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The »woman« in literature and art

 It was during these days, if I remember correctly (in my travelogue, as far as the chronological order is concerned, I am relying on my memory, considering that down there, at the bottom of the sea, I was unable to take notes for lack of suitable writing instruments) that Opula first became interested in "marriage" in the land sense " to the importance of the word and concept. This word often occurred in my presentation, and on one occasion I pronounced it with such pain (I cannot remind the reader enough times that the Oiha language is made up of emotional words) that I attracted the attention and pity of my mistress with it.


After a brief hesitation, I realized that it was best to-89-if I explain with an example: and for this example, my own person lends itself well. In my environment, when I was still living at home, everyone acknowledged that I was living in an exemplary marriage in the sense of the mood and spirit of the time - this marriage was the culmination of a happy and fortunate love, I had the reputation of an enviable husband, in possession of a young and beautiful wife, for whose hand at the time she was rich and respectable men competed.


So I told you that I was an enthusiastic and talented young man: filled with a burning faith, a soul called to all that is beautiful and good. The future floated in front of me like some wonderful possibility, I felt that I could move mountains to find unknown sources in their place, from which happiness and knowledge flow, a wonderful force that decides the fate of the entire human race and multiplies its importance a hundredfold. I didn't know what awaited me yet, but the holy trinity of the beautiful, the good and the true encouraged me to reach that light, the fullness of life, the highest degree from which I can look around as if I were a god: I will be a creative and creative god, not a toy, but a controller of destiny-90-and nature. It was during this time that I met my future wife, who then gave direction and content to my wild imagination and desires. He was still very young then, and I was a poor, penniless boy. I decided to make her my own, and she, sensing my intention, selflessly used all the creative power and power of her beauty to stimulate my strength and endurance, to be a stimulating dream image that lifts me up in the hours of discouragement and urges me to action. Breaking with the desires and dreams of having children, I enrolled in the university and soon after I obtained the diploma of surgeon. I will never forget the happy moment when, flushed and excited, I showed him the document: the result of five years of hard work and deprivation. A sweet kiss and an encouraging look were my reward - I have never been so satisfied in my life.


After that, I tried the happy weeks of motherhood-91- to explain to Opulá , with the most varied exclamations – preparations for furnishing the family nest, joint planning, intimate chats about what the bedroom, the large standing mirror, the dressing gown, the crystal glass of cologne, etc. should be like. At our wedding, my wife dazzled everyone with her beauty: everyone congratulated me on the treasure I had acquired, and I happily promised to cherish it.


I then painted a day of married life for my mistress. At the sound of the alarm clock, I get up quietly so as not to disturb my sleeping wife: I tiptoe out to my study, where my butler is waiting to drop off my shoes. I have breakfast and rush to the clinic - my morning is spent in busy work, I only have enough time in the afternoon to fulfill my social obligations - to visit some political associations of which I am a member. On the way home, I go to the shops and buy for my wife the items she made a list of for me the night before - my butler usually buys for myself. Meanwhile, my wife got up, got dressed, took care of my children and went out to the promenade,-92-to meet our social position, which requires the woman to show herself and her clothes in order to emphasize her husband's financial position and noble status. We arrive home at the same time, my butler and I: my butler helps me take off the coat, and I help my wife, who has converted at this minute, blushing and gratefully holding out her hand for a kiss, happy that everyone liked it. He changes for lunch - while I pour wine into the glasses and when he enters, I stand up to lower the chair, while my valet does the same for me with my chair. There are always one or two guests at the table who learn good manners from me and are envious that I can serve such a beautiful and classy woman.


After lunch, I rest a bit, and I do my correspondence. I have a doctor's appointment, and then, after that, I look around, where we are dealing with important party political issues: there is always something that makes these issues relevant - economic and trade conflicts with other countries, which can give rise to possible clashes, if our country and fellow citizens like me we cannot protect your interests in any other way. In the meantime, she visits her girlfriends and her tailor-93-he seeks her out: she is tireless in her pursuit of the most sacred duty of a woman: to always be beautiful and desirable, to encourage and reward the man's activity. In the evening, when we are left to ourselves, I can then enjoy the aforementioned reward, the sweetness of which I didn't have to explain much to Opulá - a short, happy exclamation was enough.


I also told my mistress that of course my happiness was not always undisturbed. My wife was often grumpy and depressed. There were reckless men who, envious of my happiness, tried to take her away from me. They tried to achieve their goal with flattery, promises of great love and other goods. My wife was often abused and I suffered terribly. But in the end, I always won, and the detractors had to admit that in the fight that Darwin, Weininger, Ferenc Molnár, and Endre Ady had written and announced as the biggest and most horrible fight, I was the stronger one. I also had a couple of duels, in which I mostly wounded my opponents - as a surgeon, I can say that the wounds were quite serious, one of which was fatal.-94-


I talked about how, in these difficult times, I dealt a lot with the big question that concerns our age the most: the problem of women. I read a lot and often went to the theater as a forum for the most exciting and always timely politics of the human soul. Being a person well versed in fiction, I outlined in ample extracts the greatest poetic works of our century and the last century and their lessons: the works of men with fiery minds, from which the mystery that we call woman becomes perfectly recognizable. I talked about those great men who drew the woman through the sharp lens of male morality and higher wisdom, and those who wanted to see the rough and simple facts of carnal love, so to speak, observing and portraying her with a free eye, i.e. with a more imperfect instrument.


In this system, Zola and Marquis de Sade, naturalism and pornography (I talked about the latter at length, going into details that I cannot repeat here, out of decency) - and the dissectors of the secret of the female soul - a Flaubert, a Stendhal, a Bataille. I briefly presented its content to a whole host of modern dramas:-95- I paraded Ibsen, Strindberg, Maeterlinck, Gerhart Hauptmann, Shaw, Bernstein. I spoke separately about the adultery drama, about the way in which the terrible consequences of the woman's fickle character in the man's fate were written, sometimes jokingly (triangle!) or tragically.


Opulahere he unexpectedly intervened and asked the wonderful question of what kind of underwear and outerwear Strindberg wore - and what Duse wore during the rehearsal of the play entitled "Lady of Camellias". He asked me to describe this in more detail, because he would have understood the other explanations in just two words, but for this he needs more concrete data. A little surprised, I obeyed: I told him that I could do with Strindberg's toilet in short order - the men of Europe generally wear a uniform, so to speak, a simple-cut shroud, the purpose of which is to hide the man's nakedness and the lines of the body, in the most economical way possible: five pipes are used for this purpose: one of the we insert our waist, two of our arms and two of our legs. These tubes, made of gray or black fabric (never a different color), are sewn together into two pieces, a jacket and trousers, in such a way that-96-and knee, should not prevail. Every man in Europe wears this outfit, so the mentioned Strindberg also wore it for the rest of his life, although I don't understand how much it belongs to the subject. It is a more difficult task to answer the second question - our ladies wear the most varied and richest clothes: this is the purpose of clothes, just like in the animal world, twofold: they serve to a small extent to protect against the weather, their main task is to assert women in a specific, feminine sense, to seduce men, the stimulation of the man's desires, in such a way that the woman creates the effect of a fragrant flower to be plucked, or rather a desirable fruit, and increases her value in the eyes of the man.


Opula commented that she would like me to use fewer similes - she could not recognize their purpose and claimed that with similes we have land bulls just like those debased (disfigured) Oihás who live among us and whom I call "women I used to call it, with the clothes with which they want to make the imperfection of their body perfect. If we cannot love with enough passion and joy, or love what we are talking about, we immediately come up with an analogy to make up for the lack,-97-like the merchant who says of butter that it is "like almonds" or of almonds that it is "like butter", because he does not trust that the price speaks for itself, that it can also influence with its own properties. If our shriveled oihás need clothes in order to wish them as flowers or fruits, it is only because without clothes they are not enough flowers and not enough fruits. Otherwise, he doesn't even consider this important, because based on my presentation, he is now more or less aware of what he wanted to know. He just doesn't understand how it is that when they found me, I was wearing the kind of clothes I described as the bulls' clothes.


Now I finally understood that Opula does not consider me a bullock , i.e. a man, but rather of the shriveled Oiha gender , - similar to her, she considers me a woman, considering my physical appearance, which from her point of view was really more like an "emotional being", that is, to a woman, as to those monsters who represent the majestic man in Capillaria. For the time being I have been careful to inform him of his mistake,—frankly speaking, in this country it is a mistake-98-it was rather flattering to me - but it also seemed more reasonable if I didn't clarify the reality; because, unfortunately, I had no reason to hope that he would speak to me and appreciate his interest even if he found out that I was essentially closer to those worms who only inspired him with contempt and disgust.


I owed his trust to this false belief, I had no right, but neither did I have the courage to refuse this trust. Although he considered me deranged, he was still just an oihá , and he expected that I would understand him and that we would eventually agree when it came to bullocks . So I gave an evasive answer about my clothes, I pointed to some pirates who attacked our ship before it sank and forced me to change my clothes! From this , Opula found out that our bullocks are physically about the same size and as developed as our oihás- which is quite strange, but "in no way does it mean, as you can see from my testimonies, as if there was a difference worth mentioning between them and the bulls of Capillaria from a spiritual, intellectual and emotional point of view ". I admitted this myself, so to speak, with everything I told in the form of an answer to your questions.-99-


My imagination knew no bounds to this unexpected statement: since I wanted to convince him of the exact opposite of everything he had deduced from my presentation. I asked him to tell me in what he sees this similarity, compared to which the differences cannot even be called "worth mentioning".


From Opula's answer, I finally learned what until now had only lived in me in the form of a vague, undeveloped cellular element, like the secret of origin in a small child; I found out what role bulls play in Capillaria in terms of natural history and physiology in the great work of species preservation. In short, in a few words I will say as much about this as my scientific objectivity and travelogue conscience unduly demand: far be it from me to upset the modest reader with indecent details.


Well, then: the oihás , just like our women, give birth to live ones, namely oihás similar to themselves . In Capillaria, they understand very little about the issue of fertilization, most of them do not even know that the conception of a fetus requires more than healthy organs and good nutrition. Some scientists have shown oiha , similar to our "stunted" species - and this after lengthy cross-examination-100- I only managed to find out - that those Oihás whose diet lacks the delicacy that was served on the first day of my stay: the freshly pressed, alive bullock marrow , do not give birth until they feel like this delicacy again. It seems, then, that there is some substance in the marrow of bullocks, without which there is no reproduction: but opinions are divided on this. As for bulls-, according to all indications, they come to life from the slag of the seabed, - that they reproduce among themselves, like other worms and crawlers of the seabed, there is no evidence for this - it has not been possible to show whether they give birth to live ones, or they lay eggs like reptiles. What is certain is that they only live in those regions of the endless seabed where there are oihás : they do not occur in the wild, but in the company of oihás always and everywhere, in very large numbers, like some kind of parasites - you don't even have to take care of their breeding, it's enough they also breed in large numbers on their own, for the purpose that, as houseworms, they serve in creating the living conditions of the oihás .


That was all I learned from Opulá about the natural history of bulls . And-101-this would not be much, and certainly not satisfactory, if I were not able to add some findings as the result of my modest researches, researches that I carried out independently, without the instructions of the oihás , in Capillaria. These findings, or rather discoveries, can be considered a result of great importance in our scientific thinking: in Capillaria they turned out to be of such an uninteresting nature that when I communicated them to Opulá , in the hope that he would celebrate Darwin or Newton, who discovered the bulls, as a Capillaria - the principle of relatedness by reason: he shrugged his shoulders, said that what I am saying is possible, but it is not at all enjoyable or amusing.


I will not write the way and method of my discovery, it would be boring; the final result is briefly this:


The bulls , who are considered useful worms in Capillaria, like the silkworm in our country, and at most they are recognized as promoting the reproduction of the oiha as a stimulant, - in reality even today, as the already mentioned legend of the oiha mythology holds, they come from the body of the oihás : only the peculiar, twisted way of birth hid this fact from the-102- in front of oihá -k's eyes. At the birth of each oiha , a hundred or two hundred bullae are born - namely in the placenta . These newborn little bullocks are very tiny worms, barely visible to the naked eye , and it is understandable that the Oihás , who do not like burrowing in disgusting substances like our naturalists, have not noticed them until now. They swarm in the placenta, and during childbirth, there are also such tiny bullae fetuses in the excrement of the oihás : when the placenta and excrement are washed away by the flowing water, the little bullae cling to the branches of algae and corals.-ok, or get mixed up in the bottom mud: that's where they start to develop. Hence the belief that the slag of the seabed chokes them out.


In the end, according to our natural science thinking, it could be said that the Oihás and Bulls have the same relationship with each other as men and women here. But in Capillaria, where the " two genders " are an unknown concept, where the concepts of man, supreme being, crown of creation refer only to the oiha , to say that an oiha and a bull are related to each other as a whole -103-two halves of it, as two equal factors of the highest possibility of life: it would be as ridiculous and stupid a claim as if, here on the mainland, some fanciful scientist would try to show that human dignity is not represented by reason and insight, the seat of the soul, the human brain, but, for example, the liver, or the kidney, or the spleen, or the genitals, or a yeast that promotes our nutrition.


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