Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Significant Moments: The Theme of Time

There is a recurring theme in my book Significant Moments: the theme of time.  Time was an important theme in the novels of William Faulkner, as it is for many writers, I suppose.  The psychoanalyst Gilbert J. Rose, M.D. wrote a scholarly paper titled: William Faulkner's Light in August: The Orchestration of Time in the Psychology of Artistic Style.  I quote generously from that paper in Significant Moments.

Incidentally, Toni Morrison, a professor of literature at Princeton and former professor at Howard University, is an expert in the work of William Faulkner.  (Vernon Jordan is a trustee of Howard University.  But then, Vernon is connected to everybody!)   Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed black characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved.

Incidentally, several years ago I wrote a brief paper about the theme of time and its possible psychological determinants in H.G. Wells novel, The Time Machine.

The following are several of the references to time in Significant Moments.  There are many more references to time in the book than are presented below.
___________________________


He took up the watch and closed it and returned it to his pocket, looping the chain again through his suspender.
William Faulkner, Light in August.
He had forgotten to wind it so the watch was dead . . .
Gilbert Rose, William Faulkner's Light in August: The Orchestration of Time in the Psychology of Artistic Style.
Now it was ticking again.
Joachim Kohler, Nietzsche and Wagner: A Lesson in Subjugation.
But he knew it was late without having to look at the watch.
Gilbert Rose, William Faulkner's Light in August: The Orchestration of Time in the Psychology of Artistic Style.
In this world, a second is a second is a second.  Time paces forward with exquisite regularity, at precisely the same velocity in every corner of space.
Alan Lightman, Einstein's Dreams.

* * * * *

But what is the past?  Could it be, the firmness of the past is just illusion?
Alan Lightman, Einstein's Dreams.           
[I]s there any reason to trust a man in his late fifties, who speaks of his "child's memory" as if it existed, unintruded upon by intervening experience, like an old movie reel, waiting only for a projector?
Philip Gourevitch, The Memory Thief.
Nobody can really say for sure, because nobody really knows . . .
Charles M. Kozierok, Risks of Overclocking the Processor.

* * * * *

The Professor . . .
Thomas Mann, Disorder and Early Sorrow.
. . . his cheek on his fist, in a thoughtful, Byronic pose . . .
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.                     
. . . does not succeed in identifying it, though he listens attentively to the end, after which there is great applause . . .
Thomas Mann, Disorder and Early Sorrow.
After that the musicians play a late Beethoven quartet.
Herman Wouk, War and Remembrance.
Is that one of the Beethoven string quartets?
Daniel Ellsberg, Personal Communication with Gary Freedman.
"Yes!"
Philip T. Barford, Beethoven's Last Sonata.
“It must be!  It must be!”
 Daniel Gregory Mason, The Quartets of Beethoven.
 What supernatural delight!
 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust.

* * * * *

Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
T.S. Eliot, Excerpt from Burnt Norton.
For Freud, who seemed to use every hour productively, the momentary present was almost hidden between past and future.  The present took its meaning from the larger perspective, the non-present, from which Freud derived his higher motive, his drive for success and permanence.
E. James Lieberman, Acts of Will: The Life and Work of Otto Rank.
It is impossible to date with any precision the time that Freud began his momentous self-scrutiny.  By 1893 or, at the latest, 1894, the pressure for generalization always active within him had brought him to the recognition that the mental activities his patients reported to him strikingly resembled his own fantasies, thoughts, and wishes.
Peter Gay, Freud: For the Marble Tablet.
Within that same decade, Freud, a neurologist fascinated by hypnosis, created the science and art of psychoanalysis.  He introduced the term in 1896, borrowing “analysis” from chemistry.
E. James Lieberman, Acts of Will: The Life and Work of Otto Rank.
During these years . . .
Erik H. Erikson, Insight and Responsibility.
. . . the seemingly stable days of the 1890's . . .
Donald A. Wollheim, Introduction to H.G. Wells, The Time Machine.
. . . Freud at times expressed some despair and confessed to some neurotic symptoms which reveal phenomological aspects of a creative crisis.  He suffered from a “railroad phobia” and from acute fears of an early death—both symptoms of an over-concern with the all too rapid passage of time.  “Railroad phobia” is an awkwardly clinical way of translating Reisefieber—a feverish combination of pleasant excitement and anxiety.  But it all meant, it seems, on more than one level that he was “coming too late,” that he was “missing the train,” that he would perish before reaching some “promised land.”  He could not see how he could complete what he had visualized if every single step took so much "work, time and error."            
Erik H. Erikson, Insight and Responsibility.
Every now and again he . . .
Anthony Trollope, La Vendee.
. . . thought of the problems in school arithmetic in which you are asked how soon and in what order trains, starting at different times and going at different speeds, get to their destinations; he tried to remember the general method of solving them, but it escaped him and he went on from these school memories to
others and to still more complicated speculations. He tried to imagine several people whose lives run parallel and close together but move at different speeds, and he wondered in what circumstances some of them would overtake and survive others.  Something like a theory of relativity governing the hippodrome of life occurred to him, but he became confused and gave up his analogies.
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.
He was obviously, I believe, hiding the weaknesses in his nature, covering the areas which were most vulnerable to hurt, concealing the vast but vague designs shaping in his dreams.  One of the weaknesses most noticeable and most significant was that lateness to arrive at the various stages of maturity.  This had the effect of making much that went on about him slightly incomprehensible.   He knew that certain things happened and would happen, but he was not quite certain why.  And he did not want this insufficiency to be known.  He went to great lengths to keep it hidden.  That repository of concealment by now begins to seem
bottomless.
Rexford G. Tugwell, The Democratic Roosevelt.
At this time, Freud speaks of his discoveries with the anguish of one who has seen a promised land which he must not set foot on:
Erik H. Erikson, Insight and Responsibility.
I am beginning now to fear that I must wait a lifetime. . . .
If that is so, it remains for us to live as though it were not so.  But to me the future is still black and blank—
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine.
We look back on these . . .
George Steiner, In Bluebeard's Castle.
. . . self-appraisals . . .
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
. . . now with bewildered irony.
George Steiner, In Bluebeard's Castle.       

* * * * *  

Wagner stood "in the hall, . . .
 Peter Gay, Freud, Jews and Other Germans.              
. . . at the door . . .
Cosima Wagner's Diaries (Tuesday, December 23, 1879).
. . . watch in hand, and . . .
Peter Gay, Freud, Jews and Other Germans.
. . . looking at the timepiece . . .
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine.
. . . said in a highly ceremonious, serious tone, . . .
Peter Gay, Freud, Jews and Other Germans.
. . . as if prearranged, . . .
Arnold Schoenberg, Survivor from Warsaw.
'You are ten minutes late!  Unpunctuality is half infidelity!  He who keeps others waiting is an egotist.'"
Peter Gay, Freud, Jews and Other Germans.

* * * * *

There is a place where time stands still.
Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams.
It is old, untouched and unchanged by modern life.  It is . . .
The Diary of Anais Nin: Volume 1 – 1931-1934.
. . . Bayreuth, . . .
Willa Cather, A Wagner Matinee.
. . . a place where . . .
Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams.
. . . Space and Time are one.
Richard Wagner, Parsifal.

* * * * *

We are concerned here, in particular, . . .
Richard Day and Ronald H. Davidson, Magic and Healing: An Ethnopsychoanalytic Examination.
. . . at this moment in our journey. . .
Radio Interview of President William Jefferson Clinton by CBS News (December 11, 1999).
. . .with the individuals . . .
Richard Day and Ronald H. Davidson, Magic and Healing: An Ethnopsychoanalytic Examination.
. . . who have been . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius: The Fictitious Case of Tausk Contra Freud.
. . . referred to as “lightening conductors of common anxiety”—medicine men, sorcerers, shamans—who articulate a personal reformulation through the role of healer and who seek, by the alleviation of group
anxiety, their own sense of identity and security.
Richard Day and Ronald H. Davidson, Magic and Healing: An Ethnopsychoanalytic Examination.

* * * *

I arrived at the right hour but . . .
Hugo Wolf, Letter to His Parents in Romain Rolland, Hugo Wolf.
He made us wait.  That is probably the way to put it.  He heightened the suspense by his delay in appearing.
Thomas Mann, Mario and the Magician.
'Where's-------?' said I, naming our host.
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine.
It was half-past six o'clock and the hands were quietly moving on, it was even past the half-hour, it was getting on toward a quarter to seven.
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis.
Wagner’s . . .
Rexford G. Tugwell, The Democratic Roosevelt.
. . . practice, on such occasions, of making dramatic entrances at . . .
Edmund Morris, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt.
. . . well past . . .
H.G. Wells, The Door in the Wall.
. . . the appointed hour, and regally offering his arm to the lady who will sit at his right, looks suspiciously like imperial pomp.
Edmund Morris, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt.

* * * *

For a moment I suspected that my intellect had tricked me.  Then I noted the clock.
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine.
. . . the clock in the corner.
Alan Lightman, Einstein's Dreams.        
A moment before, as it seemed, it had stood at a minute or so past ten; now it was . . .
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine.
. . . midnight.
William Shakespeare, Othello.
Time!
George Gordon, Lord Byron, Excerpt from “To Time.”
The clock indicates the moment—but what does eternity indicate?
Walt Whitman, Song of Myself.
He then became lost in his own thoughts, without really knowing what he was thinking about.
Buket Uzuner, An Unbearable Passion.
The past rose before his eyes . . .
Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha.
. . . undone after all and played backward in memory and forward in hope . . .                      
Gilbert Rose, William Faulkner's Light in August: The Orchestration of Time in the Psychology of Artistic Style.

* * * * *

—A theory about the stars amuses him: if the light we see from stars is now several thousand years old, he says, then they must be seeing us as we were at the time of Abraham!
Cosima Wagner's Diaries (Tuesday, June 28, 1881).
Oh, what a . . .
William Shakespeare, Hamlet.
. . . curious scientific phenomenon . . .
Tom Stoppard, Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
—an astounding phenomenon indeed!
Salo Wittmayer Baron, A Social and Religious History of the Jews.
(Is this true, or . . .
Arrigo Boito, Falstaff.
. . . a celestial . . .
Harold Bloom, The Western Canon: The Books and Schools of the Ages.                          
 . . . jest?)
 Arrigo Boito, Falstaff.

* * * * *
      
By the time . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . the Great War ended, however, . . .
W. Thomas White, Working Life: The Big Strike.
. . . the world had undergone a complete transformation . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . and the consequences for . . .
Hermann Hesse, Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game.                                  
. . . Hesse . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius: The Fictitious Case of Tausk Contra Freud.
. . . himself were far greater than he could ever have foreseen.
Hermann Hesse, Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game.
Somehow events in his life were coming to a head, but he felt that he was being lived by them, rather than living them.
Erik H. Erikson, Young Man Luther.

* * * * *
      
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
T.S. Eliot, Excerpt from “Burnt Norton.”
If one insists upon a lesson from history, it lies here, as discovered by . . .
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century.
. . . Hermann Hesse . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius: The Fictitious Case of Tausk Contra Freud.
. . . when he was writing a book on the. . .
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century.
. . . world of the remote future . . .
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine.
. . . Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game . . .
Hermann Hesse, Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game.
. . . while dodging the Gestapo during World War II.  “Certain ways of behavior,” he wrote, “certain reactions against fate, throw mutual light upon each other.”
Barbara W. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century.
The longer we consider Hesse’s novel, the more clearly we realize that it is not a telescope focused on an imaginary future, but a mirror reflecting with disturbing sharpness a paradigm of present reality.
Theodore Ziolkowski, Introduction to Hermann Hesse, Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game.
    
* * * * *

A clock strikes the half hour.
Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Der Rosenkavalier.
Freud . . .
Joseph Wortis, Fragments of an Analysis with Freud.
. . . takes out his watch; shows it . . .
Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Der Rosenkavalier.
. . . to Aichhorn.
Edmund Engelman, Berggasse 19: Sigmund Freud’s Home and Office, Vienna, 1938.
It was growing late.      
Arthur B. Reeve, The War Terror.
“I hope,” I said when I left, “that . . .
 Joseph Wortis, Fragments of an Analysis with Freud.
 . . . our project will be successful.
Sun Myung Moon, The Path That We Tread.
Freud was by this time however deeply immersed in his own past, and simply shrugged his shoulders.
Joseph Wortis, Fragments of an Analysis with Freud.

* * * * *

Somberly . . .
William C. Bullitt, Foreword to Freud & Bullitt, Thomas Woodrow Wilson: A Psychological Study.
. . . on the second day . . .
Jack London, The Night-Born.
. . . Freud, . . .
E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime.
. . . who was in the room . . .
Arthur Rubinstein, My Young Years.
. . . said that he had not long to live and that his death would be unimportant to him or anyone else, because he had written everything he wished to write and his mind was emptied.
William C. Bullitt, Foreword to Freud & Bullitt, Thomas Woodrow Wilson: A Psychological Study.
Indeed, . . .
Adam Phillips, The Beast in the Nursery.
. . . he was as little able to know a fear for his future as to know a hope; so absent in short was any question of anything still to come.
Henry James, The Beast in the Jungle.

* * * * *

He then sat down in front of his desk, opened a leather folder, and began to write with a fountain pen on a large sheet of paper.  At first he sat rather stiffly, looking at the camera while I prepared to take his picture, but after a few moments he turned to his desk and became so engrossed in his work that it seemed the
outside world had disappeared for him.
Edmund Engelman, Berggasse 19: Sigmund Freud’s Home and Offices, Vienna, 1938.
The image froze.
Philip K. Dick, The Mold of Yancy.
He and I were . . .
O. Henry, After Twenty Years.
. . . really almost reaching out in imagination—as against time—for . . .
Henry James, The Beast in the Jungle.
. . . the illusion that we can stop time, that something is permanent even if we are falling short . . .
Adam Phillips, The Beast in the Nursery.
. . . of recognizing that in reality . . .
Remarks of President William Jefferson Clinton in Announcement of the Annenberg Education Contribution (December 17, 1993).
“Words are the only things which last forever.”
Harold Evans, His Finest Hour: Roy Jenkins chronicles the life of the prime minister who led Britain to victory over the Nazis.

* * * * *

This inner life is not the words nor even the plot as conceived by . . .
George and Portia Kernodle, Invitation to the Theatre. 
. . . Wagner . . .
Margaret Brenman-Gibson, Clifford Odets: American Playwright. 
. . . the playwright, but a dynamic sequence, constantly surging in rhythmic waves from the beginning to the end.
George and Portia Kernodle, Invitation to the Theatre. 
This “birth of the modern” was an explosion of energy.
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century. 
For the past several months, since the middle of April, he has dreamed many dreams about time . . .
Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams. 
. . . a new dimension of time, quite different from anything before in music.  It is a time which no longer ticks by, or even dances or saunters by: it proceeds imperceptibly, as the moon moves, or as leaves change their color.
 Leonard Bernstein, The Unanswered Question. 

* * * * *

And presently it became quiet and secret around; but from the depth the sound of a bell came up slowly.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. 
The hour has come!—
Richard Wagner, Parsifal. 
It's time!  It's late!
Friedrich Nietzsche, Excerpt from “From High Mountains: Aftersong.” 
How it sighs!  How it laughs in a dream!  Old deep, deep midnight!
Still!  Still!  Here things are heard that by day may not become loud; but now in the cool air, when all the noise of your hearts too has become still—now it speaks, now it is heard, now it steals into nocturnal, overawake souls.  Alas!  Alas!  
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. 

* * * * *

Here in this house . . .
H. Rider Haggard, Montezuma’s Daughter.

. . . in London, . . .
J. Moussaieff Masson, Freud and the Seduction Theory.

. . . Between one June and another September . . .
T.S. Eliot, Excerpt from Marina.
. . . Freud lived out the year he still had to live . . . 
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time. 
. . . extremely ill; . . .
Henry James, The Chaperon.
. . . an exile, . . .
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Excerpt from Evangeline.

. . . alone in an alien culture.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Flight To Italy. Diary and Selected Letters (Explanatory Note by T.J. Reed).
What images return.
T.S. Eliot, Excerpt from Marina. 
June 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Flight To Italy. Diary and Selected Letters.
crossing the Channel
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.

through the fog
T.S. Eliot, Excerpt from Marina.
by the night boat
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
water lapping the bow
T.S. Eliot, Excerpt from Marina.

Then, land!—then England!
Elizabeth Barret Browning, Aurora Leigh. 

reaching the other shore
Commentary on the Diamond Sutra.

the first eight weeks of freedom
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Flight To Italy. Diary and Selected Letters (editor’s note).
June, May . . . April . . . February . . . November
Simon Gray, Butley.

September
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Flight To Italy. Diary and Selected Letters (editor’s note).



* * * * *
And yet, . . .
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis. 

. . . more and more . . .
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.

. . . the Old Man . . .
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust.

. . . had to bid farewell to the dream, the feeling and the pleasure of infinite possibilities, of a multiplicity of futures. Instead of the dream of unending progress, of the sum of all wisdom, [a timid youth who approached him with worshipful curiosity] stood by, a small, near, demanding reality, an intruder and nuisance, but no longer to be rebuffed or evaded. For the boy represented, after all, the only way into the real future, the one most important duty, the one narrow path along which [his] life and acts, principles, thoughts, and glimmerings could be saved from death and continue their life in a small new bud.
Hermann Hesse, Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game.

A little while elapsed.
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis.


* * * * *

. . . the clock has struck ten . . . 
Richard Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg. 
Marie d’Agoult, . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (translator’s introduction). 
. . . la grande mere . . .
Guy de Maupassant, The Vagabond. 
. . . was talking . . .
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary. 
. . . and playing with the children—Daniel and Blandine von Bulow, Isolde, Eva, and Siegfried Wagner.
Phyllis Stock-Morton, The Life of Marie d’Agoult, alias Daniel Stern. 
‘You!  hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frere!’
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land. 
. . . she remarked abruptly, whereupon . . .
Willa Cather, The Bohemian Girl. 
. . . the Countess . . .
Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence.                                        
. . . grinned and the children giggled.
Willa Cather, The Bohemian Girl. 
"The children ought to go to bed," . . .
Thomas Mann, Disorder and Early Sorrow.
. . . Wagner remarked
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century. 
He said, Marie, Marie . . .
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land. 
It’s getting late, my dear, . .
Charles Dickens, David Copperfield. 
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land. 
"Run along up to bed now; no excuses!"
Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past. 
But she pleads for another quarter of an hour; she has promised already, and they do love it so!
Thomas Mann, Disorder and Early Sorrow. 

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

"late Beethoven string quartet"

Maybe that's a stretch to say it has anything to do with time. But musicologists divide Beethoven's music into three periods: early, middle and late.

The late period music is starkly different from earlier Beethoven and musicologists place great emphasis on the importance of the late period.

http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENUS393&q=late+beethoven+&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=#sclient=psy&hl=en&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENUS393&q=%22late+beethoven%22&aq=0&aqi=g4g-o1&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&fp=a8816cedefc40305