03-01-08

Mort à crédit - désordre

" 'Courtial n'a commis qu'une erreur! Mais elle ètait fondamentale! Il avait pensé que le monde attendait l'esprit pour changer... Le monde a changé... C'est un fait! Mais l'esprit lui n'est pas venu!...' "
"(..) le désordre (..) c'est la belle essence de votre vie même!"
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Mort à crédit, p. 389-390 & p. 358 resp., Gallimard, 1952.

Amateuristic English translation below.


In attempting a translation I realized I'm far from sure whether I get it. Still, it is a theme that - certainly after a long read of Bergson - is compelling.  Maybe an inclination to well ordered formulae combined with an allergy for the grand & magnificent lead to a fascination for indeterminate chaos, 'désordre'.

"Order!" is a French thing. It's the substrate for the spirit of 'esprit'. Decline in French thought over the past centuries is naught else than a hang-over, from imbibing too much Descartes. The remains from this great thought experiment are restricted to spirituality. The French language itself - & with it the Romanic lanaguages - is quickly becoming a study object, an antique. Evolutions are, & in many cases by explicit authorities, blocked from occurring and the language is increasingly sterile, essentially binary and dominantly dualistic.

Only great writers overcome this, Céline may be as 'wrong' as a writer can be but he succeeded in overcoming this. Surely, most of the Romanic writers rely on the fact that the world is waiting for 'l'esprit' of their language to convey in a clear way how things spiritual are to be ordered. Obviously, an increasingly Germanic - or, more approximately, Anglo-Saxon or, more to the point, English  - world is not waiting for that. Adam Smith, Charles Darwin wrote in English & the root of all living philosophical enquiry is mostly in German.

How did I get to a long - maybe even longwinded - & largely unsubstantiated rant on the character of languages? Partly because of my difficulty in the little translation attempt below but mainly, I guess, to convey as forcefully as I can - and therefore obliquely & indirectly - that, whilst the spirit-part of traditional dualisms is the more sterile, it is the well ordered body-part which is the root of the issue. One is restricted in attempts to directly convey this thought to a long sentence referring to both parts. Restricted because otherwise damned to be understood in line with popular wishy-washy New Age "analysis".

Ultimately what is at stake is scientific as well as technological optimism which is as scientifically ungrounded as the crudest animist religion. There's thought to be put in something more original, something bigger than the orders we've been creating so successfully. Hard mundane thought on body and mind - not grand sublime thought on destinies and deliverance. 'What we are' is in need of discovery still. I have no doubt that further discovery is possible, that it will be a 'good' thing if only because it will allow us to deal non-dogmatically, non- question-beggingly & non-mysteriously with 'good'. Dunno how though - that would somehow spoil the fun.

In closing, the quotes for me come from a tale of friendship. An egotistical but real friendship where something was created by stimulation of imagination. 


" 'Courtial has only made one error! But it was a fundamental one! He thought that the world waited for mind to change ... The world did change ... It's a fact! But mind did not come into it!...' " (note: 'esprit' is a tricky one)
" (..) chaos (..) is simply the essential feature of even your own life!" (note: 'désordre' is a tricky one)


For those interested, whilst writing this I was listening to "Messiah" of Georg Frideric Handel, by The English Concert & Choir, Archiv Produktion 1988.

13:50 Gepost door Guido Nius in Liefde | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: friendship, celine, decadence, scientism |  Facebook |

De commentaren zijn gesloten.