For Eastern Europe is, despite all its misery and hopelessness, a radient, inspiring, enspiriting landscape, together with Chernobil if you like – one whose magic is impossible to escape. Repellent as it is in its violent, raw and also absurd internal relations and its immorality, these very same qualities captivate us and make it impossible to leave. This is an ambivalent state, and resolution seems forthcoming only through fantasy, a world of hovering visions.
The most primal principle of life is theatrical: the jellyfish in the fairylike-fatal underworld of the sea, the coconut periwigs in the Gothic fan-towers of palms, the fetid head of an embryo at the end of the umbilical cord, jasmine, horseradish, sicknesses: these are all theatrical, colorful, simulating and subterfuges. Not lies, just masks, mimics. That is what history is too; that is the darkest instinct of life. That and art. The darkest and also the loneliest.
I produced a list of the six most popular basic themes to be found in lyrical poetry, ranking them, as I went along, in order of frequency. These were the candidates: 1. You are beautiful and I love you; 2. You don’t love me; 3. I don’t love you; 4. I am immortal; 5. Carpe diem; 6. The changes of the seasons.