Pat Clifford & Aryanil Mukherjee's
second book of bilingual cinepoetry.
Preface by Edmundo Desnoes
Published by Kaurab
ISBN - 978-81-920265-7-2
Cover-Art by Madhuja Mukherjee
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From the PREFACE
I was surprised and moved to read The Memorandum by Pat Clifford and Aryanil Mukherjee. Empire and commerce were the first to conceive of the planet as a single market, art and literature were slower in spreading its penetrating message, if at all. And commercial images tended to bypass the subversive quest of artistic objects and appeal to easy emotions and desires.
The film version of my novel and the quest for identity of my character broke the confinement of my island, Cuba; identity determined to transcend the stereotyped images of the Third World, to give Sergio an introspective, subjective sensibility to erase the surface, folkloric images imposed by the world powers. We were not only dance and cigars, entertainment and local color for the metropolis.
When I read that the film version of my novel, for which I had collaborated with the director, Titón, (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea) in writing the screen play “quickly gained a large following in Kolkata with repeated university and film society screenings and critical works” I was moved. And now along comes The Memorandum, where I discover the resonance of the character and the narrative of my book, a memoir that struggles with the inner self awareness of existence in an underdevelopment island – island implying isolation. Underdevelopment does embrace the isolation of others:
“take for example the word ‘untouchable’ an outlaw in one land elsewhere a condemned hardscrabble if they touch you lose the sense of it”,
as Clifford and Mukherjee discuss in The Memorandum. Their bilingual poem with its mysterious script is not surface, like a commercial ad or a Twitter message, it seeks depth, hopes to bring light to darkness:
“first there was light… its velocity continues to fall outside the range of emotions later ran sound gradually trains advanced motor cars films also went past us at their usual pace past… backward us”.
As the Spanish thinker, Ortega y Gasset wrote: “yo soy yo y mi circunstancia” - I am myself and my circumstance. Both Memories of Underdevelopment and The Memorandum are aware that we are not only our colorful circumstance but also our individual consciousness, our inner discourse rooted in our land and its inhabitants.
Our world is a palimpsest, we all erase and rewrite it:
Europe floats in the liquid dream of a small island
but even bigger islands stay afloat
they put their arms around me
sullen faces from a roof
how should I know
if the one outfront’s not underperforming
- Edmundo Desnoes