Friday, August 18, 2017

A. V. Koshy writes

Swapna Sundari 
(First Draft.)

Turkey: An Interlude: Internal Realism/ Flight Stop-over/Turkish Delight

It was not about Istiklal Cadessi's (11) meaning

or the ideas behind 'cold turkey'

or having no turkey for Christmas day

Beethoven interpreted by my friend

Turkish percussion used in the ninth

suggesting the possibility of living together in peace

It was not that interpretant, either!

It was at the point of the theatre backdrop

being rolled in my life away from Jeddah to Tripoli

in the darkness, with a rumble in the wings

as Eliot said, while the children wait excited

for Act two, three or four to begin

and Freedom Ave. was the right intersection

as a setting for me to find Nabokov's lepidopterist's shop

Where you gave me a butterfly -

referring back to three or four attempts, to write a story

and to another flash fiction -

the Tiger Moth (12) from Kerala

and I did not have to pay for it

though it was a magic shop

It was no longer the time of

magical realism

but we still let it go free

and you never gave me any other

and you never were a nymphet

though I was the non-native English Professor

One, you said was enough for me

As for me, honey, I am still paying the fee

(11) İstiklal Avenue or Istiklal Street (Turkish: İstiklâl Caddesi, French: Grande Rue de Péra, English: Independence Avenue) is one of the most famous avenues in Istanbul, Turkey, visited by nearly 3 million people in a single day over the course of weekends. Located in the historic Beyoğlu (Pera) district, it is an elegant pedestrian street, 1.4 kilometers long, which houses boutiques, music stores, bookstores, art galleries, cinemas, theatres, libraries, cafés, pubs, night clubs with live music, historical patisseries, chocolateries and restaurants. (Source: Wikipedia) 
(12) Long flight to mate, and then dies immediately.

 Image result for tiger moth painting
 Tigermoth -- Josephine Moth


  1. İstiklâl Caddesi (formerly Cadde-i Kebir [Grand Avenue]) is one of the most famous avenues in Istanbul. An elegant pedestrian street, 1.4 kilometers long, it is in the Beyoğlu (Pera) district, starting in the medieval Genoese neighbourhood around Galata Tower and stretching to Taksim Square. When Istanbul was known as the 19th-century “Paris of the East” the street was called Grande Rue de Péra by foreigners and was popular among Turkish intellectuals, European, and the local Italian and French Levantines. With the declaration of the republic on 29 October 1923, Cadde-i Kebir’s name was changed to İstiklal (Independence) to commemorate the triumph at the Turkish War of Independence.

    “Cold turkey" is the abrupt cessation of a substance dependence and its resultant unpleasant experience, as opposed to gradually easing the process through reduction over time or by using replacement medication. The phrase may have derived from the American expression “talk turkey,” meaning "to speak bluntly with little preparation,” or from cold turkey being a dish that requires little preparation (as in Cage's 2013 song "This Place": "I can't believe I made it out with so little damage / Back then I thought cold turkey was a fuckin' sandwich"). The expression was already in use by 1953, when Mickey Spillane published his first novel “I, The Jury,” where he explained it to the readers as "dope-addict talk for an all-out cure," but a “Time” article from 26 February 1951 had also referred to the practice without feeling the need to define it.

  2. The Janissaries (yeñiçeri, "new soldier") were the first modern standing army in Europe, composed of kidnapped young Christian slaves who were forced to convert to Islam; forbidden to marry or engage in trade, their complete loyalty to the sultan was expected, and they served as his elite household troops and bodyguards, famed for internal cohesion cemented by strict discipline and order. A Janissary band (mehter) was specifically trained to assist the infantry; only the absolute cessation of its music indicated that the colors were either lost or furled in retreat, signifying the end of a battle. The sultan presented a complete Mehter to August II of Poland in the early 1700s, and empress Anne of Prussia demanded one in 1725. “Alla Turka” was the designation for their style of music. Before this innovation, the kettledrum was the only percussion instrument with Eastern roots to have gained acceptance in Western orchestras. The mehter percussion instruments included the darbuka (a goblet-shaped drum made of red clay with a heated goat- or cow-hide stretched across its mouth), davul (double-headed drum beaten with a heavy stick with a knob on the end held in the right hand and a thin stick held in the fingers of the left hand), daire [tef] (tambourine), kasik (wooden spoons held two to a hand), kudum (small double drum), zilli masa (tongs with small cymbals attached opposite each other), baglama, triangle, and finger cymbals. In the “Turkish March” section of Ludwig von Beethoven’s “Die Ruinen von Athens” he called for as many “noisy” instruments as were available in order to add color and weight to the music, though only the bass drum, cymbals, and triangle are acknowledged in the score; the cymbals and the bass drum
    have identical yet independently notated parts that share the same line in the score, with the cymbal part high on the shared stave with stems written upward, and the bass drum part notated low on the stave with downward stems. The absence of upward stems on the bass drum line indicates his wish to use only a beater to strike the drum. He used a homogeneous Turkish percussion section again in the finale of the Ninth Symphony (1824). Written in compound meter (6/8), the bass drum and bassoons softly accent the second strong beat of each measure to begin the portion of the movement marked “Alla Marcia.” Clarinets and trumpets enter the rhythmic texture before the first melodic phrase is begun in measure 343. By the middle of the first melodic phrase, cymbals and triangle join the orchestration, mostly doubling the bass drum and bassoons that accent both strong beats in each measure. The bass drum, cymbals, and triangle are each given their own line in the score until the end of the symphony (marked “Prestissimo”), where the cymbals and bass drum are scored together.

  3. T. S. Eliot included "East Coker" in “The Four Quartets.” It contains the following passage:

    I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
    Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
    The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
    With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
    And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
    And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away—
    Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations
    And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
    And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
    Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
    Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing—
    I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
    For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
    For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
    But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
    Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
    So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

  4. Vladimir Nabokov came from a wealthy, prominent family of the Russian nobility which traced its roots back to a 14-century Tatar prince, Nabok Murza. His grandfather had served as Aleksandr II’s justice minister. The family spoke Russian, English, and French at home, and Vlaimir read and wrote in English before he could in Russian. In 1917 his father became a secretary in the Russian Provisional Government but was forced to flee after the Bolshevik takeover, becoming minister of justice in the Crimean Regional Government before emigrating to the UK and Germany; he was fatally shot in March 1922 trying to shield Pavel Milyukov, a leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party-in-exile, from assassination by a Russian monarchist. In Berlin, writing as V. Sirin (a reference to a fabulous bird in Russian folklore), Nabokov taught languages and gave tennis and boxing lessons. In 1936 his father’s assassin became second-in-command of the Russian émigré group and Nabokov began looking for work elsewhere. After a few years in France he fled to the US in 1940 as German troops advanced. In New York he began volunteer work as an entomologist at the American Museum of Natural History, then became resident lecturer in comparative literature at Wellesley and founded the college’s Russian Department; he also served as de facto curator of lepidoptery at Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology. In 1955 he achieved fame and fortune by publishing “Lolita” and returned to Europe. Living in Montreux, Switzerland, for most of the rest of his life. In 1967 he noted, "The pleasures and rewards of literary inspiration are nothing beside the rapture of discovering a new organ under the microscope or an undescribed species on a mountainside in Iran or Peru. It is not improbable that had there been no revolution in Russia, I would have devoted myself entirely to lepidopterology and never written any novels at all." As a lepidopterist he specialized in the study of Polyommatini of the Lycaenidae family. He was the first to identify the Karner blue (Plebejus melissa samuelis), an endangered subspecies of butterfly (Without naming them, he also described a score of Karner blues in his novel “Pnin.”) He hypothesized that a group of butterfly species, the Polyommatus blues, came to the Americas via the Bering Strait in five waves, eventually reaching Chile. The genus Nabokovia was named after him in honor of this work, and a number of butterfly and moth species in the genera Madeleinea and Pseudolucia are named after him or characters in his novels.

  5. Tiger moths belong to the Arctiinae subfamily of moths, with around 11,000 species.Many of these species have "hairy" caterpillars that are known as “woolly worms” or “woolly bears.” Many species retain distasteful or poisonous chemicals acquired from their host plants or make their own defenses (including cardiac glycosides, cardenolides, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, pyrazines, and histamines). Larvae usually acquire these chemicals and may retain them in the adult stage, but adults can also acquire them by regurgitating decomposing plants containing the compounds and sucking up the fluid’ adults can transfer these defenses to their eggs, and males sometimes transfer them to females to help defend the eggs. They advertise these defenses with aposematic bright coloration, unusual postures, odors, and ultrasonic vibrations (which may even jam bat echolocation. In the American South and Northeast it is believed that the amount of black on the Isabella tiger moth's caterpillar indicate the severity of a coming winter (more brown than black means a mild winter, more black than brown means a harsh one.)
    Magical realism is a genre of art that expresses a primarily realistic view of the real world while also adding or revealing magical elements. It is often associated with Latin American authors such as Miguel Angel Asturias, Jorge Luis Borges, Elena Garro, Juan Rulfo, Rómulo Gallegos, Gabriel García Márquez and Isabel Allende. In “Nach Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus: Probleme der neuesten europäischen Malerei “(After Expressionism: Magical Realism: Problems of the Newest European Painting) German art critic Franz Roh used the term “Magischer Realismus” in 1925 to refer to a painterly style known as the New Objectivity), an alternative to expressionism which relied on accurate detail, smooth photographic clarity, and the portrayal of the “magical” nature of the mundane rational world. However, in contrast with its use in literature, magic realist art does not usually include overtly fantastic or magical content. These paintings influenced the Italian writer Massimo Bontempelli’s attempts to capture the fantastic, mysterious nature of reality, and his Venezuelan acquaintance Arturo Uslar-Pietri wrote influential short stories in Spanish in the 1930s and 1940s; he described "man as a mystery surrounded by realistic facts. A poetic prediction or a poetic denial of reality.” Roh's book was translated into Spanish by José Ortega y Gasset.s “Revista de Occidente” in 1927, and within a year the literary circles of Buenos Aires were applying the term to their productions.


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