Saturday, 25 February 2017

The Apollonian

It started young, strangely enough when a teenager; though slow, very slow; then for years, in his twenties, hardly anything at all, when, suddenly, picking up pace, thirty through to the forties, it grew quickly, audaciously, overwhelmingly; a cataract of virtuosity, carrying him away…

Stopping abruptly in 1889. Worn out; and anyway, no more needed to be done, his task complete, he sits there Buddha-like, comfortable and fat, breathing in the adulation of his followers. His followers? Protected by the luxurious vegetation of his prose he hardly hears them, chirping here and there, birds amongst the bushes.

Today a permanent guard. Solid rows of red brick keeping out prying eyes, the ugly rotten stuff, and all those who have haunted him all these years: the gossip, the attacks, the silly plaudits, those ghostly presences he embraces each time he opens a newspaper; they… They overwhelm him. The big ideas he once so joyously pulled to pieces again intact; once more alive, spreading, conquering, devouring; he himself become…

The Dionysian, you say?

Well, at least the gas station, the railway line, the terrace houses; with their alleyways and backyards, where for years the kids have had their fun; before the schoolteacher puts a stop to all of that… You’re boys no longer. You have grown up. Young men, serving Good King Reason now.

No. It is the Apollonian.

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