Thursday, November 29, 2007

the (im)moral value of work ...

“I am forced to accept the notion of work as a material necessity, and in this regard I strongly favor its better, that is fairer, division. I admit that life’s grim obligations make it a necessity, but never that I should believe in its value, revere my own or that of other men. I prefer, once again, walking by night to believing myself a man who walks by daylight. There is no use being alive if one must work. The event from which each of us is entitled to expect the revelation of his own life’s meaning – that event which I may not have found, but on whose path I seek myself – is not earned by work.”

(André Breton, Nadja. Trans. Richard Howard)

Who I am ...

“I insist on knowing the names, on being interested only in books left ajar, like doors; I will not go looking for keys…. I myself shall continue living in my glass house where you can always see who comes to call; where everything hanging from the ceiling and on the walls stays where it is as if by magic, where I sleep nights in a glass bed, under glass sheets, where who I am will sooner or later appear etched by a diamond.”

(André Breton, Nadja. Trans. Richard Howard)

Who am I?

“Who am I? If this once I were to rely on a proverb, then perhaps everything would amount to knowing whom I ‘haunt’ …. Such a word means much more than it says, makes me, still alive, play a ghostly part, evidently referring to what I must have ceased to be in order to be who I am. Hardly distorted in this sense, the word suggests that what I regard as the objective, more or less deliberate manifestations of my existence are merely the premises, within the limits of this existence, of an activity whose true extent is quite unknown to me. My image of the ‘ghost,’ including everything conventional about its appearance as well as its blind submission to certain contingencies of time and place, is particularly significant for me as the finite representation of a torment that may be eternal. Perhaps my life is nothing but an image of this kind; perhaps I am doomed to retrace my steps under the illusion that I am exploring, doomed to try and learn what I should simply recognize, learning a mere fraction of what I’ve forgotten.

(André Breton, Nadja. Trans. Richard Howard)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

word = sound-image2

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fatherhood ...

“Fatherhood, in the sense of conscious begetting, is unknown to man. It is a mystical state, an apostolic succession, from only begetter to only begotten. On that mystery and not on the madonna which the cunning Italian intellect flung to the mob of Europe the church is founded and founded irremovably because founded, like the world, macro- and microcosm, upon the void. Upon incertitude, upon unlikelihood. Amor matris, subjective and objective genitive, may be the only true thing in life. Paternity may be a legal fiction. Who is the father of any son that any son should love him or he any son?”

(James Joyce, Ulysses)

New (Old) Age ...

“Yogibogeybox in Dawson chambers. Isis Unveiled. Their Pali book we tried to pawn. Crosslegged under an umbrel umbershoot he thrones an Aztec logos, functioning on astral levels, their oversoul, mahamahatma. The faithful hermetists await the light, ripe for chelaship, ringroundabout him.... Lotus ladies tend them i'the eyes, their pineal glands aglow. Filled with his god, he thrones, Buddh under plantain. Gulfer of souls, engulfer. Hesouls, shesouls, shoals of souls. Engulfed with wailing creecries, whirled, whirling, they bewail.”

(James Joyce, Ulysses)

The Supreme Question of Art ...

“Art has to reveal to us ideas, formless spiritual essences. The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring.”

(James Joyce, Ulysses)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

solvetudo sonambulando ...

A "Martial Cadenza" ...

“It was like sudden time in a world without time
This world, this place, the street in which I was,
Without time: as that which is not has no time,
Is not, or is of what there was, is full
Of the silence before the armies, armies without
Either trumpets or drums, the commanders mute, the arms
On the ground, fixed fast in a profound defeat.”

“The present close, the present realized,
Not the symbol but that for which the symbol stands,
The vivid thing in the air that never changes,
Though the air change. Only this evening I saw it again,
At the beginning of winter, and I walked and talked
Again, and lived and was again, and breathed again
And moved again and flashed again, time flashed again.”

(Wallace Stevens, “Martial Cadenza”)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Old Man (for Ashley Brown)

The old man leaves his life and death behind
Pruned head, he moves ahead and never, never again
The great mirror of the world would dare reflect his mind
The old man is the king of his den

Solitude is solid, a stone in the sun
The lines of destiny in hand are erased by hand
Poetry, soul, and rock’n’roll have made him one
Things migrate and he still serves as land

Heart, art burns, the afternoon spent
In the abyss of city streets
The breeze takes brings the fleeting scent
Of the girls’ sexy sweets

Cold light, his hair has a neon sadness all around
Beauties, joys, and pains pass by without a sound
I see the old man laughing at a curve on the way to Hebron
And to his eye everything that’s color changes tone

The children, films, sayings, books like a gale
Disperse his being beyond the illusion of the personal
But he hurts and shines unique, individual, wonder without equal
s already got the courage to say hes immortal.

– Caetano Veloso / gringocarioca

O homem velho

O homem velho deixa a vida e morte para trás
Cabeça a prumo, segue rumo e nunca, nunca mais
O grande espelho que é o mundo ousaria refletir os seus sinais
O homem velho é o rei dos animais

A solidão agora é sólida, uma pedra ao sol
As linhas do destino nas mãos a mão apagou
Ele já tem a alma saturada de poesia, soul e rock’n’roll
As coisas migram e ele serve de farol

A carne, a arte arde, a tarde cai
No abismo das esquinas
A brisa leve traz o olor fulgaz
Do sexo das meninas

Luz fria, seus cabelos têm tristeza de néon
Belezas, dores e alegrias passam sem um som
Eu vejo o homem velho rindo numa curva do caminho de Hebron
E ao seu olhar tudo que é cor muda de tom

Os filhos, filmes, ditos, livros como um vendaval
Espalham-no além da ilusão do seu ser pessoal
Mas ele dói e brilha único, indivíduo, maravilha sem igual
Já tem coragem de saber que é imortal

– Caetano Veloso

Autographia ...

Monday, November 12, 2007


Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

On the Imagination ...

“The inevitable flux of the seeing eye toward measuring itself by the world it inhabits can only result in himself crushing humiliation unless the individual raise to some approximate co-extension with the universe. This is possible by the aid of the imagination.”

“In the composition, the artist does exactly what every eye must do with life, fix the particular with the universality of his own personality – Taught by the largeness of his imagination to feel every form which he sees moving within himself, he must prove the truth of this by expression.”

“It is a work of the imagination. It gives the feeling of completion by revealing the oneness of experience; it rouses rather than stupefies the intelligence by demonstrating the importance of personality, by showing the individual, depressed before it, that his life is valuable – when completed by the imagination. And then only. Such work elucidates.”

“The only realism in art is of the imagination. It is only thus that the work escapes plagiarism after nature and becomes a creation.

Invention of new forms to embody this reality of art is, must occupy all serious minds concerned.”

(William Carlos Williams, Spring and All.)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

was is will be ...

“– As we, or mother Dana, weave and unweave our bodies, Stephen said, from day to day, their molecules shuttled to and fro, so does the artist weave and unweave his image. And as the mole on my right breast is where it was when I was born, though all my body has been woven of new stuff time after time, so through the ghost of the unquiet father the image of the unliving son looks forth. In the intense instant of imagination, when the mind, Shelley says, is a fading coal, that which I was is that which I am and that which in possibility I may come to be. So in the future, the sister of the past, I may see myself as I sit here now but by reflection from that which then I shall be.”

(James Joyce, Ulysses)

Friday, November 02, 2007

LOOK (again) ...

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira & Joaquin Eduardo Bueno Ramos

A Play of Personalities ...

“I have cultivated many personalities within myself. I constantly cultivate personalities. Each of my dreams, immediately after I dream it, is incarnated into another person, who then goes on to dream it, and I stop.

To create, I destroyed myself; I made myself external to such a degree within myself that within myself I do not exist except in an external fashion. I am the living setting in which several actors make entrances, putting on several different plays.”

(Bernardo Soares / Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet. Trans. Alfred Mac Adam)