Sunday, November 29, 2015

Don't--don't hang back with the Brutes!

The apartment that where I am living is an apparent chaos of books, open boxes, papers, stacks of files and hundreds of antique shaving mugs. By these last - an inheritance of sorts - I make my livelihood. As I thread the path through it to the kitchen, I wonder if this also is a sign of the sickness, this certain disorder in my dress? A cluttered room of memory that would scandalize Simonides.

As I am heating the milk and honey, I consider that Simonides was right there in my back pocket. That's got to be a good sign. I smile at the irony that one devoted to memory practices attributed to the wily Greek might forget that name. And for the millionth time, wonder about the metaphysical mystery of Shakespeare's Young Man. That the Sonnets have, as Shakespeare himself
predicted time and time again, endured through hundreds of years as a testimony to the Young Man's beauty, but his name and identity have not.

Watched Tennessee Williams' / Kazan's Streetcar Named Desire last night. Williams is always entertaining and quotable but oddly opaque, as if the innermost watchsprings of his characters are a mystery also to him. Like Tarantino, he writes great dialogue, but to what end? It seems enough that Stanley Kowalski and Blanche Dubois are classic American archetypes, wound up to spin around the drama. But I wonder about this winding: MacGuffins stand there where primal totem poles should be, not to be questioned and existing only to power the plot along in the most entertaining way. That being said, I enjoyed the film immensely.

"Maybe we are a long way from being made in God's image, but Stella--my sister--there has been some progress since then! Such things as art--as poetry and music--such kinds of new light have come into the world since then! In some kinds of people tenderer feelings have had some little beginning! That we have got to make grow! And cling to, and hold as our flag! In this dark march toward whatever it is we're approaching. . . . Don't--don't hang back with the Brutes!"

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