The Tower of Babylon

Kula Babilonska

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Kiklop - Cyclopes
bakho

 A što je sutra? (Glupan koji bi me čuo, odgovorio bi - četvrtak). Sutra - je vremenska granica između dva budna stanja, između dva znanja o postojanju. Satovi ne određuju sutra. Sutra se samo određuje posjetom Enki1, željenim susretom s Vivijanom2, noću u Dajdamu3, neizvjesnom, potištenom noći u očekivanju prekosutrašnjeg sutra. Večer mi se ljupko smiješi i obećava lijep dan - sutrašnji. Meteorološko sutra: i dalje je lijepo i toplo vrijeme (Zima odgađa dolazak, produljuje nam preljubazno ovu posljednju jesen). Pedagoško sutra: drago dijete, moraš misliti na sutra. Političko sutra: Staljin namignuo Hitleru - harašo?4 - Hitler odmignuo - natürlich5. Historijsko sutra: i kad ljudi otkriše božansku moć materije, ona zavlada njima i pomuti im pamet, uništi život, a onda proguta i samu sebe i pretvori se u Silu koja uništi sve zakone i nema više ni jedne svijesti koja bi je u ime Hegela mogla proglasiti glupom. Estetsko sutra: kad je čovjek otkrio rugobu materije, umjetnici postadoše obrtnici ružnog. Geografsko sutra: a ovaj ogromni poluotok koji ovdje vidite, zvao se Europa. Ovdje je živio dvonožac koji je sastavljao neke radnje koje su oni nazivali tragedijama, a zvao se Šekspir. Kako se to ime pisalo više se ne zna, jer je ostalo zapisano u nekom pismu koje danas nazivamo ruskim pismom. Filozofsko sutra: neće biti sutra. Sila će ispiti sve vrijeme i progutati sav prostor i utonut će se i zijevnuti mamurno, kao pijanica nakon lude terevenke u kojoj je sve sve oko sebe porazbijao, i pitat će gdje su stvari, gdje su ljudi? i osjetit će oko sebe strahovitu samoću i prazninu. I pobljuvat će se od očaja. I nastat će iz bljuvotina Novi Svijet u kome će se izleći senzibilni crvi koji će plaziti po blatu i slaviti njegovu ljepotu. I vjerovat će da ih je stvorio Veliki Crv na svoju sliku i priliku i da On obuhvaća cijeli svijet svojom duljinom, a ta je tako beskrajna da je njima neshvatljiva. Jer oni su mali crvi ograničene duljine, premda je svaki za sebe uvjeren da je dulji od svih ostalih. I tako će nastati uvjerenje o nejednakosti među njima. I jedna će manjina uspjeti uvjeriti većinu kako su oni doista dulji i da su zbog toga sposobniji da shvate i duljinu Velikog Crva. I postat će tumači i propovjednici, a zatim i vladari nad svojom istodužinskom braćom crvima. I bušit će sebi raskošne crvotočine na blatnim uzvisinama odakle je ljepši pogled na blatne predjele i manja opasnost od voda i poplava, a i manja naseljenost. I gledat će s prezirom na crve u dolinama. Onda će se zbog uzvisina zavaditi. Svaki će htjeti da ima uzvisinu onog drugog - činit će mu se ljepšom i udobnijom - i govorit će malim crvima u dolinama: tamo oni drugi izdali su Crva Velikog! Propovijedaju da on i nema tijela nikakva već da je i sama Duljina Beskrajna. Čista Protežnost. Dirati u neki od atributa Njegova postojanja, a tjelesno postojanje jest atribut najbitniji, to je prvi korak u nevjerovanje i gotova izdaja. I zato se pozivaju vjerni Crvu Velikom u borbu protiv nevjernika. I tako će planuti rat strahoviti među crvima i trajat će do jedne druge vječnosti. A kada i ta vječnost prođe, kad crvi sami sebe pojedu u svojim grobovima...

I uđe tako crv Melkior u crvotočinu koja se zvaše Dajdam.
Kiklop, Ranko Marinković, str. 161
 
 
1 - Melkirova ljubavnica
2 - Melkiorova ljubav (žena za kojom pati tijekom romana)
3 - boemski kafić u kojem se nalazi Melkiorovo društvo
4 - (rus.) dobro, u redu
5 - (njem.) naravno
 

Ti Marinkovićevi crvi smo mi. Kiklop je roman o paničnom strahu od novačenja tijekom Drugog svjetskog rata jednog doktora filozofije koji radi kao novinski kazališni kritičar, Melkiora. Melkior cijeli birokratski aparat države percipira kao ogromno kanibalsko ustrojstvo koje se hrani nedužnim ljudima za svoje ciljeve, ubija ih ili u najboljem slučaju izbacuje nakon što ih je dobro prožvakalo - u Melkiorovu slučaju, to je strah od toga da ga se ne unovači da se bori u ratu s kojim nema veze, za vlast s kojom nema veze i za ciljeve nad kojima nema utjecaja. Ali zanimljivo je, da svojim potpuno apsurdnim slikama Marinković nudi budalastu alegoriju cijelog društva kraja dvadesetog stoljeća, a posebice našeg društva danas. Kao i sve one stotine drugih intelektualaca prošlog i ovog stoljeća, Marinković je primjetio da je nešto trulo u državi Danskoj. No, za razliku od mnogih 'ozbiljnih' kritičara, Marinković ovu krizu društva, morala, ljudske svijesti dovodi do apsurda ismijavanjem i nevjerojatnom naracijom. No, još uvijek, ono što Marinković ne nudi, to je alternativa. Kao da su svi ti pametni ljudi primijetili kako svijet ne funkcionira kako valja, ali ne znaju što bi učinili. Na tragu Marinkovićeve priče s crvima, fali nam onaj Hegel koji će reći kako je sve to glupo. Nema nikoga tko bi ponudio alternativu, jer su svi Hegeli ostali u prošlim vremenima.

No, alegorija Velikog Crva je jako moćna. Ako ste čitajući je, pomislili kako je apsolutno idiotna i smiješna, nepotrebna i apsurdna, glupava i dječja, pretjerana i napasna - što onda to govori o našim državama, vladama, vojskama, policijama, diplomatima, sveučilištima, ljudima koji svaki dan idu na posao i s posla štujući svojeg Velikog Crva i čineći najgore moguće stvari u ime svog glupavog apsurda (novca, boga, moći, patriotizma, domoljublja, demokracije, anarhizma, vjere <ubacite drugog Velikog Crva>).

***

And what is tomorrow? (The fool who might hear me will answer - Thursday). Tomorrow - is the time barrier between two states of being awake, between two understandings of existence. Clocks do not define tomorrow. Tomorrow is only defined by visiting Enka1, by the much wanted encounter with Vivian2, by a night in Dajdam3, by the unsure, disheartened night in the expectation of the tomorrow of the day after tomorrow. The evening is smiling at me and promises a nice day - the tomorrow. The meteorological tomorrow: the weather will remain nice and warm (the Winter is postponing its arrival, providing us with an extension of this too gracious but last autumn). The pedagogical tomorrow: dear child, you have to think of tomorrow. The political tomorrow: Stalin winked at Hitler - harasho?4 - Hitler winked back - natürlich5. The historical tomorrow: and when the people discovered the divine power of matter, it ruled over them and addled their minds, destroyed their lives, and then it swallowed itself and transformed itself into a Force which destroyed all laws and there was no other consciousness left which could proclaim it stupid in the name of Hegel. The aesthetic tomorrow: when man had discovered the ugliness of matter, artists became the craftsmen of ugly. The geographical tomorrow: and this huge peninsula which you can see here, it used to be called Europe. Here lived a bipedal who put together some stories which they called tragedies, and his name was Shakespeare. The real spelling of his name is unknown because we only found it written in a script we call Russian today. Philosophical tomorrow: there will be no tomorrow. The Force will drink all time and swallow all space and sink into itself and yawn groggily, like a drunkard after a long night out during which he trashed everything around himself, and it'll ask where are the things, where are the people? and it will feel surrounding it a horrid loneliness and emptiness. And it'll vomit out of despair. And out of the vomit a New World will arise in which some sensible worms will hatch who will crawl over mud and glorify its beauty. And they will believe that they were made by a Great Worm in his image and stature and that He encompasses the whole world with his length, which is so endless that they do not understand it. Because they are small worms of limited length, despite each of them believing he is longer than all the others. And so a belief will arise about inequality among them. And one minority will manage to persuade the majority that they are indeed longer and that that makes them more capable of understanding the length of the Great Worm. And they will become interpreters and preachers, and then rulers over their brother-worms of the same length. And they will drill magnificent wormholes for themselves in the muddy highlands from which one has a better view over the muddy expanses and there is less danger of water and flooding, and it is less crowded. And they will look with disdain at the worms in the valleys. Then they will fight over the highlands. Each will want the highland of another - it will seem nicer and cozier - and he will speak to the small worms in the valleys: those others there have betrayed our Worm the Great! They preach that he has no body whatsoever, and even that the Length is Endless. Pure Extensibility. To touch an attribute of His existence, and the physical existence is the most important attribute of all, that is the first step in disbelief and almost a treason. And so they call the believers of the Great Worm to fight the infidels. And so a frightening war will be waged among the worms and it will last until some other eternity. And when even that eternity passes, when the worms eat themselves in their graves...

And so the worm Melkior entered a wormhole which was called Dajdam.
Cyclopes, Ranko Marinković, p. 161 (translation by me)

1 - Melkior's mistress
2 - Melkior's love (the woman he pines for in the novel)
3 - a bohemian cafe which is frequented by Melkior's friends
4 - Russian for alright
5 - German for of course

 
We are those Marinković's worms. The Cyclopes is a novel about the panicked fear from drafting during WWII felt by a PhD of philosophy who works as a newspaper theater critic, Melkior. Melkior sees the whole bureaucratic machine of the state as a huge cannibalistic construct which feeds on innocent people to reach its goals, kills them or in the best case scenario spits them out after a thorough chewing - in Melkior's case, this is the fear of being drafted to fight in a war he has nothing to do with, for a government to which he has no obligations and for the goals over which he has no influence. But the interesting thing is, that with his completely absurd words Marinković offers a foolish allegory of the whole 20th century society, and especially of our society today. Like all those hundreds of intellectuals from the last century and all of those from this century, Marinković noticed that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. But what differentiates him from all the 'serious' critics is that Marinković leads this crisis of society, morality, humanity to the absurd with his joking manner and astonishing narration. But still, that what Marinković does not offer is an alternative. As if all the smart people noticed that the world doesn't really work as it is, but they don't know what to do. In the manner of Marinković's worm story, we miss the Hegel who will say everything is stupid. There is nobody to offer an alternative, because all the Hegels were left in the past.

But the Great Worm allegory is very powerful. If you, while reading it, thought that it is absolutely idiotic and hilarious, unneeded and absurd, idiotic and childish, exaggerated and invasive - what does that say about our states, governments, militaries, polices, diplomats, universities, people who go to work every day and come back home while all the while worshiping their own kind of a Great worm and doing the most horrible things in the name of some senseless absurd (money, god, power, patriotism, democracy, anarchism, religion <insert some other Great Worm>). 

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