Friday, July 31, 2009

John's Singularly Dreary Descriptions of Rooms in His House

Inside the house:
The two sectioned living room was once full of others furniture, dinner table with removable portion, a couch, cushioned seat faded eggshell white with splotches of brown and a television. Now it is mostly devoid of life, littered with random chairs, crisp pieces of used paper dust covered books that are piled on shelves and cascading out of china cabinet drawers. Rugs are stapled to the windows to keep out the sun, a stand up bass lies down with it’s strings coated in dirt and sweat. A light switch moves up and down but creates no light going on or off, a black chest full of shirts sits open in the middle of the room. Hundreds of records pressurized and warping packed into crates, the vinyl scratched.

The attic or crawl space:
The stairs are narrow and many, creaking at every step, first straight then twisting near the end as you enter the room. Down the center a tall man can stand but the more to the side one wanders the shorter the height allows. The floor boards are all removed in patches revealing weathered 2 by 4s, installation and electrical wiring. There is a small window at each end, allowing in just enough light on a clear day to see shadows and the silhouettes of bodies in motion. To one side an antique play-area-alcove for one or two children. Now all dusty, chalkboard cracked and lying on the floor.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Das Alte Buch: oder Reise ins Blaue hinein

The true fairy-tale opens up with its child-like tone and its play with the wondrous, an area of our spirit into which other kinds of art and poetry cannot find their way. Our first, and most sacred relations with nature and the invisible world, the basis of our faith, the elements of our perception, birth, and grave, the creation around us, the necessities of our life, all this as fairy-tale and dream and cannot be resolved into what we call rational or consequent. Hence the sacredness and strange mysteriousness of all old romances. The creation, the origin of good and evil, the fall of the angels, redemption, call it what you will in Greeks, Gentiles, Jews, and Christians, the fresh originality of legend as well as of our closest everyday life, if we take the world in a sacred and serious way, is a fairy-tale.

-Ludwig Tieck
Translated from his 1835 novella "The Old Book and the Voyage into the Blue"