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SEASON 01, EPISODES 1 – 29

Always from Yesterday…

Program: SEASON#1
Program: SEASON#2

North of the Future
TODESSA SEASON 01, EPISODE 29

HEIMATFILM DIPTYCH / RIGHT WING

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Hints & Definitions

The Todt Organisation (German: Organisation Todt) (OT) was a Third Reich civil and military engineering group in Germany named after its founder, Fritz Todt, an engineer and senior Nazi figure. The organization was responsible for a huge range of engineering projects both in pre-World War II Germany, in Germany itself and occupied territories from France to the Soviet Union during the war. It became notorious for using forced labour.

I is another
fr. – Je est un autre.
Arthur Rimbaud, Letter to Georges Izambard; Charleville, 13 May 1871

echt Deutsch
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
“The Waste Land”, T. S. Eliot

Paul Celan
In den Flüssen nördlich der Zukunft
werf ich das Netz aus, das du
zögernd beschwerst
mit von Steinen geschriebenen
Schatten.


Into the rivers north of the future
I cast out the net, that you
hesitantly burden with stone-engraved
shadows.

translated by Musca Nagel

Acknowledgements
freesound.org, archive.org, Paul Celan, André Zucca

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Owls to Athens
TODESSA SEASON 01, EPISODE 28

HEIMATFILM DIPTYCH / LEFT WING

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Hints & Definitions

Heimatfilm
German pronunciation: [ˈhaɪmatˌfɪlm], German for “homeland-film”; German plural: Heimatfilme) is the name given to a film genre that was popular in Germany,Switzerland, and Austria from the late 1940s to the early 1970s. They were usually shot in the Alps, the Black Forest, or the Lüneburg Heath and always involved the outdoors. These films were noted for their rural settings, sentimental tone and simplistic morality, and centered around love, friendship, family and non-urban life.

Diptych
a painting or carving (especially an altarpiece) on two panels (usually hinged like abook)

The term refers to official lists of the living and departed that are commemorated by the local church. The living would be inscribed on one WING of the diptych, and the departed on the other.

Owls to Athens
A calque of the Ancient Greek proverb γλαῦκ’ εἰς Ἀθήνας (glaûk’ eis Athḗnas). The owl, which roosted in the rafters of the old Parthenon (the one burnt by Xerxes I), was the symbol of the city of Athens, and was sacred to its patron goddess, Athena. It was featured on Athens’ silver coins, and as Athens both mined its own silver and minted its own coins, bringing owls (either the real birds, or the coins) to Athens would be pointless.
to bring owls to Athens
(idiomatic) To undertake a pointless venture, one that is redundant, unnecessary, superfluous, or highly uneconomical.
Synonym:
coals to Newcastle

Meeresküsten / Seacosts
Hölderlin

Wie Meeresküsten, wenn zu baun
Anfangen die Himmlischen und herein
Schifft unaufhaltsam, eine Pracht, das Werk
Der Woogen, eins ums andere, und die Erde
Sich rüstet aus, darauf vom Freudigsten eines (kommt?)
Mit guter Stimmung, zu recht es legend also schlägt es
Dem Gesang, mit dem Weingott, vielverheißend dem bedeutenden
Und der Lieblingin
Des Griechenlandes
Der meergeborenen, schiklich blikenden
Das gewaltige Gut ans Ufer.

As upon seacoasts when the gods
Begin to build and the work of the waves
Ships in unstoppably wave
After wave, in splendour, and the earth
Attires itself and then comes joy
A supreme, tuneful joy, setting the work to rights,
So upon the poem
When the wine-god points and promises
And with the darling of Greece,
Seaborn, veiling her looks,
The waves beach their abundance.

translated by David Constantine

Voiceover
Martin Heidegger reads Hölderlin

Acknowledgements
freesound.org, archive.org, Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Hölderlin

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Bird(th)s of Paradise
TODESSA SEASON 01, EPISODE 27

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WARNING: MATURE CONTENT!

Hints & Definitions

Michel Jouvet/ Le sommeil et le rêve
Je pense à la fameuse scène du puits de la grotte de Lascaux. ..
On y voit un homme étendu qui semble dormir en érection, les bras écartes.
Un oiseau s’envole à côté de lui. Devant lui, une lance brisée et un bison blessé, perdent ses viscères.

…les épisodes de sommeil paradoxal…

…pour aller vagabonder à travers l’espace et le temps…

…érection et oiseau…

…une possible interprétation du rêve…

The Paradox of Sleep – The Story of Dreaming
On the cover of my translation of Michel Jouvet’s book (MIT Press, 1999) we see the famous well scene in the Lascaux cave, painted 18,000 years ago by our Cro-Magnon ancestors. A man lies with his arms outstretched, apparently sleeping soundly. A bird is perched beside him. In front of him are a wounded bison, with its entrails hanging out, and a broken spear. The man has an erection. The association of erection, a well-known feature of the dream state, in a prostrate figure with a bird might suggests that we are looking at a dreamer, dreaming of his desire to kill a bison. His immaterial thoughts are leaving his inert, material body, flying away like a bird to wander through space and time. /Laurence Garey/

EMILY DICKINSON
1.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

2.
DEATH is a dialogue between
The spirit and the dust.
“Dissolve,” says Death. The Spirit, “Sir,
I have another trust.”

Death doubts it, argues from the ground.
The Spirit turns away,
Just laying off, for evidence,
An overcoat of clay.

Acknowledgements
freesound.org, Michel Jouvet, Emily Dickinson, Julie Harris, The Cro-Magnon Painter from Lascaux

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The Blue Revolution
TODESSA SEASON 01, EPISODE 26

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Hints & Definitions

Yves Klein, La conférence à la Sorbonne (3 Juin 1959)

1. Mais remontons dans le temps maintenant à l’époque bleue de 1957. Elle me fait découvrir que mes tableaux ne sont que des cendres de mon art.

2. C’est une situation psychologique, sentimentale, émotionnelle, qui perpétue une sorte de règne de la cruauté. Et l’on ne peut plus alors se plonger dans la sensibilité de la couleur pure débarrassée de toute contamination extérieure.

3. J’expose des peintures monochromes bleues, toutes identiques, de même format et de même ton…
L’observation la plus sensationelle est celle des acheteurs. Ils choisissent, parmi les onze tableaux exposés, chacun le leur et le paient chacun le prix demandé. Et les prix sont tous différents, bien sûr.

4. Les autres matières durcissent les objets. Aussi, dans le domaine de l’air bleu plus qu’ailleurs, en sent que le monde est perméable à la rêverie la plus indéterminée. C’est alors que la rêverie a vraiment de la profondeur. Le ciel bleu se creuse sous le rêve. Le rêve échappe à l’image plane. Bientôt, d’une manière paradoxale, le rêve aérien n’a plus que la dimension profonde. Les deux autres dimensions où s’amuse la rêverie pittoresque, la rêverie peinte, perdent de leur intérêt onirique. Le monde est alors vraiment de l’autre côté de la glace sans tain. Il a un au-delà imaginaire, un au-delà pur, sans en-deçà – et là se situe la belle phrase – D’abord il n’y a rien, puis il y a un rien profond, ensuite il y a une profondeur bleue.(Gaston Bachelard, L’air et les songes )

 

1. But let us now go back in time to the blue period of 1957. It led me to the discovery that my paintings are but the ashes of my art.

2.This is a psychological, affective and emotional situation that perpetuates a kind of reign of cruelty. And in it one then can no longer plunge into the sensibility of pure color freed of all exterior contamination.

3. I exhibited blue monochrome paintings, all identical, in the same format and tone…The most sensational thing I observed was the buyers. They each chose their own painting from among the eleven works exhibited and each paid the asking price. And the prices, of course, were all different.

4. Other matters harden objects. Also, in the realm of blue air more than elsewhere, we feel that the world may be permeated by the most indeterminate reverie. This is when reverie really has depth. The blue sky opens up in depth beneath the dream. Then dreams are not limited to two-dimensional images. Paradoxically, the aerial dream has only a depth dimension. The other two dimensions, in which picturesque, colored reverie plays its games, lose all their oneiric interest. The world is then truly on the other side of the unsilvered mirror. There is an imaginary beyond, a pure beyond, one without a within.And now come those beautiful words: First there is nothing, then there is a deep nothing, then there is a blue depth. ( Bachelard, Air and Dreams )

Acknowledgements
freesound.org, Yves Klein, Donovan

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Dionysus Crucified
TODESSA SEASON 01, EPISODE 25

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Hints & Definitions

from Friedrich Nietzsche’s ECCE HOMO

Dionysos gegen den Gekreuzigten

Dionysus versus the Crucified

Brahms “EIN DEUTSCHES REQUIEM”

Herr, lehre doch mich,
daß ein Ende mit mir haben muß,
und mein Leben ein Ziel hat,
und ich davon muß.

Lord, teach me
That I must have an end,
And my life has a purpose,
and I must accept this.

from ECCE HOMO

Und hiermit berühre ich die Frage der Rasse. Ich bin ein polnischer Edelmann pur sang, dem auch nicht ein Tropfen schlechtes Blut beigemischt ist, am wenigsten deutsches…Aber auch als Pole bin ich ein ungeheurer Atavismus.

And this is where I come to the question of race. I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman without a single drop of bad blood, certainly not German blood…But also as a Pole I am a tremendous atavism.

from Nietzsche’s GÖTZEN-DÄMMERUNG / TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS

oder Wie man mit dem Hammer philosophirt
or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer

from Nietzsche’s DIONYSOS-DITHYRAMBEN / DIONYSUS-DITHYRAMBS

daß ich verbannt sei
von aller Wahrheit!
Nur Narr! Nur Dichter!

That I be exiled
From all truth!
Only fool! Only poet!

from Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s REQUIEM FÜR EINEN JUNGEN DICHTER / REQUIEM FOR A YOUNG POET

Prime Minister George A.Papandreou (Conclusion of a parliamentary
address, 1967, [Historical recording – Greek):
Democracy will triumph!

Aeschylus (Prometheus, V. 88-92, 561-565, Taped male /female speaker – Old Greek):
O sacred ether and thou, jaunty wind / and ye sources of the
stream / and smiles of the thousandfold surging sea / mother of
the universe earth and thou, path of the sun that shines everywhere—
I call upon thee. / Look what I, a god, must suffer here at
the hand of other gods. / Io! What a land, what a race / what
should I say, whom do I see, chained to this rock / and left to the
tempest. / What is the sin that thou punish with complete annihilation!
/ Tell me, whence have I, so weary, been banished.

from Paul Celan’s ALLERSEELEN / ALL SOULS

Und einmal (wann? auch dies ist vergessen);

And once (when? that too is forgotten);

from ECCE HOMO

Ich bin ein Jünger des Philosophen Dionysos, ich zöge vor, eher noch ein Satyr zu sein als ein Heiliger.

I am a disciple of the philosopher Dionysus, and I would prefer to be even a satyr than a saint.

from Adam Aston’s “SEX APPEAL” (1937)

Sex appeal to wasza broń kobieca.
Sex appeal to coś co nas podnieca.
Wdzięk, styl, czar, szyk, tym nas zdobywacie w mig.

from Hölderlin’s HYPERION (1797)

Wohl dem Manne, dem ein blühend Vaterland das Herz erfreut und
stärkt! Mir ist, als würd’ ich in den Sumpf geworfen, als schlüge man
den Sargdekel über mir zu, wenn einer an das meinige mich mahnt,
und wenn mich einer einen Griechen nennt, so wird mir immer, als
schnürt’ er mit dem Halsband eines Hundes mir die Kehle zu.

Fortunate the man whose native country flourishes to rejoice and
strengthen his heart! For me, it is as if I were cast into a swamp, as if
the coffin lid were being nailed shut over me, if anyone reminds me
of mine, and whenever I hear myself called a Greek, it is as if I were
being bound with a dog collar.

Acknowledgements
freesound.org, archive.org, Naked News, Martin Heidegger visits Greece. Film.(1962), Zorba the Greek. Film. (1964), German troops capture Samos Island in Greece during World War 2. Film. (1943). Johannes Brahms, Herbert von Karajan, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Paul Celan, Martin Heidegger, Adam Aston( Adolf Loewinsohn ), Friedrich Nietzsche, Friedrich Hölderlin

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L’eau d’Europe
TODESSA SEASON 01, EPISODE 24

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Hints & Definitions

from ALLERSEELEN (ALL SOULS) – ca. 1959
by Paul Celan (1920-1970)

Was hab ich getan?
Die Nacht besamt, als könnt es
noch andere geben, nächtiger als
diese.

Blicke,
geraubt und gepflückt. Das Meer,
gekostet, vertrunken, verträumt. Eine Stunde,
seelenverfinstert.

Sterne, schwarz und voll Sprache

Und einmal (wann? auch dies ist vergessen);

from “ALL SOULS” trans. Michael Hamburger

What did I
do?
Seminated the night, as though
there could be others, more nocturnal than
this one.

Glances,
purloined and plucked. The sea,
tasted, drunk away, dreamed away. An hour
soul-eclipsed.

stars,
black, full of language

And once (when? that too is forgotten):

 

from LE BATEAU IVRE (THE DRUNKEN BOAT) – 1871
by Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891)


Si je désire une eau d’Europe, c’est la flache
Noire et froide où vers le crépuscule embaumé
Un enfant accroupi plein de tristesse, lâche
Un bateau frêle comme un papillon de mai.

(If I desire a water of Europe, it’s/ the Black, cold puddle where,
in scented twilight,/ A crouching child full of sadness lets loose/
A boat as fragile as butterfly in May)

Acknowledgements
freesound.org, archive.org, Laurent Terzieff, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Celan

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Lyubov Orlova
TODESSA SEASON 01, EPISODE 23

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Hints & Definitions

From “Requiem für einen jungen Dichter /
Requiem for a Young Poet” (1967-1969)
by Bernd Alois Zimmermann

1.
Vladimir W. Mayakovsky (With Full Voice):
[Taped male speaker – Russian]
My most respected comrades of posterity!
Rummaging among these days’ petrified crap
exploring the twilight of our times,
you,
possibly,
will inquire about me too.

ВО ВЕСЬ ГОЛОС

Уважаемые
товарищи потомки!
Роясь
в сегодняшнем
окаменевшем говне,
наших дней изучая потёмки,
вы,
возможно,
спросите и обо мне.

2.
Words of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung:
[Male speaker – German]
“The socialist system will
ultimately assume the position
of the capitalist system;
that is an objective
law independent of the
will of the people. Communism
involves the total
system of ideology of the
proletariat and at the same
time a new social system.”

3.
Prime Minister Imre Nagy
(From his last radio appeal during the
Hungarian civil uprising, 1956):
[Historical recording – Hungarian]
“I speak to you again, Hungarian
brothers, with warm, inner love. The
revolutionary fight, of which you were
the heroes, was triumphant. The
result of this heroic struggle brought
about our national government,
which will fight for the independence
and freedom of our people.”

4.
Vladimir W. Mayakovsky (Eulogy to Sergei Esenin):
[Taped male speaker – Russian]
Now you are gone,
as one would say,
to another world.
Emptiness…
you fly
between heavenly lights.
Without a tavern,
without monetary advance.
Sober.
No, Esenin,
this is
not a joke –
Within my throat there sits
a lump of pain,
all joking aside.

Perhaps,
if the hotel (“Hotel Angleterre”)
had had ink,
there would have been no reason
to cut open
the vein.

Владимир Маяковский / Сергею Есенину

Вы ушли,
как говорится,
в мир иной.
Пустота…
Летите,
в звезды врезываясь.
Ни тебе аванса,
ни пивной.
Трезвость.
Нет, Есенин,
это
не насмешка.
В горле
горе комом –
не смешок.

Может,
окажись
чернила в “Англетере”,
вены
резать
не было б причины.

from THE WASTE LAND by T.S.Eliot

“What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
“I never know what you are thinking. Think.”

I think we are in rats’ alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.

“What is that noise?”…

Acknowledgements
freesound.org, archive.org, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, T.S.Eliot, Alec Guiness, Newsy, NBC, Circus / Цирк (1936 b/w film, colorized 2011), Mark Bernes “Я люблю тебя, жизнь / I love you, Life”, Lyubov Orlova (1902-1975)

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New Life
TODESSA SEASON 01, EPISODE 22

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Hints & Definitions

Bios Urn
The Bios Urn turns burial into a return to life through nature. Bios is a funeral urn made from biodegradable materials.

Water Biodegradable Urns
The Totleben® Collection of water burial urns is designed for biodegradable placement of cremated remains in water. The urns will float briefly to allow a final farewell before gracefully sinking.

Memento Urn
The Memento TotlebenDeLuxe Urn for biodegradable water burial allows families to create a unique, meaningful and participatory ceremony by placing personal notes into the urn prior to placing it at sea. Twenty handmade paper notecards are included with each urn.

Read / see also
“Fisches Nachtgesang”, “Fish’s Night Song” by Christian Morgenstern
from the book “Galgenlieder”, 1905

Acknowledgements
freesound.org, archive.org, Christian Morgenstern, Bob Marley

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The Eidolon
TODESSA SEASON 01, EPISODE 21

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Hints & Definitions

Dream-Land
by Edgar Allan Poe

By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule—
From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
Out of SPACE—Out of TIME.
…..
…..
…..

Eidolon
1. A phantom; an apparition.
2. An image of an ideal.
( Greek eidōlon, from eidos, form )

Thule
The most northerly region of the habitable world to ancient Greek geographers. Posited as an island north of Britain, it has been variously identified with Iceland, Norway, and the Shetland Islands.

Acknowledgements
freesound.org, Edgar Allan Poe

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