Sunday, May 16, 2004

Songs from the Second floor


Tonight I saw 'Songs from the Second Floor', a resurrection of Beckett in today's Sweden.
Scandinavia has this image of a place where the "project of modernity" has been successful. A place that every thing is well-structured, organized, clean, and in one word rational. 'Songs from the Second floor' shows the logical result of such a system: the outcome is nothing but a tragic disconnection of people from the world and from each other.
What made Chekhov's Uncle Vania depressed and angry, what made autumn come to Cherry Orchard is here now in its entirety. It is dark, cold and bitter. The Rational look at man has resulted nothing but a deep loneliness.

The 'taste' of watching this movie is even more bitter when you are from a country from the first floor. It is sad when you know your supposedly beautiful dream is somebody's else's nightmare.


  1. Your post, "Hitting the Walls" was interesting. I'm learning just a bit about the history of Islam (which I realize isn't the exact same thing as the history of Iran), and I'm amazed at how much the schools of thought interacted with Greek philosophy early on in the religion. Do you have any thoughts on this, and how it is that strains Islam can be so open to other viewpoints, yet at the same time so conflicted and closed?

  2. CK, Muslims not only interacted with Greek Philosophy, but they somehow revived it in new contexts, both in Islamic world and in Europe. Islam of those years was much more open to other schools of thought and religions.
    The kind of Islam you call "conflicted and closed" is not exactly the same thing it was in the 11th century. The 'conflicted and closed' Islam --as we know it today-- is a modern invention, and is a reaction to modernity. I read in your blog about Karen Armstrong's book "The Battle For God". Read the chapters on Islamic Fundamentalism. It gives you a better idea how this version of Islam separates itself from many older traditions of tolerance in the religion.

  3. Sheesh. Maybe I better finish reading a book before I both recommend it AND ask questions which it answers later...

    Thanks, I hadn't gotten that far yet, and am very interested to arrive at that chapter...:)