dissabte, 26 d’octubre de 2013

(autoretret, també...)





Revisitant El candelabro de los siete brazos (PSALMOS) de Rafael Cansinos Assens, uns petits extractes que dedico a la amiga Irmixka, en qui per alguna associació misteriosa he pensat llegint-los i com a torna del seu apunt.

Grazie ancora.
Baci bella!


El reproche a los amigos

(autoretret, també...)

Alef

      Veo a los amigos que un día hicieron conmigo el prodigioso viaje de la juventud y los hallo cambiados y desconocidos: la sombra de un cuidado se extiende sobre sus frentes y, con la vista baja, parecen avergonzarse de haber sido jovenes un día.
  
    En aquel tiempo, ya lejano, parecían tener alas y exhalaban un álito de fuego por sus ávidas bocas; sus frebte resplandecian como altas tiaras.

...

Bet

     En otro tiempo, se mostraron bellos y audaces sobre la tierra, nueva para sus pies; reunían el valor y la gracia y sus cabelleras largas descendían sobre sus hombros como las ondas de un óleo dorado.

...

Vav

      ...

     Siempre libre y fugaz, no he ofrecido mi mano a ningún lazo; ni he arrojado al agua un áncora pesada.
      Y siempre ligero, ingenuo y aturdido, sin cuentas en los dedos, sin fines ni caminos, soy para los hombres graves como un recuerdo de la juventud.


I una altra de les ja tantíssimes associacions:


 

dilluns, 23 de setembre de 2013

Ombres



Retornem a Contra tota esperança, que vàrem guardar ben a prop per tenir-la a mà. 
El xàfec que ens cau aquests dies, més intens però el mateix xàfec de sempre, el que hem viscut tantes vegades al llarg de la nostra història, ens ha portat a revisitar aquest llibre d'algú que va viure en un xàfec de terror i humiliació gairebé tota la vida. Per allò de relativitzar...


Allà, darrere filferro espinós,
al cor mateix de la taigà,
porten la meva ombra a interrogar,
... 

Anna Akhmàtova

En la única cosa que es podia confiar era en la pròpia resistència i en la disciplina. Renuncia a l'esperança, espera la mort i no perdis la dignitat humana.

A mi, un cop sola, el que més m'ha sostingut sempre ha estat la frase de l'Óssip: ¿Perquè se t'ha ficat al cap que has de ser feliç? i també les paraules de l'arxiprest Avvakum. A la seva defallida esposa que li preguntava: ¿Fins quan haurem encara de caminar així, arxiprest?, el marit li va contestar: Fins a la tomba, esposa d'un popa, i la dona es va aixecar i va continuar caminant.

Nadejda Mandelstam 


...I per mantenir, ferms, el coratge i l'objectiu.


         "SILENTIUM!"


No ha pas vingut encara al món,
alhora música i paraula,
en cada cosa viva es guarda,
per ella tot es correspon.

El pit del mar, tranquil, respira,
prô el dia es torna boig de llum,
i, lila pàl·lida, s'esmuny
l'escuma al vas d'aiguamarina.

Que la puresa original,
com una nota crital·lina,
toqui els meus llavis algun dia
amb el silenci virginal.

Resta, Afrodita, escuma viva,
que tornin a ser un aire els mots,
i aprèn, oh cor, d'un altre cor,
fos amb l'origen de la vida!

                                       1910, 1935

divendres, 6 de setembre de 2013

L'Onze de les mans esteses



t'khià (no117), de la mà de salsa-ficció (no116), dona la má a El cinquè vagó (no 118) en la cadena de blogs per la independència.



Sabem amb certesa de molts catalans a qui hauria agradat participar en la Via catalana per la independència però no podran. A t'khià us proposem estendre-li la mà a algún d'ells per fer-los simbòlicament presents. En el nostre cas hem pensat en la Maria Àngels Anglada, que de ben segur estaria orgullosa i emocionada de participar-hi. I al pare, que potser hauria perdut la por endèmica dels vençuts.
A la seva memòria.







Quan el nostre poble es retrobarà

Quan dits d'alba trauran estranys vels del seu rostre, estols
de mots nous naixeran. Per cingleres de llavis les síllabes
trescaran com els ràpids isards.
Vell jardí tant de temps emmurat entre tanques,
a milers els penjolls d'unes noves, vermelles cireres
dringaran tot just nades i sé que les mans
que s'hi allarguin mai més no seran decebudes.

No em pregunteu si ho veurem, ans amb mi celebreu-ho
per endavant. Us ho dic amb frisança
i alabastre de vol que m'espolsa
aquest pòsit d'antiga tristesa a les ales.

                                        Maria Àngels Anglada




El poble erra perdut

El poble erra perdut.
L'han esbrancat a còpia de derrotes,
se n’ha aprimat l'alè,
s'ha eixamplat l'esvoranc
que n'afebleix la idea.

Ara aprèn dels seus límits,
escolta el seu batec,
fidel a si mateix,
s'avesa a altres mirades
des del saber
dels dies
i les morts.

L'error és tan antic
com l'aigua.

Escolta,
el poble recomença,
l'esforç és persistent,
no expira la paraula,
respecta el traç de cada veu.

                            Carles Duarte


A t'khià us estenem la mà des d'ara.

dissabte, 31 d’agost de 2013

ANC ISRAEL


ANC ISRAEL
BENVIGUTS!!
!!ברוך הבא








(ens comprometem repetir la foto amb les banderes planxades...
Ho hem provat i no ens en sortim, i por de cremar-les)


dilluns, 26 d’agost de 2013

També la teva por





De la cua oscilant de lectures pendents finalment li ha arribat el torn a Victus, de l'Albert Sanchez Piñol. Ens sap greu haver-la fet esperar tant, perquè de seguida ens ha enganxat. Si en parlem, però, no és per qüestions literàries, que ja ho han fet d'altres infinitament millor del que ho fariem aquí, sinó per aquest fragment:

Al món no hi ha res que distorsioni tant la realitat com el pànic. Si no era conscient de la meva por, la por hi veuria en lloc meu. O, com diuen els Ducroix: "La por li pujarà fins als ulls i hi veurà enlloc seu".

Doncs això.



dijous, 22 d’agost de 2013

REMORS

 petita geografia vital






La remor de l’aigua de la font de l’avi, de plaça (avui amb purins). Les remors vegetals al nostre pas. La remor dels àlbers acaronats pel vents que t’acompanyaven pel camí i, des d’aleshores, tots els àlbers i les seves remors i les seves fulles tremoloses. I més remors de més arbres, pins, alzines potser i d’altres dels que no en sabem el nom. Lleus remors als carrers buits de les tardes al cor de l’estiu. Remors de grills. Remors domèstiques. Entre tantes altres remors.




Per estirar les cames i airejar-nos, res de senderisme, refem un vell camí i ens retrobem amb aquesta petita geografia vital, parcial i total alhora, i ho pensem, ho sentim, ho constatem i, ara aquí ho documentem i ho deixem negre sobre blanc -i amb il·lustracions-, com un d'aquests patrimonis (gairebé) intangibles que, juntament amb el dels afectes, són els únics patrimonis que, malgrat no ens els endurem, tampoc no ens els podran prendre.






EL FULLAM DE L’ÀLBER

El riu brillant, la Prada repintada
Contemplen, àlber, ton fullam joliu.
-És verd –ha dit la teva mare Prada.
-Oh, no, d’argent –ha dit ton pare Riu.

                             Josep Carner

Me l’ha trobat la mare. Gràcies!


Com que l'estirada de cames l'hem feta, gràcies a la nostra vocació excursionista, en xancletes i calça curta, a la font de la teula hi anirem un altre dia... Aquest n'és el camí vist des de la font de plaça.



Une floretes que ens hem trobat pel camí, no ens en demaneu el nom, per la Miraculosa.






 I aquestes pel Capità |-)




Altres remors que ens hem trobat pel camí: 

                        





I aquesta per la col·lecció. No és el meu pols, és la lluna que vibra...




Buscant àlbers per la xarxa hem trobat aquest superlatiu blog, que és el més important que heu de treure d'aquest apunt. No us en perdeu cap racó.








dilluns, 19 d’agost de 2013

No trobem títol per aquest apunt

Ni estem segurs que el negre sigui el color més adequat.




Sionismo, separatismo catalán y la Associació Catalana d'Amics d'Israel

Aquest enllaç ja no és actiu. L'autor del bòmit ha retirat l'escampall. O li han fet retirar... Però als comentaris el trobareu gràcies al documentat Capità.

Exabrupte, potser? Degradant? Deposició?


 

dd

divendres, 16 d’agost de 2013

Ah! Riiic de veure'm tan bella en aquest miraaaaaall




És el setanta-cinquè aniversari de Bianca Castafiore, La Gran Diva i devota admiradora del Capità Haddock, com nosaltres. Admiradors, no dives... Per molts anys, Bravissima!

 






 

Volem aprofitar l'ocasió per despertar el Capità de la seva letargia, tot recordant-li que al país hi van passant coses i necessitem referents com el seu, que trobem a faltar.




dimecres, 14 d’agost de 2013

Bignònies, Pessarrodona, ...




Desconeixia les bignònies fins que les vaig descobrir en aquest poema de la Marta Pessarrodona i que avui he recordat al trobar-les en el bodegó del blog d'en Llorens Ferri que il·lustra  aquest apunt.

BIGNÒNIES A MIRA-SOL ALT

Som prop i tan lluny.
Les bignònies, potser fugaces,
em sorprenen a cada passa.

No t’he oblidat,
a desgrat que han passat tants
i tants anys que ni vull comptar-los.

El meu no oblit, la meva recança,
sempre tindrà el color d’elles:
el groc esquitxat de vermell, indefinible.
En un temps, però, ho vas ser tot.

Males passades cardinals,
befa de colors, de les flors,
geografia inútil altra vegada.

             D' Animals i plantes
                            Ed. Meteora

I de la mà de la Pessarrodona a la de Brel en una associació floral 




Aquest capvespre de casa estant




divendres, 9 d’agost de 2013

Moisès i Aaron
¿Qui sóc jo per oposar-me
al poder de la ceguesa?



Al l'article Això de l'estiu... de Víctor Sunyol, a El 9 nou d'aquest divendres, nou d'agost, critica l'actitud dominat a l'estiu respecte la lectura i la cultura en general. Això de guardar-se les lectures que demanen més temps i atenció per l'estiu i quan aquest arriba deixar-les perquè no s'està per pensar.
Es a dir: quan no és estiu, com que la feina ens ocupa molt de temps i ens atabala, no podem dedicar-nos a allò que ens enriqueix, forma i fa pensar. I quan és estiu, com que estem de vacances, tampoc. Fantàstic.
Si no volem morir, potser que repenséssim això de "lectures d'estiu" o "activitats light estiuenques". Si no, estarem distrets, sí, però morts per dins.

Doncs bé, a t'khià ens ho prenem al peu de la lletra i proposem treballar-nos multidisciplinàriament. De la mà de Fragmenta, Lluís Duch i Josep Barcons per un costat, amb aquesta edició del libretto  Moisès i Aaron d'Arnold Schönberg amb una extensa i documentada introducció i de l'altra amb una versió de l'òpera dirigida per Willy Decker.
Tingueu a mà la BCI





Un fragment:

UN SACERDOT
     El teu bastó ens obliga,
     ¡però no obliga el faraó
     a donar-nos la llibertat!
AARON
      El vostre coratge s'ha fracturat,
      ha desaparescut el vostre orgull:
      serviu sense cap esperança,
      i no creieu ni en vosaltres mateixos
      ni tampoc en Déu.
      ¡El vostre cor està malat!
      ¡Així no obligareu pas el faraó!
COR
      ¡El faraó és fort!
      ¡Nosaltres som febles!
AARON
      Mireu la mà de Moisès:
      és sana i forta.
      Però el cor de Moisès és ara semblant al vostre,
      perquè sap que sou febles i descoratjats.
      Si porta la seva mà cap aquest cor,
      que està malalt com el vostre,
      ¡mireu!
COR
      ¡Lepra! ¡Fugiu!
      ¡Eviteu-lo!
      ¡No el toqueu!
      ¡Emmalaltireu!
      ¡Lepra!
AARON
      Reconeixeu-vos en això:
      ¡descoratjats, malalts, menyspreats,
      esclavitzats, turmentats!
      Però ara, en el pit de Moisès, hi habita
      l'esperit del Déu fort,
      que obligarà el faraó
      a abolir el vostre esclavatge.
      ¡Mireu!
6 VEUS SOLISTES
      ¡Mireu!
AARON
      Si ara Moisès porta aquest cor fort
      la mà malalta i amb lepra...
COR
       ¡Miracle!¡Vegeu!¡Miracle!
       ¡La mà està sana i forta!
AARON
        Reconeixeu-vos també en això: 
        ¡el vostre coratge vencerà el faraó!


Costerut, eh? Alleugerim-ho, però sense rebaixes!
amb La Maria Farantouri.








dilluns, 5 d’agost de 2013

Fent via tram a tram






El país l'any passat es va mobilitzar a Barcelona, ara demanem que Barcelona es desplaci i demostrem que som un país. Estem contents, però hem de ser molts més.
Carme Forcadell 





A un servidor la cadena li passa per davant de casa a Barcelona, però se'n va a un tram de Caldes de Malavella.

Trams que us necessiten AQUÍ 



divendres, 2 d’agost de 2013

Senyores senyeres



Acabo de recordar una anècdota, no sé si mite urbà o real, que em sembla que us abellirà. La recordo una mica vagament explicada per l'amiga Irmixka, que ja me la corregirà si m'erro i si era mite o no. Això era un sopar d'aquests que ara s'en diuen multiculturals on bona part dels comensals venien de països que havien patit règims totalitaris de diferents signes. En un moment de la conversa surten a col·lació la repressió que podien provocar autèntiques nimietats. En aquest punt un català explica que al seu pare el van tancar per penjar una senyera, però, en mig de l'alleugiment general, doncs van ser només unes hores, una nouvinguda que encara no dominava els matisos de la llengua pregunta astorada: 
-Ah! La senyora no murió?-
En fi, se non è vero, è ben trobato, oi?

Us deixo amb una altra senyora, que no és la senyora de la foto que fa cara d'acabar de sentir les últimes  males excuses (i van...) d'en Rajoy, però que s'hi podria assemblar molt...



divendres, 26 de juliol de 2013

Howard Roark's Courtroom Speech
From The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand


 

 

Aquesta setmana he tornat a veure The fountainhead, la pel·lícula basada en el llibre del mateix títol d'Ayn Rand, amb aquest superlatiu speech final que tal com l'he trobat el planto:

 

 


Howard Roark's Courtroom Speech



     “Thousands of years ago, the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light. He was considered an evildoer who had dealt with a demon mankind dreaded. But thereafter men had fire to keep them warm, to cook their food, to light their caves. He had left them a gift they had not conceived and he had lifted dardness off the earth. Centuries later, the first man invented the wheel. He was probably torn on the rack he had taught his brothers to build. He was considered a transgressor who ventured into forbidden terrritory. But thereafter, men could travel past any horizon. He had left them a gift they had not conceived and he had opened the roads of the world.
     “That man, the unsubmissive and first, stands in the opening chapter of every legend mankind has recorded about its beginning. Prometheus was chained to a rock and torn by vultures—because he had stolen the fire of the gods. Adam was condemned to suffer—because he had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Whatever the legend, somewhere in the shadows of its memory mankind knew that its glory began with one and that that one paid for his courage.
     “Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received—hatred. The great creators—the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors—stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.
     “No creator was prompted by a desire to serve his brothers, for his brothers rejected the gift he offered and that gift destroyed the slothful routine of their lives. His truth was his only motive. His own truth, and his own work to achieve it in his own way. A symphony, a book, an engine, a philosophy, an airplane or a building—that was his goal and his life. Not those who heard, read, operated, believed, flew or inhabited the thing he had created. The creation, not its users. The creation, not the benefits others derived from it. The creation which gave form to his truth. He held his truth above all things and against all men.
     “His vision, his strength, his courage came from his own spirit. A man's spirit, however, is his self. That entity which is his consciousness. To think, to feel, to judge, to act are functions of the ego.
     “The creators were not selfless. It is the whole secret of their power—that it was self-sufficient, self-motivated, self-generated. A first cause, a fount of energy, a life force, a Prime Mover. The creator served nothing and no one. He lived for himself.
     “And only by living for himself was he able to achieve the things which are the glory of mankind. Such is the nature of achievement.
     “Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. Animals obtain food by force. Man has no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle. He must plant his food or hunt it. To plant, he needs a process of thought. To hunt, he needs weapons, and to make weapons—a process of thought. From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man—the function of his reasoning mind.
     “But the mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. There is no such thing as a collective thought. An agreement reached by a group of men is only a compromise or an average drawn upon many individual thoughts. It is a secondary consequence. The primary act—the process of reason—must be performed by each man alone. We can divide a meal among many men. We cannot digest it in a collective stomach. No man can use his lungs to breathe for another man. No man can use his brain to think for another. All the functions of body and spirit are private. They cannot be shared or transferred.
     “We inherit the products of the thought of other men. We inherit the wheel. We make a cart. The cart becomes an automobile. The automobile becomes an airplane. But all through the process what we receive from others is only the end product of their thinking. The moving force is the creative faculty which takes this product as material, uses it and originates the next step. This creative faculty cannot be given or received, shared or borrowed. It belongs to single, individual men. That which it creates is the property of the creator. Men learn from one another. But all learning is only the exchange of material. No man can give another the capacity to think. Yet that capacity is our only means of survival.
     “Nothing is given to man on earth. Everything he needs has to be produced. And here man faces his basic alternative: he can survive in only one of two ways—by the independent work of his own mind or as a parasite fed by the minds of others. The creator originates. The parasite borrows. The creator faces nature alone. The parasite faces nature through an intermediary.
     “The creator’s concern is the conquest of nature. The parasite’s concern is the conquest of men.
     “The creator lives for his work. He needs no other men. His primary goal is within himself. The parasite lives second-hand. He needs others. Others become his prime motive.
     “The basic need of the creator is independence. The reasoning mind cannot work under any form of compulsion. It cannot be curbed, sacrificed or subordinated to any consideration whatsoever. It demands total independence in function and in motive. To a creator, all relations with men are secondary.
     “The basic need of the second-hander is to secure his ties with men in order to be fed. He places relations first. He declares that man exists in order to serve others. He preaches altruism.
     “Altruism is the doctrine which demands that man live for others and place others above self.
     “No man can live for another. He cannot share his spirit just as he cannot share his body. But the second-hander has used altruism as a weapon of expoloitation and reversed the base of mankind’s moral principles. Men have been taught every precept that destroys the creator. Men have been taught dependence as a virtue.
     “The man who attemps to live for others is a dependent. He is a parasite in motive and makes parasites of those he serves. The relationship produces nothing but mutual corruption. It is impossible in concept. The nearest approach to it in reality—the man who lives to serve others—is the slave. If physical slavery is repulsive, how much more repulsive is the concept of servility of the spirit? The conquered slave has a vestige of honor. He has the merit of having resisted and of considering his condition evil. But the man who enslaves himself voluntarily in the name of love is the basest of creatures. He degrades the dignity of man and he degrades the conception of love. But this is the essence of altruism.
     “Men have been taught that the highest virtue is not to achieve, but to give. Yet one cannot give that which has not been created. Creation comes before distribution—or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary. Yet we are taught to admire the second-hander who dispenses gifts he has not produced above the man who made the gifts possible. We praise an act of charity. We shrug at an act of achievement.
     “Men have been taught that their first concern is to relieve the sufferings of others. But suffering is a disease. Should one come upon it, one tries to give relief and assistance. To make that the highest test of virtue is to make suffering the most important part of life. Then man must wish to see others suffer—in order that he may be virtuous. Such is the nature of altruism. The creator is not concerned with disease, but with life. Yet the work of the creators has eliminated one form of disease after another, in man’s body and spirit, and brought more relief from suffering than any altruist could ever conceive.
     “Men have been taught that it is a virtue to agree with others. But the creator is the man who disagrees. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. But the creator is the man who goes against the current. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to stand together. But the creator is the man who stands alone.
     “Men have been taught that the ego is the synonym of evil, and selflessness the ideal of virtue. But the creator is the egotist in the absolute sense, and the selfless man is the one who does not think, feel, judge or act. These are functions of the self.
     “Here the basic reversal is most deadly. The issue has been perverted and man has been left no alternative—and no freedom. As poles of good and evil, he was offered two conceptions: egotism and altruism. Egotism was held to mean the sacrifice of others to self. Altruism—the sacrifice of self to others. This tied man irrevocably to other men and left him nothing but a choice of pain: his own pain borne for the sake of others or pain inflicted upon others for the sake of self. When it was added that man must find joy in self-immolation, the trap was closed. Man was forced to accept masochism as his ideal—under the threat that sadism was his only alternative. This was the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind.
     “This was the device by which dependence and suffering were perpetuated as fundamentals of life.
     “The choice is not self-sacrifice or domination. The choice is independence or dependence. The code of the creator or the code of the second-hander. This is the basic issue. It rests upon the alternative of life or death. The code of the creator is built on the needs of the reasoning mind which allows man to survive. The code of the second-hander is built on the needs of a mind incapable of survival. All that which proceeds from man’s independent ego is good. All that which proceeds from man’s dependence upon men is evil.
     “The egotist is the absolute sense is not the man who sacrifices others. He is the man who stands above the need of using others in any manner. He does not function through them. He is not concerned with them in any primary matter. Not in his aim, not in his motive, not in his thinking, not in his desires, not in the source of his energy. He does not exist for any other man—and he asks no other man to exist for him. This is the only form of brotherhood and mutual respect possible between men.
     “Degrees of ability vary, but the basic principle remains the same: the degree of a man’s independence, initiative and personal love for his work determines his talent as a worker and his worth as a man. Independence is the only gauge of human virtue and value. What a man is and makes of himself; not what he has or hasn’t done for others. There is no substitute for personal dignity. There is no standard of personal dignity except independence.
     “In all proper relationships there is no sacrifice of anyone to anyone. An architect needs clients, but he does not subordinate his work to their wishes. They need him, but they do not order a house just to give him a commission. Men exchange their work by free, mutual consent to mutual advantage when their personal interests agree and they both desire the exchange. If they do not desire it, they are not forced to deal with each other. They seek further. This is the only possible form of relationship between equals. Anything else is a relation of slave to master, or victim to executioner.
     “No work is ever done collectively, by a majority decision. Every creative job is achieved under the guidance of a single individual thought. An architect requires a great many men to erect his building. But he does not ask them to vote on his design. They work together by free agreement and each is free in his proper function. An architect uses steel, glass, concrete, produced by others. But the materials remain just so much steel, glass and concrete until he touches them. What he does with them is his individual product and his individual property. This is the only pattern for proper co-operation among men.
     “The first right on earth is the right of the ego. Man’s first duty is to himself. His moral law is never to place his prime goal within the persons of others. His moral obligation is to do what he wishes, provided his wish does not depend primarily upon other men. This includes the whole sphere of his creative faculty, his thinking, his work. But it does not include the sphere of the gangster, the altruist and the dictator.
     “A man thinks and works alone. A man cannot rob, exploit or rule—alone. Robbery, exploitation and ruling presuppose victims. They imply dependence. They are the province of the second-hander.
     “Rulers of men are not egotists. They create nothing. They exist entirely through the persons of others. Their goal is in their subjects, in the activity of enslaving. They are as dependent as the beggar, the social worker and the bandit. The form of dependence does not matter.
     “But men were taught to regard second-handers—tyrants, emperors, dictators—as exponents of egotism. By this fraud they were made to destroy the ego, themselves and others. The purpose of the fraud was to destroy the creators. Or to harness them. Which is a synonym.
     “From the beginning of history, the two antagonists have stood face to face: the creator and the second-hander. When the first creator invented the wheel, the first second-hander responded. He invented altruism.
     “The creator—denied, opposed, persecuted, exploited—went on, moved forward and carried all humanity along on his energy. The second-hander contributed nothing to the process except the impediments. The contest has another name: the individual against the collective.
     “The ‘common good’ of a collective—a race, a class, a state—was the claim and justification of every tyranny ever established over men. Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive. Has any act of selfishness ever equaled the carnage perpetrated by disciples of altruism? Does the fault lie in men’s hypocrisy or in the nature of the principle? The most dreadful butchers were the most sincere. They believed in the perfect society reached through the guillotine and the firing squad. Nobody questioned their right to murder since they were murdering for an altruistic purpose. It was accepted that man must be sacrificed for other men. Actors change, but the course of the tragedy remains the same. A humanitarian who starts with declarations of love for mankind and ends with a sea of blood. It goes on and will go on so long as men believe that an action is good if it is unselfish. That permits the altruist to act and forces his victims to bear it. The leaders of collectivist movements ask nothing for themselves. But observe the results.
     “The only good which men can do to one another and the only statement of their proper relationship is—Hands off!
     “Now observe the results of a society built on the principle of individualism. This, our country. The noblest country in the history of men. The country of greatest achievement, greatest prosperity, greatest freedom. This country was not based on selfless service, sacrifice, renunciation or any precept of altruism. It was based on a man’s right to the pursuit of happiness. His own happiness. Not anyone else’s. A private, personal, selfish motive. Look at the results. Look into your own conscience.
     “It is an ancient conflict. Men have come close to the truth, but it was destroyed each time and one civilization fell after another. Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
     “Now, in our age, collectivism, the rule of the second-hander and second-rater, the ancient monster, has broken loose and is running amuck. It has brought men to a level of intellectual indecency never equaled on earth. It has reached a scale of horror without precedent. It has poisoned every mind. It has swallowed most of Europe. It is engulfing our country.
     “I am an architect. I know what is to come by the principle on which it is built. We are approaching a world in which I cannot permit myself to live.
     “Now you know why I dynamited Cortlandt.
     “I designed Cortlandt. I gave it to you. I destroyed it.
     “I destroyed it because I did not choose to let it exist. It was a double monster. In form and in implication. I had to blast both. The form was mutilated by two second-handers who assumed the right to improve upon that which they had not made and could not equal. They were permitted to do it by the general implication that the altruistic purpose of the building superseded all rights and that I had no claim to stand against it.
     “I agreed to design Cortlandt for the purpose of seeing it erected as I dedigned it and for no other reason. That was the price I set for my work. I was not paid.
     “I do not blame Peter Keating. He was helpless. He had a contract with his employers. It was ignored. He had a promise that the structure he offered would be built as designed. The promise was broken. The love of a man for the integrity of his work and his right to preserve it are now considered a vague intangible and an inessential. You have heard the prosecutor say that. Why was the building disfigured? For no reason. Such acts never have any reason, unless it’s the vanity of some second-handers who feel they have a right to anyone’s property, spiritual or material. Who permitted them to do it? No particular man among the dozens in authority. No one cared to permit it or to stop it. No one was responsible. No one can be held to account. Such is the nature of all collective action.
     “I did not receive the payment I asked. But the owners of Cortlandt got what they needed from me. They wanted a scheme devised to build a structure as cheaply as possible. They found no one else who could do it to their satisfaction. I could and did. They took the benefit of my work and made me contribute it as a gift. But I am not an altruist. I do not contribute gifts of this nature.
     “It is said that I have destroyed the home of the destitute. It is forgotten that but for me the destitute could not have had this particular home. Those who were concerned with the poor had to come to me, who have never been concerned, in order to help the poor. It is believed that the poverty of the future tenants gave them the right to my work. That their need constituted a claim on my life. That it was my duty to contribute anything demanded of me. This is the second-hander’s credo now swallowing the world.
     “I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy. Nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim, how large their number or how great their need.
     “I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others.
     “It had to be said. The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing.
     “I wished to come here and say that the integrity of a man’s creative work is of greater importance than any charitable endeavor. Those of you who do not understand this are the men who’re destroying the world.
     “I wished to come here and state my terms. I do not care to exist on any others.
     “I recognize no obligations toward men except one: to respect their freedom and to take no part in a slave society. To my country, I wish to give the ten years which I will spend in jail if my country exists no longer. I will spend them in memory and in gratitude for what my country has been. It will be my act of loyalty, my refusal to live or work in what has taken its place.
     “My act of loyalty to every creator who ever lived and was made to suffer by the force responsible for the Cortlandt I dynamited. To every tortured hour of loneliness, denial, frustration, abuse he was made to spend—and to the battles he won. To every creator whose name is known—and to every creator who lived, struggled and perished unrecognized before he could achieve. To every creator who was destroyed in body or in spirit. To Henry Cameron. To Steven Mallory. To a man who doesn’t want to be named, but who is sitting in this courtroom and knows that I am speaking of him.”