~ Ştefan Bolea - Nihilism with a Gun: Pekka Eric Auvinen's Manifesto
~ Axel H.Lenn - Ridi, pagliaccio, e ognun applaudirà!
~ Ormeny Francisc - God of Emptiness [I]
~ Ormeny Francisc - The Will to Kill
~ Adrian Ioniţă - Why?
~ Amita Bhose - Cosmology of Mihai Eminescu

Nihilism with a Gun: Pekka Eric Auvinen's Manifesto

by Ştefan Bolea

In November 7th 2007 Pekka Eric Auvinen had shot eight people at the Jokela high school in Finland. Afterwards the author of the massacre joined death himself, blasting his head. The case gained media coverage all around the world and we can find information about the shooter on several blogs. The main difference between Eric and other mass murderers consists in the fact that the Finnish shooter seems inspired by the guidelines of practical nihilism, which resembles the original 19th century Russian doctrine, where nihilism and terrorism were entwined. Eric has won the attention and fame he longed for - I've seen his "Manifesto" on several forums but the main reaction was always this: "we don't want to read it - we should ignore it - he's crazy." Ignorance breeds only fear and repetition. If we ignored Mein Kampf, Marx's Manifesto, The Satanic Bible and so on, we would be forced to re-live them in our fragmentary secular world. On the contrary we should study them to understand the nature of evil and to make sure that they don't play an active part in our conscious lives. If Eric's words were censored and put to silence, several other "Erics" would emerge, shaking the foundations of our very society, because the same system that created the Jokela shooter won't change, producing other simulations of absolute evil.

So let's hear him - try to understand him - analyze him until he becomes what he really is, not a star, no "t-shirt of the month" as a Se7en character have said but an intelligent and idealistic young man, depressive and naive maybe, whose actions and freedom turned him to a monster and whose determination turned him and his colleagues into victims.

Retarded and stupid , weak-minded people are reproducing more and faster than the intelligent, strong-minded people. Laws protect the retarded majority which selects the leaders of society.

We see here the same sociological principle exposed in Korn's video Evolution - I don't know if this is attested scientifically but we've all seen in the news that uneducated poorer people reproduce themselves on a faster pace from various reasons: absence of contraceptive measures, religious beliefs and so on. The fear that general IQ of the population might decrease is explainable - after all we are swallowed and leveled by an economical dictate and afterwards we are controlled by a society of the spectacle, in which television channels wipe out our consciousness and put us to sleep while we're awake. I don't know if this is only "stupidity" but it sure is apathy, lack of commitment and absence of an active existential free mind. To move on, Eric finds out two radical ways out of the overwhelming "idiocy" which characterize our present society: dictatorship and universal death.

There is also another solution to the problem: stupid people as slaves and intelligent people as free. [.]
Of course there is a final solution too: death of entire human race.

The first solution may explain why the shooting has taken place on November 7th, at the 90th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution - with the mention that the red revolution didn't accomplish a dictatorship of the intelligence; quite on the contrary the elites were constantly discouraged, put to death or imprisoned.  We might think of the "Brave New World", where there existed special buses for superior intellectual Alpha individuals and for uneducated unintelligent Gamma workers. The second one is not new in the history of philosophy - it is a consequence of the Schopenhauerian pessimism that conceives death as superior to pain/ life and was proposed in the 19th century by Philip Mainländer.

Democracy... you think democracy means freedom and justice? You are wrong. Democracy is a dictatorship of the moral majority... and the majority is manipulated and ruled by the state mafia.   

Here Eric reminds me of Nietzsche's diagnosis of the 19th century society displayed in "Beyond Good and Evil": "the democratizing of Europe thus moves towards the creation of a new type of man prepared for slavery." In fact he follows his primary idea that democracy is a sort of dictatorship of the "idiotic" majority which is ruthlessly manipulated by a small percent of Illuminati.

You will proprably say me that I am "insane", "crazy", "psychopath", "criminal" or crap like that. No, the truth is that I am just an animal, a human, an individual, a dissident.

He wasn't wrong here - the immediate and long term reaction to his case consists in classing him in the category of the mentally deranged. It's a trivialized cliché to equate criminality with psychopathy, although this equivalence has no legal justification. We might say that this is a reaction of the society, which doesn't care for a criminal's intentions and wants to wipe him out from its collective memory. The society needs security, peace, comfort and finds out that whoever disturbs its tranquility must be expelled from its body. Eric calls himself the natural selector (I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection) - it's obvious that society, which might be mediocre or levelled, mean and impersonal, indifferent and apathic as a whole is the real "artificial selector" which makes sure that Eric and other nihilists would become a mere statistic and that they would be erased from history and -more directly- that their genes would be obliterated.

It's not my intent to turn Eric into a martyr or a hero and of course I don't mean to imply that he was somehow right. I'm trying to argue that he is explainable, understandable in the terms of contemporary nihilism. He was, of course, responsible for his actions and some of you may think that the price he paid -total extinction- is superficial.  The advanced side of this argument would imply that the same society which didn't understand him and tried to ignore him ("I don't want to hear about this! He's a madman! He's a freak! Let's forget about him!") will be forced to face several "Erics", who will paint with blood their Manifestos, because bullets and bombs are a form of expression when everyone is indifferent and immune to different points of view. My thesis is that we must blame a society which believes that conformism brings security and ignorance is bliss whenever a member of that society finds comfort in isolation, self-mutilation, violence and (self)-destruction.

Ridi, pagliaccio, e ognun applaudirà!

by Axel H.Lenn

As you might have already heard on the news, Marion Cotillard, who won the best actress Oscar for her role as Edith Piaf in the magic "La Vie En Rose", became public enemy No 1 in the US after having dared express her point of view on the 9/11 incident as an inside job rather than a terrorist, extremely malicious act. Marion Cotillard withdrew and apologized for her remarks - and she should never have! The American public was utterly shocked at her idea - one can only start to imagine how idiotic Americans in their large majority are, since they honestly believe in the war-on-terrorism hoax, i.e. one of the greatest products of the American political idioteque so far. Well, what the hell should one expect from these approximately three hundred million people who can hardly remember the alphabet and to whom Pearl Harbor is still unheard of, honestly? This particular story has a different message behind it, though: one individual defies a political system and suffers nasty public consequences. Going against the flow can seriously damage an individual. Freedom of speech? Yes, one may have that in theory. In reality, it can kill. Don't assume these are bombastic words and conspiracy theories gone wild, perform a virtual search on Bobby Fischer's life instead.

A few of us men (slightly under 100,000 worldwide) form dominant classes, namely people who draw resources and funds from the dominated. These 100,000 are the master killers, they are the ultimate survivors in case anything out of the ordinary might happen some day, they are the only that matter. They use force, religion, media channels, internet resources to shape the world according to their desires. The whole process is called politics. Look up the word in any dictionary, however sophisticated, and you'll be very disappointed - politics is not a word to be explained to and understood by everyone. Politics is a cheap spectacle performed by clowns highly paid to hide the backstage strings and to keep common people interested in the circus up front. In other words, politics is an interface between the very rich and the rest, used also to legitimize the first in front and, most hilarious of all, on behalf of the latter. Honor, morality, justice, good, evil, peace, wars, terrorism, religious precepts, national and international doctrines, poverty and other social topics, most aspects of one's personal life, all are politically interesting issues that can generate intense feelings, both positive and negative, among the many. Political issues, however, are not facts of life. To render an example, Matthew Snyder was a marine who, like many others, got killed in Iraq, officially in a very honorable mission to defend his ever great country against terrorism. His funeral was boycotted by the Christian god-hates-fags Phelps family, with social order forces simply assisting mesmerized by the spectacle. In real terms, Matthew Snyder went in Iraq for the money, he went there to kill other people. I for one see nothing honorable in this. Instead of being turned into a premature hero and ABC news subject, he might have enjoyed a long, healthy life as an anonymous in the Bahamas.

Fatherland - the bloodiest political issue ever! Sweeping away all the metaphors, fatherland is synonymous to the many, the poor, the stupid. Dominant figures are not part of it. Should a dominant class figure such as Dinu Patriciu actually be sentenced to prison, I'm pretty sure he would instantly pose as a politically persecuted individual and would relocate his fortune to become a devoted Englishman, or German, or whatever he desires. It's just as simple as it sounds. Ion Iliescu, currently trialed for genocide, should have long been sent to prison, and not in Romania's Parliament. In the opposite register, a lower class figure does not have the same political privileges. Nicolae Romulus Mailat robbed and accidentally killed an Italian. The story became an incendiary topic for the Italian press, providing a generous electoral breath of oxygen for right wing politicians in the peninsula, including Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter to ex-dictator Benito Mussolini, one of history's most gruesome criminals. In response, Romanian fascist pseudo-party Noua Dreapta, descendent from the terrorist Iron Guard (more than half a century ago, before World War II, the Iron Guard carried out a huge number of political and public executions), delivered an intense campaign against Mailat and the Rroma minority (see images below), denying their Romanian citizenship. In reality, Mailat is an ordinary criminal and, most importantly, he is 100% Romanian. Had there been war involving Romania and Italy, Mailat would have been enlisted and sent to kill not one, but many Italians under Romania's flag; had he killed a great number of Italians, had he been wounded or killed in battle, Mailat would have become a Romanian hero.

Indeed, politics can turn criminals into heroes, just as it can penetrate every minute aspect of one's private life. Imagine your daughter was raped and became pregnant. Or, imagine your student wife getting pregnant while you have no possibility of providing for that child. Would you perhaps care to think the problem over, trying to identify pseudo-options? I don't think so. What options would there be? Keep an unwanted baby? Perhaps abandon him on the streets? No, definitely not. You would instantaneously go for abortion. In real life terms, abortion is not an option, but the only option. 15 years ago, pets that were getting older and dreadful were left to endure a horrid life until they eventually expired. Nowadays, pet owners have turned to euthanasia. Hopefully, in two decades, it will be used on humans as well. Legalizing prostitution? Oh no, this is politically, morally, religiously unacceptable, just like abortion and euthanasia! Well, try walking in a prostitute's shoes and the perspective suddenly changes. Legalizing prostitution equals real disease control measures, real income, real pension perspectives when you retire; on the other hand, it also means NO more pimps, NO more violence, NO more traffic in human beings for purpose of sexual exploitation - these NOs would leave a lot of people out of work, including governmental offices, nongovernmental organizations and other politically interested parties. To render another example, picture your son was gay; would you torture him with psychological 'therapy', would you make him marry a girl, have a child or two, even if that means he will never be able to smile again or that soon enough he won't be able to put up with the whole mess and will kill himself? Perhaps you would deny him as your son at the cost that he should hate you forever. Some people are idiotic enough to do that. Gay versus straight is a yet another political issue, not a fact of life.

To draw a major conclusion: politics is a disgusting, bitter way of dividing people and messing up lives. Should politics, politicians, financial moguls and everything attached to these (including religions, armed forces, doctrines) disappear tomorrow, the world would change dramatically. For the better, that is, since politics adds nothing positive to common people's lives. If I add up poverty and starvation, the picture clears further. How come Africa is the richest continent on the planet (over 70% of the world's natural resources are located there), and, at the same time, the absolute epitome of poverty? The answer is simple: politics. There are 6.5 billion people affected directly by various political systems, and only 100,000 people who benefit from politics. Is it really that hard to make the latter disappear? Not at all. Four years ago, Americans had to decide between two pathetic figures, namely Bush and Kerry. They chose ape Bush for a second time in the presidential seat. The 2008 electoral choices are worse than that: if elected, McCain would be the oldest US president ever; Hillary Clinton the first female president in American history; and Barack Obama, the very first black president of the US. Quite a Muppets revival! You get the idea, right? "Show up for the elections, no matter who you vote for, it's going to be a first anyway!" Sound minded people stay at home on election days, and fortunately their numbers are growing. These people see through the clown faces before them, the ever smiling candidates inspire nothing more than a final act line, such as "e finita la commedia". Hopefully, one day not too far from now, political systems will be invalidated publicly one after another.

God of Emptiness [I]
[An interpretation of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot"]

by Ormeny Francisc

             They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.
(Samuel Beckett-Pozzo)

Samuel Beckett - Man's personality
"Samuel Beckett was born on Good Friday, April 13, 1906, near Dublin, Ireland. Raised in a middle class, Protestant home, the son of a quantity surveyor and a nurse, he was sent off at the age of 14 to attend the same school which Oscar Wilde had attended. Looking back on his childhood, he once remarked, I had little talent for happiness. Beckett was consistent in his loneliness. The unhappy boy soon grew into an unhappy young man, often so depressed that he stayed in bed until mid afternoon. He was difficult to engage in any lengthy conversation--it took hours and lots of drinks to warm him up--but the women could not resist him. The lonely young poet, however, would not allow anyone to penetrate his solitude. He once remarked, after rejecting advances from James Joyce's daughter, that he was dead and had no feelings that were human."1
Samuel Beckett was a friend of James Joyce and his first published work was an essay on Joyce. He was among the "founding-fathers" of the Theatre of the Absurd and a precious source of inspiration for later more sophisticated plays such as Albee's Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf. Beckett was a very laconic playwright: "If I knew [who is Godot] I would have said so in the play." He relentless fought against people trying to find supra- and subliminal meanings in his work...somehow warning them in this way that they may find "the emperor's new clothes", as H.C.Andersen kindly put it. "Meaning must remain indeterminate!"
A performance that might have satisfied Beckett's taste was the one in which the entire production was done on the thinnest of shoestring budgets; the large battered valise that Martin carried "was found among the city's refuse by the husband of the theatre dresser on his rounds as he worked clearing the dustbins."2

When theatre-directors invited Beckett to help them innovate and speculate on his play (but with his approval), Beckett was a octopus-like nuisance for those people's nervous system:  "In his autobiography, the American director Alan Schneider recalled his attendance with Samuel  Beckett at the first run of Waiting for Godot in London in 1955. Whenever a line was misinterpreted or an extra piece of stage business was added, Beckett would clutch Schneider's arm and exclaim, in a clearly audible stage whisper, <<It's ahl wrahng! He's doing it ahl wrahng!>> That  loud whisper still sounds in the ears of those who stage Beckett's plays now.  No other dead dramatist remains such a daunting admonitory presence for his directors and performers. Where most great playwrights were content to write the text of a play, Beckett wrote the entire theatrical event. He specified, not just the words, but the rhythms and tones, the sets and the lighting plots (.)Where most plays invite the active participation of actors, directors, and designers in determining the meaning of the work, Beckett's work demands that the meaning remains indeterminate. Where theater artists think of themselves as interpreters, any interpretation of a Beckett play is necessarily a reduction. With these plays, creative intervention seems like crass interference. The director is haunted by the playwright's stern ghost, frowning, clutching his arm, whispering at every deviation, <<It's ahl wrahng!>>" 3

Beckett was against artistic devices of any kind, against any kind of deviation from the simplest form: as a matter of staging, "Godot" had to remain as bone-simple as a blank-verse poem.otherwise Beckett would have become very upset. In what concerns the setting of the play as projected on the stage, Beckett was obsessed to create the impression of four little people sitting in an extremely large cage, a cage big-enough for the bars not to be distinguishable within the visual sphere. Should one want to see the bars, he had to descend deeper into the background.

He always opposed the idea of his play being broadcasted on TV. Beckett denied all offers to film the play, even when Keep Films made him an offer to film an adaptation of Godot with his fellow Irishman Peter O'Toole featuring: "I do not want a film of Godot."
Yet, on the 26th of June 1961, a BBC broadcast production of "Waiting for Godot" appeared. Beckett watched the film with a few closed friends and was very grieved by what he saw: "My play wasn't written for this box [TV].My play was written for small men locked in a big space. Here you're all too big for the place."

Cynical as he may be, this is the very point where Beckett falls into Romanticism: the idea of small men swallowed by vast spaces: Melville's Captain Ahab alone on the vast ocean haunted by Moby Dick, the gothic-novel character alone in the big haunted by ghosts castle.Beckett's Estragon and Vladimir alone in a barren landscape haunted by Godot.

Beckett's "stone verdict" is clear: "I don't in my ignorance agree with the round [shape of the stage] and feel Godot needs a very closed box."
When directors heard about this idea of Beckett they reacted instantly and tried to apply two new devices:

-they tried to project the faint shadows of some bars on floor of the stage
-they tried to make Gogo and Didi appear as two birds trapped in the strands of a so-called invisible net (traces of the net yet remained faintly visible on the stage)
Beckett denied both tactics as he was against any explicit references (in the case of the projected bars) and as he believed that two birds trapped in a cage still embody the hope for freedom and, with his play he wanted to deaden the hope for freedom. as one would deaden a pain: "If Gogo and Didi would be trapped in a cage, they would only be there, trapped, because they still cling to the concept that freedom is possible (.) but freedom is a state of mind, so is imprisonment."
In what concerns Pozzo's arrogance, I believe that Beckett projected himself into Pozzo.
The Setting

The setting of the play is what the specialized literature calls a "lieu vague", a no man's land (women's only!.the play is full of emasculated men, that are there to confirm the modern theories in sociology which say that, nowadays the man gets more and more feminized, while the Woman masculinizes herself )/

The "no man's land" in the world of theatre is usually the "antichambre" also known as "waiting room". So, the setting of Godot is a sinister projection from backwards of the waiting room and Beckett invests the semantics of the "waiting room" with a cynical supra-meaning as he makes his characters wait for a Mister Godot ad infinitum. The antichambre is a place where things get prepared for a future state of being, but are not yet fully shaped, they are like unfinished clones or robots.some parts need still to be added I order to have a complete thing/being. Things/beings are still uncreated there, or not created to the bitter end. By directly projecting on the stage this uncreated beings and things or by projecting them in advance, before being given a full shape, Beckett creates a grotesque and sinister world of uncreated de-formed and cripple things and beings, probably a reflection of his condition as exiled.

 It is as if  we are watching aborted fetuses performing live in front of us, fetuses aborted in that stage of their embryonic development when their features are distinguishable but, yet, not fully finished. This is the physical (and why not, mental.) aspect of the four character in "Waiting for Godot".
There is a tree which, in the second act mysteriously sprouts some leaves and a stone on which Estragon sits.

The Action:
Vladimir and Estragon, meet near a tree. They converse on various topics while waiting for a man named Godot. Two other men enter. Pozzo is on his way to the market to sell his slave, Lucky. He pauses for a while to converse with Vladimir and Estragon and have his lunch. Lucky entertains them by dancing and thinking, and Pozzo and Lucky leave.
After Pozzo and Lucky leave, a boy enters and tells Vladimir that he is a messenger from Godot. He tells Vladimir that Godot will not be coming tonight, but that he will surely come tomorrow.

The next night, Vladimir and Estragon again meet near the tree to wait for Godot. Lucky and Pozzo enter again, but this time Pozzo is blind and Lucky is dumb. Pozzo does not remember meeting the two men the night before.  Once again, a boy(this time another boy) enters and once again tells Vladimir that Godot will not be coming.
At the end of each act, Estragon and Vladimir decide to leave (most probably as a direct result of the disappointment of not having met Godot), but they do not move as they seem to get heavier and heavier with a lead-like spleen.


The play
At the end of 1955, the Evening Standard Drama awards were held for the first time. Feelings ran high and the opposition led by Sir Malcolm Sargent, threatened to resign if Godot won [The Best New Play category]. An English compromise was worked out by changing the title of the award. Godot became The Most Controversial Play of the Year. It is a prize that has never been given since.4
Some saw it as the most significant English language play of the 20th century(a play written between the 9th of October 1948 and the 29th of January 1949).perhaps due to its stark aesthetic.

In Beckett's uncertain sentimentalism, Godot failed to achieve the status of "the favorite play of the its creator" because of the way it came to overshadow everything else he wrote. Yet, it still had a special "hole" in his heart (if he ever had one) as it was the play that brought him financial stability and fame. That is why when the manuscript and rare-books dealer asked Beckett to sell him his original French manuscript, Beckett refused him: "Rightly or wrongly have decided not to let Godot go yet. Neither sentimental nor financial, probably peak of market now and never such an offer. Can't explain."


The musicality of the play is given by Beckett's genuine, ingenious and minute play with PAUSES and SILENCES. Beckett seems to try to convey the message that there is a very fine/shrewd/delicate difference between the sound made by a pause and the sound made by  a silence.

"Silence is pouring into this play like water into a sinking ship."(Beckett)

There are several long pauses where communication breaks down completely and, Estragon and Vladimir eat, sleep, talk, argue, make up, sing, play games, exercise, swap hats, contemplate suicide anything so as "to hold the terrible silence at bay". 5

"With hindsight, we can see that Godot was stylistically rather than philosophically seminal for Stoppard - ping-pong dialogue between opposites, rhythmic pauses between beats, lack of answers to many small questions, lack of dénouement to the large plotline, metaphysics partially camouflaged by farce."6

"Beckett indicates with great precision, as if he were writing a musical score, the pauses between speeches. This is unusual for the French style of acting. If observed in the performance of the play, the effect may well enhance the painfulness of waiting, the emptiness of existence, the expectancy of collapse, of a manifestation of total despair. The innumerable pauses between speeches when the stage is silent underscore the anguish in each of the four characters and the nudity of the words themselves when they are spoken."7  As the play nears the end, its silences and pauses increase, lending the impression that the character's lives are dragging on ever more slowly toward a death they will never reach. The frequent pauses indicate a gradual approach to a death that will never arrive.

Vivian Mercier described this play as a play "nothing happens, twice".
"It was Beckett's escape from the increasingly despotic interiority of the fictional trilogy; in Beckett's own phrasing, 'I began to write Godot as a relaxation, to get away from the awful prose I was writing at the time.'"8


Beckett says the play was inspired by a painting by Capar David Friedrich-"Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon" (1824) ("This was the source of 'Waiting for Godot', you know"). One should credit this alternative as true only if he agrees with the interpretation of the play as being the "short story" of two old homosexuals trying to get an erection by hanging themselves. But, as a very perfid person or maybe as an amnesia sufferer, at other different occasions, Beckett drew his friends' attention to another but very similar in title painting called "Two Men contemplating the Moon"(1819). This should be the "politically-correct" variant - considering what "political correctness" meant in his days.Within this painting two men dressed in cloaks and viewed from the rear are looking at a full moon framed by the black branches of a large leafless tree.

   The play is a "prophetic reflection of the millennial, apocalyptic age in which it was born."9 (Ernst Junger).  The title of the play "Waiting for Godot", in time, became an idiomatic expression like "On the Road to Damascus". To be on the road to Damascus means nowadays to have an instant 360' revelation10 ; to wait for Godot means to wait in vain for something that will never happen(that is, Godot got highly assimilated into popular culture).

The play was translated into English by Beckett himself. He wrote it in French for reasons of concision the logic being that, in a foreign language one knows less words than in his mother tongue so, willy-nilly, he/she'll be as concise as it gets. Beckett seems to have followed the old Irish proverb: "An rud is giorra is geire."("The shortest thing is keener/ Brevity is the soul of wit.")

 THE TRANSLATION FROM FRENCH - One should know that the English variant is not simply a literal translation. Small but significant differences separate the French and English text. "Some, like Vladimir's inability to remember the farmer's name (Bonnelly- a farmer in Roussillon, the village where Beckett fled during World War II; he never worked for the Bonnellys, though he used to visit and purchase eggs and wine there), show how the translation became more indefinite, attrition and loss of memory more pronounced. A number of biographical details were removed, all adding to a general <<vaguening>>( an expression coined by Beckett in which he make the "meaning" less and less clear at each draft of the text) which he continued to trim for the rest of his life."11

It was seen as an infamous and often idiotic play, discredited as the "the laugh riot of two continents." When it was first performed (Paris 1953), it caused riots and a third of the audience left at intermissions and the remaining one lined up at the box office to ask for refunds: "To read Waiting for Godot is to bitterly envy those lucky folks who actually had the privilege of walking out and demanding their money back. In a more just world they would have hunted down the playwright and horsewhipped him."12 A depression and a sense of anti-climax descend on everybody at the end of this bizarre manifesto for the vacuum of unaesthetic emptiness. The audience wasn't very sure if they were being insulted or just bored. During one early performance "the curtain had to be brought down after Lucky's monologue as twenty, well-dressed, but disgruntled spectators whistled and hooted derisively . One of the protesters [even] wrote a vituperative letter dated 2nd February 1953 to Le Monde."13

After it came to America it became a hit ever since.

It can also be considered an existentialist play with the following possible interpretations:
-the futility and folly of human existence induce Kafkian states of spleen, acedia, suicide, downcast pessimism, dishearten manias for malice and physical violence("They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.".says Pozzo)
-life is pointless, you don't have to love it, it's a battle for nothing.but still, it's my way or the highway!14
The best illustration for the existentialist message of the play are the lyrics on the "Suicide Commando" song of the Norwegian black metal band Limbonic Art:
Suicide Commando-lyrics by Limbonic Art
"In the shadows of the world's ambitions
I see life and death, in an enormous collision
Light destroys, what dark creates

Forever floating, the dark rivers of the heart.
Lifeless drifting, in an orbital decay.
A vicious circle of extinction
The soul reaches the state oblivion

In blackness of sorrow, the sin is immortal.
The diamond of the heart, is pure nocturnal.

In the deep pitch black halls of darkness.
The cruel high-council of evil, demands self destruction.
All the aspects of love, must be undone.
Only then one can feel, the emptiness,
As the cold heart reaches beyond.

Tyrant in soul and flesh, pain is the unholy mistress.
Rites in earthly death, for darkness you confess.
Follow the voices of the night, in endless sleep you'll hide from light.

Dark was the day you were born, even darker on that eve you were torn.
(From life)
Die in martyrium, for darkness endless mysterium.
Die in silent spasms of screaming.
Life is infected by no meaning."

The play was also seen as an existentialist vaudeville.15 And indeed it contains scenes of dancing and singing but one should notice that such scenes are failed scenes of dancing, or a grotesque16 mockery at this human act.

At a first level of lecture, it is definitely a play about nothing, where two people (two poor taken in fools.like most of those who attend a religious service) put their lives on the hold for something they will never get." The play is excruciatingly painful as it is funny."17 It is by no means a play for easy-digestion, its spectator or reader has to be a very cultivated intellectual or a  highly speculative mind/nature.Otherwise he/she'll surely lose sight of its larger shape, or, the way we the Romanians put it  "Sometimes it so happens that one fails to see the forest because of some larger trees."

"Neither episodic nor classically constructed, <<Godot>> nevertheless has an imposing, filigreed architecture and a staggering, poetic rhythm all its own. Even the play's boldest gambit -- the bald-faced repetition of two acts, each with a whimpering nonconclusion -- feels as natural and beautiful, in its despairing way, as the change of seasons (.). But we don't quite feel the full, anguished blast of Beckett's wintry vision, which is sure to haunt us for at least another 50 years.."18


Godot seems to have appealed greatly to prisoners and, in jail, it seems to have been felt by the convicts at its best. A man from Lüttringhausen Prison near Wuppertal in Germany obtained a copy of the French edition, translated it himself into German, obtained permission to stage the play and wrote to Beckett:" You will be surprised to be receiving a letter about your play Waiting for Godot, from a prison where so many thieves, forgers, toughs, homos, crazy men and killers spend this bitch of a life waiting . and waiting . and waiting. Waiting for what? Godot? Perhaps."19

   Indeed, LIFE SEEN AS A WOMAN, NAMELY AS A BITCH, seems to be the only woman in the play, the only available (fuckable) woman, and what the two old losers try to do (the idea gets clearer and clearer in their mind as the play progresses) is to apply the old nihilist doctrine "If life is a bitch fuck her before she fucks you." That is why the idea of suicide by hanging (whereas, in the beginning it was meant to give them sexual pleasure) begins to haunt them with more and more clarity. So, we observe that the act of hanging in this play occurs with two antagonistic purposes: as a primitive substitute for nowadays Viagra and as a means to achieve a final but bitter victory on the destiny: by saying "NO!" in the so-called moment of victory of the destiny against you and by committing suicide you elude your destiny and make a clear statement-"Insignificant, useless for himself and the others and full of pettiness as he may be and is, THE INDIVIDUAL EXISTS!"...even if his level of existence is purely symbolic and groundlessly aesthetic at best. The way Beckett changes the significance of hanging as tool for sexual pleasure to hanging as tool for doing away with oneself is a proof of an utter and sinister cynicism. Now we live in a postmodern age when Hamlet finally understood that "not to be" is simply impossible (it's  golden impossibility if we were to mock at Emerson), but that's another story.

Anyway, the point is that, in the context of a post-World-War II Society, the Western per excellence notion of "INDIVIDUAL" and "INDIVIDUALITY" became highly problematic. The defeat of Germany in World War II signified above all the utter failure of the Western philosophy centred on the Individual as supreme value in the universe (Nietzsche, Heidegger, etc).that beautiful English first personal pronoun written with capital letter-"I". Martin Amis in his book "Time's arrow" makes a brilliant remark on the philosophy of this first personal pronoun singular, showing us how, after what happened with Hitler, the German variant was forced to give free way to the French and to the English ones: " <<I>> in English sounds noble and vertical, <<Je>> in French has a certain power and intimacy...while the German <<Ich>> resembles the sound of disgust produced by a kid when looking at his shit from the toilet."

The failure of the Nazi Germany also meant the rise to power of Marxism and of other doctrines of equality. But the Western society must surely have asked itself many questions among which the following: Whenever we see an ant-hill what really scares us? The fact that they have long antennas, tens of legs, bodies covered with scales and hair, that they secrete incessantly all kinds of disgusting substances-or the total lack of individualisation that reigns in there? Nobody has a personal life, each and every individual sacrifices all his life and energy for the sake of the community, a perfect communist society. Sexual difference between two warrior-ants, for the eye of an amateur is a dilemma impossible to solve. It is like in a communist utopia where the woman is strongly masculinized, turned into a hard worker, a true comrade if not even brother at arms for the man.

So, the Western society realized that it has to find a solution to save its much  worshiped notion of INDIVIDUAL and clear-cut (aesthetically speaking, at least!) gender-difference so, it came with a solution for this crisis of Western values: The Theatre and Fiction of the Absurd that one way or another promoted suicide, catatonic passivity and nihilist ignorance. Here I'm speaking about Camus's "The Stranger" and Beckett's and Albee's plays. So, as it can be seen the remaining Western society after the defeat of Germany (France, USA, Great Britain) adopted this temporary solution, namely that of saving the Individual through a Kafkaesque mysticized propaganda for suicide and denial to withstand the attack of Marxism.

Coming back, Beckett was seriously moved by the German prisoner's letter, and that moment signified the beginning of the playwright interest in and links with prisons and prisoners. Beckett took a great interest in the production of his plays performed in prisons and gave Rick Cluchey (a former prisoner from San Quentin) moral and financial support over many years. Both the German prisoner and Cluchey played Vladimir while in their prisons and both went on to work on a variety of Beckett's plays after their release.



LONELINESS "Wondering aloud whether they should part ways, they capture one of Beckett's toughest, most tragic themes: the chill of solitude that drives humans toward each other for warmth, only to have their fears of insignificance confirmed and magnified by the transaction. This Gordian knot, as tight and final as a noose, is one in which Vladimir and Estragon twist and squirm, and it's momentarily a bracing, awful spectacle."20

THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF MOVEMENT The two main characters would often encourage one another with "let's go-es" but, ironically they never move an inch as though they had struck roots. A grotesque image of their limited ability to displace appears when Pozzo and Lucky fall to the ground and Vladimir and Estragon, while trying to help them, they fall too and uncomfortable-enough remain there for a long time wailing and lamenting like some beggars. The theme of movement with the more precise connotation of leaving one place for another seems to have obsessed Beckett as his second play, "Endgame"is on the subject of leaving, on the necessity of reaching the door.


Vladimir is disgusted when Estragon humiliates himself and goes for the scraps fallen from Pozzo's table. "We are not beggars" he repeatedly tries to warn Estragon. Probably the very same pride seems to drive him into saying "Just tell him that you saw us" when Godot's messenger asks whether he should deliver a message to Godot on their account. They both are too pride in order to explicitly demand something from Godot and only try to draw this absent character's attention by a full of common sense and subtle hint-"Just tell him that you saw us." By this behavior Estragon and Vladimir seem to be rotting remnants of a once proud and radiant aristocracy. The may very well be there in order for Beckett to be able to shamelessly mock at the the old aristocratic world.Beckett was a Left-oriented writer, fought in the French resistance, though not a Marxist like Malraux. Sardonically, in "Endgame", Beckett states: "Nothing is funnier than unhappiness" (Beckett believes this was the most important line of the play) Romanians translate this kind of attitude by "A face haz de necaz"(To laugh at your misfortune).and it is a typical Celtic attitude whose reminiscence can also be seen on Romanian ground at  Săpânța. The Merry Cemetery of Săpânța is a Celtic(by essence at least) vestige on Romanian ground.

The sardonic repetition of the same thing twice it is a pure Nitzschean applied phobia. In this play we are given two acts in which nothing really happens. Indeed there are significant variations with deep implications but in the end both acts amount to the same thing: total nothingness. And, even worse, Beckett's clear message is that, should he have written ten more acts or a hundred more acts for this play, things would have followed the very same shitty pattern of the two existing acts.
"Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time! It's abominable! When! When! One day, is that not enough for you, one day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day we'll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you? "(Pozzo) Time in Beckett is an utter time as it is equivalent to the act of waiting. The remedy is to try not to feel time at all. That is why when Estragon tries to sleep he adopts a fetal position, as, within the womb, one does not feel the time. The play with time however has a sort of a autobiographical roots: after writing a study of Proust, Beckett came to the conclusion that "habit and routine are the cancer of time." As a true believer in his own ideas, he gave up his post at Trinity College and set out on a nomadic journey across Europe.


"Existentialists hold there are certain questions that everyone must deal with (if they are to take human life seriously), questions such as death, the meaning of human existence and the place of God in human existence. By and large they believe that life is very difficult and that it doesn't have an "objective" or universally known value, but that the individual must create value by affirming it and living it, not by talking about it. The play touches upon all of these issues. "21

The two male characters wait for Godot to come and give their miserable lives a purpose, to lead them out of their inner-labyrint/maze of disintegration where they've got lost because they cannot communicate, cannot shout over the walls of the labyrinth so as to find themselves again.so to say!

But maybe the two do not communicate precisely because there is no longer anything to be transmitted when all was said and done. An amoeba-like NOTHINGNESS slowly incorporates everything and nothing:" the chatter rustles impotently against an encroaching darkness".22

Nothingness is all-embracing: Estragon obsessively looks in his boot and finds nothing the way Vladimir looks in vain inside his hat. A grotesque mimicry-mockery of the human dialogue appears in the hallucinating scene where everybody exchanges dead, empty hats-collections of nothingness.as if they would exchange empty tins while in utter hunger(with the same resigned disgust).

This is the point where Humboldt's theory about communication seen as a sexual ct fails! Language is a key element in depicting/deciphering one's level of culture, intelligence or personality. The more elaborate it gets the higher we climb on the evolution scale (non-verbal communication, body-language, visual-contact, telepathy and all the other issues of communication enter this category). Language is the best mirror of CATATONIA and other mental disfunctionsas well as the best tool for manipulation.

That is why in Orwell's Oceania ("1984"), the Party controls people's history by modifying their language. The Party implements by means of force an invented language (Newspeak) which prevents ideological rebellion by eliminating all words entering its sphere. Language is a crucial issue when it comes to one's brain in the sense that it structures and limits his ideas and the individual's capacity to formulate and express them. Language can also be seen as the box where a country's tradition and inner-self are stored. When it is modified, the very culture of that country is modified to fit the needs of the "invaders" Every colonial power tried to impose its domination by imposing its language on the occupied territories.  Post-structuralists spoke of the "language as prison" saying that we live in an "inescapable textuality", in a vicious circle of the language: immediately after one has stopped thinking in a language, he starts thinking in another and that not having appropriate words to describe all our thoughts, language limits us. Leaving the sphere of a language ultimately leads to entering the sphere of another one, we cannot live outside language.  Linda Hutcheon in "The politics of Postmodernism" says that the same thing happens with ideology: your quitting the sphere of an ideology ultimately means entering the very sphere of another. Following this thread, one could say about the so-called politically-neutrals that they are the most politicized one: by refusing to get involved with the subject of politics, what you do in fact is to embrace a politics of your own based on denial and aggressive and elitist nihilism. The same happens with the refusal of communication: he who won't or can't speak, what he does in fact is whether that he tries to impose his type of communication on the others (like Orwell's Newspeak), punishing them with his evil silence in case of refusal(to co-operate); or that he struggles to invent a new, more pragmatic use of language, simply being too proud to use the old degraded variant (like a Mercedes driver put in the position to use a Trabant). In both cases one thing is clear: he who consciously refuses communication has a much acute interest in language than the one who uses it in a benevolent way every time he gets the chance in order to keep its fluid nature intact(as he would put it).

Humboldt said that language, far from limiting us, it enriches us. He proposed the metaphor of communication seen as a sexual act: when two people communicate, they leave in each other's spiritual womb a GERMINATIVE content which will further develop into a real "fetus", but without! altering the initial personality of he receiver.23 The fact that in Orwell's "1984" sex is forbidden is just a mirror of the fact that, in that territory there is no METAPHYSICAL SEX as well as no PHYSICAL SEX. It is a jewel-like fineness that Orwell uses in his novel.

And Beckett is no less subtle when he suggests that Estragon and Vladimir are too old to have sex any more.and to old to communicate(make spiritual sex).The only thing they can do are attempts at masturbations and simulations: hey try to simulate a sexual act by hanging themselves against a tree and they they simulate communication all long the play in order to fool themselves that they still exist.
"I'm a man who underwent through a lot of experiences during my life and I concluded that the best thing one can do in life is to forget.in this life where one starts with optimism and ends, forced by circumstances, in realism."(Prof.Dr.Marius Jucan- Faculty of European Studies, BBU, Cluj, Romania)

Surely, that is why Pozzo uses a vaporizer every time after speaking-in order to ERASE the decaying smell of rotting words from his mouth. Nietzsche says clearly that the clearest sign of the Superior Man is his instinct for Conservation.

Of the four characters,Pozzo and Estragon seem highly preoccupied with conservation, and conservation in this play's context means deleting the memories of words from your brain as they've become useless parasites. Being highly preoccupied with self-conservation, Pozzo and Estragon, they both instinctually choose to forget. The fact that they are preoccupied with conservation is also reflected in the following aspects:

-Pozzo has a personal slave
-Estragon is all the time concerned about his tiredness and, throughout the entire play he continuously tries to sleep and to get food or even money from Pozzo.
After all memory is a collection of words describing a useless life: erasing memory equals disintoxication and disinfectation of the brain. Those who cannot forget, have to pay the price for their wild, untamed lucid spirit, until death will eventually heal them of their unsane habit, habit which runs opposite to the conservation-instinct.

About forgetfulness, oblivion and self-denial, Vladimir resumes in a brilliant sentence my demonstration from above: "To every man his little cross. Till he dies and is forgotten." The meaning of "forgotten" from here is clearly not that of "atonement" for one's sins but that of erasing one's memories.

Estragon often refers to himself as Christ, more explicitly as Christ on the cross. And the crucified Christ said something that fits to his situation of useless waiting: "Oh, Lord, why hast thou forsaken me!" Estragon shares the fate of Christ in other aspects as well: he is beaten and humiliated by some unknown masses and, when he tries to appease Lucky (sweep his tears), like Christ, instead of gratitude he receives bitter violence (an utter kick in the tibia."Forgive them Lord, they don't know what they do!"(as Christ would have put it)

Estragon and Vladimir appear as the projection of the two thieves crucified next to Christ. The Marxist ant anti-Christian interpretation says clearly that it is better that Godot never came, because, should he had come, he would have saved only one of them and Vladimir is bitterly upset and indignant that Messiah saved only one of the two thieves on that day. The pair Pozzo-Lucky is hinted at as being Cain and Abel, but this dualism applies to Estragon and Vladimir as well.


Marx's "to be or not to be" in this play is, in fact, "who stands at the leading end of the rope?" Pozzo is clearly the capitalist exploiter (he is said in the play to have aristocratic origins) and the rope is the utter symbol of capitalist exploitation. Beckett fought in the French Resistance, so it is no wonder that he exploits the class issue with such ideological connotations. Pozzo's arrogance together with the reply "The road belongs to everybody" sustains this interpretation. At the moment when Pozzo first appears, he is intrigued to find the two old tramps on what he calls "his dominion", but immediately after he revisits his attitude concluding that after all "the road belongs to everybody", though it crosses his "estate".

"Pozzo has a breezy, smiling inconsequence that drains him of threatening power and belies his hold on Lucky, whose mad slobbering is properly unsettling. For all his oblivious arrogance, Pozzo should have an edge of brutality that explains his place, however precarious, on the leading end of the rope. As it is, his scenes create little more than a sideshow diversion."24

Pozzo's arrogance is to be read in the fact that nobody can convince him of anything, that he never acknowledges somebody's right, as, this is the very way how aristocracy has falen.the way Nietzsche himself puts it:

"Too long have we acknowledged them to be right, those petty people: so we have at last given them power as well;- and now do they teach that 'good is only what petty people call good.'"(Thus Spoke Zarathustra)

Pozzo's passion for power is clearly depicted by Nietzsche:


"Passion for power: the glowing scourge of the hardest of the heart-hard; the cruel torture reserved for the cruelest themselves; the gloomy flame of living pyres.

Passion for power: the wicked gadfly which is mounted on the vainest peoples; the scorner of all uncertain virtue; which rideth on every horse and on every pride."


But maybe Godot himself is the biggest and worst capitalist exploiter of all times.the most evil, arrogant and ignorant "absentee landlord" (Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate).



  A)The play was also seen as an allegory of the cold war, a more or less a pseudo-conflict within which the two parties (U.S. and the Soviets) kept on attacking themselves at the level of threatening, while in true practice they never did anything. The nuclear is seen by Baudrillard as the apotheosis of simulation, as a system of deterrence that has insinuated itself from the inside into all fields of life

In the shadow of this mechanism whose pretext is a nuclear threat, it is developped a perfect system of control and a progressive satellization of the whole planet through this hypermodel of security. "The system of deterrence grows and, around it, grows the historical, social and political desert."(Baudrillard, p.61).We are faced with a gigantic involution that makes every conflict, finality or strategy impossible.
The political stake is dead-only simulacra of conflicts and carefully circumscribed stakes remain.

The secret of the social order is that responsibility, control and censure always grow more rapidly than the forces of the weapons. The myth of the total and revolutionary strike crumbles at the very moment when the means are available and precisely because those means are available. This is the key of the whole process of deterrence. One day nuclear powers will export atomic reactors and bombs everywhere as, the aim is to replace the control by threat with the more effective strategy of pacification through the bomb and through the possession of the bomb.

The nuclear inaugurates an accelerated process of implosion, it freezes everything around it, it absorbs all living energy. "The nuclear is at once the culminating point of available energy and maximization of energy control systems. Lockdown and control increase in direct proportion to liberating potentialities-the very aporia of the modern revolution and the absolute paradox of the nuclear: energies freeze in their own fire, they deter themselves.  This  is a vast saturation of all system by its own forces, now neutralized, unusable, nonexplosive. The only possibility will be that of an explosion toward the center or implosion. In this case all these energies would be abolished  because a reversion of the whole cycle toward a minimal point."(Baudrillard)

This is Estragon and Vladimir's case a-la-lettre."the reversion of a cycle toward a minimal point."

   B)" [T]he intrusion of Pozzo and Lucky seems like nothing more than a metaphor for Ireland's view of mainland Britain, where society has ever been blighted by a greedy ruling élite keeping the working classes passive and ignorant by whatever means." 25
"The pair are often played with Irish accents, an inevitable consequence, some feel, of Beckett's rhythms and phraseology, but this is not stipulated in the text." 26


Bernard Dukore comes with a triadic theory in Didi, Gogo and the absent Godot, based on Freud's trinitarian division/distribution of the psyche in the Ego, the Id and the Superego. Dukore based his highly innovative critique on the onomastic devices of the play.
"The characters are defined by Dukore by putting a sharp eye on what they lack: the rational Go-go embodies the incomplete ego, the missing pleasure principle: (e)go-(e)go. Di-di (id-id) - who is more instinctual and irrational - is seen as the backward id or subversion of the rational principle[or an anagram from ID]. Godot fulfils the function of the superego or moral standards. Pozzo and Lucky are just re-iterations of the main protagonists."
Read in this new context, the whole play is about the terror that occurs, as Slavoj Zizek would put it in "A Pervert's Guide to Cinema", when things surrounding us/parts of our brain and body (that were previously totally subjected to our will)start acting independently of our will, on their own. When such a thing happens we are thrown back into chaos, the order of the world as we knew it is no longer valid, and we are really in danger as we deal with a totally new state of affairs. Zizek gives the example of a pair of red shoes from the movie "Wild At heart" with Nicholas Cage that start dancing on their own and of a hand that can no longer be controlled by its owner. Zizek says that when such a thing occurs, what really happens is that a secret dimension suddently intrudes and violates our dimension, the dimension in which we lived our normal lives up to that point.
What happens in Godot is that parts of a single character's brain get highly separated nd start actintg on their own and even talking and negotiating among themselves.One really happens in the whole play can be read as the mad, sick fallacy of a highly unbalanced one and the same psyche. In this case it is more than schizophrenia, more than paranoia, more than multiple personality, more than amnesia, more than somnambulism (the characters often forget)... more than memories that come back from a previous life and throw confusion into this one(Zizek's unexpected intrusion of a strange dimension).
It is the climax of insanity and the sickest thing a psyche can produce and, probably it is a hint at God's very situation who projected his multiple egos in us, the humans, his ids, egos, alter egos, superegos, until the whole situation just lost control within a crazy mixture of all the previously mentioned elements(ego, id, superego, alter-ego, etc).
It is a weird case of diffracted and diffuse personality, about the "piticii din capul cuiva" (the midgets within one's psyche), the way Romanians put it.


1. www.imagi-nation.com/moonstruck/clsc7.htm
2. Interview with Jean Martin, September 1989. Referenced in Knowlson, J., Damned to Fame: The Life of Samuel Beckett (London: Bloomsbury, 1996), pp 386-387
3. www.english.fsu.edu/library/sgontarski/otoole_review.htm
4, 11, 21, 26, 27. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_Godot
5. The Times, 31st December 1964. Quoted in Knowlson, J., Damned to Fame: The Life of Samuel Beckett (London: Bloomsbury, 1996), p 57
6. (Cohn, R., 'Tom Stoppard: Light Drama and Dirges in Marriage' in Contemporary English Drama (Ed.) Bigsby, C. W. E. (Suffolk: Edward Arnold, 1981), p 114. Quoted in Cohn, R., From Desire to Godot (London: Calder Publications; New York: Riverrun Press, 1998), p 176)
7. www.theatrehistory.com/french/beckett003.html
8. Cohn, R., From Desire to Godot (London: Calder Publications; New York: Riverrun Press, 1998), p 138
9. www.robkendt.com/Reviews/waitingforgodotNY.html 10. While being on the road to Damascus, Saul(at that time a convinced anti-christian militant) suddently met God who asked him-"Saul, Saul why are you victimizing me?" and after that he forever turned toward Christianity and embrace the name of Apostle Pavel instead of Saul
12. Orrin C. Judd "brothersjudddotcom" (Hanover, NH USA)
13. Knowlson, J., Damned to Fame: The Life of Samuel Beckett (London: Bloomsbury, 1996), pp 387, 778 n 139
14. Madame Bovary/Flaubert better put it:"Life is a choice between suffering and boredom."
15. "1. a. Stage entertainment offering a variety of short acts such as slapstick turns, song-and-dance routines, and juggling performances.
b. A theatrical performance of this kind; a variety show.
2. A light comic play that often includes songs, pantomime, and dances.
3. A popular, often satirical song."(from www.thefreedictionary.com/vaudeville)
16. Grotesque meaning half tragic, half comic 17. By Matthew Champ, www.helium.com/tm/256335/attended-stanley-theatre-vancouver
18, 20, 22, 24. By Rob Kendt, www.robkendt.com/Reviews/waitingforgodotNY.html
19. Letter from an unnamed Lüttringhausen prisoner, 1st October 1956. Translated by James Knowlson. Quoted in Knowlson, J., Damned to Fame: The Life of Samuel Beckett (London: Bloomsbury, 1996), p 409
23. The German philosopher Kant, a Bismarck-like spirit buttoned-up to the very last button...of the Spirit...of course!:), when hearing about his fellow-philosopher's theory said in an utter rigour:"Out of the question!"
25. Hassell, G., 'What's On' London, 2nd - 9th July 1997

The Will to Kill
[A review of Ciaran Carson's poetry of war]

by Ormeny Francisc

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in 1839: "Rhyme.-Rhyme; not tinkling rhyme, but grand Pindaric strokes, as firm as the tread of a horse. Rhyme that vindicates itself as an art, the stroke of the bell of a cathedral. Rhyme which knocks at prose and dullness with the stroke of a cannon ball. Rhyme which builds out into Chaos and old night a splendid architecture to bridge the impassable, and call aloud on all the children of morning that the Creation is recommencing. I wish to write such rhymes as shall not suggest a restraint, but contrariwise the wildest freedom." Both in his vigorous translations from the French and Italian masters of sonnets and in his highly original and explosive verses and prose, Ciaran Carson tried to impregnate as much liberty as possible in the form of originality and accessibility. One may even say that he goes as far as to try to re-define some concepts in poetry and prose, using Chaos as the main fertilizer of the newly created dreamscapes/cityscapes. Carson possesses what Robert Graves had called "a heart-rending sense" being the creation of a poet who has an imaginative relation with Ireland.

His father was a postman and this fact played a major influence in his system of assessing the surroundings: he often sees himself as POSTMAN on his walk, distributing messages: "I am like a postman on his walk,/ Distributing strange messages and bills, and arbitrations with the world of talk."

Carson's poetry is full of intense allusions and it can be considered a project with a sociological target: to present Belfast in encyclopedic detail. Henry Hitchings makes a well-inspired comparison between Joyce and Carson: "If Dublin disappeared, it could be reconstructed from the detail stored up in James Joyce's Ulysses. The same claim could be made about Belfast and Ciaran Carson." Carson even makes use of Joycean techniques such as bilingual punning, quoting at length from newspapers or books, lists of metonymies or catalogues of names in his novels and in his poetry: "Sometimes I am in religious awe of the power of names."

In "One Exchange Place" we have:" These are the premises of Sam Murray's workshop: / linseed oil, boxwood, turpentine, waxed thread,/ gravers, gouges, pincers, pliers, chisels, planes,/ rosewood, ivory, silver wire, blow-torch, fluxes,".objects enumerated by virtue of the same circular logic "everything is linked in labyrinthine chains/of major or minor cruxes."

Detailed descriptions of functions of the human body or of act of slaughter, together with a passion for dictionaries ("Chambers's entry for spunk is worth quoting in full"-The Star Factory).but without Joyce's unexpected and cynically deep hilarity. Despite this "deficiency", "it is a world so perfectly realized that one is repeatedly tempted to step inside" observes Gregory Dart.

In his poems Carson goes as far as to compare Belfast with Dresden writing two poems "Dresden" and "Belfast Confetti" which turn him into a sort of strange poet-chronicler of the bombed cities. John Kerrigan observes how "in the human geography of these islands, diversity is the rule. Plainly, however, there are regions in which the juxtaposition of difference do not coincide with a tolerant multiculturalism. Although the Troubles could only have happened in Ulster, there are aspects of the situation which echo across the archipelago. Events in Northern Ireland can seem locked in a violent past. "He further observes how all the standardized devices for maintaining social order (linguistic, electronic, environmental resources, media-manipulation, politicians and surveillance systems of the military forces) have failed to control the chaos of the crisis.

The artistic implications for a society rent by civil war are: an intense self-reflexive concern, a thrilled perturbation of philosophical problems of perception and imagination, an acquired watchfulness of the poetic speech.all resulting into a mystic inwardness.

In Terry Eagleton's point of view, Belfast sadly succeeds to live up to the fame of its failed product [Titanic], the city itself being drowned and sunk back into chaos with all its sparkles devoured [ like the big ship], by sectarian violence: "The fascination that Belfast has for its inhabitants never ceases to amaze its visitors. The city looks about as glamorous as Barnsley but has bred as much mythology as Camelot. Legends lurk in the street corners, and fables wreathe its decaying factories. It has been in turns the birthplace of the 18th-century Irish Enlightenment, the single modern tip of a backward rural colony, the fifth-greatest industrial city in the world, the home of the Titanic, the scene of sectarian slaughter." In his novel "The Star Factory", Carson characterizes his native city as an "ongoing, fractious epic" and seems passionate with the twists and turns that have modeled the city in the past and that are moulding its present aspect.

Should one want to reconstruct its structure, instead of doing it piece by piece (whatever it may mean.puzzle, dominoes, "manuscripts") he'll have to do it "bomb by bomb": as if the city would be a highly-branched out tree and the bomb was the encapsulated seed that made possible its coming into being. In order to reconstruct the city one will have to gather the broken pieces (car-keys, nuts, bolts) using as guidelines the "fertilized" and fucked into non-existence streets(whose detailed maps Carson kindly provides us with)-in order to recreate the bomb.than another.and than another bomb. When one will have the full collection of bombs he'll be in the possession of the magic seeds that gave birth to the actual urban geography. The bomb contains the encapsulated GENETIC CODE of the city, a genetic code/seed which, when released out of its protective layer (or womb), comes to life and impregnates the soil (like a magic and over explosive in the sense of over-ejaculative powerful phallus) creating new geographies. The full collection of these encapsulated genetic codes will, at the end, be arranged to form the complete matrix of a city.

Ciaran Carson is a poet of the bombs: bombs used in Dresden and in Belfast. In order to understand the bomb you have to be a complete artist - you have to be there when it explodes, when the monster comes into being from its little capsule with all the hell fires of a newly born life. "You are an artist: your face feels the heat, your chest feels the impact" said Lance Herricksen's character in Millenium. Apart from reconstructing the city "bomb by bomb", one may say that if he had not lived the city "bomb by bomb", he missed its whole essence -C.L. Dallat's "physical revisionism of bomb damage".  That is why, perhaps, Ciaran Carson still lives in Belfast and decided not to leave it as other poets did because of sectarian violence.in order to keep on learning what it means to be "at home"(to let the city inform and infuse his work). Carson has made of himself a catatonic chronicler of Belfast's street-names, graffiti, ghosts, lore and murderous back alleyways as he's the architect within a postmodern by essence process/project: construction (memories from earlier times, childhood included) - deconstruction(by bombs and other military devices) - reconstruction (by gathering and reassembling the mess made by the bomb, frayed pieces which at the level of he language survive in the shape of metonymies). The gain within this process of construction-deconstruction-reconstruction is that the initial aura is destroyed and replace by a new, fresh aura; the metaphysical element is sacrificed and killed for the sake of a brand new, shiny, radiant stainless-steel physical element.(in the purest Nietzschean tradition, being well-known that Nietzsche meant the end of metaphysics).

Calvin's "ungodly" has infected Belfast and has transformed it into an "twelve inches lower and I'd not/be here to write"-city depicted by Carson in vivid and fragmentary images of uncertainty: damaged infrastructure, blocked roads and the never-ending hellish expectancy of "unfinished business". The concision and condensation of Carson's highly focused language are that of journalism: exact nature of the battle scene, detailed descriptions and meaningful silences.

Given the "imperialist" street names among which he grew up (Inkerman, Odessa, Crimea, Balaklava, Lucknow), the poet seems to have developed an IMPERIALIST-PHOBIA and to be among the upholders of the anti-unionist "project"("The Irish for No"-an echo of "Ulster Says No"-the slogan of Unionist Resistance to the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985).

C.L.Dallat makes the following comparison between Carson and other highly visual poets and artists:
"The vision of a disintegrating horse carcass at Balaklava from last year's failed sortie confronting the next year's advance comes from Russell's prose, but echoes Rimbaud's <<Le Dormeur du Val>> in which the sleeper proves to be a shot soldier. The Rimbaud poem is translated in Carson's 1998 collection The Alexandrine Plan. Visual art also comes under scrutiny, with Géricault, Goya and Edward Hopper all brought into play. Other poems here deal with silences, signs, the interrupted two-way radio-speak of a soldier walking into a trap, the aftermath of explosions, a lucky escape and recurring noises: the boom of war, a helicopter confused with a washing-machine's spin cycle . . . The clutter of Carson's aural and visual Belfast has expanded to embrace a gaggle of 19th-century sights and sounds, but remains disturbingly and engagingly committed to <<what is meant by home>>" (C.L.Dallat).

Belfast Confetti by Ciaran Carson

The title is a cynical hoax: we are tempted to think that Carson will speak about some celebrations or something and instead he's speaking about the explosion of a bomb.

In Belfast's architecture, "brick" provides mediation on the material out of which Belfast is built. "The subversive half-brick, conveniently hand-sized, is an essential ingredient of the ammunition known as <<Belfast confetti>>, and has been used by generations of rioters." It is definitely the Irish variant (made of crumbly brick) for the infamous Molotov Cocktail. We are dealing with the deadly meaning of a "baptism by fire"(Marduk) more explicitly exploited in the poem "Dresden". Carson's style is thus subtly vernacular, but vernacular in the most original way, as it brings slang into unexpected and new contexts.

The motif of the "confetti" is ever-present in the whole "Belfast Confetti" volume, each time with slightly or evidently different connotations: in one poetry, soldiers enter a chemist shop and seem to "spit word-bubbles" at the assistant, but "Much of this is unintelligible, blotted out by stars and asterisks/ Just as the street outside is splattered with bits of corrugated iron and confetti."(Belfast Confetti, p.33)

Related to this topic, David Wheatley makes the following observation: "The confetti here, as in the title, refers to the <<conveniently hand-sized>> (Belfast Confetti, p.72) half-bricks and other detritus used by rioters for lobbing at the security forces. If these half-bricks confirm their altogether different associations with their alternative labels <<heekers>> and <<hicker>>. The confetti image here suggests street violence through linguistic defamiliarization, but in <<Jump Leads>> Carson powerfully suggests a far more violent scene by apparently returning the word to its more familiar sense." (David Wheatley-"<<That Blank Mouth>>: Secrecy, Shibboleths, and Silence in Northern Irish Poetry") The poem "Jump Leads" actually reconstitutes a news report of a murder within which an advice from a priest, the story of a murder and of its victim co-exist in the continuum of a reportage and is allocated a minute or two before moving on to the weather: "Everything went dark. The killers escaped in a red Fiesta/ according to the sources./ Talking, said the Bishop, is better than killing. Just before the/ Weather/ The victim is his wedding photograph. He's been spattered/ with confetti."(Belfast Confetti, p.56) 

The poetry itsef called "Belfast confetti" is a pretty catatonic piece of poetry: the poet speaks as if having a part of his brain cut off, idea depicted in the line "I was trying to complete a sentence in my head, but it kept stuttering." Catatonia is also reflected in the poet's sense of loss and disintegrating identity ("My name? Where am I coming from? Where am I going?") under an evilized solvent: an acid rain of question marks ("A fusillade of question marks"). The question mark is a sign of confusion and insecurity and, when placed in a hyperbolized picture - a rain of metallic question marks [most probably, a reference to bullets, but not physical, psychic bullets meant to kill and break up any coherent agglutination of thoughts]-it reaches its peak of tell-tale. The entire poetry can be seen as an empire of signs, a net of circulating signifiers which, in their floating, shape Belfast.

 I afforded myself the previous comments on the bomb and its creative-destructive explosion, as Ciaran Carson himself never mentions whether he thinks the bombing is right or wrong, "which is refreshing in a time when everyone has an opinion about the freedom of Ireland from England" (Joshua Smith).

Ben Howard in his review of Belfast Confetti, refuses to acknowledge the neutral attitude towards bomb, seen by others in Carson's poetry:" <<All poets adore explosions>> wrote Auden in <<The Poet & the City>>, but the tone[in literature, as in music, the tone is everything] of Ciaran Carson's new collection[Belfast Confetti], set in the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland, is seldom that of adoration. It is one of dark, sardonic mirth. Rather than keen for losses or decry atrocities, these fluid, vibrant poems capture the crackling ambience of contemporary Belfast, where <<everything is contingent and provisional>>, where familiar places are <<swallowed in the maw of time and trouble>>, and where a woman, sitting in her car, stoops for the dashboard cigarette lighter and finds her permanent wave <<neatly parted>> by a bullet."

This piece of poetry is highly original as, using graphic signs and symbols as such, Carson recreates the most vivid picture of the violence within an explosion:

-the explosion coincides to an asterisk on the map, thus catching the idea of "risk" within the"asterisk". Stefan Augustin Doinaş (the Romanian poet translated by Carson in "Opera Etcetera"(1996) observed that, often there are smaller words that live carelessly in the  belly of bigger words - thus the word "risk" lives within the greater word "asterisk".suggesting a sort of asthenic risk.

-the psychic pressure that floats in the air combined with the roared threatenings of the riot squad resembles perhaps to the calm before the storm coincides to a rain of exclamation marks. The exclamation mark is in this context, a warning to stay inside, a curfew before an air raid.Beware! The butchers/ executioners are coming!

-the nuts, bolts, nails, car-keys blown up in the air by the explosion of the bomb correspond to a found of broken type

-a burst of rapid fire corresponds to a hyphenated line

-a shot on the spot man who dared to move too suddenly (as if making abrupt movements in front of a dangerous snake) correspond to a drastic, utter final point at the end of a sentence("every move is punctuated")

-the final devouring attack of the rats and worms of insanity and of bewilderment correspond to a fusillade of question marks. The way David Wheatley observes, the questions that anticipate this "fusillade of question marks" are, indeed, existentialist - like questions("What is my name?/ Where am I coming from?/ Where am I going?-Camus's "stranger" is ever present here), but to identify the fusillade with "the barked enquiries of a policeman" as Wheatley does is simply an uncomfortable interpretation. He saw the Existentialist background from behind the questions but he failed to see the mental crisis and catatonic collapse that naturally follows it, [given the context] and mistook them for the questions of a police-officer.Weird!

As it can be seen, the chaos of violence (which, once again is creative to the same extent to which it can be destructive) "is made scriptable in metaphors drawn from writing and printing in ways that emphasize the explosive effects on any pretence of realist representation"(David Wheatley-"<<That Blank Mouth>>: Secrecy, Shibboleths, and Silence in Northern Irish Poetry"). They are not so much metaphors as metonymies: the flying car-keys stand far the larger class of this small object (the key) - namely, the car, most probably blown-up high up in the sky. Corcoran, wisely observes that "yet it also happens that named commodities have a habit of refusing their proper function in Carson's poems."

Carson's metonymies are as powerfully traumatic as Paul Muldoon's. In Muldoon's "Broagh", the metonymy is a grimly dissociative one: only an anorak stands in for the corpse. Corcoran also discovers a strange logic of movement in Carson's poetry, the movement identified as "one step forward, two steps back" which, finally results into a sort of circularity of the poetry. He noticed it by departing from some lines taken out of Calvin Klein's Obsession: "I'm taking/ One step forward, two steps back, trying to establish what it was about her/ That made me fall in love with her, if that's what it was.": "Such passages [circular passages] are self-reflexive, a synthesis of personal and involuntary memory and demonstrative of the movement, <<one step forward, two steps back>>(...) Movement by digression, the characteristic movement of all the longer poems in the book, is the movement of one step forward, two steps back too: these poems get not exactly forward but back in upon themselves. In their own intricate circularity of purpose they too plot prophecies of foretelling and prefiguring and maps of dislocation, erasure and derangement(...) Memory and perhaps language itself are conjured in all their recessive duplicity, as products without origin and names without substance."

 The final "fusillade of question marks" is a clear sign that the poem has a circular structure.Nietzsche's terror of the eternal return of the similar, in Carson's case-of another bomb that will explode on the same pattern as this one.

Joshua Smith interprets the end of Carson's poetry in the following terms: "By saying <<Saracen, Kremlin-2 mesh. Makrolon face-shields. Walkie-talkies>>, he [Carson] gives the reader an inhuman picture of the army by depicting it as a collection of military equipment, intimidating in its coldness. The actual sound of the line too with the predominant consonant <<k>> and heavily fragmented lines contributes to this effect. Also, I think that when Ciaran Carson says <<Balaclava, Raglan, Inkerman, Odessa Street-why can't I escape?>> he is unsure of an area that he knows because of everything that is happening. He is also, maybe unintentionally, dropping names as freely as confetti." Well, Smith makes quite a good point in both of his observations: the army is thereto intimidate and to create the impression of a unit/ aggregation with massive killing capacities (the letter "k" probably sends to some types of planes or tanks, to the verb "to kill" or to the famous fights called K-ONE); Carson randomly names streets and places in a mental state of catatonic bewilderment, speaking as one who has just seen a ghost.

One can easily notice Carson's pleasure in list-making, both in poetry and in prose: "It is notable that Carson often strips the similes away and deals out seemingly endless lists: as though he's determined to itemize all the bits of confetti The result is that by the time you get to the end of the volume you have an almost visceral feeling for Belfast" (John Lucas). This visceral feeling is also due to an elaborate use of language, to wordplays.to Carson's wit: "His wit enlivens his lines, as do his energetic rhythms and his precise, auditory imagery. He has a keen ear, both for speech and for the sounds the world is making" (Ben Howard).just like William Carlos Williams.

At the end, one could draw a parallel between Louis MacNeice's "Snow" and Carson's "Snow":

-"The room was suddenly rich and the great bay window was/ Spawning snow and pink roses against it/ Soundlessly collateral and incompatible/ World is suddener than we fancy it/ World is crazier and more of it than we think, / Incorrigibly plural (.) There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses" (MacNeice).
-"Roses are brought in, and suddenly, white confetti seethes against the window."(Carson)
Indeed, the world is much more than we perceive of it, but Carson's reply-poem to MacNeice's is a clear cynical mockery.

The idea of rain acting upon people as a miraculous evil solvent (destroying or transforming them into subhuman species) occurs in other poems as well. In "Fuji Film" the rain of exclamation marks is replaced by an "acid rain":" I joined the crowd that swarmed beneath the acid rain/ Like schools of fishes in a vast aquarium." In "Fear" we have: "I fear the books will not survive the acid rain (.)/ I fear the gremlins that have colonized my brain". In "The Rising Sun" we have: "Black rain descended like a harp arpeggio"(.)."

Images of punctuation used to suggests military devices appear in other poems as well:

-In "Punctuation": - "When another shadow steps out from behind the hedge, going, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot." (the hint is made at a machine gun fired against you).

-In "Yes" the bomb is compared to an stirred bottle of  "7-up" and when Carson speaks about the "Blossoming mushroom: from some unknown tree a leaf has stuck to it", he makes reference to the mushroom-like shape of the dust after the explosion of a big-bomb. Should you watch the photographs taken from Hiroshima, you'll have the full picture of it.

Carson seems passionate with bombarded cities and, apart from Belfast he writes a poem about Dresden as well (subject present in Kurt Vonnegut's novel "Slaughterhouse-Five").
In Dresden the Americans used the so-called "saturation bomb": after a rain of fire, all the oxygen from the air is evaporated and people (even if they manage to survive the hell fires) die because their lungs get completely dry/ scorched. It is said that those who survived this American attack which , according to president Truman killed many more people than in Hiroshima, no longer fear apocalypse as they've seen it.

The bomb comes in this poem as well as in others in the guise of an eradicating RAIN:

"As he remembered it, long afterwards, he could hear, or almost hear/ Between the rapid desultory thunderclaps, a thousand tinkling echoes-/All across the map of Dresden, store-rooms full of china shivered, teetered/ And collapsed, an avalanche of porcelain, slushing and cascading: cherubs,/ Shepherdesses, figurines of Hope and Peace and Victory, delicate bone fragments."

Dresden is famous for its china, but in Carson's cynic humor, the very china that made it famous comes back, in revenge, within a glassy rain of sharp, thin potsherds.

The main character in the poem, Horse, was a tail gunner with the Royal Air Force during the bombardment of Dresden. The narrative eventually focuses on Horse's pathetic preservation of a piece of a china milkmaid that he had accidentally broken as a child:

"He lifted down a biscuit tin, and opened it.
It breathed an antique incense: things like pencils, snuff, tobacco.
His war medals. A broken rosary. And there, the milkmaid's creamy hand, the outstretched
Pitcher of milk, all that survived


At the page 45 within the volume "Belfast Confetti" we are shown the most convincing example of how functional forms of writing fall short: the T and r of a shop called Terminus are missing, leaving behind a school grade-like message-"e minus".which, after all isn't so wrong as the shop itself advertises a closing-down sale. But the best example is, maybe, the poem entitled "O" from "Letters to the Alphabet". In this poem, the shape of the letter is driven out of familiar/domestic contexts(the tea-cup-stain in the shape of an "O", the "O" of the china where the tea is prepared reminding of the pit in the Delphi, the large, extravagant "O" of the sombreros) to an ghastly final "O" , that of the terminus point of the barrel of a gun pressed against your face:

                                           "The tea-cup stain on the white damask table-cloth was not quite perfect. Never-
Theless, I'd set my cup exactly on it, like it was a stain-remover.

                                             I sipped the rim with palatable lip. I drank the steaming liquor up.
My granny then would read my future from the tealeaves' leavings in the cup.

                                             I stared into enormous china O and saw its every centrifugal flaw,
The tiny bobbles glazed in its interior of Delphic oracle. I yawned

Into its incandescent blaze of vowel like the cool of dudes in black fedoras
At high noon; trigger-fingered, shadowless, they walked beneath sombreros.

                                             They stopped me inadvertently and asked for my identity. I did not know
Until the mouth of a gun was pressed against my forehead, and I felt its O."

In this piece of poetry it is clearer than in other ones how Carson sees in Belfast assort of reply to Jeremy Bentham's "Panopticon". The Panopticon is a model reform prison composed of individual cells equally visible from a central tower-described by Bentham in his 1791 work "Panopticon". The way Raymond Burglow wrote in his "Dolphins , Dreams and computers, -"there are no more sacred spaces for the self to have an intimacy of its own", everything is public, we live in a pornography created by the social-surveillance systems. Everything has to be classified and monitorized, and, "without a legal status" provided by the identity card, you are a non-existent person (from a legal/judicial point of view).and, when you do not exist, everything can happen to you.

"Power itself has for a long time produced nothing but the sings of its resemblance." (Baudrillard- Simulation and Simulacra). Another figure comes into play, that of collective demand for signs of power. The melancholy of societies without power has already stirred up fascism.

  "The truth is no longer the reflexive truth of the mirror, nor the perspectival truth of the panoptic system and of the gaze... it is the manipulative truth of the laser that touches and pierces, the truth of computer cards that retain your preferred sequences, of the genetic code that controls your combinations, of cells that inform your sensory universe. You no longer watch TV, it is TV that watches you: this is  a switch from the panoptic mechanism of surveillance to a system of deterrence in which the distinction between the passive and the active is abolished. In a hyperreal sociality, the real is confused with the model and with the medium. It becomes impossible to locate one instance of the model, of power,of gaze,of the medium itself, because you are always already on the other side."(Baudrillard)

The medium  itself is no longer identifiable as such, and the confusion of the medium and the message ( McLuhan) is the first great formula of this new era" (Baudrillard, p.46): there is no longer a medium in the literal sense, it is now intangible, diffused and diffracted in the real. Baudrillard sees "a viral endemic, chronic, alarming presence of the medium, without the possibility of isolating the effects (spectralized in the empty space of the event filtered by the medium)...dissolution of TV in life, dissolution of life in  TV. One must think instead of the media, as if they were, in outer orbit, a kind of genetic code that directs the mutation of the real into the hyperreal."(Baudrillard)

We live in an "Information Age" filled with databases, electronic spreadsheets, desk-top publishing, automated tellers, computer-assisted instruction, virtual realities and artificial intelligence.

Foucault politicizes the technological gaze and states that such a gaze comes at us through the official ideologies of truth which verify the realities of everyday life. These ideologies are present in systems of discourse and centred in those instititional formations which produce truth, including the universities. Taken to new heights by the advanced technological societies, these ideologies of truth are implemented through ever more  sophisticated systems of surveillance, encompassing "not only aerial viewing and listening devices, but also radar and contact microphones, hidden transmitters, satellite monitoring systems, body microphones, data surveillance systems, computer monitors, hidden cameras, international detective agencies, wiretaps, electronic intelligence kits, intercom systems, personality tests, lip-reading, miniature surveillance devices, two-way mirrors, credit card monitoring systems, undercover agents, parabolic and shotgun microphones, photochrimic micro-images, television-eye monitoring, public opinion polls, managed news releases, subliminal suggestion methods, radio-detection and frequency probes, radioactive tagging, faked documents, scrambling and signaling devices, sniperscopes, sonic-wave devices, spectrograms, super-spy devices, video-tapes, high powered telescopes, voice-prints, DNA prints, X-rays, and ultra-violet surveillance techniques."(Norman K.Denzin, "Cinematic Society" p.123) And I would add to this list the zodiac-signs that are also a part of the strategy of total monitorization (Marx's "maximum-security society").

Intelligence, once the privileged domain of humans is nowadays an honor shared with the devices brought to us by IBM and Apple. The human brain fails to keep the rhythm with the information-processing carried out by millions of circuits etched into a silicon chip.

 Carson writes, <<Keeping people out and keeping people in, we are prisoners or officers in Bentham's Panopticon, [.] panopticons within panopticons.>> In Carson's Belfast, where English, UDA paramilitary, and Provisional IRA forces routinely conduct surveillance of the citizenry, checking identity, political connections, and personal history, such an equation proves alarmingly apt. The poems in Belfast Confetti are rife with instances of scrutiny and inspection, from roadblocks to security devices in pubs to the daily interrogations of ordinary conversation. But -- unlike Bentham's model -- the power relations of Carson's Belfast fluctuate"( Cone, Temple
Knowing the Street Map by Foot: Ciaran Carson's Belfast Confetti, New Hibernia Review - Volume 10, Number 3, Autumn 2006, pp. 68-86).from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Abecedary accidents are a topos in Carson's work: "A" is about a Stealth bomber whose Alpha Wings carries an Ampere-wired Ampoule-bomb and "H" stands for Belfast's notorious H-shaped prisons. Carson's sardonic humor says that if you want to commit violence you have to broke something into its meaningless constituent parts and, than, use them separately. Thus, anything (object, human transformed into a cyborg) can be used for violent end in homo faber's purest tradition: Carson shows how language can be used to enforce, to spy, and - broken into its almost meaningless constituent parts - to commit physical violence- the bomb in "Belfast Confetti" is loaded with not only ironmongery but "a fount of broken type." All these happen because the breakdown of communication has penetrated the structures language itself.

"Turn Again" by Ciaran Carson

Baudrillard argues that prisons exist only to side-track attention and to hide the fact that society itself is carceral. Ciaran Carson, in "Turn Again" states that "And the shapes of the jails cannot be shown for security reasons".so, the Panopticon must remain invisible though it is, practically everywhere, even in the mind (Orwell's "thought-police" from "1984"). An "H" in Irish Postmodern poetry will surely be a reference to the famous "H-Blocks" type of prisons. Carson writes this poem on the same pattern imposed by military intelligence, surveillance techniques and secret codes. Such elements are ubiquitous in his writings. Should he experience some difficulty in communication, Carson makes it look like a code of silence or gives us the impression that, like a military-robot/cyborg, he's experiencing some forms of technical interference or a static short-circuited chip. The role of the maps in this poem is to typify such representational difficulties-maps are detailed within an excess of information: "a map of the city which shows the bridge that was never built/ A map which shows the bridge that collapsed; the streets that never existed" and maps that are covered in blanks "the shape of the jails cannot be shown for security reasons."
The maps in this poem suggest three different interpretations:

-The poem is the mimicry of an secret/undercover agent, a spy and informer. James Joyce himself was a writer for whom betrayal amounted to a controlling obsession, and, in his article called "Il Fenianismo" he wrote- "In Ireland, at the proper moment, an informer always appears". No one is more disgraced and infamous in Irish history than the informer, and that is also why Muldoon refuses to pronounce a word such as "collaborator" and replaces it with "clapper". Punishments in case of informers go as far as cutting out the tongue. In Carson's poem one deals rather with an "IN-FORMER" than with an INFORMER. An in-former in the postmodern sense would mean a mentor, a subversive creator of personalities and characters "from the inside." It is the very equivalent of  DNA that indforms its future medium.
-Maps can be interpreted as a mockery to the absent realities-by means of an utter contrast to reality, they appear as uncomfortably inadequate to what really happens in the city.But Carson's intention is to show, I think, by this discrepancy the fluid nature of the city itself, made possible through military operations.
-The maps can be a direct hint at Borges-"the city is a map of the city", a shape-shifting urban labyrinth within which, the city is drawn after the map and not the map after the city as it should be the case.
"Human lives are being broken because they happen where they are target points on an already written chart: peoples' lives are taken out of their hands by the alien mapmakers and map readers of their destinies" (Corcoran).

The map is a key trope Carson's system of appropriating the world, and here we are in fact given a map of an absent yet languished for Belfast: 'a collapsed bridge, non-existent streets, jails'.a possible utopian alternative for another HAPPIER Belfast. Namely a Belfast where destructions never took place, a city whose social and cultural history could resemble the aristocratic and coquettish Vienna for example.   This "other" Belfast is: "the ghost of a never-realised possibility" (Corcoran). Here we have Lyotard's idea of "the different"/"the other". There is also the replacement of Irish street names with British imperial titles, subtle and yet aggressive hint which suggests clearly who is the guilty side for the ongoing conflict.

When he says that "the Falls Road hangs by a thread" it's a clear reference to the collapsing state of Catholicism in Northern Ireland, the Falls Road being the headquarters of Sinn Fein("Ourselves Alone"), the Catholic Separatist Organization, which has, in its past at least, flirted with Marxist ideas. When Carson says he'll try to "throw off" his shadow and "history is changed", he makes a clear reference to the loss of identity of Catholics in Northern Ireland-when you lose your shadow, you lose your identity and become a non-existent entity, a vampire.and only vampires can get rid whenever they want of their shadow.

As abstract painter of a brutally divided society, one should understand Carson's signs and symbols of division as coded into the "manly code of silence",  Heaney himself suggesting- "whatever you say, say nothing".most probably, a silent "legacy" from the even more silent bodies recovered from the bog.
"In <<Queen's Gambit>>, the poet is listening to a barber talk about a republican operation, uncomfortable that he may have been mistaken from his short hair for an ex-prisoner. The mirror he looks into is used by Carson to mirror his unease, although here too images go aslant:
<<And I've this problem, talking to a man whose mouth is a
I tend to think the words will come out backwards, so I'm
saying nothing>> (Belfast Confetti, p. 39)"
(David Wheatley-"<<That Blank Mouth>>: Secrecy, Shibboleths, and Silence in Northern Irish Poetry")

In the poem "John Ruskin in Belfast" we are presented a painting, within which, the mouth is simply left out, as the painter refuses to paint it:

"See how in the static mode of ancient Irish art, the missal-painter draws
his angel
With no sense of failure, as a child might draw an angel, putting red
In the palm of each hand, while the eyes-the eyes are perfect circles, and,
I regret to say, the mouth is left out altogether. "
Carson's comments in this case are: "That blank mouth, like the memory of a disappointed smile,/ comes back to haunt me./  That calm terror, closed against the smog and murk of Belfast:/  Let it not open/ That it might condemn me. Let it remain inviolate. (Belfast Confetti, pp. 97-98)

"Unlike Heaney in "Bye-Child", Carson makes no attempt to act as intermediary for the silent figure, choosing instead to honor its <<inviolate>> silence. This is not an act of trans-historical solidarity such as we find in the poems about silenced figures from the past by Carson's contemporary, Eavan Boland; Carson fears that if the angel did speak, it would be to condemn him. He refuses to flatter us with artificial claims for his ability to bridge the divides of history; nor will he turn this failure into forms of self-castigation in which the guilty poet (as so often in Heaney and Boland) is placed center-stage." (David Wheatley-"<<That Blank Mouth>>: Secrecy, Shibboleths, and Silence in Northern Irish Poetry"). The most dreadful image of silence as induced by fear is that from the poetry Fuji Film(1998) where Carson says about some people that they :" Some wore surgeons, with a white mask where their mouth should be" somehow echoing Martin Amis in his novel "Time's Arrow", where Tod Frienfdly speaks of some sheets as having "the white smell of fear".


"We had come from different schools,/ Yet thought the same, like mutants of one chromosome."(February Fourteen).
We are given the same idea about the exiled one as in the rest of Irish literature: a cripple, a mutant.like Patrick O'Connor's Michael(one leg and one arm missing after a car accident) or Le Fanu's disciple/apperentice of Doctor Martin Hesselius (a de-formed doctor with fingers lost).
The behaviour of Irish exiles abroad is to gather in a bar and drink so as to alleviate their bitterness:
-In "February Fourteen": " Then I met you, Irish exiles, in the Fish Bar(.)/Fourteen Bloody Marys later you lisped of home./ We then discovered we had come from different schools,/ Yet thought the same, like mutants of one chromosome."
-In "The Exiles' Club":  "Every Thursday in the upstairs lounge of the Wollongong Bar, they make/ Themselves at home with Red Heart Stout, Park/ Drive cigarettes and Dunville's whiskey,/A lightly mouldy batch of soda farls. Eventually they get down to business."
Exiled people are people who no longer belong to anything". When someone asks me where I live, I remember where I used to live/ Someone asks me for directions, and I think again, I turn into/ A side-street to try to throw off my shadow, and history is changed."(Turn Again)
The final image of the poem "The Exile's Club" is an over-telling one: the image of a PAWNSHOP. When you go to put your personal things in a pawnshop, you estrange yourself from yourself. Those things are things that have a personal history for you and once another person has used that personal thing of yours, you are "RAPED IN YOUR OWN BLOOD, RAPED IN YOUR OWN HISTORY". Parts of your ego are projected in the things you use(and remain forever impregnated in them), and when you have to giveuppersonal stuffs you become a sort of incomplete ego, with the letter "e"missing from your "ego", like Becket's Go-Go/Estragon(which should have been [E]go-[E]go) from "Waiting for Godot".


John Stuart Mill in his essay "On Liberty" states something in the veins of the economic ideas of Joseph Schumpeter("creative destruction"). Schumpeter highlighted the crucial leadership of entrepreneurs in replacing outmoded forms of production and marketing. Schumpeter showed that money becomes dynamic only through enterprise. His main idea is that economy follows a natural pattern: economies are born but they must die in order to be reborn. Failure is something crucial and you can't have a healthy economy unless old companies die and make room for new and better ones(that must be born in their place).Competition will function like in nature(social Darwinism) and will assure the survival of the fittest and of the strongest. Bankruptcy is crucial for as healthy economy. For instance, we have the "victory" of DVD's and audio CD's in front of the audio tapes.

And, after all, George Orwell said clearly in "1984" that "WAR IS PEACE AND PEACE IS WAR":

 "I am not aware that any community has a right to force another to be civilized. So long as the sufferers by the bad law do not invoke assistance from other communities, I cannot admit that persons entirely unconnected with them ought to step in and require that a condition of things with which all who are directly interested appear to be satisfied, should be put an end to because it is a scandal to persons some thousands of miles distant, who have no part or concern in it. Let them send missionaries, if they please, to preach against it; and let them, by any fair means, (of which silencing the teachers is not one,) oppose the progress of similar doctrines among their own people. If civilization has got the better of barbarism when barbarism had the world to itself, it is too much to profess to be afraid lest barbarism, after having been fairly got under, should revive and conquer civilization. A civilization that can thus succumb to its vanquished enemy must first have become so degenerate, that neither its appointed priests and teachers, nor anybody else, has the capacity, or will take the trouble, to stand up for it. If this be so, the sooner such a civilization receives notice to quit, the better. It can only go on from bad to worse, until destroyed and regenerated (like the Western Empire) by energetic barbarians."(John Stuart Mill- On Liberty)


Baudrillard's theories about bombs:

The nuclear is seen by Baudrillard as the apotheosis of simulation, as a system of deterrence that has insinuated itself from the inside into all fields of life. The risk of nuclear annihilation only serves as pretext for installing a universal security system, a universal control system whose deterrent effect is not at all aimed at an atomic clash.  Thus, the balance of terror is the terror of balance. "Deterrence is not a strategy, it circulates and is exchanged between nuclear protagonists exactly as is the international capital in the orbital zone of monetary speculation whose fluctuations suffice to control  all global exchanges." (Baudrillard, p.53) In the shadow of this mechanism whose pretext is a nuclear threat, it is developped a perfect system of control and a progressive satellization of the whole planet through this hyper model of security. "The system of deterrence grows and, around it, grows the historical, social and political desert."(Baudrillard, p.61).We are faced with a gigantic involution that makes every conflict, finality or strategy impossible.

The political stake is dead-only simulacra of conflicts and carefully circumscribed stakes remain. The risk of an atomic clash or accident only existed in the period when the nuclear powers were still  ,,young" in their thinking and they made ,,a nondeterrent <<real>> use of the bomb, a <<use value of the bomb>>" (Baudrillard, p.65)...at Hiroshima. The secret of the social order is that responsibility, control and censure always grow more rapidly than the forces of the weapons. The myth of the total and revolutionary strike crumbles at the very moment when the means are available and precisely because those means are available. This is the key of the whole process of deterrence. One day nuclear powers will export atomic reactors and bombs everywhere as, the aim is to replace the control by threat with the more effective strategy of pacification through the bomb and through the possession of the bomb.

The nuclear inaugurates an accelerated process of implosion, it freezes everything around it, it absorbs all living energy. "The nuclear is at once the culminating point of available energy and maximization of energy control systems."(Baudrillard, p.65) Lockdown and control increase in direct proportion to liberating potentialities-the very aporia of the modern revolution and the absolute paradox of the nuclear: energies freeze in their own fire, they deter themselves.  This  is a vast saturation of all system by its own forces, now neutralized, unusable, nonexplosive. The only possibility will be that of an explosion toward the center or implosion. In this case all these energies would be abolished because a reversion of the whole cycle toward a minimal point. A great paradox is that all bombs are clean, their only pollution is the system of security and of control they radiate...as long as they don't explode! Nothing resembles more to a nuclear-power-station than a TV-Studio, and, indeed, neutralization of stakes is possible only in a Mass-Mediated (manipulated) world in which signs change their relation to reality.


One could say that after reading Carson's bomb(astically)-poems of heuristic secrecy and patience, "lingerous longerous book of the dark(.) the ideal reader will suffer from an ideal insomnia" (James Joyce). Carson's poetry clearly owes a great deal to that strange feature of Irish Language poetry identified by Seamus Heaney as "verbal philandering."

And in English all parts contain something verbal in them. We could verbs everywhere if we look into Ernest Fenollosa's theory of language(1918) which argues that words in English, like Chinese ideographs, carry in them a verbal idea of action, regardless of their conventional linguistic designation: "the verb must be the primary fact of nature, since motion and change are all we can recognize in her." The color green for instance, he argues, is not adjectival but verbal because "green is only a certain rapidity of vibration." "Prepositions are naturally verbs, and conjunctions, since they mediate actions, are actions themselves."(Fenollosa) William James, when he spoke about the stream of consciousness, also speculated that conjunctions, prepositions, and adverbial phrases signify experience. Carson's "asterisk" is more verbal than the verb "to slaughter" itself.in the limitless cascade of images of horror that it impregnates us with.(this is what the French call "alchimie du verbe")

Carson's signs are signs of "alterity, impossibility and negativity(.)an experimentally individuated prosody developed from an intertwining of kinds of otherness"(Neil Corcoran).They appear within and without a refusal to treat one's medium as one of transparent limpidity; refusal  that is productive rather than preventive of poetic effects.
Carson's poetries are experiments in narrative:

"The longer pieces . . . are virtuoso feats of controlled association . . . the short poems . . . are, as much for their exactness and composure as for their undertow of loss and fright, indispensable." (Alan Jenkins, The Observer)
"Ciaran Carson is a superb storyteller in verse, comparable with R.S. Thomas, Robert Frost or Patrick Kavanagh."(The Sunday Tribune)

Final remark on Belfast Confetti: "A marvellous work of parts, part verse, part prose, part haiku, part beautifully controlled long, loose lines. It is about Belfast past and present and is full of surprises, savage and witty, human and extravagant. His voice is truly original, both intelligent and passionate." ( A S Byatt, The Sunday Times)

Cultural materialism views literature as a product of material conditions. In Carson we find influences of the big five philosophers of postmodernity- Baudrillard, Habermas, Jameson, Lyotard and Rorty - namely: parody, endless repetition of the same, hyperreality and the crisis in representation, legitimation of Enlightenment values, late capitalism, incredulity towards metanarratives and the development of consensus amongst various speech communities.(more precisely Jameson's materialism or Lyotard's idea of the differend.)

Concerning the materiality of the postmodern poem, or what some call the form, we could apply Nietzsche's idea of the form felt as content. In Carson we definitely have a reliance on language's mechanisms, and the politicized issues of materiality.things which make his poetry a process rather than a product within the postmodern crisis of representation. Perhaps carson's poetry will offer an answer to those who still ask themselves if postmodernism should be seen as the end of history; to those who claim thar postmodernism either never happened, or if it did is now definitely over; to those who claim that it has just begun; to those who think that, postmodernism now, having achieved a re-evaluation of poetry, language, and subjectivity.it is now turning to the big themes of life and loss(usually the confines of a humanist Enlightenment tradition).
The value of postmodernism as cultural force/bomb cannot be denied!

P.S. The Canadian death-metal band Kataklysm who released the album "The Poetry of War" should be kind enough to take Carson as a source of inspiration.


by Adrian Ioniţă

So what's your question?


A "Why"? I get many "whys" daily. Many questions that contain the "why". Have you ever wondered what is the reason for all these "whys".? Where are they coming from? It's the essential "why". isn't it?

No, is not the essential one, it is the painful one.

Well, Life is immense. Existence if infinite. The human mind or human ego feels so threatened confronting the immensity of life.

Are you playing with me? Why?

Now. What happens when you do know the "why's" and "how's" about something? What happens in the mind when you know? Then, you can change, transform, and rekindle and so on!
When knowing the "why's" and "how's" about something, you pedestalize yourself above that thing, you acquire a certain control about it. With all the "whys" about something, you are "taking" or "holding", in other words, you are taking possession over it. The mind rises above that object or theme which is understood. This is one of the problems in our personal relationships. Or friendships.  We wish to "swallow" the other person. The mind wants to rise above everything else, and that, obviously, is impossible. The part, never possess the all, the drop can't dominate or possess the ocean. These "whys" are nothing but a defensive reaction to the threat of existence's infinity, which devours you in a frightening hug.?

C'mon just tell me, Why?

Why do you take everything upon yourself ? Why do you want to justify the blade, which cuts the neck? Why would you like to change? Take it the way it is, put it on losses , move ahead, be... help yourself, be selfish, buy yourself  a gift.

I am above this easy "why", I need a "why' to teach me love, acceptance and reconciliation. My "why" is more a "how", and "what" ... can I do, when I feel so less deserved.

Mechanics, mechanics.

This is me, accept me the way I am. If you want to help, is fine, if not suck up your dot, there are many fingers
pointing towards the moon. I am not going to worship the finger and forget the moon. Totally forget the moon.

Oh, you are a toughly one. I new this won't be easy. Its your call my son, but don't take it for granted, I won't be back too soon, after all, I am  only a God, for counseling just use the Yellow Pages. What do you know about vibration?


You live in a mechanical world, of molten glass and stainless steel, with cereals and tofu meatballs, a world synthetic, antiseptic, and banal. Death is your salvation and you run afraid from it !

I don't buy an iota of what you say; you sell me Karmacola and universal sounds, refuge and salvation in the land of Self.

Look inside! You are a God!

Cut it off.  I want to live; you gave me a brain washing machine with pebbles grinding words to bleach my mental life. That works for you, in your land, I don't need imports, I have bills to pay, and I cannot just sit around, looking deep inside. Do a fucking miracle, make me win the lottery, show me the money, a resurrection, something...

Hahahahahahahaha !!! You left the ego speaking, good, you want a resurrection, isn't it? But can you take it?

I love her so much.

Love? You make me laughing Oh, here we are, our sleeping beauty just woke up, and love works in mysterious ways. What do you have to say?

Who are you? You left the water dripping, irresponsible bastard! Your dog is eating feces while you are playing with your kebasa whenever not properly served at bed. Fuck you, I don't like you anymore. Potatoes should be boiled  Zombiesh style and our agreements should be four. Jesus said love one another, he didn't say love the whole World, what means I love you All?

Who said that? What?

I'll never marry you in a church or synagogue or temple or other claustrophobic institution. Even a multi-faith enchilada and a surprise weeding cannot pay for our parents sins and hypocrisy. You do not know what means to
be nonsmoker and die of lung cancer in a family with stocks at Philip Morris!

What are you talking about?

You are only a pity bedmate, what do you know about death? You don't know nothing...

I have seen Magnolia too, I have been there on well-guarded borders and refugee camps, I ate my feces and done my time. Are you bored? Communication is a state of mind, an emotion, not a tool. Watch my lips, words are pouring out covered with hair. You do not get it, I want to talk to you, when you push yourself deep inside, sex is not about bigger and firmer and pumping and pushing and smashing my cervix. I want to talk to you, while your finger is dropping down, around,  Asshole. How did you know that? How did you know that?

I did not do anything, I watched you washing crumbs at 5:41 AM, and I understood that my next shopping stop
will be at  the SexDepot, for an anal egg, and German lubrication oil. And you know what? I was right, you covered the egg in a wool sock and gave it a name: "Let us call it Mole", and use it with moderation every other day. We don't want addiction to sink in, and lose the natural way to get  the seven orgasm. But No! We had a big one, second to the one you got crossing the mountains in Orient Express, while that Hungarian boy kept his tong on your lips for hours and hours, and the train was running, and the landscape changing, and you understood that sex is about sound, and fleeting landscapes, and a soft wet tong liking with docility your duck.

While You? All you do, is pushing me around from behind Balsamic style?  I'm not your inflatable Linda Doll,
I need priming, understand English? Priming means kissing and hugging, and licking my ears and nipples and navel and neck, and floating above the bed in a cocoon of hanging blankets.

But all that I want, is to please you.

Oh, poor boy, Happy Valentine Day, did you put  your love in file cabinet or in a piggy bank?

For Christ sake, I cannot take this anymore. What happened, what did you do to her?

Nothing my son, you asked for resurrection, well, here she is. That is it for today; you get this only once in a lifetime.

No, no, no, you cannot do that.

Impossible, I am only a God, she broke your mirror, and I am out of Crazy Glue. There is only one salvation: look deep inside. Her mirror is untouched, and  sometimes that's enough for both of you. You will see yourself, she will see that you see, and that's it. After all, I wash my own dishes, and I do not have to pay for it. Hasta la vista baby! Can you hear my face?



Cosmology of Mihai Eminescu

by Amita Bhose

All great cultures of the world were concerned with the problem of genesis in one form or the other, and imagination of generations of poets the world over gave rise to numerous cosmogonic myths. ­In our times, the problem is taken up by astrophysicists and a number of hypotheses came out as a result. Discoveries in the field of subatomic particles have revealed certain mysteries of Nature to the scientists; as the atomic world is a miniature of the cosmos,  results obtained in one field are frequently utilised for explaining  phenomena in the other. Wise men of the old searched for truth by intuition. As modern physicists have realized the limits of ratio­nality, they are having recourse to presumption and are trying to find clues from ancient myths.
The Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889), the last of the European Romantics of universal standing, flourished in a signi­ficant period, that of the meeting of great ideas. On the one hand, treasures of Asiatic thought were accessible to European scholars, and on the other scientific discoveries started exploring the secrets of matter and life. With an extraordinary capacity for assimilation, Eminescu gathered information in all spheres of humanistic and scien­tific studies, and tried to synthesize them with the help of his wide imagination.
Eminescu's preoccupation with the evolution of the world and the history of mankind was the subject of study of many exegets. We have also contributed our mite to this field. Though his cosmo­gonic vision took a concrete shape in The First Epistle (1881), the problem of the beginning and the end of the world was ever present in his mind. It is found in some of his earlier poems, e.g. Mortua est! (1871), The Story of the Wise Man Travelling in the Stars (1872), Memento Mori (1871-1872) and Emperor and Proletarian (1874).
The source of Eminescu's cosmology has long been traced to Indian texts, more precisely with the Hymn of Creation in Rgveda (Rg. X.129). There are documentary evidences to show that the poet knew this hymn. In the poem In Search of Sheherazada (1874) Eminescu sent his hero to India in search of wisdom. It is worth­while to note that Eminescu, who knew all the cosmogonic myths known in Europe in his days, selected the vedic myth, which is the most scientific of all, according to eminent cosmophysicists of our times, Carl Sagan and Fritjof Capra for example.
Rationality and intuition had equal importance in Eminescu's intellect. His creation was balanced between the two; they sprung from information and concretized in imagination. He was well-infor­med of the latest scientific discoveries, as is seen in the 14th volume (Buc. 1983) of his Works, comprising of scientific translations, most of which were lying in manuscripts. It seems that Eminescu reali­zed the scientific character of Indian cosmogonic myth, which is why he assimilated it in his own poem, The First Epistle. It is possi­ble that for the same reason he tried to learn Sanskrit, by transla­ting Franz Bopp's A Critical Grammar of Sanskrit Language from German to Romanian and copying the Sanskrit-Latin Glossar of the same author [1]. As Indian philosophical concepts are different from the European ones, European languages are not provided with the appro­priate vocabulary for translating them. Secondly, Indian philoso­phical thought is directly related to the Sanskrit language. These two are so closely connected that it is impossible to understand one without a thorough knowledge of the other. As European transla­tions could not fully convey the message of Indian mytho-philosophy, they could not cater to the needs of Eminescu, always keen on accu­racy and intent on penetrating to the core.
In our previous works we have tried to analyse the assimilation of Indian ideas by Eminescu, mostly on the basis of textual evidence. In the present study we shall try to arrive at Eminescu's own cosmo­logy. For this purpose we shall proceed, within the limits of our know­ledge, from Indian thought on the one hand and theories of modern physics on the other.
Eminescu's vision of the evolution of the world consists of four stages: pre-creation stage, creation, history of civilizations on the Earth and end of the created world. Of these, the third stage is not aur immediate concern.
Descriptions of the pre-creation stage are met with in three of his poems - The Prayer of a Dacian (1879), The First Epistle (1881) and The Evening Star (1883). In the first, Eminescu conceives the primordial stage as one in which there was no time, no space, no light, no life. Manava-dharma-sastra (Laws of Manu) holds that time and division of time were created at the same time with the world (I. 24, 25). Eminescu says that at that time there was no "always" (time), nor today, tomorrow or yesterday (division of time),"nor the seed of life-giving light". The conception of the ab­sence of light appears in Rgveda, where it is held that at the begin­ning, everything was hidden in darkness; light flashed with the birth of Agni, the fire-spirit.
Eminescu explains the absence of these criteria with the argu­ment that "Because all was one (una - f. pron.) and one (unul - m. pron.) was all". In other words, all that manifested afterwards were existent in the unmanifested unique one - "You alone", as pot exists in a lump of clay, to quote a simile of Indian logic. Now let us look at the conception expressed in the Laws of Manu. This (idam - neuter pron.) [2], the unknowable, imperceptible and devoid of distinctive signs, was there in the form of darkness, as if submerged in deep sleep. After that the self-created and unmanifested blissful one (bhagavan - adj. masc.) created all manifested things from his own body (I. 5-8).
In that stage, says Eminescu, "the earth, the firmament,  the air and all the world/belonged to the category of those which never existed". This statement follows as a corollary of what has been saidbefore. It is interesting to note that Eminescu makes a clear distinc­tion between the firmament and the air; in Romanian, cer and văzduh are almost synonymous, meaning the sky and the upper air. With reference to the lines quoted above, it is seen that Eminescu goes the Indian way, speaking in the terms of the Vaisesika Philosophy; so far as we know, this system was not largely known, if at all, in Europe in those days. As if he wants to say that the earth, sky etc. belonged to the category of anadi abhava - non-existence without beginning. It is known that the category of negative entered in European semiotics much later.
Eminescu says in continuation that at that time, apart from Him, there was a huge mass of water. Though Manu conceives that He (sah - pron. masc.) created the waters, the Hymn of Creation holds that the primeval waters were co-existent with Him. Till now science has not been able to give us any information on the pre-creation stage. Sir Bernard Lovell observes, "There we reach the great barrier of thought, because we begin to struggle with the concepts of time         and space before they existed in terms of our everyday experience. I feel as though I have suddenly driven into a great fog barrier where the familiar world has disappeared"[3]        
The First Epistle reproduces the pre-creation state from The Prayer of a Dacian with certain additions. The source of inspiration of these two poems have long been detected in hymns X. 129 and X. 121  respectively of Rgveda, and we have analysed the textual  similarities in Eminescu and India (Jassy, 1978). Since they are not of much importance in the present context, we shall pass on to the imagination of the "first day" in The Evening Star.                                                                                      
In The First Epistle the thinker intuitively reaches the primeval stage, but the Evening Star, hero of the poem of the same name flies in a high speed, goes back in time and witnesses, as it were the first day of creation. In the days of Eminescu this was a mere                                 phantasy. Yet it was known that:
"Up to the star that's just appeared/ The journey's long,                         and so/ For thousand years its light's careered/ To reach
us here below-/                                                  
To the Star, trs. Andrei Bantaş [4]                                                                  

In other words, as says Eminescu, it is possible to see the past with the naked eye. In our days, with the help of powerful telesco­pes one can see what has happened in faraway galaxies millions of years ago. Physicists tell us that if this possibility is valid for long distances, it is valid for high speeds as well. Return in time of sub­atomic particles has even been accomplished in reactors. Moreover, time "flows" in another way in the cosmic space than ori Earth [5].
Relativity of time was not discovered by scientists till Emi­nescu's time: but its intuitive knowledge was present in ancient my­thology. Laws of Manu and Bhagavadgita speak of the "day of Brahma", which is equivalent to thousands of earthly years. In a short note appearing on ff. 186-187 of his ms. 2255, Eminescu speaks of the day of Brahma. The relative aspect of time is dealt with in his novel The Poor Dionys as well.
Coming back to The Evening Star, we find that the astral hero crosses the way of thousands of years in as many seconds. He flies "till everything is lost".
"Started Lucifer, his wings grew/ In his passage thro' the sky./ Crossed paths of ten-centuries/ In as many twinkles of eye."
(our translation)
He arrives there "where there are no bounderies" and where "time tries in vain to be born from the void" - that is, in timeless­ness and spacelessness. There he meets the "Parent" and requests Him to set him free "From the heaviness/difficulty of the dark eter­nity". (The Romanian adjective greu means both heavy and diffi­cult; here Eminescu uses the substantivized form of the adj. - greul, thinking perhaps of both connotations). On his way he had seen "how the lights were sprinkling out as in the first day", but now he came far back in time, in the primeval darkness.
Imagination of the dark eternity has a parallel in the "black holes" in the celestial space, which represent extinguished stars. When a star contracts to the maximum, not even a single ray escapes its surface. Only a black spot indicates the existence of a bright body of the past. This again corresponds to the idea of the Hindu goddess Kali, the Time. She is black, because She absorbs crea­tion in Herself. Just like the Parent in The Evening Star, She is the giver of death. In all probability, Eminescu did not come across the concept of Kali. Did his intuition take him to the Indian concept of androgynic god - arddhanarisvara? Did he purposely use two pronounsof different genders - masculine and feminine - in The Prayerof a Dacian ? At any rate, the identity of the Cosmic Parent is not specified by the poet. Exegets have identified Him with Demiurge, perhaps linking him with "the old Demiurge" in Emperor and Proletarian.
In the course of conversation, The Evening Star confesses,
"From chaos I have appeared, My Lord/ And I'd like
to go back in chaos ... / And it's fr-om repose that I am born,/ I am thirsty of repose."
(our translation)

In order to understand the cosmic significance of these verses, it is necessary to know what Eminescu meant by repose and chaos. In the Sanskrit Grammar referred to earlier, Eminescu translates the word santi by repose (Works, vol. XIV, p. 755). In ordinary usage santimeans peace, tranquility or silence, but it contains the nuances of eternal rest (Eminescu's favourite phrase), extinguishing of fire, arresting of movement and in rare cases death or extermina­tion. So, in Eminescu's mind, repose is synonymous with "eternal' peace" (The First Epistle) or "eternal silence" (The Fourth Epistle).
Now let us look at some articles on Physics translated by Emi­nescu. In The Phenomena of the Seen Universe Eminescu uses the word repose in the sense of equilibrium (Works, vol. XIV p. 956). According to the commentator, equilibrium "is one of the funda­mental themes in the notes in his manuscripts". (ibidem, p. 1034). It is to be kept in mind that the note-books containing the mss. of To the Star and one version of The Evening Star are full of scienti­fic notings. So it can be assumed that those information played an important role in the conception of both poems. Thus, in Eminescu's mind repose is the energy equilibrium.
According to the Sankhya Philosophy, primeval nature (mula­prakrti) is composed of three tendencies - sattva, rajas and tamas; in the pre-creation stage they exist in a stable equilibrium, without reacting with each other. Creation starts from the interaction of purusa (spirit, masculine principle) and Prakrti (matter, Nature, feminine principle); then the three tendencies combine to form all objects, beings and senses. The first state is termed homogeneous equilibrium and the second heterogeneous equilibrium. Eminescu's "repose" can be taken as the homogeneous equilibrium of Sankhya, though it cannot be ascertained that he knew of this concept.
So far as "chaos" is concerned, it appears in a number of other poems of Eminescu, viz. To the Friend F.I. (1869), Mortua est! (1871),Memento Mori (1871-1872) and in different places of The Evening Star, e.g. "And a proud figure is condensed out of the valleys of chaos". So, chaos is the disturbance of equilibrium, the period of creation, from the end of the homogeneous equilibrium to the begin­ning of the heterogeneous one.
Evening Star was born in the homogeneous equilibrium, but he made himself manifest in the course of its disturbance. He is eternal, "of the first form", and like the creator himself, is not conditioned by criteria of space and time. He will exist, irrespec­tive of where he sets (as an astral body), because he is beyond space ­and he surpasses time.
The image of chaos is met with in some verses on f. 117 of ms. 2262, which take us to the phase of creation.
"From her own embryon, the seed of light/ Starts and sprouts the lady of the worlds./ And She garbs in dark­ness and the eternal repose/ The unborn one, the lady of the waters and the chaos."/
Works, Ed. Perpessicius, vol. II p. 72
Manu says that the self-created (i.e. unborn) One, spurred by the desire of creating, put His seed (virya) in water. The seed evol­ved into an egg, as bright as a thousand suns; Brahma, the ances­tor of the whole world, was born out of it. He stayed a year in the egg, and then by meditation (mental power) split the egg in two, out of which He made the sky, the earth, the atmosphere and the eternal abode of the waters. From his own self He created mind, ego (self-consciousness), conscience, the subtle elements and time. He created the gods and gave them life. He created the rituals, the word as well as the impulse and the act of procreation (kama and rati). In order to create the living beings, He divided His body into two halves, out of which were born the masculine and the femi­nine principles, purusa and viraj (I.8-32).
The golden embryon appears in hymn X. 121 of Rgveda and hymn IV. 2 of Atharvaveda. Hymn X. 90 of the former says that after viraj  was born from purusa, he was re-born from her.
We wonder why in the lines quoted above Eminescu insisted on seed (sămînță f.) and not on embryon (germen m.). The verses reproduce the image of Kali in our minds. They suggest that for Eminescu creation of the world was analogous to the biological process of birth. According to the commentator, these verses were written for The Twins (posthumous publication), a fragment of which was shaped into The Prayer of a Dacian.
The process of creation described in The Prayer... issimpler than that in The First Epistle. We would only point out the concep­tion of the creation of light from water, an idea present in Indian mythology. In The First Epistle, Eminescu makes use of the imagi­nation of the process of creation as described in the Hymn of Crea­tion of Rgveda, the most explicit cosmogonic hymn, in the vedic literature. In distichs 4 and 5 the process is described as below: At the beginning kama, the seed of mind, appeared in One. There were receptors of seed. There was greatness or power. Happiness was below, will above.
It may be mentioned that Sanskrit philosophical terms are poly­semantic and that it is difficult to translate them in a single word. So every translator selects the word he considers the most appro­priate to the context. Let us see how Eminescu understood this passage. In ms. 2262, ff. 116 r-v, he translated the hymn literally, perhaps with the help of a german translation. His translation of the relevant passage will read as follows in English.
"At the beginning, love penetrated that one./ A thirst
of the soul for making seeds.../ Seeds were scattered,
strengh was born./ Below there was nature (or world),
will-power raised above."

 We did not come across the "thirst of the soul for making seeds" in any order European translation published till that time. Be it from the knowledge of sanskrit, be it from pure intuition, Eminescu, in our opinion, maintains the real spirit of the vedic hymn. He synthesizes the idea from here with that from Rv. X. 90 and with a touch of his own genial imagination arrives at the hypothesis:
"But suddenly a point moves ... the first one and alone./
Look at him/ How he makes a mother out of the chaos,/
and he becomes the father!"
The movement of the point is implicit in the hymn X. 129. The conception of bindu (point, drop, seed) in Tantra philosophy, which considers the creation a result of the union of Siva (male) and Sakti (female), seems to have evolved from this hymn. Following the way of Indian thinkers, Eminescu conceives the simulta­neous creation of spirit and matter.
Most cosmologs are of the opinion that the universe was crea­ted in a dramatic event. Its entire mass exploded out of a fire-ball 10 000 millions years ago. Since then it is in a state of constant expan­sion. The moment of this explosion marks the beginning of the uni­verse as well as that of space and time [6]. This confirms the absence of space and time in the pre-creation stage, and lends a scientific footing to the Indian conception of the formation of the universe by way of expansion. The word Brahman,, meaning the ultimate, reality, is derived from the radical brh,  to grow or dilate ; the idea is appreciated by modern physicists [7].
The dramatic effect can be felt both in the vedic hymn and in Eminescu's poem. Both of them imply the creation of the world through the interaction of two poles, the masculine and the feminine
principles, an idea comparable to that of association of body-antibody. In fact, the symmetry diagrams of subatomic particles closely resemble the Chinese yin-yang (woman-man) diagram based on the symmetry of circular rotation [8]. It is well-known that ancient Chi­nese Philosophy has much in common with Indian Philosophy.
Eminescu's speculation starts from the idea that procreation at terrestrial level is an image of creation at cosmic level. It appro­ximately corresponds to some verses in Bhagavadgita, where Krsna states,
"My womb is the Mahat Brahma (Prakrti; in that I place the germ; thence [...], is the birth of all beings. Whatever forms are produced, [...] in any wombs whatoever, the great Brahma (Prakrti)  is their womb, I the seed-giving father". - Bg. XIV, 3-4(translation Swami Chidbhavananda) [9].
It is held in Tantra philosophy that the impulse of desire (kama­kala) originates from the inherent nature of Prakrti (Nature) and creates a pulsation (spanda) which vibrates as sound (nada). Thismanifestation is represented by a point (bindu) in the diagram of Sri Yantra. In the first phase of manifestation the point is the nucleus of concentrated energy, seed of sound - sound is identified with Brahman - and the union of the static and dynamic aspects of the two principles - Siva and Sakti [10]. Eminescu's conception is the nearest to this idea. As the Tantric texts were translated in Eu­rope in the present century, it was not possible for Eminescu to know them. Starting from Rgveda and Laws of Manu, he crossed a path of thousands of years on the wings of imagination and arrived at a much later philosophy.
Another example of his intuition is found in Dialogue (Replici), a poem written in 1869, when there were no chances of his knowing the vedic texts. The essential idea of the pocm, spiritual interpene­tration of a couple, takes us very near to a hymn of Grhyasutra, pres­cribed for recitation by the bride and the bridegroom at the nup­tial rites. The most significant verses of Eminescu's poem are - "I (the girl) am a temple, you the god/ o my love". Hindu temples are built on the principles of symbolic diagrams of tantric mandala and yantra. The temple and the god symbolise the feminine and the masculine principle respectively. The sanctuary where the image is placed is called garbha-grha, uterus chamber. The moment of crea­tion is ever replayed in the temple, which is a symbol of the dynamic in the static.
The cosmologic part of Eminescu's First Epistle isvibrant with dynamism, the cosmic spanda. Creation starts from movement; movement and force grow rhythmically in the course of the poem.
"Ever since up to the present gallaxies of plantes lost/ Follow up mysterious courses, chaos-bred and chaos-­tossed/ And in endlessness begotten, endless swarms of light are thronging/ Towards life, for ever driven by an infinite of longing".
(translation L. Levițchi [11])
The dynamic aspect of the universe as present in this passage is in tune with Indian thought. The word jagat (world) is derived from the radical gam (to go), notion confirmed by modern physics..
The thinker of The First Epistle does not stop at the imagina­tion of the beginning; "in a moment thought takes him thousands of centuries after", and he visualizes the extinction of the world. In Indian mythology, dilatation of the universe is followed by contrac­tion. Manu says: "When he reposes in calm sleep, the corporeal beings whose nature is action, desist from their actions and mind becomes inert. When they are absorbed all at once in that great soul, then he who is the soul of all beings sweetly slumbers, free from all care and occupation". (I. 53-54) [12]. Eminescu in his turn concei­ves the extinction of the solar system. Loss of heat results in contraction of mass. Both these conceptions - extinction and contraction - have scientific basis. Ectinction of the sun leads to an equilibrium similar to the primordial one, to an inertia of rest by way of transformation of all other forms  of energy into potential energy, in other words to "repose".
When we translated The Evening Star in Bengali, we used the words tandava (dance of Siva) for "chaos" and nivrti (stop or return, which implies exhaustion of internal energy) for "repaos", because that was what we understood from the Romanian text. Years after, while carrying out researches on Eminescu, we were surprised to find that radical vrt with the prefix ni, that is ni-vrt (source of the noun nivrti) isused in the same context in the above-quoted Sans­krit passage. Eminescu spoke to us in the language of Manu.
Now "repose" in The Evening Star coincides with "the night of non-being" in The First Epistle.
At the beginning, there was neither being, nor non-being (mat­ter and anti-matter), but now, after dissolution, "being" disappea­red and "non-being" remained. Difference between the two phases is a logical consequence. According to Indian logic (Nyaya), an object which has passed successively through modification and restoration is not the same as the original one though they may be similar in every respect. Thus the night of the non-being is no-time, time­lessness. If space and time appeared along with creation, they should disappear at dissolution. It is significant that Eminescu does not conceive a total annihilation, but foresees another equilibrium, ano­ther symmetry. If space contracts, time expands. "The dead time extends its body and becomes eternity", (The verse appears in Me­mento mori also). Thus Eminescu's "time" is analogous to Einstein's fourth dimension.
Now "everything falls, everything is silent". All vibration (spanda) is arrested, all sound (nada) is stopped. And "the eternal tranquility re-starts". A kalpa -cycle of world-ages - comes to an end.
Reviewing Eminescu's cosmologic vision we arrive at the fol­lowing conclusions. He conceives of an organic unity of the world, beginning of creation from movement and love and the end of the created world as a natural consequence as if according to the cosmic law (rta).
In Sanskrit, dissolution of the world is called pralaya, signifying absorption in the pre-existent source. The word is derived from the radical li - to disappear, to fuse. The words laya - tempo in music or dance - and lila - play - are derived from the same root. The making and unmaking of the world is a play of the creator, by way of unfolding his maya, the apparent manifestation of the unmani­fested. "The chimeric universe is but a dream of the non-being" (The First Epistle).
"If Blaga felt maya as a veil, Eminescu felt it as a rhythm", says Sergiu Al-George in Archaic and Universal [13]. Creation and disso­lution are supplementary to each other, together they constitute a circular motion. They alternate in the cosmic rhythm, in the rhythm of tandava, the dance of Siva Nataraja, King of Dance.
The rhythm of the cosmic dance throbs in The First Epistle.­The verses that describe creation are open, majority of them rhyme in vowels; those which describe extinction are close, most of them rhyme in consonants. The former ones abound in vowels, the latter in hard consonants, and consonant conjuncts. The alternation con­veys the idea of expansion and contraction. Recitation of the second part creates in fact a sensation of collapse similar to that produced by a bombardment or an earthquake. The effect is even more pro­nounced if these verses are read according to the rules of Sanskrit phonetics, namely by pronouncing certain vowels long and accen­tuating the conjuncts. The last two verses of the second fragment bring, on the other hand, a suggestion of somnolency, lulling with the alliteration of nasal sounds "m" and "n". These two rhyme in "e" (pronounced in Romanian as in "pet"), a vowel standing midway between "a" (as in "mass") the openest and "u" (as in "put") the clo­sest. They maintain the symmetry, as if like a refrain in the cos­mic music, with the verses that precede the description of creation, also rhyming in "e".
Though the phonetic system of Romanian does not have the rhythmic advantage of Sanskrit, Eminescu has exploited the possi­bilities of his mother-tongue to the fullest extent and succeeded in creating a cadence similar to that of Sanskrit poetry. In our opinion, The First Epistle stands as a milestone both in Eminescu's philoso­phical vision and handling of the language, vaksiddhi (scr. perfect success in oral expression). To our knowledge the phonetic performance achieved by Eminescu in this poem is still unbeaten in Romanian poetry.
If The First Epistle presents the three phases of creation in an Indian way, The Evening Star corresponds to the essence of Indian thought expressed in the well-known formula gayatri - aum bhurb­huvah svah tat saviturvarenyam bhargodevasya dhimahi... (Rv. III.62, 10) - which defies all attempts of translation. Events of the poem take place in the three physical worlds, earth (bhu), atmos­phere (bhuva) and sky (sva). The Sanskrit terms imply the philo­sophical nuances of being, surpassing of being and eternity, all of which are found in this poem. The Romanian poet invokes bhargodeva, the eternally bright one who determines the appearance, action and disappearance of all objects and all beings. Vedic poets meditated on him by the sacred syllable aum, symbol of creation, equilibrium and dissolution and thus attained the supreme bliss - Paramananda.
Did not the wings of poetry take Eminescu to that anadaloka, world of bliss, where sorrow and happiness, life and death, creation and dissolution are harmonized in the eternal dance of Nataraja? It is this bliss that lent such a sweet melancholic charm to his entire creation. For, in the words of Rabindranath Tagore, "One whom the creator endows with the burden of inextinguishable bliss carries boundless agony in his breast"[14].
Originally published in Cahiers roumains d'etudes litteraires, no.2/1989, Editions Univers Bucarest, pp.76-86


1. These manuscripts have been edited by us and are included in Vol. XIV of Eminescu's Works.
2. Indian Philosophy conceives the creator both as impersonal and persoilal, and refers to him in terms of neuter or masculine gender as the case may be.
3. Bernard Lovell, The Individual  and  the universe, apud. Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics, London, 1974, p. 183.
4. Mihai Eminescu, Poeme/Poems, Bucharest, 1970, p. 487.
5. F. Capra, op.cit. ,Ch. 12
6.F. Capra, op. cit., p. 183.
7.F. Capra, op. cit., p. 176.
8.Ibidem, p. 239.
9.The Bhagavadgita, Tirupparaitturai, 1982, pp. 722, 723.
10. Ajit Mookerjee and Madhu Khanna, The Tantric Way, London, 1977, p.57.
11. Poeme/Poems, op.cit., pp, 267, 269.
12. Sacred Books of the East, Vol. XXV, Oxford, 1886, p.17.
13. Sergiu Al. George, Archaic and Universal, Bucharest, 1981, p. 280.
14. Rabindranath Takur, Bhasa o chanda (Limbă și ritm) in Rabindraracanavali (Opere ale lui Rabindra), vol. V, Calcutta, 1963, ed. Visva-Bharati, p.94.

~> alte recomandări