Alphabetarion # Dreams | Marcel Proust

George Silk, Sandra Kunhardt pretending she is a doll, 1961


"When the mind has a tendency to dream, it is a mistake to keep dreams away from it, to ration its dreams. 
So long as you distract your mind from its dreams, it will not know them for what they are; you will always 
be being taken in by the appearance of things, because you will not have grasped their true nature. 
If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less 
but to dream more, to dream all the time."

Marcel Proust, Within A Budding Grove Vol. 2 of Remembrance of Things Past


Also: 

Knowledge begins with the senses | Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

Immanuel Kant and Friends at Table, Painting by Emil Doerstling, 1900


“We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.” 

“Look closely. The beautiful may be small.” 

“I had to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith.” *

"All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. 
There is nothing higher than reason." *

“Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.” ^

"Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life."

“The death of dogma is the birth of morality.” 

“Dare to know! Have the courage to use your own intelligence!” 

“Space and time are the framework within which the mind is constrained toconstruct its experience of reality.” 


 Immanuel Kant

Critique of Pure Reason, 1781 / ^ Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose, 1784


^ Immanuel Kant, walking at Konigsberg, 1724-1804
Immanuel Kant holding a jar of mustard, his weakness, 1801 ^
Drawing by Friedrich Hagermann


In a Station of the Metro | Ezra Pound (1912)


Suzuki Harunobu, Woman Admiring Plum Blossoms at Night, 18th century (detail)



The apparition       of these faces      in the crowd;
Petals     on a wet, black bough.

Ezra Pound

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Imagist poem first published in 1913 in the literary magazine Poetry.
Ezra Pound describes a moment in the underground metro station La Concorde, in Paris in 1912.

The pavilion entrance at Bastille Métro station, Paris, 1900


The first subway access were designed by Hector Guimard (1867- 1942) 
in style "art nouveau", in vogue at the beginning of the century.


On the statue | Hans Christian Andersen

A group of children waiting for a story reading sitting on the statue of fairy story writer Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park, New York, 1955


"Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."

Hans Christian Andersen


A child reading a page of the 'Ugly Duckling' inscribed on the statue of its author 
Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park, New York, 1965


"We cannot expect to be happy always ... by experiencing evil as well as good we become wise."


Hans Christian Andersen


Book//mark - Sherlock Holmes 1887-1927 | Arthur Conan Doyle

Private investigator looking through magnifying glass


“You see, but you do not observe.”
 Arthur Conan Doyle, A Scandal in Bohemia, 1891



“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”
 Arthur Conan Doyle, The Boscombe Valley Mystery, 1891


"When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, 1927


"What one man can invent, another can discover.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Dancing Men, 1903


“Any truth is better than indefinite doubt.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, 1894



“The emotional qualities are antagonistic to clear reasoning.”
 Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four, 1890



“Anything is better than stagnation.”
 Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, 1927



"I followed you."
"I saw no one.’
"That is what you may expect to see when I follow you.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot, 1910


* Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 -1930)
British writer and physician, most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes,
a fictional private detective, first appearing in print in 1887.

Τhe canon Russ Stutler's view of 221B Baker Street


A Doll’s House | Henrik Ibsen, 1879

[Stage Directions: Scene - A room furnished comfortably and tastefully, but not extravagantly.]

Vera Komissarzhevskaya as Nora in Henrik Ibsen s A Doll' s House, 1904


Torvald: “Hasn’t Miss Sweet Tooth been breaking rules in town today? […] 
taken a bite at a macaroon or two?” 
Nora: “No, Torvald.” 

Torvald: “Bought, did you say? All these things? Has my little spendthrift been wasting money again?” 

Torvald: “Is it my little squirrel bustling about?” 

Nora:“Your squirrel would run about and do all her tricks if you would be nice, and do as she wants … Your skylark would chirp about in every room, with her song rising and falling.” 

“‘If your squirrel were to ask you very prettily for something…’ 
'Your squirrel will scamper about and do all her tricks, if you’ll be nice and do what she asks…’ 
'Your skylark’ll sing all over the house - up and down the scale…’ 
'I’ll be a fairy and dance on a moonbeam for you..’”


Vera Komissarzhevskaya as Nora in Henrik Ibsen s A Doll s House, 1904


“An atmosphere of lies like that infects and poisons the whole life of a home. In a house like that, every breath that the children take is filled with the germs of evil.” 

“To be able to be free from care, quite free from care; to be able to play and romp with the children; to be able to keep the house beautifully and have everything just as Torvald likes it!” 

Nora: “How painful and humiliating it would be for Torvald, with his manly independence, to know that he owed me anything! It would upset our mutual relations altogether.” 

“At the next fancy-dress ball I shall be invisible. There is a big black hat - have you never heard of hats that make you invisible? If you put one on, no one can see you.” 


Mabou Mines DollHouse 2003, director Lee Breuer / Adapted from Henrik Ibsen



 “I should just love to say - ‘Well, I’m damned!” 

 “What do I care about tiresome society?” 

 “There are people one loves and others one likes to talk to” 

 “Why shouldn’t I look at my dearest treasure? - at all the beauty that is mine, all my very own?” 

 “A wonderful thing is going to happen!” 

 “Nora, darling, you’re dancing as if your life depended on it!” 

 “From this moment happiness is not the question; all that concerns us is to save the remains, the fragments, the appearance - ”


Mabou Mines DollHouse 2003, director Lee Breuer / Adapted from Henrik Ibsen


“You don’t talk or think like the man I could bind myself to. When your first panic was over - not about what threatened me, but about what might happen to you - and when there was no more danger, then, as far as you were concerned, it was just as if nothing had happened at all. I was simply your little songbird, your doll, and from now on you would handle it more gently than ever because it was so delicate and fragile. At that moment, Torvald, I realized that for eight years I’d been living her with a strange man and that I’d borne him three children. Oh, I can’t bear to think of it - I could tear myself to little pieces!”

“Nora: It’s true Torvald. When I lived at home with Papa, he used to tell me his opinion about everything, and so I had the same opinion. If I thought differently, I had to hide it from him, or he wouldn’t have liked it. He called me his little doll, and he used to play with me just as I played with my dolls. Then I came to live in your house -

Torvald: That’s no way to talk about our marriage!

Nora [undisturbed]: I mean when I passed out of Papa’s hands into yours. You arranged according to your own taste, and so I got the same tastes as you - or I pretended to. I’m not quite sure which- perhaps it was a bit of both – sometimes one and sometimes the other. Now that I come to look at it, I’ve lived here like a pauper – simply from hand to mouth. I’ve lived by performing tricks for you, Torvald. That was how you wanted it. You and Papa have committed a grievous sin against me: it’s your fault that I’ve made nothing of my life.”

“With me you could have been another person.”

“You have never loved me. You have only thought it pleasant to be in love with me.”

“I’ll risk everything together with you.”

“I have existed merely to perform tricks for you, Torvald.”


Mabou Mines DollHouse 2003, director Lee Breuer / Adapted from Henrik Ibsen


“Our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was papa’s doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls.” 

“Torvald:—To forsake your home, your husband, and your children! You don’t consider what the world will say. 
Nora:—I can pay no heed to that. I only know what I must do. 
Torvald:—It is exasperating! Can you forsake your holiest duties in this world? 
Nora:—What do you call my holiest duties? 
Torvald:—Do you ask me that? Your duties to your husband and your children. 
Nora:—I have other duties equally sacred. 
Torvald:—Impossible! What duties do you mean? 
Nora:—My duties towards myself. 
Torvald:—Before all else you are a wife and a mother. 
Nora:—That I no longer believe. I think that before all else I am a human being, just as much as you are—or at least I will try to become one.” 

“Nora: I must stand on my own two feet if I’m to get to know myself and the world outside. That’s why I can’t stay here with you any longer.” 

“I must make up my mind which is right – society or I.” 

“Nora: Torvald, don’t look at me like that! 
Torvald: Can’t I look at my richest treasure? At all that beauty that’s mine, mine alone-completely and utterly.” 

“As soon as your fear was over–and it was not fear for what threatened me, but for what might happen to you–when the whole thing was past, as far as you were concerned it was exactly as if nothing at all had happened. Exactly as before, I was your little skylark, your doll, which you would in future treat with doubly gentle care, because it was so brittle and fragile.”

“How can I hold you close enough?”

Mabou Mines DollHouse 2003, director Lee Breuer / Adapted from Henrik Ibsen


Nora: …I was your little skylark, your doll, which you would in future treat with doubly gentle care, because it was so brittle and fragile. (Getting up.) Torvald–it was then it dawned upon me that for eight years I had been living here with a strange man, and had borne him three children. Oh, I can’t bear to think of it! I could tear myself into little bits!
Torvald:(sadly). I see, I see. An abyss has opened between us – there is no denying it. But, Nora, would it not be possible to fill it up?
Nora: As I am now, I am no wife for you.
Torvald: I have it in me to become a different man.
Nora: Perhaps–if your doll is taken away from you.

Torvald: I have power to grow another.

Torvald: Change yourself in such a manner that–
Nora: –that cohabitation between you and me might become a matrimony. Goodbye.

“[From below comes the noise of a door slamming.]”


 Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House, 1879


Manuscript cover for Bokmål Et dukkehjem ( A Doll’s House) / Henrik Ibsen, 1861


Henrik Ibsen [1828-1906], considered by many to be the father of modern prose drama, was born in Skien, Norway, on March 20, 1828. He was the second of six children. Ibsen’s father was a prominent merchant, but he went bankrupt when Ibsen was eight years old, so Ibsen spent much of his early life living in poverty. From 1851 to 1864, he worked in theaters in Bergen and in what is now Oslo (then called Christiania). At age twenty-one, Ibsen wrote his first play, a five-act tragedy called Catiline. Like much of his early work, Catiline was written in verse. In 1858, Ibsen married Suzannah Thoreson, and eventually had one son with her. Ibsen felt that, rather than merely live together, husband and wife should live as equals, free to become their own human beings. 

A Doll’s House was based on the life of Laura Kieler (maiden name Laura Smith Petersen), a good friend of Ibsen. Much that happened between Nora and Torvald happened to Laura and her husband, Victor 

A Doll’s House premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 21 December 1879


A Doll’s House 1917 silent film directed by Joe De Grasse and starring Lon Chaney as Torvald   A Doll’s House 1922 lost silent film directed by Charles Bryanta, starring Alla Nazimova as Nora.  


Dance / space | Merce Cunningham

Charles E Rotkin, Merce Cunningham and partner in 1957



"Dance is an art in space and time. The object of the dancer is to obliterate that.” 

 "There are no fixed points in space." 


Merce Cunningham



Σ΄ εκείνον που ξέρει να τ΄ ακούσει | Γιώργος Μπουζιάνης

Πορτραίτο άνδρα, Γιώργος Μπουζιάνης (1885-1959), υδατογραφία


"Ο άνθρωπος, το ζώο, το αντικείμενο, τα πάντα ξέρουν 
να μιλάνε σ΄ εκείνον που ξέρει να τ’ ακούσει."


Γιώργος Μπουζιάνης, Το Τετράδιο με τους Αφορισμούς, Παρίσι, 1929-1932



Emotion / In motion | Mae West

George Platt Lynes - Female Nude, 1950


“Sex is an emotion in motion.” 

 Mae West



On directing > The enemy of Art | Orson Welles

Irving Penn, Orson Welles, Portrait with Symbols, 1945



"The enemy of art is the absence of limitations." 

“A writer needs a pen, an artist needs a brush, but a filmmaker needs an army.” 

“In the theater there are 1,500 cameras rolling at the same time - in the cinema, only one” 

“Movie directing is a perfect refuge for the mediocre.” 

"A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet." 

“If you want a happy ending, it depends on where you stop the story"


Orson Welles


Also:

Μουσώνας / Ἀντινομία | Νίκος Καββαδίας

A. Aubrey Bodine, Sailor looking at clipper ship, 1940



Μουσώνας


Τρελὸς μουσώνας ράγισε μεσονυχτὶς τὰ ρέλια.
Στὸ χέρι σου χλωρὸ κλαρί, χαρτὶ κι ἕνα φτερό.
Τέσσεροι κάμανε καιροὶ τὰ ροῦχα σου κουρέλια.
Νὰ σὲ σκεπάσω θέλησα, γλιστρᾶς καὶ δὲ μπορῶ.

Κοράλλι ὁ κατραμόκωλος βαστάει νὰ σὲ φιλέψει.

Γιατί μπήγεις τὰ νύχια σου στὴ σάπια κουπαστή;
Εἶν᾿ ἕνα φάδι ἀθώρητο καὶ μοῦ μποδάει τὴ βλέψη.
Γαλάζιο βλέπω μοναχά, γαλάζιο καὶ σταχτί.

Παρακαλῶ σε κάθησε νὰ ξημερώσει κάπως.

Χρῶμα νὰ βρῶ, τὸ πράσινο καὶ τίντες μυστικές.
Κι ἀπέ, τὸ θρύλο νὰ σοῦ πῶ ποὺ μοῦ ῾πε μαῦρος κάπος
τὴ νύχτα ποὺ μᾶς ἔγλειφε φωτιὰ στὸ Μαρακές.

Ἀκόμα ξέρω τὸν ἀρχαῖο σκοπὸ τοῦ Μινικάπε,

τὴ φοινικιὰ ποὺ ζωντανὴ θρηνεῖ στὸ Παραμέ.
Μὰ ἕνα πουλὶ μοῦ μήνυσε πὼς κάποιος ἄλλος στά ῾πὲ
κάποιος, ποὺ ξέρει νὰ ἱστορᾶ καλύτερα ἀπὸ μέ.

Κάματος εἶναι ποὺ μιλᾶ στενόχωρα καὶ κάψα.

Πεισματική, καὶ πέταξες χαρτί, φτερό, κλαδί,
ὅμως δὲν εἴμαστε παιδιὰ νὰ πιάσουμε τὴν κλάψα.
Τί θά ῾δινα - «Πάψε, Σεβάχ» - γιὰ νά ῾μουνα παιδί!

Αὐγή, ποιὸς δαίμονας Ἰνδὸς σοῦ μόλεψε τὸ χρῶμα;

Γυρίζει ὁ ναύτης τὸν τροχὸ κι ὁ γύφτος τὴ φωτιά.
Καὶ μεῖς, ποὺ κάμαμε πετσὶ τὴν καραβίσια βρόμα,
στὸ πόρτο θὰ κερδίσουμε καὶ πάλι στὰ χαρτιά.



Ἰνδικὸς Ὠκεανὸς, 1951

Νίκος Καββαδίας, Τραβέρσο, 1975



Stormy Seas from Ship’s Deck, Vtg Photo RPPC 1910s



Ἀντινομία


Ὁ ἔρωτάς σου μία πληγὴ καὶ τρεῖς κραυγές.
Στὰ κόντρα σκούζει ὁ μακαρᾶς καθὼς τεζάρει.
Θαλασσοκόρη τοῦ βυθοῦ - χίλιες ὀργιὲς -
τοῦ Ποσειδώνα ἐγὼ σὲ κέρδισα στὸ ζάρι.

Καὶ σ᾿ ἔριξα σ᾿ ἕνα βιβάρι σκοτεινὸ
ποὺ στέγνωσε καὶ ξανεμίστηκε τὸ ἁλάτι.
Μὰ ἐσὺ προσμένεις ἀπ᾿ τὸ δίκαιον οὐρανὸ
τὸ στεριανό, τὸ γητευτή, τὸν ἀπελάτη.

Ὅταν θὰ σμίξεις μὲ τὸ φῶς ποὺ σὲ βολεῖ
καὶ θὰ χαθεῖς μέσα σὲ διάφανη ἀμφιλύκη
πάνω σὲ πράσινο πετούμενο χαλί,
θὰ μείνει ὁ ναύτης νὰ μετρᾶ τὸ ἄσπρο χαλίκι.



 m/s Aquarius, 1974

Νίκος Καββαδίας, Τραβέρσο, 1975


Also:

Alphabetarion # A brain | Graham Greene

American Phrenological Journal published by Fowlers & Wells, New York City, 1848



“A brain is only capable of what it could conceive, 
and it couldnt concieve what it hasn’t experienced” 


 Graham Greene, Brighton Rock, 1938

Mozart murdered | Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Antoine de Saint Exupéry playing the violin with his sisters



''When by mutation a new rose is born in a garden, all the gardeners rejoice. They isolate the rose, tend it, foster it. But there is no gardener for men. This little Mozart will be shaped like the rest by the common stamping machine. This little Mozart will love shoddy music in the stench of night dives. This little Mozart is condemned.

I went back to my sleeping car. I said to myself: Their fate causes these people no suffering. It is not an impulse to charity that has upset me like this. I am not weeping over an eternally open wound. Those who carry the wound do not feel it. It is the human race and not the individual that is wounded here, is outraged here. I do not believe in pity. What torments me tonight is the gardener’s point of view. What torments me is not this poverty to which after all a man can accustom himself as easily as to sloth. Generations of Orientals live in filth and love it. What torments me is not the humps nor hollows nor the ugliness. It is the sight, a little bit in all these men, of Mozart murdered. 

Only the Spirit, if it breathe upon the clay, can create Man.''


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars / A memoir, 1939
translation Lewis Galantiere



Also:



The sheer weight of a raindrop | Vladimir Nabokov, 1951


Will Cook, Cordate leaves, 2008 


“Without any wind blowing, the sheer weight of a raindrop, shining in parasitic luxury on a cordate leaf, caused its tip to dip, and what looked like a globule of quicksilver performed a sudden glissando down the centre vein, and then, having shed its bright load, the relieved leaf unbent. Tip, leaf, dip, relief - the instant it all took to happen seemed to me not so much a fraction of time as a fissure in it, a missed heartbeat, which was refunded at once by a patter of rhymes: I say ‘patter’ intentionally, for when a gust of wind did come, the trees would briskly start to drip all together in as crude an imitation of the recent downpour as the stanza I was already muttering resembled the shock of wonder I had experienced when for a moment heart and leaf had been one.”


Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory: A Memoir, 1951- 67


Escape | Before midnight / Søren Kierkegaard

Young artist falls asleep with ‘papier maché’ mask of Marlene Dietrich on her lap, 1950


"Don’t you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? 
Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? 
Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this?"


Søren Kierkegaard


The Mad Hatter | Lewis Carroll, 1865

Inge Morath, Winter carnival procession, Bad Gastein, Austria, 1955


“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything 
would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”


“Take off your hat,“ the King said to the Hatter.
“It isn’t mine,” said the Hatter.
“Stolen!” the King exclaimed, turning to the jury, who instantly made a memorandum of the fact.
“I keep them to sell,” the Hatter added as an explanation; “I’ve none of my own. I’m a hatter.”


“Alice sighed wearily. `I think you might do something better with the time,’ she said, `than waste it in asking riddles 
that have no answers.’

`If you knew Time as well as I do,’ said the Hatter, `you wouldn’t talk about wasting it. It’s him.’

`I don’t know what you mean,’ said Alice.

`Of course you don’t!’ the Hatter said, tossing his head contemptuously. `I dare say you never even spoke to Time!


Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865 


Alphabetarion # Wings | J.M. Barrie

Bill Owens, Kiss Me. Kiss Me, 1974


“The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because 
they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.” 


 J.M. Barrie, The Little White Bird, 1902


Alphabetarion # Confetti | Alexandre Dumas

Δημήτρης Γιαννουκάκης (1898 - 1991), Kαρναβάλι


“Piazza del Popolo presented a spectacle of gay and noisy mirth and revelry. 
A crowd of masks flowed in from all sides, emerging from the doors, descending 
from the windows. From every street and every corner drove carriages filled with clowns, 
harlequins, dominoes, mummers, pantomimists, Transteverins, knights, and peasants, 
screaming, fighting, gesticulating, throwing eggs filled with flour, confetti, nosegays, attacking.” 

 Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo, 1844

Federico Beltrán Masses, Carnival, 1925

Mask / Bewilder | Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850

Girl in rabbit mask, 1930s


“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another 
to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” 


 Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, 1850



Also:

Writings | Edgar Degas, 1834 - 1917

Edgar Degas, Degas in a Green Waistcoat, 1855-56



“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

“I want to be famous but unknown!”

“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.”

“Art is vice. You don’t wed it, you rape it.”

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.”

"Daylight is too easy. What I want is difficult: the atmosphere of lamps or moonlight."

“A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, and some fantasy. 
When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people.”

"Among people who understand, words are not necessary, 
you say humph, he, ha and everything has been said.”

"The air you breathe in a picture is not necessarily the same as the air out of doors."

“We were created to look at one another, weren’t we.”

"Art is really a battle."

"Drawing is not the same as form; it is a way of seeing form."

"Drawing is your understanding of form."

"If painting weren’t so difficult, it wouldn’t be fun."

“So that’s the telephone? They ring, and you run.”


Edgar Degas


Alphabetarion # The laughter | Roberto Bolaño

Haywood Magee, Boys playing football in a residential street in London, 1950


“Even on the poorest streets people could be heard laughing. Some of these streets were completely dark, like black holes, 
and the laughter that came from who knows where was the only sign, the only beacon that kept residents and strangers 
from getting lost.” 

Roberto Bolaño, 2666 (2004)

Andrew MacDonald, Guiseppe Gizzi, the ice-cream man, Glasgow, around 1937


Also: 

Alphabetarion # Injustice | Robert Walser, 1908

                                                                                                                          Fitz W. Guerin, Kids in the hall, 1902


“Wherever there are children, there will always be injustice.”

 Robert Walser, The Assistant, 1908 

The Caryatids | Ανδρέας Εμπειρίκος, 1935



The Caryatids 

O the breasts of youth
O the pallid waters of the fig-eaters
The cobblestones echo with the steps of morning people
Thicket of strength with your scarlet trees
Youth senses your significance
And springs up already at your edges
Feathery tresses frisk between the breasts of young girls
Who walk half-naked through your narrow streets
Their curls more lovely than those of Absalom
Amber drips between the locks
And the dark-haired ones hold ebony leaves
Ferrets sniff at their steps
The forest responds
The forest is a swarm of ants with lance-bearing legions
Here even the skylarks are stripping off their shadows
The railways cannot be heard
The day sighs
One of the her young daughters is playing with her breasts
No slap will do any good
A deer passes by holding in its mouth
The three cherries it found between the breasts of youth
The evening here is warm
The trees wrap themselves in their quietude
Now and then rocks of silence fall slowly into the clearing
Like light before it turns to day.

Andreas Embirikos, 1935
Translation: Karen Emmeric


< Ανδρέας Εμπειρίκος, Παρίσι, 1961








Οι καρυάτιδες 
Στον Γιώργο Γουναρόπουλο

Ώ οι μαστοί της νεότητος
Ώ τα πελιδνά νερά των συκοφάγων
Τα καλντιρίμια αντηχούν από τα βήματα των πρωινών ανθρώπων
Άλσος αλκής με τ’ άλικα δέντρα σου
Η νεότης διαισθάνεται τη σημασία σου
Αναθρώσκει ήδη στας παρυφάς σου
Θύσανοι πουπουλένιοι σκιρτούν ανάμεσα στα στήθη των νεανίδων
Που περπατούν ημίγυμνες μέσ’ στα δρομάκια σου
Η κόμη τους είναι ωραιότερη από του Αβεσαλώμ
Το κεχριμπάρι στάζει ανάμεσα στους βοστρύχους
Και οι μελαχρινές κρατούνε φύλλα εβένου
Τα βήματα τους τα οσφραίνονται κουνάβια
Το δάσος συγκινείται
Τα δάσος είναι μυρμηκιά με λεγεώνες λογχοφόρων
Εδώ και οι κορυδαλλοί γυμνώνονται απ’ τις σκιές τους
Οι τροχιόδρομοι δεν ακούγονται
Η ημέρα αναστενάζει
Μια κόρη της πολύ μικρή παίζει με τους μαστούς της
Κανένας κόλαφος δεν ισχύει
Μόνο μια έλαφος περνά κρατώντας μέσ’ στο στόμα της
Τα τρία κεράσια που βρήκε ανάμεσα στα στήθη της νεότητος
Το βράδυ εδώ είναι θερμό
Τα δέντρα περιτυλίσσονται στη σιγαλιά τους
Βράχοι σιγής πέφτουν αργά και που μέσα στο ξέφωτο
Όπως το φως πριν γίνει μέρα.

 Ανδρέας Εμπειρίκος, Οι σπόνδυλοι της πολιτείας, 1935
 Ενδοχώρα, 1945
Also:

Ανδρέας Εμπειρίκος / Μία φωτογραφία ζει...όπως ένα φλουρί, ένα κρύσταλλο, ή ένα γάντι 

Γήπεδον / Αντίστροφη Αφιέρωση | Ανδρέας Εμπειρίκος / Μάτση Χατζηλαζάρου 

Εις την Οδόν των Φιλελλήνων / Ανδρέας Εμπειρίκος

Civilized people / Criteria | Anton Chekhov (1886)

Anton Chekhov (left) with his brother Nikolay Chekhov, an artist (right), 1882

“Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria:

1) They respect human beings as individuals and are therefore always tolerant, gentle, courteous and amenable … They do not create scenes over a hammer or a mislaid eraser; they do not make you feel they are conferring a great benefit on you when they live with you, and they don’t make a scandal when they leave. (…)

2) They have compassion for other people besides beggars and cats. Their hearts suffer the pain of what is hidden to the naked eye. (…)

3) They respect other people’s property, and therefore pay their debts.

4) They are not devious, and they fear lies as they fear fire. They don’t tell lies even in the most trivial matters. To lie to someone is to insult them, and the liar is diminished in the eyes of the person he lies to. Civilized people don’t put on airs; they behave in the street as they would at home, they don’t show off to impress their juniors. (…)

5) They don’t run themselves down in order to provoke the sympathy of others. They don’t play on other people’s heartstrings to be sighed over and cosseted … that sort of thing is just cheap striving for effects, it’s vulgar, old hat and false. (…)

6) They are not vain. They don’t waste time with the fake jewellery of hobnobbing with celebrities, being permitted to shake the hand of a drunken [judicial orator], the exaggerated bonhomie of the first person they meet at the Salon, being the life and soul of the bar … They regard prases like ‘I am a representative of the Press!!’ – the sort of thing one only hears from [very minor journalists] – as absurd. If they have done a brass farthing’s work they don’t pass it off as if it were 100 roubles’ by swanking about with their portfolios, and they don’t boast of being able to gain admission to places other people aren’t allowed in (…) True talent always sits in the shade, mingles with the crowd, avoids the limelight … As Krylov said, the empty barrel makes more noise than the full one. (…)

7) If they do possess talent, they value it … They take pride in it … they know they have a responsibility to exert a civilizing influence on [others] rather than aimlessly hanging out with them. And they are fastidious in their habits. (…)

8) They work at developing their aesthetic sensibility … Civilized people don’t simply obey their baser instincts … they require mens sana in corpore sano.

And so on. That’s what civilized people are like … Reading Pickwick and learning a speech from Faust by heart is not enough if your aim is to become a truly civilized person and not to sink below the level of your surroundings.

Anton Chekhov, from a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886


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