The Grand Inquisitor 

“Imagine a trembling mother with her baby in her arms, a circle of invading Turks around her. They plan a diversion: they pet the baby, laugh to make it laugh. They succeed the baby laughs. At that moment a Turk points a pistol four inches from the baby’s face. The baby laughs with glee, holds out its little hands to the pistol, and he pulls the trigger in the baby’s face and blows out its brains. Artistic, wasn’t it? By the way, Turks are particularly fond of sweet things, they say.”  

-The Grand Inquisitor, The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoievsky.

 

 

The Grand Inquisitor 

PERSONA- DON’T YOU THINK I UNDERSTAND?

FILM: Persona

DIRECTOR AND WRITER: Ingmar Bergman

SCORE: Lars Johan Werle

I understand, all right. The hopeless dream of being – not seeming, but being. Conscious and awake at every moment. The gulf between what you are with others and what you are alone. The vertigo and the constant hunger to be exposed, to be seen through, perhaps even wiped out. Every inflection and every gesture a lie, every smile a grimace. Suicide? No, too vulgar. But you can refuse to move, refuse to talk, so that you don’t have to lie. You can shut yourself in. Then you needn’t play any parts or make wrong gestures. Or so you thought. But reality is diabolical. Your hiding place isn’t watertight. Life trickles in from the outside, and you’re forced to react. No one asks if it is true or false, if you’re genuine or just a sham. Such things matter only in the theatre, and hardly there either. I understand why you don’t speak, why you don’t move, why you’ve created a part for yourself out of apathy. I understand. I admire. You should go on with this part until it is played out, until it loses interest for you. Then you can leave it, just as you’ve left your other parts one by one.

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