[NB] Other Burials

It has been a good week for dreaming, not so much for writing. Still, since I have been on the subject of burials recently, I thought it might be nice to provide another image of lamentation.

This is from a Chinese text, “Yueji” quoted in Francois Laruelle’s In Praise of Blandness:

“This is why musical perfection does not consist of the greatest deployment of tones and [proper] ritual offerings to the dead do not consist of the richest, most complex flavors.

The strings of the zither upon which ‘Qingmiao’ [a musical piece played in ancient times during ritual offerings to the ancestors—TRANS.] was played were of vermilion [strings that were boiled, thus producing a relatively muffled sound—TRANS.], and the body of the instrument was loosely assembled [that is, the base still had hollows in it, causing the sound to resonate longer—TRANS.]; one lone singer began, and only three others accompanied him. Nevertheless, the lingering tone was strong. In the ritual offerings to the royal ancestors, dark liquor was placed in the highest position, and on the tables raw fish was presented. The great broth was not seasoned; still it left a lingering flavor.” (66)

Beautiful consider, isn’t it? Everything in the ceremony low and on the verge of disappearing, perched at precisely the point at which the invisible dead could rise up to meet them.

A bit different, too, from the blood offered by Odysseus to call forth the shades of the dead.

One thought on “[NB] Other Burials

  1. Pingback: Ancestors: Til We Have No Faces | Disrupt & Repair

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