Monday, February 18, 2013

Aesthetic Attitude

Moment Against Now
 Konsult includes aesthetic attitude in the public sphere, to exercise and enhance capacity to be affected.  The attitude is modeled in several areas of common experience:  tourism, movies, the arts.  Konsult applies the vanguard project of merging art with everyday life, not to make art, but to put the stamp of being on becoming.  Moment against dromosphere in any case attempts praxis as poiesis.  Orhan Pamuck, in his novel Snow, tells the story of Ka, an exiled poet who return to Turkey to report on a wave of suicides, and also on the possibility of reconnecting with a woman he had known in his youth.  He has not written any poetry in a number of years.  But during the events of his visit, the old creative capacity returns, at least briefly, and he is able to write a poem.  The example is relevant to us not for the poem, but for how the feelings of significance arise in the midst of ongoing events, pursuing both professional and personal projects, while reflecting on the meaning and purpose of his life.  The immediate lessons may be derived from the gradual dawning of inspiration as the circumstances of recent incidents begin to form into a system of correspondences producing epiphany, Einstellung (Wenders).  The citation is selective, just to note the flavor of the account.
He made his way along the train track, past the snow-covered silo that loomed overhead like a great white cloud, and was soon back inside the station. As he passed through the empty, dirty building, he saw a dog approaching, wagging its curly tail in a friendly way.  It was a black dog with a round white patch on its forehaed.  As he looked across the filthy waiting hall, Ka saw three teenage boys, who were beckoning the dog with sesame rolls.
There was a long silence.  A feeling of peace rose up inside Ka.  They were so far from the center of the world, one couldn't even imagine going there, and as he fell under the spell of the snowflakes that seemed to hang in the sky outside, he began to wonder if he had entered a world without gravity.  When everyone had ceased to pay any attention to him, another poem came to Ka.  The poem was made up of many of the thoughts that had come to him all at once a short while earlier: the falling snow, cemeteries, the black dog running happily around the station building, an assortment of childhood memories, and the image that had lured him back to the hotel: Ipek. How happy it made him just to imagine her face--and also how terrified! He called the poem "Snow."
Much later when he thought about how he'd written this poem, he had a vision of a snowflake; this snowflake, he decided, was his life writ small; the poem that had unlocked the meaning of his life, he now saw sitting at its center.  But--just as the poem itself defies easy explanation--it is difficult to say how much he decided at that moment and how much of his life was determiend by the hidden symmetries this book is seeking to unveil.  Before finishing the poem, Ka went silently to the window and watched the scene outside: the large snowflakes floating so elegantly through the air.  He had the feeling that simply by watching the snow fall he would be able to bring the poem to its predetermined end.
Ka's Snowflake Diagram

1 comment:

  1. It is important to note (relative to this scene as an example of the aesthetic attitude in general), that when the poem emerges (visitation of the Muse) Ka experiences a feeling of happiness (as did Proust in the prototype of such events), although the feelings and emotions associated with the ongoing events of his life are anything but happy.

    "So it was that Ka heard the call from deep inside him: the call he heard only at moments of inspiration, the only sound that could every make him happy, the sound of his muse. For the first time in four years, a poem was coming to him."