Inspirations (4)

(4) Literature

It may sound rather weird, but sometimes (well, tbh most of the time…) I find an intimate, strong and direct connection between certain texts and my musical ideas. I have always been a bookworm and all the books, poems and novels (or even song lyrics…) I’ve ever read have clearly put their marks on my way of looking at things – and in general, life. One could place these inspirations on a very wide spectrum both in their genres or their main focus. Still, if I should find a motto for all the texts I’ve ever found inspiring or touching, I would summarize their essence in a single sentence from the gothic metal pioneers Virgin Black: “All is lost but hope”.

Nova vis ad diem novum nascitur 
Penitus veneficium versatum revincitur 

(Lacuna Coil: Veneficium)

The duality of loss and hope has always enkindled my feelings and thoughts. I must admit that sometimes I experiment with writing poems (those of you who can speak Hungarian may take a look at a couple of older ones here), and I always found it way easier to formulate words than music around these emotions. Still, I don’t think that these texts will ever appear as lyrics for my musical constructions, even though they were originally intended to be song lyrics. Not just the differences in their rhythmicity and focus separate my poems from my songs, but also the fact that I don’t want to lose their characteristic Hungarian intonation and wording by the inevitable alterations while translating them into English. Still, you may easily get a glimpse into my mind through these poems – and I hope you’ll grab the essence of those rather sad texts in the occasionally appearing sparks of hope. This kind of balance between the intrinsic gloominess and courage against all odds may well be the reason, why the tragic and melancholic, but at the same time epic, monumental and inspirational music of Lacuna Coil slowly grew over me during the years, and made them one of my absolute favorite bands. The feeling of tragedy and struggle in Veneficium always hit me so hard even after years that I felt an irresistible urge to let its Ancient Latin intro text tattoed on my left upper arm.

It’s no surprise that books with a touch of sadness or tragedy were always the ones that inspired me. Still, all my melancholic or even tragic book favorites showed me something that helped me to transcend the devastating feeling of meaningless suffering. People sometimes ask me about these favorites, and I always tell them that it’s extremely hard to pick only a few from such a wide spectrum. The circle of my favorite authors contain novelist and writer giants like Erich Maria Remarque (Three Comrades; Arch of Triumph) or Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Night Flight; Wind, Sand and Stars), but also less known and painfully underrated writers like Marguerite Radclyffe Hall (The Well of Loneliness). My affection towards all things melancholic can also be caught in my enthusiasm for early horror pioneers like Bram Stoker (Dracula), Mary Shelley (Frankenstein) or Edgar Allan Poe (The Fall of the House Usher; The Cask of Amontillado). Apart from them, Gilbert Keith Chesterton (Heretics) always impresses me with his clear reasoning and brilliant paradoxes, Jorge Luis Borges (The Aleph; Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius) and Gustav Meyrink (Golem, The Angel of the West Window) enchant me with their unique and sometimes haunting dreams, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings) helps me to imagine a better world, and Jack Kerouac (On the Road) takes me to a never-ending journey to see hidden places and meet extraordinary people.

I’m sure you won’t find much similarity between these authors and books at the first try. It’s totally true that this little circle of favorite writers contain people with rather diverse conceptual and ideological backgrounds, but I must admit that I never found it hard to get on a common platform with them (or with highly different people IRL…) due to my basic desire to find unity with others primarily on the levels of feelings and emotions, rather than ideologies, world-views or confessions. For me it’s only natural that feelings and emotions come first, and altough I have a quite solid world-view, I find this kind of unity the primary factor in every interpersonal relationships over the arguments of purely theoretical and ideological nature. And this is the point where music comes again into the picture: even though I resonate to books and poems quite well (I even write them sometimes), I see music as the ultimate way of expressing feelings and emotions without all the limitations that words pose upon us.

Without the intention of digging deep into the territories of linguistic philosophy, this is just the way I truly am.

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