Literature and Poetry, Philosophy and Politics, Melancholy and Disquiet
oh how can one look at this without being changed, for life? it changed mine, in any case...i should have known you love it as well. i know you are from India, but for me, your sensitivity, the way you write, is very akin to that famous 'russian soul' with its gentle melancholy yet wild explosions of dark passion.it's so good to have you back here, just to know about you, how you are. i worry if you disappear for too long.
however, i do believe there are different types of sensitivity and temperaments, which lead to different aesthetic visions (among other factors). that is why one can talk about "japanese sensitivity", or "russian type of melancholia" or "baroque vision", "Mediterranean feeling" etc. of course, one can adhere to these styles or visions or ways of feeling and understanding the world independently of the place where one is born, race etc. for ex., i myself feel very close to the Japanese sensitivity and when somebody tells me this on the Bridge, i acknowledge. _even if_ i am romanian. so if somebody told me: oh, your blog is pervaded by japanese sensitivity, even if you are romanian- i simply don't see where the problem is. i would certainly not accuse this person of thinking that i am unable to understand japanese 'wabi sabi', for ex., because i am romanian.now you can have a different opinion and think this type of culturally shaped aesthetics or styles is nonsense, this i can accept. but i still am allowed to have my own opinion, which is, for ex., shared by Sokurov himself, when he says:"In Japanese art there is a concept of mono no aware, sweet sadness, the pleasure of endings, of autumn and seeing a dying leaf. But for Russia, sweet sadness and pleasant farewells are not possible. On the contrary, in the Russian sense of elegy, it's a very deep, vertical feeling, not a delighting one. It gets you deeply, sharply, painfully. It's massive."
i thought of this quote too, actually when i wrote what i wrote. so put it clearly again, i only meant that your kind of sensitivity, your style of writing, bear a similarity to what i know from russian writers and poets. i thought that Sokurov's description: "It gets you deeply, sharply, painfully. It's massive" applies very well to your own writing. if i had known, or assumed you were german, for ex., i still would have written "i know you are from germany, but for me...". i am curious of what you would have accused me in that case, or how you could have possibly twisted that into such a distorted argument.now, i think you understand this very well, since you yourself left comments on my blog in which you described the fact that my own style gave you the impression of "eastern" style, if i may quote:"you write like an eastern love-ridden character", "I like what you have written but more importantly, i like the manner you have written it. these are the words of the mistress of an imperial "eastern despot". now should i have reacted like you and feel insulted and say: "you know i am romanian and come from an eastern despotic regime so that is why you judge my style based on such cultural stereotypes!" - no. because i understood perfectly what you wanted to say, and why. and perhaps i didn't agree with you, but it was your opinion and i respected it.
as for your last remarks:"Still, this oh, I am surprised, you like poetry but you are from Pakistan right? Or from Egypt? Do they write poetry there? I didn't know Turks could write prose!", i honestly don't think i should add something, because they are simply your invention, and seem very absurd to me, they go far beyond distorting my words. as absurd as is the thought that "culture" or "poetry" or "sensitivity" belongs only to one group of people, decided by race, geography etc. i hope i have made myself understood and if you still think i have insulted you in any way, i deeply apologize for creating such a misunderstanding. but i cannot apologize for things i have never thought or believed, as the ones you want to lay on my shoulders.
ps. i see some of my comments have disappeared from here, i don;t know what happened but i hope you got them.
Hi RoxanaI don't know how some comments could have disappeared but well. It seems I have riled you though that was not my intention. I could have entirely misread what you wrote, which is possible. I do apologize if that is the case. It was not intemntional.I do not subscribe to any feigned notion of affectivity or that any particular culture predisposes one to be more melancholic or sensitive than others. These are merely representations, which one should resist or be aware of. We live in a world of discourses and representations.I thought that you meant that a particular nationality or background makes one more awatre of a particular pain. I know people of various backgrounds who have the same response towards the "atrocity of sunsets". Or for nay particular notion of melancholr or some such thing. Re your saying that "i should have known you love it as well. i know you are from India", that beats me. How do you know that? How do you know it is true? of course both Xanadu and Kubla Khan are fictitious, but I assure you that this time, your guess is not right.Dont let these few exchanges persuade you to vanish!
just to answer to your reply, my thinking that you are an indian was not a "guess" based on your blog, no, there is no hint here as to your nationality. as i explained last night, i read this in a discussion you had with Billoo a long time ago, so it was a mere fact for me, not an assumption. but, as i said, i must have misunderstood something and if this offended you, i am sorry.as for my words that you say baffled you:"i should have known you love it as well. i know you are from India"the two sentences are in no way related. i meant: i should have known you love it as well because there is a certain melancholy there, and intensity of emotions which i (think) i can feel it in your writing - and because i love it too, and often i (thought) you and i shared a certain sensitivity towards thing, or the same emotions. the India-remark which upset you so much had no relevance other that i explained before, that, judging from your style of writing and if i had to guess, i would perhaps said that there is a 'russian' sensitivity in your style (of course this a a cultural construct but we can't avoid them totally, and i do believe they can convey something useful, if they are not misinterpreted for manipulation and power domination) in the same way you said about my writing that reminds you of an "eastern" love-ridden character).
and now the comments have disappeared again, if you are not erasing them, then i don't know what to believe! they were there when i checked after posting.anyway. i said everything i had to say about this matter and i am again sorry if i offended you in some way, i can assure you that was not my intention.
by a coincidence, i stumbled upon this today, i now you said you were skeptical of these 'collective' moods, but i for once like reading Pamuk talking about "Turkish melancholia", huzun:http://cambridgeforecast.wordpress.com/2006/10/12/orhan-pamuk-istanbul-the-concept-of-huzun/
ps. just to be clear, i was joking about your erasing of the comments - i know it is this damn blogger again. there are still two missing, did you get them in your mail, at least?
Roxana , hi!No, don't know anything about the comments! Re the pamuk huzn thing you mentioned, he talks about that repeatedly in his Istanbul book and I am aware of it. Isn't that more a nostalgia for that citys lost power and prestige? Maybe all melancholia is nostalgia? Pamuk makes a case for such an evocative feeling by writing about the old streets and mosques though he doesn't much mention the cats!I still think that these feelings are more or less universal, and apart from some exceptions, we are all prey to such moods. The problemIs about expressing these thoughts and some are more adept in voicing such ideas or feelings etcI however accept that I may have misread your comments. I hope you are not riled still. I think this is our first disagreement here but I never take my ownPosition seriously and am able to accept culpability. Who is always right? Having said that, I have Aden people I'm blogland get personal. I had one person, whose exchanges you might have read inMy comments section asking me to get help just because I criticised his or her position! I have not deleted those comments and the Indian thing you have misread is from that time. I have a lot of friends and pseudo friends, but I have not revealed my own nationality here simply because it pigeons my opinion easily if somebody cares to read these occasional posts.When we meet, if ever, then you will not be far from knowing me! Suffice it to say that I am quite human, and am quite an average person. I have completed as Bernhard says, my deterioration process.I am imploring you not to drift away!
ah, i am sure that, even when/if we meet, i will be very far from knowing you (perhaps ever further away?). still, i wish this to happen, i truly do.thank you for acknowledging the misunderstanding, it would have been difficult for me if you hadn't (that you could think those horrible things of me was simply unacceptable). and i am sorry for stirring up, unintentionally, old and unpleasant things, and for misreading what was anyway not my business to read - though, they were open discussions so i didn't feel that i somehow intruded... i would like to continue our discussion about collective moods/styles, even in disagreement (this is what makes it all the more interesting, isn't it?). but for now just this...
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