comedy, etc. The syndrome of xenophobia or dyslexia was overcome by the pathos of the actors who practiced methodically and emphatically. Acrobatics were also euphoric. There was a plethora of anecdotal themes, with which the acrobats would electrify the ecstatic audience with scenes from mythical and historical episodes.
Some theatric episodes were characterized as scandalous and blasphemous. Pornography, bigamy, hemophilia, nymphomania, polyandry, polygamy and heterosexuality were dramatized in a pedagogical way so the mysticism about them would not cause phobia or anathema or taken as anomaly but through logic, dialogue and analysis skepticism and the pathetic or cryptic mystery behind them would be dispelled.
It is historically and chronologically proven that theater emphasized pedagogy, idealism and harmony. Paradoxically it also energized patriotism a phenomenon that symbolized ethnically character and phenomenal heroism.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU FROM OMOGENIA INTERNET Thank you DR John Karalas for writing such article, Thank you National Hellenic for posting it and thank you Mr. Theofanides from the Bank of Cyprus for searching and finding this article.

Friday, August 04, 2006

“Starless” has made me weep

07.29.2006 permalink Music We are often cursed with liking a piece of music which leaves our friends and lovers cold and underwhelmed. I've often thought that the song “Starless” off of King Crimson's Red album was a pinnacle of rock music. It is one of the few songs that I can listen to over and over and over…. “Starless” has often put me into that “eye of the hurricane” state that you access when listening to really intense music and usually leaves me breathless and wanting for more.
But we have the web which can be used to hunt down people who also like what we like. There's comfort in collective solipsism :-) I found the following two “reviews” by Stephanie Sollow and Eric Tamm respectively to be more than adequate validation for my beliefs regarding “Starless.”
Here's an excerpt from Stephanie Sollow: ”You are being wound tighter and tighter and the scale is being slowly climbed, higher and higher you go…and then off into another direction, though tighter still till we explode into a flurry of saxophone notes. We are now scattershot, pieces of the self here, there and everywhere - chaos ensues. Oh, this goes through so many different tempos and moods, I'm not really going to try visualize them all. But, my god, this is some damn terrific stuff. What was I thinking in not playing this often?”
And this one from Eric Tamm: ”“Starless” is more than all that, though: in my opinion it is simply the best composition King Crimson ever committed to record. It is also the only King Crimson piece that has ever made me weep - those tears that tend to issue out of a direct confrontation with what we feebly call “artistic greatness” but is really a portentous and rarely glimpsed secret locked away at the heart of human experience.” Access: Public Type: Blog Add Comment posted by Anand

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Behind the External Form of Music

Q: What is there "behind" the external form of music?
Music is a means of expressing certain thoughts, feelings, emotions, aspirations. There is even a region where all these movements exist and from there, as they are brought down, they take a musical form. One who is a very good composer, with some inspiration, will produce very beautiful music, for he is a good musician. A bad musician may also have a very high inspiration; he may receive something which is good, but as he possesses no musical capacity, what he produces is terribly commonplace, or dinary, uninteresting.
But if you go beyond, if you reachjust the place where there is this origin of music - of the idea and emotion and inspiration - if you reach there, you can taste these things without being in the least troubled by the forms; the commonplace musical form can be linked up again with that, because that was the inspiration of the writer of the music. Naturally, there are cases where there is no inspiration, where the origin is merely a kind of mechanical music. It is not alway_ interesting in every case. But what I mean is that there is an inner condition in which the external form is not the most important thing; it is the origin of the music, the inspiration from beyond, which is important; it is not purely the sounds, it is what the sounds express. Excerpts from AIM (May 2006)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Life in the modern age is governed by seduction

In this the day and age of the make-over, how do we aestheticize beauty? Beauty is now a mask, layers of artificial skin. Tremendous attempts are made to rediscover the persona. However imagined, it is not the self that is evaluated. The make-over pronounces a newer self based on a change in wardrobe and lifestyle. The greater discovery is the level of existence. The mirror reflects. It doesn’t possess.
The hip hop culture is a reality. The excessiveness of money and fame is present in the modern day culture. Credit has been given to hip hop as a new form of civil rights movement. Socio-politically, it addresses consumerism, psycho-sexuality, urban violence, spiritual wealth and racism. Unlike rock and roll, hip hop is more than a state of mind. It harbors a conscientious awareness. As with any movement, hip hop has generated universal interest. Its influence is greater than any marketing ploy. A younger generation has been granted a new voice, creatively and politically.
The language of hip hop is clever. Many phrases that stemmed from hip hop have made their way into popular culture. They are in constant everyday use. These phrases are used by the young found mostly in urban areas. Suburban culture has embraced this as well. Black and white subcultures within the element of hip hop have come together, forming a new vernacular. Beauty is then created through the rhythm of language. Beauty when intellectualized takes shape and indeed comes full circle. The language in hip hop meets that dimension. Relating back to the jazz musical “riff,” it has helped establish permanent roots in American culture. posted by Kofi Fosu at 7:54 AM Thursday, July 20, 2006 African Postmodernist Dispatches