14 June 2011
Okay, I'm taking a couple of passages from Blindness that I know you like and what I’m trying to explore is what might be extracted from them in terms of possible improvisation starting points. Basically, I’m thinking about how to cross from ‘intellectualized’ ideas to something tangibly theatrical. Or at least the possibility of going into theatrical territory.
FROM BLINDNESS BY JOSE SARAMAGO
On their way to the home of the girl with dark glasses, they crossed a large square with groups of blind people who were listening to speeches from other blind people, at first sight, neither one nor the other group seemed blind, the speakers turned their heads excitedly towards their listeners, the listeners turned their heads attentively to the speakers. They were proclaiming the end of the world, redemption through penitence, the visions of the seventh day, the advent of the angel, cosmic collisions, the death of the sun, the tribal spirit, the sap of the mandrake, tiger ointment, the virtue of the sign, the discipline of the wind, the perfume of the moon, the revindication of darkness, the power of exorcism, the sign of the heel, the crucifixion of the rose, the purity of the lymph, the blood of the black cat, the sleep of the shadow, the rising of the seas, the logic of anthropophagy, painless castration, divine tattoos, voluntary blindness, convex thoughts, or concave, or horizontal or vertical, or sloping or concentrated, or dispersed, or fleeting, the weakening of the vocal cords, the death of the word, Here nobody is speaking of organization, said the doctor’s wife, Perhaps organization is in another square, he replied. (page 282)
They crossed [another] square where groups of blind people entertained themselves by listening to speeches from other blind people, at first sight neither group seemed to be blind, the speakers turned their heads excitedly towards the listeners and the listeners turned their heads attentively to the speakers. They were extolling the virtues of the fundamental principles of the great organized systems, private property, a free currency market, the market economy, the stock exchange, taxation, interest, expropriation and appropriation, production, distribution, consumption, supply and demand, poverty and wealth, communication, repression and delinquency, lotteries, prisons, the penal code, the highway code, dictionaries, the telephone directory, networks or prostitution, armaments factories, the armed forces, cemeteries, the police, smuggling, drugs, permitted legal traffic, pharmaceutical research, gambling, the price of priests and funerals, justice, borrowing, political parties, elections, parliaments, governments, convex, concave, horizontal, vertical slanted, concentrated, diffuse, fleeting thoughts, the fraying of the vocal cords, the death of the word. Here they are talking about organization, said the doctor’s wife to her husband, I noticed, he answered, and said no more. (page 294)
So if one were to juxtapose these for Viewpoints Composition, possible ‘titles’ for a task:
‘The Weakening of the Vocal Cords, The Fraying of the Vocal Cords’