Ophelia's Revenge

Has such great potential to it.

And I mean more potential than just that:
(no offense to Rebeca Reisert or David Bergantino)

There is something both primeval and very contemporary about it.

They did name a hurricane after her.


  1. The world hasn't changed much since Shakespeare's time. Bertold Brecht's perception of Hamlet in his Little Organum for the Theater is how badly the young prince misuses his new knowledge acquired at Wittenberg university:

    "This knowledge gets in the way when it comes to resolving conflicts of the feudal world."

    "His reason is impractical when faced with irrational reality. He falls a tragic victim to the discrepancy between his reasoning and his action."

    Politics back then as nowadays hangs over every feeling, and there is no getting away from it. All the characters are poisoned by it. The only topic of their conversations is politics. It is a kind of madness.

    In his masterful study of Shakespeare, Shakespeare our Contemporary, Jan Kott goes over some of the many subjects in Hamlet. There is politics, force opposed to morality; there is discussion of the divergence between theory and practice, of the ultimate purpose of life. Political, eschatological and metaphysical problems are explored. And there is the tragedy of love:

    "Hamlet loves Ophelia. But he knows he is being watched; moreover-he has more important matters to attend to. Love is gradually fading away. There is no room for it in this world. Hamlet's dramatic cry: 'Get the to a nunnery!' is addressed not to Ophelia alone, but also to those who are overhearing the two lovers. It is to confirm their impression of his alleged madness. But for Hamlet and for Ophelia it means that in a world where murder holds sway, there is no room for love."

    To the classic question of whether Hamlet's madness is real or feigned one answer is that "Hamlet is mad, because politics is itself madness, when it destroys all feeling and affection."

  2. Is it sane to be crazy in a crazy world?

    Or is it insane to appear to be sane in a crazy world?

    Ancient questions.

    Conformity would be a way out. But that would be insane if the world is crazy.

    Noncomformity appears insane. And sometimes is. But that would be sane in a crazy world.

    Of course, stupidity can't always be differentiated from insanity, since they are often so much alike. Like going to war needlessly. Was it stupidity or insanity which led into that war? And once in it, is it stupidity or insanity or both which keeps us at it?

    Yes, these are questions which have nocked around for awhile.

  3. I'm not too crazy about installation art. And I go along with Tolstoy when it comes to abstract art, though the 'abstract,' as we know it, didn't exist in his day. He wrote a rather odd book called "What is Art" in which he roundly attacks most art - I recall he really went after Wagner - as elitist.

    The abstract may be "elitist" since only a few understand it. While only a few artists are truly good at it (Miro, for example) it is often taught in art academies. And some young students think that if they put a great deal of *feeling* into that brush as they whip it through the air it will genuinely express something. Which reveals, in my perpetually humble opinion, a basic lack of understanding of what art is and does.

    Miro, for example, didn't whip himself up into a lather of emotion in order to paint. He revealed beauty could exist without any formal connection to representative reality at all, and it all came from his inner eye.

    Installation art is fundamentally childish. Often neurotic and soulless. But it is an accepted "Ism" and thus enjoys the protection of the academy. If we think the world of politics is corrupt just look at the hierarchy in many an art museum or academy. Which fierce competitive drive may help explain why there is so much confusion on the subject of art today.

  4. // Is it sane to be crazy in a crazy world?//
    //Or is it insane to appear to be sane in a crazy world?//
    //Yes, these are questions which have knocked around for awhile.//

    Kazimierz Dabrowski, the father of the Theory of Positive Disintegration (TPD) devoted an entire book to the topic, "Psychoneurosis is not an Illness," which contains the famous poem.

    Hail to you, psychoneurotics!
    You who see sensitivity in the insensitivity of the world,
    uncertainty among the world’s certainties.
    You who so often experience others as yourselves.
    You who sense the anxiety of the world,
    its narrowness and boundless self-assurance.
    Hail to you!

    For your phobia of washing your hands from the dirt of the world,
    For your fear of being locked in the world’s limitations,
    for your fear of the absurdity of existence.
    For your subtlety in not telling others what you see in them.

    For your awkwardness in dealing with everyday things,
    but deftness in handling the unknown,
    for your transcendental realism but lack of everyday realism,
    for your exclusiveness and dread of losing those you love,
    for your creativity and ease of wonder,
    for your maladjustment to that “which is” but
    adjustment to that which “ought to be,”
    for your great but unutilized abilities.

    For the belated recognition of your greatness, and of those like you
    who will come later, and will also not be recognized.

    For your being treated instead of treating others;
    for your heavenly power forever being pushed down by brutal force;
    for that which is prescient, unsaid, infinite in you.

    For the loneliness and strangeness of your ways.

    Hail to you!

    (K. Dabrowski, Hail to you, psychoneurotics, "Psychoneurosis is not an Illness." London: Gryf, 1972; translated from the French by Michael M. Piechowski. Revised, 1996).