The River

Greasy Lake, 2021-05-02, by: Ulf Persson
To Anthony Wilden

Mildred: Hey, Johnny, what are you rebelling against?
Johnny: Whadaaya got?
Laslo Benedek: The Wild One

In a small town, a small old house stands in the shadow of a mighty cooper beech. In this house a boy lives with mother and father and sister and grandparents. But the mother and father work hard and long days, and therefore, but also for many other reasons, they are in many ways forced to hand over the care of the children to the grandparents. By virtue of the boundless and unconditional love of the latter, the boy creates for himself a world in which he only knows the kind of activity which corresponds to his essence. As he in this world is unconditionally recognized for who he is, and without inner and outer compulsion in what he does, he is its undisputed ruler. In this kingdom he leads his soldiers to glorious victories at the roots of the copper beech, defeats vigorously on resilient branches the height of the mighty tree, gazes superciliously from its wide crown out over his kingdom. But even if his freedom in this kingdom is limitless, the kingdom as such is limited, which the boy becomes aware of when the outside world suddenly asserts itself. It drives the boy out of his paradise and into its opposite: the Order. In this he is expected to live conversely, i.e. without being loved or recognized for who he is, and even more certainly, with the requirement, to accept activities which do not correspond to his essence. But he can not join the Order. Within him, instead, is aroused an endless hunger after what he has been deprived. He hence wants to break out of the Order. But how it can be done, he does not know. Instead, he becomes essentially negative to the Order. But just as he in the Order earlier was deprived of the paradisaical existence of his positive essence, he is now also denied the realization and development of his negative essence, and he therefore knows nothing more about it than the fact that it is negative to the Order. Thus incapable of subordinating himself to an activity which is contrary to his essence, but also prevented both from restoring his lost world and from finding a way in which he could break out of the Order, he can retain the freedom of his being in opposition to the Order. only through � refusal. In and through this he now recreates the kind of activity which corresponds to his being, for in it his negative activity towards the Order corresponds to his negative essence, but what is to be noticed, not in such a way that it also returns him to his formerly so paradisaical and recognized existence; for in his former paradise his activity was recognized and thus one with the world; in refusal, on the other hand, his activity is not recognized and, moreover, is negative or opposite to the world: through refusal he has not broken out of the Order, but in it he has become an outcast, an outsider, alone in a defiant, unrecognized struggle against the Order; and further: since the individual refusal by its nature is always only a short-lived act, he possesses in the same existence only in by-passing moments; but the boy's hunger is now once and for all such that it can not at all be satiated by an activity in which his against the Order negative essence owns only a momentary, completely fleeting and unrecognized existence; on the contrary, what he is hungry for is an activity that can and should give his negative essence a recognized and lasting existence, and also a steady opportunity to develop it. But such a one is not possible in the Order. Under these conditions, in which his negative essence in and through refusal does not attain a lasting and universally recognized existence, the boy's existence is really only a feeling of lack of existence, - and so he is forced to survive in constant hunger and lack, until one day a way, in which he can express, develop and have his against the Order negative essence recognized, and in which he at the same time also can raise funds for his subsistence, reveals itself to him, and he is captivated to decide, to proceed in this same way. But the appropriation and development of such an approach is not done for the boy in the twinkling of an eye, and once he finally masters it, he is no longer a boy, but a youth.

1. Cosmos

The poet's eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
As an imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name
William Shakespeare: A Midsommer Night's Dream

The way in which he then proceeds is as follows: he begins by negating the Order, and thus he has established a airy nothing, or a play in the Order. In order to obtain recognition in it, that this his negation is justified, he creates, as a poet, a series of heroes, in and through whom he expresses his negation of the Order; then, as an actor, he enters the abovementioned play in the Order and presents there these heroes to a crowd of individuals from the Order, who have all paid a fee for their place at the stage; he makes this presentation so clear and distinct that the individuals at the stage eventually discover that each of the heroes expresses one and the same essence, i.e. a definite negation of the Order, and realizes, not only, that the essence of the heroes is the essence of the youth, but also that his essence is also their own; and excited at having so surprisingly found their real, for themselves hitherto hidden essence in the hero, the individuals give their approval to the youth negation of the Order, and thus acknowledge, not only that the negation is justified, but also that this negation is their own essence. At this moment, the youth achieves existence, while the individuals in the crowd, in turn, achieve a common existence as an audience. And thus, by means of this mediation of the heroes, the youth can see his essence reflected in the audience, while the latter can again see its own essence reflected in the youth. But even if the subject and the audience thereby have existence in this mutual recognition of their common essence, they nevertheless have existence only in and through the presentation of the heroes. And further: while the youth in this way in and through the heroes achieves recognition of both his essence and his real existence in freedom from the Order, the audience in it achieves recognition only of its essence, not also of its real existence in the Order: for it has not itself negated the Order. But the fact that the audience would really acknowledge that the hero's essence also was its own was something that the young man as a poet assumed when he created the heroes, and he could therefore give them a figure that not only was meant to be this opportunity for the audience to become aware of its essence, but also an exhortation to it, to it selves negate and thereby break away from the Order: thus in the poets work, the hero turn to the Muse1. with an appeal that she should share his negation of the Order; that is, the hero was created to represents the youths and the audience's common essence while the Muse again was created to represent the audience's reality in the Order.

As mentioned, the youth is aware that the existence in freedom that he has achieved through negation is not absolute: it is dependent on the Order. As for himself, i.e. himself as the negation of the Order, he has in the beginning of his development not yet in the hero made the experiences of his negation, which will impart to him knowledge of himself and the Order; here, at the beginning of his experience, he lacks knowledge of his self accomplished through negation, as well as of the Order. But before he became a youth he was a boy, and as a boy he had not yet experienced the existence of the Order, but what he really encountered at that time was first the Cloud, whose command he refused, and then the Ferrymen, who by force returned every half-heated apostasy from the Order to the same. Furthermore, for the young man the Order, just as he himself, has a no story: the two arose just as suddenly, and also arose as absolutely separate, at the same moment as he as a boy negated the Cloud and the Ferrymen and discovered the Order. The young man, who himself is a poet and actor, now knows that he, as a boy, and thus outside his present existence in these figures, has experienced what he understands has been the brutality of the Order and its violent attempts to bring him and his peers back to the scheme. But as a young man outside, but still within the Order, he has not yet experienced in the form of the hero, what he himself is, and what the Order is. His freedom is rooted in the refusal of the Order; but the Order is immediate, without history; and as a poet, as mentioned above, he must, for the sake of his existence, create his heroes in such a way that they express to the audience that his negation is justified. He thus knows nothing about himself and the Order, except that he himself hungers for recognition and existence, and that the Order returns to the Order by force those who do not has made themselves absolutely free from it. Based on this knowledge, he must now create the heroes who will make obvious, that their individual negation of the Order is justified.

The seemingly immediateness of the Order is expressed by the poet in the hero as the existence of an immediate found, eternal, unchanging Cosmos. In this Cosmos, the Order is represented by the Earth and the Freedom by the Heaven2.. Since the youth is free from the Order, but still dependent on it, the hero's corresponding place in Cosmos is a floating one: he can rise and fall3. in the air above the Earth, but he can never leave it, he can levitate, but not reach Heaven; and in contrast to the youth, who's dependency on the Order is existential and economical, is the hero's dependency on the Earth a law of Cosmos, expressed by the hero as: its hard to hold the breath in the stratosphere. As for the Earth, it is as mentioned the place of the Order, and also the abode of those who submit to it. Not a few of these have an intense urge for Heaven, but not many of them make the effort to negate the Earth. The leisurely look up, convinced that up there are truly happiness, but they themselves only want the fun, not to also shoulder the arduous, painful work of really making themselves free; they do not grasp the Sun like a guiding star, but are overwhelmed and fooled by it, blinded by its light, and enchanted and deceived, they wander aimlessly in the earthly night of dazzle. The lazy, on the other hand, usually take the lazy Leap in an attempt to, if not reach, at least get closer to Heaven; but they all make the bitter experience, that the Leap does not carry to Heaven; for to this the Earth holds in readiness the Fall, which relentlessly returns the Leap to the Earth.

As for the hero, his negation of the Earth is obviously not the Leap; and although his negation did not at all make him independent of the Earth, it provided him with at least an existence in freedom from it; and in his negation he was above all pure in his intent; the Leap, on the other hand, can express different degrees of purity in terms of the demand for freedom: the Leap, which has the angle of pi half in relation to the ground-plane, is the purest attempt at liberation: the happy one jumps straight up into the air, the cheerful one happily lifts the girl vertically up into the sky, etc., all while the beautiful Muse Kalliope raises his jubilant voice against the sunlit sky. But the Earth, as said, takes out its injustice, despite all the protests: and so the boy falls spitting to the ground, the girl plunges screaming into the sand and Kalliope, yes, she rolls sneezing and sizzling down to the ground. But the Leap, which deviate from pi half, are on the other hand less pure, and also increasingly impure, the greater the deviation. When the deviation is pi half to the verical, and the leap takes place parallel to the ground plane, it is an attempt to win heavenly praise upon a flat Earth. It is then a matter of getting in the admiring sight of everyone without asking for freedom at all. But the horizontal Leap is in fact the Flood which on Earth carries to the Earth; and the fates, which those who take the Leap parallel to the tangent plane of the Earth meet, are also quite rightly all bitter and cruel; they perish in fire, brimstone or storm; the vanity ends in smoke and fire, the awfulness in throbbing deaths and the bluntness in imperceptible quicksand. Then there is also on Earth those who dreams that there is, after all, a place on it, where freedom is already given, and who thinks he was not born to live to die from the Order; one of them turns to the Poet's Muse, and says, that it is only she who he wants, and that he knows that beyond the Order there is a place of Freedom, where he asks her to go with him. But she despairs of a way out of the Order. She feels trapped in it, and lives in self-destructive despair. Her supposed savior thinks he can break into her innermost being, to free her from her inner despair, but only to find, that he can neither reach nor understand her; he cannot reach her because he cannot understand her; he does not understand, that it is because of his longing away from the Order and all its things and promises that she loves him, but does not know, that she is the Poet's Muse, and therefore well knows that his longing away is only one big illusion, and that she therefore cannot share his love for what she knows is an empty belief in a given, not by struggle won freedom. Finally, there are also among those in the Order, who every day experience its hard limitations of life, but have not found a way to another life, and who feel for themselves an inexplicable allure of the youth and the freedom which the young man represents in the play in the Order, and who therefore gather to a crowd at the stage on which he invites them to share his heroes and dreams

But when the young man, as the actor on the stage, begins the presentation of his heroes to the crowd gathered at the stage, the first hero cannot for them appear as a hero; for in the individual hero the general cannot be discerned; it can only be discerned when it appears as a essence common to several Heroes; and therefore the youth cannot immediately receive the recognition of the justification of the heroes negation of the Order: this occurs only in the moment when the crowd finds that it essentially shares the negation presented in the hero. The first hero, although he creates the Cosmos for the young man, is therefore, i.e. because the crowd in him can not find his essential self, not in the true sense a hero, nor is the crowd in the strict sense audience, since the crowd becomes an audience first at the moment it finds itself in the hero; neither the youth nor the audience therefore has an existence at the beginning of the performance. The young man must therefore present another hero. In this hero the Cosmos in which he operates reappears. But even this hero has to end in silence, and must be replaced by a third, etc. The poet's repetition of the hero thus creates a pulsating Cosmos that arises and perishes with each new hero.

The first repetition, however, transforms the original presentation into the first in a series of presentations, in which the hero before the crowd is separated into the youth, the poet, and the actor; but this series of presentations forms what at first is only the youth's own performance. And this not only because in this performance it is still almost impossible to realize that all the heroes have a common essence that expresses the negation of the Order. The reason for this is rather that the young man has not yet experienced in the hero anything definite, either about himself as the negation of the Order, or about the Order as such, and hence he does not yet have any knowledge of this his original, immediate negation. Thus, he can not express it firmly and clearly in the hero. It is in this merely meant. The distinction between freedom and compulsion, which the hero expresses as the distinction between Heaven and Earth, therefore becomes for the crowd a distinction in the Order: Heaven becomes only heaven, Earth only earth, the Leap the everyday leap, the Fall the only natural, by terrestrial gravity fall back to earth; and though the hero in words endeavors to draw the attention of the crowd to the vertical axis which in the Cosmos leads from compulsion to freedom, and vice versa, first by pointing to its two poles: Sun, light, star, clouds, angel, and so on, and on the one hand, earth, darkness, star (on Earth), steam, angel (on Earth), etc. on the other; then by indicating the motion between these poles: meteor, jump, fall, etc.; and further by naming fixed connections between Earth and Heaven: celestial travel on a gyroscope, moon song, winged feet, moonstone, hubcup-heaven, etc., he nevertheless finds that all this achieves very little. In his performance he therefore also tries to draw the attention of the crowd to the fact, that whatever the heroes words would mean in the Order, they mean something completely different in the performance: what in the former is clay, is in the latter Quicksand, what there is oil, is here Blood. And even more: the young man, as an actor, carefully follows the reactions of the crowd to the heroes, and depending on its response, chooses one or the other new hero to replace the one just presented, in order to lead the crowd to insight into the heroes' essence. And further: he takes advantage of the fact that every hero, in his attempt to ascend to Heaven, has to fight against the Earth, which wants to bring him down, and that every hero thus constitutes a toil and a work for the youth as an actor: by making the line of heroes longer and longer, he makes himself more and more weary, and so he makes it clear that the hero is waging a struggle against the Earth, a struggle which he is taking on for the sake of his existence, which he thus proves to be worth every sacrifice. But this is a struggle and work against the Earth which he can endure, since he in the crowd can follow its approach to the desired insight into the heroes' essence. From all this the crowd finally begins to suspect that the heroes are expressing something that is one and the same, something general that it cannot say for itself; and it makes this all the easier, since it, as mentioned above, itself unknowingly shares the essence of the Heroes, or at least has the experience that can lead to the moment when it shares the same. A last clue out of the Labyrinth of the Order is given by the young man, when he in the hero tells about his time before he became a young man, i.e. when he as a boy in a perpendicular world was growing up.

As a boy, he was not the negation of the Order, and he therefore did not seek his existence in recognition of the justification of a negation. Nor did he have to make an effort to obtain the necessities of life. At that time, before he became a youth and poet and actor, he was negative, not the Order, for he was ignorant of the existence of the Order, but the Cloud. His negativity and thus existence then consisted of the silent refusal. But now the refusal is, after all, possible only when there is something to defy. This something was for the boy the command of the Cloud. Every time he refused, he found himself existing, but in between, the boy led a non-existence in the Cloud. But the moment he was commanded to do one thing or another, he refused to fulfill it; these orders were given, so that the boy might prove his loyalty to the Cloud; thus: sit down!, come down!, pull down!; but of course the boy defied the orders: he did not sit down, but remained standing upright, did not come down, but was suffocated and threw up, did not pull down, but pulled up. In these moments, the boy was faithful to his negative nature and found himself to exist. Every time the boy refused, he stood out in the Cloud, but without the possibility of refusal, his defiant being, in anticipation of the next command, was, so to speak, hidden in the Cloud.

But the boy must eventually defy the defiance.

For one fine day the order was, that he, through the wage work, should take his wellprepared place in the Cloud. The boy refused, of course. In this case, however, he did not stand up in the Cloud only to soon sink back into its bosom; no, this time he was pushed completely out of the Cloud and into the - Underworld. And in the Underworld the Ferrymen threw themselves upon him, and tried by force to take him across the river to the realm of wage labor, the land of the living dead; and then the refusal helped him little; no, now he had to fight him selves free from the Ferrymen and up from the shadowy realm of the Underworld. He succeeded, and thereby became a youth. For once on Earth again he could no longer hide in the Cloud; his negation of the Underworld was of a different kind than the refusal of the Cloud: the defiant act is, in isolation, not a defiance at all: to stand upright, or to throw up, or to lift oneself up is in itself no negation, they are all negations only in connection with the injunction of their opposite; and the injunction is not permanent, but transient, just as the defiance is; the latter can therefore be forgiven as insanity, rebelliousness, or simply a childish defiance; and so the boy, when the refusal is over, could again hide his defiant being in the cloud; but his struggle against the Ferrymen and their violence was in itself a negation, not primarily of the Order of the Cloud or the violence of the Ferrymen, but of the essence of the Cloud, i.e. the compulsion to labor-work: and these three, the Cloud, the essence of the Cloud and the Ferrymen, together constitute what the youth suddenly realizes to be a unit: the Order. The youth's negation is, in fact, primarily a distancing from the Order's compulsion to labor-work; and this compulsion is not a transient compulsion, but a permanent one; to negate this compulsion is to negate the Order forever. In labor-work, you work on mandatory command; e.g.: paint this house!; then applies: you do not own the object for the work (the house); you do not own the tools (brushes, scrapers, etc.), you do not own the materials (paint, solvents, etc.), and you surely do not have the right to decide on the aesthetic (color: green!); and you obviously do not own the freedom from the compulsion to labor-work. The young man, on the other hand, has negated the Order and is free to own what the wage worker is forced to renounce, but on the other hand he must renounce what the wage worker owns at least temporarily: the wage.

But separated from the Cloud as he is now, and thus also separated from his previous existence in the lightning-like moments of defiance, the recognition of him and the means of his livelihood must nevertheless have its basis in the Order; and in what way he accomplishes this has been stated above: by first creating as a poet heroes who express the negation of the Order, and then as an actor presenting these heroes to a paying crowd from the Order, and making it experience that the hero's essence is their own, and acknowledge, that that which is this essence, the negation of the Order, is justified. Then it is not the crowd, with its real existence in the labor-work in the Order, which recognizes the youth, and which through the youth recognizes itself; no, it is this audience with its essence in the hero and the youth; and as for the payment that the crowd paid, so that the youth can continue as a poet and actor, so that the crowd can become an audience again, it is at least in its function negative the Order, for it enables the youth to persevere him selves outside the Order to the annoyance of the Order, and as a poet create the heroes whom the youth as an actor presents as a call to the audience to negate the Order. Thus the youth in the hero has created a heavenly redeemer on Earth, a redeemer for those who bear the heavy yoke of the Order; but he also knows, that even though he has risen a little towards the stars, he, like the audience, has his roots in the Earth.

That the audience now through the hero shares the youth's negative relationship to the Order it reveals to itself and the youth thereby, that it also in the performance defies the Order, and that by the fact that, when the hero meets the Earth and the Cosmos collapses and Kalliope falls silent, it gives the youth, not the Earth its loud applause: an applause that lingers on until the young man reappears in the form of a new hero and lights the sun in a new morning Cosmos. Then, but only then, do the youth, the audience, the hero and the Muse have a real existence in their common performance. In it, Kalliope gives voice to everything and everyone who is struggling in the Order, who is condemned and banned from freedom on Earth: i.e. love that whispers and laughter that bubbles, thunder that rumbles and apple that thumps, crying that snorts and joy that beats, fingers that snap and hands that clap.

But even if the youth, the audience, the hero and the Muse thus exist, it is still only in the performance. For even if the young man in the hero expresses his negative relation to the Order, he does so only in and through the performance. But the performance is limited in space and time: in the room it is no larger than the audience, in time no more lasting than the time span between the beginning and end of the performance. The Cosmos of the poet and the audience is thus a Cosmos closed in space and limited in time. In the hero, the youth repeatedly creates the Cosmos, but must each time see it collapse. And every time the cosmos collapses, the youth, in the name of his self-realization and existence, must recreate the same thing. It is thus not only a question of a closed, but also of an oscillating cosmos: and the youth also oscillates himself, between existence and non-existence, and not only in each individual cosmos (where the youth has existence in the hero, non-existence in the silence between the heroes) but also in the series of performances (where he has existence in the performance, non-existence between the performances). But non-existence also exists in the hero as such. For even if the youth's exponent of his negation is the hero, the hero is nevertheless not an exponent of his negation: in the hero the negation is and remains only meant. At first the young man did not yet have any experience of his negation, it was immediate, without any determination. But now, in the hero, he him selves experiences its immediacy; and he is unable to express it in any other way than just as a hero. The audience senses the hero's meaning, but only because it already has a negative attitude towards the Order in advance; in the performance nothing is taken according to the letter, only according to the spirit which the young man evokes in the heroes; in the hero, the youth and the crowd achieve only a meant existence as youth and audience; and the young man becomes aware in the hero that he is in the absence of the word which would really express his negation of the Order, and which then in one fell swoop would really make him and the audience real, and he frantically searches for this word; but each new word turns out to be as inadequate as the previous one, and he is finally forced to realize that even in the performance the hero is only an everyday hero, and that he is not at all able to express his negation. He experiences that even in the hero he is one with the Order. He is thus without existence.

In other words, his performance is not separate from the Order. The youth's efforts to acquire a real reality are all in vain. What he experiences is that heaven together with all the other terrestrial, sub lunar and celestial phenomena, which in the performance are sustained by the hero, does not at all form the Cosmos, in which the hero expresses his negation of the Order; in the performance there is certainly a hero of words, but not a worldly, real hero. Thus the youth has finally experienced that the hero and the Order are not separated at all, but on the contrary they form a unit. This unity has now become the Youth's new world, and in it he now has to try to acquire the existence necessary for him. This new world is � Eden.

2. Eden

I'm going to preach there was no Fall because there were nothing to fall from and no Redemtion because there was no Fall and no Judgment because there wasen't the first two. Flannery O'Connor: Wise Blood The goal of the Poet is to negate the Order in and through the hero. But in the hero of the Cosmos he experienced that he could not give its negative relationship a real expression. Thus, the audience could not really find its negative relationship expressed in the hero, nor recognize the poet as a negative poet. He experienced that in and through the hero he remained inseparable from the Order, that he and the Order in fact constituted a unit. But this is only the negative side of his experience in the hero. There is also a positive side. This is so, because the experience that the poet makes in the hero, while he in him he tries to express his negative relationship to the Order, constitutes his new Order. And since the poet is determined by his negative relation to the Order, and this Order is now more precisely determined by the poet's experience in the hero of the Cosmos, the poet appears in a new form. The poet of Cosmos had the goal, to realize the hero negatively the Earth. What he experienced was that his expression in the hero for his negative relationship to the Order simply was one with the Order. He himself and the Order simply formed a unit. This simple unit is now the new Order.

The poet thus no longer means that the Order is separate from himself, but now knows that together with it he forms a simple unit. In the beginning was the hero separated from the Order, and the Order from the hero; and accordingly the hero in Cosmos tried to find an existence between the Earth and Heaven. But the poet and the Order is one. The two elements in no way have a separate existence, do not limit each other, they have no mutual negative relations. Since the Order does not limit the hero, this unity appears to him as being without law or the Wild; since the entity appears to have no law, it also appears to be in the absence of guilt, making it appear to be the Innocent. In this unity, the separation of the hero and the Order is immediately their reunion. This reunion of separation is the Shuffle, in which the hero, together with everything and appears as one. The wild, the innocent and the shuffle is here all in one and the same - Eden.

The poet's goal is now to realize in the hero his negative relationship to Eden. But the hero and Eden are one unit. To the extent that he can differ from Eden, it is only to find that he is one with it. But still, to be able to negate Eden, he must assume, that there really is a fundamental separation in Eden, a freedom separated from its orderly essence; and so he separate it into chance (freedom) and necessity (order); and hence the hero imagine, that Eden in reality is a unity of two separate moment, chance and necessity, and of a boundaryline. Thus the hero tries to show, that there really is a separation Eden. Therefore the hero mentions that he has just arrived from the Underworld; he thus indirectly claims that there is also an upper world, as well as that there is a boundary between these two worlds; he also tells of a young woman who has abandoned her poor lover in the province for a rich man in the city. But - in the poet's efforts, to demonstrate the separation in the Eden, the unity of it naturally prevails. For the hero's passage across the border does not in any way change the Order, and he shows by his supposed crossing of the border that the border was never a border, and that the act which the crossing of the border was supposed to constitute was not an act at all, for the Eden after the action is the same as the Eden was before this act; and likewise it turns out that the young woman soon enough leaves the rich man in the city and returns to her beloved in the province. The poet hence tries to establish boundaries in Eden by naming, but soon shows himself that the difference in names constitutes an insignificant difference, which rather points out the similarity in the difference. He also tries to separate chance and necessity: by chance a young mans skirt got caught in the carousel, by chance the boys fell a sleep on the beech, by chance the tin can explodes in the heat, and by chance the fortune-teller told the truth; but the chance appears always to be one with necessity: the youth with his skirt in the carousel is dragged along in circles, the boys on the beech are busted by the police, the tin-cans explode in the heat, and the fortune-teller too is busted by the police. And so is all chance just a passing moment of necessity. They can not be separated.

The poet's difficulty in expressing in the hero of Eden his negative relation to the Order is rooted in the nature of Eden. Eden is not separated from the hero; in it, therefore, there is no essential difference against which the poet can express the heroes negative relation; since such a significant difference is a prerequisite for any form of activity, there is no work in Eden; nor is there a before and an after, which are essentially different: thus there is no time or death in Eden. But if now Eden lacks essential differences, then that means precisely that the poet can not realize himself negatively Eden. Hence the necessity for him to make it clear that these separations and boundaries named by him, exist. But each of his attempts to realize himself against these supposedly essential differences causes them to dissolve into nothingness, and in the end they appear to the poet as mere apparent differences: the limit exists, as do the action and the work, time and death - but all only apparent. In this eliatic Eden of only apparent essentials, the result of his constantly repeated and constantly unsuccessful attempts to realize the hero, is only that he is filled with repugnance: life in Eden is unreal - it is a carnival life, a circus life, a street life, a pin-ball life4., a boardwalk life. And now, after failing to realize something negative, whatever it may be, in Eden, he makes one last attempt: he will negate the whole of Eden. The hero thus explains that he is now ready to leave this hypocrisy, and he urges the Muse to do the same. But while the youth in Cosmos tried to rescue her by finding his way to her through her walls of defense, believing that he him selves could rescue her, the poet in Eden in contrast know, that he can and the Muse can rescue themselves only if they leave Eden, but leave openly, not in secret, since to run away is to secretly admit, the rightfulness of Eden. But he and she can leave Eden only if it is limited. But Eden, of course, in the world and has no boarder. In order for the Poet's pledge not to appear as a mere apparent pledge, he must therefore suggest that Eden is limited. He therefore resorted to naming again; he gives Eden a first name: Little. But Eden remains Eden even with a first name, for Eden is not a family name: all that exists, is Eden, and this is neither great nor small, but infinite, and the limitation of the world, which the Poet intended to bring about by giving it a first name, and which would make it credible, that it would be possible for the hero to escape out of Eden, is now shown by the hero, who repeatedly repeats his promise of his impending exodus from Eden without ever even trying to realize the same, as merely being an apparent limitation. But in this shuffle of apparitions is the Poet in the hero finally forced to ask himself the question, what in Eden can he really do. Now this question is certainly only seemingly only a question, but by repeating it over and over again the hero succeeds in revealing that it is precisely through repetition that it is its own answer. And the answer is - nothing.

3. Jungleland

I believe in progress
but in a circle.
Gunnar Ekelof


1. If the poet in the hero turned directly to the audience, he would reinforce the essential distinction betweenhimself and the audience that he wants to abolish. But if the hero can not directly address the audience, he can certainly do so indirectly, and he therefore seeks out - the Muse. For she, like the audience, has her existence in the Order, and like it, she seeks her negative relation to the Order. The hero therefore turns to her and offers her to follow him. But - she can never accept the hero's offer; for if she did, it would no longer be possible for the poet to remain before the audience. The hero may thus claim that he comes to the Muse only for her sake, but in fact, he comes to her also for the sake of the audience, and for the poet. But of course, the Muse neither can say yes or no to the Order. So, just like the audience oscillate between its reality in the Order, and its essence in the hero, and hence holds on to its dream of another life, Penelope oscillate between weaving (her existence in the Order of the Suitors), and and reaping (her against this Order negative essence) and so delays her incorporation into this the Order of the Suitors in hope that Odysseus shall return home in time and restore the original Order. But of course, the audience do not believe in such an restoration of a lost Order

2. It goes the second Day of Creation, when "G-d made the Firmament, and divided the Waterswhich were under the Firmament, from the Waters which were above the Firmament,"? thus the first Boundary Line. All else after that, in all History, is but Sub-Division." Thomas Pynchon

3. LEB DIE LEBEN, leb sie alle,halt die Tr�ume auseinander sieh, ich steige, ich falle bin ein anderer, bin kein anderer. Paul Celan

4. To play pin-ball is also to assert ones chance to win by keeping the ball in play against the necessity ofgravitation, that in the end always forces the ball downwards and out between the paddles.


This is not a biography of Springsteen, not a reading of his work in the light of his life; it is an, from his work, extraction of a possible poet-artist, who could have created those works; that is, the poet, the actor, the boy, the youth and the man in the text are not intended to be different versions of Springsteen, and that goes also for the subject that incarnate all those figures; of course, in the fist few lines, I use some material, that could make you believe so, but those lines are just the sticks to start the fire; then it all burns by it selves, slowly yes, but all according to the material in Springsteens texts. This is of course nothing you read for pleasure, it takes some work to grasp it, but for the happy, or perhaps unhappy few, it may be rewarding. The beginning is always difficult, but things get clearer further on. The nicest, and certainly most interesting part, is the one about The River (the song), but that comes after Cosmos, Eden, Djungelland and Badlands, all worlds that our poet has to negate in his hunt for a real existence.