Saturday, February 11, 2012

col lor rapido corso

Of Dreaming
Men will seem to see new destructions in the sky. The flames that fall from it will seem to rise in it and to fly from it with terror. They will hear animals of every kind speak in human language. They will instantaneously run in person in various parts of the world, without movement. They will see the greatest splendour in the midst of darkness. O! marvel the human race! What frenzy has led you thus! You will speak with animals of every species and they with you in human speech. You will see yourself fall from great heights without any harm, and torrents will accompany you, and will mingle in their rapid course...

Of Bees
And many others will be deprived of their store and their food, and will be cruelly submerged and drowned by folks devoid of reason. Oh Justice of God! Why dost thou not wake and behold thy creatures thus ill used?

Of writing Letters from one Country to another
Men will speak with each other from the most remote countries, and reply.

(Leonardo da Vinci, misc. in The Literary Works of Leonoardo da Vinci, Vol. II, (ed.) Jean Paul Richter, Phaidon, 1970 (first published 1883): link

pour F

Thursday, February 09, 2012

castling - moshiayakh

Nachdem im Verlauf der Jahrhunderte das namengebende Geschlecht im Volke verschwunden, machte ein Lehensmann den Dorfnamen zu seinem Titel und baute ein Schloß, von dem niemand mehr weiß, wo es gestanden hat [...] - When over the course of centuries the eponymous family had disappeared from the people, a liege man took the village name as his title and built a castle of which it is no longer known where it once stood [...] (G. Keller, Der grüne Heinrich: link, trans. mine) || Das Dorf lag in tiefem Schnee. Vom Schloßberg war nichts zu sehen, Nebel und Finsternis umgaben ihn, auch nicht der schwächste Lichtschein deutete das große Schloß an. Lange stand K. auf der Holzbrücke, die von der Landstraße zum Dorf führte, und blickte in die scheinbare Leere empor. (F. Kafka, Das Schloß: link) || The text, on the other hand, begins its artful game by introducing a castle which is neither present nor absent: "The Castle hill was hidden, veiled in mist and darkness, nor was there even a glimmer of light to show that a castle was there." (A. Ronell, "Doing Kafka in The Castle") || The fact is that every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future. (JL Borges, "Kafka and his precursors": link) || Der Ursprung des Messianismus in der Verzweiflung ist der innere Grund seines notwendigen Versagens, seiner Inkongruenz mit sich selbst. "Der Messias", vermerkt das dritte Oktavheft, "wird erst kommen, wenn er nicht mehr nötig sein wird, er wird erst einen Tag nach seiner Ankunft kommen, er wird nicht am letzten Tag kommen, sondern am allerletzten." - Despair is the origin of messianism and the inner reason for its inevitable failure, for its incongruence with itself. "The Messiah", the third octavo notes, "will come only when he is no longer needed, he will only arrive one day after his arrival, he will not arrive on the last day, but on the very last." (WG Sebald, Unheimliche Heimat, p.98-99, transl. mine)