[-empyre-] ethicopoetics of night & fog

simon swht at clear.net.nz
Thu Mar 30 13:33:45 AEDT 2017

Dear <<empyreans>>,

Johannes, you ask about William mentioning a MicroTheatre and "The Other 
Side"--I think, and William, please correct me if I'm wrong, this is a 
fortuitous mislabeling of Minus Theatre's "The Other Side" online at vimeo.

Two longish quotations follow, the first in response to the 
real-political social threat in the US, the second in answer to 
Johannes's generous post.


"For foreign-born Muslims and Latinos who are undocumented, related to 
someone undocumented, or who might be confused for undocumented, I’d say 
that the red flag is /up, /and it’s time to consider exit strategies 
with a 6-month window. US-born Muslims, Latinos who have more stability 
inside the country, and Jews have a somewhat longer time horizon 
available, but I’d start quietly thinking about options for when things 
change. Advice for the black and trans communities is simpler, because 
everyone already knows it: /Organize! /The advantage there is in numbers 
and shared strength, and in community. That’s also good advice for all 
of the other groups: even if you’re thinking about your exit strategy, 
you have very good reason to make common cause, and for everyone to work 
and pull together. That’s the thing that has a chance of preventing all 
of this, and of saving the most lives when that fails." - Yonatan Zunger 
from here 


a group listen to Pavel Haas’s /Study for Strings/. A Czech composer, 
Haas wrote the piece in Theresienstadt, shortly before being transferred 
to Auschwitz, where he died.

“We listened to the piece standing, with the same grave expressions as 
everyone else gathered there, watching other spectators … In the end, a 
group of around thirty people formed, who had followed the concert of 
violins and cellos with emotion, remaining motionless and sunk in 
thought, moved, profoundly silent, as if recovering from the collapse 
provoked by what they had heard, and also by what they remembered, what 
had been evoked, almost reenacted, I’d go as far as to say experienced, 
because it wasn’t difficult to feel vulnerable and tragic there, like a 

… “it seemed incredible to me I hadn’t been aware from the outset that 
the political, or more accurately the eternal illusion of a humanized 
world was inseparable from artistic endeavours, from the most 
forward-thinking art.” …

“I would have like to say […]: How could I have been so stupid? Or 
perhaps the opposite … Whatever the case, I opted to keep quiet and 
devote myself to carefully observing the general mental recovery of the 
people gathered there. I ended up identifying an intense communion 
between all these strangers, who, having surely come from such different 
places, had congregated there. It was as if they were all thinking, we 
were all thinking: we’ve been the moment, and this is the place, and now 
we know what our problem is. It was as if a spirit, a breeze, a current 
of morally bracing air, an invisible impetus, were pushing us toward the 
future, forging forever the union between the diverse members of that 
spontaneous, suddenly subversive-seeming group.

“This is the kind of thing, I thought, that we can never see on 
television news programs. There are silent conspiracies between people 
who seem to understand one another without talking, quiet rebellions 
that take place in the world every minute without being noticed; groups 
form by chance, unplanned reunions in the middle of the park or on a 
dark corner, occasionally allowing us to be optimistic about the future 
of humanity. They join together for a few minutes and then go their 
separate ways, all enlisting in the hidden fight against moral misery. 
One day, they will rise up with unheard-of fury and blow everything to 

– from /The Illogic of Kassel /(2015), Enrique Vila-Matas, pp. 60-1 
[from here 
where you can hear Haas's /Study for Strings/]



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