Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Iliazd's Rapture

The Georgian Iliazd's Rapture is a prose poem if ever there was such a thing.  It's filled with lyrical descriptions of nature, brilliant flights of fancy, clever turns of phrase, and powerfully original ideas about existence and non-existence.  Below are a few favorite passages.

"..something like violins or the whine of an infant in pain barely bled through the tempest."

"the blissfulness of this glacial slumber..."

"the forecourt of paradise"

"But Brother Mocius slept and was not sleeping..."

"A sequence of trivia, more and more numerous..."

"Summits, spiteful and disfigured.."

"floating on the preposterously lilac water, a rabble of alpine butterflies was bathing very peacefully..."

"suspicious crags"

"promenading on the bottom, you could make out their teeny-tiny antennae"

"But imps are no longer menacing in these parts"

"Here, goats and chamois ambled under the watch of spirits with dense feathers and rudimentary feet"

"Sinless, they would stare at the sun for hours without squinting"

"The hamlet...was situated right next to the glaciers and forests and renowned for being populated exclusively by cretins and people with goiters"

"The old man was approaching eighty and had irrevocably lost his mind, without, however, losing his ability to sleep with his wife, shoulder loads of firewood, and be the wisest shepherd in the neighborhood."

"The wenny wife was a very ordinary old lady, well-preserved and beautiful, despite her monstrous goiter and hunchback"

"Busy with his chess, his speculations, and his books, the former forester overlooked his daughter growing and maturing beside him."

"even in this land where all women were beautiful, Ivlita was an altogether exceptional phenomenon.  And not, like all perfect things, dead.."

"Her movements were intrinsic to fleshy perfection..."

"And, to be precise, the young woman hadn't grown up, hadn't suffered the ponderousness of earthly existence and the tedium of growth.."

"the dew was bitter and brackish.  The lavishness of falling starts lighting up the heavens made sleeping difficulty, and the roosters' crowing particularly throaty."  

"you couldn't leave the hamlet without running smack into a bears' wedding."

"The forest, anticipating the snow, was gripped with fever, and moans and groans burst from the thickets."

"But her animation soon drained away, replaced by a stupor, a dormancy full of visions, a daily life rich in emotional turmoil and short on events."

"Spring drags on overlong, longer than the winter and more restive.  More superfluous variety."

"And yet, no matter how simple this sensitive life and how alien Ivlita was to desires, she was short on rapture.  Her cultivated and complex mind's mind, endowed with inward contemplation at the expense of outward, was conscious of being its own enemy."

"Beliefs and rituals--she fled them to keep the emptiness from expanding even more."

"And that autumn, after languishing to her heart's content during the course of the year, Ivlita was thinking of snow as though it were death"

"Who would climb up under the clouds for the love of crime?"

"vainly attempted to drown out the chiropters"

"And if the snow had gone on for years, she would have felt neither more joyful nor more melancholy."

"And that autumn, after languishing to her heart's content during the course of the year, Ivlita was thinking of snow as though it were death."

"Ivlita tried to avoid complications, replying neither 'yes' nor 'no."

"Ivlita arranged the dollars, named them, played with them;  in short did nothing but beat one another in spite, kill one another, and Ivlita saw this way, too, had been choked off.  One day, she hurled them into the stove"

"The master of the house was lying there--deceased, perhaps, but formidable."

"Previously, his colloquies on the advantages of brigandage had largely been exercises in eloquence"

"And those fingers, what rings did they not demand, what necklaces did her neck not await, what tiara her precious head?"

"As though his victims had infected him with the malady of nonexistence."

"In the end, it wasn't worth robbing churches, either--a lot of complications and trouble with the locals.  And when you got right down to it, could your really walk around the forest in vestments carrying gonfalons?"

"and since you wouldn't think of drinking coffee at home, the whole populace hung out at the coffeehouse, including children, peacocks, parrots, and cats."

"The sea, poured out before him, didn't speak to him and only aggravated his boredom."

"She'd never before suspected how unbelievably difficult dying was.  Much more complicated than living."

Well, have you brought us good fortunate with your unlawful sleeping around?  Have you seduced Laurence to quench your abominable lust?  Did you conquer him with your fucking beauty?"

"But, really, he was right, she thought to herself.  Those unpardonable blasphemies against rapture she was guilty of."

"From the the heights, the lark that never lands on the treats sprinkled a trill of eternal return."

"It's not seemly for a murderer to remain with the victim"

"The hard life is a ficticious life.  Natural life is easy and cloudless."

"framed by crags, fettered in ice"

"but does a mirror reflecting something animate cease to be itself inanimate?"

"I wanted to assault you, but, you see, it's hard without my leg."

"Bull fuck your mother!" roared Laurence, "I would have killed you, but I'm sick of getting dirty."  

"We strive to take everything from the rich so there won't be any rich people and everyone will be equally poor."

"Our only concern is the world, where we want to establish equality and expedient coercion.  You seek freedom, but necessity propels you, the party strives for what is necessary and is therefore free."

"...reared their heads up all day, picking their teeth, although they never ate anything."

"The time comes when you can't even trade your wife at a loss--you can move on to your own children.  That's the reason here raise children."

"monotonous to the point of nausea"

"But Laurence could no longer sleep in the company of Basilisk, who took the liberty of killing his friends in their beds."

"his speech dripped, accentuating his silence"

"Day seeped into the room at a revoltingly slow pace."

"The slaughtered beasts showed black from afar, a magnificent hill"

"On the steep slopes, the corpse slid down more quickly, knocked her off her feet, drew her behind it, pulled her down into the snow, and she would get up after lying in the dead man's embrace, covered in blood."

"Laurence, without any sales pitch, parted with his gold, overpaying for everything--regardless of the conscientious tavern keeper's intervention--by a factor of three."

"Neither police, nor perfidy, nor bullets had dissuaded him."

"But the thought of future massacres, the blood that would flow, enraptured them all, cheered them, made some cling to others, draw deep breaths, find life magnificent, and themselves likewise"

"In its first advent, nature was comprehensible, but meaningless."

"..everything was insignificant, or significant, to the extent that the noise of a waterfall, an owl's cry, or the groan of a tree entering its senescence is weighty."

...Ivlita found comfort thinking that nature is absolute equilibrium."

"With his eyes he squared accounts for all his liberties, and his witticisms were so flat, while his eyes were so horrifying, that by way of exception, everyone pretended to believe him"

"And even though the highlanders' dress was picturesque, no one lifted their heads, let alone turned to look at the new arrivals."

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