Jungle Syndrome of Mahler, Proust, Marx

I call “Jungle Syndrome” the feeling you have in front of the big-size-map of some masterpieces (or so-called), or artworks. I chose three examples : Mahler, Proust, and Marx. You can add anything you want : French Revolution, American Civil War, Napoleon, Italian Renaissance, ou alors tout Picasso.

Something, in these, is “too much”. Trop complexe, too rich, too interesting, too big. You pick a leaf, then you have a tree, a forest, a universe. Gasp !

I tried many times to explore Mahler‘s music. The last time I’ve been very persistent, reading about him and his life, watching concerts, listening to different versions of the symphonies. And hooo : it’s too big for me, too complex. 9 long symphonies…

Proust is the same. Thousands of RICH pages. Each page contains style ideas, it’s gorgeous, interesting, full of ideas and subtilities. And it’s lonnnng.

It becomes, each time, a strange weave between boredom and fascination (oui, c’est possible !), as if you could really guess that there are treasures and marvels to discover if you insisted. Efforts necessary, this time ? Yes.

Each time, I let it go. I did !

I did not try Marx, and just a little Picasso. These can keep you busy for YEARS !

You can give up. You will. But you can keep exploring, as well. Just to see what happens. Persistence.

This month I was trying to explain Proust to a friend. So I chose a random page and I began to read. The style was gorgeous, and the idea expressed in this single page let us floored in awe. It sparkled in the conversation. It triggered a urging desire to go on with Proust.

A few months ago I listened to Mahler a lot. This was exhausting for my ears, even if they are trained to listen to classical music. But I insisted, because I was amazed by the beauty of some moments. I was like in front of a complex architecture, trying to find a door.

I found one, then another one, then a movement, then… I kept finding gold nuggets.

Tools : In somes cases, even if it seems complicated, “too much” something, you feel it’s worth it, insist, be persistent. There’s gold, tons of gold : you maybe have to keep digging and find your own doors, find your gold.

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Overwhelmed While Trying No To…

Directing The Rite of String (and performing it, je suppose) is a mess.

ONE : it’s complicated.

TWO : it’s a terrible fantastic TRANCE, at times.

There’s a danger here, for the directors. They must direct ! Some of them finish it like devastated with pleasure. Some others try to control themselves : the audience should be extatic, not the Chef d’Orchestre ! Enfin !

The Fifth Movement of the Symphony N°2 “Resurrection” (I’ve read that it was “the most monumental musical work written up to that point“), by Gustav Mahler, is ending by a glorious use of choir.

I took this example because I watched a DVD of this Symphony, directed by Pierre Boulez, and at the end of the end (say, the 4 last minutes), the choir is building something really too much, and you feel the shivering chill of pleasure all along your delighted skin (hell, I’m french, and I do not know really how to say it).

At this moment, I saw this lady crying (cf picture) in the choir – why, maybe because of the music, but who knows ? – and just after the end, while the audience was applausing like crazy, I saw Boulez (did I imagine it ?) completely overwhelmed by emotion.

Dial : Is holding the flood possible/useful ? What about painters ? What about the best DJs ? Do they dance like fools, or do they focus on the perfection they want to bring to the dancers around him ?

Tool : If you create, try to check your stuff in the next morning. It could hurt. Good to you. Creating pleasure, it’s some work, Chief !

Let’s ask to a French poet :

It is impossible for a poet not to contain within himself a critic. Therefore the reader will not be surprised that I consider the poet as the best of all critics.

Charles Baudelaire

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