Somewhere in a remote region of the Sahara desert, there still hides a Queen and her servants, taking refuge inside caves. She’s a well-educated beaut...moreSomewhere in a remote region of the Sahara desert, there still hides a Queen and her servants, taking refuge inside caves. She’s a well-educated beautiful woman, a polyglot …yet, for men seeking after her charms, she’s fatal; she is queen Antinea, the sovereign of the “Hoggar”. You’re in the Blad-el-Khouf: the country of the fear.
She is the last descendant of Atlantis´ kings lineage; the offspring of Neptune and Clito. It’s written in the book of Benoit that, though sinking, Atlantis center isle didn’t submerge; it’s now surrounded by insurmountable mountains: only this oasis was left after the Sahara Sea dried out…9,000 years ago.
The book is about the story of two military men who have been there. Morhange and Saint-Avit. The latter manages to escape the hide-out; but is found moribund in the desert, by a caravan. While in hospital, in a delirious state, he utters incomprehensible phrases like “it’s the number 54!!!”. Officers say that there’s no hope of finding Morhange. What really happened to him?
Saint-Avit returned to Paris. It’s 1914. He tries to forget about the experience. While in a café, midst the jazz tunes, he recalls the veiled-Queen.
On the 1st of May he’s back in the extreme south of the Sahara desert; he’s been appointed as commander of the post. This time he wants to go it alone…through the “great solitudes…and magic horizons”.
At the post he tells the story he’s been part of with Morhange. How they found out the palace… the strange tifinar (Tuareg) inscriptions;
how they got imprisoned, separately, inside the palace; how Morhange got received by the queen; and the jealousy of Saint Avit. How they were introduced in the red marble room: where golden statues of the men of the Queen stand. An archivist has told them: “they died of love”. Only one escaped, but even that one returned. Suicide, or craziness or opium can explain their deaths. Who shall become the 54th? or the 55th?
This review is partly based on the silent movie by Jacques Feyder (L’Atlantide) of 1921. As for the book, I would like to make a short commentary about the polemics (court-case) which involved Benoit: did he plagiarize H. R. Haggard (especially from the novel Ayesha)? It’s been said that Benoit didn’t read English nor did he have any Ayesha’s novel published in France by his time. However, in the book there are plenty of English references, like:
«Je ne me souviendrai jamais sans émotion de mes dix-neuvième et vingtième années, époque où je liquidai complètement ce petit héritage. Londres était véritablement alors une ville adorable. Je m'étais arrangé une très aimable garçonnière dans Piccadilly. Piccadilly! Shops, palaces, bustle and breeze, The whirling of wheels, and the murmur of trees."
"Sur le mur, près de la fenêtre, avec son canif, il écrivait dans la pierre quelque chose. Regarde, ça se voit encore. Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight..."
Thus, he had to understand some English. And he lost the case.
Interestingly, in the library of Queen Antinea, Morhange and Saint Avit found many books; they browsed through them: one was Don Qijote…the other was Macbeth. Plus: Plato's Critias.
At least they (Haggard and Benoit) shared something: this taste for the adventurous and the exotic, and they were good at making it live,….through words. Erudite, as some of his characters,Benoit made it well. (less)
While Mussolini makes a speech up there in Europe, a modest inn in Brazil shows the life of several characters, intersecting their lives daily… and ab...moreWhile Mussolini makes a speech up there in Europe, a modest inn in Brazil shows the life of several characters, intersecting their lives daily… and above them all, center stage: a teen girl called Clarissa, almost 14. Her parents live in the inner Brazil, so she’s staying with uncle Couto and aunt Eufrasina, the owners of the inn, in Porto Alegre.
The book is the description of this daily routine of these several characters. The saddest of them all: pianist Amaro, taking a dreamy life, because he wanted to become a composer and a poet, but he’s stuck in a bank job, it’s been 10 years.
Levinky the old Jew defending his breed,…under the attacks of Belmira: “you killed Jesus!”. Sad too (in the eyes of Clarissa) protestant Gemaliel, working in a Pharmacy. Major Pombo. Cocky Nestor, with a little moustache like actor Ronald Colman. Dudu the blond, whose father named her after “an angel soul on a fairy body”. The sick boy called Tonico, to whom Clarissa tells stories. Uncle Couto, having a hard time finding a job. Aunt Eufrasina wishing some rooms to be occupied.
Clarissa knows that when 14 she has the permission from her parents she can use high heel shoes. Meanwhile pages report on her growth changes, her dreams, her cogitations over the mirror; her clandestine readings: “A que morreu de amor” [the one who died of love].
Amaro keeps cordial to everyone, though silently suffering. As a child he wanted to become a sailor man or a train driver. Clarissa, however, sheds some light on his existence. If only Amaro smiled.
A colorful reading of a teen girl's mind. Great painting.(less)
It is said that his father was an “aggressive atheist”. Some joke about Papini’s “conversion” (to Catholicism) calling it “perversion” (protestants...more
It is said that his father was an “aggressive atheist”. Some joke about Papini’s “conversion” (to Catholicism) calling it “perversion” (protestants say). But he was definitely an important literary figure in the beginning of the 20th century Italy. You cannot escape him when approaching Italian Futurism. This 1948 book is a compilation of those encounters and marking experiences since early childhood. It was published under the title Passato remoto [Remote past] .
I will refer some of those encounters.
(1) Papini says when a boy he had blue eyes and a blond, curly hair. For his time and birthplace (Florence) he looked foreigner. Once mother took him for a walk and he recalls two foreigners upon seeing him; one of them with a big moustache got close and “caressed” Papini’s curly hair. Years later in a portrait the writer recognized that man: F. Nietzsche. So the phrase: “And still today I am certain that the future writer of the history of Christ was caressed in a clear sunset of Autumn by the hand that wrote the Antichrist”.
(2)As a (“rebellious”) child he had a passion for circus and ferocious animals; those, “stirred his fantasy”. It was a great joy as a boy seeing those “exotic tribes from Asia (Ceylon, India) visiting his city Florence: “men ridding elephants …eyes with pupils of diamond black”. Or when Buffalo Bill and the “red skins” ….brought a “far west breath” to Florence. A “change of air”, as he liked.
(3) When 11 years old, he met a Darwinian priest called Trezza. The priest left his faith due to Darwin’s books; Papini was allowed to get in the library of Trezza; he recalls seeing “pictures of monkeys”; he was told “remember-Adam and Eve- it’s a legend”; a superstition.
(4) Politically forming was his own father’s experience, who dressed the “red shirt and the red beret… and got injured and jailed”; once Papini saw a parade of Garibaldi’s people; he almost cried.
(5) One day he was walking with his father; a carriage approached; two ladies inside; one clearly older than the other. Father complimented them and told Papini about: the older one was the queen of England, Queen Victoria, an old lady who used to spend winter months in Florence. But this is how Papini reacted: “she looked a moribund and mean lady”. “I understood that day that power and wealth don’t give happiness”.
(6) His mother was very important because she noticed early on his “writing attempts”; but it was his father who introduced him to a famous British writer: Louise de La Ramée, some considering her the best disciple of Dickens. Father took him to her place in Italy, when she was already 60 years old. She told him: “writing is the most beautiful and pleasant discovery of man but it requires vocation”.
(Marie Louise de la Ramée)
Papini wrote a book entitled “The story of Christ” in a very realistic language: “Jesus was born in a stable, a real [smelly] stable… the abode of cattle”. In another book (“The memoirs of God”): he impersonated God. “It is I, I in person who speaks face to face with man, all men without scribes, without in-betweens”.
-Can you tell (guess at) the feelings the Amazonian Indian is going through, while listening to Mozart’s?... what about the goings-on of his imagi...more
-Can you tell (guess at) the feelings the Amazonian Indian is going through, while listening to Mozart’s?... what about the goings-on of his imagination? ...pleasurable? or...
This book is about the experience of beauty while listening to music; certainly classical music, because it was written by 19th century Czech author/reviewer E. Hanslick. To me,it is a kind of a good seminal work,of which theme today's Psychology of Music and Music Therapy can address a lot better.
(Eduard Hanslick adulating the statue of Saint Johannes Brahms)
By that time, Hanslick was pondering on the aesthetical experience of music, so sui generis an experience (music the most ethereal of the arts!... if you compare it to other arts: sculpture, painting, poetry…).
Hanslick was contending against a current of his time: “music as a main arouser of sensations,… or feelings”. Take a look at this elucidating quote:
"THE CONNECTION BETWEEN A PIECE OF MUSIC AND OUR CHANGES OF FEELING IS NOT AT ALL ONE OF STRICT CAUSATION;...
Evidence for this is the extraordinary difference between the reactions of Mozart's,Beethoven's, and Weber's contemporaries to their compositions and our own reaction today.How many works by Mozart were declared in his time to be the most passionate,ardent,and audacious within the reach of musical mood-painting.At that time people contrasted the tranquility and wholesomeness of Haydin's symphonies with the outbursts of vehement passion, bitter struggle,and piercing agony of Mozart's.Twenty or thirty years later,they made exactely the same comparison between Mozart and Beethoven. Mozart's position as representative of violent, inspired passion was taken over by Beethoven,and Mozart was promoted to Haydn's Olympian classicism....THUS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN MUSICAL WORKS AND SPECIFIC FEELINGS DOES NOT APLLY ALWAYS, IN EVERY CASE AND NECESSARILY,AS AN ABSOLUTE IMPERATIVE".
To him music was directly linked to the arousal of “states of mind”, being “imagination” (the organ of pure contemplation) the function at stake.
It sounds a bit of “internal viewing” and there are those who defend that through music you can have access to colors and landscapes: sinesthesy.
Anyway, Hanslick didn’t deny the role of emotions: you can derive knowledge from them; feelings in their turn may give rise to images in the mind.
One the friends of Hanslick was, for some time, Wagner; but Hanslick revealed to be a conservative; Wagner was innovative: maybe advanced for his time, his music classified as “music of the future”. Later on they got apart, in different positions…but maybe due to the Jewishness of Hanslick: who thought Wagner’s view becoming increasingly “obscure”.
(The critic Eduard Hanslick and Richard Wagner Silhouette)
The purpose of the book was to clarify the “nexus” that unites musical works and “states of mind”. It reads like a philosophical approach.
I see the experience of beauty in music as a rather idiosyncratic, individual issue. My view.(less)
Back in college years I recall some (sort of) mind-revolutions in the field of Clinical Psychology; to me, i...more (S.Freud)
Back in college years I recall some (sort of) mind-revolutions in the field of Clinical Psychology; to me, it was mind-challenging studying Freudian Psychoanalysis (especially the Unconscious concept) then, maybe, my first revolution. Afterwards followed the study of Carl Rogers (non-directiveness); and Gestalt therapy by Fritz Perls. Other currents were important namely Cognitivism.(…).One was left behind: Neuro-linguistic programming. I reckon at that time I avoided the issue; just the name made me anxious and evoked images of mind-control and mind-programming; I was utterly convinced about human freedom: the ability of one’s own to determine his/her choices. Humans are not machines.
And now I had the chance to read this French specialist in Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP); so I decided to give it a try. I listened to some tapes of the author. She draws some of her work from the pioneering one of John Grinder and Richard Bundler, who explained “how a brain works when reaching for an objective”.
In Noel’s view, psychological dysfunction emerges from a “bad software”[my expression]. It’s all about “programming”. Psychological problems can be explained by the presence (in the patients) of “unconscious maps “used by our ancestors (and inherited) which reveal to be unsuccessful. These programs need to be changed; patients need to become aware of them. Pick the unsuccessful ones, and create new ones (that’s the title of the book:BE THE AUTHOR OF YOUR OWN LIFE).
“Fear of a thing creates the thing”
Noel speaks about “meta-programs”. “Whenever you open your mouth …you activate unconscious meta-programs”; pick the good ones. They’re strategies “off the awareness field”; they’re organizers of thought; they relate to values and goals achievement. Some are not adequate.
”Do as if you’re sick and you’ll get sick”
How this works? Noel attaches great importance to the “willing” aspect: wanting is power; the patient needs to “define what he/she wants”; the power of the brain is paramount; both at a conscious and unconscious level. Imagination and visualization play an important role. The author just says:” close your eyes…get a point of wall fixed…and PRODUCE AN IMAGE: CREATE AN EMOTION; HAVE FUN… WHAT IF YOU HAD IT (your objective)?”. Regarding the new programs: recite them loud: WRITE DOWN THE LIST OF SUCCESSFUL META-PROGRAMS; you should entrust them to your unconscious brain.
Noel:“I was like Mary Poppins” ...
As successful cases (there are many cited) I picked these ones; her mother who for a while in life lost part of her memory capacity got it back and at the age of 72 got a degree in Osteopathy.
Noel at an early age got into courses of stenography without fully understanding its importance; her father was a person who followed his intuition: he knew how to listen to the unconscious messages: he sponsored her courses on stenography: she’s able today to process 210 words per minute. Noel, herself, overcame her fears of thunder.
Noel’s recommendation: teach your children to dream about the future.
Sometimes it sounds a lot of psychoanalytical work, but it’s, all in all, very practical. It deserves a close glance, at least. No matter what part of the brain you’re most used to work with. Or whether you’re right or left-handed…..or ambidextrous.