Fall 2000

Prof. Keefer

Major 20th Writers


"Machiavelli -- His literature journey through 20th century"

Open Papers - Diary



Author: Penny Adamopoulos

Email: peadamo@hotmail.com


"Machiavelli -- His literature journey through 20th century"


Character: Machiavelli: narcissist, evil genius and brilliant political theorist. In his following monologue he shows his brilliance as a philosophical theorist. It is a monologue in which includes open papers: he starts with a letter-introduction addressed to himself; he writes using his book, the "Prince", but instead of the Prince as "Your Magnificence" is himself, Machiavelli. He knows he is genius, he doesn't try to prove it. In the monologue he expresses himself using his talent as a writer, a poet. The monologue is a diary collection of open papers, in which Machiavelli wrote his observation about his spiritual trip to Mao II, Red Azalea, Perfume, God Dies by the Nile, Tropic of Cancer, Incest, Lolita, The Double Flame, The Stranger and No Exit.


(New York, downtown, October, 2000.)

Now, I am anxious to offer myself to Your Magnificence with some token of my devotion to you, and I have not found among my belongings anything as dear to me or what I value as much as my understanding of the deeds of great men, won by me from a long acquaintance with contemporary affairs and a continuous study of the ancient world; these matters I have very diligently analyzed and pondered for a long time, and now, having summarized them in a little book, I am sending them to Your Magnificence. ( Machiavelli, The Prince, Penguin Group 1999, Letter From Niccolo Machiavelli to the Magnificent Lorenzo De Medici, pg 1)


... I'd like, in presenting these texts, to confess at once: I am not a critic or a prose writer. I am a genius! But now I am just a man who sees. Psychological analysis does nothing for me, my powers of observation are largely absent, and every attempt at description bores me to death. I have no way to exhaust a subject except to live it... writing. Which means I dive in a long way before clarifying what I want to say, I let myself drift, here and there, preferring the darkest corners, trying to see or, if not, at least to touch and recognize.


(New York, 20th century, a journey from Yankee Stadium to Beirut)

Machiavelli through DeLillo's eyes.

It seems difficult but is simple. You throw the cards and turn them. A plethora of mauve noes and red yeses appears, silent alwayses, sonorous nevers, all of them well-placed in geometric designs directly from your soul... Strange. What makes us play a different role in each act of the same play? Why do we mean to be tried over and over?

We exchange futures as lighthouses do their beams, so that, in a final refraction, all our ages resound their "present" at once, just as all our elements -- liquid and solid, volatile and crystalline, dark and highly luminous -- add up to one. If not one were passes to another. So one arrives, encircling every lifeform in the same result as that of the pedestrian and the flyer, as I, Bill Gray a famous writer, and my brilliant assistant Scott, relative to the different speed of bodies -- although the futurists had overlooked the fact that everything does flee, but always in one place, like the stars... And after all these thoughts, I am still trying to avoid failure.


(China, 1957 -- America, 1984)

Machiavelli as Min who hates M. Mao but hides her "love" to her. ( her crisis)

I woke up in the dark of a moon steamed against glass, black as if glazed with ebony.

What happened to me? Who am I? I hate her! I hate heeerrr!!! I hate the richness of the surrounding "red" all over me; in me, out of me. Fine colorful silks cover juicy essential bodies; bodies which are loved and in love; love o love, how you depart from eros! You let it reach its utter explosion and exhaust, while you preserve yourself and rise like oil above water to keep the flame of an endless day. O love can you hear me? O if I could erase and write people as I want them...

What speech! Here, the retarded other me, in me, tries to combine intelligence and void, stupidity and the improbable. Hey! Wake up! I had enough of your meaningless paralirism!

What I am trying to say , or to confess is my love to her. In my dreams she appears like a Greek Goddess. My passion for her makes me feel like Chinese Saphfo, the lesbian poet. In my lips come the following words: I saw her everywhere. Holding a glass and staring into space. Lying down listening to opera. Walking the streets in shiny fine silk kimonos. She is wearing white powder in her face which makes her look dead but in my eyes she is beautiful. She is snob, she walks looking the sky. She is powerful. Her power wakes up my hedonistic emotions. I want to make love to her. No, I am lying. I want to fuck you... I want to tear your guts apart...

If you talk to her she doesn't hear at all. As if something is happening -- she alone hears it and is frightened. She holds your hand tight, tears, but is not there. I never touched her and I never took from her anything.


(France, 18th century)

Machiavelli sees himself in Grenouille.

[Machiavelli's tautism to Grenouille, leads him to the thought: eternal past or way beyond winter.]

Antiquity hungers for fingers and olfaction has no nationality. Smoke existed before Heracleitos made it an example, and we are made awkward by old homes, like dogs facing lost owners. we circle, we smell, we leap in the air to steal crumbs of smell from beloved objects -- half-open trunks, broken candy, skin from a virgin, a bottle of genitalia's juice -- as each of them strikes us in set intervals and flares on memory's breastplate. It is they, precisely, who help me keep a different kind of order in my life, like rubies on my watch, like virgin's scent in a bottle.

Besides, from a different perspective, if something of the old endures, it is never the object itself; it is the undecaying meaning, as we first knew it, entering our minds. Sure no one builds chapels nowadays, light boats are made of plastic, perfumes are made of chemical elements, dovecots nonexistent. We still have the deserted wind across the whitewashed sill, the sound of a salty rope governing a sail intimate with wind's cheek, the place once held by the solitery cloisters of the birds.

You must discard today's old to gain the past, the eternally past. You have always be like buds, way beyond winter.

A well-limned euphony breathes, laying a mistral atop the earthen tetragram I open my soul like a huge window upon Euvoia's cove each morning. Fair weather! Almost distilled, half of the globe can be discerned from here. You let go. What wily wind tickles the jasmine's little ears in our ignorance; what stalks and reeds you see, chasing each other in the sudden drizzle, frightened as little birds! scared as elapsed to murderer's hands naked virgins! Every fluid from girl's body, every cicada leap is nothing but a new day here, each player of the evergreen surf a Greek-speaking cricket, leafing through July's book of days. Go on, you bluets, cam panels, bee-bells and bittersweets, pepper geraniums, myth nymphs! A sharper-scented day grows from old, a thundering command from Zeus's larynx.

Who are we then? What do we seek? What does fate write on our country's palm? No, no. The only writ is wealthiest the least, inscribed in Greek capitals on prows of ships. Earth and water, that is. In Greek, boulder and sea.

O! sweet dawn humanity! Enduring morning of your soul. where thr orange never turns to lead but, even in the dark, gold glows the Parisian light. Where can the people in this place find roof, if not in their own uniqueness? The uniqueness of an evil genius -- like me and myself Grenouille -- the uniqueness of the innocent virgins -- my victims, as any credulous Prince, or Grenouille's victims, as any fresh young girl -- and most importantly, the uniqueness of the diachronic character of ourselves (which we try to define and hide) which, for thousands of years, have not chanced owner.



(Nile, 19...)

Machiavelli, the Mayor.

After he raped unconsciously the girls; he sat on a filthy crafted chair in his office and observing the naked girls, whose bodies are still making orgasm's spasms; He grab a pen and start to write his syllogism:

...There were periods we savored as the mad do their freedom. my desk -- of the obscure geometry -- was practically transformed to a consulate of fixed ideas and overblown schemas. Daughters of Nile with glassy epaulets and aunts with gold disks and an ordained place in the otherwise summery calendar of festivities; riverboats, prostrate in the scrub oak or barely jutting from their lair, portions of Nile as no one has yet seen them, wave-like foals, channels of precious foam. I speak of something that both is and is not. The timely and singular you find on a girl's first page, which vanishes before you explain it.

So worn are we by society and social lies that even the essential truth, directly expressed, seems a paradox.

For the duration of a jerk off, which is our life and where we savor (and self-destruct as also in love) our creative efforts, and anywhere else as well, the only light still shining, though trodden heavily by time, is beauty. That infinitesimal wink in which we tasted beauty and incarnated it once and for all in our private eternity.

O Zakeya, you will never understand what rape means to me and how I feel tearing apart a girls genitalia. Your ignorant innocent mind blocks you off seeing my perverted empty powerful soul.


(Back to Paris in 1934.)

Machiavelli's Tropic of Cancer, (self-confession).

"H Apokaluyh"

...Kai memiaV pisw apo to ceri tou eida -- fanhke

surfetoV pollwn alaliasmenwn apo tromo anqrwpwn

opou fwnazan ki etrecan etrecan ki eskouzan

Idou ercetai o Abbadwn idou ercetai o Apolluwn.

Eniwsa tarach megalh kai orghta

me kurieye. Alla o idioV sunecise:

KeinoV pou adikhse as adikhsei akomh. Ki o brwmiarhV

as brwmisei perissotero. Ki o dikaioV

pio dikaioV as einai. Ki epeidh anastenaxa

me galhnh aperanth aplwse to ceri

arga panw sto proswpo mou

ki htan gluku san meli alla pikraqhkan ta swqika mou...

"The Apocalypse"

... And at once behind his hand I saw -- it appeared

a mob of many men speechless from fear

who cried and ran ran and squealed

"There comes Avathon there comes the Releaser."

I felt great turbulence and anger

mastered me. But he himself went on:

"Let who cheated cheat still. And the filthy

be filthier. And the just

more just let be." And because I sighed

with endless serenity he stretched his hand

slowly on my face

and it was sweet as honey but it embittered my gut...

I am not a religious man but I, Machiavelli the evil, believe in "something" more powerful than a human being. I believe that we are create our own God, based on our observation of life.

In the above part of "The Apocalypse", my Greek confession, I depict a man who tries to find his God. I am desperate, lost in my jungle "world".

As Henry Miller, one of "I"s, I am disappointed about my surrounding; "I have found God, but he is insufficient. I am only spiritually dead. Physically I am alive. Morally I am free. The world which i have departed is a menagerie. The dawn is breaking on a new world, a jungle world in which the lean spirits roam with sharp claws. If I am a hyena I am a lean and hungry one: I go forth to fatten myself."(Miller, Tropic of Cancer, pg.99).

Suddenly I feel my God, who tells me exactly what I feel about life and how the people in this should be. The basic rule is that you get what you deserve. I named my God as Avathon and Releaser. Avathon in Greek means not walker, but here means the one who sets the rules, who drafts the scheme of life. The other name Releaser means the one, who let you free, the one who rescues you.

So my God touches me and giving me the feeling of relaxation. Despite the calmness and relaxation, that gets from my God's touch, I don't feel relax; because I don't like revenge as a rule to my life; I, Machiavelli, the evil, I Henry Miller, the cultural icon, "I go forth to fatten myself" (Miller, Tropic of Cancer, pg.99) through me.


(Still in Paris in 1932-1934.)

Machiavelli, an inner voice of Anais Nin.

"Today I was walking loaded with over fullness.

And the next day I received a tender, wistful letter from Father: 'You idealized me -- you expected too much -- I am only a poor little musician. Where are you? It is neither your fault nor mine. i have been haunted by your eyes.' (Anais Nin, Incest, pg 336).

...My Father's letter is in my bag. The wheel is turning. I am spinning. My Father arrives in a few days. I have not yet ejected the unwanted child. I lie in bed, and I want to sleep because the fullness is too much for me."(Anais Nin, Incest, pg 337).

And as I lie in bed, my voice is coming out to help me exit. But inconceivably no one hears. The bird of Paradise ever flies higher in flames. The voice turns elsewhere, the eyes stay miracle-free.

Abandoned are the eyes...

One among the thousand murderers, I too take innocent, the weak. I wrap the ancient garment round me and descend the stone steps again, calling and exorcising.

Abandoned are the eyes you call...

Eons now over the blue volcanoes. far in the body and far in the soil I stand on, I went to find out who I am. Rich in small joys and unexpected meetings, look at me: incapable of learning what I give, what I am given, and still injustice has the greater part

Gold wind of life...


(Somewhere in Europe in 1950s.)

Vladimir Machiavelli Nabocov's deviated thoughts.

"...Suspended on the brink of that voluptuous abyss ( a nicety of physiological equipoise comparable to certain techniques in the arts) I kept repeating chance words after her -- barmen, alarmin', my charmin', my carmen', ahmen, ahahamen -- as one talking and laughing in his sleep while my happy hand crept up her sunny leg as far as the shadow of decency allowed.

...for there was, I swear, a yellowish violet bruise on her lovely nymphet thigh which my huge hairy hand massaged and slowly enveloped -- and because of her very perfunctory underthings, there seemed to be nothing to prevent my muscular thumb from reaching the hot hollow of her groin -- just as you might tickle and caress a giggling child -- just that --..." (Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, pg 60,61).

Hmm! My mind flies, my muscle is now hard; The body knows, where to go. Oh my beautiful Archangel, blisses like fruit in a pan!

"O my Carmen my little Carmen" (Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, pg 61) come to me!

Lets live the moment, help me make this night famous!

...by the terraces, near the musical complaint of your hand's curve. Near your transparent breast, the uncovered forests full of violets and vegetables and open palms of moon, far as the sea, the sea you caress, the sea that takes and leaves me leaving in a thousand shells.

Visible and beautiful Lolita, i taste your good moment! i say that you communicate so well with people you raise them to the dimension of your heart so none again can worship what belongs to him, what stirs like a tear at the root of every grass, the crown of each reached branch. I say that you communicate so well with the spring of things that your fingers match their fate.

Visible and beautiful Lolita by your side I am whole!


(Somewhere in Mexico City in 1993.)

Machiavelli reminisces Octavio Paz.

" Friendship is often compared to love. Sometimes as complementary passions, sometimes, more frequently, as opposites. If the carnal, physical element is omitted, the resemblance between love and friendship is obvious.

...Friendship is born of community and concordance.

...Love is born of a sudden infatuation; friendship from frequent contact and prolonged interaction. Love is instantaneous; friendship takes time.

...Aristotle says that there are three kinds of friendship: friendship out of interest or usefulness, friendship out of pleasure, and 'perfect friendship, that of good men of similar virtue, because each equally desires the good for the other.' To desire the good for the other is to desire it for oneself, if the friend is a good man." (Octavio Paz, The Double Flame, pg135,136.)

These were the words of my "friend" Octavio Paz that came across to my mind when I eve dropped the chat of the next table. Let me tell you something my "friend" Octavio about love in my "language".

A language like Greek where agape is one thing and eros another; desire one thing and longing-with-a-beating-heart another; bitterness one thing and marasmus another; guts one, entrails something else. In clear tones I mean which are -- alas -- grasped less and less by those who more and more are distanced from the meaning of a celestial body whose light is our assimilated labor, just as it doesn't cease revolving every day, all brilliance, to reward us.

Dear friend, whether we want to or not, we are the matter as well as the instrument of a perpetual exchange between what sustains us and what we give it to sustain us: the black we give to receive white, the mortal, everlasting.

And we're indebted to some bright duration for our potential joy.




(Somewhere in France in 1944.)

Machiavelli looks his face in the mirror...

"Hell is the Other People" (Jean Paul Sartre, No Exit)

Other People?

Who? Who are the people, you can hate? Who are they, that makes you a beast?



Here I am Machiavelli the Great, looking my self in the mirror. I am scared of what I see.

Exit! Exit! Where is the exit!...

There is NO EXIT, unless you want to.

The biggest question No Exit seems to leave unanswered is whether the misery we cause one another is meant to be or if it is simply chance and the decisions we make that cause that misery. Furthermore, is there anything we can do about it, or is our nature so constructed so that we have no choice in the matter?

Inez my 'female me', you said "One always dies too soon -- or too late."

Yes! and yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are -- I am -- your life, and nothing else. We have a moment, everything we need to be happy, yet we insist on searching for things that makes us miserable.

There is an Exit, darling! It is you, facing your self in the mirror! It is you, seeing your self as hell.

"Would you like my mask?

Would you like my mirror?

Cries the man in the shadowing hood

You can look at yourself

You can look at each other

You can look at the face of your god".

(Loreena McKennitt, Marrakesh night market, Quinlan Road ltd.)


(Somewhere in 1946.)

Machiavelli applied as a stranger.

"She wanted to know if I loved her," Meursault says.

"I answered the same way I had the last time, that it didn't mean anything but that I probably didn't" (A. Camus, The Stranger)

I express myself as a bergamont in the morning air. The filtration no one else perceives is what counts. Through social struggle, through the yearning for justice and freedom, through man's inalienables: an aroma!

A person like me, is never as large or small as the meanings he grasps, from the Angel to the Demon. It's like the space left when these two rival forces self-destruct. If it pleases me to refer to a tree's nobility or turn answers to riddles, it's for this: to understudy the child I was and have again on hand, entirely for free, that endless visibility, the mightiest, most enduring of revolutions.

I was looking at what fit the large square window: some scorched land, a stripe of deep blue surf. Later, in my sleep, three in the afternoon, I saw Hermes descending from the sky, leg flexed, holding a small girl in his arms, head upside down, her hair poured in the wind.

Do I love? For a man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder, for a man whom nakedness faced the absurd, for a man like me, what "love" means;

Yes, I probably do, somehow.


... And here I am thinking and writing my observetations. We are trying to find humanism inside of us. As well known inhuman I Machiavelli, the evil, I dare to say :

"Who charges solitude still has humans inside him."

~~~ *** ~~~