Thuistezien 165 — 02.02.2021

Mischa Andriessen

This publication of Mischa Andriessen is a cross between poetry and autobiography. Between two lives. Between modern times and those of 60 years ago. Between writing and jazz. Between authenticity and lunacy. A lunacy of me as a reader, him as the writer, and them in the story. Is lunacy something that overcomes us or something that is already inside any one of us? In this text Andriessen meets with beat poet Allen Ginsberg and we do not know who is who. Perhaps it is ourselves. We are all naked and mad; we could employ some kind of unrestraint to uncover secrets. The text is on the one hand a stream of consciousness, a diary from a first perspective of Andriessen where the words follow each other in consecutive thoughts, impulses, memories and loose associations. On the other hand, he is in an internal dialogue with Ginsberg who is living in his head with his own thoughts, impulses, memories and loose associations. In this way we also experience and recognize the commonplace schizophrenia of our thoughts – particularly when we then convert them to writing, which is a schizophrenic act in itself. Who is ‘I’? Which voice is responsible for the one story that we tell ourselves, and then the other? The liberty that Andriessen and Ginsberg take in writing carries with it a societal critique. It is simultaneously descriptive and prescriptive. What kind of good comes along with enforcing a standard? A standard of literature, health, obedience, sexuality, intensity. It is a standard from within we are safe and can assume with a degree of certainty that things can be taken to be ‘true’. What is this fetish and rushed conclusion of ‘first calmness and serenity, then neutrality and clarity’? Why could the vision of the lunatic not be the most pure form of intuition and clarity? Why these prerequisites? Why would we not trust ourselves and our capacities and schizophrenia? It is only when we are truly open to ambiguity, to the other voice (or voices, if you’re lucky) in our head or the naked person in front of us, that an encounter is possible, a meeting. What comes forth from this as a musical genre is jazz, but it also represents writing. Each plays their own tune groundlessly, including twists, turns, shadows and vulnerability. Posited in strength and spontaneity creates the best pieces. Along these lines a new world can be made.

‘Now I am naked, I would wish you were standing before me.’

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Texst: Yael Keijzer