October 29, 2020

Coronavirus: Cultural survival kit for confinement (day 20) | Babelia


BOOK: LTI. The language of the Third Reichby Victor Klemperer

Cultural survival kit for the running of the bulls (day 20)



The Government of Turkmenistan has banned the use of the word “coronavirus” in the press, despite its neighbor Iran counting 44,000 cases. Also, people who wear face masks on the street or talk about the pandemic in public can be arrested. For its part, Belarus threatens to repress anyone who “alarms” the public by alerting them to the dangers of Covid-19. It seems like the time to return to one of the most necessary books of the 20th century: LTIacronym Lingua Tertii Imperii, the language of the Third Reich. Published in 1947, Its author is Victor Klemperer (1881-1960), a Jewish philologist from the University of Dresden who very early recorded in his diaries how the Nazis filled German with euphemisms and neologisms. destined to format the consciences. Today we would say, to impose your story. Even the official typewriters incorporated a key to write “SS” with the Germanic rune.

After writing down his first national socialist expressions (“expedition of punishment”, “state ceremony”), the author analyzes Hitler’s taste for exclamation points and for terms such as “total”, “historical”, “singular” or “eternal” ” Also the way in which the word “fanatic” acquires positive connotations until it becomes synonymous with “brave”. A special case is the resurrection of a phrase from the Anglo-Boer war then disappeared from everyday speech: “concentration camp”. But LTI it is not only a reflection on the political language that will interest anyone who watches the News, it is also the story of the life of its author, expelled from his chair and from his house and subject to anti-Semitic laws: not driving, not buying newspapers , not to use libraries, not to use Old Testament names, or not to speak of Hertz because its discoverer was Jewish. Klemplerer, who sometimes surprises himself using Reich jargon, escaped deportation because he was married to Eva, an “Aryan” who refused to leave him. Hence the dedication: “Without you this book would not exist, nor would its author exist long ago.” Javier Rodríguez Marcos

LTI. The language of the Third Reich. Victor Klemperer. Translation by Adan Kovacsics. Lowercase, 2001. Available at All your books, Amazon Y Fnac.

A DISC: Africa Express Presents: Terry Riley’s In C Mali

Cultural survival kit for the running of the bulls (day 20)



Composed by Terry Riley in 1964, In C It is considered one of the first works of North American minimalism, an aesthetic and conceptual response to the compositional current of serialism –and by extension integral serialism– and its intellectual approach to the score that was especially imposed in Europe during the 20th century. Conceived as an open-structure piece, the number of participating musicians and the duration of each performance are variable on each occasion. In broad strokes, a first musician (piano or marimba are the most common instruments) begins with a progression of notes in C major and the rest of the interpreters must answer this first phrase without breaking the tone or harmony, but choosing the moment in and out of the work (the first sentences of each soloist are usually agreed).

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of In C, the Africa Express collective, led by Damon Albarn, published the first African reinterpretation of the work in early 2015. Albarn himself, along with Brian Eno, Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) or Andi Toma (Mouse on Mars) are part of the western cast, while Mémé and Kalifa Koné (balafón), Adama Koita (kamele n’goni), Cheick Dallo (flute) or Badou Mbaye (percussion), among others, are some of the African musicians who, directed by André de Ridder, participated in the recording. The different African percussion instruments (balafon, squash, yembé) are responsible for establishing the repetitive but dynamic leitmotiv of the piece that, structured in small suites, part of the subtle development rich in colors and textures in question and answer format between percussions, African strings, violin, abstract choirs and guitar counterpoints, stops at the middle of the minute in a drone ambient that accompanies a hypnotic recited in bambara that will direct the work towards its outcome, a decided and ritualistic dialogue between percussions and strings subtly nuanced by voices and the rest of instruments. Perhaps we are dealing with one of the most successful versions of the Riley classic: it maintains its collective antiserialist liturgy intact and is enriched at the same time by the colors and atavism of a musically incomprehensible continent. Álex Sánchez

Africa Express Presents: Terry Riley’s In C Mali. Transgressive Records, 2015. The album can be heard on Spotify Y Apple music.

A MOVIE: A Ghost Storyby David Lowery

Cultural survival kit for the running of the bulls (day 20)



We begin a new cycle, which will cover the films in which communication between its protagonists is done at a distance, something forced in these days of the Covid-19 pandemic. And we start with A Ghost Story (2017), by David Lowery, a film that explores love, loss, pain, the passage of time and eternity through the relationship of a dead person (Casey Affleck), who returns turned into the typical ghost of white sheet and holes in the eyes, and his widow (Rooney Mara), stuck vitally in the house of the outskirts in which in theory they were going to grow old together. Inspired by Chihiro’s journey (in the visual representation of the spirit), Orlando (by the use of time as a permeable factor) and Under the skin (in how a character learns to advance in his existence turned into another being), Lowery investigates the communication (and non-communication) between two people who loved each other and who now cannot exchange a word, and for this he had his actors of In a lawless place (2013). To the little one of the Afflecks he has to interpret from under a sheet (the costume was made by Lowery himself, tired of the wardrobe team not achieving what he wanted), and Mara embroiders it as a lost young widow, who ends up leaving a note to the spirit of your partner on the walls of a house where the ghost will be anchored for eternity. A Ghost Story it is a small film, delicate and, at the same time, full of strength; a gem to recover these days. Gregorio Belinchón

A Ghost Story. David Lowery. 2017. The film is available in Amazon Prime Video.

A SERIES: Bron / Broen

Cultural survival kit for the running of the bulls (day 20)



In the middle of the Oresund Bridge, which connects the Danish capital, Copenhagen, with the Swedish city of Malmö, a corpse appears. Literally half a body is in Danish territory and half in Swedish territory. Police from both countries come to the scene. A Swedish detective, Saga Noren, and a Danish one, Martin Rohde, will have to collaborate in the investigation that will become increasingly entangled and show the relationships between different stories that at first seem to have no connection with each other. This is how the series started Bron / Broen (bridge in the Swedish and Danish languages), a blow to the Nordic fiction that was exported not only in its original version, but also had versions set on the border of the United States and Mexico and in the United Kingdom and France. Both respected, in broad strokes, the plot of the first season of the original but take their own paths from there.

The great contribution of Bron / Broen, in addition to a spider web-like narration in which everything gradually makes sense, is in the character of the Saga, played brilliantly by Sofia Helin. Her problems relating to others (she has Asperger syndrome) collide with Martin’s affable and sly character. Each brings their own backpack of family problems. Together they form one of the best detective couples on recent television. But the best thing is that the writers manage to ensure that the departure of Kim Bodnia, the male protagonist, after the second season and the introduction of a new Saga partner does not affect the high level that the series maintains from start to finish. In total, four deliveries with a different case each time and that cold setting that instantly transports to the border between Sweden and Denmark. Natalia Marcos

Bron / Broen. Hans Rosenfeldt. Sveriges Television and Danmarks Radio. 2011. The four seasons of the series can be seen at AXN.

A COMIC: From below, by Don Rogelio J.

Cultural survival kit for the running of the bulls (day 20)



The wisest thinkers of the place said that the underground had died. That he was already buried, mummified and about to start a glorious fossilization that would take him to the museums in beautiful urns of unbreakable methacrylate. And while some believed in that fraudulent litany, others just had to look at the insatiable comic scene that was moving beyond the mainstream that filled movie screens with gorgeous special effects. While the tycoons of the most industrial comic rubbed their hands over the found mana of the movies, the underground he stirred in the catacombs ready to demonstrate that creation is not for sale, that paper was still alive and freer than ever. If you walk around the crowded desktop publishing festivals and fanzinism that populate the Spanish geography – oh, wonderful image, so distant in these times of quarantine -, from the Valencian stall to the Galician Autoban, from the Graf to the Pichi Fest, they will see that the comic continues to be active in an aggressive and radical counterculture, which is reveals to any imposition, that he wants to change the world and that he demands new ideas.

One of the most active protagonists of this new underground is the Valencian Don Rogelio J., musician, tattoo artist, illustrator and comiquero, creator of the fanzine Swing Tomb, where anger and passion intermingle in a visceral and throbbing line. From below, his first long work, is a cry for freedom in the face of the censorship of a supposed future society where analogue has been banned compared to digital. A science fiction story in the best style of the British 2000 A.D., passed by the mixer of Zap Comix, which results in a pulsating current metaphor and advocates popular culture as a means of a revolution that, perhaps, is already brewing … Álvaro Pons

From below. Don Rogelio J. During the quarantine, the comic can be downloaded for free from the publisher’s website Autsaider Comics.

A VIDEOGAME: Resident Evil 3 Remake

Cultural survival kit for the running of the bulls (day 20)



Since we live viral times, it is clear that if, within the world of video games, we talk about viruses, there is only one that comes to mind: the T virus of the saga resident Evil, the franchise that made zombies fashionable 15 years before, a decade ago, everyone went crazy for zombies. After a superb start back in 1996 with several installments ranging from the pure survival horror of the first resident Evil until a delivery more focused on action (and set in Spain), with Resident Evil 4 (2005), the saga lost its own essence with two installments (5 and 6) bland and devoid of magic. In 2017 Capcom, the creature’s mother company, found its way again with Resident Evil 7, and last year brushed the sky with the remake of the Resident Evil 2 (1998), a superb game that retained the full potential of the original and covered it with the best current mechanics. Continuing along this revisionist line, today it reaches the market Resident Evil 3 Remake, a game that takes us back to the infested Racoon City, more exciting (and shorter) than last year’s game, but incredibly enjoyable and addictive. Remember: they only die if they are shot in the head. Jorge Morla

Resident Evil 3 Remake. Capcom. Available for PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows and Xbox One.

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