[Reigian Studies.] [On behalf of the baroness.]


Tale of the red-haired girl

[In the New Orleans box, we found also this, apparently finished (though no word of “end” at the end). It seems to be a translation or a reworking of the old chapter (also about a red-haired girl and the death of the protagonist) that, upon being rejected by some in the team, terminated (in the early 1970s) Reig’s collaboration with the collective unit called Ofèlia Dracs.]

Tale of the red-haired girl

There’s the dainty artist Hillier up at the window telling his friend Grossmann who is going to his Saturday morning pottery class: “kiln them all,” meaning the jugs... and we, the future storm troupers that as children were already just playing at war in the street below, became all flushed, because we had understood “kill them all,” but Grossmann must have been thinking, more than about the jugs, about the bugs, meaning “the jews...” and also heard, yes, “kill them all,” and then, much later, when he was in a position to kill them all, in his own mind he heard again the dear voice of his loving artist, dear lover friend, Hillier, granting him the power indeed to “kiln them, to kiln them all...” and... the rest... more or less... is history.

Now, arrayed against the dour swarm of flies above the slaughtered pig, the bucolic mirror marred, Hillier, flinging his arms out against the gathering moss at the far corner of his good eye, or against the dizzying insects o yet against the jumping grass frogs, arrayed also against the glow of the fire being readied in order to at last roast the pig no longer squealing, got rid of a malevolent thought: that Grossmann after the war, hiding in the Amazonian jungle, had been caught by hysterical, electroconvulsive, savages and, like the ruffian pig, he’d also been murdered and impaled and cooked, dangling from a spit, over a lusty bonfire, and, thought Hillier now, Grossmann, then, like all, like the others, like everything, had gone back to the same zero where it all sprang, began, when, just like this, voilà, that anvil of an evil dream girt round his head like the undaunted bluebottles became nothing but a sodden afterimage, an abortive afterthought, for now took center stage in his sensorium the spectacular apparition of a fiendishly beautiful red-haired girl.

Hillier forgot about pigs, followed the amazing kid; he was thinking something on the lines of “lodestar of adolescence,” “celestial wings of your typical prodigy,” “let me be your meticulous acolyte,” “oh, pleasures of my cornered thrumming...” “ah...” “how’d you call that fatty organ that sits on our cage of bones...?” “the thoracic thing, all red, often frozen for keeps, and whose lucrative virtues make every laboratory thrill with impending mercies, for it could be the oyster whose pearl animates the redemptive brains of...?”

He’d lost the girl; she’d been much faster than his arthritic knees allowed, and, after turning a corner, he couldn’t locate that terrific vision, that giddying person, if indeed it were only a person, with her red mane a nimbus of sainthood, or better still, impish, elusive, a demon, a kind one, a fantastically kind one, softly riding the notions of what he took to be his intuitive nucleus, his insightful, more truthful other self, almost a replacement then, a refreshing doubling, a borrowed flaming new soul burrowing into the vitals, the integuments, imprinting a firmer seal upon the deteriorating palimpsest of his flimsy being. She’d been there, and now... Ethereal, melted like a miracle inside the farther expanses of the mystical landscape, the further reaches of the known. Hence the penetrating spiritual possession. The blessing, deeply felt. An outpouring of warm emotion fell upon him, and where was it coming from? Ah, yes, from the heart! Self-pity. His bleeding pump hard at it, ejaculating as from beyond the grave.

He had resolved to hang himself. That, or finding the red-haired goddess back.

The smell of the roasting pig overspread, the atmosphere became repulsive, shivers and slivers from hospital spittoons, wounding emanations from sewage sludge, from pathological skulls, from conjugal intimacies, from breast milk swallowed and then bad-mouthed and loathed. He spat, swearing with the same awful taste a sickly barbarian would have been supposed to have had.

“For the girl, I’ll kill.” “How would my hero Grossmann deal with it?”

Insane strategies, retracing a vast tract of mythological tragedies, sprouted from his imaginative organ. Ah, yes, the brain. And, distracted, the swearing became milder, a kind of scolding, and now only against the sneaking gnats.

And here she was again, “the divine rubicund girl for whom I’ll die.” Sitting just outside a door. She was sewing knick-knacks at a sewing machine, whose waves of galloping noises were also those of a webbing machine of doom, and hypnotically chanted it also: knick-knack, knick-knack, knick-knack. And now a disturbance mars again the mirror. He focuses on the boy, quite fetching; he’s being facetiously chased from the idyllic scene. He’s come to see the sewer or her sewing. “Shoo, it’s bad luck to see the wedding dress, even parts of.” But the boy’s laughing, only very reluctantly, lazily, backing up.

I’m obviously insane, bastard scion of the wrong presages. I’ll have to kill somebody as a sacrifice. Atonement. A pig’s not enough. It has got to be a youth, handsome, tall, her lover. I won’t be pussywhipped again, and certainly not in my last day on earth; that time it’ll be me who long-dicks the other...

He had taught himself to be patient. Insulted and silent. Frigid, one could almost say narcoleptic. And yet he’d been on edge so often, acidly stomaching all those haughty attitudes, and so so intimately angered, though, that now it smarted. It hurt, you bet. Too irked by half. So... Done with the donning; donning the mask of outstanding naivety; with those buzzing back blacklights of rage contained, and yet pounded and pounded by those contemptibly corrupt allusions, urban intrigues; a brimming luggage of remembered outrages committed by all and sundry against him.

Me a damned cuckold, eh? And losing every fucking war to boot?

Today’s my turn. I’ll roach the intended one, the sacrificed one, his red-haired vestal. And then... And then I’ll roach the lot of your wives... After the burning, yeah.

In his mind he glimpsed the burning blades along the whole extent of the field beyond the dusty court in the farm where the pig was sparkling. Each blade a torch, the field such a thoroughgoing marquee advertising the shock antidote of his revengeful genius. Singing paeans, overwrought encomiums, with some slightly obscene hints cleverly included, the ambivalences de rigueur; at the side, the lichens and fungi of the habitual malarkey, the sham narrative of... He was again losing track of his thoughts...

He had a carving knife in his hands, a knife larger than the ultimate gloves of his half diluted brain. He couldn’t argue about the arcane scores that impelled him. Actually, he’d forgotten all arguments. He thrust the burning blade of the knife. Grossmann, or the boy, tried to parry away the blow. No dice.

Next it was scary. A scene out of classical tragedy. Greek. Threats flew. Sorrows rang, or their laments. The sassy girl, her divine proclivities at once amputated, annulled and reversed, shot a quiverful of fingers to her eyes; she looked abysmal, she elicited no reverential awe, rather the contrary; from an endearingly pastoral flowering bow she had regressed to the condition of a rachitic stub. Sans plus.

And now the greasy cooks that had been cooking the pig came to see, reeking of the sewer. They invented on the spot a crackling battery of incredible plots. As every other spectator ever, grappling with authenticity, having a crack at that theory and next at the next one, try as they might at first they couldn’t reconcile the iconic image at the thole where the victim had been executed with the unfathomable motives of the sacrificing priest.

The avenging priest. He’d done it. Offed, shed, duffed the mask, done off, out with. And barefacedly, victoriously, done it, on, hands on, he’d killed the hero, for her, for his red-haired goddess of an unfeasible girl.

He’s running, his instincts feathers at his ankles, heels. A new hero had to be in the offing, found and elevated; another hero, another, here or there, found, idolized... Unfortunately though not him, no.

Hillier had taken flight, to yonder ample spaces, for the hillocks. That’s no drill; expect no respite... His breath fainter and fainter, the unpolished yellow eye lost, burned, the feet lost, burned, him untraceable among the spiking flaming blades of the blinding prairie, with a charred pig, a juicing oven, his trophy, on the arms.

we are the continuators... emptying the boxes, and more

visits since July 2008