Thursday, October 21, 2010

on revolution ...

"Revolution is war. Of all the wars known in history, it is the only lawful, rightful, just, and truly great war."

(Vladimir Lenin, quoted in Sergei Eisenstein's The Battleship Potemkin)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

reflection(s) on art ...

"Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible."

– Paul Klee, "Creative Credo." (Trans. Norbert Guterman)

"Art is not a reflection of reality. It's the reality of a reflection."

– Jean-Luc Godard, La chinoise

master vs. slave ...

"Two equals struggle each for recognition by the other: the one is willing to sacrifice life for this supreme value. The other, a heroic coward in the … sense of loving the body and the material world too well, gives in, in order to continue life. The Master – now the fulfillment of a baleful and inhuman feudal-aristocratic disdain for life without honor – proceeds to enjoy the benefits of his recognition by the other, now become his humble serf or slave. But at this point two distinct and dialectically ironic reversals take place: only the Master is now genuinely human, so that 'recognition' by this henceforth sub-human form of life which is the slave evaporates at the moment of its attainment and offers no genuine satisfaction. 'The truth of the Master,' Hegel observes grimly, 'is the Slave; while the truth of the Slave, on the other hand, is the Master.' But a second reversal is in process as well: for the slave is called upon to labor for the master and to furnish him with all the material benefits befitting his supremacy. But this means that, in the end, only the slave knows what reality and the resistance of matter really are; only the slave can attain some true materialistic consciousness of his situation, since it is precisely to that that he is condemned. The Master, however, is condemned to idealism – to the luxury of a placeless freedom in which any consciousness of his own concrete situation flees like a dream, like a word unremembered on the tip of the tongue, a nagging doubt which the puzzled mind is unable to formulate."

(Fredric Jameson, "Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism")

Thursday, October 14, 2010

América es real maravillosa ...

"Pero es que muchos se olvidan, con disfrazarse de magos a poco costo, que lo maravilloso comienza a serlo de manera inequívoca cuando surge de una inesperada alteración de la realidad (el milagro), de una revelación privilegiada de la realidad, de una iluminación inhabitual o singularmente favorecedora de las inadvertidas riquezas de la realidad, de una ampliación de las escalas y categorías de la realidad, percibidas con particular intensidad en virtud de una exaltación del espíritu que lo conduce a un modo de 'estado límite'".


"¿Pero qué es la historia de América toda sino una crónica de lo real maravilloso?"


(Alejo Carpentier, Prólogo a El reino de este mundo)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

identicalities 3

Copyright © 2010 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

La poesía es fantástica ...

"Ya no sé quién dijo, una vez, hablando de la posible definición de la poesía, que la poesía es eso que se queda afuera, cuando hemos terminado de definir la poesía. Creo que esa misma definición podría aplicarse a lo fantástico, de modo que, en vez de buscar una definición preceptiva de lo que es lo fantástico, en la literatura o fuera de ella, yo pienso que es mejor que cada uno de ustedes, como lo hago yo mismo, consulte su propio mundo interior, sus propias vivencias, y se plantee personalmente el problema de esas situaciones, de esas irrupciones, de esas llamadas coincidencias en que de golpe nuestra inteligencia y nuestra sensibilidad tienen la impresión de que las leyes, a que obedecemos habitualmente, no se cumplen del todo o se están cumpliendo de una manera parcial, o están dando su lugar a una excepción."

(Julio Cortázar, "El sentimiento de lo fantástico")

Monday, October 11, 2010


Copyright © 2010 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

On (Third) World Intellectuals ...

"All of which slowly brings us to the question of the writer himself in the third world, and to what must be called the function of the intellectual, it being understood that in the third-world situation the intellectual is always in one way or another a political intellectual. No third-world lesson is more timely or more urgent for us today, among whom the very term 'intellectual' has withered away, as though it were the name for an extinct species."

"We have allowed ourselves, as first-world cultural intellectuals, to restrict our consciousness of our life's work to the narrowest professional or bureaucratic terms, thereby encouraging in ourselves a special sense of subalternity and guilt, which only reinforces the vicious circle. That a literary article could be a political act, with real consequences, is for most of us little more than a curiosity of … literary history."

(Fredric Jameson, "Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism")

Saturday, October 02, 2010

poor trait of an artist

ripples on the sea of time,
waves upon the shore,
once upon an ever after,
once forever more

the sun projects a shadow,
I suspect it might be mine,
on a path towards the horizon,
where the heavens draw the line

a portrait of reflection
in the mirror of my eye,
as I answer with a question:
why not ask not why?

I walk along ahead against
the current moment past
the dunes of never ever
doomed to beg again,
to begin again,
to beg to begin again
at last ...

Copyright © 2010 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira