design practice and theory
|What relates Poetry to Design? Similarly one wonders about
between philosophy and design. This page suggests some answers to these
A good starter is this citation from one of the latest books by Umberto Eco, "Kant e l'Ornitorinco" (Kant and the platypus), Bompiani, 1997, p.42 .
" The language of poets seems to place itself in a free zone...They seem to be those that not only celebrate neccessity, but often they allow themselves (and us) to deny the resistance (n) - because for them turtles can fly, and even can escape from death."
n.of undeniable facts, (my note)
If this seems to troublesome to you you might proceed directly to the page on 'rythm in design'
|Paul Celan was a german poet born in 1920 in Rumania
His life was signed by his imprisonment with his mother in a german concentration camp from which he alone survived. His hundreds of poems became, though hermetic, famous and the subject of analysis by, for example, Peter Scondy, Hans Georg Gadamer, Winfried Menninghaus, Petra Leutner and Paul Derrida. The extraordinary richness of his works sheds a new light on the role and sense of poetry. He died suicide in 1970 in Paris.
This is a sample from the volume ATEMWENDE ( change of breath) from 1967 with a possible explanation that does serve me to penetrate, be it in a lateral way, in our topic: the sense of design.
am blanken Wundenspiegel vorbei:
da werden die vierzig
entrindeten Lebensbäume geflösst.
past the blank mirror of wounds:
there the forty
skinned trees of life are floated.
Only she the counter-
|These words need explanation:
Celan shows us a place in the mountains, a place where his
and Buechner used to dwell, there is a forest of giant trees its
peace is disturbed, interrupted, killed forever. Yes activity is going
on: the holy trees (there are only forty of them) are cut, skinned and
floated into the river where they swim, passing through the swirls and
noise of rapids, along a quite lake that mirrors the sky, towards
their destiny of human consumption, construction or pulp. The modern
is taking its toll but someone is contesting: a woman (is it green
past the blank mirror of wounds : history is reflection of past crimes
here the forty : a multitude
skinned trees of life are floated : revealing words are spoken
Only she the counter swimmer : only poetry is
to announce their truth
through melancholic rapids:
Past crimes that are remembered here are a constant theme in Celan's poems, referring to the holocaust, his mother died in a concentration camp.
Poets are "Hurt by reality and searching for reality" states Celan in a speech from 1958. (4) The Torah, of which the Cabbala is an exegetic instrument, is an "opaque mirror of knowledge... yet it is shining in the pureness of written doctrine..., writes the eminent scholar of the Cabbala, Gershom Scholem, ... knowledge cannot be retrieved from it." This will explain the 'blank' mirror in Celan's poem.; (5)
|The sin fall, detail, painted by Michelangelo in 1508-1512 on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museum in Rome.|
the term "devastated language" in relation to baroque theater
in Abhandlungen, Gesammelte Schriften,I-1, p.382,
(2) Petra Leutner, Wegedurch die Zeichenzone. Stéphane Mallarmé und Paul Celan Metzler, Stuttgart, 1994, p.186 (back)
(3) Walter Benjamin, op.cit. I-1,p.407 (back)
(4) Paul Celan, Gesammelte Werke, III, p.186, Suhrkamp, 1983 (back)
(5) Gershom Scholem. Der Name Gottes und die Sprachtheorie der Kabbala, Suhrkamp, 1970 (Il Nome di Dio e la teoria cabbalistica del linguaggio, Adephi, 1998 p.94)