Wednesday, June 6, 2012

IN DEFENSE OF THE BAROQUE

Baroque conjures up visions of castellated turrets, receding endlessly into labyrinths of convolution, reduplicating images, cleaving the eldritch realms of the rococo with the threadbare, bedraggled dimensions of the quotidian. The oblations to the baroque are interspersed with profusion and embedding. Layers spool themselves into a cornucopia of  interlocked linguistic pyrotechnics and a sense of the dramatic, of an inexhaustible bountifulness, a celebration of writing and life's infinite possibilities proliferate.

The commonplace literary world holds its mnemonics, its piquant presuppositions, withered assumptions, gnarled perceptions by embalming them with a gloss of universal humanist discourse on writing, an ars poetica, the ideal and therefore idealized mode. Simplicity is elevated as a virtue, a desirable votive offering which we mendicants proffer while genuflecting before its august quadrangles. The lanes have already been traversed, the alleyways peregrinated, the destiny  arrived at through a tangle of complexities studded with aphorisms, stippled with platitudes and streaked with the language of wholesomeness, masquerading as ubiquitous and concealing its partisan appurtenances.

The crenellations of language, its serpentine tessellations, its unexplored panoplies are underscored by seeking recourse to a language that says everything about itself without partaking of the beauty accoutering it, consecrating its multitudinous layers. A language whorled and ridged with the stigmata of its exuberance underpins its own tenuous mainsprings. The structure is upheld precariously by a form which exudes ominous intimations and threatens rupture if what it says doesn't correspond to the way it is meant to be said.

Baroque prose is a contrapuntal ideogram, a affirmative architectonic of a discourse that bespeaks its own constructedness. The act of creating implies a bringing into being, to shape out of the fathomless void of the unconscious impalpable , evanescent, frangible thoughts and transpose them into a form apprehended through the retina, subsumed by the cranium and regurgitated as an aspect of life indissolubly engraven in the act of ingestion.

Baroque is a catafalque containing immanent revenants of  the ineffable grid of multiplicities constituting the way we think and shape and articulate thought. As sinuous phrases unfurl, an almost concupiscent engagement, a visceral immersion into the forms of  language inextricably welds itself with a dialectical exegesis of its tenebrous penumbra.

It is crepuscular because it is the hinterland where the conscious self containment is pitted against the fusillades of rapture that reside in the primordial. In the interstices between sociality and corporeality baroque is a subfusc knotting up of  primevality into structures of cognition which aren't simple blueprints, obviated by a surface grazing its contiguity. It is rather a dense, compact, interlocked enmeshed fibers that are wrapped around each other, to be disentangled and reconstituted anew.

Baroque is a performance, a trapeze leap, a distillation of the irradiated luminiscence of the lapis lazuli which prismatically refracts the light it receives by kaleidoscopically proliferating associative realms of epistemes and creates a mosaic of  meanings which are reinterpreted through a submergence into the equivocations, ellipses and  circumlocutions of words. Baroque is the imbuing into paper the deregulated, chaotic language of the subconscious, a metonym of the disordered language of dreams..And its ornamentation affirms its incandescence because when the floodgates of  putative, dammed up repressive rationality burst a precipitation into a dimension of being emerges which transcends parochoialism and gives a glimpse of a different world.

2 comments:

  1. what a superb definition of the baroque which is justifiable in writing and music bharat am in raptures

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  2. I admire the intelligence of this piece, Bharat, but I feel it is marred only because it is harder to understand than I would like. Your writing is dazzling, there's no doubt about that, but I would prefer a more accessible essay. The last paragraph is great. The whole piece is really admirable but it doesn't lend itself to an easy understanding. However I will go over it again. I know I can learn a lot from your ideas.

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