‘Understood in its metaphysical sense,
Beauty is one of the manifestations of the Absolute Being.
Emanating from the harmonious rays of the Divine plan,
it crosses the intellectual plane to shine once again across
the natural plane, where it darkens into matter.‘
-Jean Delville 1899
(Jean Delville – The School of Silence)
Welcome to Thursday….
Short of breath, trying to catch up with life as it happens…
On the Menu
Zoviet France – Shadow
Robert Anton Wilson Pt 2
From The Troubadours: Raimbaut d’Aurenga
Art: Jean Delville
Jean Delville Bio…
(Zoviet France – Shadow)
(Robert Anton Wilson Prt 2)
From The Troubadours: Raimbaut d’Aurenga
Raimbaut of Orange (c.11471173), or in Occitan Raimbaut d’Aurenga, was the lord of Orange and Omelas and a major troubadour, having contributed to the creation of trobar clus, or cryptic style, in troubadour poetry. About forty of his works survive, displaying a gusto for rare rhymes and intricate poetic form…
(Jean Delville – Dante Drinking the Waters of the Lethe)
Lady, he who is a good friend of yours
Lady, he who is a good friend of yours,
and to whom you are harsh and hostile,
begs you to have mercy in one thing:
that you hear properly what he means to tell you
here, ([it is] written in this letter)
and that you listen to the way he tells it;
and he begs you not to answer it
until you have listened to it all,
for there could easily be something
at the end that won’t displease you.
Lady, I’m in great throes because of you:
before you I didn’t know what pain was.
I have indeed loved other times,
in other places, when I was young,
loyally and without deception,
but never did it give me such anguish.
And never did any love [even] touch me
in the spot where your wrath stabbed me.
Nor did it spring from so deep [a place]
as this one and the place’s unknown to me.
I never knew what love was,
and I didn’t feel these pains of his;
for love has put me in such throes
that it chills me in times of searing heat
and heats me in times of bitter cold
and makes me sad no matter how merry it once made me.
I have two too deadly enemies:
you and Love, and you are both cruel.
But my nemesis is you,
who take my cheer, joy and comfort away,
and show me your ill will
and tell me to my face;
but I can’t either hear or see Love,
nor do I know which way he dwells,
so that I can’t fight with him.
But he distresses me, for he doesn’t leave me
and makes me love you in such a fashion
that our love is unfairly parted:
for I love you, and you don’t love me;
he has truly shared the game unfairly.
Love shows itself low-born,
in letting you remain gay and sound:
and see that is has hurt me so much
that I am worse off than dead,
for if only he tortured me to death,
I wouldn’t lament so loudly:
he who lives all the time in pain
which nobody allays is worse off than dead.
If Love were well-bred enough,
if he had hurt you but a little
only the thousandth part
of the wound it gave me with a glance
with that he would have healed me
of the ill blow that has wounded me.
The damage is not apparent
but it sears and gnaws at my heart within;
and no medicine can help me,
without you, no matter how excellent;
and if it leads me to my grave,
you and Love will bear the blame,
for you could cure and heal me.
Wouldn’t it be better for you to blandish love?
Lady, I cannot fight with everybody,
endear you and parry Love’s blows;
for I can’t make you love me at all
unless love agrees to help me.
Since I see that my plea does not avail me,
I shall renounce it if I could do otherwise!
But Love doesn’t let me heal,
Love, who has put me in this quagmire;
for I don’t listen nor watch in any other way
but towards the land and the place
where I most often see you, but it grieves me the more
because of the joy it used to bring me.
I often consider never seeing you again,
and remaining far from you;
for when I saw you for the first time
you had many a kind word for me,
but the closer I moved to you
behold the more you took to abusing me;
thus I fear that, if I saw you more,
I would pay dearly for it right off;
for you would have me killed at once,
and I don’t want to die quite yet;
for I wish to live for Good Expectation’s sake only.
I don’t know whether I offer foolish words to you,
but if you think of me as a fool
because of what I say, I bow my head.
All you like is fair and good to me.
I’ll never oppose your will again.
It grieves me that I cannot wish you ill,
for Love doesn’t give me the strength:
for if I could wish you ill,
we would have something in common;
furthermore, if you didn’t wish to love me,
I could turn to someone else.
But I can’t do aught about it,
for I’m not the master of myself:
you can well boast about me!
Now you are well pleased if I love and desire you;
for if I knew in all truth
that you’d never wish to have me,
and that in your entire life
your friendship wouldn’t be ever destined for me,
I still couldn’t love another woman
for all the beauty she could have.
If you don’t want to be my friend,
you can’t take this away from me:
that I be forever your friend,
although your heart be cruel to me.
Lady, why don’t I praise you in my writings,
nor do I mention your beauty?
I do it quite on purpose
and in this one thing I show some sense;
for, if it were left to me, you wouldn’t believe
you were this beautiful;
for I know that you despise me more
because of your own beauty.
Lady, may mirrors be cursed!
(and beauty, for it doesn’t fail you)
Lady, may you never believe a mirror!
Do you think you are as fair
as you see yourself in the mirror?
You’re quite a fool if you so believe,
for all mirrors are liars,
and may they all be shattered.
Lady, know that those who praise you
for anything, don’t it in good will:
for they want to mock you as much
when they praise you with their lies.
But I shall never lie to you,
lady, and now I’ll tell you the truth;
believe me, lady, for I speak truly
or may I not have any potency
for I don’t praise you as pretty at all,
and say instead you’re as swarthy as a negress.
Lady, I declaim in every corner
that you’re uglier than I paint you;
but were you to be very enough to me,
such an ugly thing would appeal to me so!
Lady, if I were to say
all I think about you
I wouldn’t have told you in a year, [sic]
but I’m afraid it could turn to my detriment;
thus, I don’t want to make a long plea of it
and I’ll tell you straight away,
lady: if your vassal loses in any matter,
know that you lose in it as well.
You know well that I am yours
and that I have no other master below god;
therefore know for a sure thing
that if I lose in something, so do you.
Lady, about that little wrong I have done,
I can’t redress it by myself;
even if the right were manifestly on my side,
you would invent more charges.
You could accuse me for eternity
and dispute with me all time,
lady, for between us two
I wish for no lawyer but me and you.
Let us never this suit of ours part
for in no other way can I express my heart.
Do not plead this suit before the law:
write its sentence yourself;
and I intend indeed to bring forth arguments
in which you can’t find a flaw.
Can’t you concede to mercy?
For we ought to be swayed by it:
where nothing avails,
mercy must allay the ill.
Have thus mercy and pity!
I don’t bring any other guarantor before you,
lady; I beg for mercy, an you please.
In many ways I cannot express
I beg here for mercy and forgiveness,
as when god forgave the thief.
Lady, if I am lead to my grave by you,
it won’t ever do you any good.
Shall I die? Indeed! just like a culprit
who already is half-dead in thought.
Sighs make me end my argument:
I bow before you, won and subdued.
Tears prevent me from telling more,
but I imagine what I’d like to say.
Lady, I beg for mercy, an you please;
for mercy’s sake, may you have mercy!
I beg for mercy, my sweet friend,
before death thus takes me away.
(Jean Delville – Parsifal)
Now I am all overcome
so that I recall very little,
for I have forgotten, out of it, joy and laughter,
and tears and grief and sadness;
and the outlook isn’t too good,
nor do I believe since I have such an asset
that anything but god protects me.
For I don’t believe at all that,
through plea or through threat,
I could achieve, by all means,
or conquer such a lover
if god, whom I thank for her,
hadn’t set me on the [right] path
and put a kind heart in her.
I shall pray more for a new grace
than I used to for the old one;
for he has given me a taste
the rest of which I sought of him;
and I know why he bestowed such a grace on me:
for he knows I am without deceit
towards her who keeps me as her own.
Such a love befits her
that god granted her to me:
for to a man who would betray her,
he wouldn’t grant suzerainty,
nor would he keep her for his own revel:
she wasn’t meant to be betrayed,
so valuable she is but I’m letting out too much.
For, if I say about her what is fitting
to remain sealed in my heart,
everybody would know, by my troth,
who she is; for all people cry
and know, and it is quite obvious,
which is the best there is.
This is why I praise her and pleaded her.
I have such a reckless heart
that I can hardly abstain;
for love rides my thoughts,
so that I have a mind to extol her
for everybody such is the desire that assails me
but Respect and Nobility
and righteous Good Love hold me back.
For, although she wished me not [to show] my cheer,
my heart cheers, full of joy;
for I imagine I am in paradise
when I hear anybody talk sensibly about my lady,
(who tethers me so much
that I don’t address any other woman)
barely because he tells me about her.
Thus, it is a great gift
when one barely mentions the castle
where she abides. But I can’t see how
anyone who isn’t connected to her is
of any account, for, before I was her subject,
I don’t know why I was worth
anything, except for the good I would have of her.
Never a lance nor a bolt
scares me, nor does a steely sword
when I kiss or regard her ring;
and if I am quite a gascon about it
I ought indeed to be so;
and if one thinks I am a fool,
he doesn’t know the ways of love.
Let anyone who does not respect
my folly die of knife,
of stone or of bolt.
Joglar, may god, who did so much for you,
and who increases your worth each day,
guide you as befits you.
Now the flora shines, perverse,
through the jagged cliffs and through the hills.
Which flora? Snow, ice and frost
which stings and hurts and cuts;
wherefore I can’t hear anymore calls, cries, tweets and whistles
among leafage, branches and twigs.
But I am kept green and merry by Joy
now that I see wither the felons and the bad.
For now I so reverse [things]
that fair plains look to me like a hill
and I mistake flowers for frost
and, through cold, heat appears to me to cut
and the thunder I believe to sing and whistle
and leafage seem to me to cover the twig.
I am so firmly bound in joy
that, to me, nothing looks bad.
But a crowd grown perverse,
as if it were brought up among the hills
plagues me far more than the frost:
for each one of their tongues cuts
and speaks softly, as in whistles;
and it doesn’t avail [hitting them] with staves and twigs,
nor do threats; for they call joy
doing what makes people call them bad.
I cannot by kept by cold nor by frost,
nor by plain or hill,
from kissing you, reverse,
lady for whom I sing and whistle,
but by powerlessness too much am I cut [down];
your beautiful eyes are the twig
that punishes my heart so much with joy
that, towards you, my intentions don’t dare be bad.
I have gone about like a perverse
thing, searching crags and dales and hills,
as distressed as one whom frost
bites and batters and cuts:
but I am not won by songs and whistles
more than a foolish student is won by twigs.
But now god be praised I am harboured by Joy
in spite of the slanderers, captious and bad.
Let my verse go for I rerverse
it so that it can’t be stopped by wood or hill
there where one doesn’t feel the frost,
nor cold has power enough to cut.
May someone tersely sing and whistle
it to my lady, and may it sprout [a new] twig
in her heart; let him be one who can sing nobly and with joy
for it doesn’t befit a singer who is bad.
Sweet lady, Love and Joy
match us in spite of the bad.
Joglar, I have much less joy:
since I don’t see you, I look bad.
Biography – Jean Delville…
The Magical Biography…
This master of esoteric symbolism studied under Barbey d’Aurevilly, Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, and later became influenced by writer-magician Joséphin Péladan, creator of the Salon de la Rose+Croix where Delville showed regularly (1892-1895). In 1896 he founded the Salon d’Art Idéaliste in Belgium and after being a professor and director at the Glasgow School of Art from 1900 to 1905, taught at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels until 1937.
Delville was profoundly influenced by idealism, Cabbala, magic,Theosophy, and hermetic philosophy and became a follower of Krishnamurti. Reacting against the agnostic skepticism of the age, he felt himself completely devoted to the mission of returning the Divine Mystery to the world through art and poetry.
The Other Biography…
(b Leuven, 19 Jan 1867; d Brussels, 19 Jan 1953). Belgian painter, decorative artist and writer. He studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, with Jean-François Portaels and the Belgian painter Joseph Stallaert (18251903). Among his fellow students were Eugène Laermans, Victor Rousseau and Victor Horta. From 1887 he exhibited at LEssor, where in 1888 Mother (untraced), which depicts a woman writhing in labour, caused a scandal. Although his drawings of the metallurgists working in the Cockerill factories near Charleroi were naturalistic, from 1887 he veered towards Symbolism: the drawing of Tristan and Isolde (1887; Brussels, Musées Royaux B.-A.), in its lyrical fusion of the two bodies, reveals the influence of Richard Wagner. Circle of the Passions (1889), inspired by Dante Alighieris Divina commedia , was burnt c. 1914; only drawings remain (Brussels, Musées Royaux B.-A.). Jef Lambeaux copied it for his relief Human Passions (18901900; Brussels, Parc Cinquantenaire). Delville became associated with Joséphin Péladan, went to live in Paris and exhibited at the Salons de la Rose+Croix, created there by Péladan (18925). A devoted disciple of Péladan, he had his tragedies performed in Brussels and in 1895 painted his portrait (untraced). He exhibited Dead Orpheus (1893; Brussels, Gillion-Crowet priv. col.), an idealized head, floating on his lyre towards reincarnation, and Angel of Splendour (1894; Brussels, Gillion-Crowet priv. col.), a painting of great subtlety.
(Jean Delville – Orpheus)