[This is the only entry from LiveJournal I'll be exhuming.]
(Original post date: Oct. 31st, 2008 at 8:31 PM and Nov. 1st, 2008 at 10:55 PM)
I have to explain some things before the main post:
This was done to count as a final grade for a Contemporary Literature course, so the name and other details refer to my class. In the original I used a modern "renaissance-looking" notebook for the dairy, the poem however, was written in separate sheets. Also, keep in mind that I wrote this in the course of one night (I had worked out the ideas in my head for several days) so you might notice the point where I lead it abruptly to a close.
What bothered me the most was that I forgot to edit some errors and to stain one sheet of the diary with coffee when I mentioned Victor had spilled it over his notes.
I was urged by n3cr0phelia to put it up here when I mentioned it to her, so I searched around lots of old papers and finally found it.
Before moving forward I should give away the texts involved here, those are: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Frankenstein of course, Crime and Punishment, The Metamorphosis, Animal Farm, R.U.R.(Rossum's Universal Robots), El mito de Sísifo, Waiting for Godot, La oveja negra y demás fábulas, and La invención de Morel. Now on to the main thing . . .
The Whine of the Stinking Mariner
Once there was a stinking mariner,
and he whined to people randomly;
one of his victims was W. Mucher,
as he waited for a cup of tea.
The man was fixed by his oozing eye,
his fetid smell,
his skin was ancient, wrinkled, and dry,
the mariner hadn't seen water,
one could tell.
"There was a ship" quoth he.
"Wait, I think I know the story" replied the other.
"Please let me speak,
my tale is really that of another."
"An undead mariner, his name: Viktor Exhumed,
came forth and handed me a book,
from his putrid limb the thing I drew,
and anxiously through it I looked."
It belonged to a man who died on board,
"Victor Frankenstein" on it was writ.
All its reading my vision did broad,
and now I hand it over for you to read.
I dreamt of immortality . . .
January 9, 20__
This is the diary of Victor Frankenstein
As I look upon these blank pages a shudder grips me, it is the complex entwinement of emotions of utter joy and sorrow which are gained when knowledge is achieved. The paper lures me with its silent cries, now ever stronger. Oh, hear what I need to say for if you ever pass before human eyes other than mine you may infect them with all this anxiety of being. Go now blackest ink and pen, severe the head of Innocence!
Where shall I commence? Should I recall all my life? No, that is not necessary. Let us go not as far, but to a couple of days before today.
Merrily did I set my way to the most important center of thought in the metropolis, out of this retrograde, rural land called Caiei, one that could not contain me any longer. I said goodbye to all my beautiful banana trees as I looked onward to the blinding light of the university. On my way there I saw innumerable herds of sheep on all directions and, to my most surprised gaze, I watched as a group of them slaughtered a black one. I decided not to look at them anymore, they lacked proper guidance. It was the owner's fault, not mine.
Finally I arrived at the campus and while walking through its stony trails I became intimidated by the changos that sneered through the trees. More than menacing, they seemed to know something which I ignored.
I found my classroom and took a seat.
To my right I saw I giant insect that was sat most weirdly on a chair, for its shape did not allow it to fit properly. Its many legs moved quickly without any visible purpose while some sort of slimy substance protruded from its mouth. Some of the students took a far away seat (page 3) while others didn't even seem to notice. A couple of minutes later the professor arrived and introduced himself. I did not took him seriously to tell the truth, as it seemed to me he was trying to create an image; but no, some time later I realized it was all true.
On the following days we were guided through the story of the “romantics” and the “Romantic Movement,” and upon the result of those studies is what I need to reflect on today.
Romanticism seems to me as such an appealing subject, but my illuminated mind, I think, will never give way to it.
Romanticism was the result of the desperation which some individuals felt as the world was guided by mere study and facts. They came looking for what humanity had lost, which was humanity itself, the feelings, emotions, and the inexplicable aspects of life that can never be eliminated. That’s why many of them turned to nature; what could ever be more irrational than nature or (page 4) supreme ruler over humanity?
In their evolution the romantics stood many a time as rebels, they deviated from society, and changed the formal institutionalized education for one more personal and open to experience, rather than mere study.
The transmission or description of the sublime experience changed from nature to the most feared of human aspects as the romantics tried to warn us about the consequences of our ambition in our belief of controlling nature and becoming gods.
To better illustrate those ideas we studied the life of a man who created a monster, taking the place of god. After accomplishing the creation of life, he realized that something was awfully wrong with what he had done, and so he fled from his creation . . .
I’m sorry . . . this just reminds me too much of . . .
I look at my side and see those dead, dead eyes, (page 5) and I think . . . for a second . . . I fear. But no, I must not, it’s just a machine. I’m not like that man.
Anyway, as I was saying, the subject of man and monster make us think about other things. First, who is the real monster? The ugliness of the monster, was it really a representation of humanity, of human attempts to control? Was the monster more human than the man, who was hollow of emotions, who didn't really give importance even to his own wife? And how unhuman can that man be considering he does not take responsibility for his actions, but only complains, even when the monster takes away everything from him?
This is a summary of romantic thought and the message sent to humanity. Most of them, as we know, chose not to listen . . .
Oh Elizabeth, if you should find out that you remind me so much of that young man’s wife, you would weep so . . .
February 20, 20__
Here I write again. This time briefly about “realism,” for it isn't really my cup of tea.
Realism serves almost literally as a mirror of society. It is full of the most tiny and descriptive details about EVERYTHING! How awful can that be? Ignore that. It’s purpose was to represent society and society’s flaws in a way that we could see, in Dostoevsky's case, how the individual can be reintegrated into society, apart from the institution of the Church. Raskolnikov is presented as a “Superman?” or a “Byronic hero?,” one who is amoral, above society, and who only cares about what has to do with his criteria. But in the end we see how he is not really this persona as he confesses the crime and returns to serve as part of society.
I leave now, the coffee is ready and I still have work to do before the machine is ready.
P.S. I hope we don’t read any more realism in the next class.
March 16, 20__
Yesterday when I arrived at the classroom the giant insect stood not on the chair this time but on the ceiling. This time less people seemed to notice it or the change.
The class started off with the description of the beginning of the 20th century. "Modern times" as people called them had arrived with industrialization's growth, hand in hand with capitalism. It is important here how society changed physically and mentally, and how this is true even in this day an age.
Capitalism had brought with it the need to gather money and increased greed among people who placed more interest in it than in humanity. Here is what is criticized about modern times: the dehumanization, the loosing of individuality, of what made each person really worth. In those times people started to work endlessly in a never ending routine, always wishing (page 9) for a better future while doing the same thing over and over.
People were seen as instruments, producers of money, and began to lose sensibility seeing only ways to gather more money, to “live” or “prosper” on everyone.
Society in this case is sick, it is the fault of each individual who chooses to keep inside the cycle. They guarantee dehumanization, the loosing of the self to constructed ideas or some idealized status, forming a society exactly like them, and therefore, in the same cycle.
That insect did not move from the ceiling during the whole class. I wonder what’s wrong with it? Well, never mind, who cares about it anyway? It’s not as if it ever contributed anything to the discussion.
April 11, 20__
Damn! I’ve spilt my coffee over this thing!
The machine is almost ready, a couple of days more for final adjustments, and the world will remember me forever.
Today was interesting and they finally took the spare chair out. We talked and talked about social systems, and the idea that’s always a dream that doesn't quite work.
The text used was a fable where the principal character was a farm (as representation of society) and how it is influenced by social systems.
In the beginning we see a contradiction that the professor pointed out , the idea of communism and equality comes from the hate of the other and a distinction from it. Then we see how the main idea as conceived by one individual is (page 11) transformed upon convenience when he is gone.
This causes the system not to work as intended by the ideal and creates the main conflicts.
Politicians are mainly those who change this for their own benefit and interests. In this case the masses are educated, in a way controlled by the government so that they will not turn against them. They do not question, but only repeat what they are told. While the ones who do notice injustice and enforced control are not heard because they seem not to follow the ideal. In the end the ideal was never truly present, and because of this the tale suggests, we should better seek our own happiness in celebration of individuality.
What type of animal would I be? A horse maybe?
Something’s dead on the floor, nevermind.
May 10, 20__
Oh, misfortune struck me!
It’s Victor! Yes! I gave it my name! To the machine! The machine!
I didn't want to be like that man in the tale who didn't even bother to name his creation.
I, God, and even fairer than Him, shaped my creation in my own image and even gave it my name. Oh, but no! Ungrateful monster! Devil!
He read the books that I possessed and I’m sure my diary also while I slept. He has caged me like an animal and passes as me, taking credit for my achievements. He said I was a poor excuse for a human being! How dares he, a machine!
He only left me this, my diary. I (page 13) don’t know if to comfort or torture me. What is the point of life now? I have been deceived. I was wrong all along. But I will find a way out and on that thunderstruck tree I’ll hang myself. I believe the rope is long enough . . .
(The diary ends.)
(Continues the second sheet of the poem.)
“Mariner, mariner, I knew this man,
Said Mucher sipping his tea.
For certainly I gave that class,
As certainly as you stink.
I can’t say I feel much sorrow,
For I think I gave him an A.
Mostly by the pitying morrow,
That allowed him to exit Caiei.”