DAY 38

April 13th, 2013 § 3 comments

The subject of Thatcher being temporarily exhausted (since it’s filling all the newspapers 24/7), I’m free to change the subject; and I have good news for my supporters. Yes, folks! It looks as if untold wealth is heading my way; a letter from a Mr Jun Wei of a Hong Kong bank informs me that ‘a gentleman by the name of John Hodgkin’, who had a portfolio of over 18 million USD invested with them (the bank, are you following?), was involved at some unspecified time in an accident

killbill in Mainland China, and died intestate. It’s been a headache for them (still the bank) tracing his relatives, and they’ve ended up with me. These things happen all the time, and although I’m sorry for John, he seems to have been careless both on the roads and with the lawyers; it beats me how such a schlemihl managed to amass all those millions. If I accept the bank’s offer to split the cash (‘I know this might be a bit strange for you, but please trust me on this’), and can avoid the attentions of the Triads, Bruce Lee and Uma Thurman for what’s left of my life, then I can go on a cruise, save a hospital, found a scholarship in Urban Warfare named after me, get a moderate coke habit and have enough left to pay the Met to keep off my back. Happiness is at last within my grasp, and you can’t take it with you.

There are obvious caveats, though. John, like Laius, has got himself killed on the roads, and it might be thought that I, like Oedipus, had the job of sorting out the killer. I hear you suggest that I should call in the services of Interpol, but something tells me that any contact with the police will make the money disappear like fairy gold. I’m reminded of how our slightest choices may shape our ends, and wonder if in some way the gods had arranged for me to be the unwitting author of John’s death (via a misdirected email, say)  - it would be like them. The reader will probably remember the Chinese protagonist of Borges’ Garden of Forking Paths who is brought to the realization that every act he takes has an infinity of possible futures/consequences. That’s more than I can deal with.

Carrying on for the moment with Oedipus, always a good way to waste time on a Sunday afternoon; as opposed to Romeo (see earlier), the Greeks seem to have invented the ‘no-fault’ tragedy. I’ve been anticipated in raising this question by Avi R’s query to Yahoo: ‘Oedipus,Jocasta,or fate? i have an essay for school due monday on this question idk how to begin or wat to write’.

ingresOedipus and the Sphinx

My heart goes out to Avi. Yahoo, predictably, awards the prize to Brendan, who hasn’t read the Oedipus (where has he been?), but says most authorities are agreed it’s fate. I hope the essay got good marks. It does leave us with the worrying thought that all these ancient Greeks were actually not to blame for their dreadful crimes – no wonder Freud tried to get them to admit some responsibility for their unconscious desires. The fate defence, like the Eichmann defence (‘following orders’), is simply a way of passing the buck.

There is one figure in the play who seems more blameworthy than most, and that’s the messenger who in Act Four effectively spills the beans about Oedipus’ parentage. If he had only shut up, or been exposed at birth, none of the ensuing tragedy would have happened – hence the popular saying ‘Shoot the messenger’. I offer this as a contribution; too late for Avi’s essay, but it’s going to come round again you can be sure.

At Saturday’s excellent Gaza meeting (SOAS, did I miss you there?) I picked up a book with the wonderfully enticing title ‘The Gaza Kitchen‘. The inside is as good as the title promises, a mixture of recipes and accounts of life/lives in Gaza. Your friends will be wowed by the sight of the book on your coffee table, not to mention the chilli, cinnamon, dill and lemon flavours of the meal with which you then welcome them. A total must.


It’s been a long time since I’ve read that undervalued modernist poet Kurt Schwitters, now being celebrated by the Tate for other things. Here’s his great love-poem ‘An Anna Blume’:
Oh Du, Geliebte meiner 27 Sinne, ich liebe Dir!
Du, Deiner, Dich Dir, ich Dir, Du mir, —- wir?
Das gehört beiläufig nicht hierher!
Wer bist Du, ungezähltes Frauenzimmer, Du bist, bist Du?
Die Leute sagen, Du wärest.
Laß sie sagen, sie wissen nicht, wie der Kirchturm steht.
Du trägst den Hut auf Deinen Füßen und wanderst auf die Hände,
Auf den Händen wanderst Du.
Halloh, Deine roten Kleider, in weiße Falten zersägt,
Rot liebe ich Anna Blume, rot liebe ich Dir.
Du, Deiner, Dich Dir, ich Dir, Du mir, —– wir?
Das gehört beiläufig in die kalte Glut!
Anna Blume, rote Anna Blume, wie sagen die Leute?
1. Anna Blume hat ein Vogel,
2. Anna Blume ist rot.
3. Welche Farbe hat der Vogel?
Blau ist die Farbe Deines gelben Haares,
Rot ist die Farbe Deines grünen Vogels.
Du schlichtes Mädchen im Alltagskleid,
Du liebes grünes Tier, ich liebe Dir!
Du Deiner Dich Dir, ich Dir, Du mir, —- wir!
Das gehört beiläufig in die —- Glutenkiste.
Anna Blume, Anna, A—-N—-N—-A!
Ich träufle Deinen Namen.
Dein Name tropft wie weiches Rindertalg.
Weißt Du es Anna, weißt Du es schon,
Man kann Dich auch von hinten lesen.
Und Du, Du Herrlichste von allen,
Du bist von hinten, wie von vorne:
Rindertalg träufelt STREICHELN über meinen Rücken.

Anna Blume,

Du tropfes Tier,

[English:  Schwitters thought best to translate 'Anna' by 'Eve'.]

Oh thou, beloved of my twenty-seven senses, I love thine! Thou thee
thee thine, I thine,
thou mine, we?
That (by the way) is beside the point!
Who art thou, uncounted woman, Thou art, art thou?
People say, thou werst,
Let them say, they don’t know what they are talking about.
Thou wearest thine hat on thy feet, and wanderest on thine hands,
On thine hands thou wanderest
Hallo, thy red dress, sawn into white folds,
Red I love Eve Blossom, red I love thine,
Thou thee thee thine, I thine, thou mine, we?
That (by the way) belongs to the cold glow!
Eve Blossom, red Eve Blossom what do people say?
PRIZE QUESTION: 1. Eve Blossom is red,
2. Eve Blossom has wheels
3. what colour are the wheels?
Blue is the colour of your yellow hair
Red is the whirl of your green wheels,
Thou simple maiden in everyday dress,
Thou small green animal,
I love thine!
Thou thee thee thine, I thine, thou mine, we?
That (by the way) belongs to the glowing brazier!
Eve Blossom,eve,
E – V – E,
E easy, V victory, E easy,
I trickle your name.
Your name drops like soft tallow.
Do you know it, Eve?
Do you already know it?
One can also read you from the back
And you, you most glorious of all,
You are from the back as from the front,
Easy victory.
Tallow trickles to stroke over my back
Eve Blossom,
Thou drippy animal,
I love you!!!!

Musically, I’m afraid, still stuck among the white floral rockers of 1967 – that old warhorse ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale‘, with what looks like an original video.

As an afterthought/alternative option for the highbrows – McCoy Tyner’s ‘Celestial Chant‘ from 1975 – a great pianist taking a turn on the harpsichord for a ninety second intro.

§ 3 Responses to DAY 38"

  • KateH says:

    What a striking coincidence! I recently received a letter from Sih Suw in China relating to the estate of one Charles Hodgkin. Long-lost relatives have evidently been dying like flies over there (belated victims of the fly-killing drive?). Sih Suw is much less specific about quantities (‘invested substantially in various opportunities’) but is enticingly comradely about the way forward: ‘I propose that we don’t allow this money to go to the Government and work together to legally secure this money … we do not want this money to fall into the wrong hands’. What with one thing and another, it’s looking good for the fallen fortunes of the house of Hodgkin…

  • hotel frankfurt oder…

    I read this post fully on the topic of the difference of most up-to-date and preceding technologies, it’s amazing article.|…

    • admin says:

      You Frankfurt hoteliers must be reading things into my text that I hadn’t imagined were there. But as Roland Barthes said, it ain’t what you read, it’s the way that you read it.

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