Étant Donnés With Michael Gira - Offenbarung und Untergang By Georg Trakl

Étant Donnés are Eric & Marc Hurtado and Michael Gira is Michael Gira ... but I suspect you already know such things.

Georg Trakl was an Austrian expressionist poet. Offenbarung und Untergang was written in 1914. That year signaled the start of World War I. He "served" as a medical officer attending the humans subject to that brutality. He suffered bouts of depression triggered by what he was forced to witness and attempted suicide. He was confined to a military hospital in Kraków.

During these times, cocaine was a relatively new synthesized drug. It was considered a panacea. Sigmund Freud wrote his first published work under the influence of cocaine (and look at the problems that he continues to cause!) and prescribed cocaine and heroin to his friends and the unfortunates who were convinced he had credibility. Some died as a result. Now, we consider cocaine as an intoxicant. Georg Trakl considered it as an exit and he succeeded. In early November of 1914 at the age of 27 he took his own life via cocaine overdose.

This is a CD released on Les Disques Du Soleil Et De L'Acier in 1999. The words are fittingly sung and spoken in German.

REVELATION AND APOCALYPSE (Offenbarung und Untergang)

Strange are the nocturnal paths of Man. When I walked in the night past stony rooms and a silent lamp, a copper candlestick was burning in each, and when I fell on my bed shaking with cold, the black shadow of the stranger girl stood near my head once more and I silently hid my face in slow hands. And the hyacinth had come up blue at the window, and the ancient prayer hung on the crimson lips of the breather, crystal tears dropped from his eyelids, wept for the sake of the bitter world. In that hour I was the white son in my father’s death. The night wind burst in blue shivers from the hill, the dark lament of my mother — it came and it died away and I saw the black hell in my heart. Minute of shimmering stillness. Softly an unspeakable face arose from the chalky wall — a dying boy — the loveliness of a race coming homeward. White as the moon, the chill of the stones hugged my waking temples, the footsteps of the shades echoed away on crumbling stairs, a rosy dance in the little garden ...

I sat in silence in a vacant tavern under smoke-black, wooden beams, and feeling lonely over my wine. A radiant corpse bent over a thing of darkness and a dead lamb lay at my feet. From blue decay the pale form of my sister rose up and her bleeding mouth pronounced these words: “Go pierce me, blackthorn. Ah, my silver arms yet resound with savage thunder. Go flow, my blood, from my moon-white feet, blossoming in the paths of night over which the rat darts screaming. Go flicker, you stars, in my vaulted brows. And softly my heart chimes in the night. A red shadow with sword of fire has broken into the house, has fled with a forehead of snow. O bitter death.”

And a dark voice spoke from within me: “One night in the forest I broke my black stallion’s neck when madness rose in his crimson eyes. The shadows of the elms fell upon me, the blue laughter of the spring and the black chill of the night, when I, a wild huntsman, started a snowy quarry. My face died in a hail of stones.”

And a drop of blood fell glistening into the wine of the solitary, and when I drank of it the taste was more bitter than poppies. And a swarthy cloud hid my head, the crystal tears of exiled angels. And my sister’s blood ran silently from a silver wound and fell over me in a rain of fire.

I want to walk by the forest hem, a thing of silence from whose speechless hands the sun has slipped with his bright hair, a stranger on the hillside of evening who weeps and opens his eyelids above the stony city, a deer that stands still in the peace of the ancient elder. O the darkening head lies listening without repose, or the hesitant footsteps follow the blue cloud on the hillside, follow also its solemn stars. At my side the green seed escorts me in silence, the deer is my companion on mossy forest paths. The huts of the villagers are dumbly shut and the wail of the brook brings fear in the windless blackness.

But when I went down the rocky path, madness took me and I screamed aloud in the night. And when I bent down with silver fingers over the silent waters, I saw that my face had abandoned me. And the white voice said to me: “Go kill yourself.” With a groan the shadow of a boy rose up within me and looked at me with radiant eyes so that I fell down weeping under the trees, under the mighty vault of the stars.

Pilgrimage without peace through savage rocks far from the pools of evening, from homecoming flocks. Far away the sinking sun basks in a pasture of crystal, and there is terror in her wild song, in the lonely cry of the bird dying into blue quiet. But in silence you come at night when I lie awake on the hillside, or raving in the thunder of the spring. And ever more blackly heaviness vaults above the exiled head, shuddering lightning bolts appall the soul at night, your hands rip open my breathless breast.

When I went into the darkening garden and Evil One’s sinister form had left me, the hyacinth stillness of night enfolded me, and I rode on a curving boat over the resting pond and sweet peace touched my stony forehead. Unable to speak I lay under the ancient willows and the blue sky was high, high above me and full of stars. And when I died while gazing, all fear and pain died within me all the more deeply. And the boy’s blue shadow arose radiantly over the darkness, a soft song. On wings of moonlight there rose, high over the green tree-tops, over crags of crystal, the face of my sister.

On silver soles I climbed down the thorny stairs and entered the chamber whitewashed with chalk. A candlestick shone silently inside, and silently I hid my head in crimson linens. And the earth cast up the dead body of a child, a shape of moonlight that slowly rose from my shadow and fell down a stony chasm with broken arms, soft flakes of snow.

Offenbarung Und Untergang By Georg Trakl