Among all the tales there is one, / which you haven’t heard / and which the night reclaimed long ago. / Have you enough patience to listen to it?
The Hourglass Sanatorium (Polish: Sanatorium pod klepsydrą) is a 1973 Polish film directed by Wojciech Jerzy Has, starring Jan Nowicki, Tadeusz Kondrat, Mieczysław Voit, Halina Kowalska and Gustaw Holoubek. The story follows a young Jewish man who visits his father in a mystical sanatorium where time does not behave normally. The film is an adaptation of Bruno Schulz‘s story collection Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass. It won the Jury Prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. (Release)
timespace coordinates: The time period of the film is a mixture of elements from the turn-of-the-century Galicia where Schulz grew up, and Has‘ own pre-World War II memories of the same region
Joseph (Jan Nowicki) travels through a dream-like world, taking a dilapidated train to visit his dying father, Jacob, in a sanatorium. When he arrives at the hospital, he finds the entire facility is going to ruin and no one seems to be in charge or even caring for the patients. Time appears to behave in unpredictable ways, reanimating the past in an elaborate artificial caprice.
Though Joseph is always shown as an adult, his behavior and the people around often depict him as a child. He befriends Rudolf, a young boy who owns a postage stamp album. The names of the stamps trigger a wealth of association and adventure in Joseph. Among the many occurrences in this visually potent phantasmagoria include Joseph re-entering childhood episodes with his wildly eccentric father (who lives with birds in an attic), being arrested by a mysterious unit of soldiers for having a dream that was severely criticized in high places, reflecting on a girl he fantasized about in his boyhood and commandeering a group of historic wax mannequins. Throughout his strange journey, an ominous blind train conductor reappears like a death figure.
Has also adds a series of reflections on the Holocaust that were not present in the original texts, reading Schulz’s prose through the prism of the author’s death during World War II and the demise of the world he described. (wiki)
“There are things than cannot ever occur with any precision. They are too big and too magnificent to be contained in mere facts. They are merely trying to occur, they are checking whether the ground of reality can carry them. And they quickly withdraw, fearing to loose their integrity in the frailty of realization. ” (Bruno Schulz)
(…) What do we think of when we hear the word “meaning ether?” Probably not nearly enough — myself included! — for it is difficult to grasp what the term “meaning” signifies here. With respect to the chemical ether we had to refer to the numerical laws and to the Harmony of the Spheres. To the meaning ether, however, belongs the general and great harmony of the universe (as Kepler has expressed it). It can help us yet further if we consider a word which was used by the profound translator of many works of Chinese literature, Richard Wilhelm. He has chosen to translate the word “tao,” as used in the “Tao te Ching,” (“Tao” is translated into English as “way.”) with the German word “Sinn” (sense, or meaning). He points out that it had something of the same meaning as did the Greek word “logos” at the turning point of time, the beginning of the Christian era. If you consult a Greek dictionary, you will find a long list of meanings for the term “logos” — word, speech, computation, relationship, reason, etc. The mathematicians of 400 B.C. used the word “logos” when they stated a ratio, as 3:4. And when in the time of Plato it was established that there was no “logos,” or integral proportionality, between the diagonal and the side of a square, that was called an “a-logon,” or something without logos. Translated into Latin, logos became “ratio,” and something without “ratio” (or proportion) was something “irrational.” The discovery of the irrational in the time of Plato consisted in the proof that “irrationality” exists in the world of measure. That gives a faint indication of the paradox inherent in the deepest “sense of the word ‘sense’.”
But now you must understand that the negative mirror image of a mastery of the world of meaning, of the logos, must appear in our time, and where this negative image appears it is today called “information.” The “Science of Information” can only measure the quantitative aspect of information, and not that which is its true meaning.
by Georg Unger, 1978 (online)
timespace coordinates: England, 1871 – 1910The Professor and the Madman is a 2019 Irish biographical drama film, directed by Farhad Safinia (under the pseudonym PB Shemran), from a screenplay by Safinia, and Todd Komarnicki, based on the 1998 book The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester. It stars Mel Gibson, Sean Penn, Natalie Dormer, Eddie Marsan, Jennifer Ehle, Jeremy Irvine, David O’Hara, Ioan Gruffudd, Stephen Dillane, and Steve Coogan. The film is about the famous professor, Sir James Murray, who in 1857 began compiling the Oxford English Dictionary and led the overseeing committee and W. C. Minor, a doctor who submitted over 10,000 entries while he was undergoing treatment at Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. (wiki)
Staying Connected: How to Continue Your Relationships with Those Who Have Died is a collection of selected talks and meditations (1905-1924) by Rudolf Steiner, edited by Christopher Bamford.
“We are the books the dead read. Our thoughts and feelings are the works of art that brighten and instruct their lives.”
goodreads / rudolfsteineraudio
timespace coordinates: Flannan Isles Lighthouse, 1900The Vanishing, previously titled Keepers, is a 2019 Scottish psychological thriller film directed by Kristoffer Nyholm and written by Celyn Jones and Joe Bone and set in the Flannan Isles which have been notorious for the mystery disappearance of three lighthouse keepers in 1900. The film stars Gerard Butler and Peter Mullan.