“Men give meaning to their lives by realizing. . . creative values, by achieving tasks,” wrote Viktor Frankl. The will-to-meaning, a push to articulate the vague, foggy but lighted material of sustenance, was more basic and essential to Frankl than the will-to-pleasure and the will-to-power, which was decried as a dead end; an empty morbid self-inflicted wound that could not be bandaged and healed; a slow bleeding to death. “The will to meaning is the most human phenomenon of all, since an animal certainly never worries about the meaning of its existence.” “Frustration of the will-to-meaning” or “existential frustration” is a “spiritual” sickness, asserted Frankl. In this context, what is considered “‘spiritual’ may hover over the idea of religiosity, but does define itself through a religious connotation in the conventional sense. It refers to the specifically human dimension, rubbing on the essential of individual identity expressing itself as namely, the human need for meaning.
Lotte Lenya:Kurt ( Weill )wanted to forget everything German – that’s how hurt he was. He never spoke German again – even with me. Only English.
I was so proud of my English until I came to New York. One day I went into Saks Fifth Avenue to buy a sweater and I said, “Will you please rape it for me?” And the salesman said, “Sorry, madam; it’s not my type.”
I remember one time dreaming in English. In my dream, I spoke English. Kurt said that meant I found my new home, at last. All the actors who came here, it was difficult. Peter Lorre. Marlene Dietrich. Everybody. They all had to start from scratch….
…We lost friends, too, because of the immigration. Everybody went in different directions. Wherever you found work, you went there. If it weren’t for The Eternal Road, who knows where Kurt and I would have been, or if we would have been there, together.
Kurt didn’t want anything to do with the refugees – he called them “the crybabies”. They would sit around and say, “Oh, in Berlin, we were so famous, oh, oh, oh”, so he stayed away from them. Kurt wanted to be an American – he was so grateful to this country taking him in and giving him another chance. One of our best friends was George Gershwin and we went to see Porgy and Bess and I could see Kurt’s face and how sad he was because that’s what he wanted – he wanted to write operas, too. He was called the White Hope of Germany, and he had to leave.
I get so angry when the Germans say, “Of course, our Weill was much better. He sold out to Broadway.” What the hell does that mean? A lot of people think Kurt became softer in this country. I don’t think so. Street Scene could have been written by Brecht. It’s about those poor people in that tenement house. If Kurt’s American music sounds different, it’s because the problems in America were different from the problems in Germany. And he worked with different collaborators. In Germany, he had Georg Kaiser and Brecht. Here, he had Ira Gershwin and Ogden Nash and Langston Hughes – all of them, very different men. And what’s so wonderful is Kurt could adapt to all of them. But no one ever thinks of that – they want everything to sound like The Threepenny Opera, or it’s no good. Kurt didn’t change – he grew. But you still read in the German papers that he got cheap, he sold out – they even said it about Lost in the Stars. My God, it’s about the poor blacks in Johannesburg. “No. No good.” It still makes me angry.
People said Kurt was arrogant, which was
stupid. He was not arrogant at all – he was shy. Kurt was terribly, terribly shy, and he had been so hurt when he had to leave Germany, so he built this wall around him, which kept people away from him. That’s why they say he was arrogant. But Kurt was never shy about his music. When he sat at the piano, he was like a rock. The passion that came out of that little body – it always thrilled me….
The point that Frankl is making is deceptively simple and paradoxical: there is no guaranteed foundation of meaningfulness in modern society, which is why the self is forced to create the meaning of existence, including its own, or become sick unto death, that is, spiritually hollow to the extent of losing value to itself and others.
…Really – nobody knew Kurt Weill. I wonder, sometimes, whether I knew him. We were married for twenty-four years and we lived two years without being married, so twenty-six years together, and when he died I looked at him and I didn’t know him. Does anyone really know another person? I doubt it. Read More:http://carlarossi.blogspot.com/2007/06/lenya-one-woman-show-based-on-life-of.html a
This is our last goodbye
I hate to feel the love between us die.
But it’s over
Just hear this and then I’ll go:
You gave me more to live for,
More than you’ll ever know.
Well, this is our last embrace,
Must I dream and always see your face?
Why can’t we overcome this wall?
Baby, maybe it’s just because I didn’t know you at all….( Jeff Buckley, Last Goodbye )
Jean Genet:I give the name violence to a noble boldness that hankers for danger, and I have seen it in many of the pimps and thieves I have worked with, men whose authority and beatific treachery bent me to their will. Rene, Stilitano, Guy … I could describe them, but I won’t. I am too much of a literary outlaw for that. Instead, let me take you back to the Barrios in 1932, where I used to jerk myself off into a sperm-spotted handkerchief, while thinking of my mother.
Oui. I am my own Dieu, I fashion my vanity, delighting in the vicarious transgression that has fashionable artists like those fools Cocteau and Picasso, who have never dared to have oral sex with a leprotic geriatric vagabond….
…Is any of this true? Who cares? It is if I say it is, for I define my existential self. Je suis what I say je suis, I beat up queers and stole from churches; burglary became a religious rite, elevating me to poet of the underworld even as I willingly debased myself in pissoirs…
…Stilitano and I travelled through Czechoslovakia, Poland, Italy and Germany, becoming spies and finding a purity of evil idealism in the SS. I longed to play with the cellulose grapes that hung from his member while he pushed me away like the bitch I was. I wanted him to beat me. I became his noble valet, reduced to even greater humiliations, and even now I am reduced to verbal automatism in thrall to his deity….
…Can you feel the degradation? Allow your hands to wander inside your uptight bourgeois pants and feel the excitement of my squalor. But don’t stop there! I can give you so much more if only you will open your flies to me. Lose your suburban values and embrace the negative hell of the poet of the woebegone…. Jean Genet, 1949. Read More:http://thecargoculte.com/archives/1712