Monday, May 17, 2010

There's something on your back

Sibulla, ti theleis?
That's from The Wasteland, Eliot himself quoting the Satyricon. "For I saw with my own eyes the Sibyl of Cumae hanging in a jar, and when the boys said to her, 'Sibyl, what do you want?' [Sibulla, ti theleis?] she replied, 'I wish to die.'"

Ok, so it ends up being depressing and morbid. The Sibyl asked Apollo for eternal life but forgot to ask for eternal youth, so she withered and wasted until she was so tiny the people could hang her in a jar, like a moth in a cocoon; later, she was just a voice echoing from that jar. A fate, as the cliche goes, worse than death.

I'm not interested in her response, though. I'm interested in the fact that the boys said SIBYL, what do YOU want? The Sibyl is never just a person, never just a revered seer/immortal. She is the one who ought to be questioned; that is her role. I haven't read The Satyricon - is it so readily apparent in it that the village boys have CORRUPTED the very foundation of the Sibyl's role in myths? The Sibyl, acting upon her own desires (answering what SHE wants), can't pronounce those confused messages from the gods that more often lead to heroes' ruin than not.
Pyrrhus, you the Romans will defeat.
There is no INPUT value for her to begin the process of trickery (because the boys haven't alluded to their own desires). Think about this in terms of kulturovedenie. A person can never escape her home culture - nor the heroes the path that brought them to the Sibyl's cave - but the questions they ask there, no matter how informed by that baggage, can escape the stigma of the INPUT; if the questions lack self-interest and personal, imperial, colonial agendae, they lack an INPUT -

I argue not, here, for a sense of some kind of questioning that would be objective and true, nor even do I need to maintain the dichotomy of objective-subjective. I want only to say that any interpersonal contact will lead to catastrophic ruin the flavor of a Greek tragedy so much as it is based upon those selfish inputs.

There's somewhere hidden here the foundation of my critique to Ayn Rand's selfish Objectivism. I've just not puzzled it out yet.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see...

No comments: