Friday, January 22, 2010

© Eso Antons Benjamins, a.k.a. Jaņdžs

75 Climbing Mt. Citheron (VIII)

Let us begin the play by pretending that we are its directors.

Imagine that you are going to the theatre tonight. The play you are going to see is some author’s scandalous rewrite of the ancient and famous playwright’s Sophocles play “Oedipus the King”. The reinterpreted and rewritten version is called “Tiresias’ Revenge”. What is Tiresias revenging? Perhaps the “truth”. What is truth? Perhaps what ought to have been done and can be done still.

This is a long play, which is why some readers have compared it to Wagner’s Der Ring des Niebelungen Der Ring Des Niebelungen cycle. No music for this one yet though. There will be a long intermission after the second act, when one may have coffee and cake. In the basement cafeteria of the theatre there will be young aides to help those interested to understand parts of the play that they did not understand. If asked, the aides will also explain what is ahead in the fourth and fifth acts. Tip the aides generously.

Imagine that the curtain of the stage is closed. It is still some minutes before the play is about to begin. The audience is in taking seats. The volunteer selling programs is still sitting in in the lobby. The balcony seats are almost filled.

There is movement from behind the stage curtain, then it parts a little, and to the front of the stage steps one of the actors. The actor is holding in his or her hand a mask to indicate that he or she is part of the production. He-she intones: “Ahem… I have an announcement to make. There are some changes in the scenery tonight. You will see one of the scenes twice. I will briefly tell you about the scene, so you know what occurs if we decide to skip through it quickly. Here it is:

“There is a temple. It stands in the mountains, indeed its rear exit stands right over the edge of a cliff. The temple is on the road from ancient Corinth to ancient Thebes. [Some directors may wish to replace the name of Thebes with that of Riga.] In the centre of the temple on a high and broad pedestal sits the Sphinx. It is a horrible beast and inspires terror the moment one sees it. However, in fact, you see nothing of the Sphinx but its Face. The face, horrible to behold, is drawn or projected on a curtain. Its features show the anxiety of life facing Death. The Sphinx is a former dragon that has devoured itself from the tail up, and the image resembles—I will let you imagine—that of your own face after you have cannibalized yourself from the tail end of yourself. The road of your rage to live has been a bloody and horror filled voyage. Now you cannot devour yourself any further. The Face cannot eat itself, but only express its terror of Death if it takes the next step towards it. Perhaps the Face looks something like the one Picasso drew in one of his last drawings, except in place of man’s tightly drawn lips, there should be teeth as horrible as the teeth of a saw.

“On the road below the temple appears a wagon drawn by four oxen. In the wagon sits a large cage, and the cage contains four to eight children. [This scene may in fact be projected on the screen behind the actor’s back as a video clip.] The driver of the wagon is Tiresias, the priest of the temple. Tiresias has not been blinded yet, but somehow he already has that “blind” look of one who has gone snow blind from having seen too much snow. On top of the cage sits a guard armed with a spear.

“Tiresias stops the wagon before the temple, opens the cage and motions one of the children to follow him. The child is dressed as if he or she has been invited to a children’s birthday party. The child and Tiresias walk toward the temple, then walk up the temple steps right up to the curtain, to the Face of the Sphinx directly in front of them. To the right and left of them in the shadows may be present some other figures. Perhaps these are the witnesses of the proceedings.

“When Tiresias has come before the large temple curtain and the face of the Sphinx, he seizes the child by the scruff of the neck, grabs the belt around his or her waist, and pushes him-her with some force through the curtain. The curtai has a tear or an opening in the middle to facilitate a quick “disappearance” of the victim. Tiresias performs the motions as if he has had lots of practice. The children do no more than cry out in surprise.”

A few moments after each child disappears behind the curtain the audience hears a thud. [Thud! x 4.] Some men may bring onto the stage four sacks of sawdust and let them drop there in a matter of fact manner, one after the other: Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!] If you want to know, yes, the remaining four children are to be saved for a later sacrifice.

“Let the  plague begin!”

Asterisk & Notes of Interest:
On material deprivation in Latvia.
On the theme of “more-equal-than-others” George Orwell's Animal Farm
A recommended read: “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism” by Emmanuel Goldstein (A book within a book from George Orwell's "1984"). An article to orient yourself on populism in America (and hear the echo in Latvia), Retrieving the Democrats’ Reason for Being by Sam Smith.
Of great interest to me is this and like articles. It presents some of my reasons for supporting the growing of Johns Grass in Latvia.
These blogs tend to be a continuum of an idea or thought, which is why—if you are interested in what you read—you are encouraged to consider reading the previous blog and the blog hereafter.
Partial entries of my blogs may be found at LatviansOnline + Forum Home + Open Forum –ONLATVIANPOPULISM vs LATVIJASLABEJIE. If you copy this blog for your files, or copy to forward, or otherwise mention its content, please credit the author and  

No comments:

Post a Comment