Louder Than Bombs (Movie/Soundtrack/Album)

Sing me to sleep
Sing me to sleep
I’m tired and I
I want to go to bed

Sing me to sleep
Sing me to sleep
And then leave me alone
Don’t try to wake me in the morning
‘Cause I will be gone
Don’t feel bad for me
I want you to know
Deep in the cell of my heart
I will feel so glad to go

Sing me to sleep
Sing me to sleep
I don’t want to wake up
On my own anymore

Sing to me
Sing to me
I don’t want to wake up
On my own anymore

Don’t feel bad for me
I want you to know
Deep in the cell of my heart
I really want to go

There is another world
There is a better world
Well, there must be
Well, there must be
Well, there must be
Well, there must be
Well…

Bye bye
Bye bye
Bye…

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Convolute A: Memory, art, holocaust

Still from Guy Debord's film Critique of Separation, 1960

Still from Guy Debord’s film Critique of Separation, 1960

I could hear them howling from afar
I saw them rushing to your car
In a moment all went screaming wild
Until the darkness killed the light

I remember running to the sea
The burning houses and the trees
I remember running to the sea
Alone and blinded by the fear
Röyksopp – Running To The Sea feat. Susanne Sundfør

“No wonder, then, that the Nobel committee should have compared this writer of corrupted autobiographies to Proust, but the reader who expects Proust’s polymorphous sentences will be disappointed. Modiano’s prose is a bleached surface, and Polizzotti has produced a satisfyingly neutral equivalent: «That Sunday evening in November I was on Rue de l’Abbé-de-l’Epée. I was skirting the high wall around the Institut des Sourds-Muets …» For Modiano is really the anti-Proust – in his writing, time is lost for ever. True, these novels are dense with Parisian place names, and the minor characters often turn out to encode a network of occupation history: the modern neon city is identical to its ghostly sepia twin. But the past in Modiano’s novels is also irrevocable: «It’s like in the morning when you try to recall your dream from the night before, but all that’s left are scraps that dissolve before you can put them together.»”
Adam Thirlwell, “Suspended Sentences by Patrick Modiano – three novellas from the Nobel laureate”

“It is necessary to destroy memory in art. To undermine the conventions of its communication. To demoralize its fans. What a task! As in a blurry drunken vision, the memory and language of the film fade out simultaneously. At the extreme, miserable subjectivity is reversed into a certain sort of objectivity: a documentation of the conditions of noncommunication.”
Guy Debord, Critique of Separation (film soundtrack) translated by Ken Knabb

“With a single stride he was out of the café, not turning around, and I felt an emptiness all of a sudden. This man had meant a lot to me. Without him, without his help, I wonder what would have become of me, ten years back, when I was struck by amnesia and was groping about in a fog. He had been moved by my case and, through his many contacts, had even managed to procure me a legal identity record.”
Patrick Modiano, “Missing Person” (“Rue des Boutiques Obscures”)

“Indeed, Derrida’s writings deploy the word «holocaust» in a variety of contexts, at times recalled to its original, Greek sources as if current usage could (or should) be ignored, at other times stunningly decontextualized. («I am still dreaming of a second holocaust that would not come too late,» he wrote; or again: «Of the holocaust there would remain only the most anonymous support without support, that which in any event never will have belonged to us, does not regard us. This would be like a purification of purification by fire. Not a single trace, an absolute camouflaging by means of too much evidence.») In Derrida’s work, «holocaust» is subjected to iterations that could almost be said to aim at or, more precisely, to tend toward banalization — unless it is the precise opposite.”
Gil Anidjar, Everything Burns: Derrida’s Holocaust (http://lareviewofbooks.org)

Jenny Hval And The Voice

I’m currently listening to Jenny Hval

A dead man saying “I am dead” had different meaning for Barthes and Derrida. Where does the voice come from?

Lyrics to Blood Flight by Jenny Hval

“I carefully rearranged my senses
so they could have a conversation.
Taught them to switch places;
from each pore in my skin grew shimmering eyes!
And fingerprints filled the eye sockets.

From the ears grew two tongues,
and I sang for people passing a strange song.
Told them stories without moving my li!ps
(Mouth half-open, still)
They assumed the words came from themselves;
these unfamiliar thoughts,

and I sang to them:
aaa aaa aaa.

Such is the speech of the body:
The ribs painted their fingernails.
(Black, of course)
And on the edges of the cunt
grew little teeth!
The clitoris, that great sphinx, opened its eye:
So many blind years, acting Oedipus.

Meanwhile the vocal chords were listening
for the wind howling,

whispering a familiar language of breath …
secret tales for them to learn.
Then from my veins came a strange itching,
and I felt a pull through the shoulder blades.
I should have seen it coming!
The blood was itching!
And etched a hole at the nape of the neck.
It flew out into the night
like a long, red ribbon to the sky.

And up we went, blood and I, spread over the city.
The dark sky lay against my skin,
So close …
like an eyelid.
Read more at http://www.onlylyrics.com/jenny-hval-lyrics-1064661.php#PvfTMCIwEmjBxcu2.99

Looking Forward To!

http://www.bobdylan.com/us/news/new-album-shadows-night-out-feb-3

Full moon and empty arms

Full moon and empty arms
The moon is there for us to share
But where are you?

A night like this
Could weave a memory
And every kiss
Could start a dream for two

Full moon and empty arms
Tonight I’ll use the magic moon to wish upon
And next full moon
If my one wish comes true
My empty arms will be filled with you

Full moon and empty arms
Tonight I’ll use the magic moon to wish upon
And next full moon
If my one wish comes true
My empty arms will be filled with you

IMDb bio of Eric Rohmer & Song Lyrics of Marit Larsen (Notes to Self)

Admirers have always had difficulty explaining Eric Rohmer’s “Je ne sais quoi.” Part of the challenge stems from the fact that, despite his place in French Nouvelle Vague (i.e., New Wave), his work is unlike that of his colleagues. While this may be due to the auteur’s unwillingness to conform, some have argued convincingly that, in truth, he has remained more faithful to the original ideals of the movement than have his peers. Additionally, plot is not his foremost concern. It is the thoughts and emotions of his characters that are essential to Rohmer, and, just as one’s own states of being are hard to define, so is the internal life of his art. Thus, rather than speaking of it in specific terms, fans often use such modifiers as “subtle,” “witty,” “delicious” and “enigmatic.” In an interview with Dennis Hopper, Quentin Tarantino echoed what nearly every aficionado has uttered: “You have to see one of [his movies], and if you kind of like that one, then you should see his other ones, but you need to see one to see if you like it.”

“Faith & Science”

At first you don’t even noticed
The second still on this turn
Then suddenly out of nowhere
A crash and the unversed
They echoes of faith and science
Are battling for your tries
Are trying to pray for silence
Arguing what comes first

Do you hold your breath and make up your mind
Then you’re calculating space and time
Or is it just a feeling when you know
Which is gonna land on final blow
It’s a fight with faith and science

Or move that’s clear unnoticed
Or word that moves all doubt
Of passion, truth, and blindness
A theory that works it out

I can’t forget about him
I can’t forget about him, mmmm

Do you hold your breath and make up your mind
Then you’re calculating space and time
Or is it just a feeling when you know
Which is gonna land on final blow
It’s a fight with faith and science
Faith and science

Do you hold your breath and make up your mind
Can you calculate in space and time
Or is it just a feeling when you know

Do you hold your breath and make up your mind
Can you calculate in space and time
Or is it just a feeling when you know
Which is gonna land on final blow
Ohh, it’s a fight with faith and science

Ohh, it’s a fight with faith and science

Beck Against The Tide of Modernity

The music video for Beck’s song Heart Is A Drum opens with a sketchy image of a person on a road. We then see the singer by a house, he seem to be both on the inside and outside, looking in the window from the garden and looking out the window from the other side. This reminds me of Margitte’s painting In Praise of Dialectics which is meant to show that the inside of a house is always connected with the outside, like with anything else: philosophy, concepts, literature and so on.

Rene Margitte, In Praise of Dialectics (source: http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/in-praise-of-dialectics-1937)

Rene Margitte, In Praise of Dialectics (source: http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/in-praise-of-dialectics-1937)

After this the video depicts various and shifting images: a boy on a road, Beck and a man walking next to him, the shadow of Beck on a wall, the boy from the road by the house (also both inside and outside, when on the inside flipping a curtain up and down on the window), at this point the lyrics of the song has come to the lines about time: “Your Heart is a drum keeping time with everyone”. The line right before also has connotations to the concept of time: “You’ve lost your tongue when you fall from the pendulum”. We also find hints to this in the video: a silhouette of something that looks like a clock, one of these old tall ones, standing on the floor. And then Beck leaves the house, he’s spotted some strange creatures dressed up like in clothes and helmets looking like a crossing of astronauts and beekeepers.

Still from the music video to Beck's Heart Is A Drum. On the wall you can see an painting which seems to be of Virgin Mary and Jesus.

Still from the music video to Beck’s Heart Is A Drum. On the wall you can see a painting which seems to be of Virgin Mary and Jesus.

I took the title for this post from a book entitled Romanticism Against The Tide of Modernity. There Michael Löwy and Robert Sayre writes about the romantic tradition in literature, art, protest movements and so on, claiming it’s not limited to a style of writing or painting, but a way of thought. Following the line of Marx they claim that romanticism always since the rise of capitalism has been here as it’s shadow, a criticism and force against it’s domination on modern life. Romanticism claims that something has been lost, but exactly what? Löwy and Sayre asks, and answers also: We have to look at it’s values to circle in that. These values are among other things community and the individual value of each human being (but not like capitalistic individualism which tells everyone that they can be superstars and by that gives broadcasting companies and advertisers lots of money on talent shows and things like that). In a podcast I just listened to Beck talks about the value of old folk songs and the way of thinking about music in the folk scene. He highlights the camaraderie among musicians and underlining it’s importance in creating new music. He talks about Record Club and Newport. All this are factors that places him in the romantic tradition I sketched up over here.

The cover of the book Romanticism Against The Tide of Modernity by Michael Löwy and Robert Sayre

The cover of the book Romanticism Against The Tide of Modernity by Michael Löwy and Robert Sayre

Now, lets go back to the video: Beck has left the house and enters a small cabin. We then see a glimpse of a light haired woman waking up (“High as the light of day” he sings now). Inside the cabin there are collages of pictures on the walls, Beck walks over to an image of a woman and her baby dressed up in the style of Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. He touches it softly.

The scene shifts to a priest looking man holding the light haired woman in his arms while wind blows through their hairs and clothes. (“Falling down across your lost highway” Beck sings now, with reference to Hank Williams old song). Back to Beck and his image on the wall, still touching it softly, lifting his head to the left. Outside on a field the man with the scythe appears, and the woman falls to the ground. After this Beck walks off again, we can see images of him crossed with scenes with the creatures I’ve mentioned: the priest, the woman, the man with the scythe. A new person has arrived: a little girl holding flowers. She stands next to the priest while the man with the scythe comes towards them (he has been pointing his fingers straight into the viewer a couple of times now, while Beck has been walking fast straight ahead, making it seem like his pointing at him, or at me who looks at the video. The woman appears in the same camera shot as Beck, and now the beekeepers appears. Now and then we see shadows on walls, glimpses of Beck’s face looking like these ads of phantom rising that has been circulating on the internet lately. He’s always searching, walking through houses and forests, trying to see what we can’t see: angel like creatures, death, places which is outside of time.

In Edmund Husserl’s Origin of Geometry: An Introduction, Derrida examinates Husserl’s philosophy on science. He begins with a walkthrough to Husserl’s views on geometry and historicity, and Derrida doesn’t seem to have any problems with his conclusions:

“Pure-interconnections-of history, apriori-thought-of history, does this not mean that these possibilities are not in themselves historical ? Not at an , for they are nothing but the possibilities of the appearance of history as such, outside which there is nothing. History itself establishes the possibility of its own appearing.”

“The paradox is that, without the apparent fall back into language and thereby into history , a fall which would alienate the ideal purity of sense , sense wou ld re main an empirical formation imprisoned as fact in a psychological subjectivity-in the inventor’ s head. Historical incarnation sets free the transcendental, instead of binding it.”

The word became a man, the Bible says. The word of truth. Merry Christmas!