Saturday, September 24, 2005

Mythology to Metaphysics Reading Roberto Calasso'...

Mythology to Metaphysics

Reading Roberto Calasso's books: Ka and The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony. The former a retelling of Indian mythology. The latter, a retelling of the Greek myths. Also, re-exploring De Chirico who has always been close to my heart:

"Prajapati lay with his eyes closed. Between head and breast an ardor burned within him, like water seething in silence. It was constantly transforming something: it was tapas. But what was it transforming? The mind. The mind was what transformed and what was transformed. It was the warmth, the hidden flame behind the bones, the succession and dissolution of shapes sketched on darkness - and the sensation of knowing that that was happening. Everything resembled something else. Everything was connected to something else. Only the sensation of consciousness resembled nothing at all."

-Roberto Calasso, Ka

"Abandoned in Naxos, Ariadne was shot by Artemis’s arrow; Dionysus ordered the killing and stood watching, motion-less. Or: Ariadne hung herself in Naxos, after being left by Theseus. Or: pregnant by Theseus and shipwrecked in Cyprus, she died there in child birth. Or: Dionysus came to Ariadne in Naxos, together with his band of followers ; they celebrated a divine marriage, after which she rose into the sky, where we still see her today amid the northern constellations. Or: Dionysus came to Ariadne in Naxos, after which she followed him around on his adventures, sharing his bed and fighting with his soldiers; when Dionysus attacked Perseus in the country near Argos, Ariadne went with him, armed to fight amid the ranks of the crazed Bacchants, until Perseus shook the deadly face of Medusa in front of her and Ariadne was turned to stone...No other woman, or goddess, had so many deaths as Ariadne."

-Roberto Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony

Ariadne inspired De Chirico. In his solitary landscapes, she is the reclining woman, the grief-stricken woman, the incarnation of nostalgia. The woman of many deaths: Giorgio De Chirico and the Myth of Ariadne

And finally a quote from a book written by Giorgio De Chirico:

"Hebdomeros concluded from this that perhaps they had not really understood what he meant, and he reflected on the difficulty of making oneself understood when one’s thoughts reached a certain height or depth. "It’s strange," Hebdomeros was thinking, "as for me, the very idea that something had escaped my understanding would keep me awake at nights, whereas people in general are not in the least perturbed when they see or read or hear things they find completely obscure."
- from Hebdomeros by Giorgio de Chirico

No comments: