Hyperion, the fall

Olympia

Hyperion is one of the most intense sections of the poem Olimpia , by Luigia Sorrentino .

( Interlinea Editions, 2013 , Recours au Pòeme Editeurs, 2015, Translation in French by Angèle Paoli with text opposite), composed of six choirs and a prose final entitled Il confine . Already we had focused on the “us” of Olimpia, on the ethos panumano expressed in its aesthetic civilization, on its being a chorus of tragedy. Now this polarity becomes explicit. The reference to the work (and not only) of Friedrich Hölderlin is also explicit. In fact, Hyperion develops a discourse on creation and harmony, but also on knowledge and how it relates to innocence. A speech dear to the German poet.

Reading of Luigia Sorrentino from Olimpia, “Hyperion, La caduta”

The Choir I begins on a gnomic tone: the semantic density is very high, intricate as a mangrove forest; but the more the assertion becomes obscure, the tone of the assertion becomes more definitive:

everything was on her
and she supported all that weight
and the weight was his sons
creatures that were not yet
come to the world
she was there below and inside

“Everything was on her”: the weight of knowledge and that of creation, and above all the weight of having to draw harmony. “The weight was her children”: children should not be taken literally, they are life created, creative and life-giving act par excellence. “She was there below and inside”: creation is born of sinking, suffering, it is something that crushes the human being and from which we must allow ourselves to be crushed if we want to create. Wittgenstein wrote in the Diaries that ” genius is talent more courage “. [1] We must have the courage to accept the challenge of being a creator until the last consequences .

this penalty still crossed her
when something failed

” Come less “: a verb that will take more and more body in the continuation of the work. It seems that poetry has to do with a decline in life, that it is a dying, a return to the origin, but also a gift – a shipwreck from which it lands on a different land. And the words of Cioran return to the mind, in the Summary of decomposition , on the human personality of the poet who is the very negation of life.

The Choir II is worth reporting it in full :

there is an archaic night in each of us
one night from which we come
a night full of amazement
that lost identity of the wounded
you populate faces,
that deadly embrace

in a time suspended between mind and heart
never was the night so starry

thrown into the sea they swallowed water
and stones, crawled on the sand
and they were in total disagreement
they had heavy steps
and disappeared, underground

the sign dissolves
by itself the fragile human falls
ephemeral fruit of the mortal

Here is an exemplary definition of waiting: “A time suspended between mind and heart”. Again, time is a place, but it has not lost all physicality: it appears completely internalized. The “archaic night” is the condition of primitive man, of the child, but also of the sensitive poet. It is only by the grace of the archaic night that the wound regains his face. It is a description – almost physical – of Zanzotto’s sentence on poetry “eternal rehabilitation from a trauma ignored by nature”. This waiting space-time is impregnated with omens, signs: “the night was never so starry”. And it can not be otherwise because in this dark limbo the sensitivity of the poet regains full right of citizenship. The penultimate stanza brings us back to the figures of the castaways, to the painful struggle between powerful and opposing forces: the chaos from which the Harmony arises.
The Coro III speaks to us of a prenatal stage, where the indistinct (the potential) is “immense” and “unrealized”. There is still no light, but the indistinct is different from the darkness: it is “not light”. Then

he turned the night turned
in need of us who opened up
the look at the raised form

 Beautiful and rilkiano is the verse “turned the night turned”. And Rilkiani is also the insistence on the vision, and the attribution to the night the request to be cleared. In a verse later it is said that only the gesture sees. The gesture, therefore (this is also a Rilkian concept) creates its space and its time: it is another deictic creator. The emphasis placed on the deictics in the earliest verses of L’antro results, a posteriori, a penetrating prolepsis, a structural element of the poem.

The IV Choir is existence that tries to continue to exist, it is pure vital force. But intuition and knowledge manage to win, to channel this force. Who is this transformation doing? There is no doubt: it is Hyperion. The next Coro V is a song of Werden , of mutare, which also takes the form of “vanish” (and it is legitimate to think of another Hölderlinian figure, that of Empedocle).
Back an opposition we had warned throughout Olympia. He is the cosmos, the whole, the Werden, the wind; She is “cleanness”, and it is before this neatness that Iperione lets himself fall.
It is simplistic to make an equation of the He-Hyperion type, Ella-Diotima. But at the beginning of Coro VI it is difficult to avoid the suggestion of Diotima’s death.

we lost everything
fallen into an eternal
fragment
the first light on us
fiery burned everything

But then the poem takes on the task of reminding us of a more complex truth:

the first creature of human
beauty is dead, unknown
to herself
peoples belong to the city
who loves them
devoid of this love every state
skeleton and annera
imperfect nature can not stand
pain

Here there is not only the cry for an individual death: here is the sense of the whole fall of Hyperion: there is the contact of the poet with the history that burns and that leads him to defeat in action (think of another poem by Hölderlin, the Ode to Napoleon). And there is the thought of Hölderlin on the polis (which is derived from Hyperion and Empedocles): the warning against a mechanical society (mechanics in the Simmelian sense of society made of mechanical relations between its individual members) as opposed to the sense of belonging of a community founded on the common search for harmony, on the willing sharing of this effort.

The final prose brings us back to where we were before the dramatic Dream. We are at the border again, but we are no longer the same. The Dream and the Fall have changed us. The image of the mutilated statue is back, but this time it is an animated statue that moves: a slightly Savinian image. The voice he writes sees Olimpia “dying and mutated”. Dying and changing, we remember, are parts of the fulfillment, but the fulfillment will be achieved with the conclusion of the poem.