The Breath

A precious thing, breath...
From Raw Deal:

I always said I like talking to a sharp guy.  You don’t waste breath.  Precious thing, breath.

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When people think of the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey, they think of Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra, but the soundtrack is suffused with the sound of breathing, which is what I think of.  The breathing in the space suits, in the space pod, as Dave decommissions HAL9000, and in the final scene, as the old man Dave meets his end.

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3 Responses to The Breath

  1. Replying to multiple posts…

    “We need a new way of talking about it.[the self]”

    …Gonna be tough, that, given the subject/verb/object nature of our language. The postmodernists try to invent another, “better” language, but I can’t understand what they are trying to say, and it seems at times that that is their point. So is there a self behind the “I” wall? Or is that all there is? Is the self an emergent property, just an ephemeral adjective for an imaginary noun?
    Can art be the answer? We’ve pretty much learned—re-learned—to put aside the [Peirce’s] iconic meaning of an image to read the symbolic meaning like a language. So maybe art’s the way to get beyond the structure of subject/verb/object.

    “If you like, waste time with these posts of mine.”

    …Thanks, I will. As well as the gray beasts Dennett and Jaynes who lurk on my shelves; daring me to re-read them.

  2. Man of Roma says:

    People remember not only ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ but also ‘The Blue Danube’. Although the Richard’s Strauss music poem is more related to the human evolution path the film wants to convey.

    Breath makes me think of religion (pneuma and all that), but I wonder what is the meaning of that breath in the video: life, birth, death? (we are alive until we breathe).

    In any case, I recently read many works by Arthur Clarke, there included the whole 2001 series. I was especially impressed though by Clarke’s ‘Childhood’s end’. Clarke’s sober British prose is inspired. And he likes Bach as much as I do (Bach’s music is so present in 2001 and other works of his, so that it has become a cliché of Sci-Fi). Not present in Kubrik’s 2001 though, if I am not wrong.

    • Lichanos says:

      No Bach in 2001, correct. And also correct on the Blue Danube…I felt a little dishonest for not mentioning it!

      In Fargo (Coen brothers), there is a scene where a criminal psychopath chases down and kills two innocent witnesses of one of his crimes. Their car crashes, and one of them is trapped. He approaches the car, she is caught in her seat, breathing heavily, her chest heaving with the fear and the rush.

      It’s a terrifying moment, but I always think of it when I see a lizard just sitting on a wall, sunning itself, it’s belly going in and out with its breath.

      Nice to hear from you again, MoR!

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