Monday, August 11, 2008

Extraordinary Mental Lucidity Towards the End

[ source ]

Ms Fico, who married Antonioni the year after his stroke, said that instead of more drastic means he had "simply stopped eating”, with "incredible willpower". He had eaten little or nothing from September 2006, just over a year before he died, she told La Stampa. "He came to table with me, to keep me company, but only ate a few spoonfuls". He had proved that "one's body continues to live even if you go month after month without eating".

She said that like the mystics who had similarly starved themselves, Antonioni had acquired "extraordinary mental lucidity" towards the end. He had put up with his decline and illness "gloriously", but "not to be able to see was for him truly unacceptable".

He had wanted to die "to free himself not so much from pain as from the body which was the origin of his suffering." She said his death "was a masterpiece as much as his cinematic works. He went in absolute peace, embracing the absolute, as if he were a mystic. He wanted to de-materialise".

1 comment:

Mysti Easterwood said...

Scot, good to see you are still pushing buttons from time to time. And speaking of pushing, have you graduated to full-blown thanatorhei, my friend? I stand with the Eleusinians who caution against abruptly taking leave of this obnoxious gift of embodiment.

It is said to leave a particular scent of despair for the next resident of that incarna-story. (Surely we don't imagine that there is only one Antonioni, one Scot, one Mysti? Look again... )

Though I admit, Antonioni's method - a form of autophagy - might slip the category. At a certain point in the fasting game one ceases to decline food per se, and begins to eat oneself. We are quite tasty from inside, I'm told, (though I personally plan to die of a well-placed mantra).

Light collects where it can.