dinsdag 9 maart 2010

De kat met de ravenzwarte haren

Zondag bezocht ik concertzaal Vooruit voor de halve finale van Humo's Rockrally 2010, waar tien groepen gedurende vijf uur drei zintuigen geselden. Voor ik het wist was ik weer thuis, waar kip in stukken werd gesneden terwijl mijn muze muziek van Chopin speelde op een oude Steinway, een gunst die ze mij altijd verleent nadat ik in gitaargeweld heb gebaden. Le vin de Pomerol, (pas de Merlot) spoelde het maasje weg dat ik verplicht was te consumeren.

Om één en ander te compenseren zal ik hier een lang stuk uit een boek citeren. Heden gaat het om een bescheiden werkje van Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray:

'Why?'
'Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of someone else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realise one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to oneself. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry, and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of our morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion - these are the two things that govern us. And yet -'


[...]


'I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream - I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget al the maladies of medievalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal - to something finer, richer, than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denial that mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind, and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains than but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. the only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful...

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