Evolution of Drama

Here in this essay, I would like to turn to the evolution of theater from Greek to postmodernism.

Greek drama revolved around kings and Queens and nobility. The roots of tragedy have their pinnacles in Greece. It is from there we have come to understand Aristotelian concept of catharsis, which means an emotional cleansing while watching tragedy. Famous is Oedipus Rex and in it we find Rex marrying his mother and murdering his father. For the Greeks, it meant a spectacle for pure entertainment. It is pertinent to ask whether Greek plays have probed the deeper questions of humanity. They do and they have done. Rich has been the culture bequeathing the props making drama an entertainment. The Greek play had belief in Gods and Goddesses and the supernatural. It was based on various festivals. The corybantic dancers danced in frenzy showing of their Epicurean credentials. The acts showed a gestation of Jungian archetypes. Great is the legacy and culture of Greece.

Next I would like to proceed to Elizabethan stage. Shakespeare was its greatest exponent and he was the master of both tragedy and comedy. Elizabethan plays also revolved around nobility, aristocracy and kings and queens. They carried on courtly intrigues and courtly love. Was it the symbolism of monarch going decadent? Let’s recall the play Julius Caesar. The murder of Julius Caesar showed the symbolism of a monarchic war. Brutus is a specimen of a valiant anti-hero. The murder is justified on grounds of insolvency of the regime of Caesar. Mark Antony is the hero of the play and he silences all of his detractors by his remarkable, eloquent speech. The Tempest shows the development of an artist—the kunstlerroman. The tempest also highlights the dawn of desire for colonialism.

Here I would like to trace the development of theater to modern and postmodernism. There are various trends like existentialism and Marxism. I would like to take an example from Death of Salesman by Arthur Miller. The death of Salesman is a strident criticism on the pitfalls of growing capitalism Willy is a classic example of itinerant salesman caught up with the vision of the great American Dream. Willy is an archetype of the fool, a delusional character. His wife Linda is more practical and efficient and she is an example of a typical American Middle Class Woman. She is an archetype of a mother Goddess. The dream of Bill to capitalize on the Great American dreams comes to rotten eggs and he commits suicide in the end. From and Marxian point of view, life of man in the theater of the absurd is one of irony, pessimism and angst. The working classes have no place in society. They are belittled and down-graded. Psychoanalytically speaking Bill’s ego is a wounded one with the horrors and vanity of pursuing an idol dream. We can further use Lacan’s Mirror Stage and when using it we look at a character is demented and living in a fictional world.

Mystic Realism A New Genre of Poetry

I want to humbly introduce a new genre of poetry called Mystic Realism. What is mystic realism in a nutshell? In mystic realism, images are romanticized as tropes and then adorned with transcendental meaning. There are two elements, the signifier and the signified. The signifier is the romantic image conveyed through tropes and the signified is the spiritual idea.

I would like to use some examples to explicate it.

The Brook bubbled in spiritual music. Here the Brook is being conveyed through the image of music and the idea signified is spiritual.
Lovers conveyed their romance through holding each other as psalms. Here romance is the image and psalms the idea.

The storm wept in grief. Here the imagery is wept and grief the idea.
Flock the sky as music; listen to their feathers in odes of joy.
Eternity flies as Saints in white: unveiling time on mystic flight. Saints here are white storks. The metaphysical element inherent in this verse is eternity.
Brook of beauty running through: gurgling salvation all the way through. Salvation is an idea inherent in religions. Gurgling is the physical tangible visual element.

Swaying pebbles glistening Karmic odes, life and death meanders pilgrimage blues. Pebbles are something which is tangible and life and birth is an idea of reincarnation in Hindu philosophy.

The waves frolicked in joy. Frolicked is the visual imagery and joy is the idea.
A lover hides in beauty’s deep feathers. Passion is the riddle of the body. Adultery I have sung you as a lyrical poem. A dog howling is a deathly hell. Poems crescendo in the sky. Psyche you are an ornament, a poet’s beauty; there you remain perched as poem on a flower so sweet. Psyche you marvel—you are the heart of desire. The lovers are passionate flowers. I soaked her fonts and she whimpered in ecstasy. Luck you are Cinderella’s shoes for me. The ornament of poetry is the heart of desire. Feelings are a rainbow of imagination. We trembled like rivers in frenzy. Passion, you are the echoes of the heart’s desire. Swim in a river of luck. I played with the fonts of imagination. A heartbeat is similar to the oceanic. She was a Medusa of selfishness. My shepherd’s crook is a pen. The lamp of a lamb that was slain on Calvary was Jesus the son of God. The sky became an angry warrior of pink light. The drama of life is unlike that of the stage.

Tradition and Change in Literature

Literature existed somewhere in the beginning of civilization. The oldest known texts are the Vedas known as hymns for God. The consisted of reciting mantras and offering fire sacrifice to appease the Gods. Most of these texts contain poetic language. One of the texts deals with sorcery and black magic and is called the Atharva Veda. The texts perpetrated the heinous caste system according to which Brahmans were considered to be superior to all other castes. The Vedas assumed that Gods have to be placated to makes humans live-able on earth.

There were also other texts from India mainly the Ramayana and the Mahabartha: the twin epics which consist of fables relating to war between the forces of good and evil, where the forces of good triumph. Then there is also the Bhagvat Geeta, a text of moral scripture. The text speaks about man’s origin and man’s purpose in life. The texts emulate man to tide over the cycle of birth and rebirth and merge oneself to the eternal Brahman (God).

Then the most important text of literature, an all encompassing one is the sacred one, the Bible. The Bible is historical, literary, poetic and scriptural and also eschatological. Historically it represents the struggle of the Jews between exodus and Diaspora. The stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph are noteworthy. The Jews are a nation which struggled a lot for existence and they needed supernatural force for appeasement and comfort. There are many books in the Bible which are poetic and literary. The Song of Songs celebrates the love between the husband and wife. The proverbs are instructional literature and form a collection of wisdom books. The Gospels are richly clad the robe of man’s relationship with God and the perfect way to be happy in Godliness and happiness. The Sermon on the Mount is a work of poetic prose. Notable is the verse: Blessed are the Meek: for they will inherit the earth. The proverbs are a text of scriptural wisdom and address the issue of how to lead a good life. Christian eschatology relates to death and final judgment and forms a part of apocalyptic literature.

Next I would like to comment on the Elizabethan school of literature of which Shakespeare is a giant. Most of Shakespearian dramas are written about courtly life, intrigues, political turmoil, and the establishment of justice on the earth. The dramas provoke the human mind and to engage the same in a state of catharsis.

The medieval period is also significant in the work of Cervantes: Don Quixote. Don Quixote was in medieval times a lampoon on courtly traditions. How far is her relevant now? In the period of postmodernism, he rated as tragic hero who made the soul of life a rich trigger of passion

Next comes the tradition of the Realist Novel. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky are its finest exponents. Man began to be portrayed with the essence of humanism. The essence of the soul was to be not perfection but being fallible. The realist tradition paid a rich homage to the physical surroundings. The characters were put in the furnace of being smelted with a soul.

Next type of fiction that emerged was the psychological novel. This type of fiction was influenced with the psychology of Freud and Jung. The minds became an array of Jungian archetypes. The novelist experimented with the Freudian Oedipus complex and the Electra complex. The vices and virtuosity were balanced on balancing pan.

The novel which emerged during the war period was the surrealist novel. A surrealist novel took shape as a rebellion from established forms of fiction writing. Surrealism is juxtaposition between fantasy and reality. Art became escapism and forged identities which rebel with human consciousness.

The contemporary novel is based on a philosophy of Magic Realism where fictional elements are real and absurdly phantasmagorical. The postmodern novel is also characteristic of extreme irony, a manifestation of consciousness as streams of consciousness, the unreliable narrator, lampooning and pastiche. There is a tendency to paint words and plentiful play with figures of speech.

Conventionalizing Tropes

Conventionalizing tropes is a systemic effort made to categorize tropes which occur in different disciplines of thought.

Tropes can be Literary, Philosophical, Political and Psychological and according to the way in which they are embedded in the sculpture of the text.
What are literary tropes? Literary tropes adorn a poetic form. Here are some examples: The Chirp that floats in air is a serene music. Our love became a blossom of flowers. My tongue is hidden in a poetic garden. Streams murmur a poetic heart. The wind howls in sorrowful misery. My thoughts are a flowing river. Green is the magic carpet enveloping nature. The waves bring forth mirth and laughter. The wind that strikes the cheek is a metaphor. Metaphors gather honey from a beehive. Nature is a lover at heart. What songs of beauty do flowers sing? Rainbow colors the chords of happiness. Angst is a withered plant. Gandhi was an ocean of peace. They clung together like flowers of ecstasy.

What are political tropes? Political tropes express a political theme. Some examples are: Palestine is a hot volcano. The dawn of peace is always in the refugee’s heart. The Indian fanatic party is assassinating democracy, freedom and liberty. UK is the Brexit that failed. We need to clean the Augean stables of corrupt politicians. Jihad is a demon of democracy. The IS is a sword of Damocles. Marx is an ideology that died. The pen is the liberator of democracy. Democracy what an ideal? How much blood has been shed in your name? Contemporary capitalism is rich bacon of a few elites and poor stale bread of the masses.

What are psychological tropes? Psychological tropes are those tropes which express some psychological content. Here are some examples: Narcissism is a poison of the body. Dreams are content of language signified. Hamlet’s killing of his stepfather was based on the oedipal complex. The mirror stage is a booklet to decipher narratives in texts, films and music. Deify the ID, Liberate the Ego and subvert the Super Ego.

What are Philosophical figures of speech? Let’s take Plato’s allegory as an example. There is a dark cave in which there are hordes of people. From the wall of the cave there emanates a shaft of light. The people grapple for the light. What Plato means here is that there is an ideal world of forms, a reality that exists in the Metaphysical world. Let’s take the Philosopher Nietzsche’s theory of art. Art is the salmagundi of the Apollonian and the Dionysian. The Apollonian elements are harmony and melody and the Dionysian elements are rhythm and beat. Art occurs at the confluence of these elements.

Looking at Foucault through Apologetics

foucault,

Foucault is the most widely read Philosopher belonging to the school of post structuralism. Notorious is his path breaking views known for his inter-disciplinary approach. Sad to say fate got hold of him lock stock and barrel and he became an innocent victim of the dreaded aids.
Here I would like to analyze the thoughts of Foucault from an apologetic point of view.

Foucault makes the assertion that the study of truth is inseparable from History. Let’s look at the statement from a Christian ontological point of view. Jesus is the most famous historical personality known in civilization for his ideologies of love, peace, tolerance and compassion. Jesus as a historical personality forms a realist paradigm of being a referential historical model. His ideology has been abundantly revealed in the gospels. However Christianity goes afar from Historical validation when we come across the divine nature of Christ. The divine nature of Christ is an inseparable mystery. The Philosophy of Christ is enmeshed in CHRISTABILIZATION, a new way of looking at Globalization. So far Globalization has a historicity of being that of economy driven countries. Globalization viewed as CHRISTABILIZATION (Christ and Able) is compassionate theology. There is a dialogic and creative intercourse between nations, a better love of the neighbor, a Greenomics (Green and Economics) for a compassionate and caring environment. The humanity of Christ merges with the divinity and that makes poignant part of History.

The next Foucault perspective calls into an issue the binary divide of madness and sanity. Foucault described madness as alienation produced by the capitalist society. Sanity (reason) is privileged over madness (unreason). Let’s view the life of Christ and his way of looking at madness. Christian approach to madness was one of compassion. It is borne out of the theology of love. When the madman at Gadarene encountered Christ: the legion in him cried out: Son of God why have you come before the appointed time? Jesus admonished the demons and they entered a herd of swine which rushed headlong and plunged into the sea. I would like to ask Foucault whether Madness is a psychiatric symptom. A Christian view holds that madness is cause by malignant demons. A medicinal cure is only partial. A cure of madness made through Christian prayer can be total in healing madness. Asylums now like regimented Prisons should become reservoirs of love and compassion.

Foucault again expounds a compassionate theology in Discipline and Punish wanting prisons to change to institutions of love and tolerance. Foucault criticizes Prisons which renege prisoners into recidivism. Prisoners can be made to do Socially Productive Work and also get their jail spans reduced.
Foucault makes a discourse on knowledge and power. In a postmodern society knowledge is the key to power. Power is both an institution and a concept. As an institution it lies with the government, the police and the big Moguls of industry. As a concept it lies with thinkers and scientists. Power has to become an organism for benefiting all citizens. With increasing surveillance made by the employers on the employees we find a democracy being infiltrated with the pandemic of suspicion.

Foucault’s view on Sexuality is rather idiosyncratic. Foucault claims that we are sexually repressed. This can be called the Foucault complex. Sex is a natural instinct of the body hence it is a valuable artifact. Sex lies beyond the oedipal complex. All come to a knowing of sexuality at puberty. I think that Foucault was confused about his own homosexuality. What does the Bible say about it? ‘They gave over to their lusts: men lying with men and women with women: God gave them over to their reprobate ways.’ Biblically speaking homosexuality is a sin. But again God is compassionate and he is there to forgive and all we need to do is to repent.

Foucault deals with the epistemic rupture that occurred in the 20th century. The major shifts in epistemology were the Darwinian Evolution, the mechanization of medicine, the Big Bang and changes in the structure of language. Does the development of knowledge change our worldviews on Christ? No, not at all! The historicity of Christ is epistemology and the divinity of Christ is biblical.
Foucault in dealing with language develops a fourfold explication of a statement. The statement is Philosophical (Socrates said Know thy self), cultural (Palestine is a hot volcano), and linguistic (all language is made up of signs).

August 3rd 2019

Today was a hectic day and I traveled to a place which is 200 Kilometers away to bring my autistic son from a heal autistic school. The good thing that happened to him was he had learnt to cycle effortlessly. He was having problems coordinating his left and right hemisphere.

Vembanad

We were traveling through the Vembanad Kayal (backwaters) the most beautiful place in Kerala. The Kayal is rich in the proliferation of birds. It is said that the Siberian Crane visits here during winter and then flies all the way to Siberia. The Kayal is scenic and beautiful for foreigners. We can rent houseboats and explore all of the Kayal. Hordes of ducks float in the water like a drunk who is tipsy. I don’t have the cash to rent a boat but one day I hope I can. The Vembanad Kayal is a paradise on earth.

I am wondering philosophically why Freud fragmented the brain into three monsters—the ID, the Ego and the super Ego. Are we not wholesome beings created by God. If we have to follow the Freudian view we have to balance the ID with Ego and the Superego. And that balance is by no means simple. Why should be complicate life? We think with minds that are whole. Is life a libidinal psyche of the Oedipal complex? Freud was madly obsessed with the sexual drives. How can a child associate himself with loving his mother and hating his mother? Emotional bonding and giving love, care and affection is the most possible human view which develops to a well grounded personality.

I would also like to introduce Derrida’s binary divide. Binary is a term in which texts divide and marginalize people. For example White is privileged over black and colored. A Derridian reading of a text is uncover marginalization which occurs in texts. Here I would like to introduce a new term called Binary Fusions. Binary fusions remove barriers of prejudice and promote to the democracy of reading texts. I would like to use an example from the Bible: God hates the sin but loves the sinner. He—Christ was mocked, taunted and crucified for giving me a passage to heaven. Jazz is the heart of a poem, an allegory for the synthesis of black culture and universal in popularity. Mind and body should be syncretized into mature harmony.

Philosophical Fiction

Philosophical Fiction
I have started a new genre of writing called as Philosophical Fiction. Philosophical Fiction represents the savory Biryani (rice mixed with meat and vegetables. Philosophical Fiction aims to created an art-novel with dissemination of ideas. In one sense, it is a written painting with the splurge of colors that a encompassed by a maverick novelist it. Tropes in the novel bear a highest degree of art. Some tropes used are metaphors, similes, metonyms, synecdoche, oxymoron, zeugma, rhetorical question and many others forms. Some examples are: Picasso howls on a Cubist canvas. Beethoven melodies electric sandwiches. Beauty thy figure is a trope. The students filtered out of the classroom in hullaballoo. Marx’s religion is dead. The sea is tranquil and violent. Pearls twinkled in the sky. Both James and his religion died. The warlock’s earrings twinkled like a bell. Oh Democracy: what crimes are committed in thy name. Shame is fractured in a skin that’s repentant.

Again Philosophical Fiction distills ideas. Here I am starting from the Existential Philosophy of atheistic nihilism. For them life has no meaning and living is a chaotic absurdity. I am creating in my fiction a philosophy called as value ontology. I affirm that life has a meaning and purpose and we are living and leading our lives as purposists with a philosophy of Valeuablization. I shift my ontological perspectives to a constructivism. I adhere to the view of life being preciousness.

Again Philosophical encompasses character sketches. Character sketches are resonances of the soul. Yes, Characters indulge in the libidinal beauty of the soul. Characters leave ashes of existential fetishes. Characters are liberated narcissists. In Philosophical fiction character’s inner consciousness is given more importance and purpose. Characters dance in the eclecticism of the pen. Little value is given to physical looks.

Plot in fiction belongs to the old genre of fiction the who -done -it novels. There are only two plots in fiction, one a narrative plot and the other a symbolic plot. In a narrative plot the reader knows what is happening but the characters don’t. In a symbolic plot, the readers are kept in the dark and learn to identify the plot in the end

The narrative device which is popular in Philosophical Fiction is the streams of consciousness dialogue. Everyday incidents and trivialities are narrated with the style of epiphany. Here is an example: Oh Psyche—your wings are in celestial rhythm—how you dance, a soul come alive—you are a monument of beauty—you are a symphony come true—there now you perch on tree—what profound thoughts of beauty, you generate—you dance for the soul to delight—you offspring of poems—you music of prose—you are angel forming a pulchritude to the eyes—I am gazing at you— I am filled with joy and my passions running high.