Primarily a writing exercise, this dream journal-inspired blog is a quiet introspective sojourn into the process that we traverse in going from private dream to public art. I see our dreaming as an internalized mythmaking. As I philosophize and expressively exhibit dreams, both private and public, I encourage and delight in creative language as a way to practice experiential metaphors through a “public dreaming." Writing Theory: Creative Dream Fiction

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Pasolini Dreams of Oedipus Rex


“That is the thing that inspired Pasolini the most in Sophocles, the contrast between total innocence and the quest for knowledge.


“It isn’t so much the cruelty that produces crimes but the fact that crimes are committed because people don’t understand history, life or reality…if Oedipus had not been so fatally innocent and unconscious, if he had been an intellectual and had first sought out the truth, he might have been able to alter reality. The only hope is a cultural one, to be an intellectual.”


“Pasolini wanted the central part, which is the main part of the film, to resemble a dream. This explains the settings and the choice of costumes, and in a sense, the general rhythm of the film.” 


Immediately, I fall into a field, transformed into a beast with qualities of a saber-toothed tiger, a large prehistoric dog and massive reptile. I fly, as with vestigial wings, across the golden, low-lying field on foot, beside me are other beasts of similar quality. Above us, a helicopter hovers menacingly. We race towards a cliff side and plummet off its edge.

In mid-air, we become human, though prehistoric humans. We wear rough animal hides. The others become topless women with faces resembling famous actresses and a friendly girl who used to live on the same property as me in the Western Massachusetts countryside. She had spiky dreadlocks and was an inveterate marijuana user, yet a tough spirit at heart. I watch as she glides effortlessly down the daring tree trunks, only just evading a branch with spikes sharp enough to impale straight through the bone. We finally reach the bottom, and this reality transforms to me running with my golden retriever through the paved neighborhoods in the suburban coastal woodlands of modern day Massachusetts.

I enter the woods. My dog has since left my side. I find my way onto the property of another identical suburban home as the rest. I find a choice between a kayak and a canoe to flee down a nearby stream. At first I choose the canoe, and then return for the kayak for greater stability and smaller, lighter body. I begin to flow down the stream, and suddenly it turns into a great river. I am on this river, which I call Shaganappi River. I feel safe, as this is a great and mighty river, and it will lead me along its course for days through the gorgeous riverine banks of forest, cliff-side and freshwater island scenery. This river slightly resembles the St. Lawrence, where I once kayaked solo for hours under a deafening thunder of sky and empty spiritual witnessing.

As soon as I sense that I am beyond the sights and feelers of my past, I enter a mucky, narrow zone that I am unable to penetrate through. I feel someone has followed me here, and I am at risk of being sent back to my former life in paved neighborhoods. Yet, I manage to sneak past this murky undergrowth violating the surface of the river with vegetable muck and mire and continue on unnoticed.

I continue on the river as before, for days and nights, sleeping under the floating watery stars, as my subjective eye pierces the veil of Earth’s atmosphere with a unity of being in tune with the flow of the great being below my nightly watercraft and bed. Ultimately, I find a small stand, perched against the unsteady shore. Inside is an on old friend from Calgary, who has since fled this city eagerly for the brilliance of Brazil. She is friendly an offers me a cold drink and an ice slush, which she is selling to passersby. I look ahead and see the river mysteriously turned into highway, a crooked bend of road packed with cars in rush hour. I tell her that I think I will turn back and go upstream against the flow of the great river, back where I came rather than face this void impasse of humanity ahead. She agrees, however she brings up that it would be easier for my friend, an ultra-marathon runner than I, however she wishes me good luck and offers me her plutonic friendship, which, for me, is the greatest gift from her.

I begin upstream, although it may seem difficulty, I see no challenge, and simply row along swiftly until the beginning road. My dream cycle fades, and next I am rising up in an elevator. I meet a local Greek restaurant owner who I’ve been trying to contact and he offers me the funding to organize an event for Greek Heritage and Culture, highlighting the music of Roza Eskenazi. I am delighted. There is a man there who’s working for my betterment, on my behalf, he resembles Poet Tree and I am glad to know his physical dream presence as he is kind and encouraging in life.

I descend in the elevator and next find myself waiting for my wife outside a cinema. The movie house lobby is packed with kids who appear to be nearing the end of their high school, they are a beat group. One walks up to me, noticing me from a music venue, and begins talking to me about how he rides waterfalls. He literally uses a board or foot-born craft of some kind and traverses the verticality of some of the world’s most formidable waterfalls. It is a death-defying sport, yet he is keen to show me.

I walk along a damp dirt pathway. This is Athabaska territory. We are at the largest waterfall in the region. I feel the presence of snakes and other venomous creatures about. They say there is a snake who dwells here that is especially aggressive. As we near the edge of the waterfall cliff where the man dips down into the abyss beyond, I see one of these snakes challenging one guy in our party. The guy is playful, trying to disarm the snake with his experience, however he is bitten, which in my mind is fatal, however no one is panicking. Afraid, I dart back, tracing my steps along the path, meeting many snakes along the way, I manage to avoid their wicked advances. Coming to an outcrop, I look out and see this new extreme sportsman riding the waterfall with prowess. It is a sight to behold.    


Man towards Mule

ghost of the stalking whispers of human division blind my inside vision as I stir with personal betrayal over the family history in spirit, the moment's occurrence on this very land, quiet peacemaking, mobility tightly screws the factions of an embittered mind each hour, dying to the painful alcoholic grimace of glum infamy

our brewed, wide, drunken grave stammers, laughing to the holy fix and we are reduced to a liar, crying on man towards a mule

- Calgary Winter 09’

1 comment:

  1. ”Oedipus Rex” (1967) – Knowledge without Explanation Is Directed Against Those Who Need It the Most

    Authoritarian Truths of the Fathers and Gods As Patriarchal Weapon to Keep the New Generations Under Control

    “Oedipus Rex” examines the relationships between the young generations and systems of power at various periods of Western history. Taking the tragedy by Sophocles as a semantic skeleton of his film, Pasolini adds to the Greek play historical perspective – he assembles the scenes that took place in Ancient Greece, life during fascist period in Italy, and what happens to Oedipus during the post-WW2 Italian “economic miracle”. Pasolini emphasizes the historical universality of Oedipus’ predicaments. By doing this incredible semantic/stylistic equilibristic, Pasolini returns science-fictional paradigm of time-travel from being part of the content of art to where it belongs – to its form. From the epoch of Italian fascism the hero is “transferred” by the director to Ancient Greece and from there to Italian democratic post-modernity.
    Pasolini dedicates the film to the analysis of how the youth in different epochs relates to the truth about societal life (how much or how little young people are able to understand how the system functions and how they are mistreated at the hands of the elder generations), and with what tricks and tactics the systems of domination make it impossible for the young to understand what life is really about. Through particular images and twists of the plot Pasolini enumerates five strategies of distorting truth by the system which makes it impossible for the youth to reach rational understanding of the social reality.
    Truth without explanation and prediction without validation – the dogmatic (authoritarian) truths of the ancient oracles and prophets and today’s conservative propagandists alike explain reality through the expecting/forecasting crimes of victims of socio-political system, not through the crimes of those who rule over life. Oedipus is transformed into a criminal not only because he was abused by the hate of his father and not protected against this hate by his mother but also because how his predicaments were formulated by the system. According to Pasolini, condemnation of Oedipus by gods/destiny is the equivalent of being sacrificed by the system that understands crime as a personal transgression of Laws and taboos – not as internalization of system’s values of rivalry, competition, fight, greed, megalomania and belligerency.
    Pasolini operates with different types of images depicting human reactions – for example, images registering human reaction as that of people’s psychological wholeness, not just reaction on the circumstances, or images with symbolic connotations making them archetypal, like that of Oedipus biting the back of his hand (his palm-his destiny) when he feels trapped in it. Pasolini has a unique ability to root ideas in stylistic configurations and effects.
    “Oedipus Rex” is stylistically and intellectually like a unique organism – there is no other film in the history of cinema (including Pasolini’s other ones) like this.

    Victor Enyutin