Saturday, October 31, 2009

Book II - from the Brasillian fragments

Book II

I awoke. It took some time to realize what I was looking at. Or, rather, that what I was looking at was some kind of man-made illusion. And there was music. Sweet music, made by some instrument I had never heard before.
The view before me was of a man, dressed as a devil, dragging another man down
into Hell, passing through different levels, coming across various spirits on the way.
I was mesmerized. This all was seen through a square window. After a short time the images ended, and the “window” became just a blank, white piece of stretched fabric.
I thought of the magic lantern. Had time advanced that magic this much?
I then noticed the source of the music, an odd little man off to the side, who
was playing a stringed instrument which he held under his chin and strummed with a long stick.
The square lit up again, showing another drama. In this one... [DER STUDENT VON
After this one ended - and it was longer than the last - I turned to my neighbor and asked what this was. He said it was called [title of film]. I was confused for a moment, till I realized he was giving me the title of the piece, rather than what the medium was called. So I clarified my meaning. He looked at me funny for a moment, asked where I’d been since the turn of the Century, and told me it was a moving picture. I asked what the one before was called. He said he didn’t remember, he really preferred moving pictures
about cow boys (whatever they were!), and told me I should ask the musician, as he would probably know.
When the showing was over, and the lanterns - which were also quite different from what I was used to - were relit, I rose from my seat, which elicited quite a reaction from several people, men and women, dressed In white, who had been standing or sitting to the side of the main seating area.
It seems that since I’d been here, a hospital as they called it, I had been blind and deaf. They called for a doctor, two of whom came over to me. They had me sit back down, and started asking me questions. As I couldn’t remember a thIng before becomIng conscious of the moving picture - I certainly wasn’t going to tell them the truth - they declared that I had amnesia. I was told to rest, they would give me some medicine, and hopefully over time I would recover my memory. They also told me my name was Robert Beck.
When they were finished with me, I looked around to see if the musician was still there. He was. He sat near the wall, watching me with what I perceived to be some amusement. I went up to him.
“Good afternoon, Faustus,” he said casually.
I was taken aback.
He laughed, leaned in close, and said In a hushed voice, “It’s me, Mephostophiles.” Then he winked. “Though you can call me Igor.”
“Ah,” was all I said.
He told me that after I had left “Hell” he had decided to join me, but ended up
here earlier. So he took advantage of the time, not sure exactly when he would find me (time travel is not an exact science, as depictions of it would have you believe), though confident he would, and so he studied music, something he’d always wanted to do.
He went on to explain that the instrument he was playing was called a violin. Moving pictures had been invented, or rather, derived from other inventions, about 20 years ago. The one I had awakened to was “FAUST AUX ENFERS” - a fact he found very amusing - by a French magician named Georges Melies. This hospital where we were was in ____; there was a major war going on, involving many countries, centered in Europe, and as warfare had progressed a great deal of late, this being the 20th Century it was a very, very
ugly war.

[the doppelganger in the mirror, which is the dark side {Leviathan?}
- or the host’s psyche, which is full of primal rage -
takes over the body, a la Jekyll/Hyde & DER JANUSKOPF]
[involvement in cabaret in Berlin, b.o. Ghelderode’s play & BLAU ENGEL]
[meet dancer “Mephistophela”, reincarnation of the witch, and/or
a vampire, and she’s pissed]
[In Paris, get involved with Grand Guignol as an actor - villains, because
of German accent]

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