ναυσίη (nausiē), noise, bruit, rumore, geräusch…
il rumore è l'alter ego,
la pietra filosofale:
a golden stone
is still a stone.
[...] After 1948, through the years of Communist revolution in my native country, I saw the eminent role played by lyrical blindness in a time of Terror, which for me was the period when "the poet reigned along with the executioner" (Life Is Elsewhere). I would think about Mayakovsky then; his genius was as indispensable to the Russian Revolution as Dzherzhinsky's police. Lyricism, lyricization, lyrical talk, lyrical enthusiasm are an integrating part of what is called the totalitarian world; that world is not the gulag as such; it's a gulag that has poems plastering its outside walls and people dancing before them.
More than the Terror, the lyricization of the Terror was a trauma for me. It immunized me for good against all lyrical temptations. The only thing I deeply, avidly, wanted was a lucid, unillusioned eye. I finally found it in the art of the novel. This is why for me being a novelist was more than just working in one "literary genre" rather than another; it was an outlook, a wisdom, a position; a position that would rule out identification with any politics, any religion, any ideology, any moral doctrine, any group; a considered, stubborn, furious nonidentification, conceived not as evasion or passivity but as resistance, defiance, rebellion. I wound up having some odd conversations: "Are you a Communist, Mr. Kundera?" "No, I'm a novelist." "Are you a dissident?" "No, I'm a novelist." "Are you on the left or the right?" "Neither. I'm a novelist." Since early youth, I have been in love with modern art—with its painting, its music, its poetry. But. modern art was marked by its "lyrical spirit," by its illusions of progress, its ideology of the double revolution, aesthetic and political, and little by little, I took a dislike to all that.
Yet my skepticism about the spirit of the avant-garde never managed to affect in the slightest my love for the works of modern art. I loved them, and I loved them all the more for being the first victims of Stalinist persecution; in The Joke., Cenek is sent to a disciplinary regiment because he loves cubist painting; that's how it was then: the Revolution had decided that modern art was its ideological Enemy Number One even though the poor modernists wanted only to sing its praises; I'll never forget Konstantin Biebl: an exquisite poet (ah, how many of his lines I knew by heart!) who, as an enthusiastic Communist, after 1948 took to writing propaganda poetry of a mediocrity as alarming as it was heartbreaking; shortly thereafter, he threw himself from a window onto a Prague pavement and died; in this subtle being, I saw modern art betrayed, cuckolded, martyred, assassinated, self-destroyed. [...]
from TESTAMENTS BETRAYED. Copyright © 1993 by Milan Kundera.