Erich Fried – Fügungen

Fügungen (no traducible, juego de palabras de „destino“ y „juntura“)

Se dice
un poeta
es alguien
que ensambla
palabras

Eso no es cierto

Un poeta
es alguien
que aún está
medianamente
ensamblado
por palabras

si tiene suerte

si tiene mala suerte
las palabras le
parten a el.

 

Es heißt
ein Dichter
ist einer
der Worte
zusammenfügt

Das stimmt nicht

Ein Dichter
ist einer
den Worte
noch halbwegs
zusammenfügen

wenn er Glück hat

Wenn er Unglück hat
reißen die Worte
ihn auseinander

Erich Fried: Lebensschatten (1981)

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Dolor fantasma – De llevar luto

(Este texto ya está mas o menos viejo, lo escribí hace seis años. Ni siquiera, aun me gusta, y por eso lo desempolvé y edité un poco para volver a publicarlo).

Estoy seguro que probablemente hay tantas formas de llevar luto como existen personas en el mundo. Siguen algunas formas que me gustan por sus caracteristicas simbólicas.

El primer ejemplo es Dr. Izzie Stevens, la cirujana en practica de Grey’s Anatomy, que, después de la muerte de su novio (que sufrió de un corazon defecto), se negó de desvestirse de su vestido de boda y simplemente se acostó en el suelo del baño para llevar luto. Cada persona que quisó intentar de hablar con ella para saber como estaba tenía que acostarse también en el suelo del baño para estar capaz de hablar con ella y ver su cara.
Por las otras historias en la telenovela no se puede verificar con seguriudad, cuanto tiempo de veras pasa allá élla. Pero ya solo preguntar esta pregunta de “cuanto tiempo” toma el punto de vista de personas afuera del proceso, con una actitud de continuar, pensar en el futuro, vivir/ SEGUIR adelante. Por el contrario, la posición de ella esencialmente consiste del hecho de que, para ella, los relojes, los horarios – el tiempo! – han parados en el momento en que él murió. El momento en el cual ha empezado el proceso de ella de poco a poco, paso a paso darse cuenta de lo que ha pasado, en toda su grandeza, importancia, gravedad y en sus consecuencias.

2015-08-19 eluunEn un proceso similar se encuentra Thomas Schell en el libro fantástico Tan fuerte, tan cerca del escritor estadounidense Jonathan Safran Foer, después de perder el amor de su vida bajo circunstancias desconocidas. En su vida cotidiana después se da cuenta que en su comunicación con otras personas, poco a poco pierde más y más palabras, cuales, solo así, ya no está capaz de usar, por su pesa emocional y por los acuerdos conectados. Asi al final se le deja tatuar solo si y no en los lados adentros de sus manos y luego solo se comunica por si y no o por frases escritos en un libro blanco que siempre le acompaña. En algún momento se le acaban las hojas y el se queda en silencio. La pérdida de su querida mujer le dejó literalmente sin palabras.
Unos años después, su hijo, llevando luto por la muerte trágica de su padre en el ataque de las torres gemelas de 9/11, se imagina como sería si cada persona tendría un micrófono para reoporducir el sonido de su de su corazón pulsando. Y además, más al rato también juega con la idea de una piscina para colectar el agua de todas las lágrimas en New York City.
También en éstas ideas para invenciones se manifesta su solicitud de establecer el luto en la vida cotidiana, de construir un lugar fijo en la realidad para expresar las emociones y la tristeza en voz alta, de vivirlas en lugar de nada más seguir como antes, funcionar o distraerse, por saber que eso no es una opción de que el se siente capaz.

2015-08-19 leichtigkeitseinTeresa en La insoportable levedad del ser de Milan Kundera quiere terminar con la pesa del cinísmo de su madre de ver a las personas como iguales, insignificantes y vulgares, por ponerse enfrente de un espejo para encontrar su alma en su propia reflección. Su idea de la conexión de cuerpo y alma es la de un barco, y en momentos importantes depende del equipo del barco, si se presenta en el puente del barco o no. Así que en esos momentos Teresa pide desesperadamente, que o el equipo se presente o que se esconda, dependiente de la situación individuál.

En Garden State, una comedia estadounidense, el protagonista se enfrente con su juventud, su relación dificil con sus padres y su historia clínica de tener depressión y tratamiento por sentirse culpable por la muerte de su mama, que, de hecho, fue un accidente. (La película está famosa entre Indie-Nerds, porque el cáracter de la excellente Natalie Portman le invita al protagonista a escuchar a su música por sus audífonos con las palabras: DEBES escuchar a eso – son los Shins ! 2015-08-19 gardenstateÉsta canción cambiará tu vida !…, y si uno pertenece al grupo de personas, que opinan que no se puede sobreestimar el efecto de cierta musica a la vida, a uno le encanta esta película ya solamente por incluír ésta línea.) La película termina con una escena clásica del aeropuerto, en la cual el protagonista se decide salir del avión en que apenas entró, para quedar con su amor, y no dejarla. Pero gracias a Dios! la película no termina tan clichee, cursi y calculable con el Happy End, sino que con la pareja enfrente uno del otro, muy confuso y con la línea: “Y ahora? Que hacemos? Que deberíamos hacer ?!”

En la anatomía clínica se habla del fenónemo de dolor fantoma cuando un paciente que perdió una de sus extremidades (un brazo, una pierna…) en un accidente o por una amputación, aún siente dolor de la extremidad (que no puede ser, porque la extremidad ya está amputada…). Supuestamente la parte correspondiente del córtex motor del cerebro aún tiene una actividad electrica para la extremidad que ya no está parte del cuerpo, y por esa actividad electrica se explica las sensaciones del dolor fantoma. Aún duele lo que ya no está.

Todos sabemos muy bien y estamos muy conscientes del hecho de que al final del día, en algún momento todo eso terminará con dejarlo ir.

Let go. Loslassen.

Pues, pero aún no.

there’s beauty in the breakdown (Frou Frou – Let Go)

porque somos tambien lo que hemos perdido (Amores Perros)

Tl; dnr: Llevar luto es un proceso que necesita su tiempo sin saber cuanto durará. En ese tiempo vulnerable e intenso existe la oportunidad de conocernos más a nosotros mismos, aunque doliera mucho.

Fuentes (imagenes):

  • Jonathan Safran Foer – Extrem laut und unglaublich nah. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2007.
  • Milan Kundera – Die unerträgliche Leichtigkeit des Seins. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 1992.

“I wanna hear human beings doing human being things” // Ryan Adams on digital recording and editing

ryan_gsgThe first option of any computer – I’m not speaking against computers because I think that they’re wonderful and they make a lot of sense – but for creative purposes a computer is a digital mirror. And the first option in any creative program that I’ve ever seen, that Apple has ever made – is to edit. You take a photograph – the first thing it asks you if you wanna do is: Do you wanna change the light and shadow? Do you wanna highlight something? Do you wanna turn it into black and white? In all the recording technologies to me the first thing that I see is your ability to manipulate the actual moment.

My feeling is we’re these spirits living in these human being bodies and we’re so perfectly errored, but some of those errors are so wonderful!

Somebody played the Blues too fast once on electric guitar – and they invented Rock’n’Roll!
It’s because they were probably on cocaine, but you know what? We got Chuck Barrie and Little Richard!

I wanna hear that! I wanna hear human beings doing human being things.

(Ryan Adams – Interview @ WNYC Soundcheck, New York Public Radio, Sept. 10th, 2014)

An Intellectual Punch in the Guts // Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly (Album Review)

This is kinda out of my comfort zone for various reasons. Recently, I’ve been repeatedly accused of being contaminated with „white guilt“ (probably not without any reason, considering my status and me being grown up as white, male and european, but my attempts to grow on that field might or might not be the topic of another blog entry). I rarely listen to a lot of HipHop regularily (with a few exceptions). And I’m not informed thoroughly on the topic.

Nevertheless, neither the recent police violence against black adolescents and the subsequent revolts and demonstrations of the population in various areas of the United States nor the current hype of Kendrick Lamar’s sophomore album To Pimp A Butterfly have passed me by without attracting my attention.

2015-08-08 kendrickBy combining deeply personal and self-critical reflections with political statements and historical references, Kendrick Lamar creates a very dense and complex image of the situation of the black community in his country. This record aims at nothing less than being a historical document of the present time – and the most surprising thing is that it succeeds in this ambition. Knowledge of history, the scene, present events and and an untamed sense of vigor, determination and playfulness characterize this record and therefore make it a powerful political statement hard to ignore. The fact that he doesn’t even shy away to cause controversy even in his own camp is remarkable. (I especially love the part where the article states that second single The Blacker The Berry is „delivered with creative venom that made headline writers scramble for to find synonyms for “pissed off” (it’s “blistering,” “scathing,” “seething”)“)

And, not least, he completes the package by a wild and free-spirited combination of HipHop, Funk, Jazz and Soul that not only is incredibly inspiring, but also incredibly catchy and versatile. As rare as it is – listening to this record not only is intellectually overwhelming, but also very much FUN!

Here’s a man very confidently claiming for everyones attention to notice these topics that concern everybody, and he won’t swallow down his anger or leave his argumentative fist hidden in his pocket.

To immerse yourself a little deeper into the man, his music and his mission, i recommend the following articles:

Tl; dnr: Kendrick Lamars sophomore album is a punch in the guts, an intellectual challenge, and an absolute fun to listen to. Even if the revolution still is yet to come, we got the soundtrack right here.

Me & My Shadow // Albert Hammond Jr. – Momentary Masters (Album Review)

Albert Hammond Jr. (c) [PIAS] Germany

Albert Hammond Jr. (c) [PIAS] Germany

There is one specific moment that has shaped my first impression of Albert Hammond jr. as the rhythm guitarist of the Strokes. During one of their first appearences on Letterman (check it out here, starting from 0.22 ), Nick Valensi had just rattled down the first intro chords of “Take It Or Leave It, and except for Julian, all band members still stood there with their backs to the camera. Then, there was a change of perspective, showing Albert Hammond jr.s front, still facing the drums and waiting to begin main lick of the song, with an almost childlike, anticipatory expression on his face. When it’s his turn, it‘s almost like lightening strikes him, he turns around with a twist of his hips and feet, and starts playing and dancing along, almost lost in the sound, effortless, very cool. He almost resembles a marionette of the sound he is creating himself, an impression of naive openness and kindness, but also introversion. And obviously, not to forget: The hair. The Eyes. The Suits. All in all an appearance way more inviting than the frustrated, lethargic vampire on Benzodiazepines, as which Casablancas sometimes appears.

As it was extensively reported, Hammond jr. is a recovering alcoholic, in the sense that every person who once had a serious problem with drinking will be a recovering alcoholic for his whole life, no matter how much time has passed since the last drink. Hammond must be aware of the fact that there are a few lines on Momentary Masters, his third solo record, that will be perceived in reference to that (but if you’re pleasantly drunk you can’t hear a sound in “Power Hungry”, or the whole controlled abuse chorus in “Razors Edge”), but you’d do wrong to read these isolated lines as confessional statements. They rather contribute to the bigger lyrical context of the album, that aims at including, integrating the dark facets of character into a whole picture that is mainly characterized by acceptance.

In everything about this record (press campaign, artwork, lyrics), there is a multitude of references about coming to terms with formerly disliked, repressed, threatening aspects of one’s personality. On his instagram page, Hammond jr. quotes russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn,saying: „The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?“. The whole cover design plays with these aspects of repression, of the search for an integrated self-image, to build something from the stripes and the black-and-white contradiction into something more complete, integrative, and therefore probably more realistic. It’s no coincidence but a conscious move to provoke associations with psychoanalyst C.G. Jung’s concept of the „shadow“ of one’s personality.

Momentary Masters (c) [PIAS] Germany

Momentary Masters (c) [PIAS] Germany

The little short stories in his lyrics depict these conflicts more practically then all these theory might imply. When he finds himself left in his apartment after the ex has left, asking is the moment gone? (…) all the things we said, taking back yesterday? (“Born Slippy”). There are various scenes of parties and/or high society lifestyle where the protagonist finds himself confused, lost, out of place or simply disgusted by what he sees of the shadows of others and himself (“Power Hungry”). Allusions to leading a life in material abundance and wondering about still feeling a need so unsatisfied, that it’s just not enough. (have you been in a house so big, where some rooms don’t exist? from “Caught By My Shadow”). And always the tension between knowing that your decisions aren’t the best, but feeling the attraction and the need, seeing it in other people as well, but not being able to save them, either (“Losing Touch”, “Razors Edge”, “Drunched in Crumbs”). The placement of his version of Dylan‘s “Don’t Think Twice” right in the middle, the heart of his record, is a statement of self-impowerment: I can do all of this negative crap. As long as I can get out of it again and accept that and why it happened.

Nevertheless, these stories and hints are crafted into the record in a very unobstrusive way, so that Hammond Jr. still leaves it up to the listener whether (s)he wants to get involved with this personal stuff or not. Apart from that, you can still get a professionally recorded hi-fi and fun hype rock record, showing a lot Hammonds trademarks and signature sounds of his day job band, making it the probably most strokes-y record for a long time (including Casablancas project with The Voidz). This is new, as his previous brand of lo-fi pop almost seemed to intentionally bury the hushed, washy vocals below the lush singer-songwriter hippie arrangements and therefore set explicit boundaries to the comparison with the Strokes. In contrast, Momentary Masters dares more to rave musically, even if it sometimes is comparable to the Strokes, resulting in, contradictionally, a record that feels a lot more like a statement of independence, exactly because it doesn’t categorically try to avoid something.

Albert Hammond jr. (c) [PIAS] Germany

Albert Hammond jr. (c) [PIAS] Germany

You will find them all here, the famous ingrediences: The lead guitar lines that parallel the vocal melody. The geometrical guitar lines, rather referencing cold simplicit structures of modern architecture or the form of skinny jeans than a howling feedback rock’n’roll guitars. The melodies and zigzaging riffs, so rich on staccato-played notes spiraling upwards that one could almost get dizzy following them winding their way through the otherwise solid and almost static instrumentation. New are his experiments with his singing style: There is the distanced spoken word part, there is the falsetto that sometimes reminds me either of Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig or Take That’s Mark Owen, there are various sound and editing effects, but not anymore with the intention to hide the voice, but to vary the pronunciation.

There is a very charming video interview on Youtube (min: 6:54) of Hammond jr. talking very modestly about his guitar skills, and at one point, as the interviewer asks him about any recommendations for people who just picked up a guitar, he compares himself with other players he knows and replies that his specialty is not the left hand who’s playing the strings, but the right, strumming or picking hand:

“They just can’t keep it (the strum) steady. Almost the reason why i even fit in the band was that I could even just play straight. There were some people who could do solos that i couldn’t do, but they just couldn’t play straight on a chord.”

By not hiding his shadow, by accepting and integrating: Albert Hammond Jr. is ready, willing and able to strum. Steadily.

Tl; dnr: Albert Hammond jr.s third solo effort is musicially the closest to his dayjob as the rhythm guitarist of The Strokes. Lyrically, he deals with philosophical and psychological allusions to accepting darker shades of ones personality and relationship storylines in the context of a certain lifestyle.

Watch a grumpy John Irving rant about the terms dysfunctional and impact as a verb

quadr_johnirvingAn Oldie But A Goldie: On Saturday, May 7th, 2011, US-American novelists John Irving and Jonathan Franzen participated in a panel of The Connecticut Forum’s “Forum Book Club”. When the moderator asks Irving to elaborate on the question: “Why are so many current novels based on the life and/or experiences of dysfunctional individuals or families? Are there no sucessful people or happy events, that could be incorporated into a good story?”, Irving initially refuses an answer straight away (probably not the first time he got asked a question on this). Visibly annoyed, he subsequently launches into a formidable rant against dismissing tales of peoples’ histories and fates as “dysfunctional”, using examples from literature classics as Shakespeare, Moby Dick or Sophocles.

Here’s an excerpt in exact wording:

If Ahab would had had a family and children, and a wife who could make him forget about the leg, maybe he wouldn’t have given a crap about the white whale…I don’t know. How long would that novel be? (…)

Imagine Hamlet as a kind of marchbreak college student. It doesn’t end with the first bad thing. He comes on – his dad’s dead, and that’s just the beginning! You know what his mum has been up to and with whom, right? And Dad’s not just dead, he’s a ghost, for Christ’s sake! Right, Talk about dysfunction!
And then you think: Ah, at least he has a girlfriend. Not that girlfriend! No, she’s around the water too much.

Or Lear! I mean, I was a child when I saw King Lear. Act 1, Scene 1. You know Lear is an old idiot! You know he’s a fool! Everyone in the audience knows this one daughter who loves him and we know the other two daughters are bitches, and Lear doesn’t get it, right? And the only reason we give a damn for Lear when he dies, is that the daughter who does love him, dies before him. And he knows by then, that she did love him. And that’s why we care. But where’s the “function” in that family?I’m sorry, I mean…

Oh, Sophokles! Where was the dysfunction in between 400 and 500 b.c.? I mean, ONE play about incest is fine, but THREE? Right? So, by accident you kill your father, sleep with your mother and have children and even the children are going to die? Is that fair? No! Come on!

Later on, Franzen chimes in, using a rather rational and calm tone, but still having some pretty clear thoughts on what a realistic family life looks like:

Well, my notion of a dysfunctional family is, you know… both of them are meth heads, the parents, and the child has been left in a closet without food or water for the last 18 hours. Those parents are not performing their function, which would be feed and clothe their child and you know supply some basic necessities of life.

But, you know, to say: „My son is rebellious and I don’t handle it real well…“ – what family doesn’t have that problem? So you have this sort of norm of this well-oiled machine of a family, where there is no friction ever, like, what fantasy is that? It projects this ridiculous fantasy of what a family could be like or should be like.

Individuation is not easy! Kids grow up, they turn into individuals. Suddenly, there is an individual where there wasn’t one. Problem for a family!

The Moderator closes on the question with the words: That was a good one. That got some real results. True that.

Check out Irvings outburst: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMh5wLSRp54

and Franzens addendum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47X3SW_0M-c

Tl; dnr: American novelists John Irving and Jonathan Franzen are opposed to pathologize issues and conflicts in everyday family life and take offense against dismissing such issues as “dysfunctional” or having a big “impact” on somebody.

Blog Shit People Say To Women Directors

femI just stumbled upon a blog called “Shit People Say To Women Directors”, where women working in the film industry are sharing their experiences regarding misogynist and anti-women statements received from co-workers. Here are some examples:

I was at the screening of my feature length documentary. The event organizers set up a little bar and table for the reception. A man (who knew I had directed the film) asked me, “will you be behind the bar serving the drinks?

Every time I walk onto a set, some knucklehead approaches me and asks if I am in the make up department.

I was producing a commercial and was pulled out of my office and asked to turn on a washing machine because I “would know more” about putting the wash on than any of the guys there.
I pressed the “start” button.

Usually carelessly hidden / packaged up in what is intended to be a joke, the degree of degradation and humiliation of these statements that these women have to listen to in their everyday life, for the simple fact of being a woman, is apalling and repellent. I really hope this blog contributes its share to raise awareness.

Check it out here: Shit People Say to Women Directors (Tumblr)