Sunday, October 10, 2004

Explanatory notes to "A letter before I go"

(1) Jarvis. It refers to Jarvis Cocker, vocalist of the British band "The Pulp". The general idea of the letter was motivated by a song titled "Sylvia" included in the album "This is Hardcore". Jarvis is a surreal denomination for who could have been called the journalist at a certain given time; it might perfectly mean as well somebody else.

(2) Aeolic verses. Reference to a small fragment in Sappho's least read poetry, yet my favourite by far. I translated the fragment myself and you'll find it quoted hereunder:

"The moon hath left the sky;
Lost in the Pleiad's light,
Midway sinks the night,
Yet alone and still I lie".

(3) Reference to the Hebrew prayer "mode ani", learn by Jewish children during their early years.

"Mode ani lefanecha, melech chi viyakom, shehechetzarta bi nishmati, bichemela raba emunasecha" (I gratefully thank You O living and eternal King, for You have returned my soul within me in compassion abundant is your faithfulness).

It's supposed to be the first prayer to be recited aloud in the morning after awakening from sleep. Rabbinical authorities claim that sleep is a form of death and that God returns man his soul in the morning. A similar thought was widespread in the archaic Greek thought.

(4) St. Claire's and St. Anne's. Reference to my days in those colleges when I started pursuing my Classical studies. Deeply influenced by the lectures imparted I've pursued a career in the Classical world ever since.

(5) Temples. Meaning knowledge or the art of the muses (poetry). The temples of the muses or perhaps the Phoebus.

(6) Zelma. Reference to the Israeli Russian-born religious poetess of Mea Shearim. She was the first Hebrew poetry I ever read being 12 or 13 and I had some kind of longing for this poetry. Zelma, daughter of a rabbi passed away in Jerusalem the year of my birth.

(7) Dina. Dina Reich Gutman, a character in Naomi Ragen's "Sotah". Haredi woman vindicated and forced into exile in New York for adultery.

(8) Joan Rosenheim. Another character in "Sotah". An American liberal woman.

(9) Kunderian thoughts. This is a reference to the German "muss-sein" (a must be) excerpted in Kundera's books from Beethoven's, I would slavishly follow this wave of thought in the scope of the "fatus" that govern all things. Very phenomenological and humanist. Things that are simply because they're meant to be. This is related to other notes, such as No. 21 and 38.

(10) Gaelic poems. Reference to some almost pastoral poetry I write, in particular to a poem included in this blog called "The Wanderer", explanations to this term shall be given later. This poetry is deeply influenced by Classical Irish-Gaelic and Scottish-Gaelic poetry I read and the music of Enya O'Brien. This writing features as well some Nordic, and particularly Icelandic ancient folk tales. You'll find the poem mentioned above hereunder. Find further on this poem under note No. 38

I sleep away to life
My years back and forth
My youth rose too high
My days in comfort

The sorrows of the morrow
Bring me back, to and fro
To a sadness that is hollow
Tomorrow in the go

Before I were a song
I was a leaf in the hues
When sung in unison
I turned oak in the Blues

In my sleep you wander
Is the hunter haunted
Souls in slay and wander
An encore is wanted

That is me, I wander'
Ere thy heathen falter
That is me, I pander
I'm the wanderer

(11) self-obsessed artist. Reference to Paula Cole's song "Nietzsche's eyes"

(12) Helicon. Epic for "Greece" in archaic poetry, in particular Homer. The reference here is from a poem of Friedrich Holderlin in which he claims being the favourite son of the Gods. I might have written something similar in some unpublished note about Arthur Rimbaud.

(13) Acropolis. Metaphor of the metropolitan life in contrast to the pastoral life. The Acropolis here described would be Tel Aviv.

(14) Stygia. River that in the Greek mythology would surround the underworld nine fold. The river was believed to be a deity by itself and also a place in which other deities dwelt, that is according to the Orphic tales. Stygia was also the Greek epithet for "hate", a feminine being, probably related to "ybris", the Greek for "wrath". Stygia is also related to the story of Isobel the hunter, v. note called "Isobel's manifesto".

(15) Bacchants. Reference to Euripide's Bacchants, considered wild and savage killers under the rule of Dyonisus. The Bacchants were closely related to the forest and mountain life and to other no less mysterious deities such as Hestia and Demeter. The topic of the forest and the mountain is also part of the aesthetical milieu of Isobel the hunter.

(16) Arcadia. Geographical region of the Greek world well-known for its wild nature and practically inhabitable. Arcadia was probably home to the Bacchants and was also populated by other mysterious deities and amorphous cults, some divinities imported from Syria, Macedonia and other primitive non-Hellenic tribes dwelt in Arcadia. The place would represent the perfect milieu where the unruly spirit of Dyonisus would find its home and the Bacchants are probably Arcadians, although in the play they shall have come from Thracia, birthplace of Dyonisus mother. Other deities claimed rule over the place, but the context of all these tales is to a large extent unknown. It is an ambiguous reference to pastoral life far from the splendour of the Athenians in the Attic region.

(17) Rome. Allusion to Sheryl Crow's song "The Book", included in her album "Sheryl Crow".

(18) Dionysian dithyrambs. Poetry book published by Nietzsche, however the reference alludes to the venomous nature of the Bacchants and the Arcadia.

(19) Aeolic bridal hymns. Reference to Sappho's poetry, and in particular to those lyrical songs (most of them only speculated about and very few of them quoted by the Alexandrian grammarians, only source we have for most of her poetry, included in the Oxford Oxyrrincus papyri). This poetry was apparently written by her to be sung aloud against payment for the wealthy classes of Lesbos in wedding rituals. It's an indirect reference to Aphrodite and Eros, might have been also referred to different divinities of marriage and women's life such as Hestia.

(20) The rituals performed for the dead in Byzantium. Reference to Shay Agnon's Shira and the work of Professor Manfred Herbst on the subject. Being Herbst the main character of the novel.

(21) "Iterum.... verbum sapienta". Perhaps the most complex reference in the story, yet hardly noticeable. A sound explanation will follow hereunder:

Iternum... verbum sapienta is obviously a Latin inscription, meaning "Of the journeys.... a word to the wise", but there's a lot more to it. "Iterum... verbum sapienta" is the bridge between the poetic song "Cursum Perficio" and the statement that preceded the expression; "I would end up my road there".

Cursum perficio is a Celtic song written in Latin by Roma Ryan in the late 80's and has thoroughly impressed me. Earlier in my life I used the nickname "cursum perficio" when writing and thereafter replaced it by my current nickname, "Zweerver" (wanderer in Dutch). Hereunder the text is enclosed.

Cursum perficio.
Verbum sapienti:
quo plus habent,
eo plus cupiunt.
Post nubila, Phoebus

The translation of the poem is far off complicated, and I'll use Konrad Schroder's English version to elucidate the mysterious charm behind these lyrics.

I finish the course. (i)
A word to the wise:
the more [people] have
the more they want.
After the clouds, Phoebus (ii)(iii)

The text presents several difficulties that are difficult to rephrase in modern English or any other language. Schroder's textual critic was very useful for me when trying to understand it but it's far too grammatical for the scope of these notes, I will make use of it nevertheless adding up certain points I consider relevant and leaving out most semantic and syntactic remarks, being such unnecessary in this note.

(i) the Latin verb "perficio" means literally "I finish", although there's a deeper meaning to it, as in most expression drawn from the Classical languages. Perficio conveys the action of finishing as an unfinished or still on-going process. A more accurate translation would be "I am finishing the course", for it hasn't ended yet; it's a progressive action. Perficio raises the question of the eternal return that I believe is central to the meaning of the song and could be hitherto explained in the terms of Logos through the most well-known fragment of Heraclitus:

"If you haven't heard me but the Logos it is wise to ascertain by means of your sense that all things constitute a very same thing"

This proves that there's a super-structured axe in most of my writing that heads towards the same direction, be eternal return one of highest peaks of my underdeveloped system of thought. Perficio expresses an unfinished state of being, an action.

(ii) I believe Post Nubila, Phoebus form one only semantic unit but they must be explained separately. Post Nubila is also the Latin proverb (late) "after clouds (come) the sun*" *(enclitic and complemented by Phoebus) or "after rain comes the sunshine".

(iii) Phoebus is the Roman god of sunlight, prophecy, music and poetry (same as the Greek Apollo). When not capitalized the sun.

I see the immediate connection between the two particles forming a linguistic unity. Here I see how poor my knowledge of literature is as I'm unable to find the right terminology to describe this composition in any language I know. I've used the Phoebus extensively in my latest writings, in the companion of the Aurora (in the "walking on the water" metaphor that would be interpreted as the burial of the wife) and Demeter as well, being the Phoebus not only the sun himself, but also a son of the sun and a disciple of Apollo, an almost heavenly creature. Phoebus is a reference to myself being a child and also to some good friends, among them Fernando Barrera, Ofer Mayer, Giorgia Kaltsidou, David Waltmann and Liad Steinberg.

(iv) Here is where things turn out really complicated and there's no explicit translation of "Iterum" in Schroder's English translation. The word is spelled "iternum" which is either a nonexistent word or a poetic form. In all probability, it is either a misspelling of "eternum" (eternal), a misspelling of "iterum" (again and again), or a poetic form meaning journey. The context is so ambiguous that the translation was omitted.

Here are the possibilities played out:

a. "Eternum" is rather clearly enunciated, but it's highly unlikely that an adjective be used as a verb. Also some phonetic inconsistencies.

b. The transcription of "iternum" instead of "iterum" is a common error to make, and had occurred elsewhere (such as Codex Vaticanus manuscripts for example). "Iterum" fits the tone as well as the tense, that of one tormented by the demands of others "again and again". In the two speculations above mentioned there's a clear tendency to the topic of the eternal return as I've rephrased it, an unfinished state of being in the sense of "perficio" or in accordance to the Logos. v. No. 43 and the hyperlink included there.

c. Iterum means "journey". It is related to "iter" (to journey). This should be translated as "journey" or perhaps "of the journeys".

A semantic triad that leaves some food for thought.

The connection between the statement "I would end up my road there" in the letter and the poem stems from the fact that I remembered when writing the letter this song had been composed inspired by an inscription found in the portico of Marilyn Monroe's last home, "My journey ends here". I'm almost convinced such was a Latin inscription but I couldn't remember the exact wording at the time, hence I made use of a game of words drawn from the song. Using "Iterum" and "verbum sapienta" in juxtaposition, perhaps in the same periphrastic use of "Post Nubila, Phoebus".

As I mentioned when heading the note, this is perhaps the most dense explanation all throughout for an almost unnoticeable understated comment.

(22) v. Note No. 9

(23) The world shall have been created first and then the law. Reference to Genesis 1:1; "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". The arguments springs from a superficial disagreement with the following textual sources (which Sylvia would compare with Solon's writings about the Athenian Laws):

(i) Midrash Rabbah
The Torah says, "I was the tool of God's artistry": An architect who builds a palace does not do so on his own: he has scrolls and notebooks which he consults how to place the rooms, where to set the doors. So it was God: He looked into the Torah and created the world.

(ii) Zohar
God looked into the Torah and created the world. Man looks into Torah and sustains the world.

(24) Hemingway. Reference to this author's books on New Yorker's lives.

(25) Satmars. Ultra-orthodox sect, one of their main communities is based in New York.

(26) Progressive Jew. Meaning in the sense of American Reformed Jewish, it doesn't preclude the background of Sylvia in the Arminian Dutch Church and the Church of the Later Day Saints.

(27) Argive. That's how Greeks were called at a certain period of archaic times, particularly in Homer. The reference is drawn in the sense of Homer, who to a large extent exposed the contradiction between "fatus" and "will" of men, being subject to the mercy or wrath of the divinities.

(28) Homeland. Meaning ambiguously Israel and Britain.

(29) "grandeur de la cite comme le plus haute tour". Another ambiguous reference, "grandeur of the city such as the highest of towers". In one hand it's meant to exemplify the Biblical Babel tower through the life of an intellectual in Tel Aviv and New York. Secondly, it's meant to be a reference to "Chanson de la Plus Haute Tour", a famous poem of the symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud.

(30) British. It's meant here as too old-fashioned and unprepared for modern life. Being but poorly street-wise.

(31) Sankt Gallen. Catholic city in the Swiss Alps where Sylvia Akkermans was probably born.

(32) New England. Meaning here the department of Classics at Middlebury College in Vermont and the famous "Bryn Mawr Review of Classical Scholarship" published by Bryn Mawr College.

(33) An English woman living in New York, an English woman that became an American lawyer, an English woman married in New York. Understated sentences that resume the central axes of the story.

(34) I could never help myself from looking down on them. Meaning that the snob intellectual of S.A. would never refrain herself from looking down on the appalling shallowness of American culture.

(35) the inclement Jerusalemite sun of October. Reference to the time when Sylvia and David Akkermans firstly met. It's also a cross-reference to a Talmud saying that goes "The end of the summer in Jerusalem is warmer than the summer itself".

(36) Lewisohn. Main building of the School of General Studies at Columbia University in New York.

(37) Mustiness. Concept drawn probably from George Elliot's "Middlemarch" as a Victorian way of life. It represents the heavy and dreadful scholarly touch of Sylvia, what unsuccessfully she tries to be devoid of. It's a masculine feature of Victorian England, where mustiness is considered scholarship, through the study of the Classics and the Hebrew Bible that every male shall have pursued. It's a symbol of status. Clearly represents my very first background.

(38) Dead knowledge. Reference to Enya's song "Na Laetha Geal M'Óige" in Irish. The context of dead knowledge might relate as well to the moral critic of George Elliot in the Middlemarch. Hereunder you'll find a textual critic of the song by Denis Ryan with an English translation.

Na Laetha Geal M'Óige

(In ómós do mo mháthair agus do m'athair)

Ag amharc trí m'óige

Sé mé bhí sámh

Gan eolas marbh

Bhí mé óg gan am

Anois táim buartha

Sé fad ar shiúl an lá

Ochón is ochón ó

Na laetha geal m'óige

Bhí siad lán de dhóchas

An bealach mó a bhí romhan ansin

Bhí sé i ndán dom go mbeadh mé slán


The great days of my youth

(In honour of my father and my mother)

Looking back at my youth

I was content

Without dead knowledge(i)

I was young, without time

Now I'm sorrowful

Those days are long past(ii)

Sadness and loss(iii)

The great days of my youth

They were full of expectation

The great journey that was before me then(iv)

Happiness was in store for me(v)(vi)(vii)

I shall add nonetheless that the music of Enya and in particular the Latin and Gaelic lyrics have deeply influenced my writings since the age of 13. In opposition to the order proposed by Denis Ryan in the translation and critical notes I'll point the romans only in the English version for fundamentals of Gaelic grammar are not the purpose of this explanatory note, however I'll include most of what Denis Ryan pointed out.

(i) Dead knowledge. This in the thematic axe of this long explanatory note (and almost epithetical axe of my work in general). According to Ryan it is probably a reference to Classical education and musty libraries, just the sort of interest that would of no interest, whatsoever, to a child. Could also mean the knowledge that comes with age. Dead knowledge is a very powerful understatement of the life of Sylvia Akkermans in comparison to Ari the child as portrated in a lost note called "Dear Anne Frank, are you truely universal?" in which wife would in detail talk about the childhood of Ari Akkermans. This dead knowledge Sylvia was condemned to since her earliest years and that would conduce her through the most different paths in life in distress and unhappiness, her passion for the Classics, hence her mustiness and love for scholarly life would be as well her worst curse. The Classics would be what would separate her from Jarvis in their romantic affair, but yet she would always cling to it, even by stating that in heavens when the Torah was given to the world she was already engaged in the study of the Classics, before this earthly life.

(ii) "Is fad ar shiúl an lá" translates into "it is long since the day is gone away". The nearest English sensible equivalent would be "those days are long past". Those days are long past are interpreted by Sylvia as her youth, as her life before vindicating herself in the life of the writer. It could mean as well her licentious life before her marriage.

(iii) Ochón. There's no real translation for this. It conveys great sorrow and loss. In the context of Sylvia Akkermans it would remind me of the chants included in Enya's song "Deireadh An Tuath" (End of the Tribu). Being those chants as follows: "Hoireann is O Hi O Ho ra Ha/Hoireann is O Ho O Ho Ho ro Ho" for which there's no possible translation given, but according to the Celtic tradition they might have been used in the pagan feast of "Samhna", that is the Halloween or the Celtic new year celebrated the first day of November. Sylvia would obviously relate these chants to the Jewish prayer for the departed "El Ma'ale Rachamim" (I've written about that in the past too) and certain Sapphic dark verses.

(iv) "An bealach mór" literally translated into "the big road" or "the big way". In the context of life, this would be better translated as "the great journey". Journeying is a very frequent allusion in my writing and it is also present at different instances of the letter. Please relate it directly to the note No. 21 (revert there once again if possible) and the "Iterum" (Of the journeys) of the song "Cursum Perficio" as related to Sylvia's statement "I would end up my journey there". This journey once again (and redundantly) stresses that fascination for the eternal return, the fatus of men and her submission to the vivifying power in the Logos of Heraclitus, as explained in the Pre-Socratic saying:

"Not twice you will dive into the same river, for the river is not the same neither are you".

The river also contains the essence of the Logos, it has been portrayed in the letter often too as "waters" surrounding knowledge and sentiments or containing them are mentioned all over. Also notice the mention of the river Stygia. Notes No. 14, 15, 16. The notes No. 21 and 38 (this current note) elucidate with most depth the thoughts revolting around the mind of Sylvia when writing the letter.

(v) This "happiness" in the original Gaelic is better rephrased as "wholesomeness".

(vi) Again, as in Cursum Perficio there's a sentence whose context is very ambiguous and is apparently a misspelling. The sentence "Bhí sé i ndán dom go mbeadh mé slán" means "it was in store for me that I WILL be happy" but it could have been meant also as "it was in store for me that I WOULD be happy". WILL/WOULD constitute strong paradigms in the life of Sylvia, divided in her soul between David and Jarvis, an analogy to the Greek world: Apollo and Dyonisus, the sun and the moon, the day and the night. Her conflict between her Greek culture from the Classics and her Jewish blood, being the first a solar culture and the later a lunar culture. Somehow the balance of both would never fall in place, for Sylvia strongly believed in the flow of things (an Hellenistic approach - seen in the lives of Jesus Christ, Alexander the Great and other Indo-European heroes) but at the same time kept a dark and wicked fascination for death.

(vii) "Bhí sé i ndán dom go mbeadh mé slán" is a statement of what she believed at that time (in words of Denis Ryan). "happiness was in store for me". A child's optimistic view of the future. In Sylvia's life it represents the duality between Sylvia and Isobel the hunter (!), being vertically opposed but seed from the same soil, her naivity, her humanistic thought, her refusal to take upon the burdens of modern life that would lead her to a lifetime vindication within the calm streets of Rechavia.

Hereunder a textual critic of the song without linguistic remarks:

The great days of my youth

(In honour of my father and my mother)(i)

Looking back at my youth(ii)
I was content(iii)
Without dead knowledge(iv)
I was young, without time(v)

Now I'm sorrowful(vi)
Those days are long past(vii)
Sadness and loss(viii)

The great days of my youth(ix)
They were full of expectation(x)
The great journey that was before me then(xi)
Happiness was in store for me(xii)

(i)"In honour of my father and my mother". A longing of Sylvia Akkermans about her family and her loneliness, it is a mere personification of the author himself through her. "In honour of my father and my mother" could be an epithet for Harry Goldstein, one of her characters as a writer. Subject to an unknown and almost frightening tradition that he would discover through many different events in his life. Being a village girl Sylvia stressed very much the concept of honour, that obviously Jarvis would never understand in his urban conspicuousness.

(ii) Looking back at my youth. A thorough look through between the life of Sylvia Akkermans and the well-spent childhood in the cold and green European melancholic and ageing landscape that would lead her life in the direction of the Classics (v. Note No. 52).

(iii) Content. Thoroughly expressed in the letter, although somehow saddening and understated. A profound sense of yearning.

(iv) Dead knowledge. See above.

(v) I was young, without time. Sylvia longs for her youth and she somehow would wish to enter the axes of times and re-start her journeys all through again. Her youth and her love affairs, with licentious and infatuating passion. Without time might refer again to the Classics, "the mercilessness of time" is mentioned somewhere in the letter in relation to the Shabbat candles. She could have mean an episode in the Greek mythology when Cronos (the time-god) is overthrown by his son Zeus, everlasting governor of the Olympic panteon, having Cronos son of Rea (mother-earth) previously overthrown his father Ouranos (heaven-god). Sylvia could have perfectly found a strangely similar hyperbolic analogy in the book of Genesis. v. Note No. 23. Being young without time means also not ageing, what she claims against Jarvis, that he's terribly wounded up from life and aged whereas she's not.

(vi) Now I'm sorrowful. Constant allusion in the letter. See above "Óchon" (iii).

(vii) Those days are long past. Allusion to being young without time, her life in Tel Aviv, being still very young.

(viii) see above (vi), or (iii) in previous text analysis.

(ix) The great days of my youth. Simiar allusion than in (vii). Her life in the center of the country and her romances, the coffee table, Tel Aviv, the university days, friends, her life before taking religious vows with her husband.

(x) They were full of expectation. For Sylvia that is would-be postmodernism, immaturity, eagerness to change the world whereas still wanting to be subject to the conventions. see blog notes about Ally McBeal.

(xi) Journeys. See above (iv) in previous text analysis and also note No. 21

(xii) Happiness was in store for me. A yearning about her dreams of the early days, the eagerness to live again. The duality between Jarvis and David.

(39) Helen of Troy in my companion did too. Helen of Troy as the wife of the argive and on whose accounts the Trojan wars broke, that is in the Greek mythology. In words of Sylvia it considers the vicious and evil character she claims to have altogether with her religious feelings. She feels in jealous sympathy with Helen.

(40) Homer and Sappho. References to the great and powerful influence that the Greek world subjects me to. In archaic thought religion, science, medicine, poetry and art was considered a unity, an only wisdom that was encompassed it all, I could say perhaps that the Logos of Heraclitus would be how this wisdom might be called. Subduing as Heidegger would rephrase it.

(41) coffe table (!). This is a personal reference; the person for whom it was meant will understand this context. Cannot be explained any further.

(42) him. David Akkermans.

(43) the Sapphic verse that shall remain somewhere in that wooden box among the petals. This is a reference to a birthday present I gave to someone once; inside it there was a translation of Sappho's fragment #2 according to the Oxford papyri. Hereunder you'll find the text of the poem.

1 That man seems to me the equal of a god
2 The man who sits opposite you
3 And at close he listens
4 To your sweet voice

5 And your enticing laughter
6 That indeed has stirred up the heart in my breast
7 For whenever I stare at you even briefly
8 I can no longer muse words

9 For my tongue in silence frozen is
10 Instantly a delicate flame calcines beneath my skin
11 With my eyes nothing I see
12 My eyes stumble at the whirring noise

13 A cold sweet embraces me
14 Temblors seize my body
15 And greener than grass I am
16 Surrounding death by close I seem

17 But all one's got to endure, even....

There's a long explanatory note of the context of this poem under the hyperlink

(44) Do you know what's loving someone without being even at least slightly attracted to him?. Reference to Sotah and the institution of marriage settlement in ultra-orthodox Judaism. The so-called Shiddach.

(45) My father the Sun. Another reference to a certain Holderlin's poem in which he claims being a son of Helios, there's also a connotation of the Phoebus (v. note No. 21) therein. Being a son of the Sun also means the long bygone days of the youth (from the Celtic poetry). It was taken from a note I wrote about my childhood and Arthur Rimbaud. It is still unpublished.

(46) empowered member of society. Sarcastic post-modern remark drawn from the ideological concepts of Radiohead's music.

(47) living down and underground. Allusion to Aimee Mann's song "wise up". Main theme in the soundtrack of the American film "Magnolia".

(48) Oxford days. Reference to Oscar Wilde's "De profundis". It means in a more general context the banal and superficial secret life of an intellectual.

(49) Wife and the funeral of her wedding. Reference to an still unfinished experimental existentialist play. It is mentioned in the currently on going notes under the title of "I'm in bereavement therapy" in this blog. It's a very Kafkian and macabre idea.

(50) Darwinist. Reference to some lectures in early anthropological ideas in which social Darwinism was examined. Social Darwinism claimed that society and its determinants such as language, culture and family life were determined by a natural evolutionary processes that created different layers from within. It could have been the foundational stone of socio-biology.

(51) Progressive Jew (ii). Not meant as previously. Progressive Jew in this sense means the appalling shallowness and fast forward life of Tel Aviv for which Sylvia found herself unprepared.

(52) a single young English woman. This refers to Sylvia's naivety, her background in the Classics and the pastoral poetry, poorly street-wise, old-fashioned, conservative and challenged by different vertical views on morality. It means as well her endeavour through the temptations of the fast and superficial Western life she was exposed to during her youth in the Middle East.

(53) Scandia, Finnmark, Cornwall. Reference to the landscapes through which the childhood of Sylvia was lived, having pleasurable memories of these places that had been obviously never visited by Jarvis. Scandia, a small group of fertile islands of plains located in the Swedish and Danish Baltic. Finnmark, northernmost region of Norway. Cornwall, small Welsh county.

(54) Victorian echoes and provincial life. Meaning old-fashioned, reference to George Elliot's Victorian novels "Middlemarch - Scenes of Provincial Life" and the collection of stories titled "Scenes of Clerical Life".

(55) "Chesed". Pivotal concept of Naomi Ragen's "Sotah". The whole paragraph is a feature of Sotah's epilogue.

(56) Wife. Reference to the wanna-be existentialist play mentioned above.

(57) Harry Goldstein. Another still unpublished story of mine, it goes around different scenes of my childhood, my mother's life in diachronic perspective and my education. Harry Goldstein alike Sylvia was Jewish and Sankt Gallen born.

(58) Aeolians. Reference to still untranslated poems of Sappho, least known. Part of my academic work.

(59) Funeral of a broken dream. Reference to the music included in the soundtrack of Von Trier's film "Breaking the waves". Reference to the tragic death of the female main character, probably an analogy to the burial of wife and the metaphor "walking on water". Also referes to my contradiction before the general idea of the Sophoclean play "Antigone".

(60) v. Note No.1

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