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tearing the rag off the bush again
Agnomia by R?bert G?l, transl. from the Slovak by Michaela Freeman PDF E-mail

This is a tautology of every moment, as if every moment was necessarily a tautology.

“It seems undignified,” says Jan, “to accept congratulations for the past, as if that from the past, which is not subject to a time shortcut, was totally irrelevant. This is not a criticism of heroism, but a criticism of the need to place heroism out for adulation, as if every heroism was necessarily admirable – and not some other one. Isn’t this the conventional exchange of the act of socially defined heroism for an act of heroism which is highly individual, and thus socially undefinable? Where is the boundary between the need of a heroic act of a socially defined hero and the need of a heroic act of a hero, who is defined by this act itself into the position of a partaker of a heroic deed, who doesn’t feel the need of a social proclamation of this fact?” Jan asks. Jan is the hero of an invisible terror. Every opportunity for uprising is punished. And because each uprising gets already punished in the state of opportunity, it never runs into the acute state in any other way but wounded. A circle is always one-sided and this, always according to its direction of spinning. Multiplying its spins means, in practice, that the vision of its end naturally blends with the vision of its beginning. To push oneself off from any point of a circle is possible, however, it’s not entirely random. All we have to do is understand the rules of these banalities and by how much they help us to move forward! Because only a cynic can claim that it doesn’t matter at all which leg we get off the bed with first. To swallow the acidity of a smile with the awareness of the acidity and the smile.  And so on. Transformation of a form through content is not a linguistic game. It has to do with the inevitability to sustain form and thus display the content. The same as in music, even here it’s not about thoughts, but about the permanent tension due to the need to think, about belonging to the content to a point of its acceptance in the form of parasitism. And because the scalpel of intellect is not able to adequately discern between an operation and autopsy, the object of its cut is first abstract and then during the act itself it comes out from the fog of unconsciousness into the sphere of understanding to gradually acquire the face of conscious reality. A reality whose being is deadened by the autopsy, but is not dead, because it still exists. When Blevin showed up in Jerusalem with a huge travel case, I was accidentally there. I recall a memory of the burning heat in his eyes, which grabbed me immediately, because it forcefully crashed into some sort of fragility in his personality and maybe into the fact that Blevin’s smallish figure contrasted so much with the size of his luggage. Felix and I are sitting in a small pizzeria, waiting for him and as soon as he shows up, we order some pizza for everyone. Felix is very happy to see his friend after so many years and, right away, he starts explaining something to him. It has something to do with the fact that they actually have no place to stay, but “that doesn’t matter, the important thing is that you are here.” I also remember my second meeting with Blevin rather well. It was in a small house in the midst of nature in holiday district Ein Karem. I came there invited by Felix one spring day shortly after noon and, after a multiple strong knocking on the door (and a silent communication with a dog tied to a dog house next door), a wooden gate opened and Blevin, with a sleepy look, invited me in, as if he didn’t recognize me at all.  His heavy eyes did not seem to be typically tired from sleeping, but I was soon told about the tiredness from hours and hours of meditation in the darkness of his, for this purpose, specially outfitted room without windows in the attic of the house. On a wooden table near a wall, practically spaced out, but still somewhat limiting in motion in its construction, were in compartments in a regular structure of spacing of a neurotic order, glued tens of labels with various maxims, imperatives and simple advice for living, which were supposed to remind Blevin again and again the once-and-forever given strict differences between the desireable and the undesireable, as some authority before him engraved them into words and thus made them eternal in the shape of these formulations. Let’s get back to Jan. Jan is a terrorist without a cause. He’s hundred times brigher than most mortals and, still, something is missing for him to be wise. He’s like a lion with caged eyes, beaming his stare into eyes which are equally caged. This system of caging is a multifold product of his caged brain. He is the language which he opens with every word so that he could repeatedly close it in to the one and the same thought. Jan had brought to shape his little miss “to have her gain some value,” but then she wanted to give birth and so she married a tractor driver. Yes, who sees Czechs and Slovaks anywhere in the world, has the tendency to think: What did these people come here to represent? And a second question comes right in: Can, for example, a Slovak feel like a Slovak democratically anywhere else but in Slovakia? And other consequential questions stem from this, which one can ask himselves and immediately answer, which means to incrementally start understanding why most citizens of small, meaningless countries stay stuck in these countries as if there was no other option. Precisely in small and meaningless countries one can find writers who naturally think of themselves as speakers of reality, but why the reality needs to be reproduced, they don’t reveal. If we claim – and we do claim precisely this – that the reality must in an artistic way be produced, not reproduced, then we soon need to separate the “work of art” from “art”. Some Eli Roth shows up, a controversial Jew, and simply shoots his chainsaw massacre in small Slovakia, to which Slovaks react in their first wave of rage, but then they realize that it’s a perfect way to attract attention to Slovakia in the form of PR. One such young Tarantino does in a single moment the job of dozens of elite intellectuals. Why do we so stubbornly look for locks in all, that is also in opened, doors? This is also one of the questions regarding Buñuel and his The Exterminating Angel. Couldn’t the existence of a lock on an opened door alter the status of its openness? And so on. To create a culture means in most cases to be necessarily acultural. For why does a creator for the purposes of his creation need to know what others create?  A widespread groping is sufficient for a creator, as he knows very well, that no groping – even the broadest – can be bankless or else it would spill into something else. The role of the creator is to sustain the spilling within one’s own character of what it is, while preventing it to really spill into something else. We’re therefore dealing with a permanent maintenance of the desired flow, which, for this reason, ultimately becomes thoughtful. Thoughtful in the sense of tautology, that is indisputable. Thoughtful in the sense of the realization of the act of thought, the context of which is the flow of that being thought, continually melted into the flow of thinking.  This is not philosophy, dear friends, but a gradual process of creative undertaking with a jackhammer in hands. The creator is more of a worker than an intellectual. A man forced to observe is learning to observe; a circle in a circle repeatedly burst like a bubble. Lifted lifts? The lure of traps, where even traps themselves fall in. I say: only people, who are perverse in their body and soul, can perform great deeds! claims František Drtikol in one of his letters and adds: But it must be a pure, beautiful, original, free-spirited perversion, bubbling up from the man’s own depth! It may not be a plagiarism, an imitated thing ... One thing that has a name, and another that is looking for a name. And it is discovered, that the name doesn’t belong to the named, but to the designation. The jump into the identity of that, which is legitimate, because it’s already legitimized. The jump to the illusion of a break – for it is an illusiory break – never ceases to appear lineamentally. Like a thought, which is not thinking about itself, but about what it doesn’t think about and from which it separates itself. The mental process of the unfinished in the intentions of desire. Hollers of the unknown character. Claustrophobia forbidding oneself with them as a certain type of boundedness. A humor about the humorless? But jokes come with humor, don’t they? I’m sitting on a bench at Lesser Side, a little before midnight, thinking, I settle down, what exactly is antinomy. And suddenly, due to a pressure wave from the next bench, a girl sits next to me. The next bench is on fire. I think intensely of lighting a cigarette and, in the end, I actually do it. The tension between us wasn’t long. I wanted to give her a chance, but she was impatient. She thunderously got up (I only noticed her delicate nose and glasses with elegantly thin rims), just so that she could turn on her heel in front of my eyes and suffocate the cigarette butt of her desire with a disdainful gesture. But I survived it. And a day later she appeared again in the form a different woman. An equally thunderous intellectual with tortoise shell glasses and neatly kept skin. After a few days of knowing each other, she informs me with a cell phone in hand, that I need someone more refined. A laughter like a dog bark, as an outburst of response, a response to permanent impulse toward her, let’s call it resignation. Response as a designation, a marking. Response – an echo of narcissus to a silent companion of his double desire. My relationship to women is monomagical. To enter every situation unprepared as a remnant of a dream. Building up a vibration of that lived through, by a tention of the possibility to survive. To find a window of a moment. To err in a test, as in a proclamative sentence, a contradiction. A human gets a taste for another human, cannibal. The images of fertility, geysers exorting ghosts. A sun winding through empty deposits of anxiety. A cohort of useless resolutions meeting in the rear of the enemy. Ontotopic fields of laid out cards, ontoonomatopoie. (Isn’t it outmost unsettling – just the snake of eternity slithering through time here and there?) Order-loving moving of a tumor of the spirit toward healing away from one’s own body. And from every pain a question mark jumps out: Is it the right one? De-focussing of the invisible to further and further visibility. Escape manipulations, coordinates of a spiderweb thrown into space. Insatiable cameras of untalented people, who float wherever they walk. Only to open their mouths like bird’s bills, from which, under pressure, seeds of hatred fall out. A guy with three mobile phones like three cocks and across from him a busty babe who is, with all her might, trying to look serious, as if it were possible in her case. Two heavy-armored guys behind her back react to a remark by the mentioned macho, who gets up for a moment to prove the effect of the acting test of a gunslinger without a gun, because now he’s having a good time. His chick is at the toilet for the last ten minutes. A fat boy from the next table sits in her place. The mirror of a window, through which I’m observing, is slowly fogging up by the unexpected course of this evening. As if spurred by nothing at all, first, second, third, they successively wink at me. I’m in the groove. I’m tapping this nonsense into my head and don’t pay attention to those I’m talking about. In one of the illustrations, photos of naked L., depicting herself searching and in some places in spasms even finding the right form of her corporeality, there are two spots on her neck, photographed from the angle of her back, which seems in this photo as something more androgenic than in reality. The spots were, of course, painted on for effect, it was no document, and yet for me they are always a memento, a visual mem, triggering an entire number of chain reactions of accusations and self-accusations. (And to what degree is it necessary to provoke the requirements of a loved one, when it comes to the change of a being while the being is just being changed?) To come out with the feelings as if the internal feelings were hiding something. Command denial of desire which isn’t based on anything, nor is it justified by anything. The emptiness, which frightens in a moment, is chopped by a structure of the net and by the structure of breathing in it.  Empty cans of what’s been drunk rattle through the street of static sculptures of the just restored. The looks of tourist children, their braying photo cameras, which take what was, angels included, and necessarily transform it into other materials. Time shifts between expectations and disappointments is unsteady, almost invisible. This is an annihilation of sun and other such hermits. This is a tautology of every moment, as if every moment was necessarily a tautology.

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