Friday, October 28, 2005

to da victor belong de spoiled

USians have no history, they have the market instead. Nothing is less interesting to today's market than yesterday's market. Continuity is not even for sale. Let the good times roulette. On TV.

In his late poem Victory, Pasolini delicately wonders what existing in the day of its composition (c. 1964) had to do with that for which Italians died savagely only 20-odd years before.

A few lines from Norman MacAfee's translation of Victory -- via Direland via wood s lot -- not in the order of their textual appearance:

little by little in the barbaric breasts
of the sons, hate becomes love of hate,
burning only in them, the few, the chosen.


Who has the courage to tell them
that the ideal secretly burning in their eyes
is finished, belongs to another time, that the children

of their brothers have not fought for years,
and that a cruelly new history has produced
other ideals, quietly corrupting them?. . .


Where have the weapons gone, peaceful
productive Italy, you who have no importance in the world?
In this servile tranquility, which justifies

yesterday’s boom, today’s bust—from the sublime
to the ridiculous—and in the most perfect solitude,
j’accuse! Not, calm down, the Government or the Latifundia

or the Monopolies—but rather their high priests,
Italy’s intellectuals, all of them,
even those who rightly call themselves

my good friends. These must have been the worst
years of their lives: for having accepted
a reality that did not exist. The result

of this conniving, of this embezzling of ideals,
is that the real reality now has no poets.


Blogger juke moran said...

Watching friends fight with their siblings as an only child it was bizarre to see the intensities flare and subside. The absence of commitment or loyalty to a violently defended position, the ability to harm and hurt and then drop it and go on.
Long later I started to see how there could be a ground for that struggle, something wider and deeper, and then still later how that ground could be lost, but that a lot could happen before without losing it too.
Dogs do that to each other, the dominance-fighting over as fast as it begins. It was the beginning of realizing more goes on than the story I was getting from above implied.
I don't know how that works with Italian poetry though I would have probably thought if I'd been in my teens in Rome in 1961 that Fellini and them were doing poetry, being poets, making poems. I mean I think that now, and it's in translation so the idea that the original hit especially in its contemporaneous moment and original language would have been that more intense and soul-centered.
But here?
Oh my.
Something half-formed, chimerical, not mirage but parts of dissonant creatures stuck onto the trunk of what was once.
Big vats of consciousness seething large dull concepts getting duller all the time.
Cage-pixels wherein we accomodate ourselves, the signals we produce all hooked into some bundle we can't see from where we are.
In a most real way the market is analogous to the feeder, the employee charged with dispensing the kibble and paste - to us out here on the floor of the Panopticon.
It takes a while to accustom, but then it's something to look forward to, a break in the long boredom of day.
History looks like a pair of shoes once you wake up from it.

10/30/2005 10:29 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

Pasolini is said to have written a good poem while observing Godard direct. Our media diminish all things. Until we can't tell how dull they are. No recollection of how dull they were not? Only by noting the large vats - then you can remind us, in the way poets do, of what is not anymore us is. Was.

I'll be pondering those shoes for quite some time.

11/01/2005 10:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home