Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Eso’s Chronicles 215/ 1  
P.S. Reversed (1)
© Eso A.B.

Today’s blog is more or less a copy of a post which I plan to post on a Latvian internet site that uses the English language as its main communications medium.

Thursday (Sept. 19) concludes the 56th day (8th week) that I have been on a liquid and fish soup diet. I propose to carry on with it until the 18th of November, the Latvian Independence day of the 1st Latvian State (1918-1940) and will carry on until at least that date. The purpose of the fast is to bring to attention with emphasis that the 2nd Latvian State (May 4, 1991 until today) is a de facto pseudo State, even though it may exist de jure. The latter illusory State proved its contempt toward the 1st State when it refused to honor the Constitution of the 1st State that would allow  holding a referendum of whether to surrender the sovereign nature of the 1st state to a Brussels dominated ‘federated’ EU.

During the past week, I have spent some time on my “Apple branch sculptures”. The method by which I make these sculptures consists of cleaning the branches of its bark, sanding the rough understructure, sometimes burning it with a torch after the sanding. Then impregnating the wood with a disinfectant, then giving it several coats of linseed oil or self-polishing wax. This brings out the inherent warmth of the wood. An old Latvian folk song of an orphan who is herding cows springs to my mind: “I pressed myself to the apple tree as if it were my mother./ The apple tree sheds white blossoms, I shed bitter tears.”

The end result is a sculpture that consists of any number of branches—which may be up to 2 metres long and may themselves be branching,--which I place together in a structure that looks expressive. Such a sculpture will look different every time the sculpture is moved to a new location. It will be up to the owner to reconstruct it or, if he or she wishes, to hire a designer to do it for him.

My sculpture Project makes me think of the Latvian language, which—as I have stated on previous occasions—was (like the apple tree) mercilessly ‘deconstructed’ with the arrival of the written word. An elemental phenomenon of Latvian language is the ‘endearing word’. This ‘word’ --when the Latvian language was used only as oral communication--became ubiquitous, i.e., every Latvian word, no matter which, could be ‘endeared’. It pulled the word as symbol of a ‘thing’ much closer than the ‘thing’ could do by itself. While attempt to translate this phenomenon into another language projects with a laughable awkwardness, there is felt no such awkwardness in Latvian, but the projection seems as inevitable as it is natural. Thus, ‘a finger’ (pirkstiņš) may translate as a ‘fingerling’, a ‘nose’ (deguntiņš) as ‘nosey’, a ‘road’ (ceļš) as ‘celiņš’ or ‘roadsey’, a ‘war’ (kaŗš) as ‘kariņš’, etc. etc.  This ‘endearment’ also could be extended to verbs, which were added an extra syllable, for example ‘sasiet’ (to bind) would be pronounced ‘sa(sa)siet’. The extra syllable would often be used when two people did something together, for example, ‘sasatiksimies’—let us meet again. In short, if Wittgenstein believed that the limits of language are also the limits of reality (and philosophy), then the Latvian language was much richer when it was in possession of the ‘endearing’ word. Indeed, it stood for the ‘religion’ of Latvians.

The current world order, today better known as the post-modern order, similar to language deconstruction, also deconstructs the wood and many an old apple orchard. When my neighbor, a local farmer, saw my sculptures, he said that he could get for me similar branches (as yet unprocessed)—all I wanted. In other words, the process of ‘deconstructing’ the Latvian rural landscape by the 2nd State still proceeds apace. Elsewhere the world has known this process as ‘alienation’.

Whereas as a young boy I made myself useful as a cowherd and learned to love every one of the 25 cows that were under my supervision when in the field, today one of my neighbors has just finished a barn that will hold 100 cows. In due time the cows will be trained to enter the automatic milking station site by sixes, then proceed through a turnstile flanked by large brushes that look a little like the roto-brushes at a car washing station (the cows are said to ‘love’ this service), then go for a drink of water, and then return to their berths. In other words, ‘endearing’ has been replaced by a ‘no nonsense’ “cow meat and milk” factory, though for all I know, my neighbor will introduce to the factory music by Mozart to increase the level of ‘cow contentment’ so that  they give more milk (and perhaps the flesh be more tender), and some enterprising Latvian psychologist will arrive to give a scientific assessment of the degree of the ‘contentment’ of the cows.

To what end the above—what some may call—‘irrelevant’ digression?

The following link provides a discussion about Witgenstein’s philosophy and his reflections on Language It is worth listening to the entire discussion as, in my opinion, it directly reflects on the status of the Latvian language before it was ‘deconstructed’ by the written word, on behalf of which ‘deconstructed’ form the NA (Coalition of Latvian Nationalist Parties) appears to ground one of the reasons for its being. The more significant observations in the link comes following the 18th minute, re, that one the functions of language is not to describe, but to “express our state of mind”. If we apply this observation to the Latvian language and the absenting of the ‘endearing word’ (see also my blog 210 at ) by the written media, we come to the conclusion, that the Latvian State has killed the founders of its language by killing the state of mind that founded the Latvian language.

If this is so, then the acts of the 2nd State of Latvia, a government whose leadership does everything in its power to bring about a demise of Latvia as a sovereign State. is a deliberate extension of a process that unleashed itself with full force with the occupation of Latvia by the Soviet Union in 1940. In a curious coincidence a Latvian deputy at the Parliament of the EU has just asked that as of 2013 all of Latvia’s  preschoolers be prepared in the use of the Latvian language, so that beginning 2015 all 1st graders can be taught in Latvian. To the deputy, the ‘enemy’ is of course the Russian language.

What a laugh! The Latvian language (as well as literature) as envisioned by its originators is not only long dead in the 2nd State of Latvia, but has been dying throughout the preceding 46 years of Soviet occupation. The deputy who is making the proposal from his seat at the EU Parliament is the same deputy who a few years back gave ‘the finger sign’ to the demonstrators who were demonstrating to have the Latvian Parliament dismissed. The incident was photographed (the photograph has been removed from public access). It is a cruel paradox that this anti-reform legislator would now lead an ultra-Latvian party on behalf of the Latvian language.

The only logical solution or revival for Latvian is not an imposition of the language on a population that no longer is familiar with its language in depth (least of all its political leadership), but to consider founding a pseudo-religious organization that would imitate the ultra-orthodox Jews of Israel as described in a recent article by the Washington Post. While the ultra-orthodox Jews of Israel number 800,000 and Latvians in Latvia number about 1,200,000, the additional 400,000 thousand should give these ultra-orthodox Latvians (led by a deputy of the EU Parliament) that much greater momentum toward success. I am not in the least opposed to Latvians taking a religious perspective of themselves and their language. I have illustrated this sympathy by creating at my countryside residence a Temple to Johns, which would gather Latvians around Jahnis, the central figure of the Latvian Johns Festival. Unfortunately, though the Temple exists for years, the Latvian remain disinterested (as a result of being dumbed-down by the Soviet and their government and, yes, by dismissal of Jahnis in hia endeared form: Jahn-ihtis) in the origins of their language and religio==as much as they lack interest in the survival of their State as a sovereign.

[I hope that ‘P.S. Reversed’ will evolve into a new series of blogs about the future of Latvia as a geopolitical entity.]

No comments:

Post a Comment