Der Zuschauer

A Journal of Essays and Reportage on Drama, History, and Literature

Archive for the ‘Pudenda Studies’ Category

Gorkyland: Time is, time was, but time shall be no more.

with one comment

“Last of all consider the frightful torment to those damned souls, tempters and tempted alike, of the company of the devils. These devils will afflict the damned in two ways, by their presence and by their reproaches. We can have no idea of how horrible these devils are. Saint Catherine of Siena once saw a devil and she has written that, rather than look again for one instant on such a frightful monster, she would prefer to walk until the end of her life along a track of red coals. These devils, who were once beautiful angels, have become as hideous and ugly as they were once beautiful. They mock and jeer at the lost souls whom they dragged down to ruin. It is they, the foul demons, who are made in hell the voices of conscience. Why did you sin? Why did lend an ear to the temptations of fiends? Why did you turn aside from your pious practices and good works? Why did you not shun the occasions of sin? Why did you not leave that evil companion? Why did you not listen to the counsels of you confessor? Why did you not, even after you had fallen the first or the second or the third or the fourth or the hundredth time, repent of your evil ways and turn to God who only waited for your repentance to absolve you of your sins? Now the time for repentance has gone by. Time is, time was, but time shall be no more! Time was to sin in secrecy, to indulge in that sloth and pride, to covet the unlawful, to yield to the promptings of your lower nature, to live like the beasts of the field, nay worse than the beasts of the field for they, at least, are brutes and have not reason to guide them: Time was but time shall be no more. God spoke to you by so many voices but you would not hear. You would not crush out that pride and anger in your heart, you would not restore those ill-gotten goods, you would not obey the precepts of your holy church nor attend to your religious duties, you would not abandon those wicked companions, you would not avoid those dangerous temptations. Such is the language of those fiendish tormentors, words of taunting and of reproach, of hatred and of disgust. Of disgust, yes! For even they, the very devils, when they sinned sinned by such a sin as alone was compatible with such angelical natures, a rebellion of the intellect; and they, even they, the foul devils must turn away, revolted and disgusted, from the contemplation of those unspeakable sins by which degraded man outrages and defiles the temple of the Holy Ghost, defiles and pollutes himself.”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Written by herrdramaturg

December 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Gorkyland: …the torment of this infernal prison…

with one comment

“Consider finally that the torment of this infernal prison is increased by the company of the damned themselves. Evil company on earth is so noxious that even the plants, as if by instinct, withdraw from the company of whatsoever is deadly or hurtful to them. In hell all laws are overturned: there is no thought of family or country, of ties, of relationships. The damned howl and scream at one another, their torture and rage intensified by the presence of beings tortured and raging like themselves. All sense of humanity is forgotten. The yells of the suffering sinners fill the remotest corners of the vast abyss. The mouths of the damned are full of blasphemies against God and of hatred for their fellow sufferers and of curses against those souls which were their accomplices in sin. In olden times it was the custom to punish the parricide, the man who raised his murderous hand against his father, by casting him into the depths of the sea in a sack in which were placed a cock, a monkey and a serpent. The intention of those law givers who framed such a law, which seems cruel in our times, was to punish the criminal by the company of hateful and hurtful beasts. But what is the fury of those dumb beasts compared with the fury of execration which bursts from the parched lips and aching threats of the damned in hell when they behold in their companions in misery those who aided and abetted them in sin, those whose words sowed the first seeds of evil thinking and evil living in their minds, those whose immodest suggestions led them to sin, those whose eyes tempted and lured them from the path of virtue. They turn upon those accomplices and upbraid them and curse them. But they are helpless and hopeless: it is too late now for repentance.”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Written by herrdramaturg

December 12, 2011 at 11:39 am

Stanley Richardson on Cicero’s Selected Letters

with 4 comments

It’s not that I’ve given up on writing for Der Zuschauer, or that this Gorkyland rubbish has prevented myself or Ekaterina Degot or Christian Grabbe, or even Max Klinger, from writing other stuff. What has happened over and above oceans and time and western man? What has happened about socialism and promiscuity? What has happened to the overall philosophy of history? I’ve recently read Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve, and before that Lucretius, and now I’ve obtained Cicero’s Selected Letters, as published by Oxford World’s Classics. I’m trying to get more done on my play about Ovid in exile; I’m trying to get more done on my translations of George Heym’s Poems. Hell, I’d like to get home for the holidays myself, but everybody’s dead except my daughters, and they belong to their mothers. So where is home and what are the holidays? Was Thomas Jefferson a Deist or an Atheist? I’ve also been reading Vol.2 of Samuel Beckett’s Letters, the French and the English. It seems to really be true that all women are size-queens, even after they’ve begun to worry about being told that their tits are sagging, and they don’t even realize that men pay attention to “dropped asses” as well. Or is all this covered in Cosmo? Still, enough with Higher Powers, my Thanksgiving was absolutely awful, and Christmas promises to be dryadust shite as well. I have, inexplicably, lofted myself upon Facebook (whywhywhy?), and I have no desire to make contact with anyone from my past, except the dead, and what would I say to them? I think failed marriages are an appalling thing to hang around one’s neck. How do you explain failure to people who don’t admit they’ve ever failed? If I could look at all the women I’ve seen naked during the course of the last 58 years, would I have any idea who half of them were? Would it matter? Do I care?

Then there is this question of failed marriages. This hoo-ha about to have and to hold until death do us part, because I think women are the big liars; I think it’s the broads who lie from the beginning and who continue to lie until they’ve found a fool big enough to buy all the bull-pizzle hogwash until death do us part, and they get the money to cover all the failed tits and the collapsed asses. “He can have his library, if he can afford a place to put it.”

Does it not strike anyone just how crude the expression Facebook is? Why not Twatbook? or Dickbook? or Assbook? I could continue, but perhaps I shouldn’t. I may well have to lean my head out of a chariot and have it lopped off by one of Mark Antony’s gladiator-minions like Marcus Tullius Cicero did, and there’s an end of me.

My best to thee and thine in the Holiday Season. Respectfully, Dr. Stanley Richardson.

Then there is this dark-star, black-hole depression, which I can’t seem to get out of. Do anyone of you know what a catchword is? Which makes one wonder about headword, and reading in Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a A Young Man, made me notice the run-together words of current computerese are prefigured in that novel.

Then there is this question about whether we can ever use enough commas for comprehension in today’s haywire, incompetent prose, and in despite of Samuel Beckett’s detestation of semi-colons, aren’t they fucking spiffy? I like hyphenation too, don’t you? Except for women’s last names. Then they are tedious. Yes?

Stanley Richardson
Copyright 2011 Der Zuschauer

Written by herrdramaturg

December 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Gorkyland: Home for the Holidays

leave a comment »

I have not been living in a tent in Occupy Harvard.

I have been living in a shelter in the People’s Republic of Cambridge.

I do not care whether the Super Committee fails or the NBA saves a season.

My brother is dead; my mother is dead; my father is dead.

I just want to be home for the Holidays.

I am a socialist; I believe in promiscuity.

Why are women such nag-bitch-nag-viragoes about alcohol, reading, and a man’s free time? I can’t stand women. I’m a veteran of two-failed marriages, two failed foreign wars. My first wife was a chef and a passive-aggressive nightmare. Surely, it was all my fault. She was 9 years older than I was and we wed after knowing each other for 30 days. How much of a fool was I? My second marriage was a true heart-breaker, so I won’t write about it, except to say she was 20 years younger and I was an even greater fool.

Why are women such harpies about the grape and fermentation? My first wife would have made Socrates’ wife seem like a fairy-dust angel. It is true that women are always mad about that 3rd beer (that 3rd Gorky), and always wanting you to appear in coupled concert, with other binary partners, in pussy-whipt dominion. Add to the idea of amorous, monogamous chains, that of sexual satisfaction (Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas with diamonds), and you’ve got a ripe recipe for acrimony and dissolution.

As a writer, translator, and dramaturg, I find cold beer and red wine much more helpful and valuable in regard to my work than any broad can be, ever how interesting 38 DDs can be. My library, a few windows, a stack of moleskines, perhaps a trophy-bra hanging from a door-knob. Just now I’m reading in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and I’ve just started working through an anthology of 20th-Century German Poetry, edited by the poet, Michael Hoffman.

In August of 2009 my significant other moved out and left me flat. There is a reason and necessity for euphemism, just as there is for the semi-colon. Then I had a heart attack and was in the hospital for six weeks. At the time of the ICU period, the Megasaurian Butch-Pussy 1st wife remarked to all and sundry, “It would be better if he just died.” Probably so, but, I didn’t die.

Americans have a lurid, puritanical idea of alcohol and drinking, almost as schizophrenic as their attitude toward sex. And if your girlfriend worries you about that 3rd beer, you can rest assured she’s a fan of Charles Bukowski. Strict about monogamy and STDs, with an I-forget # over 30. Which is to say, “Why bother with women at all except as intellectual colleagues and orgy-partners?” No small talk at the play ground, no dry Sunday brunches, no PTA meetings. “Aus bleichen Masken shaut der Geist des Bosen.”

Which is to say, “It’s certainly all my fault.” In 1999, they told me in the hospital that drink would kill me in 6 months. In 2009, they told me I could end up homeless, which would be worse than death, that I’d be better off dead, and who can argue with that? Have you ever been to one of those big Friday Night AA meetings where all the men ride Harleys and the coffee-cup-assed chickettes wear cowboy boots and skin-tight blue-jeans? Yeehaw, Yeehaw-you’re right, I’d rather be dead.

Maxim Gorky, the 3rd.
Copyright 2011 Der Zuschauer.

Gorkyland: Twist, Twist, Twist Again

with 2 comments

The are no pussies in an animal shelter. nor punch-bunnies either. There are barking dogs, baying hounds, Aegis-class cruise missiles, but there are no pussies in a shelter. There are no female breasts, no tits, titties, no jugs, hooters, fun-bags, wahoos. There are no bra-busters in a men’s shelter. No A-Cups, no B-Cups, C-Cups, D or DD-Cups, no Triple E-Cups, no Quatro F-Cups. There are no female nipples: pink, red, or brown, barely pronounced, big as your thumb, flashing like lights on a patrol car. No biting, no sucking Lulu’s nippons. There are no girly armpits either, shaved, hairy, stubbled, five-o’clocked, razor-fatigued, no sweaty, salt-licked, girly armpits. Nothing. There is no female pubic hair in a men’s animal shelter. No bush, cotton candy, Black Forest, swampland, barely there, tease-tufted, no navel to anus, no shaved, bald, nor red-demonette, nor wooly bully. And, of course, there is no pussy, beaver, squack, snatch, taco, bearded clam, sperm-barn; there is no mons veneris, Venusberg, love-shack; there is no semen-intake center in a dog house. You will find the usual gattling-guns, howitzers, moon-rockets, yogurt cannons, roman candles, sad-sack dicks. There are baton rouges, baton noirs, tossers, and walking sticks. But, alas, there is no muff-diving, no rug-munching, no forced march, no frog-march, no boob patrol, no crotch hawking, nothing like that in a men’s animal shelter. Just the pass word: Ou la femme? Charchez la femme?
I don’t even know what it looks like.
I never knew what it looked like.
I can still remember what it smells like.
Fish shack in late August.
Sauteed sole in a lemon beurre blanc sauce.
She harrowed out my nostrils.
Nipples like red cherries in the snow.
Armpits with hair like the end of the Korean War.
Curls at the back of her neck.
Her ears gone beet-red.
I remember when-
Let’s twist, twist, twist again,
Like we did last summer.
O do you remember when?
Let’s twist, again, like we did last year.

Maxim Gorky, the 3rd.
Copyright by Der Zuschauer, 2011.

Written by herrdramaturg

October 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm

More Pudenda Studies

leave a comment »

Written by herrdramaturg

October 11, 2011 at 11:51 am

I Love Scrod, On Cape Cod

with 2 comments

Idylls of the Northeast Corridor

Can there be such a thing? Ice fishing perhaps? Birds can still be seen on warmer days. No squirrels. Momentous Bug Movies from Hollywood are wicked this coming. 2010 feels, seems like we are living in an age of science fiction. Can Youtube be used in a court of law? Are smart phones the very center of mast people’s lives? Are Americans more crass, vulgar, and trashy than ever before? Why do people sneer at humanism? Is tenure tenured? In the People’s Republic the book-stores
are mobbed, the new ones, the scholarly ones less so. Please go and look into McIntrye andMoore Booksellers in Porter Square in Cambridge when you visit. I now live 2 miles or less from where I lived when I first moved from Georgia to Cambridge, over on Broadway in 1975, already a veteran Soixante-Huitard. Dr. Johnson is suddenly the rage, because of the recent biographies. I haveCollected Works in 16 Volumes. It was a birthday present from my beloved colleague, Frau Busenvollig. I now celebrate World Historical View Day on the 25th of December, just as they do on Guam Island. I have been reading and translating poems of Nelly Sachs from the German. My most ambitious reading project currently is Die letzten Tage der Menschheit of Karl Kraus. We are all 21st Centurians now. I don’t twitter, I don’t eat to-fu. I believe strongly in cleavage, public libraries, short plaid-pleated skirts, foreign languages. I use Arts&Letters Daily as my home-page. Der Zuschauer is always a click away.

Dramaturgy: Definitions

with 7 comments

It is with remorse that we have received your recent concerned correspondence regarding definitions of the above as well as speculation and debate. I have addressed the issue with our entire dramaturgical staff world wide. We admit to a Coleridgian waywardness and promise to get back on the ground. I have pushed for articles, letters, definitions etc. We invite your contributions. This ongoing work will appear on our Dramaturgy: Definitions page.

Christian Dietrich Grabbe
Der Zuschauer

“…Coleridge wanted to write as an opinion-former, to create a philosophical intelligensia in a new way. His work was to be deliberately elitist: exclusive and intellectually demanding. He made no apology for this. He was not producing a set of Labourers’ pocket knifes for cutting bread and cheese, but a Case of Lancets for dissecting the anatomy of a national condition. His target was what he came to call the Heresy of expediency, of short-term aims, superficial thinking; it was also the intellectual partianship of…journalism itself.”

From Richard Holmes’ Coleridge, Darker Reflections: 1804-1834


Aryan It Girl

with 2 comments

Written by herrdramaturg

December 10, 2009 at 11:11 am

Frauenrollen, Weiberrollen

leave a comment »

“Es ist kein Ort in der Welt, wo die vergangene Zeit so un mittelbar und mit so mancherlei Stimmen zu dem Beobachter sprach, als Rom. So hat sich auch dort unter mehreren Sitten zufalligerweise ein erhalten, die sich an allen anter Orten nach un nach fast gangzlich vorloren hat.

Die Alten liessen, wenigstens in den besten Aeiten der Kunst und die Sitten, kein Frau des Theater betreten. Ihre Stucke waren entweder so eingerichtet, das Frauen mehr und weniger enbehrlich warren; oder kie Weiberrollen wurden durch eine Akteur vorgestellt, welcher such besonders darauf geubt hatte. Derselbe Fall is noch in dem neureren Rom und dem ubrigen Kirchenstaat, ausser Bologna, welches unter andern Privilegien auch der Freiheit geniesst, Frauenzimmer auf seinen Theatern bewundern zu durfen.”

From Goethe’s Schriften zur Literatur.

Written by herrdramaturg

December 9, 2009 at 12:04 pm


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.