terça-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2012

The wolves defended against the lambs - Verteidigung der Wölfe gegen die Lämmer - Defesa dos lobos contra os cordeiros (Hans Magnus Enzensberger)

The wolves defended against the lambs

should the vultures eat forget-me-nots?
what do you want the jackal to do,
cut loose from his skin, or the wolf? should
he pull his own teeth out of his head?

what upsets you so much
about commissars and popes?
why do you gape at the fraudulent TV screen
as if someone just slipped you the shaft?

and tell me who sews the ribbons
over the general's chest? who
carves the capon up for the usurer?
who proudly dangles an iron cross

over his rumbling navel? who
rakes in the tip, the thirty pieces
of silver, the hush money? listen: there
are plenty of victims, very few thieves: who's
the first to applaud them, who
pins on the merit badge, who's
crazy for lies?

look in the mirror : squirming,
scared blind by the burden of truthfulness,
skipping the trouble of learning, abandoning
thought to the wolves,

a nose ring your favorite trinket,
no deception too stupid, no comfort
too cheap, every new blackmail
still seems too mild for you.
you lambs, why crows would be

nuns stacked up against you:
all of you hoodwink each other.
fraternity's the rule
among wolves :
they travel in packs.

blessed are the thieves: you
ask them up for a rape, then
throw yourself down on the mouldy bed
of submission. moaning

you stick to your lies. you'd love
to be torn limb from limb. you
won't change the world.

(Translation by Jerome Rothenberg)

Verteidigung der Wölfe gegen die Lämmer

soll der geier vergissmeinicht fressen?
was verlangt ihr vom schakal,
dass er sich häute, vom wolf? soll
er sich selber ziehen die zähne?
was gefällt euch nicht

an politruks und an päpsten,
was guckt ihr blöd aus der wäsche
auf den verlogenen bildschirm?
wer näht denn dem general
den blutstreif an seine hose? wer

zerlegt vor dem wucherer den kapaun?
wer hängt sich stolz das blechkreuz
vor den knurrenden nabel? wer
nimmt das trinkgeld, den silberling,
den schweigepfennig? es gibt

viel bestohlene, wenig diebe; wer
applaudiert ihnen denn, wer
steckt die abzeichen an, wer
lechzt nach der lüge?

seht in den spiegel: feig,
scheuend die mühsal der wahrheit,
dem lernen abgeneigt, das denken
überantwortend den wölfen,

der nasenring euer teuerster schmuck,
keine täuschung zu dumm, kein trost
zu billig, jede erpressung
ist für euch noch zu milde.

ihr lämmer, schwestern sind,
mit euch verglichen, die krähen:
ihr blendet einer den anderen.
brüderlichkeit herrscht

unter den wölfen:
sie gehen in rudeln.

gelobt sein die räuber: ihr,
einladend zur vergewaltigung,
werft euch aufs faule bett
des gehorsams. winselnd noch

lügt ihr, zerrissen
wollt ihr werden. ihr
ändert die welt nicht.


Defesa dos lobos contra os cordeiros

deve o abutre se alimentar de flores?
o que exigis do chacal?
que ele mude de pele? e do lobo? que
ele mesmo limpe os dentes?

o que não apreciais
nos coronéis e nos papas?
o que vos deixa perplexos
na tela mentirosa?

quem irá então costurar para o general
a condecoração sanguinária em sua calça? quem
irá fatiar o capão diante do agiota?
quem irá ostentar orgulhoso a cruz-de-ferro

diante da barriga que ronca? quem
irá pegar a gorjeta, a soma,
a propina? há
muitos roubados, poucos ladrões; quem
então os aplaude? quem

lhes coloca a insígnia? quem
é ávido pela mentira?

vede no espelho: covardes,
que evitam a fadiga da verdade,
avessos ao aprender, o pensar
é deixado a critério dos lobos,

a coleira é vossa jóia mais cara,
nenhuma ilusão é tão estúpida, nenhum
consolo é tão barato, qualquer chantagem
ainda é para vós branda demais.

cordeiros, irmãs são
as gralhas comparadas a vós:
cegais uns aos outros.
a irmandade reina
entre os lobos:
eles vão em bandos.

louvados sejam os predadores: vós,
convidativos ao estupro,
vos atirais sobre o leito negligente
da obediência. mentis e ainda
soltais ganidos. quereis
ser estraçalhados. vós
não mudais o mundo.
(Tradução de Afrânio Novaes)

domingo, 29 de janeiro de 2012

America in Pictures: The Story of Life Magazine (BBC Four)

Life was an iconic weekly magazine that specialised in extraordinarily vivid photojournalism. Through its most dynamic decades, - the 40s, 50s and 60s - Life caught the spirit of America as it blossomed into a world superpower. Read by over half the country, its influence on American people was unparalleled. No other magazine in the world held the photograph in such high esteem. At Life the pictures, not the words, did the talking. As a result, the Life photographer was king.

In this film, leading UK fashion photographer Rankin celebrates the work of Life's legendary photographers including Alfred Eisenstaedt and Margaret Bourke-White, who went to outrageous lengths to get the best picture - moving armies, naval fleets and even the population of entire towns. He travels across the USA to meet photographers Bill Eppridge, John Shearer, John Loengard, Burk Uzzle and Harry Benson who, between them, have shot the big moments in American history - from the assassination of Robert F Kennedy, the Civil Rights struggle and Vietnam to behind the scenes at the Playboy mansion and the greatest names in Hollywood.

These photographers pioneered new forms of photojournalism, living with and photographing their subjects for weeks, enabling them to capture compelling yet ordinary aspects of American life too. Rankin discovers that Life told the story of America in photographs, and also taught America how to be American.

sexta-feira, 27 de janeiro de 2012

Princess Lizard - Minima Moralia - Theodor W. Adorno

Princess Lizard (1) - Imagination is inflamed by women who lack, precisely, imagination. They have the brightest aureoles who, turned unwaveringly outward, are wholly matter-of-fact. Their attraction stems from their lack of awareness of themselves, indeed of a self at all: :
Oscar Wilde coined die name unenigmatic Sphinxes for them. They resemble the image designated for them: the more they are pure appearance, undisturbed by any impulse of their own, the greater their likeness to archetypes, Preziosa, Peregrina, Albertine, (2) who convey a sense of the illusoriness of all individuation, and yet must again and again disappoint by what they are. .

Their lives are construed as illustrations, or a perpetual children's festival, and such perception does no justice to their needy empirical existence. Storm touched on this in the deeper meaning of his children's story 'Pole Poppenspaeler'.(3).

The Frisian boy falls in love with the little girl of the travelling players from Bavaria. 'When at length I turned round, I saw a little red dress coming towards me; and truly, and truly, it was the little puppet player; in spite of her faded clothes she seemed surrounded by a fairy-tale radiance..
I plucked up courage and spoke to her: 'Will you come for a walk, Lizzy?' She looked at me mistrustfully with her black eyes. 'A walk?' she repeated slowly - 'Ah - you're a fine one!''Where would you like to go then?' - 'To the drapers shop, that's where!' 'Do you want to buy yourself a new dress?' I asked, awkwardly enough. She laughed out loud. 'Go on with you! - No, just rags and tatters!' Rags and tatters, Lizzy?' 'Of course. Just a few rags to make clothes for the puppets; they never cost much!'

Poverty compels Lizzy to make shabbiness - 'rags and tatters' - her guide-line, although she would herself like something else. Uncomprehending, she must mistrust as eccentric anything that has no practical justification.

Imagination gives offence to poverty. For shabbiness has charm only for the onlooker. And yet imagination needs poverty, to which it does violence: the happiness it pursues is inscribed in the features of suffering.

So Sade's Justine, who falls from one torture-trap into the next, is called 'notre intéressante héroine' and likewise Mignon at the moment of being beaten, the interesting child.(3)

Dream princess and whipping-girl are the same, and she suspects nothing of it There are traces of this in the relation of northern peoples to the southern: the prosperous Puritans vainly try to get from the dark-haired denizens of foreign countries what the course of the world, which they control, denies not only to them but all the more to the vagrants.

The sedentary man envies the nomadic existence, the quest for fresh pastures, and the painted waggon is the house on wheels whose course follows the stars.
Infantility, fixated in desultory motion, the joylessly restless, momentary urge to survive, stands in for the undistorted, for fulfilment, and yet excludes it, inwardly resembling the self-preservation from which it falsely promises deliverance.
This is the circle of bourgeois nostalgia for naivety. The soullessness of those in the margins of civilization, forbidden self-determination by daily need, at once appealing and tormenting, becomes a phantasm of soul to the well-provided-for, whom civilization has taught to be ashamed of the soul.

Love fall for the soulless as a cipher of living spirit, because the living are the theatre of its desperate desire to save, which can exercise itself only on the lost: soul dawns on love only in its absence.

So the expression called human is precisely that of the eyes closest to those of the animal, the creaturely ones, remote from the reflection of the self At the last, soul itself is the longing of the soulless for redemption.

1. In North-German folk-lore, lizards are reputed to be princesses, transformed into them by magicians, for their vanity.
2. Preziosa: heroine of the play of the same name by Pius-Alexander
Wolf (1821), set to music by Carl Maria von Weber. Peregrina: subject of the cycle of love Poems by Eduard Moerike (1804-75), originally in his novel Maler Nolten Albertine: mistress of the narrator in Proust's A La Recherche du Temps Perdu.
Theodor Storm (1817-88): Frisian writer, friend of Moerike; his main works were melancholy novellae. Pole Poppenspaeler was written in 1874.
3. Mignon: leading female character in Goethe's novel Wilhelm Meister Lehrjahre.

Theodor Adorno, Minima moralia: reflections on a damaged life. Translated from the German by E. F. N. Jephcott. London, Verso, 2005, p.109.