Posts Tagged ‘Beethoven’

Goethe Month: Another sort of woman

July 23, 2010


She has a masculine spirit, and is another sort of woman from us housewives and seamstresses. She is great, steadfast, resolute. A majestic woman! I should dread to appear before her.

(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Egmont. Act III, Scene 2.)

Oh, no, she is another sort and majestic.


The selection of screencaps of Immortal Beloved on the net we call inter is so shitty that I feel I have no choice but to remedy the dearth myself sooner than later. Look for it in the quite near future By Name

When the play Egmont debuted in 1787, Jam Master LVB, known to lesser mortals as “Beethoven,” was pretty danged impressed indeedy and, around 20 years later, set Egmont to music. No Big Deal. (except yes.)

Goethe Month: Theory of Colours, Day 7 — *fin*

July 22, 2010

The afore-promised celebrity criticisms of the Farbenlehre.


“Wake up, Dr. S — there is science afoot!” via.

Goethe delivered in full measure what was promised by the title of his excellent work: data toward a theory of colour. They are important, complete, and significant data, rich material for a future theory of colour. He has not, however, undertaken to furnish the theory itself … but really postulates it as a phenomenon, and merely tells us how it originates, not what it is.

(Arthur Schopenhauer, Über das Sehn und die Farben/On Vision and Colors. 1810.)

Which fact we have already seen well-defended by my b’loved Werner H. so I will not dwell on Schopenhauer’s criticism other than to say I generally like the things he has to say on just about any subject and agree with him here as usual.


“One of the most important works.”

(Wassily Kandinsky, qtd. in Rowley, Allison. “Kandinskii’s theory of colour and Olesha’s Envy.” Canadian Slavonic Papers. September-December 2002.)

A Russian artist and one of the famous Blue Four, Kandinsky is the father of abstract painting and was an instrumental theorist and professor for the Bauhaus before the National Socialists destroyed a bunch of their compositions. Kandinsky taught the most basic design courses at Bauhaus and used Goethe’s color wheel in his avant-garde art theory lectures. Also, note the hotness. Girls Like a Boy Who Reads [scathing criticisms of Nazis and protests against the public destruction of his art which eventually lead him to flee to Paris ahead of persecution by said Nazis]!


“Farbenkreis zur Symbolisierung des Menschlichen Geistes und Seelenlebens,” Goethe, 1809. This is the aforementioned color wheel that art rebel hottie Wassily Kandinsky would use in lecture.

Can you lend me the Theory of Colours for a few weeks? It is an important work. His last things are insipid.

(Ludwig van Beethoven, Conversation-book, 1820.)

Love how he goes from wanting to read Goethe because he considers his work important to “His last things are insipid.” Man, Beethoven had such an attitude.

He was such a crazy deaf grump by the time he died. Amazing and bittersweetly comical that a creative genius was also so churlish and curmudgeonly — like he genuinely made other peoples’ lives hard despite bringing beautiful music in to our world. The generosity of his composition and fame in the wide world is so jarring in juxtaposition with his infliction of discomfort and temper on the people close to him. The complexity intrigues me and also amuses me somehow but makes me sad too. That reminds me: I need to plan an Immortal Beloved Movie Moment.

Shit, now I’ve given over most of the last entry on Theory of Colours to talking about Beethoven. What can you do. Thoughts happen.

Fin!

Goethe Month: the Eternal Feminine, or, “Heaven is a hell of a party.”

July 6, 2010


Alles Vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichnis;
Das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan.

All that is perishable is but an allegory;
The Eternal Feminine draws us on.


(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Act 5, “Heaven.” Final lines of the play.)

I interpret that to mean this: The things of men’s making that fade and grow dusty and entropically fall into disuse and destroy themselves in time are not to be worried over in their passing because they were never intended as anything but pictures to make us understand the continually Creative beyond that awaits, endlessly pouring out life, when we follow our dead objects to the grave.


Photograph by Michael Demeo.

I have contemplated it for about thirty seconds and I think I really dig this dynamic vision of Heaven suggested in the final lines of Faust. It is more exotic and vibrant than the tired old “flights of angels/peaceful rest” saw, yes? Like you are expecting to alight on some pastel cloud and hear harp-arrangments of soothing Bach chorales while you kick back with a lemonade, and instead someone shoves crazily-bubbling champagne at you, a tall fancy neverending flute for each hand, and the invisible stereo plays only ODE TO JOY, the good part, OVER AND OVER, forever and instead of the pastel cloud you are instantly transported to the front row of an endless big bang!, watching the universe eternally fling fire and stars at itself! for all time.

Turns out heaven is a hell of a party and all your friends are there and your dead pets are live again and in their prime waiting to play whenever you like only they don’t shed anymore and your family all get along great and you can finally tell all the people you liked in your life but never told about your true feelings for fear you’d look like an idiot that you always liked them so much and they are all great with that and like you back and no one is bothered about sharing. And you are holding a sparkler. On a rearing t-rex.

“Fuck, yeah, Heaven!”