Ev'rything is Satisfactual: ...and I went in at this door.    
  ...and I went in at this door.80 comments
picture7 Sep 2005 @ 23:58, by Uncle Remus

"Le moi dont nous sommes si fiers et si jaloux, n'est qu'un radeau fait de pièces et de morceaux et qui flotte sur le néant."
[Gabriel Véraldii: A la mémoire d'un ange]

I found myself in a quiet twilit room where a man with something like a large chessboard in front of him sat in Eastern fashion on the floor. At first glance I thought it was friend Pablo. He wore at any rate a similar gorgeous silk jacket and had the same dark and shining eyes.

"Are you Pablo?" I asked.

"I am not anybody," he replied amiably. "We have no names here and we are not anybody. I am a chess player. Do you wish for instruction in building up your personality?"

"Yes, please."

"Then be so kind as to place a few dozen of your pieces at my disposal."

"My pieces--?"

"Of the pieces into which you saw your so-called personality broken up. I can't play without pieces."

He held up a glass to me and again I saw the unity of my personality broken up into many selves whose number seemed even to have increased. The pieces were now, however, very small, about the size of chessmen. The player took a dozen or so of them in his sure and quiet fingers and placed them on the ground near the board. As he did so he began to speak in the monotonous way of one who goes through a recitation or reading that he has often gone through before.

"The mistaken and unhappy notion that man is an enduring unity is known to you. It is also known to you that man consists of a multitude of souls, of numerous selves. The separation of the unity of the personality into these numerous pieces passes for madness. Science has invented the name schizophrenia for it. Science is in this so far right as no multiplicity may be dealt with unless there is a series, a certain order and grouping. It is wrong insofar as it holds that one only and binding and lifelong order is possible for the multiplicity of subordinate selves. This error of science has many unpleasant consequences, and the single advantage of simplifying the work of the state-appointed pastors and masters and saving them the labors of original thought. In consequence of this error many persons pass for normal, and indeed for highly valuable members of society, who are incurably mad; and many, on the other hand, are looked upon as mad who are geniuses. Hence it is that we supplement the imperfect psychology of science by the conception that we call the art of building up the soul. We demonstrate to anyone whose soul has fallen to pieces that he can rearrange these pieces of a previous self in whatever order he pleases, and so attain to an endless multiplicity of moves in the game of life. As the playwright shapes a drama from a handful of characters, so do we from the pieces of the disintegrated self build up ever new groups, with ever new interplay and suspense, and new situations that are eternally inexhaustible. Look!"

With the sure and silent touch of his clever fingers he took hold of my pieces, all the old men and young men and children and women, cheerful and sad, strong and weak, nimble and clumsy, and swiftly arranged them on his board for a game. At once they formed themselves into groups and families, games and battles, friendships and enmities, making a small world. For a while he let this lively and yet orderly world go through its evolutions before my enraptured eyes in play and strife, making treaties and fighting battles, wooing, marrying and multiplying. It was indeed a crowded stage, a moving breathless drama.

Then he passed his hand swiftly over the board and gently swept all the pieces into a heap; and, meditatively with an artist's skill, made up a new game of the same pieces with quite other groupings, relationships and entanglements. The second gamehad an affinity with the first, it was the same world built of the same material, but the key was different, the time changed, the motif as differently given out and the situations differently presented.

"This is the art of life," he said dreamily. "You may yourself as an artist develop the game of your life and lend it animation. You may complicate and enrich it as you please. It lies in your hands. Just as madness, in a higher sense, is the beginning of all wisdom, so is schizophrenia the beginning of all art and all fantasy. Even learned men have come to a partial recognition of this, as may be gathered, for example, from Prince Wunderhorn, that enchanting book, in which the industry and pains of a man of learning, with the assistance of the genius of a number of madmen and artists shut up as such, are immortalized. Here, take your little pieces away with you. The game will often give you pleasure. The piece that today grew to the proportions of an intolerable nuisance, you will degrade tomorrow to a mere lay figure. The luckless Cinderella will in the next game be the princess. I wish you much pleasure, my dear sir."

I bowed low in gratitude to the gifted chess player, put the little pieces in my pocket and withdrew through the narrow door.


Quote: Gabriel Véraldi: A la mémoire d'un ange

Text: Herman Hesse, from Steppenwolf

Picture: Ingmar Bergman's Det Sjunde inseglet

Midi: George Brassens: Boulevard du temps qui passe

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10 Sep 2005 @ 18:20 by Tal @ : c4

10 Sep 2005 @ 18:21 by Adriel @ : e6

10 Sep 2005 @ 18:22 by Tal @ : Nc3

10 Sep 2005 @ 18:23 by Adriel @ : Bb4

12 Sep 2005 @ 06:08 by Tal @ : Nf3

12 Sep 2005 @ 14:36 by Adriel @ : d5

13 Sep 2005 @ 02:24 by Tal @ : d4

13 Sep 2005 @ 05:53 by Adriel @ : Ne7

13 Sep 2005 @ 14:17 by Tal @ : e3

14 Sep 2005 @ 04:07 by Adriel @ : c5

14 Sep 2005 @ 14:30 by Tal @ : Bd3

15 Sep 2005 @ 02:32 by Adriel @ : d5 x c4

15 Sep 2005 @ 14:18 by Tal @ : B x c4

16 Sep 2005 @ 23:25 by Adriel @ : O - O

17 Sep 2005 @ 22:31 by Tal @ : O - O

18 Sep 2005 @ 05:47 by Adriel @ : Cc6

18 Sep 2005 @ 17:04 by Tal @ : a3

19 Sep 2005 @ 01:28 by Adriel @ : c5 x d4

19 Sep 2005 @ 14:27 by Tal @ : e3 x d4

20 Sep 2005 @ 02:46 by Adriel @ : B x c3

20 Sep 2005 @ 14:42 by Tal @ : b2 x c3

21 Sep 2005 @ 02:11 by Adriel @ : b6

21 Sep 2005 @ 14:43 by Tal @ : Qd3

22 Sep 2005 @ 02:17 by Adriel @ : Bb7

22 Sep 2005 @ 15:07 by Tal @ : Re1

23 Sep 2005 @ 07:39 by Adriel @ : h6

23 Sep 2005 @ 23:46 by Tal @ : Ba2

24 Sep 2005 @ 07:25 by Adriel @ : Re8

24 Sep 2005 @ 18:50 by Tal @ : R x e6

27 Sep 2005 @ 04:38 by Adriel @ : f7 x e6

27 Sep 2005 @ 06:33 by Tal @ : B x e6 +

28 Sep 2005 @ 04:51 by Adriel @ : Kf8

28 Sep 2005 @ 14:31 by Tal @ : Nh4

29 Sep 2005 @ 02:14 by Adriel @ : Ne5

29 Sep 2005 @ 14:45 by Tal @ : Qh7

30 Sep 2005 @ 05:59 by Adriel @ : Nc6

30 Sep 2005 @ 17:11 by Tal @ : Qg8+


1 Oct 2005 @ 06:04 by Adriel @ : Ke7

1 Oct 2005 @ 17:32 by Tal @ : Nf5 +

2 Oct 2005 @ 08:39 by Adriel @ : Kf6

3 Oct 2005 @ 14:33 by Tal @ : d4 x e5 +

4 Oct 2005 @ 03:50 by Adriel @ : N x e5

4 Oct 2005 @ 14:03 by Tal @ : Q x g7 +

5 Oct 2005 @ 06:36 by Adriel @ : K x e6

5 Oct 2005 @ 14:41 by Tal @ : Nd4 +

6 Oct 2005 @ 02:06 by Adriel @ : Kd6

6 Oct 2005 @ 14:43 by Tal @ : Bf4

7 Oct 2005 @ 05:46 by Adriel @ : Bd5

8 Oct 2005 @ 16:44 by Tal @ : Re1

10 Oct 2005 @ 05:46 by Adriel @ : Kc5

10 Oct 2005 @ 14:39 by Tal @ : R x e5

12 Oct 2005 @ 03:50 by Adriel @ : R x e5
R x e5  

12 Oct 2005 @ 14:42 by Tal @ : Q x e5

13 Oct 2005 @ 05:31 by Adriel @ : Qd7

13 Oct 2005 @ 11:50 by swan : Math codes and chess moves...
always did go over my head. Could you two talk plain English?  

13 Oct 2005 @ 11:51 by swan : Door
number three...  

13 Oct 2005 @ 17:36 by uncleremus : Hi Swan,

Yes, intriguing, isn't it?

Too bad, you are not into chess, there is an eerie quality to those moves, a very unusual game.....very Tal-like.

I had not commented, I didn't want to disturb the players, or scare them away, you know.

Intriguing handles, too, that they have chosen for themselves.

Do you know who {link:http://www.chessbase.com/columns/column.asp?pid=134|Tal} is/was?

And this would be {link:http://www.angelfire.com/electronic/myPlace/angels.html#death|Adriel}, I think.  

13 Oct 2005 @ 22:37 by swan : I think players of that magnitude
would be hard to scare away...  

14 Oct 2005 @ 16:32 by uncleremus : Who knows?

"...Just as one's imagination is stirred by a girl's smile, so is one's imagination stirred by the possibilities of chess."
---Mikhail Tal

Interesting handles, anyhow. They both make quite intriguing {link:http://noemata.net/1996-2002/574.html|avatar/atavars}.

Look at Tal, for example, there is a little bit of all of us in that player - the best side of mankind, maybe. You know, the part that remains "new, open, and exciting."

Like Ming, Tal favored open systems.

"Closed can't compete with open. Owned and expensive can't compete with free. Limited and controlled can't compete with free in the other sense of the word. Boring can't compete with exciting." http://www.newciv.org/news2/index.htm/_d45/_v45/__show_article/_a000010-001583.htm

"The pieces must breath deeply and with a full chest"
---Mikhail Tal

Tal became World Chess Champion with a match victory over Mikhail Botvinnik.The Chess chronicle has it that in 1960, "skeptics thought that Botvinnik was such a solid, positional player, that Tal's attacking style (somewhat purposely flawed by Tal's design) would not be able to penetrate Botvinnik's granite-like defense. But when Tal played Botvinnik for the World Championship, he won with an outrageously complicated and risky piece sacrifice, because Botvinnik couldn't navigate through all of the complicated variations that Tal created on the board."

Yet, Botvinnik, eventually won the return match in 1961.

According to some analysts, Tal's weakness was that he never programmed himself "properly."

I can't help but feel that it was his greatest strength however, and his claim to fame.

"His unwillingness to become a drone to add 10 percent to his point tally."

Larry Parr http://www.worldchessnetwork.com/English/chessHistory/salute/kings/tal.php commented that: "The chess story of Mikhail Tal IS about the act itself of straining against the leash of limited human imagination to create mammoth combinations on the chessboard. During his games, Tal wished to go where no chess player had ever gone before, choosing the middlegame as his metier for creative expression... It means trying to create more than the human mind can accommodate. It means expending energy while classical opponents conserve energy. It means making errors. It ultimately means sacrificing overall performance results in pursuit of a romantic vision."

I think if it ever came to a game of chess between Mankind and Death. Mankind could do a lot worse than the spirit of Tal as its champion.  

14 Oct 2005 @ 20:37 by Tal @ : Nc2

14 Oct 2005 @ 22:01 by swan : Being unwilling to become a drone...
"His unwillingness to become a drone to add 10 percent to his point tally."

and how many have become drones in the chess game of life without even knowing it?  

15 Oct 2005 @ 02:53 by Adriel @ : Re8

16 Oct 2005 @ 18:49 by Tal @ : Qd4 +
Qd4 +  

18 Oct 2005 @ 02:20 by Adriel @ : Kc6

19 Oct 2005 @ 14:37 by Tal @ : c4

21 Oct 2005 @ 02:24 by Adriel @ : Be6

21 Oct 2005 @ 16:11 by Tal @ : Qe4 +
Qe4 +  

23 Oct 2005 @ 07:33 by Adriel @ : Kc5

24 Oct 2005 @ 14:38 by Tal @ : h3

24 Oct 2005 @ 15:00 by swan : Tal,
could you explain to me why you made that move, I am a little lost.  

26 Oct 2005 @ 05:00 by Adriel @ : Bf5

27 Oct 2005 @ 14:36 by Tal @ : Be3+
Be3 +  

29 Oct 2005 @ 04:33 by Adriel @ : Kd6

1 Nov 2005 @ 00:06 by Tal @ : Qf4 +

3 Apr 2006 @ 10:01 by jazzolog @ : The Word I'm Supposed To Type
to Add Comment

is fabugi.

With that message I begin my week.  

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