Friday, December 31, 2010

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Phantoms of the mind and delusion in the Literature Antonio De Lisa

Roberto Ferri (Taranto 1978)
oil on canvas 50 x 70
year 2010

What are the ghosts of the mind? What are the obsessive ideas, taken outside the framework of a strictly psychological? Before responding, it should be noted that the perspective from which to look at these phenomena is admittedly a philosophical perspective. But the ideas that will provide us with working materials are not strictly philosophical: they are literary, artistic, cinematic, mythopoeic at large.
Dante and the Minotaur The Minotaur

(Μινώταυρος) is a figure from Greek mythology. It is a monstrous and ferocious half-man half-bull. He was the son of the Bull of Crete and Pasiphae queen of Crete. His real name is Aster or Asterion. The Minotaur
also appears in The Divine Comedy. Precisely in the twelfth canto of the Inferno (vv. 11-13):

'E' n on the tip of the broken chasm

the infamy of Crete was stretched

that was conceived in the fictitious cow "

is the guardian of the circle of violence and it is here that Dante and Virgil meet him. Despite initially trying to bar their way, Virgil is able to remove him, and then the minotaur begins to wriggle around like a bull.
allegorically, the Minotaur is set to guard the circle of violence, because in the greek myth it symbolizes the very instinctive and irrational side of human mind, that we share with animals (the "mad bestiality") and makes us unaware. The violent are just the sinners who have sinned by yielding to instinct and have not been the reason. For Christian theology is a major sin, because while the animals can not give any guilt, because they do what is necessary to survive and nothing more, we would use reason to refrain from acts of sheer cruelty. The scene of Virgil, who won the Minotaur allegorically represents the triumph of reason over instinct.
In the Divine Comedy is also an allusion to Pasiphae, the mother of the Minotaur, in the twenty-sixth canto of Purgatorio, dedicated to the defect of the lustful. Pasiphae is mentioned twice, as a symbol of animality of the sin of lust with an eloquent summary Dante calls it "the one who takes it the imbestiò 'mbestiate splinters" (cf. Purg. Xxvi, vv. 41-42, 86-87 ).
Jorge Luis Borges is the theme of the Minotaur in the story The House of Asterion. The Argentinian writer says taking inspiration from a painting by George Frederic Watts, 1896, entitled The Minotaur.
A nice note: looking at the content of my Topics, discussions that promote the blog, a friend of mine (who declined to be named) asked me: "Where are you taking, philosophical guide you, your readers? parallel reality in which to accompany you think? ".

Perhaps my friend - that tells me in his astonishment chat on the topics in the Topics section that-was struck by the theme of today, the ghosts of the mind and delusion, with references that will put into play: the Minotaur Oedipus. Moby Dick and Captain Ahab, I listened Abdrej Rubliev ... realized how deep this topic.
Oedipus and the Sphinx his inner

Oedipus is the protagonist of the Theban saga in the literature and mythology of ancient Greece. It is the son of the king of Thebes, Laius and Jocasta, the grandson of Labdaco.

Oedipus arrived at Thebes, where he met the Sphinx. Nestled on the mountain Office, at Thebes, the creature daughter of Typhon and Echidna was a monster with woman's head, the body of a lion, a serpent's tail and wings of bird of prey. It had been sent by Hera to punish the Thebans against Laius angry because he had kidnapped the boy Chrysippus of Pelops. For each loop, the creature exhibited an enigma insegnatole the Muses: "What was being two-legged walking hours, three hours, four hours and that, contrary to the general law, has more legs than shows his weakness?". There was also another puzzle: "There are two sisters, of which one generates the other, and the second of which, in turn, is generated by the first?". But no one among the Thebans, had never been able to solve these puzzles, and the Sphinx devoured them one after another.

One version, perhaps the oldest, told the Thebans that every day they met in the town square, to try to solve the riddle in town, but without success ever, and every day, at the end of that session, the Sphinx devoured one of them.

Now Oedipus, who had passed away, after listening to the riddles of the creature, including what were the immediate responses, the answer to the riddle was the first man, because it walks in infancy, four legs, then two, and then leans on a cane in old age, the second was the Day and Night (the name of the day women in greek, so it is the sister of the night). The Sphinx, annoyed, rushed from the rock on which was perched. Or, Oedipus himself was pushing into the abyss.

Creon, the company met the young hero, and above all to see avenged the death of his son, gave up the throne to which Oedipus married Jocasta. The prophecy was fulfilled to the end: his son had married his mother. From their union were born two sons, Eteocles and Polynices, and two daughters, Antigone and Ismene.
"What you do not want to know does not exist", they cry to Oedipus, but he wants to know, is haunted by the truth
Thebes is contaminated and people whispered that this contamination is due to someone who has made impious, hence the 'el'affanno wrath of the gods of the king who is struggling to find the causes and reasons, responsibilities

We know, as Sophocles tells us repeatedly, that the reasons are written in the destiny of Oedipus who killed his father Laius and Jocasta sleeps with his mother and father and brother are all his children. The interdict, prohibition, walking on the shoulders of unwitting Oedipus and the search for truth, inner truth then, takes the time of the tragedy. He has solved the riddle of the Sphinx and his talent has conquered the city, is now grappling with a conundrum largest and most terrible look to the bottom of his soul, read the signs of his fate. He then began a game of deciphering the enigma - Oedipus bouncing from one part of the scene: there is Tiresias who knows and is the first to be convened, then There is also a servant who knows and will be called, there is also a pastor who knows and Jocasta of Cithaeron. And pieces of truth chase and chase from item to item, especially jumping on the skin of Oedipus, that restless, distressed, distressed and asks desperately afraid to know. The truth he needs to free the city from the plague but it is clear that the path is mostly within, for this most difficult and complex. What you do not want to know does not exist, they say, in the hope that he desist from his purpose, but has challenged the Sphinx and Oedipus, tragic hero par excellence, can not collect this other fatal challenge. The truth finally Oedipus's collapse on him and plummets into the darkness and blindness. The city is safe but the ruin of Oedipus is absolute, as the tragedy it represents.
The story of Oedipus ends up wandering exile. And maybe it does not begin with the famous phrase: "Call me Ishmael," the "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville? "Call me Ishmael" is to say, "Call me an exile, a vagabond." Then there's Don Quixote. Strange! I was addressing the theme of obsession and I find myself with one of the wanderer. It will be a chance? Or there is an intimate connection? The story gets interesting.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville's story an obsession.

Moby Dick (Moby-Dick, or, The Whale) is a novel published in 1851 by the American writer Herman Melville. Ishmael, the narrator decides to put to sea as a sailor and says that his soul dwells in melancholy.

"Call me Ishmael. A few years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my pocket, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail and see the watery part of the world. It's a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I perceive to pose a scowling lips, every time I go down like a soul in November wet and rainy, whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before funeral homes and leave behind all the funeral I meet, and especially whenever my hypos get such strong in me that I need a strong moral principle to prevent me from stepping into the street and methodically on the ground throwing his hat to the people, then decide it's time to get to sea as soon as possible. "

An indescribable longing drives him to take off. This is something indispensable. Everyone has a mysterious attraction which could also constitute a mortal danger. Ishmael is the narrator and through his eyes that this company is seen. At the beginning is actually the main character, but he is primarily an omniscient narrator, who with his weaknesses and his depth sometimes disappears from the scene to tell and then put his thoughts. He shows the auto-known phrase "Call me Ishmael" (Call me Ishmael): The name has biblical origin, in fact, Genesis is the son of Abraham, Ishmael and Hagar the slave, hunted in the desert. Hence, 'Call me Ishmael "is like saying" Call me an exile, a vagabond. "

So begins the voyage of the whaling ship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab in search of whales and sperm whales, and in particular the enormous white whale (actually a sperm whale) which gives the title to the novel. However, in Moby Dick is much more of whaling scenes are interspersed with reflections on scientific, religious, philosophical and artistic character of Ishmael, the alter ego of the writer, making the trip at the same time an epic and an allegory epic.

Captain Ahab leads the crew through the whole crazy business of hunting the white whale-leviathan. This persistence is described by Melville as a monomania:

"Roso inside and burned out from the claws of an idea fixed and inexorable incurable. "

Ahab was thirsting for revenge against the white whale, that, after three broken spears, sliced \u200b\u200band devoured him a leg. Moby Dick is described as being bloody and vengeful, destroying boats for pleasure, and before which even the sharks escape. The thirst for revenge, however, Ahab, Melville states, not so much the physical mutilation suffered by the previously acquired aversion. Melville says

"... it was then that the broken body and soul wound bled into each other. "

After the mutilation and the need to return home and developed the monomania

" ... Ahab and anguish lay lying together in the same bed. "

Memorbile the film Moby Dick, directed by John Huston with Gregory Peck, Orson Welles, Richard Basehart, Leo Genn, Harry Andrews, USA 1956.

"Heart of Darkness" by Conrad Jospeph

autumn of 1890 Captain Konrad Korzeniowski, obtained the command of a steamboat up the river Congo. Eight years after the "Blackwood Magazine" in 1899 published the first installment of three episodes of 'Heart of Darkness' (Heart of Darkness). The author is just Captain Korzeniowski, who became a writer under the pseudonym Joseph Conrad.

The novel tells of a captain of a steamer for trade on the Congo River, in Black. Between appearances and disturbing echoes of violence and slavery, an increasingly common name, that of Kurtz, a dealer in ivory, enigmatic and disquieting man personality. A masterpiece of Anglo-Saxon literature, the result of extraordinary creative maturity, 'Heart of Darkness' blends together the concrete dimensions of autobiographical account, social protest and political and symbolic parable and gloomy meditation metaphysics. Through the narrative voice of Marlow, Conrad takes us into the heart of black Africa: the encounter with the terrible reality of exploitation of the Belgian Congo of Leopold II expands to become a reflection general experience of colonialism in its entirety, is intended to shake the certainties of a Eurocentric and evolutionary optimism, in a disturbing confrontation with different and primitive.

Kurtz is described as an intelligent and gifted, in part driven by the ideals at the beginning sincere, but ultimately can not resist the temptation of absolute power that the natives have given precisely because of its undoubted personal skills. For Conrad, then, is the omnipotence of the true "test ordeal" of Western man, that is what it reveals his "heart of darkness" and urges him to judge with "horror".

'Marlow's narrative begins by suggesting that the exploration has transformed an empty space in an area of \u200b\u200bdarkness, and ends by concluding that the exploration of the unknown turned into unspeakable. In fact it could be argued that, instead of bringing the light through the darkness as it proclaims, the mission 'civilizing' reveals the 'darkness' that is in your heart'. Kurtz is the demonstration of the fact that modern Western man turns into a monster when no rule or convention that prevents outside his freedom goes beyond all limits, crowning the big dream (as the fulfillment of metaphysics in the sense of Heidegger) to impose their will power.

the story of Conrad is freely inspired the movie "Apocalypse Now" by Francis Ford Coppola, but set in Vietnam during the war.

E 'then this obsession of Western man: the will to power? To read Conrad would say yes. Will to power in the sense of Heidegger wanted to reduce all things, bodies among other entities, freely manipulated and destroyed. Oedipus wins power so as to accelerate his downfall. And 'this is the tale of obsession West? attempting to nientificare things? Nothing? Http://


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