Thursday, September 30, 2010


It is not out of tiredness
That I have ceased from speech
It is not the weather
Nor is it the world
What forces me to lay on the water
Without musing a word
In a little death

It is not the solitude
That brings me to the meadows
What provokes this silence
It is not the strength of northern winds
What loses the direction home
Along the trodden paths of the forest

It is not hunger
That bruises lips and fingertips
What keeps me from the certitude
Of a poet

It is not the rain
That destroys the crops in the fields
What loots delight from little pleasures

It is not something tragic
That learned men understand not
What is at the root of this evil

It is yet something so simple

That a stranger in the street
Did not wave back
At the right time

That a friend did not stay
For a minute in the sun
That my feet are cold
That a friend does not write
That he remains entrusted
To higher wisdoms
Than the rapture in the pasture

It is a reason strong enough
Not to write
In the expectation
To be written to
At a later date


The green pastures of rapture
Grow from undernearth the faces
Of heroes and fathers of the land
They tilt up their arrows and arms
As if they had bodies of their own
Surrounding the the lips and the handshakes
Of friend ever so childish
There's nowhere distraction
From the silence
Of disinterest
In wisdom twice bathed
In different versions of the morning

There's no spell other than laughter
Under the eye of an inspecting Saturn
Descending into the highway
Bidding farewell at noon
As if they were brothers
That had never seen each other
So free from the excesses of love
Unready to part, unwilling to stay
The station is just temporary
He reminds himself
As if there were other faces
Opening somewhere his letters

All day long, a navigation map
Without the stare of fantasy
How cruel had the pasture been
How deserted that afternoon after the summer
So insensible the rapture to the water
That had wanted to stay
To mend the world from down upwards
Moisturing the wounds of the garden
That one day would grow trees eventually
That would answer all the questions
In spite of those innocent hands
In the abscence of the friend that was

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The young Franz (I)

That night, as it rained upon, he thought that what might come is no sense a work of art, since there were no powers of the imagination that could be gentle enough to seduce the awareness of his newfound belly, it wasn't necessarily a belly or protrusion even but the fact of having adopted the position, not of someone bellyached, but of somebody imaginarily fat and ugly, althoug he could in no possible sense consider himself either because his spiritual narcissicism would make it then impossible that he could ever sleep again with himself without the disgust manufactured by the impossibilities of physics to keep a body within the right proportions - If he would have a belly himself, he wouldn't be so worried about the belly as much as he would be, about the sweat that would run in between the wrinkles of the flesh and the hairs that would grow around his neck and all through the surface of his back as if it were corn overgrowing the grass in the pasture of a beautiful plateau. He was as slim as ever and perhaps because his ever increasing abandonment of the world, slimmer and dimmer, there was no longer a spark of light to gaze into at the height of noon with that glow of glimmer; everything had become so much less obvious, there were other places in his body and other smells that stood in lieu of what had been once a natural gift for curiosity and surprise in the eyes. It wasn't that the eyes were no longer beautiful and it is the case that the eyes of the person that is loved, are always eyes of the beautiful even if the aesthetic faculties of imagination and sensibility, would fail to reach the same conclusions. Those faculties from their part, very philosophical in nature are therefore, necessarily blind, and that's why he's always reconciled with their opinions; there's nothing further removed from his wishes than to allow the sense of things to pervert the ultimate perfection of the concept. Everything seems to have a concept for him, the most basic assumptions about reality are not to be taken for the granted, this is however not the consequence of inner evil, but a side effect of an illness so completely external to him and to his world that it becomes so manifest in the outside world that one might then it is a matter of inwardness, thus he begins to search deep inside him for the root of his pale sorrow.

It never occured to him that the world should be inspected even if only as a precaution - some questions need to be asked, enquiries are ought to be run throughout and the questionnaires must be completed in full. It wasn't having a belly or not having a belly what tortured him and what led him after all, being an adventurous young man, to a mysterious choice such as classical music, but rather the fact that being free as he was, he was completely deprived from the most basic choices in life, it could have been an idyllic life for Adam before the Fall, which wasn't a fall as much as it was a problem of uncertainty, it was perhaps Adam the first atheist, otherwise had he cared much, he could have brokered a deal with his creditor; Adam would have then loved the day we had just been told about when it began to rain: So free from any worldly responsibility, the young man arose everyday to fulfill the commandment of love toward parents and brothers, he could spend the whole day in sweet surrender to the most delirious intellectual pursuits, perhaps learning a tongue now forgotten, like Heinrich Schliemann, who is said to have studied and mastered Russian among other languages in a matter of weeks while being left on his own in a Greek villa without any chairs to sit whereon, thus the man, thirsty of acquiring wealth of worldly knowledge studied the grammar books of the most diverse languages running pacing back and forth through the house. How could anyone not find solace in this kind of life? It is a monasticism without religion and without faith of any kind, because, different from Schliemann, this young man didn't believe in Homer, nor in his own omein. What kind of monasticism was it then, that it was music, his ultimately choice?

He had thought of himself primarily as an artist although there were no specific talents that those close to him could recognize from the outside, he had some abilities for writing, he had them since he was a very young child but they were never specifically treasured as a talent, neither were they developed or pointed out anywhere; his problem was not that he didn't believe in Homer or the fact that he didn't believe but rather the spurious fact of how ordinary his life was, or at the least, how ordinary it had become, after he had chosen himself for such a destiny of greatness out of which he had fallen not because of incapability but because of the unrest fixed in the palms of his hands and the crystalline fog of his eyes were advancing much faster than the world and this caused him to become extremely anxious about being understood by people, what had to be understood, is not that he was extraordinary, which he was not, or perhaps only as a story-teller, what was extraordinary is that he, the son of a nobody, of town's folk without the slighest indication of being cursed or blessed by the Lord - they were just left on their own, without any major afflictions but also without much symptom of what people call happiness; this son of a nobody, could, in theory, become whoever he had desired. It was perhaps this transformation, this effacement of whatever the world had prescribed for him, this inability to march with the seasons, what had become entirely an art with him - the difficulties began to arise when this spiritual strength, noble as it was, failed to produce any material results; it is not only that he had never written a poem worthy of admiration but also that he had not been able to assert the allegedly self-earned position and near the age of thirty, he had no other income that some coins that his father pitily regaled him so that he wouldn't go into raving madness in the abscence of tobacco. He thought then, that night, that no art could come out of him, no art that wouldn't be manifest in the form of this transformation into another person, into another fatherland, into another language of sorts.

It wasn't that he couldn't write, but so quite unlike many of the chidish fable writers, his imagination was so very poor.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Der höhere Frieden - Heinrich von Kleist

Der höhere Frieden

Wenn sich auf des Krieges Donnerwagen,
Menschen waffnen, auf der Zwietracht Ruf,
Menschen, die im Busen Herzen tragen,
Herzen, die der Gott der Liebe schuf:

Denk ich, können sie doch mir nichts rauben,
Nicht den Frieden, der sich selbst bewährt,
Nicht die Unschuld, nicht an Gott den Glauben,
Der dem Hasse, wie dem Schrecken, wehrt.

Nicht des Ahorns dunkelm Schatten wehren,
Dass es mich, im Weizenfeld, erquickt,
Und das Lied der Nachtigall nicht stören,
Die den stillen Busen mir entzückt.


In the thunderbox of wars,
At the call of discord, to arms men hold fast,
Men that carry in their chest hearts,
The hearts created by God in love last.

Methinks, dispossessed I cannot by thief,
Not from peace, on its own right preserved,
Not from innocence, not from the god of belief
That hate and terror, he hath not served.

Not from the dark shadow of the maple,
That freshens me on the cornfield,
Or to disturb the song of nightingale
Delight of the heart that in silence it yields.

Was ist die Welt? - Hugo von Hofmannsthal

To my friend Tundama

Was ist die Welt? Ein ewiges Gedicht,
Daraus der Geist der Gottheit stahlt und glüht,
Daraus der Wein der Weisheit schäumt und sprüht,
Daraus der Laut der Liebe zu uns spricht

Und jedes Menschen wechselndes Gemüt,
Ein Strahl ists, der aus dieser Sonne bricht,
Ein Vers, der sich an tausend andre flicht,
Der unbemerkt verhallt, verlischt, verblüht.

Und doch auch eine Welt für sich allein,
Voll süss-geheimner, nievernommner Töne,
Begabt mit eigner, unentweihter Schöne,

Und keines Andern Nachhall, Widerschein.
Und wenn du gar zu lesen drin verstündest,
Ein Buch, das du im Leben ergründest.

What is the world? A poem of the eternal
Out of which the spirit of the godly glows with the stars,
Out of which the wine of the wisdom foams and sparks,
Out of which the sound of love speaks to all!

And of every man, the ever changing mind,
It is the radiant light, out of which the sun shines,
It is a verse, that among thousand others, reigns and rhymes,
Unnoticeable, away it dies, whiters to unwind,

A whole world in himself,
Full of sweet unveiled and never ending tones,
Gifted with its own seamless crown,

Else, no reverberations or reverberant sounds.
And if you understood enough, to read it from the inside
Be it a book, that life it fathoms from outside.

Die gestundete Zeit - Ingeborg Bachmann

Es kommen härtere Tage.
Die auf Widerruf gestundete Zeit
wird sichtbar am Horizont.
Bald musst du den Schuh schnüren
und die Hunde zurückjagen in die Marschhöfe.
Denn die Eingeweide der Fische
sind kalt geworden im Wind.
Ärmlich brennt das Licht der Lupinen.
Dein Blick spurt im Nebel:
die auf Widerruf gestundete Zeit
wird sichtbar am Horizont.

Drüber versinkt die die Geliebte im Sand,
er steigt um ihr wehendes Haar,
er fällt ihr ins Wort,
er befiehlt ihr zu schweigen,
er findet sie sterblich
und willigt dem Abschied
nach jeder Umarmung.

Sieh dich nicht um.
Schnür deine Schuh.
Jag die Hunde züruck.
Wirf die Fische ins Meer.
Lösch die Lupinen!

Es kommen härtere Tage.

Harder days are coming.
The time due at the turn of the hour
becomes visible in the horizon.
Soon you will have to lace your shoe
and march the dogs back into the marshyards.
For the innards of the fish
have turned cold in the wind.
The lupines burn with miser flame.
Your gaze leaves marks in the haze:
The time due at the turn of the hour
becomes visible in the horizon.

Yonder sinks your beloved into sand,
it ascends through the wafts in the hair
it pierces her words through,
commanded her to silence,
encounters her mortally
all too willing to part
after every embrace.

Do not look behind.
Lace up your shoe.
March in the dogs.
Throw the fish in the sea.
Away with the lupines!

Harder days are coming!

Begegnungen - Hugo von Hofmannsthal

Wo ist das Entzücken des Ruderers auf dem dunklen See? In ihm oder in dem Beschauer - dem Wanderer der die Gewitterwolke sieht und den Gischt aufbrausen hört oder in dem Falken der nichtachtend dahinstürmt? In dem Fischer der seine Netze hereinnimmt und sein Herdfeuer sieht zwischen den Netzstangen? In dem Knaben der eins ins Schilf gelegte Tonne zunagelt und durch Gitter hineinspäht?

Where is the delight of the rower in the dark lake? Is it in him or in the observer - in the wanderer who sees the cloud of the thunder storm and hears the spray flaring up, on in the falcon that in dishonor squalls? In the fisherman pulling back his net and seeing the fire in his hearth between the rods of the net? In the boy hidden in the reeds, nailing a barrel shut and peering in through the grating?

Es könnte viel bedeuten - Ingeborg Bachmann

Es könnte viel bedeuten - wir vergehen
wir kommen ungefragt und müssen weichen.
Doch dass wir sprechen und uns nicht verstehen
und keinen Augenblick des andren Hand erreichen.

zerschlägt so viel: Wir werden nicht bestehen.
Schon den Versuch vedrohen fremde Zeichen,
und das Verlangen, tief uns anzusehen,
durchtrennt den Kreuz, und einsam auszustreichen-

It could mean much - that we should not last
we are coming uninvited and then must be passed.
Though we are speaking, but understanding, we can´t
and never a moment, in another hand, we can hold steadfast

So much as battered - upright we shalln´t stand.
Already effort and might, twisted with oh´s and and´s,
and the craving, tearing through the Cross with a hand
To look deep into our hearts, in solitarily withstand.

Farewell to Tundama Ortiz


Niet om afscheid te nemen,
Of om mij op reis te begeven,
ben ik het station ingegaan,
maar om tussen de mensen te staan
die voor een bestemming leven,
om ergens heen te gaan.

[To the train station I went,
Not to begin a journey myself,
Or even to bid you farewell,
But to stand between all people
Who are living for some goal
For a somewhere to go.]

- Ed Hornik, 1960

"Does he learn like a god or like a stone? I can't be befouled, it's a tale about seduction", led astray from my own metaphors of preoccupation, I couldn't be sure at the time of what he meant, as Tundama greeted me in the jolts of the day when I could no longer turn my attention to the choices between trees, but it was him perhaps the only loyal comrade in my Prussian battlefield where the language of the powers that be laid slain and beheaded under the sign of a volcano. The sights had been very pleasurable in spite of my cold feet and the numbing greys that hovered over the hole in my shoe as a healing malaise, replacing every wound with a different color of sore - Ten years back I had assembled myself just as comfortably as Raphaël in the certainty of the instruction of the wisest minds, weighing heavily toward the obligation of truth and rowing against a tide of possible questions that kneeled down before the curiosity of men with arrogant defiance; the fissures in the skin of the poet had grown thinner and thinner, watered down by the raving impulse of laughter, he could not longer afford the mad frenzy of the notebooks and found little pleasure in this wisdom, that of its own accord now resembled more the map of a shipwreck than a travel plan. Yet so many thousands of kilometers, I thought, the places remain unchanged by the will of man more than by the time, this merciless and godly enemy of the body.

It was an illusion in its own right to re-live the past merrily and without tiredness, awake in the nightmare of the mirror without falling in the water, chancing alike into the eyes of friend and foe rather than a self-inspection and in avoidance of guilt - guilt not about death, you're guilty of nothing but unhappiness. But how beautiful these illusions are when they do not come at the expense of contemplation but in the exercise of the most cruel maturity of language already blinded to the flamboyance of the demands of history and ever returning, even ten years later, after a battle fought with the war, to lay peacefully on the grass that grows toward the present and is prescient with gifts of adoration offered not to the men of this earth but to the Janus-faced skin of god and stone as they interchangeably surface on the edged nails and fingertips of the miracle, they're objects of pleasure and praise that dance in tiptoeing motions around the corpses of older words that seemed once ideal, that befouled the unrest and mishappened as sciences of an undercover life, the secret would lift its veil once and offer the mysteries of reality as it were - bereft of interpretations and clean from intermediaries, be them heroes or saviors, unfolding and branching out as a tree of love ripe in fruits and overgrowing the fallacies of Paradise. This all seems stale now, beauty has proven a perverse companion of youth when it appears not as a gift of the gods but as a remedy and elixir against the displeasure of walking over the sharp edges of the stones.

Tundama was just like that, fleeting as a bird but without the presumptuousness of flight, no longer concerned with the therapeutic rhythm of knowledge for life - it seemed as if the world was no longer in the obligation of letting himself be used for survival. In this language of paucity and slow depth, the words didn't descend from above as a gift from heaven but rose from below as in the transformation of the stone into a glyph forgotten somewhere inside the thick forest of womb-shaped trees in an ancestral mountain, its whole grammar had been once already destroyed and its beauty ransacked for the sake of hearsay. The luxury of his abode was all too perplexing for me coming out of my own little inferno, my wooden prison cell from which I was able to move out freely into a house of strangers, yet it reminded me a bit of myself when I was running against the time of the universe before I had learnt the walking ways of the simple and wet earth; more than anything the shelves and the books and the scars from the wounds in the pages and to the side of the lungs, I was no longer in the posession of any books being a traveler as I now am, but there was no feeling of animosity or jealousy, only the rather felicitious contentment of looking outside a window that doesn't stare into the accumulated fat of the kitchen ceiling and the thread of hangers for laundry that seems to extend infinitely into the pierced heart of heavenly bodies that somewhere up there in their own abode, hold the lives down below in the kind of contempt typical of very talented writers.

There was so little time and so little distance yet in the restful space of the shelved room, if told about it, one would be inclined to believe it was an airport affair, but so tied to this earth those brief moments were, so appropriating of this land, no walls separated the room from the rest of the universe, so that even the airplanes would resemble little birds flying from mountain to mountain over and over and tirelessly with the only effort in mind to lay a nest along the paw-looking branches of a tree without science and on the banks of an ancestral lake. The universe, however, seems to last for a long time, impossible to conceive of in the limited scope of cab rides and lunching times, crushed under the weight of something as simple as a wristwatch, crushed under the heavy weight of all the lightest wristwatches in the world! The jerky and expressionless talk of nervous travelers sketching a plan to conquest the world in a distant time, to conquer the wristwatches and the crush down the effect of a thousand pages in an hour and within the course of a simple conversation in which no philosopher would take the pleasure of distinguishing truth from untruth and rainfall from storm; I kept wondering where the blue would end on that day, pretending to sleep through the restful city lines, imagining another time, once again, thousands of kilometers behind and ahead, in times of unrest.

The street that I thought narrow, had become impossibly wide and the options manifold, it's just that I didn't know of a somewhere to go, only in order to escape from the silence that the conversation with Tundama had turned prohibitive and sinful, nihilistic even; images of other kinds were conjured up in the short ride home, I could have perfectly made myself at home in his little palace never to return again to my little inferno, but in the abscence of a battlefield, of a favorite reader, there's no mischance or mischief, the pages that were once destroyed with the intention to wage a war against the wristwatch were now blank and filled by footnotes written by a man several years my junior, those pages were not bloodied thus I couldn't destroy them or water them down as mistakes, they rather marked another age in the world, one that it takes much effort to live happily with: how to survive in a world where there's no longer war, how to survive when survival is no longer required and when the power of enticing of the man who was once a soldier is now a marblestone of pleasures for art rather than an evil god. The problem is not the abyssmal void left by a God gone in retirement but the weakness of current evils, the fact that even without the friend of an hour and a half, one still has to write something, oh god! This is what we learnt though, that writing is not bleeding, it has to be sustainance and livelihood without swallowing up the whole world, this is why we still look for the goddamn tree, in ancestral lakes, in places older by ten years or in friends younger by as much, because there's absolutely no point in returning to Paradise, there's no point in writing for the end of the world; it is after all an issue, that we still want to be read.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Looking for Tundama

Grace appears most purely in that human form which either has no consciousness or an infinite consciousness. That is, in the puppet or in the god.

"Does that mean", I said in some bewilderment, "that we must eat again of the tree of knowledge in order to return to the state of innocence?"

"Of course", he said, "but that's the final chapter in the history of the world."

Heinrich von Kleist, “On the Marionette Theater”

“With the passage of time and the intervention of newer, more difficult works, the artist's transgression becomes ingratiating, eventually legitimate. Goethe accused Kleist of having written his plays for an "invisible theatre." But in time the invisible theatre becomes "visible" The ugly and discordant and senseless become "beautiful." The history of art is a sequence of successful transgressions.”

Susan Sontag, “Aesthetics of Silence”

Dearest Katherina,

For a long time I had wanted to write you and to warn you as well about a certain young writer whose company I haunted while he was still alive and before his untimely departure for Siberia, where I’ve been looking for his sights already for a long time; now it would be presumptuous to believe that he’s dead and the idea itself is most repulsive – a writer that is posthumously born in anonymity by a human pen, on a free ride through the universe hopping from one tree of knowledge to the other as the possessor and professor of a truth so infinite that it cannot be grasped literarily, stretching beyond the limits of one’s own literality, an unsettling language of lips and lives. That there are places in the world that forbid the kind of language that is usually taken advantage of by literature, it is something I could never deny; there’s no longer an appeal in going into painful technicalities to describe an erotic scene that takes place in a public bathroom – this kind of fantasies are as devaluated as the currency of promises because the image is no longer unsettling or chaotic, it could speak for a lack of moral ambition but no longer has the paucity of a stare of fantasy. The favorite language of the artist is today a very simple perversion – silence, and it is nowadays perverted not because it has lost its age-old religious metaphors but because it is silence what constitutes the deliberate attack on the part of the artist against the society that has nurtured with bureaucratic care and loving excesses the pretensions of his own aesthetic debauchery, the aesthete is modeled not after the curious contemplation of an ever belligerent world but against its orderliness – inside out. This artist does not want to be read against the overwhelming innocence and fertile wordiness of an advertisement – in his natural apprehension to surrender to the world as will and representation (and what is the modern advertisement, if not the enshrining of the image as will and representation of the world but cleaned free from the serendipity of a Christian struggle?) he turns his mind to the only place safe from the certainty of the Cartesian window-shopper and the managerial inquisitions of publishers and galleries, it is a priestly geography of imperial capitals and flat worlds; while trying to distract the shopper from the raving madness of consuming his art (art is after all his only life, there’s no biography outside a work of art even when the work of art functions as a biography of unwillingness) he’s also actively engaged in making the reader or the spectator disappear together with his art in a transaction that transforms the artist into his own enemy – he wants to be no longer an artist and his silence is a fundamentally elitist and paternalist attitude that enables him to sit in the public, as unrecognized as a true Messiah but with the Pharisee demeanor of a false Messiah that refuses to produce art that is not for art’s sake (give to the Caesar what belongs to the Caesar) while lecturing the ignorant mobs about a correct reading of art – there’s no meaning in the chamber but only a paradox in which the empty room and the solid air of the vacuous space is supposed to stand in lieu of the most extreme aesthetic experience; the death of the Romantic writer turns out to be a most vivid confirmation of life whereas the silence of the modern artist, bereft entirely of religious pathos, cannot aim higher than the line between life and death, it is only extreme insofar as it is a desire to be noisily overheard amidst the thrift of raving noise.

Tundama Ortiz was one of these writers that being dead as he was (although he was born on the same year that I was) – and perforce of necessity silent, he was still able to sign copies of his books to the very select following that he had, believing what would have been unthinkable to the genius of Frans Hals – that the good works would reach their desirable public by means of a magic devise, perhaps it had to do with a more refined sexual morality than that of a Calvinist painter who sold the opprobrious looks of moral superiority to an aristocracy of refined taste that would pay for it the same way one would pay today in order to spend the night with a beautiful maiden – Tundama Ortiz was certainly no prostitute. I became aware of this that night when I became acquainted with him in that small room that served the purpose of his posthumous revelation to the world amidst the noise of glasses and flatteries, that are necessarily present as well in the funerals of writers, both good and bad ones. As a ghost of sorts he paved around flamboyantly greeting the hordes of guests in this untimely scenario and while he didn’t have any of the priestly traits of the ever so silent artists that scream out loud from a place of both fame and contempt, it’s the same transgression that pretends to elevate a form of art in the moment of its most critical destruction and it is a fine irony that one could say that destruction could be ever critical, as if it were not in a protest but through a laboratory procedure that the destruction is effected – trying to dismantle the work of art with such care so that it is still whole and possible. Moreover the problem with aesthetic destruction is that it can only last for a single moment, that’s why it is perhaps easier to embody in the pen of somebody else other than yourself, the terrorist writer becomes a subtext in a larger and more grandiose story that the living writer is telling and because he is at best only telling a story there’s still a chance for survival of the person – none of the promised boundaries of life have been eroded and therefore one shouldn’t be held accountable for the consequences of the unspeakable, the place of the sublime is still unmovable.

That night it appeared to me as a surprise that he could be a dead writer and this I didn’t learn from the book but from the natural talent of the writer to tell stories; one wonders time and again, why people who are able to tell stories, are ought to write anything at all! Maybe the answer is not that we are not understood but that we don’t necessarily want to be understood as we are but rather through a sequence of mirrors that make it impossible to resort to the silence we claim to practice but are in no position to demand from the world. The most suffocating ideal of aesthetic silence arises when a writer makes a deliberate choice for silence, looking at his craft as an intermediate step between the ultra mundane existence in unfreedom or constriction and the disappointment over the failure of art to meet his demands; the freedom in the choice of aesthetic silence could be a great deal of help if the renunciation would not come with the added value of guilt, not the typical case scenario of guilt about living and dying but rather the fact that even after Rimbaud went to Abyssinia and Duchamp turned to chess, they still considered themselves as artists in the most primordial sense. The silence is not abandonment but a continuation of the cycle of linguistic misunderstandings in which the use of language heretofore has become judicial evidence for the case against oneself in which, Kafkaesque speaking, the person stands as a puppet judge in his own trial. The transgression, even the transgression of Tundama Ortiz as a rather sympathetic critic of his own genre – and in this sense his renunciation is not different than mine, in my adamant refusal to write at all, has to turn at some point into an aggression not against the literary but against the literality of a life that is lived without writing and without telling but as embedded in the same language of scripture and writing as the advertisements and flatteries of sociability are. In theory we all should be able to write novels but we choose a management career over the writing of novels, this theory is most fallacious though because it seems that most men of letters who wrote novels did it almost against their own will as if the fact that one has to write a novel or a work of art at all only attests to something very lacking in the world of literality which is the favorite trope of the writer – unlike the philosopher who has outright condemned literality as untruth.

“It’s indeed a problem”, we used to say in the past as if speaking of the symptom of a well known malaise, when speaking of the fact that this unliterary literality seems to have the ability to walk at a pace much faster than that of beauty, while the irruption of beauty as a part of literality which begins as a transgression is at some point bound to become an ideal, the poets have been all too keen on explaining how it’s been them who taught men about colors and landscapes even before the painters did since in general poets are blind and painters are staring straight into the sun – both positions are very uncomfortable in life. The denial of art and its conventions for the sake of art itself seems like a confirmation of the powerlessness of the artist and the independence of his works from his own life, lest he turns to the world as a laboratory not of life but of work and when this happens, then his own life becomes ownerless. I only realized the extent of this powerlessness while talking to the young Raphaël, who surprisingly is still able to read Kleist for example, without being particularly harmed by life, and while I have so little respect for this attitude my jealousy is so overpowering that it’s turned into a silent admiration – I’m of the faith, as you are, that there’s no possible appropriation of Kleist unless it’s for the sake of armed and violent guerrilla warfare against the world, there’s no place for aesthetics there unless one has realized beforehand that the limits between the work and the artist are no longer stable and whenever the balance is shifted toward the work, the artist is forced to leave the world as we know it, its relationships of happiness and property and the ownership of ideals becomes illusory unless they’re embodied in an intensity of language for which the work of art is nothing but a bland footnote. It’s impossible to write without being unmediated harmed by life during the process and the exemplary renunciation of writing or of writing in one’s own name seems to overcome the difficulty not by avoiding harm but by placing it elsewhere, elsewhere outside and at a distance: it’s an Oriental prince who paints, it’s not me! It’s a philosopher who composes, it’s not me! It’s a writer exiled in Russia who sketches short stories, it’s not me! But you see, Raphaël, he reads Kleist, and he’s still himself! So completely assembled in reality in a way that has never been possible for me, reading without cruelty and without despair, translating within science and without bleeding, without exile and without war; do you think that it is maybe the reason why Tundama Ortiz chose Siberia?

I traveled all the way to Siberia to look for him without any other directions than some story he had told us that night about a friend and I tried telling the story to all the people that I had met along the way in order to find out whether they had heard it themselves; to my own demise every time I told the story I was sent in a different direction toward a person who was exactly like Raphaël and who reacted to me with the same calm, contentment of the eyes and certainty of fingertips, people who were able to read literature without having to respond to the challenge of being changed. That night when I met Tundama Ortiz I didn’t know Raphaël at all but overtime here in Siberia I’ve learnt pretty much everything about him, things that I can’t even tell you because they’re not exactly literal, it’s a story I’ve told you many times, how difficult it is to turn a person into a Cain when they no longer recognize the difference between life and science, between tree and tree, between word and word, world and word. I want to respond to friendship always with silence but in turn I respond with fruits from the tree of science that are mute enough to deafen any possibility of life, any offerings from the tree of life that demand nothing different from what God demands – to be infinitely unconscious and unfulfilled, precisely what all the Abels and the Raphaëls offer without demands. In Siberia you can make no difference between the trees because they’re all covered by thick layers of snow and then I thought that maybe this is what happened in Paradise, a confusion of tongues, an inability to translate affections, and this is why ever since we’re directed toward the unharmed as if queuing at the train, in between the stations, without destinies and destinations, only heavenly innuendoes and illiterate deliverance. My problem is not that the world was freed from God with whom I didn’t have particularly strong networking precisely because we demand from people just about the same, my real problem is that we no longer believe in the devil either, thus it can make no different which tree we choose and the result of this is almost always unequivocally the most terroristic devise of Christian theology: Life is eternal. This is the issue at the root of the silence of every modern form of art; death is no longer a charade to play on the Lord, it’s another commodity, the renunciation of life as much as the appropriation of science can no longer be a topic of conversation and as such, truth, unless be it topic of conversation, it can’t become a trope for art. That’s where the charm of an invisible theater is at home, the invisibility is the insurance against topics of conversation and once it becomes visible the transgression is over and with it the attention of the audience; there’s no audience for art without a modern-day transgression – this is why Tundama wrote the criticism of his own literary genre before he wrote anything in that literary genre.

Tundama I have met only once whereas Raphaëls I have met on the thousands while looking for Tundama in Siberia, but it’s strange, you know, I no longer remember Tundama – there’s something explicitly expressionless in him and that’s why I’ve come to adopt so much of what those questions marks demand from beauty and world as if nothing had been ever eroded; whereas Raphaël I remember distinctly as if I were speaking a life-long enemy while at the same time it’s difficult to loath people that haven’t themselves written anything at all; there’s nothing you can accuse them of with the exception of a charge for protecting themselves from the world behind nothing but laughter and there’s no acquittal for such a serious charge which is not as deserving of contempt as it is of love. What angers me is not the friendliness in the appropriation of murderous devises for the sake of entertainment as much as the endless innocence with which everything is carried through, the paucity of mind and the care, the ability to work unmolested by the facts of the world. I can take no pleasure in Kleist’s warfare unless it’s for the sake of its destruction. Has he eaten of the tree of knowledge in order to return to this state of innocence that enables one to read Kleist without harm? No, I don’t think so, this is not his mortal sin, his sin is that he hasn’t realized that there was a tree of love as well and that God with rapacious voracity ate all the fruits and the branches of the tree in heroic viciousness while Adam was still busy trying to figure out what to do with his body in the moment of self-awareness and has ever since mistaken the fruits of life for fruits of love and the fruits of science for fruits of life. This is precisely the reason why Tundama is nowhere to be found, he’s still there, with his little book, in the beginning of everything, trying to find the right tree, while in the greater consciousness of things, the Raphaëls of the world, down below, are either gods or stones, never trees.