limits

some days I just feel so much more stupid than everybody else.

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let me not

For the past two days, my brain has been stuck on this opening line:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

(and then it goes: admit impediments. Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove.)

It’s quite annoying, playing over and over in my head. Just the first line, never the rest of it. Clearly, Mr. Shakespeare knew how to make an impression.

Speaking of Shakespeare, I’ve decided that one of my ‘resolutions’ – that is, the things I want to do after a transplant – is to visit Epidaurus. I’ve only been there once, and not for a performance. I decided I will learn a small sonnet  or monologue by then so I can try out the brilliant acoustics for myself (I’m aspiring to visit at least twice – once during the day, and once for a performance). Though I’ve dreamt of it at several points in my life, I’m not an actor – not by any stretch of the imagination – but I don’t need to be in the profession to understand how amazing it is to perform there. Any suggestions or requests?

The theatre at Epidaurus (from Wikimedia)

Someday, I’ll know what I want to do with my life, and perhaps even find my writing-obsession and theatre-frenzy laughable. Till then, however, I find it sculpts a bizarre life and life philosophy out of the thousands of words and quotes that fill my head. For example, without tragic figures like Hamlet, would I (dare I say, would any of us) have the vocabulary to contemplate existence and its purpose?

Aye, using theatre as a filter for understanding life is…well, weird, I get it. What can I say, my brain works in peculiar ways. I might quote the Bard again to reinforce my feeble claim:

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. – (As you like it)

Even he knew about performativity – before Judith Butler and queer theory gave it a name. I’m quite sure Aristotle (or was it Plato?) mentioned something about the ephemeral nature of a play and how each person takes on a role in life… or something. Anyway, when I find it (again), I’ll post an update.

Fun fact: Back in the day (lol – I mean back in the 5th century BC), it seems theatre was a place of learning – it was much later that it became a form of entertainment.

Meanwhile – moving away from the mini existential crisis – I’ve been reading Aristophanes’ Wasps. It’s hilarious, foul-mouthed classical Greek comedy. There are moments where it gets a tad serious, and it’s almost a crime and waste of his poetic genius if the translation is crap. Nonetheless, after his failure* with The Clouds in the Dionysia Festival of the previous year, in the Wasps he pulled out all the stops, dumping fart joke upon fart joke (or well, the classical Greek equivalent – although there are some fart jokes in there).

Some friends and family members I’ve read a few lines to have declared their utter shock at the crudeness of his language – my favourite line thus far involves Aristophanes describing one of his adversaries (that is, if I’ve not misunderstood the text – even in translation, sometimes it ain’t easy!) as some ‘terrible beast’ with the ‘destructive voice of a river torrent, the stench of a seal [as in, the animal], unwashed balls [testicles] of a Lamia, and the ass of a camel.’

Alright, so it’s not Shakespeare… Shocking language by today’s standards – or is it? I mean, we’re living in the 21st century. Despite our technological and scientific achievements, based on the reactions I’ve received, it seems like we’re actually more conservative in a lot of ways than they were in the 5th century BC. Of course, it was an entirely different world… If we ask Robert Graves (writer of ‘The Greek Myths: The definitive edition’ – a very interesting read!), he might claim it was the magic mushrooms and hallucinogenics. According to him, ‘ambrosia’ and ‘nectar’ were hallucinogenic mushrooms – and mushrooms were central to a lot of rituals in ancient Greece.

 

*In modern-day theatre (at least, in Greece), The Clouds is actually considered one of Aristophanes’ most successful and popular plays, while in classical Greece, it was a total flop… twice.

update: the search continues…

Before I head to bed, I thought I’d write a brief summary of my progress with my audio project (which shall resume next week).

So far, I’ve collected about 3/4 of my source audio clips.

I started out with hunting down sources from fiction or really old radio shows, but somehow certain words caused the operation to veer towards political speeches. You wouldn’t believe the kind of s*** people say in them! Maybe I’ll post links when I’m done with this.

Anyway, while searching, I’ve been trying to stick to public domain sources (partly for copyright reasons and partly because it’s not very nice to steal other people’s stuff). Also, to make my life harder, I challenged myself to steer clear of any recordings of Shakespeare and have consequently eliminated a substantial part of recordings in the English language! I mean, I’m a great fan and I know he’s popular but had no idea how popular he truly was…

Unbelievably, some words just seem to have fallen out of use entirely (in English) or are not used in cases or speeches or works that have been recorded.

The words I’m struggling with thus far:

-‘syndicates’ :well, a lot of stuff about the audio problems with video game Assassin’s Creed Syndicate keeps turning up…

– ‘consummated’ : I was hoping it would turn up in a poem somewhere, but I’ve not made much progress

– ‘all-powerful’ :discovered some recordings of sermons, maybe I’ll find it in there…

 

day off

Taking a day off from studying today (once a week ain’t bad, right?). Currently messing around with audio files (yaaay) and discovered that something we used to listen to at school for Music was narrated by David Bowie.

Trying to fit audio to a text feels like a reverse creation process…

#3linetales – week 8

three line tales week eight: flags

TLT photo prompt by Liam Desic – click here for full res version

This is an attempt at writing a something using Sonya’s Three Line Tale photo prompt… I feel like it kind of flopped flat on its face (well, it started out entirely differently!) but I thought I’d share it with you anyway.

ble(n)d

-look, look. look how the colours fly!-

each fateful flap a deadly deed, a scorched seed ,a broken skull

so cry and howl and weep all Aeolus’ children