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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Theodor Adorno: Bane (Aghast in Wonderland)


.

Occupy Wall Street: Brooklyn Bridge 8

A protestor expresses her surprise at being arrested by the NYPD during the Occupy Wall Street march on the Brooklyn Bridge, 1 October 2011
: photo by James Fassinger/The Guardian







Now as before, human beings, individual subjects, stand under a bane.
It is the subjective form of the world-spirit, whose primacy over the externalized life-process is reinforced internally.
What they can do nothing about, and which negates them, is what they themselves become.
They no longer need to acquire a taste for it as what is higher, which it in fact is in contrast to them, in the hierarchy of degrees of universality.
On their own, a priori, as it were, they behave in accordance with what is inescapable.

.

In human experience, the bane is the equivalent of the fetish-character of the commodity.
What is self-made becomes the In-itself, out of which the self can no longer escape; in the dominating faith in facts as such, in their positive acceptance, the subject worships its mirror-image.

The reified consciousness has become total as the bane.

That it is a false one, holds the promise of the possibility of its sublation: that it would not remain such, that false consciousness would inescapably move beyond itself, that it could not have the last word.
The more the society is steered by the totality, which reproduces itself in the bane of subjects, the deeper too its tendency towards dissociation.
This latter threatens the life of the species, as much as it denies the bane of the whole, the false identity of subject and object.

The general, which compresses the particular as if by an instrument of torture, until it splinters, labors against itself, because it has its substance in the life of the particular; without it, it sinks down into the abstract, separate and voidable form.


.


What some prefer to call angst and ennoble as an existential, is claustrophobia in the world: in the closed system.
It perpetuates the bane as the coldness between human beings, without which the woe could not repeat itself.
Whoever is not cold, who does not make themselves cold as per the vulgar figure of speech of the murderer who ices the victim, must feel themselves condemned.
Along with angst and its grounds, the coldness, too, might pass away. Angst is the necessary form of the curse laid in the universal coldness over those, who suffer from it.


Theodor Adorno: Bane, from Negative Dialectics, 1966, translated by Dennis Redmond, 2001

  




Rooftop bar at Soho House, New York City
: photo by pvsbond, 5 June 2007



...their having stumbled into
a free market wonder

land in which value
had come to seem forever

detached from even the
thought of actual labor,

there grew among the young
men on the Street

an assumption that
they could do anything...




http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c0/Jekyll_Club_2007.JPG

Clubhouse, Jekyll Island Club, Georgia, site of the secret drafting, in 1910, by many of the country's leading financiers, of the legislation which created the U.S. Federal Reserve.
On the evening of 22 November 1910, Senator Nelson Aldrich (R.-R.I.) and A.P. Andrews (Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department), Paul Warburg (a naturalized German representing Kuhn, Loeb & Co.), Frank A. Vanderlip (president of the National City Bank of New York), Henry P. Davidson (senior partner of J. P. Morgan Co.), Charles D. Norton (president of the Morgan-dominated First National Bank of New York), and Benjamin Strong (representing J. P. Morgan), together representing about one fourth the world's wealth at the time, left Hoboken, New Jersey by train, in complete secrecy, dropping their last names in favor of first names, or code names, so that their actual identities would remain concealed. The public pretext for the trip was a duck hunting expedition to Jekyll Island. "The utmost secrecy was enjoined upon all. The public must not glean a hint of what was to be done. Senator Aldrich notified each one to go quietly into a private car of which the railroad had received orders to draw up on an unfrequented platform. Off the party set. New York’s ubiquitous reporters had been foiled... Nelson (Aldrich) had confided to Henry, Frank, Paul and Piatt that he was to keep them locked up at Jekyll Island, out of the rest of the world, until they had evolved and compiled a scientific currency system for the United States." (Forbes Magazine founder Bertie Charles Forbes, q. in G. Edward Griffin:
The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, 1998): photo by torqtorqtorq, 17 May 2007

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/df/JekyllIslandMarsh.jpg


Inland marshes of Jekyll Island, Georgia: photo by Matrixboy84, 2006


"A free market wonder...": TC, from Something in the Air, 2010

28 comments:

ACravan said...

Bravo – you’ve made something – synthesized apparent coherence – out of the entirely incoherent. (Just look at that girl’s face – she hasn’t got a clue about anything at all.) And you’ve made literature of it.

And yet it’s funny/queer. You can believe that we’ve:

stumbled into
a free market wonder

land in which value
had come to seem forever

detached from even the
thought of actual labor,

but there are countless counter-arguments to this embodied in people who work hard every day and do additional work by investing in the work of other people they do not know personally. You can call it speculation or you can believe that they’re valuing the labor of the third-parties they invest in and seeing those people as worthwhile and worth the investment.

A couple of years ago I took my cousin’s college-age son to lunch in Manhattan because his parents and grandparents thought he could benefit from my advice concerning his future. He’s a nice kid whose father has made a fortune based on his extraordinary golfing talent, which earned him leading national amateur status, which he then parlayed into a very successful career at several leading Wall Street firms where he plays “client golf” for a living.

After the small talk concluded and the gentle inquiries and advice began, the boy told me that he would never ever consider a career in law because lawyers worked too hard and didn’t make enough money. He would work instead at a hedge fund until he was 30 and then retire to write novels because art was really what he was all about, not commerce.

Jekyll (I’m sure it’s been said before) is a fascinating name for that particular island.

The final section of the Adorno is stunning. I’m working at the moment with a psychiatrist client who has written a book about the origin of angst. I think I’ll send this to him.


Curtis

TC said...

Curtis,

The original draft of this poem was writ in the wake of the junk bond scandals. A virtual wonderland... with a few pinholes in the lovely airy parachute.

About this --

"...people who work hard every day and do additional work by investing..."

-- well, the matter of hard work by any one at any time is not to be gainsaid.

It's human nature to seek to achieve a pleasant life. It is possible to conceive that one might proceed with more or less scruple in that pursuit.

While not forgetting that hedge fund managers et al. must exhaust themselves with their work and prematurely retire to become novelists (speaking of airfilled parachutes), it should be recalled that the environment in which one works, among other factors, may influence to very large degree the tolerability of the labour in question.

I mean, leaving aside, so as not to underline the obvious, the issue of relative remuneration (though what twenty-something hedge fund manager would ever wish to leave that issue aside)...

Hours spent toiling in a copper mine, for example, or picking beans in a field, with one's back bent under a hot sun, would seemingly be somewhat less tolerable than strolling the manicured greens while being paid by divers Wall Street firms to play client golf.

That latter wonderland-ish job description indeed sounds like all play and no work at all, to me.

Conrad DiDiodato said...

If I read the great Adorno aright, the protest is the new 'fetish'.

"Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall/To cureless ruin. I stand here for law." ("Merchant of Venice")

Nothing, absolutely nothing, escapes the the postindustrial grip of the new Empire (Hardt & Negri)

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

Yes, Bravo!

"What is self-made becomes the In-itself"

10.4

light in sky above clouds against still
black ridge, silver of planet by branch
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

intention of looking at all
sides, second as well

to picture which was become
one, known, as though

grey white clouds against top of ridge,
shadowed green pine on tip of sandspit

ACravan said...

The funny thing is that the golfing father demonstrates far more character than his son (who did, in fact, join a hedge fund after allowing me, the poor, feckless lawyer, to take him to lunch and condescending to me for 90 minutes). The father is essentially a championship athlete (5 times NY Metropolitan Golfing Champion; I believe he achieved his last victory at the age of 50). He works at his sport tirelessly and practices and focuses like a maniac. You don't become that good accidentally. (At least it rarely happens.) So, for him, odd as it might sound, golf is work and has involved a degree of personal sacrifice, including voluntary isolation from society and, definitely, from the sensitive, arty things that his son professes to enjoy. Curtis

TC said...

Conrad,

"...the protest is the new 'fetish'."

That hint would perhaps be brought out in other possible (and actual) translations of this:

"In human experience, the bane is the equivalent of the fetish-character of the commodity."

In the E.B. Ashton 1973 translation (in which "Bane" becomes "The Spell), this was given as:

"In human experience the spell is the equivalent of the fetish character of merchandise."

Certainly it is not easy to clearly separate the consumer from the designer from the total socially-engineered class-structure backdrop of the media-merchandised situation in the view from under the bane -- and the bridgeworks -- there.


Steve,

From first grey light after the long rainy night,

intention of looking at all
sides, second as well

reminding there are always the grey areas...


Curtis,

Never would I gainsay a great golfing talent, but there's always a bit of luck involved in finding the useful application.

As it happens my father, though self-taught (self-supported from high school age, having lost both parents to strokes), was a first rate amateur golfer (despite his failure at instilling the skill in me).

Not too far into a lifetime of lousy jobs (mostly as a traveling saleman), however, he gave up the game; though the clubs were still kept around in the closet, for many years, gathering dust... until he, too, died of a stroke.

(Before he married and the War came along, by the by, he had a bit of an early run at the low end in a brokerage...)

Ed Baker said...

when did the game of golf become a sport?

didn't Abbie Hoffman become a Wall Street broker (another "game" and take up golf in order to ruin a good walk ?
I think that he "cashed in" on his

"Steal This Book" profits and bought SP 500 convertible bonds and preferred stocks

imaged in my mind (among 10,000 other things) is that
young naive girl bending over her dead friend's body at Kent State...

all revolutions are deadly ... & require deaths in the streets to give them ligitimacy ...

where are The Avant Guards ?

TC said...

Cowering in the caddyshack?

TC said...

Sipping hemlocktails in the ossuary clubhouse?

TC said...

"Actually," Ed, you've just inadvertently sprung open the trapdoor of my personal corporate history.

In 1967 I was wasting some time chez Abbie Hoffman when that storied impresario enquired whether I were willing to become the editor of a "house organ" of something called The Communications Company.

I think the project was to involve composing and printing-up mimeographed handbills, skills that did in fact lay within my limited range of career qualifications.

That was at the apogee (nadir?) of the era in which, when approached re. almost anything silly, one first uttered what Del Schwartz called that great American word, Sure.

And thought about it later.

Having caught me consenting, Abbie called Jim Fouratt.

I think this was the "corporate counselling" conference-stage of the operation.

Jim said I don't know what. Abbie stood there holding the phone.

"So... how do you feel about guns?" asked Abbie after a moment, still holding the phone.

Vamoose, said I to myself.

To this day I cannot tell you what the Communications Company was. But had there been a stock offering...

TC said...

Well, while on the corporate-confessional jag... I suppose I should admit I did work for the Paris Review, a now-known CIA front.

But is/was the Agency a corporation?

And if you're a mere unpaid dupe, does that really count as working?

I remember in later daze being somewhat Aghast (speaking of) when watching an interview with Peter Mathiessen, who said, "Of course the magazine was a front for the Agency; of course I knew that; in fact, in the early days I was running the operation out of Paris myself..."

I believe they were also running the magazine Encounter in that period.

I no longer remember whether Sir S. Spender later claimed not to know, or not.

Who cares anyhow, the whole sorry saga of postmodern "Western" history is just one long tired Agency leak.

ACravan said...

I had no idea that the Paris Review functioned as a CIA front. Ingenious. My college roommate joined the agency, I believe, through the well-known front of the Asian Wall Street Journal. He was (and is) a sort of Robert Redford/Six Days Of The Condor type and is currently a Bay Area neighbor of yours. But it's something that he won't discuss and I don't press him on it. When I worked at a sort of cryptography firm during the internet bubble, one of our founder/genius/maniacs did try to do this during a trip to San Francisco where we were trolling for funds. (I had unwisely made the mistake of mentioning my roommate's former life to him and, being the kind of guy who believed in the Illuminati and that Black Ops helicopters were following him, it over-piqued his interest.) In any event, he questioned Jim about the Illuminati and Jim denied their existence, which just served to confirm it for my colleague because he knew Jim would know. This really was a splendid post.

Ed Baker said...

1967: occupy The Dean's Office & burn your draft cards and bras (& buy ATT stock for your retirement portfolio)

2011: occupy wall street in your Gucci jeans & $400
hep eyeglasses (& watch your dad's 401(k) drop in value another 40 %)

departuredelayed said...

Much to think about in this one, Tom. I was first struck by the line from Adorno, "Whoever is not cold, who does not make themselves cold as per the vulgar figure of speech of the murderer who ices the victim, must feel themselves condemned." Well, quite.

And then, once again, in a different way, by your versification as much as by your verse. I love how the centrality of that word "detached" pervades the idea expressed -- the capacity of those "men on the Street" who can do anything provided it is borne on the back of nothing at all, the new density of our emptiness -- and how it, "forever," bisects wonder from land, and young from men. But, alas, the curse & the blessing of time, forever takes a while. So long, in fact, that the "assumption that / they could do anything" sometimes manages to cut both way. There being, after all, very little really keeping the well-suited & -fed Occupiers of old from becoming the Occupied today.

aditya said...

That expression signifies .. well ..everything.

There are people whos sit in the backseats of their cars with their air conditioners on and discuss if the rickshawpulling business is not too inhuman?

I had heard an old man say once-
Golf or spirituality- you gotta choose your handicaps very carefully. He sounded like we won't have a choice.


Ours is an enormously modern generation and
tonight
there is enough Almond

Nail Cream for
everybody in
THE BODY SHOP.

A huge boarding from in and around Delhi-

'watch what the Americans are watching - CHEATERS etcetera'

TC said...

Brad,

Great attention to have picked up that the forever/detached crux is a point of lift up to the rooftop where the verbal equivalent of client golf is being played. There is no Old in this picture. Forever Young or be iced.

(Natural Ice btw is the cheapest thus most highly favoured forty on these particular Bane-cursed streets. Being old, one is only let out after midnight, so that it came to pass, in a tremendous typhoon torrent, at two this morning, one found oneself desperately seeking shelter under a street arcade occupied by two rough sleepers in shapeless sacks -- one dead to the world and identifiable as human only by the stinky toes sticking out of the sock holes, and the other dazed awake, sitting up, and communing privately with a Bane-lulling forty of Ice in a brown paper bag.)


Ed,

The post began from (and still begins with) those cherry red designer frames. (Not yet too blind to see red!)


Aditya,

And then some.

What the Americans are watching, as always, is... the Americans.

"If the rickshawpulling business is not too inhuman..."

TC said...

Curtis,

The Mathiessen revelations, unapologetic, casual, and (to me) stunning, come in an interview conducted by Immy Humes, in a documentary about her father, the late Harold "Doc" Humes -- like Mathiessen a novelist and another Major Major in the early days of the magazine (though the historical worm turns and churns, and Doc came out of the long moveable society party, perhaps, somewhat less delighted with it all than others.)

Mathiessen, in the Humes flick, makes it perfectly clear that his editorship of the PR was his "alibi" (i.e.front) for his working in Paris as an Agency snoop and fink. Both the American Library and the PR were part of one front. Mathiessen seems in the interview rather pleased with himself to have been a spook. (We recall Elvis's pride in his "position" as a Federal Agent Ex Officio).

Keeping in mind that during the Cold War period esp late 50s there was born in the ranks and indeed in the higher echelons of the Agency a certain "educated" wasp-ish idealism concerning the ways and means of arriving at retention of "democratic" world domination (for, of course, the world's own good). The young brainy group of baby spooks under Lansdale actually did study the works of John Buchan (British spook) and esp. T.E. Lawrence, whose sort of warrior Daniel Ellsberg (to cite the best example) wanted to be -- as he later told me. (It all went bad for Ellsberg when, out in "the field", he was involved with the infamous operation in the South in which the tactic was to "destroy the village in order to save it". Recounting that memory, and others, he wept.)

Not that to my knowledge there was any notable Lawrence of Arabia type idealism on display anywhere in the environs of the magazine. But then I was just the poetry editor, always an ocean or a continent away from New York.

TC said...

By the way, Curtis, Frances Stonor Saunders wrote an interesting book that helps sort out some of the background on all this: The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters. The book came out in 2000, before the Matthiessen admission re. the Paris Review's role as his CIA "cover".

The remarkable thing -- and I tend to believe this -- is that it seems in the case of PR that not only George Plimpton, but, as far as I know, everybody but Matthiessen himself remained blissfully unaware that the undercover games were going on. Mathiessen, as he relates in the Humes film, used his role with the Paris Review as his cover story for being in Paris, where, in fact, his actual primary activity was to spy for the Agency on those suspected of Communist activities and sympathies. This was, then, apparently a sort of Lone Ranger operation. Far more pervasive, as Saunders shows, was the Agency's reach into the editorial offices and policies of Encounter and the Partisan Review. Interested parties might wish to consult the useful Salon review of that book:

To quote briefly from a Salon review:
__

'The CIA's funds were laundered through both legitimate foundations (Ford and Rockefeller) and agency fronts (the Fairfield Foundation) and directed toward projects that advanced the anti-communist cause. While many were absurd -- Russian translations of Eliot's "Four Quartets" airdropped into the Soviet Union, a tour of the USSR by the Yale Glee Club -- others, such as the Museum of Modern Art's first show of abstract expressionist paintings, articulated a sophisticated CIA aesthetic. In the eyes of America's cultural mandarins, abstract expressionism "spoke to a specifically anti-Communist ideology, the ideology of freedom, of free enterprise. Non-figurative and politically silent, it was the very antithesis to socialist realism," Saunders writes. Some other CIA escapades seemed designed to benefit the organization's in-house intellectuals, such as printing 50,000 copies of Arthur Koestler's anti-communist "Darkness at Noon" -- all of which were immediately snapped up by the French Communist Party in what may have been the first (unintended) East-West business alliance.

'Encounter magazine was the jewel in the CIA's crown, "our greatest asset," according to Josselson. Based in London and edited by Irving Kristol and Stephen Spender (and, later, Melvin Lasky and Frank Kermode), it was a cultural journal on a par with the Partisan Review, which Saunders says also received CIA money.'

_
I once had a poem in Encounter, back in those days. Another stitch in the flimsy little spook sheet I did not even know I was wearing. It would have amounted to less than nothing beside the elaborate ghostly garment of fellow expat Sylvia Plath, who seemed to be in that journal with a macabre ditty or three just about every week... until at last the shades mercifully came and took her back home from the deep coldness of the culture wars.

TC said...

Well to be fair to her dear little prematurely vanished soul--- animula blandula vagula -- in the event it's still flapping about in the dark underworld in search of a place to lay its weary diaphanous fair head -- the most ghhoulish of the Plath poems did not appear in the CIA front journal Enclounter until a few months after her death. She had had poems in there before her death of course, she was never less than an industrious careerist. But I do recall riding a train back from London to Cambridge in the autum of 1963 and finding the first of those pale blooms of the dead (re. daddy, auschwitz & c.) that would later carve into scientific annals, right up there alongside the discovery that the universe is expanding indefinitely, what with all that Dark Matter -- the Sylvia Plath Effect.

It seems a bit unfair to pin a Syndrome on a Spook that way.

TC said...

...So here I linger in the waning Monsoon, trying to figure out the relation between the lifeboats and the Sylvia Plath Effect.

A little like the Lake Effect, it seems to spill out "across the disciplines," as is said.

E.g, this on the topic, from the American Pyschological Association Monitor:
____


"... in a recent retrospective study of 1,629 writers, psychologist and creativity researcher James Kaufman, PhD, of California State University, San Bernardino.Kaufman found that poets -- and in particular female poets -- were more likely than fiction writers, nonfiction writers and playwrights to have signs of mental illness, such as suicide attempts or psychiatric hospitalizations.

"In a second analysis of 520 eminent American women, he again found that poets were more likely to have mental illnesses and to experience personal tragedy than eminent journalists, visual artists, politicians and actresses -- a finding Kaufman has dubbed "the Sylvia Plath effect" after the noted poet who had depression and eventually committed suicide. The findings appear in The Journal of Creative Behavior (Vol. 35, No. 1).

"Are creative people's motivations a factor? Kaufman and psychologist John Baer, PhD, of Rider University, theorize in the Review of General Psychology (Vol. 6, No. 3) that creative people -- specifically, eminent female poets -- may be more prone to mental illness if they are more vulnerable to extrinsic motivational constraints, such as interpersonal relationships.

"Valuing such external factors may harm poets' mental health, they speculate, because high levels of creativity require people to "defy the crowd" and ignore what other people think. That means eminent writing could produce more stress -- leading to a higher incidence of mental illness.

"Could the stigma of mental illness be a factor? "In the fields of art and literature and music, there is much more toleration of mental illness than there is in the rest of society," explains Rothenberg. That might allow people with mental illnesses to climb the ranks of poetry in a way they couldn't have in business.

"How does creative writing interact with mental illness? In several studies, University of Texas at Austin psychologist James Pennebaker, PhD, has found positive health and mental health benefits from writing -- but only when the writer crafts a narrative or makes connections between thought and feelings. Kaufman theorizes that poets may not garner the same benefits from writing that other writers do because poems seldom form a narrative.

"However, Pennebaker cautions that there is no data yet that proves that poetry writing isn't beneficial. "It's very possible that writing poetry may have kept Sylvia Plath alive longer than she would have," he says. "One of the counterarguments is that being in poetry is a real tough way to make a living. There are very few jobs that have a higher rejection rate."

And that's where it hurts the worst, as we sing to the angels from from the rooftops, just before
the gentle landing...

Ed Baker said...

not acquainted with James Kaufman but feel CERTAIN that he knows Kay Jamison's work...

she moved over from teaching at Hopkins to head the psych dept at GW...

her (what's the word ? "seminal"? )

her seminal work 1977 covers this-all:
TOUCHED WITH FIRE
Manic Depressive Illness and The Artisti Temperament

a list on page 236 of a "gaggle" of poets, artists, novelists who had at least one blood-relative with mental illness even diagnosed as insane includes Sylvia Plath ( in section 7, which opens):


"Occasionally an exhilarating and powerfully creative force, more often a destructive one, manic-depressive
illness illness gives a touch of fire to many of those who experience it."

I have known several young 'wanna-be' poets (girls) who have adopted Plath's .... persona... or 'voice'... or style to the extent that they made themselves sick...


they became what they were pretending to be one,
(I knew verity well) killed herself .... turned on her gas oven .
check into Touched with Fire by

Kay Redfield Jamison (and her other books)

TC said...

Animula Vagula, Blandula

Ed Baker said...

opppssss did it again!

Kay Redfield Jamison wrote her Touched with Fire
in 1993 NOT (as I said) in 1977 !
'
here she is re: suicide:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaNb-HkB0sA&feature=related

TC said...

Well, most of us can look forward, if not to floating on air or water, to being sunk under earth, or touched by fire.

It was once -- 17th c. -- believed by intelligent medical people that the body died upward from the feet.

I confess I haven't kept up very well with the literature on that subject, in the centuries since.

But I sometimes wonder, when I lay abed o'nights, listening to the hammering of the climate change monsoon rain over my head, how that whole thing works in crematoria.

On less practical matters, my reminiscences of
Paris and the Underworld seem to be flowing forth unabated.

Must be the last stage of terminal deterioration under the Ban.

Ed Baker said...

just last night reading section in Fredman's book
re: Robert Duncan via Levertov via Kali
& all of that out-of-the-ashes of tThe Crematorium

am
a-feared
that
it
just
ain't
gonna
be
so
when
I ain't got no body

either


well not for 3 days of rain and
my roof don't leak no more
so time
now to put up some plasterboard
(after my morning nap)

TC said...

Congratulations on the roof, Edster.

Between two and three in the morning here, there were multiple measurable fathoms dumped upon us by two tropic typhoons colliding with a swooping north pacific climate change upper atmospheric depression, as not seen in this intensity of supercollision since September 1939, when the world and the movies were still real (and not half bad at that).

Earthlings could always decide to bow their heads in shame before the banausic monstrosity they have created, and regulate emissions.

That would be possible by Ban.

.. But it would be contradicted by the stubborn opponent of all regulation, Bane.

But of course the two terms have always hung around in different quarters.

Ban would be more... Jekyll Island.

ban (v.)
O.E. bannan "to summon, command, proclaim," from P.Gmc. *bannan "proclaim, command, forbid" (cf. O.H.G. bannan "to command or forbid under threat of punishment," Ger. bannen "banish, expel, curse"), originally "to speak publicly," from PIE base *bha- "to speak" (cf. O.Ir. bann "law," Armenian ban "word;" see fame). Main modern sense of "to prohibit" (late 14c.) is from O.N. cognate banna "to curse, prohibit," and probably in part from O.Fr. ban, which meant "outlawry, banishment," among other things (see banal) and was a borrowing from Germanic. The sense evolution in Germanic was from "speak" to "proclaim a threat" to (in Norse, German, etc.) "curse." The Germanic root, borrowed in Latin and French, has been productive: cf. banish, bandit, contraband, etc. Related: Banned; banning. Banned in Boston dates from 1920s, in allusion to the excessive zeal and power of that city's Watch and Ward Society.
ban (n.2)
"governor of Croatia," from Serbo-Cr. ban "lord, master, ruler," from Pers. ban "prince, lord, chief, governor," related to Skt. pati "guards, protects." Hence banat "district governed by a ban," with Latinate suffix -atus. The Persian word got into Slavic perhaps via the Avars.
ban (n.1)
"edict of prohibition," c.1300, "proclamation or edict of an overlord," from O.E. (ge)bann "proclamation, summons, command" and O.Fr. ban, both from Germanic; see ban (v.).

Whereas Bane would be more like Transylvanian... or universal/ubiquitous.

bane
O.E. bana "killer, slayer, murderer; the devil," from P.Gmc. *banon, cognate with *banja- "wound" (cf. O.Fris. bona "murderer," O.N. bani, O.H.G. bana "murder," O.E. benn "wound," Goth. banja "stroke, wound"), from PIE base *gwhen- "to strike, kill, wound" (cf. Avestan banta "ill"). Modern sense of "that which causes ruin or woe" is from 1570s.

Wherever you are, they are.

TC said...

By which was meant:

Wherever you are, they will probably be..."

Ed Baker said...

I keep finding/discovering connections thanks for WOLFEN ...

I think that there just might be something to this "intertextuality" .... 'stuff'
which, naturally, takes me back into my "me" and to one of the preludes to my book NEIGHBORS:

"There exists a creature who is perfectly harmless;
when it passes before your eyes, you hardly notice
it and immediately forget again. But as soon as it
somehow, invisibly, gets into your ears, it begins
to develop, it hatches, and cases have been known
where it has penetrated into the brain and flourishes
there devastatingly, like pneumococci in dogs
which gain entrance through the nose.

This creature is your neighbor."


-Ranier Maria Rilke Ahead of all Parting: p 266

( I found this passage after finish book 3 (of 5) of NEIGHBORS
which is/was
the very first run of pieces that I did AFTER my 30+ year drop-out from writing poems period.

that's about how long my roof's been leaking !