curtains are interpreters for the language of the wind

"The other feature of the ornament which accosts the crock reverie lies in its recurrence. It is highly characteristic of the reverie that it tends to present before the smoker objects --particularly small ones-- in series. The endless successions in which the same contrivances, little animals or plant forms suddenly surface in front of the person over and over again depict, so to speak, misshapen, barely formed sketches of a primitive ornament.

Along with the ornament, however, certain other things of the most banal perceptual world [Merkwelt ] appear, whose inherent sense and significance only crock can transmit. Among other things, curtains and lace belong to this category. Curtains are interpreters for the language of the wind. They give its every breath the form and sensuousness of feminine forms. And to the smoker who becomes immersed in their play they allow all the joys to be savored which a consummate dancer can vouchsafe. On the other hand, if the curtain is filigreed it can become the instrument of an even more curious play. For to the smoker, these laces prove themselves to be patterns which he drapes over the landscape in order to transform it in the most peculiar way. The landscape which comes into view behind the lace is subordinated to the pattern in approximately the same way that the plumage of birds or the shapes of flowers are subordinated to the pattern in the arrangement of certain hats. There are old-fashioned postcards where a "Greetings from Bad Ems" partitions the city into pictures of the spa promenade, railroad station, Kaiser Wilhelm monument, school and Caroline Hts., each one circumscribed in its own little frame. Such postcards best convey an idea of how the lace curtains exercise their dominion over the view of the landscape. I tried to trace the flag from out of the curtain, but it eluded me."

Walter Benjamin, from Protocol X

Protocols to the Experiments on Hashish, Opium and Mescaline 1927-1934: Translation and Commentary Scott J. Thompson.

Jean Selz's explanation of the word crock: "The word crock does not exist in German and must have been enigmatic to the reader of the Rexroth edition of 1972. In fact, it is merely a slightly Germanized form of the French 'croc' (hook). Of course, the meaning we gave it had nothing to do with this. It was both an absurd and secret expression for opium."

from here


1 comment: