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Showing posts from June 21, 2015

Osip Mandelstam Tristia No. 92

Osip Mandelstam Tristia No. 92  Sometimes titled ‘Taurida’ What is the stream of golden liquid that pours from the bottle? It is the given, the proportion of riches that time has brought us, now being poured forth just when the world is in upheaval. Madame Vera Sudeikina, for whom the poem was composed, said the liquid was honey, but translators have theories, one calling it ‘cordial’, another ‘mead’. Honey and mead are the same word in Russian. Everything is slowed down and summery, so that her words, when they come, may be timed by the flow of the honey. She who has invited us into this special world uses words of misfortune – sad, bored or dull – to warn us that she and her friends have known better times. Their expectations are high, but their lives have been reduced by circumstances she cares not to describe. We will not be bored, and feel not the least bit dull, as though that were a rule of life. Who is she talking to but we, her guests in the future, reading the word

“Titles, stills, magic, fantasy” : Afterthoughts on Bloomsday in Melbourne 2015, The Reel Joyce

  The Blooms at Eccles Street and Howth Head.  Two stills from Joseph Strick’s film Ulysses, made in 1967 The general conclusion of both theatre and seminar this year was that a film of Ulysses is unrealisable. But that doesn’t mean we cannot realise theatre pieces about the novel and film. The ruse was that James Joyce and Charlie Chaplin planned to make a movie together, but ambitions, or egos, or artistic integrity, or time, or other projects, or love interests even, got in the way. Out of this unexpected, but not entirely unlikely, meeting of creative minds came a Bloomsday theatre piece of considerable insight. The new timber of the Docklands’ Library sent the aromatic fragrance of a recent work site. This is the most fully realised portrait of the artist as a middle-aged man that the script committee has yet created. The reason is obvious: the Joyce character has a natural opposite, a larger-than-life contrasting counterpart up against whom he has to test