Apart from the end of the English Shadow, last night I read JM Castellet’s Els escenaris de la memòria. JM was a literary critic, which is French for vulgar gossip, whose occasional qualms regarding the persecution of Jews and sexual non-conformists in Russia don’t seem to have stopped him attending any number of well-catered Soviet-sponsored writers congresses. (Someone must have written a book about Great Critical Hunger that accompanied the end of communism.)
Most of the conversations recorded in the book consist of people you’ve never heard of relaying snippets from people you probably have heard of. One exception is his encounter with Pasolini, face-to-face one presumes, that contradicts what seems to be a generally-held view: that, although he whored for the fascists, flirted with the Nazis, joined the communists when the war went their way, and then clambered early onto the bandwagon of regionalist intolerance, at the end of the 1930s he “left behind the religious fervor of his early years.” JMC suggests to him the possibility of a religious reading of Il vangelo secondo Matteo:
Yes, he replied, but in relation to the profanation of the world (of nature, of ideals, of the imaginary even) represented by the bourgeoisie. I didn’t have, stricto sensu, a religious education, but I can’t bear the banalisation of the mystery of life and which may be transcendent or not–I don’t know… I am very sensitive to landscape … and the damned industrial bourgeoisie has screwed them up. I’m talking about the bourgeoisie that wants to produce and consume following the North-American model, which not only has fractured the equilibrium in relationships between man and nature, but which has perverted an order which lasted centuries and which worked… Hatred is certainly the origin of Teorema. A visceral hatred towards those who destroyed the imaginary [I think this is a ref to Lacan] of my infancy, as well as a lot of other things obviously… I have always been pursued by nostalgia for the sacred [and in] consequence I detest the profanation of that which I consider sacred: a natural order based on the mystery of nature, of vaguely transcendental origin…
That expresses for me succinctly the fucked-up thinking so prevalent in Spanish politics which, on a personal level, leads apparently rational people to do freaky shit like embrace and weep over trees to which they haven’t even been properly introduced:
–It was so beautiful and meaningful!
–Yeah, but what was the tree called? I want to try it too.
–Why are you so hateful?
- Sounds to kill Jews by
“Then the monsignor left the altar and told us that we could start killing the Jews.”
- al-qaeda & al-andalus
A number of people I spoke to yesterday were firmly convinced that Mr Aznar had himself planted the bombs, and that
- How to be a cyberjournalist
A couple of profs up north have just published a book, Manual de Redacción Ciberperiodística, that explains useful things like …
- How Beijing financed the Dutch secret police
According to a book by ex-spook F Hoekstra, the Dutch Secret Service (BVD) set up a Maoist party, the Marxist-Leninist Party
- Sylvia Townsend Warner, The scapegoat, and the Diodorus phallic thimble quatrain
AKA shit AMA says.