The Old and the New – Eugene Onegin

The old and the new – Eugene Onegin

May be the arrangement yesterday at the Bavarian Stateopera had been occasionally a bit over the top – incidentally I talked the afternoon with Lorena and Sylvia about appropriateness and of course lawyer, music therapist and political-economist differed substantially in finding a common ground. Anyway, without any doubt an exciting performance. In particular Ekaterina Scherbachenko in the role of Tatjana, Alisa Kolosova as Olga and Pavol Breslik performing as Lenski had been outstanding. Would have liked seeing them when visiting Eugene Onegin in the Bolshoi.

Having enjoyed the evening so much (and also the afternoon, sitting in nice company in the sun, bit outside of Munich) three things came to my mind: the visit of the theatre performance of the piece with the same title, Franz Hamburger’s article in the recent Sozialextra and a remark Lorena made, mentioning the “the seven ages” and our brief discussion of the assumed Asian understanding: the perpetuation of certain ages, the repetition on a sequence of developmental stages.

The performance in the Berlin Schaubühne characterised so much the a piece more on Pushkin than on Eugen Onegin: decadence of a society in deterioration. And with this in such a sensitive way showing the interwovenness of individual decay and social debrauchery. If there is society or if there is no such thing, there are apparently people on a stage, Simon Schama writing about Rembrandt’s times, stating that

a ‘person’ in the seventheenth century meant a persona: a guise or a role assumed by an actor.

(Schama, Simon: Rembrandt’s Eyes: 8)

Franz writing in a refreshing way on questions of social work – from where it developed over the recent decades and where it is going. He argued sharply against the loss of character, norms and responsibility in the neo-feudal era, drawing a demarcation line against the ancient régime which he sees as still being guided by a kind of moral nobility, so to say the noble moral – the noblesse oblige.

But in the strict sense we may say that Onegin’s times had been surely feudalist, but nevertheless already coined by the germs of capitalism – the seventh age of feudalism, tentatively and somewhat endearingly merging with the first age of capitalism. Surely a questionable merger, the fathers of the new system applying the Machesterian whip, the mothers ready protecting at least part if the off-spring, and the children – those who are downtrodden and those who are breastfed alike – in different ways opposing. But importantly, we are dealing with the worldliness – already to be found in chapter 4 of the Galatians:

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.Social work, social policy, community work – different names, different faces and still so many things in common. The most important surely that the roots can in a twofold way be found in the very same revolution which GEBAR capitalism – and it could logically be not find any other fertile ground. And with this the ground and fruit  could only be individualism and idealism and perverse reason with its claim of morality.


a child was born

and this, according to Romans 6.18, meant also that we

have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

But exactly this made us being caught in the old story from Sezuan (NB unforgettable the performance of Therese Giese, history, the privilege of being somewhat elderly): the good-doer, often the wife of  him who makes causes disintegration; the entrepreneurs’ wife who stepped in, glazing the ground that had been stirred up and left behind by the undertaker who didn’t even briefly blinked the eyebrow; the apparent good fighting against the apparent bad, allowing exceptions on both sides, but being caught by the fact that the gods are looking for the good in society, however overlooking the crucial fact that there is no such thing as society.

There is only the perfidious self-reflexivity of repeated perversion, elevating the latter on a higher stage of development on a new age, emerging as a new moral and a new rationality. It is this the pure reason – not the one Kant had in mind, and nevertheless the one Kant had been talking about: to the extent to which he suggested such pure reason as something being based in form rather than matter, it could not be anything else than the pure rationality of the system within which it developed.

– Allowing Tatjana to speak

Nyet! Nyet!

Proshlovo ne vorotit!

Ya otdana tepyer drugomu,

Moya sudba uzh reshena,

Ya budu vyek yemu verna.*

As said in the beginning, may be the arrangement yesterday at the Bavarian Statepera had been occasionally a bit over the top. But perhaps it was not. Perhaps it had been just the visualisation, the provocation of something that seems to be hidden. Bringing to the fore what is hidden and allows so many of us to believe in contemplation, to hope for a beetter world without changing it. There cannot be any Aristotle today. And thinking properly, it is easily getting clear that hope is gonethe very same moment when paradise had been lost. And it is equally clear that only practice will allow changing the world: practice as pure, substantial rationality, replacing pure reason.


– It is about 10:35 p.m., though I am still in the whirl of Tchaikovsky’s music and his and Schilossky’s lyrics (follwoing Pushkin, of course), I briefly pass the shop where I know I can connect the phone to the Internet while standing in front of the window – sending a mail I wrote earlier to Juhani, briefly replying to Brona; also seeing a message from the Bavarian Stateopera – telling me that others followed Eugene Onegin on the internet, praised it. On the way to the train station I send a reply to a text message I received from Nuria – my thoughts wonder from Munich to Catalonia. Arriving at the station, I check the platform, get nice espresso as nightcap …. – 11:25 p.m. Time to embark: train 463, Munich to Budapest, the bed is ready, I undress …, just turn around …: but it is not the time to sleep, somebody knocks at the door, knocks sharply again, not leaving a choice; I unlock the door, see something blue in front of my eyes and hear the voice, saying, in English language

German police, your passport.

– the identity card of the guard is back in his pocket. With one hand he reaches out to me, the other hand glides into his pocekt, following the pure reason, not having a choice, nor leaving a choice …


* No, no!

The past cannot be brought back to presence!

Given to somebody else,

My fate is sealed:

And I will be his forever!

Un pensiero riguardo “The Old and the New – Eugene Onegin


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