Prologue to Motif and variation on the chance meeting with Thomas Bernhard, by Fernando Prats
Yes, I say to him without looking at his face, a face I have never seen and whose owner I say yes, even though the inexorable and near extinction of another face I do know (somewhat less the soul it hides) pushes me to say no, that pushes me to reproach myself that when one finds oneself trapped in certain emotional depths, it is not advisable to take refuge in the heights of the word, and that to speak of what one cannot speak, it is better to remain silent, as, on the other hand, the famous brother of a no less famous one-armed pianist wrote. But since, according to Aristotle, friendship cannot be considered as such if one does not behave towards one's friend as one behaves towards oneself, I will talk, I still don't know what about, perhaps about cold, liberating basements, perhaps about Thomas Bernhard, maybe about a certain Fernando Prats. But since, according to Aristotle, friendship cannot be considered as such if one does not behave towards one's friend as one behaves towards oneself, I do will talk, I still don't know what about, perhaps about cold, about liberating basements, perhaps about Thomas Bernhard, perhaps about a certain Fernando Prats, that artist friend and cultural animator whose face I have never seen, or perhaps I have without knowing that some of the faces I have looked at through the viewfinder of my camera/mask are associated with the onomastic reference with which the aforementioned signs his heterogeneous dance steps: yesterday a photograph supported by a hermetic textual pedestal, tomorrow an anti-poetic poetry book of the everyday, today the text of a play premiered in Buenos Aires, like the one he has just sent me by post with an invitation to prologue it, a text about which I cannot go on talking without first having heard its true showy dimension. I'm working on it. I shut up, minimize my word processor, and get ready to descend the steps of the motif and variation on the fortuitous encounter with the bête noire of Austrian Catholic-National-Socialism.
After a somewhat precipitous descent, a suicidal prelude that has been accompanied by an immobile and non-mystical ascent, I return to the heights of my word processor and ask myself if it is licit to speak about that which already speaks and is silent by itself. In any case, I will say that during my expedition I have asked myself whether any creative attempt (irremediably doomed to failure, as Bernhard, and most probably Montaigne, think) justifies the sacrifice of a life in its purest form, a life without a logic that makes a syllogism out of thunder, without a music that defies the buzzing of a fly, without gadgets that try to catch what has ceased to be, offering us as a sad trophy a mirage whose contemplation snatches from us the chance of a new instant of purity, of rays of light and dust dancing, of absence of filth and stench, of high school rabble shouting at the extraordinary personalities it adores. I wonder if it is worth renouncing that life without time or memory and opting for the cracks and suppression that divide the world, even if through them it becomes difficult to hear, without it crumbling like a pile of stones, the ubiquitous voice of Julio Cortázar saying: “I touch your mouth, with one finger I touch the edge of your mouth”. I don't know. Do Ele and Ejo know? And Hamm and Clov? What do these four ways of feeling and reasoning know about the world that Bouvard and Pécuchet did not? The always irreducible reality is a hollow word that clumsily defines a neuronal exegesis to which we have no choice but to cling if we do not want our own nothingness to precipitate us into the nothingness of others, into the Sartrian hell, into Ejo's urban hell, into the unfinished hell that the luminaries of fascism refine by night and make up by day.
Barcelona, July 2008