Michael Zeleny (larvatus) wrote,
Michael Zeleny
larvatus

the original sin

I went to a concert upstairs in Town Hall. The composer whose works were being performed had provided program notes. One of these notes was to the effect that there is too much pain in the world. After the concert I was walking along with the composer and he was telling me how the performances had not been quite up to snuff. So I said, “Well, I enjoyed the music, but I didn’t agree with that program note about there being too much pain in the world.” He said, “What? Don’t you think there’s enough?” I said, “I think there’s just the right amount.”
— John Cage, “Grace and Clarity”, 1944



Edvard Munch, Scream, 1893

Here, as always, Proust is completely detached from all moral considerations. There is no right and wrong in Proust nor in his world.  (Except possibly in those passages dealing with the war, when for a space he ceases to be an artist and raises his voice with the plebs, mob, rabble, canaille.) Tragedy is not concerned with human justice. Tragedy is the statement of an expiation, but not the miserable expiation of a codified breach of a local arrangement, organised by the knaves for the fools. The tragic figure represents the expiation of original sin, of the original and eternal sin of him and all his ‘soci malorum,’ the sin of having been born.
                  ‘Pues el delito mayor
                  Del hombre es haber nacido.’
— Samuel Beckett, Proust


In der That ist die Ueberzeugung, daß die Welt, also auch der Mensch, etwas ist, daß eigentlich nicht seyn sollte, geeignet, uns mit Nachsicht gegen einander zu erfüllen: denn was kann man von Wesen unter solchem Prädikament erwarten? — Ja, von diesem Gesichtspunkt aus könnte man auf den Gedanken kommen, daß die eigentlich passende Anrede zwischen Mensch und Mensch, statt, „Monsieur“, „Sir“, u.s.w., seyn möchte „Leidensgefährte, Socî malorum, compagnon de misères, my fellow sufferer.“ So seltsam dies klingen mag; so entspricht es doch der Sache, wirft auf den anderen das richtige Licht und erinnert an das Nötigste: an die Toleranz, Geduld, Schonung und Nächstenliebe, deren jeder bedarf und die daher auch jeder schuldig ist.
— Arthur Schopenhauer, „Nachträge zur Lehre vom Leiden der Welt
In fact, the conviction that the world and man is something that had better not have been, is of a kind to fill us with indulgence towards one another; for what can one expect from being in such predicaments? — Indeed, from this point of view, we might well consider the proper form of address among men to be, not “Monsieur”, “Sir”, and so on, but “Leidensgefährte, Socî malorum, compagnon de misères, my fellow-sufferer”. This may perhaps sound strange, but it is in keeping with the facts; it puts others in a right light; and it reminds us of that, which is after all the most necessary thing in life — the tolerance, patience, regard, and love of neighbor, of which everyone stands in need, and which, therefore, every man owes to his fellow.
— Arthur Schopenhauer, “On the Sufferings of the World
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