How to not see in this story an allegory of the poetic existence? Like Leto, the poet is haunted by an acute feeling of rupture with the world, making it difficult for him to see himself in it as an honest and serious resident who is never late on his rent. This same feeling pushes him inexorably towards the outermost and most ethereal strata – the outskirts of creation, where there is still something to be created, still possibility to be manifested. In this act, he finds a temporary ground; in this act, for a fleeting moment, the world seems justified. It is Apollo returning to kill Python!
I ask the reader to excuse this tangent and resume immediately. Existence is a thorn in the side. It may be that the poet makes it more of a problem than average, which is to his blame, even if he cannot help it. But to the extent where it is to him a principle of action, it deserves some credit. The world and life are always the co-authors to the one who holds the feather as his slightly tyrannical counsellors. If he often omits to mention them, it is because an unspoken acknowledgment suffices, since they are one and the same with him: man is down here nothing but his life, this part of the whole that he occupies and monopolises and that he can never lay off or pretend has never been. A mind that runs on empty is a mind that runs badly, and it is not because all poets are mad in their own way that all madmen have to be in their own way poets. Mallarmé, whose name is par excellence that of a poet, said that the world is made to end in a beautiful book.
We were saying a few paragraphs ago that even the best poetry is only ever, properly speaking and, mind you, without detracting from its value, a paraphrase or a plagiarism … A plagiarism? What a heavy word! And who would then be, might I ask, the victim of such infamy? – God? Simply because we occupy ourselves as we can by making do with what He left? Let Him manifest himself if it annoys Him so much! He made the world a long time ago (six thousand years according to Him, claim contested by scientific consensus) and since: nothing at all. Mute silence, nights full of doubt and days filled with pain. All of this begs the question if He is dead, or if He ever existed. – Could it be that God writes nowadays under pseudonym? … Certainly admirable are those who, after having said what they had to say, remain silent, furthermore the conception is sometimes defended that the author should always die right after having finished a work, but this divine worldbuilder, who leaves Hesiod, Dante and Tolkien standing like epigones, could have the courtesy of sending us a little sign! A key, for example, to decipher what He left us, so that we may explain it through something other than never-ending variations on the phrase:
We sit here stranded,DYLAN, Bob: Visions of Johanna. In: Blonde on Blonde, 1966.
‘Though we’re all doing our best to deny it
We are all, dunces and model students, in that we are here, forced to study this work, and for my part I do not remember ever having asked to be enrolled in this course … Things often turn into their opposite: love poisoned becomes hatred, the great partisans make the great naysayers, etc. This is an idea beautifully expressed in many an oriental philosophy and that one can also encounter, albeit more sporadically, in western thought dating as far back as Heraclitus (who lived on the coast of Turkey, a place the ancients called Asia Minor). Perhaps God has regrets about His creation – explaining why it seems to be His only – and has exiled it to the depths of a drawer in wait for time to carry it away? Perhaps He has already forgotten us? Perhaps we were nothing but a sketch and He has remade the world cleanly somewhere else? Unless the explanation for His silence is that He does not understand anything either?…
~Valère Gaube, quodlibetarius
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