A Song Meets the Story

We know power and its abuse, the ugliness that the ostensible beauty has hidden in its backlog. We preserve the ashes of ill-fated humans that callous power has burnt into. The skeletons of concentration camps witness the horrible enormity the power has assumed. Shakespeare had perfect intuition when he wrote the metaphor “as flies to wanton boys are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport,”7 to show our destiny. Man dies, dies like worms when confronted with a savage sovereignty.
It is alarming to see the story behind the story. In India almost all the people celebrate the ‘Deepawali’, a festival of light and vanquishing of the night that is too black. But, the story has its origins in the defeat of the Dravidians (a lower cast), by Arias. Dravidians are always pictured as blacks and demoniacs while Arias as whites and godly. Arias always kill and destroy the Dravidians that is celebrated as the victory of good over evil.
Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 is a song of embarking pathos and piquant rebellion. All the five stanzas have five different stories, travesty of man’s pointlessness. The first of the five run in this way:
” Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son” Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on” God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?” God says, “You can do what you want Abe, but The next time you see me comin’ you better run” Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done?” God says. “Out on Highway 61”
Highway 61 is a speedy way where there is no trace of anything past. What happens there is pointless and unhistorical. It is thrown away place, liquidity of oblivion. God demands Abraham to kill his son, threatens when Abraham refuses. Abraham asks God where he wants it to be done, God commands him to do it in Highway 61.
Dylan wants to say that everything is a petty enterprise or fiddling sum of money for the mighty to entertain himself.
Is it the entire Abraham story? Is it all the books that gave birth to the indefatigable visions of Shakespeare, Milton, Tolstoy and Dante, communicate to modern man? Has this book lost its cantor and colour and thereby its own unique profile? How can we make our way back to Abraham’s story where all the elevated and universal pale into nothingness? For, that to we need to know all the fact and ‘facticity’ of the story. Harold Bloom said that it is not the facts that the authors of the old Testament care about but facticity: “a kind of brute contingency by which an author’s strength blinds and incarcerates the tradition of belated readership.”9
Kierkegaard is the philosopher who can break into the fact and facticity of the riddle. Steelier points of his vision can unravel the grandeur and uniqueness of Abraham. Fear and Trembling is a book to be read with fear and trembling.


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