Pain is a sign that signifies the loss of something from being. When the thing departs, the material plane shudders at the loss of that thing by which it had coherence. Pain is the peeking through of chaos into the realm of order. Pain is the sign of an absence. It is the clamorous announcement of non-being.
The material of that thing still persists, however, when it is no more. What was it that existed, the passing of which was heralded by the pain?
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Thursday, May 2, 2013
"The speaker seems much more articulate than he could possibly be in such a... situation"
I have been looking into a bit of Jack Kirby's work lately, and this video reminded me of the way Kirby's text works in relation to his images. In New Gods #8, for instance, as Orion and Kalibak fight to the death, their conflict is quite wordy and involves this kind of articulation of emotion that would never occur in the heat of battle.
I cannot find a picture of the page that I have in mind, and I don't think a scan from the ol' Omnibus will come out very well, so a description will have to suffice.
Page 17 (all the bold text is as it is in the comic)
Orion's hands are in the foreground, gripping Kalibak's club tightly, which Orion has just wrested from Kalibak's hands. Kalibak looks on in the background.
Orion: Now , by what I do you may well get a glimpse of inner fires that burn with forces unmatched by your fire-pits!!
Kalibak: My club i-it's beginning to ---
Orion is now in the background and Kalibak in the foreground. Orion has succeeded in bending the club and it is beginning to crack.
Orion: To bend! To crack! To break loose from the sinister energies that bind its atoms as one unit!
Kalibak: No! No! IMPOSSIBLE! it can't be happening!
This panel is the width of the whole page and orion's armspan reaches across it. He has broken the club in half, it releases a crackling of cosmic energy
Orion: Behold a more painful truth! -- The broken fragments of your club!!
Kalibak: It would take all the might of Darkseid himself to do that!! You're a monster Orion!!
There are two more panels on the page, but this much will do to demonstrate the way the dialogue functions in this story. There are similarities, I think you'll see, between the way Kalibak and Orion describe what is unfolding before them and the reader and the way that Titus describes what has already happened and is happening on the stage. The speech echoes what is seen and informs it, and, in the play, the actor emphasizes this or that word or line for the audience. Similarly, the lettering in the comic is varied in size and density to create rhythm and emphasis.
This is not in any way meant to suggest that Kirby's often ham-handed wrangling of the English language approaches the deftness of the Bard. It is the use of the language, though, that is similar. Additionally, the use of "ham-handed" here is not so much a criticism as a description, when one takes into account the whole impact of the work. Words are, after all, not the primary medium of meaning in the comic, and the loud, strange rhythms of Kirby's prose work in concert with his bombastic images. They were not meant to be spoken, or perhaps even "heard" by the reader, but seen.
Friday, April 19, 2013
"But further, if we are not to fail in our endeavour to determine the value of philosophy, we must first free our minds from the prejudices of what are wrongly called 'practical' men. The 'practical' man, as this word is often used, is one who recognizes only material needs, who realizes that men must have food for the body, but is oblivious of the necessity of providing food for the mind."
Thursday, February 14, 2013
"The example of Alexander's chastity has not made so many continent as that of his drunkenness has made intemperate. It is not shameful not to be as virtuous as he, and it seems excusable to be no more vicious. We do not believe ourselves to be exactly sharing in the vices of the vulgar, when we see that we are sharing in those of great men; and yet we do not observe that in these matters they are ordinary men. We hold on to them by the same end by which they hold on to the rabble; for, however exalted they are, they are still united at some point to the lowest of men. They are not suspended in the air, quite removed from our society. No, no; if they are greater than we, it is because their heads are higher; but their feet are as low as ours. They are all on the same level, and rest on the same earth; and by that extremity they are as low as we are, as the meanest folk, as infants, and as the beasts."
Brought to you by Pascal's Pensees