29 julio, 2012

La Tumba de los Lemures

When I think of the lemurs depression engulfs me 'á peu que le coeur ne me fend'. As W.H. Hudson says, ‘they have angel’s eyes’ and they die of flu. 


Whoopee. Gentle and fearless, he passed four leafy years in the South of France. He would chase large dogs, advancing backwards and glaring through his hind legs, then jump chittering at them and pull their tails. He died through eating a poisoned fig laid down for rats. The children who saw him take the fruit tried to coax it from him, but he ran up a tree with it. There they watched him eat and die.

Polyp. Most gifted of lemurs, who hated aeroplanes in the sky, on the screen and even on the wireless. How he would have hated this war! He could play in the snow or swim in a river or conduct himself in a nightclub; he judged human beings by their voices; biting some, purring over others, while for one or two well-seasoned old ladies he would brandish a black prickle-studded penis, shaped like an eucalyptus seed. Using his tail as an aerial, he would lollop through long grass to welcome his owners, embracing them with little cries and offering them a lustration from his purple tongue and currycomb teeth. His manners were those of some spoiled young Maharajah, his intelligence not inferior, his heart all delicacy, -woman, gin and muscats were his only weaknesses. Alas, he died of pneumonia while we scolded him for coughing, and with him vanished the sea-purple cicada kingdom of calanque and stone-pine and the concept of life as an arrogant private dream shared by two


As the French soldier said of the Chleuhs in Morocco, ‘Je les aime et je les tue’. So it is with the lemurs, Black and grey bundles of vitality, eocene ancestors from whom we are all descended, whose sun-greeting call some hold to be the origin of the word ‘Ra’ and thus of human language,-we have treated these kings in exile as we used Maoris and Marquesas islanders or the whistling Guanches of Teneriff,-all those golden island-races, famous for beauty, whom Europe has taken to its shabby heart to exploit and ruin. 

To have set foot in Lemuria is to have been close to the mysterious sources of existence, to have known what it is to live wholly in the present, to soar through the green world four yards above the ground, to experience sun, warmth, love and pleasure as intolerably as we glimpse them in a waking dream, and to have heard that heart-rendering cry of the lonely or abandoned which goes back to our primaeval dawn. Wild ghost faces from a lost continent who soon will be extinct. 

Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave, 1944.

27 julio, 2012

Su movimiento central

( Su movimiento central ) 

 El tercer movimiento es por muchas razones el centro de la obra. Rodeado por dos movimientos a cada lado, dos ya ocurridos y dos aún por ocurrir, toma de todos y a la vez de él comienzan todos; podría decirse que sabe de su posición. Incluso en este movimiento central, si procedemos según la simetría, podemos también identificar un centro. Porque acaban de sucederse uno tras otro los instrumentos, acoplándose en una atmósfera inmaterial que no permite vibración. Pareciera que llega a deslizarse sobre ella, pero realmente desde abajo y ahogada, una voz gira y se retuerce, alcanzando a su vida durante la danza que sólo ella pudo encerrar y traer, a la cual cede, y al entregarse por completo es posible divisar, con la mano como visera porque en todo asoman arrollos reflejantes, a la misma, atestigüada sobre el prado. Admirados por la bóveda que nos dolió y nos volverá a doler una vez pasado el presente, compartimos el hundimiento en el verde claro y flotante. Es la brisa quien se vuelve viento, y las creídas imitaciones de la naturaleza eran realmente llamadas, sacudidas para hacerla despertar. Ahora, más atentos que nunca porque lo vivido es la sorpresa, todo el amor que considerábamos melodía se vierte sin pérdida a chasquidos y chirridos que se levantan y se imponen. El barro trepa a los pies desnudos y reclama su hermandad. Separados ya no existirá tanto como ya no existe juntos, comenzando lo que sin duda conduce al próximo final, constantemente inventado antes del final que no es posible concebir. Y en la misma proporción en que van alzando su palabra los latidos va apaciguándose el movimiento renovado, extendiendo su misma sucesión pero ahora hacia el silencio, que es otro. Y cuando ya invade lo que podrían decir nuestros suspiros no termina de alejarse la nota más alta.

Tomás Cohen

17 julio, 2012

Dead authors cry "Read me"

Like the glow-worm; dowdy, minute, passive, yet full of mystery to the poet, and passionate significance to its fellows; so everything and everybody eternally radiates their dim light for those who care to seek. The strawberry cries, 'Pick me'; the forgotten book, in the forgotten bookshop, screams to be discovered. The old house hidden in the hollow agitates itself violently at the approach of its pre-destined admirer. Dead authors cry "Read me"; dead friends cry, "Remember me"; dead ancestors cry, "Unearth me"; dead places, "Revisit me"; and sympathetic spirits, living and dead, are trying continually to enter into communion. Physical or intellectual attraction between two people is a constant communication. Underneath the rational and voluntary world is the involuntary, impulsive, integrated world, the world of Relation in which everything is one; where sympathy and antipathy are engrossed in their selective tug-of-war. 

We learn a new word for the first time. Then we meet it again in a few hours. Why? Because words are living organisms impelled to a crystallizing process, to mysterious agglutinative matings at which the word-fancier is sometimes privileged to assist. The glow-worms light up... The individual also is a moving mirror or screen which reflects in its motion an everchanging panorama of thoughts, sensations, faces and places, and yet the screen is always being guided to reflect one film rather than another, always seeking a chosen querencia. In the warm sea of experience we blob around like plankton, we love-absorb or hate-avoid each other, or are avoided, or are absorbed, devoured and devouring. Yet we are no more free than the cells in a plant or the microbes in a drop of water, but are held firmly in tension by the pull of the future and the stress of the past.

—Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave (1944).