[-empyre-] concerning violence, and more Antigone's bones

Reinhold Görling goerling at phil.hhu.de
Mon Nov 10 03:05:17 EST 2014


Thanks Ana. 
Here comes a version in English

The German translation of Octavio Paz most read book „The labyrinth of solitude“ (1950) was published 1969 - only a short time after the massacre on the Plaza del Tletelolco in Mexico City. Paz added a chapter that afterwards was also published in his book „Postdata“. The chapter has the title „Olimpiada y Tlatelolco“. October 2 1968 between 50 and 300 students were killed by the Mexican army on the central place of the city. Paz speaks of a intra-history between the massacre of 1968 and other acts of violence in Mexico, tracing this back to the fall of the rein of the Aztecs. I’m not convinced of the symbolism of Paz’ concept but I agree that each society or culture has its own imagination, its own historically coined nightmare of violence, it is like a spectre, a phantasm that lives in the dreams and actualizes in times of crises.
A phantasm is anything beyond, it is part of history. But in form of trauma. It repeats itself but does not change and it does not get a form of public expression or of actualization which would be symbolic and unique at the same time. Art and the juridical take part in this kind of actualization. The culture of impunity that governs Mexico and many other countries is a crucial element. It forecloses the working-through of traumatic experiences on the individual as well as on the collective level. 
Furthermore it makes a society believe in violence as means to solve conflicts and not in negotiation and agreements.
The important moment of working-through perhaps is less the process of recollection itself than a certain dramatization that allows to find a place for the floating phantasms.
43 murdered lifes, 43 singular lifes. 43 most cruel assassinations, violence against the singularity of each of them. Families and friends injured by this. Antigone buries Polyneices saying that his life was unique (and therefore more important than the law).

Reinhold


> Am 09.11.2014 um 15:57 schrieb Ana Valdés <agora158 at gmail.com>:
> 
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Wonderful text, Reinhold, and I am very pleased and grateful to all
> working hard to work in several languages. But I think it's also
> important to choose a "lingua franca" who can make me understand what
> Olga, born in Ucrania and Fereshed born in Iran, want tell us. If I
> can ask all of you to duplicate the messages in English and in
> Spanish.
> 
> Cheers
> Ana
> 
> On Sun, Nov 9, 2014 at 8:00 AM, Reinhold Görling <goerling at phil.hhu.de> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Hola Ana,
>> 
>> la traducción alemana del „Laberinto de la soledad“ (1950) de Octavio Paz se publicó 1969, poco después de la matanza en la Plaza de Tlatelolco. Paz añadió un capituló que después apareció en el libro „Postdata“, editado por siglo XXI. Es titulado „Olimpiada y Tlatelolco“. El 2 de octubre de 1968 entre 50 y 300 estudiantes fueron fusilados por el ejercito mejicano en esta plaza central de la ciudad. Paz habla de la intra-historia (so se como es la expresión en el texto español) entre la matanza de 1968 y otras actas de violencia en Mexico, especialmente la caída de reino de las Aztecas. No estoy convencido del simbolismo de Paz, pero creo que sociedades o culturas tienen una imaginario cultural especifica de la violencia, es como un espectro, un fantasma que vive en el sueños y se actualize en situaciones de crisis.
>> El fantasma no es algo en el más allá, es parte de la historia. Pero tiene la forma del trauma. Se repite pero no se cambie si no se encuentre una forma de expresarlo públicamente y de actualizarlo en formas que son simbólicas y únicas al mismo tiempo. Es arte y es el jurídico que participan es este. La cultura de la impunidad que reina en Mexico como en muchas otras sociedades es un elemento importantísimo. Impide el trabajo elaborativo social (Durcharbeiten, working-through) del trauma.
>> Y ademas hace que una sociedad cree mas en la violencia que en la negociación y el acuerdo como forma de reglar conflictos.
>> Lo importante del trabajo elaborativo quizá es menos el proceso memorativo que la dramatization que permite situar las fantasmas flotantes.
>> 43 vidas muertos, 43 vidas singulares. 43 asesinatos más crueles, más violentas contra la singularidad de cada uno. Familias y amigos heridos por esta violencia. Antigone sepulta a Polinices diciendo que su vida singular vale más que la ley y la violencia.
>> 
>> Reinhold
>> 
>> 
>>> Am 08.11.2014 um 18:56 schrieb Ana Valdés <agora158 at gmail.com>:
>>> 
>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>> Octavio Paz, Nobelprize in literature from Mexico, was Mexico's
>>> ambassador in India several years and come very near Hinduism and
>>> Buddhism. He wrote some superb books discussing the differences
>>> between Christianity and the Oriental philosophies from the Eastern
>>> parts of the world.
>>> He said our Christ, the figure of a man being tortured, tense between
>>> spikes and the arms of the cross, is a violent archetypical image of
>>> our civilization, based in rape, torture and conquest.
>>> In the Eastern the image of God is a wheel, no beginning, no end, a
>>> circle, Nirvana.
>>> Today with the sad confirmation about the Mexican students burned to
>>> death and ash becoming ashes the circle ends, again, but not in a
>>> Nirvana but in the paroxism of mothers and fathers crying their
>>> anguish and their dispair.
>>> I was this morning in the funeral of a dear friend, his wife was in
>>> jail with me, he was in another jail. Among the mourners was several
>>> jail comrades, male comrades to him, mine female friends. Among my
>>> female jail comrades were many raped and heavily tortured they went
>>> today straight happy to be among the survivors   I was one of the
>>> youngest and was saved from heavy torture and from rape the women I
>>> met today are over seventy years old they were not old ladies asking
>>> for permission to live they were still the strong and brave women I
>>> met in jail and it's to their solidarity and warmth I own my life
>>> today
>>> 
>>> Ana
>>> 
>>> On Sat, Nov 8, 2014 at 3:13 PM, Johannes Birringer
>>> <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:
>>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Several participants have now raised the idea of terror (event, representation, or the 'graphe,' the visual scaffold that Jon had implied) as cliché, and as kitsch.
>>>> 
>>>> Alan however has always insisted here that the abject (experience and image) invades and destroys, it causes extreme anguish.
>>>> 
>>>> And we have not fully addressed it yet –   "such dissolution, falling apart, within and among the abject, that self and other are uncomfortably bound, felt as such, repulsive" (Alan) –- when we seek recourse to the narratives and theories and philosophies. (Though the notion of the abject comes, as well, via Kristeva and an anthropological analysis of dirt, impurity, and the repulsed).
>>>> 
>>>> A performance, however (and thanks Erik for sharing your cryptic epilogue of Woman/Raven,  to 'Mother Courage'), when/where?  how would it respond? for whom? And relate to what Alicia names the "orientalized Debord", an other spectacle? Plenty of dust from the actions of the porn erotic of the masculinity of a populist maleness, vital, organized and lethal, like gangs like mass graves,  symmetric rituals?  (I extrapolate from Alicia, and her brief account of a more surreal sequence even, one disappearance to another finding -  estudientes/federales/narcotraficantes:  <en México, 43 estudiantes desaparecen como en un pase de magia y se descubre otra fosa común con cadáveres NN.>>
>>>> 
>>>> Jon -- your question is about performance?  <To ask Reinhold’s question differently: How to navigate such genealogical strata while making performances that cite and grapple with violence and terror and graphe? >
>>>> Is that not somehow the issue that Olga tried to broach, using approximate but "alienated" media strategies to re-site the evidences (say, combatant confessions in a night club called "Death Cub")?  And how does verbatim theatre grapple? is there any grappling that could answer Alan's statement of dissolution?
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> regards
>>>> Johannes Birringer
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> [Jon schreibt]
>>>> From hashassins and anarchist bombings to drone strikes and YouTube beheadings, modern terror develops within a global network of increasing density and resonance. Terror one sees “over there” suddenly is here, collapsing space and time and with them one’s points of reference.....And if clichés, images, ghosts preceded the real - what violence would there be in that?
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> [Erik schreibt]
>>>> excellent. in the perpetrator, victim, witness triad - the witness is shocked/severed out of the equation, specifically in order to collapse imaginative and expressive space for the victim. the witness still exists, but to demonstrate estrangement. the perpetrators are fine because they have space behind them, up in the large house they've stolen.
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> [Ana schreibt]
>>>> 
>>>> "Violence is a key ingredient of human storytelling: from our first oral tales, violent acts have heightened audience attention and underlined the dangers of our world. What happens to a child who goes
>>>> off alone? She is beset by ogres! Djinn! Child-eating witches! As different story traditions developed, most were rich in violence, which was often focused around a single enemy. This enemy could be
>>>> battled (and tricked or beaten), offering the audience a psychological release.
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> 
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> "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth
> with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you
> will always long to return.
> — Leonardo da Vinci
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