Friday, October 02, 2009

Monsieur le vivisecteur

Musil, dissecting like an anatomist, analysing each emotion, an empiricist at work, analysing the analysis.

"This is how it looks from the inside looking out......and from the outside looking in?
so now I look from outside to inside, and summa summarum, this movement from outside to inside and from inside to outside gives me the contemplative peace of the philosopher.

I love the night for she wears no veil; in the day nerves are tugged to and fro till they go blind but, at night, beasts of prey take one in a stranglehold and the life of the nerves recovers from the anaesthetic of the day and unfolds within; a new sensation of self emerges that is like stepping suddenly in front of a mirror that has not received a single ray of light for days and, drinking in greedily, holds out one's own face."

The prose written during the night, the emotional closeness of night seems weak and limpid when examined during the day. Says Musil again "Monsieur le vivisecteur....that is who I am! My life: the wanderings and adventures of a vivisectionist of souls at the beginning of the twentieth century".

Musil's prose is distilled, it is clear liquid. The only loser is the reader if the thread is not visible. Musil, poet-philosopher-scientist-analyst-historian, "brain-man perhaps" he says. However, "all words are so ambiguous, so resonant in meaning, so double-edged in feeling, that one is wise to steer clear of them."

Musil, Diaries


Roxana said...

i love the night-mirror quote, i see images for it - automatically born out of such words, "so ambiguous, so resonant in meaning, so double-edged in feeling" - this is how i want my images to be, you know -

Kubla Khan said...

Musil , i think and it is not just me, is a great sensualist. your images are quite sensual too. that is what these words meant to me. you?

to produce a great image ( i hazard advice to you), the objective distance from any particular sensuality must be achieved. it will not be stilted. i must think over again at what i just wrote here. i will not delete it.

Roxana said...

why would you want to delete it?!

so do you think i usually fail to produce that objective distance from my particular type of sensuality? i can't bring arguments here, because taking pictures is such a non-intellectual and intimate gesture for me that i am unable to talk about it in these terms, actually this gesture doesn't want to be talked about. but i am very much interested to hear what you have to say about that.