❰Read❯ ➱ Bayamus and the Theatre of Semantic Poetry and the Life of Cardinal Polatuo: With Notes on His Writings, His Times and His Contemporaries : Two Novels Author Stefan Themerson – Horse-zine.co.uk

Bayamus and the Theatre of Semantic Poetry and the Life of Cardinal Polatuo: With Notes on His Writings, His Times and His Contemporaries : Two Novels chapter 1 Bayamus and the Theatre of Semantic Poetry and the Life of Cardinal Polatuo: With Notes on His Writings, His Times and His Contemporaries : Two Novels, meaning Bayamus and the Theatre of Semantic Poetry and the Life of Cardinal Polatuo: With Notes on His Writings, His Times and His Contemporaries : Two Novels, genre Bayamus and the Theatre of Semantic Poetry and the Life of Cardinal Polatuo: With Notes on His Writings, His Times and His Contemporaries : Two Novels, book cover Bayamus and the Theatre of Semantic Poetry and the Life of Cardinal Polatuo: With Notes on His Writings, His Times and His Contemporaries : Two Novels, flies Bayamus and the Theatre of Semantic Poetry and the Life of Cardinal Polatuo: With Notes on His Writings, His Times and His Contemporaries : Two Novels, Bayamus and the Theatre of Semantic Poetry and the Life of Cardinal Polatuo: With Notes on His Writings, His Times and His Contemporaries : Two Novels d6baeed4d1c71 Fiction Two Riotous Novels By The Polish Born British Writer Stefan Themerson , Who With His Wife Franciszka Ran The Gaberbocchus Press In London Gaberbocchus Published Both Kurt Schwitters And Bertrand Russsell And These Extremes Unite In Themerson S Highly Individual Brand Of Philosophical Dadaism BAYAMUS Recounts The Adventures Of A Self Proclaimed Mutant With Three Legs One Is Attached To A Roller Skate And His Efforts To Propagate A New Species It Includes An Instructive Visit To The Theatre Of Semantic Poetry, Where Old Rhymes Mutate Into New Truths CARDINAL POLATUO Is The Biography Of Guillaume Apollinaire S Anonymous Father, Who Turns Out To Be An Ecclesiastic With A Murderous Interest In Modernist Poetry, A Faith Based On Science, And A Dreamlife So Frankly Obscene That Only A Dictionary Of Freudian Symbols Can Explain Its Innocence


10 thoughts on “Bayamus and the Theatre of Semantic Poetry and the Life of Cardinal Polatuo: With Notes on His Writings, His Times and His Contemporaries : Two Novels

  1. says:

    Bayamus is great, but Cardinal is wonderful a hilarious run through the philosophical conflicts between Catholicism and Logical Positivism, including a great scene with a schoolboy Ayer with ink stains on his short trousers , Russell and the Cardinal Wholeheartedly recommended for anyone with even a passing interest in such things From Thermerson s letters which includes some great correspondence with Bertrand Russell Now, when Li Po says moon and far away , he is referring to experiences known to him and to his contemporary readers Our knowledge of moon and our notion of far away certainly differ from theirs Supposing we want to undergo an experience that would be as similar as possible to what Li Po s listeners went through What should we do Pretend that we are taking the words moon and far away as we imagine they were taken by Li Po s listeners Yes and no Yes, because it would be the same words No, because our knowledge, experience, feelings of moon and far away certainly differ from theirs And thus, from a certain and very essential point of view, our semantic translation is the same thing as his original than his original itself Let s be clear what I mean is our semantic translation, Europe 1950 A.D as acting upon the modern reader, Europe 1950 A.D is the same thing as his original, China rang Dynasty, in relation to his reader, China rang Dynasty, than his original, China rang Dynasty as acting upon the modern reader, Europe 1950 A.D Now, don t think that I am not utterly serious Most positively I am But, also, please, don t think that I ve lost my sense of humour There is something funny about the whole business You see it And I see it What is it Let s try an allegory Supposing somebody wants to go far away from the place he s living in and they say to him the best method of going far away from the place one is living in is to go straight forward from the place one is living in and to keep going until one is far away from the place one was living in And he decides to act according to the prescription, and goes straight forward from the place, further and further away, until he rounds the earth and comes back from the opposite direction to the very place he left The process has its funny side For those who know so much of cosmology to remember that the earth is a globe, it became funny as soon as he had gone 1800 and didn t stop going forward The observing how his very desire to go still farther away brings him back to the place of departure, the very observing of that makes our laughing or at least smiling apparatus start working But all that doesn t mean that his travelling has been in vain To have been in a place, and to come back to a place, are not the same thing He is not the same, but experience richer, and so the place isn t any the same, because now it contains at least one new person, him, himself.Supposing somebody wants to go in search of the meaning of things And they say unto him the first and most important thing to do is to define as unambiguously as possible the elements of speech you are going to use So he begins to define the words and then he goes on to define the words he had been using in his definition, and then he tries to define the words he had had been using in defining the words he had been using in his definition and he finds some words that are not completely definable by other words, but appear again and again in further trials of defining and he finds himself surrounded by linguistic vicious circles whirling around him and then it dawns on him that even if he were able, with Bertrand Russell and others, to reduce the whole vocabulary to ostensive words and operatives the words definable by showing a thing or demonstrating an action the ghost of old Berkeley would suddenly appear and ask impertinent questions whether the cat whom we ve just seen in the doorway and whom we ll see in a moment through our window exists or doesn t exist when he walks on the other side of the wall And our already linguistically turning mind will begin to revolve in those other solipsistic vicious circles, describing vicious epicycloids only to find that about the whole process called language you cannot talk in the same language, but you have to invent especially for the purpose a language of a higher degree and to talk about that higher degree language you have to invent a language of a still higher degree and so on, steps upon steps and so we find ourselves standing in the middle of a Ladder, vicious circles and epicycloids below our feet, and an infinity of meta languages Wittgenstein above our poor tormented mind containers The process has its funny side For those who know so much of the cosmology of language as to remember about the vicious circles, it begins to show its funny side as soon as the printed line defining a word becomes so long that the reader s eye cannot any take it in one glance The observing how our hypothetical traveller s very desire to get deeper into meaning makes him turn in vicious circles, the very observing of that makes our laughing or at least smiling apparatus start working But it does not follow that his travelling was in vain A word taken out of any private vocabulary and any national , or class , or slang vocabulary is, in that sense, private , as it is the private property of a particular group , well, such a word, and the same word but having undergone a trial of the vicious circle variety, are not the same thing any longer.Most of the words used in poetic writings nowadays consist of overtones the fundamental tone, exact meaning being as apparently so obvious, evident disregarded or lost, gone We very seldom think about the fundamental tone exact meaning , and if we do, we very often take it not as it may be defined, but by reconstructing it from the harmonics we hear associations It reminds me of the modern telephone I learn that the main frequencies of both male and female voices lie below its range, so that the telephone transmits very little of the main tones of a conversation It transmits chiefly harmonics, and out of these the ear drum of the listener reconstructs the main tones as difference tones, which are then transmitted to our brains in considerable strengthAnd , I put it that when Saint Francis was saying sister what he meant was female and having the same parents as we have and not any of the sentimental and or romantic stuff forced upon us by some 19th century conceptions And when he said death he was talking about what our dictionaries may call cessation of the functions of the body as an organised whole , he was talking about a phenomenon, a physical event, a natural law, he was talking about cessation of the functions of the bodies many trillions of cells , he knew clearly and precisely what he was talking about and so did Rabelais when shamelessly and semantically enumerating by hundreds, series of adjectives or verbs or nouns.Li Po s moon, you can take it out of his poem and put it into the Rabelais, and though the sentences containing it will express different statements the word itself will refer to the same thing And you can take Rabelais moon and put where Saint Francis says moon It will refer to the same thing And you can take Saint Francis sun and exchange it with Copernicus sun where would God Almighty put His most noble candle if not in the centre of the Universe quoting from memory and they will still refer to the same thing And when Saint Francis said that, his listener responded to the fundamental tone exact meaning , harmonics coming later with reflection It is not so today When a modern poet uses the word, we think that we ought to respond not to the fundamental tone which is supposed to be not poetic enough and a modern poet would not like us to do that but to the overtones We think the poetic meaning lies in the overtones, while the fundamental tone is prosaic, trivial, and belongs to text books And as we don t know which overtones to take to begin with, we turn aside the volume of poetry and snatch from the bookshelves a mystery detective story, where at least everything is clear and evidential And this seems to me to be a very healthy reaction, because the overtones we deal with are often than ever second hand ones 1 we have inherited from the previous generations words together with their harmonics, but 2 the words have changed their meaning, while 3 the harmonics persist divorced from their fundamental tone, they float in the air which phenomenon is called being poetic Some poets try to introduce new modern sets of harmonics, fundamental tone is still banned from poetry Semantic poetry tries to cut off the inherited overtone, it tries to restate the fundamental problems in modern terms, it tries to do that by accepting fundamental tones in the form of an exact and commonly used definition, and it waits to see what kind of new overtones will follow At the beginning dictionary method gives the same fascination as was given by some mechanical devices, photo camera, lithographic stone, etc However, once this stage is over, it becomes a true poetic medium It builds new and sometimes complicated poetic pictures However, to build them it uses not the luxurious elements invented by the poetic imagination of today or yesterday but the commonplace elements discovered, or rediscovered, in the World World Language by means of one of the accepted and actually used dictionaries.Let s suppose that the word skeleton has the following association overtones a , b , c , d They probably are different for different people If the reader finds the word skeleton in a prose text, he attaches the main importance to the fundamental tone exact meaning to the thing called skeleton If he finds the word in a verse, he seems to believe that the significance lies in a , b , c , and d.Now, let s suppose that the association overtones of the word bony framework is p , of human body q , of soft tissue v , of decay z , of remove y If now, instead of saying skeleton I say the bony framework of a human body from which all the soft tissues have decayed or had been removed pp 11 and 12 I replace a , b , c , d familiar to the reader by p , q , v , z , y forgotten by the reader by means of which I rediscover for him this particular piece of reality called skeleton Instead of attracting his attention by my attaching to the skeleton some adjectives white, small, big, terrifying, etc which would individualise the skeleton make it a particular individual, this one and not the other of its class , I let it remain a universal, anonymous representative of its class, and I try to attract the reader s attention to it not by colouring the skeleton with some added qualifiers, but by finding the qualifiers in the thing itself, bony structure, soft tissue, decayed, etc , by enumerating the half forgotten characteristics that make it a representative of its class, and thus offering the reader a new set of overtones p , q , v , z , y N.B Thus a semantically developed description becomes a description of a part of the Universe, not merely of some of my impressions.Am in bed with a slight fever, so you must forgive this too long and too incoherent letter.


  2. says:

    When I was in my late teens early 20s, I loved Dada Surrealism.No no LOVED it Defined myself by it, in many ways Eagerly sought all I could find in art, writing, sound name it I took classes on it in university and spun my papers that direction whenever possible Would ve given my limbs to hang out in 1916 Zurich The random and the weird was my home territory, a few manifestos the map.And then like I kinda grew up idk.That s it, right Like we SO DEEPLY identify with something love it profoundly and then, little by little, it just sort of slips from our hearts Without fanfare, without noticing, really, and then one day oh, yeah, I used to love Dada.Anyway I bought this book back in 2009, when I was nearing the end of my love affair with weird for the sake of weird Finally decided to read it and probably should have done so years ago These books are like territory that used to feel like home and still does, in some ways , but increasingly doesn t I preferred Bayamus, which was fucked up and surreal but at least had a bit of a narrative to latch on and was, in the end, seriously effective Cardinal just seemed like that typical fuckuppery how many weird graphic things literary forms can I use and still sort of call this a book I skimmed most of it, not gonna lie, but trust I wasn t missing anything essential.I still appreciate the point of Dada and Surrealism, and I still count it strongly among my influences but I need handholds Intentional weird I can do random weird, not so much, these days Meaning is starting to matter.But then, maybe I just don t get it any so I will keep bringing myself back to these kinds of books, from time to time, to remind myself of the tradition in which most of my current favourite authors play That, if nothing else, is meaningful.


  3. says:

    Both of these novellas were wacky metafiction, oftimes amusing, cryptic, and self involved to the point where I didn t get anything Bayamus was greater of the two I do like a good freak show.


  4. says:

    zany


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *