Friday, August 8, 2008

Little Blue Guide

I. The Little Blue Light

The writings of EM Cioran plunge into the sublimity of being. Beaming into elusive, darkened corners, his words are revelatory, delivered with biblical gravity. Such is the weight of Cioran's works, that they bring you to your knees, a state wherein it would be possible to abandon hope. But here is that divine line. One that straddles the depths, and the lights. Samuel Beckett pointed to this line when he wrote that Cioran was not a "writer of despair", as those very depths were alleviated, illuminated, by the little blue light. The beauty within sorrow.

II. The Little Blue Flower

Novalis sought the little blue flower, through the travels of Henry von Ofterdingen, in pursuit of the elusive, ineffable bloom. Gaston Bachelard stared into Novalis's little blue flower, and found it not timid and cool, but the seat of heat. Novalis had written to Schlegel, "You can see in my tale my antipathy for the play of light and shadow, and the desire for bright, hot, penetrating Ether." The little blue flower smoulders with this impulse towards heat, where the seeming coolness belies a tumultuous being. Bachelard declares, that to go down into the subconscious is to see the truth, "the little blue flower is red!" The blue flower, the cipher of romantic longing, of elusive ineffability, struggles within the strictures of technology. Walter Benjamin lamented the fate of this vulnerable ideal in the face of modernity, that "it no longer feels right to dream about the blue flower..."

Blue Tulips, jbowring, august 2008
In progress ...


billoo said...

jacky, hello.
Really liked the post (though I dislike the word 'subconscious' and the idea that we go 'down').

But no, great! What is the blue but the mourning of the loss of the red?



jacky bowring said...

Hi billoo - thanks for the feedback. I probably should have said "unconscious", as that was the word that GB used, but that, in turn, was a word which I struggle with ... perhaps in its suggestion of a comatose state, rather than one which is an internal world ... j ...

billoo said...

Hi, jacky.

Yes, I think the association with 'consciousness' is what got me. I've got to read Penelope Fitzgerald's book by the same title-once my sister finishes with it!

Oh yes, also wanted to recommend Nina Berberova's 'Book of happiness'- if you haven't read it already. Fab.

Hope all else is well.

Take care,


jacky bowring said...

Yes, I am going to have to get a copy of the Penelope Fitzgerald book, someone recommended it to me recently and it sounds intriguing. Will also look out for the Book of Happiness ... !
thanks, ...j...