Only Cannibalism unites us. Socially. Economically. Philosophically.
The unique law of the world. The disguised expression of all individualisms, all collectivisms. Of all religions. Of all peace treaties.
Tupi or not tupi that is the question.
Heart or not heart that is the question.
It all began in the year 1838: The 28-year-old composer Fryderyk Chopin arrived on the island of Mallorca in Spain hoping for an interlude of rest that would improve his deteriorating health and revive his tired spirits. He was not alone. His lover accompanied him: The author George Sand from France who was known to be a radical-thinker, cigar-smoker and only wearing trousers.
It was 90 years later, in 1928, that Oswald de Andrade wrote the Manifesto Antropófago -the Cannibal Manifesto. 16 years before a heart would disappear from the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw.
But let us go back in time, to the exotic island, where the couple and Sand’s two children, Solange and Auguste Clésinger, enjoyed the sea and the golden sun.
“Sun all day, and hot; everyone in summer clothing,” Chopin wrote home on November 19, “A sky like turquoise, a sea like lapis lazuli, mountains like emerald, air like heaven.” This is the moment were Chopin’s love for the sun begun to blossom.
Against all catechisms. And against the mother of the Gracos.
I am only interested in what’s not mine. The law of men. The law of the cannibal.
We are tired of all those suspicious Catholic husbands in plays. Freud finished off the enigma of woman and the other recent psychological seers.
What dominated over truth was clothing, an impermeable layer between the interior world and the exterior world. Reaction against people in clothes. The American cinema will tell us about this.
Sons of the sun, mother of living creatures. Fiercely met and loved, with all the hypocrisy of longing: importation, exchange, and tourists. In the country of the big snake.
Once Chopin strolled along the El Mago beach. Close to sunset he sat down in the still warm sand to watch the sun as it was eaten by the sea. Suddenly he heard a soft voice whispering:
“Where is your heart?
You give your heart to each thing in turn.
Carrying, you do not carry it…
You destroy your heart on earth”1
He was frightened but at the same time fascinated.
It’s because we never had grammatical structures or collections of old vegetables. And we never knew urban from suburban, frontier country from continental. Lazy on the world map of Brazil.
One participating consciousness, one religious rhythm.
Against all the importers of canned conscience. For the palpable existence of life. And let Levy-Bruhl go study prelogical mentality.
We want the Cariba Revolution. Bigger than the French Revolution. For the unification of all the efficient revolutions for the sake of human beings. Without us, Europe would not even have had its paltry declaration of the rights of men.
The golden age proclaimed by America. The golden age. And all the girls.
The enticing voice went on:
“Tona –the heart- is both the seat of the individual and a fragment of the sun’s heat –istli. The sun is a heart-soul –tona-tiuh: “round, hot, pulsating”.” 2
“Tona-tiuh“, Chopin tasted the words in his mouth and his heart begun to beat faster. It got darker and the sea glittered in the moon light.
Filiation. The contact with the Brazilian Cariba Indians. Ou Villegaignon print terre. Montaigne. Natural man. Rousseau. From the French Revolution to Romanticism, to the Bolshevik Revolution, to the Surrealist Revolution and the technological barbarity of Keyserling. We’re moving right along.
We were never baptized. We live with the right to be asleep. We had Christ born in Bahia. Or in Belem do Pata.
But for ourselves, we never admitted the birth of logic.
Against Father Vieira, the Priest. Who made our first loan, to get a commission. The illiterate king told him: put this on paper but without too much talk. So the loan was made. Brazilian sugar was accounted for. Father Vieira left the money in Portugal and just brought us the talk.
“Tona-tiuh. Humanity’s divine sun fragments are entrapped by the body and its desires – you have to liberate the istli and reunite it with the sun,” the voice explained, “your transformed heart will fly sunward on a trail of blood.”
On a trail of blood.
The spirit refuses to conceive spirit without body. Anthropomorphism.
Necessity of cannibalistic vaccine. For proper balance against the religions of the meridian. And exterior inquisitions.
We can only be present to the hearing world.
We had the right codification of vengeance. The codified science of Magic.
Cannibalism. For the permanent transformation of taboo into totem.
The same night, as the locals took against them, the ones who did not attend church, Chopin, Sand, Solange and Auguste were evicted from their magnificent villa near the island’s capital, Palma. They retreated inland to a scenic yet cold and abandoned Carthusian monastery in the hilltop town of Valldemossa. Amid the monastery’s sturdy cells and the stormy, rainy weather Chopin was hunted by a trail of blood. What had the voice so sweetly recommended? Heart-extraction?
Against the reversible world and objectified ideas. Made into cadavers. The halt of dynamic thinking. The individual a victim of the system. Source of classic injustices. Of romantic injustices. And the forgetfulness of interior conquests.
Screenplays. Screenplays. Screenplays. Screenplays. Screenplays.
Death and life of hypotheses. From the equation I coming from the Cosmos to the axiom Cosmos coming from the I. Subsistence. Knowledge.
Chopin, meanwhile, got weaker and weaker. He lost weight, coughed with blood, had fever and suffered night sweats. In one such night he dreamt that the gods of the sun sacrificed themselves so that mankind could live. Soon after he was diagnosed with tuberculosis.
Against antagonistic sublimations brought over in sailing ships.
Against the truth of the poor missionaries, defined through the wisdom of a cannibal, the Viscount of Cairo – It is a lie repeated many times.
But no crusaders came to us. They were fugitives from a civilization that we are eating up, because we are strong and as vindictive as the land turtles.
Only God is the conscience of the Uncreated Universe, Guaraci is the mother of all living creatures. Jaci is the mother of vegetables.
We never had any speculation. But we believed in divination. We had Politics, that is, the science of distribution. And a socio-planetary system.
Migrations. The flight from tedious states. Against urban scleroses. Against Conservatives and speculative boredom.
From William James and Voronoff. Transfiguration of taboo into totem.
Despite all this, it was a famously productive and creative time for Sand and Chopin. Sand described their trip to Mallorca in Un Hiver à Majorque -A Winter in Majorca-, published in 1855, in which she noted “the worst weather of any village in the island”. “As the winter continued,” Sand wrote, “every attempt at cheerfulness and calm was frozen in my breast by the gloom.” Chopin, rather, among many other of his most loved works completed his Prelude No. 15 that switches between D-flat major and C-sharp minor, accordingly known as the “Raindrop”. Beyond doubt it was the most productive period in his life.
Against the vegetable elites. In communication with solitude.
We were never baptized. We had the Carnival. The Indian dressed as a Senator of the Empire. Acting the part of Pitt. Or playing in the operas of Alencar with many good Portuguese feelings.
We already had communism. We already had a surrealist language. The golden age.
Magic and life. We had relations and distribution of fiscal property, moral property, and honorific property. And we knew how to transport mystery and death with the help of a few grammatical forms.
I asked a man what was Right. He answered me that it was the assurance of the full exercise of possibilities. That man was called Galli Mathias. I ate him.
The only place there is no determinism is where there is mystery. But what has that to do with us?
Against the stories of men that begin in Cape Finisterre. The world without dates. Without rubrics. Without Napoleon. Without Caesar.
The fixation of progress by means of catalogues and television sets. Only with machinery. And blood transfusions.
And the delightful voice came back, too:
“A great, on-going sacrifice sustains the Universe, Fryderyk. Everything is tonacayotl: the spiritual flesh-hood on earth. Humanity itself is macehualli, those deserved and brought back to life through penance. 4 Fryderyk, you embrace mankind… you give yourself to the community.” 5
The pater familias is the creation of the stork fable: a real ignorance of things, a tale of imagination and a feeling of authority in front of curious crowds.
We have to start from a profound atheism in order to reach the idea of God. But the Cariba did not have to make anything precise. Because they had Guaraci.
The created object reacts like the Fallen Angel. Ever since, Moses has been wandering about. What is that to us?
Before two Portuguese discovered Brazil, Brazil discovered happiness.
Against the Indian de tocheiro. The Indian son of Mary, the godson of Catherine of Médicis and the son-in-law of Don Antonio de Mariz.
Happiness is the real proof.
Only 11 years later, October 17 1849, in Paris, Chopin asked for a piece of paper, wrote: “Comme cette terre m’étouffera, je vous conjure de faire ouvrir mon corps pour [que] je ne sois pas enterré vif.” -“As this earth will suffocate me, I implore you to have my body opened so that I will not be buried alive.” 6 and gave it to his sister Ludwika. According to her, Solange and Auguste, Princess Marcelina Czartoryska, Chopin’s friend and former pupil Adolf Gutmann, his friend Thomas Albrecht, and his confidant, Polish Catholic priest Father Aleksander Jełowicki they all heard sounds like: Tona-tiuh, istli and chac mool before he closed his eyes forever. Pursuant to Chopin’s dying wish a cut was made in his abdomen that went through the diaphragm to tear his heart out and to preserve it in cognac. Ludwika later took it in a crystal urn to Warsaw, where it was sealed within a pillar of the Church of the Holy Cross on Krakowskie Przedmieście, beneath an inscription from Matthew VI:21.
No Pindorama matriarchy.
Against Memory the source of habit. Renewed for personal experience.
We are concrete. We take account of ideas, we react, we burn people in the public squares. We suppress ideas and other kinds of paralysis. Through screenplays. To believe in our signs, to believe in our instruments and our stars.
Against Goethe, against the mother of the Gracos, and the Court of Don Juan VI.
Happiness is the real proof.
Almost 100 years should pass by and Chopin’s heart was still waiting. Waiting to receive its proper ritual.
“Where is your heart?
You give your heart to each thing in turn.
Carrying, you do not carry it…
You destroy your heart on earth”
At that time Chopin’s music was described as “cannons hidden among flowers.” 7
For that very reason Nazi Germany banned it. The heart was agitated: Has its time finally come?
The struggle between what we might call the Uncreated and the Created – illustrated by the permanent contradiction of man and his taboo. Daily love and the capitalist modus vivendi. Cannibalism. Absorption of the sacred enemy. To transform him into a totem. The human adventure. Earthly finality. However, only the pure elite manage to realize carnal cannibalism within, some sense of life, avoiding all the evils Freud identified, those religious evils. What yields nothing is a sublimation of the sexual instinct. It is a thermometric scale of cannibalist instinct. Once carnal, it turns elective and creates friendship. Affectivity, or love. Speculative, science. It deviates and transfers. We arrive at utter vilification. In base cannibalism, our baptized sins agglomerate – envy, usury, calumny, or murder. A plague from the so-called cultured and Christianized, it’s what we are acting against. Cannibals.
Over years the SS-Obergruppenführer –general- Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, had grown an insatiable passion for Chopin’s piano sonatas. Whenever he could, he clandestine listened to the compositions that were even used to calm him down during his hospitalization in February 1942. The general later claimed that this was due to a nervous breakdown related to the mass murder he was responsible for of 35,000 civilians in Riga and more than 200,000 in Belarus and eastern Poland. However, it was during his hospitalization that he researched what Chopin’s last sounds Tona-tiuh, istli and chac mool could possibly mean.
He thus came across Huitzilopochtli who was often identified with the sun at the zenith and with warfare. Obsessed by this deity he once, according to the nurses, explained: “If a heart would be held towards the sky in honor to Huitzilopochtli the war could be won.” “What would you do with the body, Erich?” the doctor asked mildly. “I would cut the body in pieces and send them to important people as an offering.” The doctor laughed and Erich joined happily as he knew that he had found an accomplice. No one took his words seriously as he had already been diagnosed to be in a delusional state. The paper stating this diagnose was lost during the confusion of the war. Otherwise, without a doubt, the general would have used it to plead not guilty if he would ever have had faced trial for his role in Poland, in the East and his participation in the Holocaust.
Against Anchieta singing the eleven thousand virgins in the land of Iracema – the patriarch Joa Ramalho the founder of Sao Paulo.
Our independence was never proclaimed. A typical phrase of Don Juan VI – My son, put this crown on your head, before some adventurer does it! We expel the dynasty. We have to get rid of the Braganza spirit, the ordinations and snuff of Maria da Fonte.
In Tula it is said that sometime in 1944 a heart flew sunward on a trail of blood. Before that a chac mool figure had been its receptacle that it could finally be sacrificed in honor of the sun. As the whole village came together, listening carefully to a piano sonata that no one knew where it came from, in the sky the sacrifice was taken to the top of a temple. It was then laid on a stone slab by four men and it was sliced open by a fifth person with a knife made of flint. One grabbed the heart and tore it out – “round, hot, pulsating.” “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” 8
Against social reality, dressed and oppressive, defined by Freud – in reality we are complex, we are crazy, we are prostitutes and without prisons of the Pindorama matriarchy.
Another 150 years later, in the year 2094, a team of scientists was appointed to test a heart that was uncovered. Archaeologists found it as they were digging for twenty century pieces that had been buried after a terrible earthquake in 2022. “We thought we were digging for old 20th century remains and we came up with a heart from the 19th century. An unexpected and big surprise,” said Iwona Sora Agbati, an archaeologist. So far the specialists have identified that the heart is in good conditions, perfectly preserved in what appears to be an alcohol made from agave. The curious point is that they found traces of Salvia divinorum leaves that were only harvest in remote highlands in Central America and died out sometime in 2065. More careful investigation will continue.
Author: Nina Höchtl, Vienna, Austria / Mexico City, Mexico
The story was received trough the international open call for the project Secret Heart by KOLEKTIVA in 2010.
1 Nahua poem in Irene Nicholson, Firefly in the Night, 156 & 203
2 Alan Sandtrom, Corn is Our Life, 1991, 239-240
3 “The New Moon, or the Lua Nova, blows in Everyman remembrances of me” from The Savages, by Couto Magalhaes.
4 León-Portilla (1963, p.111)
5 MSS Romance de Los … Folio 27
6 Maria Barcz, “Etiuda paryska” (“Paris Étude”), Gwiazda Polarna (The Pole Star), vol. 101, no. 17 (14 August 2010), p. 16
7 by the German composer Robert Schumann
8 Matthew VI:21