I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the damnable atrocity. I again plunged into excess, and soon drowned in wine all memory of the deed. In the meantime the cat slowly recovered. The socket of the lost eye presented, it is true, a frightful appearance, but he no longer appeared to suffer any pain. He went about the house as usual, but, as might be expected, fled in extreme terror at my approach. I had so much of my old heart left as to be at first grieved by this evident dislike on the part of a creature which had once so loved me. But this feeling soon gave place to irritation. And then came, as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of Perverseness.
De cet esprit la philosophie ne tient aucun compte. Of this spirit philosophy takes no account. Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart—one of the indivisible primary faculties or sentiments which give direction to the character of Man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such?
This spirit of perverseness, I say, came to my final overthrow. One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree; hung it with the tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my heart; hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offense; hung it because I knew that in so doing I was committing a sin—a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it, if such a thing were possible, even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God.
L'Histoire des larmes
Toute la maison flambait. On the night of the day on which this cruel deed was done, I was aroused from sleep by the cry of fire. The curtains of my bed were in flames. The whole house was blazing. It was with great difficulty that my wife, a servant, and myself, made our escape from the conflagration.
The destruction was complete. My entire worldly wealth was swallowed up, and I resigned myself thenceforward to despair. I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect between the disaster and the atrocity. But I am detailing a chain of facts, and wish not to leave even a possible link imperfect. On the day succeeding the fire, I visited the ruins. The walls with one exception had fallen in. This exception was found in a compartment wall, not very thick, which stood about the middle of the house, and against which had rested the head of my bed.
The plastering had here in great measure resisted the action of the fire, a fact which I attributed to its having been recently spread. About this wall a dense crowd were collected, and many persons seemed to be examining a particular portion of it with very minute and eager attention. I approached and saw, as if graven in bas relief upon the white surface the figure of a gigantic cat. The impression was given with an accuracy truly marvelous.
When I first beheld this apparition—for I could scarcely regard it as less—my wonder and my terror were extreme. But at length reflection came to my aid. The cat, I remembered, had been hung in a garden adjacent to the house. Upon the alarm of fire this garden had been immediately filled by the crowd, by some one of whom the animal must have been cut from the tree and thrown through an open window into my chamber.
This had probably been done with the view of arousing me from sleep. The falling of other walls had compressed the victim of my cruelty into the substance of the freshly spread plaster; the lime of which, with the flames and the ammonia from the carcass, had then accomplished the portraiture as I saw it. Although I thus readily accounted to my reason, if not altogether to my conscience, for the startling fact just detailed, it did not the less fail to make a deep impression upon my fancy.
For months I could not rid myself of the phantasm of the cat,and during this period there came back into my spirit a half-sentiment that seemed, but was not, remorse. I went so far as to regret the loss of the animal, and to look about me among the vile haunts which I now habitually frequented for another pet of the same species, and of somewhat similar appearance, with which to supply its place. One night, as I sat half-stupefied in a den of more than infamy, my attention was suddenly drawn to some black object, reposing upon the head of one of the immense hogsheads of gin or of rum, which constituted the chief furniture of the apartment.
I had been looking steadily at the top of this hogshead for some minutes, and what now caused me surprise was the fact that I had not sooner perceived the object thereupon. I approached it, and touched it with my hand. It was a black cat—a very large one—fully as large as Pluto, and closely resembling him in every respect but one. Pluto had not a white hair upon any portion of his body; but this cat had a large, although indefinite splotch of white,covering nearly the whole region of the breast.
Upon my touching him he immediately arose, purred loudly, rubbed against my hand, and appeared delighted with my notice. This, then, was the very creature of which I was in search. I at once offered to purchase it of the landlord; but this person made no claim to it—knew nothing of it—had never seen it before.
I continued my caresses, and when I prepared to go home the animal evinced a disposition to accompany me.
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I permitted it to do so, occasionally stooping and patting it as I proceeded. The portrait is not so much a naturalistic, lifelike or psychological portrait compare for example with the anonymous, more banal portrait of De Rore in Vienna, stripped of all extravagance , but rather an artistic, emblematic portrait that expresses the inner, inspired trance of the composer and his art. To revive a madrigal is in this sense comparable with magical divination that tries to capture rhetorically the rapidly alternating and opposite forces and emotions in an inner polarity of intensities.
Suddenly the written letter of the poet becomes living material and full of affective resonance that transforms the madrigal in something inhuman, capable to give the most abject feelings astral dimensions. Queste non son piu lagrime - Non son non son - Philippe Verdelot live. Singing on different spots, the singers of graindelavoix guide the audience through the church.
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Belgian photographer Koen Broos designed a special lighting: a unique opportunity to experience this space like never before and to follow the singers from very up-close. At the same time this program reveals how much polyphony is a spatial art, creating a specific time-space relation, a chronotope as Mikhael Bahktin called it, loading a text with unseen visual and sensitive images With the singers of graindelavoix, the performance of polyphony becomes a bodily, affective experience that you will not soon forget.
Every new adaptation will start from an underground spot in the city, preferably a crypt and from the oldest local repertoire. A crypt is a place that tries to seal, to mark a body of a saint, that is in reality always on the move: a wandering body. The crypt is like a resonance box: even when the body is absent, the grave empty, the crypt functions as a vibratory center.
Some medieval legends around Saint Servatius tell how the body of the saint didn't stop escaping from the crypt to appear somewhere else, performing miracles. How the inhabitants of Maastricht again and again tried to tame down the relics of Servatius and to seal them in their crypt. In vain, but knowingly For medieval man the crypt was a mysterious place that appropriated the body of a saint without being there.
A body that didn't stop wandering and spreading its miraculous radiance. Graindelavoix sees a parallel between a crypt and a loudspeaker or resonance box: a hollow chamber that exudes maximum resonances.
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Four singers and two improvisors work a week long to create a sound installation and try to activate the original function of the crypt. The oldest local repertoires are the starting point for a new collective composition. The obscure and previous unknown Jean Hanelle, singer at Cambrai cathedral, probably teacher of Guillaume Dufay and chapelmaster of the French court of Lusignan in Nicosia, Cyprus, is according to musicologist Karl Kuegle the author of one of the biggest collections of ars subtilior repertoire, the Turin Manuscript J.
Graindelavoix selected the cycle of Magnificat-antiphons, the so called O-antiphons and perform them in the context of other chant traditions on Cyprus, Maronite and Greek-Byzantine.
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According to Kuegle the manuscript was fabricated in the Veneto and presented in an imaginary way the real liturgy of Jerusalem, with Cyprus emanating its radiance, in the same way as the pseudo-Byzantine icon venerated at the same time in Cambrai, was seen as originally painted by Saint Luke. The late provenance of the manuscript counters also the idea of ars subtilior as a outdated style in the middle of the 15th century and challenges the idea of evolutions of style.
Hanelles motets are of an incredible beauty and melodical movement, stressed by the interpretation that gives back to the music the necessary ' musica colorata '. This program is also an attempt to redefine the ' hyphos ' or style of the late gothic flamboyant motets with the help of a continuous tradition of Byzantine ' hyphos '.