9 thoughts on “Forty-Six: ¡Estoy Mamao!

  1. Good one!
    a couple footnotes:
    1) you spoke of both colonizer/colonized and white/nonwhite pairings (sometimes the same): Weissman/Enzian, Tchitcherine/Enzian, Tchitcherine/Dzaqyp, Frans vdG/dodos, etc. Don’t forget Crouchfield the Westwardman and his faithful sidekick Whappo, from Slothrop’s earlier sodium amytal vacation at St. Veronica’s. Just about every dark ancient European theme has its New World echo in GR, even (p. 29, Viking/Penguin ) in New England’s “slender church steeples poised up and down all these autumn hillsides, white rockets about to fire…” So much for fresh starts and new beginnings.

    2) Also discussed, representations and projections and word-pictures “coming true,” e.g. the White Visitation invents a Schwarzkommando as a way to tap into German fears, then we find out that there*is* a Herero rocket team. One of my favorite dark wisecracks is about the spread of the New Turkic Alphabet, on 355-56 : “On sidewalks and walls the very first printed slogans start to show up, the first Central Asian fuck you signs, the first kill-the-police-commissioner signs (and somebody does! this alphabet is really something!)…”

    1. Good points, Monte! Thanks for sharing. Agree that the NTA line is great. Also, I laughed at “Frans vdG.” Might have to steal that one! 🙂

  2. Nitpicking: it’s Ween and not Weezer who allegedly have taken different drugs per album…also wouldn’t “passport psychosis” (doing this from memory right now) just be Slothrop’s take on the identities he’d been adopting?

    1. Ach. You’re right. I meant Ween, and didn’t even notice the mistake in editing. Thanks for clarifying.

      I’m not really sure what you mean by ‘passport psychosis.’ Did we bring that up, or is a term from somewhere else? Can you clarify, please?

  3. I’d like to talk about the significance of the film title Alpdrücken. Alp in German means an evil wee creature like a goblin. Drücken means to push or to put pressure on. So what is the globin pushing on? Well the older word for nightmare in German is Alptraum. There was a folk belief that nightmares were caused by these wee creatures sitting and pushing on your chest. Like in the following painting: http://www.gah.vs.bw.schule.de/leb1800/fuessli2.jpg

    Furthermore I’ve often heard it said that movies are our collective dreams. Though I can’t quote a specific scholar.

    It’s here I’d like to bring in that sly old racist Karl Marx. Here’s a quote from the 18th Brumaire: Die Tradition aller toten Geschlechter lastet wie ein Alp auf dem Gehirne der Lebenden i.e “the traditions of all the dead burden the minds of the living like an Alp” (my translation and it’s rough). Many of the characters are burden by their past in just such a nightmarish way.

    Indeed the whole book casts history as a nightmare. A nightmare from which we are trying to awake?

    1. Wow! Very interesting connections. Traum, of course, is the German word for dream. Drücken does mean to push or pressure. But in this sense it is used because of an old belief that the devil (or devils, or elves, or goblins) rode men as if they were horses, pushing them until the awoke bathed in sweat. The painting you linked to illustrates this very well.

      I don’t know who said that about dreams either. My brains keep getting distracted by a line from a Counting Crows, “If dreams are like movies, then memories are films about ghosts.” Hahahahaha. Perhaps this doesn’t enlightening our conversation, but it’s a cool line nonetheless.

  4. There is also on netflix a fantastic documentary about early German cinema called “From Caligari To Hitler,” named for a book of the same title. The point made about the film “Dr Caligari” seeming subversive at first but then re-establishing the existing power structure with the ending is in line with the thesis of that book. Anyway, I really recommend the documentary to anyone even half-way interested in early film.

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