THE BIRD OF LIFE – Omar Khayyam

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#[PoemForNight]

THE BIRD OF LIFE – Omar Khayyam
—————————————–

The bird of life is singing on the bough
His two eternal notes of “I and Thou”
O! hearken well, for soon the song sings through
And, would we hear it, we must hear it now

The bird of life is singing in the sun
Short is his song, nor just begun
A call, a trill, a rapture, then-so soon!
A silence, and the song is done-is done

Yea! What is man that deems himself divine?
Man is flagon, and his soul the wine;
Man is read, his soul the sound therein;
Man is the lantern, and his soul the shine

Would you be happy, hearken, then the way
Heeed not TO-MORROW, heed not YESTERDAY
The magic words of life are HERE and NOW
O fools, that after tomorrow stray

Were I a Sultan, say what greater bliss
Were I to summon to my side than this
Dear gleaming face, far brighter than the moon
O love! and this immortalizing kiss

To all of us the thought of heaven is dear
Why not be sure of it and make it here?
No doubt there is a heaven younder too
But ’tis so far away- and you are near

Men talk of heaven- there is no heaven but here
Men talk of hell- there is no hell but here
Men of hereafters talk, and future lives
O love, there is no other life-but here

Gay little moon, that hath not understood!
She claps her hands, and calls the red wine good
O careless and beloved , if she knew
This wine she fancies is my true heart’s blood

Girl, have you any thought what your eyes mean?
You must have stolen them from some dead queen
O little empty laughing soul that sings
And dances tell me- what do your eyes meam?

And all this body of ivory and myrrh
O gard it with some love and care
Know your own wonder, worship it with me
See how I fall before it deep in prayer

Nor idle I who speak it, nor profane
This playful wisdom growing out of pain
How many midnights whitened into morn
before the seeker knew he sought in vain

You want to know the secret-so did I
Low in the dust I sought it, and on high
Sought it in aweful flights from star to star
The Sultan’s watchman of the starry sky

Up up, where Parween hooves stamped heaven’s floor
My soul went knocking at each starry door
Till on the silly top of heaven’s stair
Clear eyed I looked-and laughed- and climbed no more

Of all my seeking this is all my gain:
No agony of any mortal brain
Shall wrest the secret of the life of man;
The search had taught me that the search is vain

Yet sometimes on a sudden all seems clear-
Hush! hush! my soul, the secret draweth near;
Make silence ready for the speech divine-
If heaven should speak, and there be none to hear!

Yea, sometimes on the instance all seems plain,
The simple sun could tell us, or the rain
The world, caught dreaming with a look of heaven
Seems on a sudden tip-toe to explain

Like to a maid who exquisitely turns
A promising face to him who, waiting, burns
In hell to hear her answer-so the world
Tricks all, and hints what no man learns

Look not above, there is no answer there
Pray not, for no one listens to your prayer
NEAR is as near to God as any FAR
And HERE is just the same deceit as THERE

But here are wine and beautiful young girls
Be wise and hide your sorrows in the curls
Dive as you will in life’s mysterious sea
You shall not bring us any better pearls

Allah, perchance, the secret word might spell
If Allah be, He keeps his secret well
What have he hidden, who shall hope to find?
Shall God His secret to a moggot tell?

So since with all my passion and my skill
The world’s mysteries meaning mocks me still
Shall I not piously believe that I
Am kept in darkness by heavenly will?

How sad to be a woman-not to know
Aught of the glory of this breast of snow
All unconcerned to comb this mighty hair
To be a woman and never know

Where I a woman. I would all day long
Sing my own beauty in some holy song
Bend low before it, hushed and half afraid
And say “I am a woman” all day long

The Koran! well , come put me to the test-
a lovely old book in hideous errors drest-
Believe me, I can quote the Koran too
The unbeliever knows his Kuran best

And do you think that unto such as you
A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew
God gave the secret, and denied it me?
Well, well, what matters it! believe that too

Old Khayam, say you, is a debauchee;
If only you were half so good as he!
He sins no sins but gentle drunkenness
Great-hearted mirth, and kind adultery

But yours the cold hearted, and the murderous tongues,
The wintry soul that hates to hear a song,
The close-shut fist, mean and measuring eyes,
And all the little poisoned of wrong

So I be written in the book of love,
I have no care about that book above,
Erase my name, or write it, as you please-
So I be written in the book of love.

What care I, love, for what the sufis say?
The sufis are but drunk another way;
So you be druk, it matters not the means,
So you be druk-and glorify your clay

Drunken myself, and with a merry mind,
An old man passed me, all in vine-leaves twined;
I said, “old man, hast thou forgotten God?”
“Go, drink yourself, ” he said, “for God is kind.”

“Did God set the grapes a-growing, do you think,
And at the same time make it sin to drink?
Give thanks to Him who foreordained it thus-
Surely He loves to hear the glasses clink!

From God’s own hands this earthly vessel came,
He, shaped it thus, be it for fame or shame;
If it be fair- to God be all the praise,
If it be foul-to God alone the blame

To me there is much comfort in the thought
That all our agonies can alter nought,
Our lives are written to their latest word,
We but repeat a lesson He hath taught

Our wildest wrong is part of His great Right
Our weakness is the shadow of His might,
Our sins are His, forgiven long ago
To make His mercy more exceeding bright

When first the stars were made and planets seven,
Already was it told of me in Heaven
That God had chosen me to sing His vine,
And in my dust had thrown the vinous leaven

—————————————–
About The Poet :

Khayyam was a noted mathematician who wrote pioneering works on algebra and geometry, including algorithms for expanding binomials and solving cubic equations by means of conic sections. He was a renowned astronomer as well; he correctly measured the length of the solar year to six decimal places and contributed to a standardization of the Persian calendar which is still used today. Khayyam’s calendar, the so-called Jalali calendar, is complicated but more accurate than today’s widely-used Gregorian system. Khayyam may also have proposed a heliocentric model of the solar system several hundred years before Copernicus.

Although Khayyam does not seem to have been an atheist, the poem is strikingly unorthodox in its tone, dissenting from the established Islam of the poet’s day and scorning the ideas of an afterlife or a god who performs miracles or gives revelations.

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CERITA SERAM – BIS BERDARAH

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#[Flash-Story]

Cerita Seram – PENUNGGU BIS BERDARAH. *wajib baca!*
Oleh : Melisa (nama tidak lengkap, takut kepo lu pada)

cerita ini kisah nyata..
jadi untuk para mudikers berhati-hatilah.. begini ceritanya..

tahun lalu gue liburan ke jogja bareng keluarga. nah tapi karna ada keperluan mendadak gue harus pulang duluan sendirian.
karna lagi musim mudik tiket pesawat udah habis jadi terpaksa gue harus naik bis. sendirian.
singkat cerita gue nemu deh tiket bus dan dapetnya yg malam..
gue pikir wah pas banget, jadi tidur aja di bus trus besoknya udah nyampe deh..

guepun berangkat kalo ga salah sih sekitar jam sembilan malam.
sebelum bisnya berangkat ada seorang bapak-bapak tua menjual buku kepada penumpang, umurnya kira2 60tahunanlah.
gue pikir nah lumayan juga nih beli buku siapa tau ntar ga bisa tidur di bis. dan guepun nguber bapak-bapak itu buat nyari buku yg bagus.

waktu papasan dia nanya gue cari buku apa, dengan spontan guepun menjawab “buku horor pak!”
padahal niatnya cuman becanda, tapi tiba-tiba bapak itu mengangguk dan mengeluarkan buku yang bungkusannya sudah menguning.
“kebetulan tinggal satu, pas lagi ceritanya.. ini tentang bis yang banyak dihuni arwah penasaran..” katanya
wah gue langsung tertarik, gue tanya harganya 95ribu. anjrit mahal beud.
setelah gue tawar dan bapak itupun tetep gamau kurang akhirnya gue ngalah dan buku itupun gue beli.

nah disini anehnya, ntah kenapa pas gue kasih duitnya badan gue langsung dingin, dan muka bapak tadi pun mendadak pucat.
yang bikin tambah aneh, sebelum turun dari bis bapak-bapak tadi menoleh ke arah gue. sambil bisik-bisik dia bilang “apapun yang terjadi jangan buka halaman terakhir!”
gue mulai ketakutan.
tiba-tiba dia lanjut ngomong “ingat ya apapun yang terjadi jangan membuka halaman terakhir dari buku ini atau kamu akan menyesal!!” sumpah serem abis.

nah pas di jalan bener aja gue ga bisa tidur, gue palanga-pelongo dan akhirnya baca buku itu. dan ternyata ceritanya emang serem!
kira-kira pukul 2 malem gue hampir selese baca buku ini. tinggal halaman terakhir.
pas gue liat penumpang yang lain ternyata udah pada tidur.
suasana sepi dan remang-remang di bis membuat hawa terasa semakin mencekam.
di satu sisi gue ketakutan, tapi di sisi lain gue penasaran banget apa isi dari halaman terakhir buku itu. guepun langsung galau.

ga berapa lama akhirnya gue memberanikan diri untuk ngebuka halaman terakhir dari buku itu.
gue udah siap-siap dengan baca doa. serem abissss..
setelah dibuka terlihat lembaran kosong dengan tulisan kecil di. bagian pojok kiri bawah.
sambil menelan udah guepun membaca huruf demi huruf..

PENUNGGU BIS BERDARAH
Terbitan CV. Pustaka Buku
Harga pas: Rp 12.500,-

gue pun pingsan.

DANARTO : Godlob

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“ANJING!!! Ini cerpen “Godlob” karyanya Danarto (1974) punyamu?”.  “Kenapa?,” jawabku.
“Nih ya… Aku baca cerpen ini bolak-balik, memahami Godlob itu, AH!!” Keluhnya, “Betapa absurdnya Danarto. Kontekstual. Aku pinjam lagi yah?”
“Hahaha. Sebentar ….” Aku mengambil secarik kertas dan kutuliskan *[…] yang kemudian kuselipkan di halaman depan. Tepat pada judul “Godlob”.

Yogyakarta, Kali Code.

Jejak Pendapat Kritikus

Orde Baru Melegitimasi Anti-Komunisme Melalui Sastra dan Film memformulasikan kekerasan tersebut sebagai kekerasan struktural: kekerasan yang tidak mencelakai atau membunuh melalui senjata atau bom, namun melalui struktur sosial yang menyebabkan kemiskinan, ketidakseimbangan ekonomi, atau ketidakadilan sosial dan politik.

Dami N. Toda sebagai kritikus sastra di era 70—80-an, berpendapat dalam esai-esainya yang diterbitkan dalam Hamba-hamba Kebudayaan (1980) menyebut ‘Danarto, Iwan Simatupang, Putu Wijaya, Arifin C Noer sebagai pengarang dengan kesadaran baru tentang letak realitas yang sesungguhnya “tidak nyata”; kesadaran-yang-tak-terjamah akal dan pancaindera. Manusia di sana kelihatan terasing (alienated), karena realitas yang dihadapinya ternyata semu belaka—absurd’. Mungkinkah pernyataan Toda, juga begitu adanya pada cerpen “Godlob”? Hal tersebut dapat dilihat dalam kutipan peristiwa dialog antartokoh (yang pada momen di dalam teks ini, Orang Tualah (ayah) yang mendominasi dialog bahkan bisa dibilang dalam keadaan monolog).

“Kau masih ingat sajak “Sang Politikus”? … Oh, bunga penyebar bangkai
Di sana, di sana pahlawanku tumbuh mewangi. … sajak itu cukup baik, cukup bermutu, bukan? … Anakku, kau tahu bedanya sajak yang dibuat oleh seorang politikus dan seorang penyair? Kalau ada seseorang yang menderita luka datang kepada seseorang politikus maka dipukullah luka itu, hingga orang yang punya luka itu akan berteriak kesakitan dan lari tunggang-langgang. Sedang kalau ia datang pada seorang penyair, luka itu akan dielus-elusnya hingga ia merasa seolah-olah lukanya telah tiada. Sehingga tidak seorang pun dari kedua macam orang itu berusaha untuk mengobati dan menyembuhkan luka itu…” (Godlob, 1974: 4)

Kutipan di atas setidaknya, membicarakan perihal “Luka”. Apabila seseorang datang dengan luka-nya pada Politikus dan Penyair—keduanya memiliki caranya tersendiri untuk menerima “luka”. Tidak menyembuhkan, tidak juga mengobati. “Luka” pada persoalan dimensi realitas ketegangan antara politik, kebudayaan dan sastra (yang pada masanya merupakan transisi Orde Baru) adalah realitas semu (“tidak nyata” ala Dami N. Toda).

Toda dalam hal ini, cermat melihat konteks kebudayaan dan politik di masa 65—80-an yang merupakan bentuk pencarian baru pada karya sastra—‘seni untuk manusia’. Pencarian baru? untuk apa?—seni untuk manusia! Maksudnya? Toda mengatakan bahwa seni untuk manusia itu, tidak ada lagi seni untuk kelas (sosial) atau seni untuk seni, melainkan seni untuk manusia.

Tidak berlebihan pula rasanya jika Toda mengatakan dengan bahasanya bahwa Danarto merupakan pengarang dengan kesadaran baru dan (absurd) apabila didekatkan pada teks tersebut. Eksistensi manusia diartikulasikan dengan model metafora absurd di mana sang Anak dihadapkan pada perbedaan yang semu. Begitulah hal yang diidamkan. Godlob dan Toda terlihat manis sekali jika saja hal tersebut luput sebagai politik bahasa—kekerasan struktural, sebagai modal simbolik untuk mensublimasi ideologi.

Kekerasan Struktural dan Politik Bahasa

Apa itu “kekerasan” struktural? Johan Galtung dalam karyanya Peace by Peaceful Means: Peace and Conflict, Development and Civilization (1996), ada satu esai berjudul “Cultur Violence”. Di dalam esai tersebut Galtung menjelaskan bagaimana produk-produk budaya seperti ideologi, bahasa, agama, seni dan pengetahuan dapat digunakan untuk melegitimasi praktik kekerasan baik yang dilakukan secara langsung (fisik) maupun struktural (sistem sosial).

Galtung memperluas pengertian atas kekerasan dengan mengikutsertakan kekerasan tak-langsung dan legitimasi atas kedua jenis kekerasan itu; baik yang langsung dan tak-langsung. Menurut Galtung, legitimasi atas kekerasan langsung dan tak-langsung, biasanya dilakukan melalui produk-produk kebudayaan, juga merupakan bentuk kekerasan. “Legitimasi” dalam hubungannya dengan praktik kekerasan negara berarti bahwa kekerasan sesungguhnya dapat “dibenarkan” melalui produk-produk kebudayaan yang berfungsi terutama untuk mentransformasi nilai-nilai moral dan ideologis agar masyarakat dapat melihat praktik kekerasan sebagai kejadian yang normal atau alamiah.

Wijaya Herlambang (2015) dalam Kekerasan Budaya Pasca 1965: Bagaimana Orde Baru Melegitimasi Anti-Komunisme Melalui Sastra dan Film memformulasikan kekerasan tersebut sebagai kekerasan struktural: kekerasan yang tidak mencelakai atau membunuh melalui senjata atau bom, namun melalui struktur sosial yang menyebabkan kemiskinan, ketidakseimbangan ekonomi, atau ketidakadilan sosial dan politik. Dengan pengertian inilah produk-produk budaya memainkan peranan penting sebagai penggerak utama di belakang praktik kekerasan.

Mari kita runut jejak sejarah keabsurdan kita. Di tahun 70-an dunia kesastraan di Indonesia melahirkan diskursus pada karya sastra absurd yang diusung kuat oleh domain politik kebudayaan humanisme universal atau Manifes Kebudayaan.

Diskursus sastra absurd dalam kritik Dami N. Toda dan seniman Manifes Kebudayaan ini memiliki modal (kekuatan) simbolik, apabila kita masih setia dengan Pierre Bourdieu dalam Language and Symbolic Power (1991). Bordieu mengatakan bahwa simbol (bahasa, sastra, seni dan pengetahuan) memiliki peran yang sangat penting dalam menciptakan, memelihara dan mengubah nilai-nilai moral dalam masyarakat, dan itu sebebanya ia menjadi ampuh: kekuatan (modal) besar di dalam simbol. Modal ini apabila dilihat dari perspektif Žižek, mampu mensublimasi politik dari sifatnya yang langsung dan efektif ke dalam dimensi baru yang tampak tak langsung dan tidak efektif, untuk sublimasi ideologi.

Bila kita berangkat dari multivalensi “politik” dalam hubungannya dengan dirinya (per se) maupun kata sifatnya (“politisi”, “politikal”, “yang politis”), sedikitnya kita dapat mengajukan bahwa kekerasan, modal simbolik dan sublimasi ideologi dapat dipahami sebagai politik bahasa.

Kekerasan tersebut dapat dilihat kembali pada peristiwa exile seniman Lekra ke Pulau Buru. Pram sebagai sastrawan realisme sosialis (Lekra), pun menjadi “korban”. Lekra dipolitisasi dengan kekerasan struktural Negara Orde Baru bersama selir-selirnya: AD dan Seniman atau Sastrawan Manifes Kebudayaan lewat bahasa, yakni TAPOL atau yang lebih ekstrim lagi hal tersebut masih dalam belenggu program dari civic action.

Negara Orde Baru kemudian berhasil menstrukturisasi masyarakat dan membangun image bahwa tapol adalah musuh negara, tapol adalah komunisme yang kejam. Hal ini tidak hanya terjadi di lingkungan sosial keluarga tapol, bahkan sampai pada karya dan kritik sastra (di tahun 2016 ini) pun Lekra dan Komunisme tetap menjadi momok yang menakutkan. Kekerasan inilah dekat seperti apa yang dikatakan Galtung, Wijaya Herlambang, Bordieu dan Žižek sebagai politik bahasa—kekerasan struktural, atau sebagai modal simbolik untuk mensublimasi ideologi.

Politik bahasa difungsikan untuk memelihara kekerasan struktural tersebut. Tak heran apabila arah produksi sastrawan yang dianggap memiliki bentuk absurd oleh kritikus di dalam karya-karyanya menjadi bahan yang cukup ampuh untuk “memberi nuansa baru” dalam pemeliharaan tersebut.

Di samping itu, Lekra yang sempat dibumi-hanguskan oleh Orde Baru, di tahun 70-an pengarang dan kritikus ala absurdisme Manifes Kebudayaan, menggelar kembali politik bahasanya bahkan sampai kepada ranah akademik. Sederet nama pengarang pun dipolitisasi untuk mensublimasi ideologinya. Karya ditundukkan untuk memelihara “luka” (sejarah) bukan untuk “mengobati” seperti adanya dalam cerpen “Godlob”.

Apabila hal itu seringkali dilakukan, di manakah sastra untuk manusia yang dimaksudkan oleh Dami N. Toda? Akankah dengan modal absurditas ala Kritikus dan Godlob hendak memelihara kekerasan negara?

Padahal, di lapangan kebudayaan Lekra dengan basis sastra realisme sosialis merupakan usaha yang menitik-beratkan pada pengarang untuk turut mengalami langsung—menerima dan mendalami kondisi sosial masyarakat: Turba. Di masa itulah, yang menurut Sindhunata: ‘kebudayaan diarahkan sepenuhnya pada pemihakkan yang jelas-tegas kepada kaum yang tertindas’.

Namun, perlu kiranya kembali lagi pada realitas sekarang. Jika sejauh ini, kau mengalami kejenuhan dengan tema-tema seputar kritik sastra dan politik kebudayaannya, tak masalah. Namun, jika sejarah silam ini masih saja dianggap remeh dalam arena diskursus kritik sastra, aku bertanya, masih mungkinkah kita ‘bermain’ dengan politik bahasa di tahun 2016 ini.

Kuselipkan secarik kertas itu di halaman depan.
*[Disjuncture: Post-Absurdism]

FYDOR DOSTOEVSKY

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“The pleasure of despair. But then, it is in despair that we find the most acute pleasure, especially when we are aware of the hopelessness of the situation…
…everything is a mess in which it is impossible to tell what’s what, but that despite this impossibility and deception it still hurts you, and the less you can understand, the more it hurts.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

Tentu saja aku tidak bisa menembus dinding itu dengan jalan membenturkan kepalaku padanya sekiranya aku betul-betul tidak punya kekuatan untuk meruntuhkannya, tapi aku tidak akan menyerah padanya hanya karena ia dinding batu dan aku tidak punya kekuatan. (p.21)

Aku mengatakan bahwa seseorang melakukan pembalasan karena ia menganggap perbuatan itu adil. Ia menemui suatu sebab utama, yaitu keadilan. Dengan demikian, ia merasa lega dan tenang dan dapat melakukan pembalasannya dengan tenang dan berhasil karena ia sudah yakin apa yang ia lakukan itu adalah adil dan jujur. Aku tidak melihat keadilan di dalamnya dan aku juga tidak bisa melihat kebajikan di dalamnya. Oleh karena itu kalau aku mencoba melakukan pembalasan, maka hal itu kulakukan hanya karena rasa kesal. (p.27)

Saat kita seringkali terkungkung, atau mengungkung diri, dalam suatu aturan yang menurut kita baik, kita tidak menyadari bahwa pada suatu titik, kita akan mendambakan terbebas dari peraturan itu. Tak peduli sebaik apa pun menurut pemikiran kebanyakan orang, tetapi menurut ‘aku’, naluri manusia adalah untuk selalu memberontak.

Yang diinginkan manusia hanya sekedar pilihan bebas, biar berapa pun harus ia bayar untuk kebebasan itu dan biar apa pun akibatnya. (p.38)

Siapa tahu (kita tidak tahu dengan pasti), barangkali satu-satunya tujuan yang dikejar oleh manusia di bumi ini terkandung dalam proses usaha yang tak henti-hentinya, artinya, dalam hidup itu sendiri, dan bukan dalam hal yang hendak dicapai, yang selalu harus diutarakan sebagai sebuah rumus, positif seperti dua kali dua ada empat, sedangkan positivitas seperti itu, bukanlah hidup, Tuan-tuan, tapi awal kematian. (p.48-49)

Banyak paradoks yang terdapat dalam sifat dan sikap Manusia Bawah Tanah ini. Di suatu bagian, saya memandangnya sebagai seorang yang bijaksana, tetapi di bagian lain, saya tidak habis pikir dengan tindakannya yang konyol. Dalam sekali baca, saya hanya bisa meraba-raba karakter ‘aku’ dari penggalan-penggalan kejadian dan kalimat, tetapi sulit untuk menemukan pribadi ‘aku’ secara utuh. Mungkin seperti yang dituliskannya sebagai kalimat pertama: “Aku orang sakit…”

“Kenapa kau…” demikian ia mulai, tapi segera berhenti. Aku mengerti, dalam suaranya ada suatu getaran yang lain sama sekali, tidak singkat, kasar, dan keras, seperti sebelumnya, tapi agak lunak dan malu-malu, begitu malu-malu sehingga aku tiba-tiba merasa malu dan berdosa.
“Apa?” tanyaku dengan rasa ingin tahu yang ramah.

“Kenapa kau…”
“Apa?”
“Kenapa kau…bicara seperti buku,” katanya lalu dalam suaranya terasa kembali nada mengejek.
(p.138)


People do pride themselves on their diseases.

–FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, Notes from the Underground



“People really do like seeing their best friends humiliated; a large part of the friendship is based on humiliation; and that is an old truth,well known to all intelligent people.”

 

“most men love to see their best friend in abasement; for generally it is on such abasement that friendship is founded.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler


“I wanted to fathom her secrets; I wanted her to come to me and say: “I love you,” and if not that, if that was senseless insanity, then…well, what was there to care about? Did I know what I wanted? I was like one demented: all I wanted was to be near her, in the halo of her glory, in her radiance, always, for ever, all my life. I knew nothing more!”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler


“Nothing could be more absurd than moral lessons at such a moment! Oh, self-satisfied people: with what proud self-satisfaction such babblers are ready to utter their pronouncements! If they only knew to what degree I myself understand all the loathsomeness of my present condition, they wouldn’t have the heart to teach me.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler


“Well, what, what new thing can they say to me that I don’t know myself? And is that the point? The point here is that–one turn of the wheel, and everything changes, and these same moralizers will be the first (I’m sure of it) to come with friendly jokes to congratulate me. And they won’t all turn away from me as they do now. Spit on them all! What am I now? Zéro. What may I be tomorrow? Tomorrow I may rise from the dead and begin to live anew! I may find the man in me before he’s lost!”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler


“Can I possibly not understand myself that I’m a lost man? But–why can’t I resurrect?

Yes! it only takes being calculating and patient at least once in your life and–that’s all! It only takes being steadfast at least once, and in an hour I can change my whole destiny!”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler


“Just try to suppose that I may not know how to behave with dignity. That is, perhaps I’m a dignified man, but I don’t know how to behave with dignity. Do you understand that it may be so?

 
All Russians are that way, and you know why?
 
Because Russians are too richly and multifariously endowed to be able to find a decent form for themselves very quickly. It’s a matter of form.
 
For the most part, we Russians are so richly endowed that it takes genius for us to find a decent form.
 

Well, but most often there is no genius, because generally it rarely occurs.

It’s only the French, and perhaps some few other Europeans, who have so well-defined a form that one can look extremely dignified and yet be a most undignified man.

 
That’s why form means so much to them.
 
A Frenchman can suffer an insult, a real, heartfelt insult, and not wince, but a flick on the nose he won’t suffer for anything, because it’s a violation of the accepted and time-honored form of decency.
 
That’s why our young ladies fall so much for Frenchmen, because they have good form. In my opinion, however, there’s no form there, but only a rooster, le coq gaulois. However, that I cannot understand, I’m not a woman.
 

Maybe roosters are fine. And generally I’m driveling, and you don’t stop me.

Stop me more often; when I talk with you, I want to say everything, everything, everything. I lose all form. I even agree that I have not only no form, but also no merits.

 

I announce that to you. I don’t even care about any merits.

Everything in me has come to a stop now. You yourself know why. I don’t have a single human thought in my head.

For a long time I haven’t known what’s going on in the world, either in Russia or here. I went through Dresden and don’t remember what Dresden is like.

You know yourself what has swallowed me up.

 

Since I have no hope and am a zero in your eyes, I say outright: I see only you everywhere, and the rest makes no difference to me.

Why and how I love you–I don’t know. Do you know, maybe you’re not good at all? Imagine, I don’t even know whether you’re good or not, or even good-looking? Your heart probably isn’t good; your mind isn’t noble; that may very well be.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler


“Or perhaps it is because it is so NECESSARY for you to win. It is like a drowning man catching at a straw. You yourself will agree that, unless he were drowning he would not mistake a straw for the trunk of a tree.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler


“it’s as if I’m afraid to spoil the charm of what has only just passed by a serious book or some serious occupation.

As if this ugly dream and all the impressions it left behind are so dear to me that I’m even afraid to touch it with something new, lest it vanish in smoke!”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler



“If the spirit has passed through a great many sensations, possibly it can no longer be sated with them, but grows more excited, and demands more sensations, and stronger and stronger ones, until at length it falls exhausted.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler



But what can a decent man speak of with most pleasure?
Answer: Of himself.

–FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, Notes from the Underground


“I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man. An unattractive man. I think that my liver hurts. But actually, I don’t know a damn thing about my illness. I am not even sure what it is that hurts.”
Part I, Chap. I, p. 1


“To love is to suffer and there can be no love otherwise.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground


“I love, I can only love the one I’ve left behind, stained with my blood when, ungrateful wretch that I am, I extinguished myself and shot myself through the heart. But never, never have I ceased to love that one, and even on the night I parted from him I loved him perhaps more poignantly than ever. We can truly love only with suffering and through suffering! We know not how to love otherwise. We know no other love. I want suffering in order to love. I want and thirst this very minute to kiss , with tears streaming down my cheeks, this one and only I have left behind. I don’t want and won’t accept any other.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground


“The pleasure of despair. But then, it is in despair that we find the most acute pleasure, especially when we are aware of the hopelessness of the situation…
…everything is a mess in which it is impossible to tell what’s what, but that despite this impossibility and deception it still hurts you, and the less you can understand, the more it hurts.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

“you don’t need free will to determine that twice two is four. that’s not what i call free will”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From the Underground


“I’ve never been a coward at heart, although I’ve always been a coward in action;”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground


“an intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from the Underground


“Now answer me, sincerely, honestly, who lives past forty? I’ll tell you who does: fools and scoundrels.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from the Underground

“But what can a decent man speak of with most pleasure? Answer: Of himself. Well, so I will talk about myself.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from the Underground


“Oh, gentlemen, do you know, perhaps I consider myself an intelligent man, only because all my life I have been able neither to begin nor to finish anything. Granted I am a babbler, a harmless vexatious babbler, like all of us. But what is to be done if the direct and sole vocation of every intelligent man is babble, that is, the intentional pouring of water through a sieve?”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from the Underground






SAMUEL BECKETT – ROCKABY

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This play is a self-reflective drama about the moment when time is too long and there’s nothing else to do but to wait to die. The most repeated words are “time she stopped”, which, almost as a mantra, are a clear reference to death. The words of the voice-over are intentionally being reflected in the pace of the rocking chair working as a lullaby that keeps the woman alive.

This simple combination of elements adds more tension to the loneliness and despair of the tortured woman giving to the viewer a possible mirror of himself. When the voice-over stops the rocking chair stops and the woman asks “more” as an act of denial and confrontation with the end. On each repetition of the ‘lullaby’ the voice-over fades showing that her capacity to prolong life and negate the end starts not to be possible because “time she stopped.” It is a very compelling meditation on the meaninglessness of existence.


 

Daniel Labeille: Years later, while planning a festival to mark Beckett’s 75th birth day, I send him a letter asking him if he would consider writing a piece for the event.

He wrote back saying he did not think it was possible, but he try. Two months later a new play, ‘Rockaby’ arrived from Paris with a note that read: For your project, if you think it worthwhile.

Samuel Beckett (1906 – 1989) Rockaby – Rocking Song >more till in the end the day came in the end came close of a long day when she said to herself whom else time she stopped

time she stopped time she stopped going to and fro all eyes all sides high and low for another another like herself another creature like herself a little like going to and fro all eyes all sides high and low for another till in the end close of a long day to herself whom else time she stopped

time she stopped time she stopped going to and fro all eyes all sides high and low for another another living soul one other living soul going to and fro all eyes like herself all sides high and low for another another like herself a little like going to and fro till in the end close of a long day to herself whom else time she stopped going to and fro time she stopped

>time she stopped time she stopped time she stopped more so in the end close of a long day went back in in the end went back in saying to herself whom else time she stopped

time she stopped going to and fro time she went and sat at her window quiet at her window facing other windows so in the end close of a long day in the end went and sat went back in and sat at her window let up the blind and sat quiet at her window only window facing other windows other only windows all eyes all sides high and low for another at her window another like herself a little like another living soul one other living soul at her window gone in like herself gone back in in the end close of a long day saying to herself whom else time she stopped

time she stopped going to and fro time she went and sat at her window quiet at her window only window facing other windows other only windows all eyes all sides high and low for another another like herself a little like another living soul one other living soul living soul living soul

more till in the end the day came in the end came close of a long day sitting at her window quiet at her window only window facing other windows other only windows all blinds down never one up hers alone up till the day came in the end came close of a long day sitting at her window quiet at her window all eyes all sides high and low for a blind up one blind up no more never mind the face behind the pane famished eyes like hers to see be seen no a blind up like hers a little like one blind up no more another creature there somewhere there behind the pane another living soul one other living soul till the day came in the end came close of a long day when she said to herself whom else time she stopped

time she stopped time she stopped sitting at her window quiet at her window only window facing other windows other only windows all eyes all sides high and low time she stopped

time she stopped time she stopped time she stopped time she stopped

more

So in the end close of a long day went down in the end went down down the steep stair let down the blind and down right down into the old rocker mother rocker.

Where mother sat all the years all in black best black sat and rocked rocked till her end came.

In the end came off her head they said gone off her head but harmless no harm in her dead.

One day no night dead.

One night in the rocker in her best black head fallen and the rocker rocking, rocking away.

So in the end close of a long day went down in the end went down down the steep stair let down the blind and down right down into the old rocker those arms at last and rocked rocked with closed eyes closing eyes she so long all eyes famished eyes all sides high and low to and fro at her window

To see

Be seen

Till in the end close of a long day to herself

Whom else time she stopped let down the blind and stopped

Time she went down, down the steep stair, time she went right down was her own

Other own, other living soul.

So in the end close of a long day, went down, down the steep stair, let down the blind and down, right down into the old rocker and rocked rocked saying to herself.

No.

Down with that the rocker those arms at last saying to the rocker rock her off stop her eyes fuck life stop her eyes rock her off rock her off.