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The Kreutzer Sonata for Metamorphosis

Marieta Maglas is a co-author in some anthologies published by Ardus Publications, Sybaritic Press, Prolific Press, and Silver Birch Press.

Article by Marieta Maglas

The Kreutzer Sonata

Poem by Marieta Maglas

Puzzling, airborne males glowed

red, green, and yellow

like bathing in an excited polar sunlight

or like flashing spasmodically their mirrors~

femme fatale fireflies~

or like some Morse signals.

Hoped to be thrilled in unison

in an eye-blink,

on the highest peak

of the Great Smoky Mountains,

like those pure lights and darks

in contradistinction

played by Beethoven or

like those objects of love and hate

hindered by Tolstoy

in The Kreutzer Sonata.

This poem uses Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis in this need to underline the contrast between love and hate. Human beings are like candles, they need the love of God, which is a light for the souls, especially for those living in the darkness of hate. The Kreutzer Sonata, a novella written by Leo Tolstoy, is like a dissertation on the supreme abstinence regarding carnal love because it can become ''a hindrance in the service of God.'' Missing love can open an entrance to hate. Tolstoy uses married people to demonstrate how love can be transformed into hatred and why committing adultery in this search for "animal excesses" isn't really helpful.

The wife of Pozdnyshev betrays him with a violinist, Troukhatchevsky. The dagger of Pozdnyshev kills the wife, but cannot hinder the objects of carnal love. Love descends in the flesh and looses its own meaning.

Leo Tolstoy uses the music generated by the violin as a link with The Violin Sonata No. 9, Opus 47 played by Ludwig van Beethoven. Troukhatchevsky is a violinist. The whole composition is a slip of light into the darkness. The harmony of the piano turns into a disaster through an angry A-minor Presto and through a lively triple meter while generating thrills and while leading to a carefree F major. The result is a crash of A major chord in the piano. For Pozdnyshev, the music of the violin is powerful and seemingly overwhelms him. Affects his inner equilibrium. Losing equilibrium in a dramatic way can be a reason to kill. Pozdnyshev gets an illness of the soul, which is triggered by a carnal love being in contrast with his pure marital one and being against him. It seems that only her death can solve the problem. He searches for forgiveness, after that, in a passing world, in the ephemeral. The violinist escapes. The music leaves this drama while searching for another space. My poem uses the color and the sound to get mobility. The poetic words need shapes.

Using Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, in which Gregor Samsa struggles with his new human condition while being transformed into a giant insect, I have made here a parallelism between the people marrying and the fireflies mating. In the Kafka's work, Gregor is locked within and cannot open his own door. In his book, the music plays also an important role for changing. Gregor wants to send Grete, his sister, to the conservatory to pursue violin lessons. The brother and the sister are a subject to be developed here in a religious way. Through the picture in which the '' fur hat, fur scarf, and fur muff'' is worn by a woman, Kafka wants to give a symbolic meaning to this need for transformation inside the human being. Sometimes, the metamorphosis is dramatic and leads to death. It depends on what people accumulate during life. Anyone can be the ''next door to hating humanity'' and this fact can lead to a dramatic change. In my poem, I have compared the human beings with the fireflies. They can be found at night, along with the river banks in the Malaysian jungles or near Elkmont which is located in the Great Smoky Mountains. Fireflies use their own bioluminescence for a sexual seduction through the process of synchronizing their light secretions. During the period of mating, the males have a lot of methods to convince the females. Methods like chemical signals, glow, and flashing are used by species like Photinus, Photuris, Pterotus, and Pyractomena. An exception to this rule makes the females Photuris while utilizing mating flashes for the predation of the mate, which is eaten. They are called "femme fatale fireflies". I wanted to compare the act of killing the partner with a natural instinct belonging to the insects, an instinct which is brought to its own limits by a Morse SOS as a flash in the mirror. The insects are intelligent and this is why Kafka chose this kind of metamorphosis.

The polar sun refers to Aurora Borealis. It is about physics. In the excited atmosphere, the hydrogen atoms add electrons. Emitting light makes the proton aurora have a variety of colors like a prism. The bioluminescence of the fireflies is extrapolated to Aurora Borealis. The colors reach the prism of life. Aurora is also the goddess of dawn in Roman mythology announcing the coming sun. Aurora had a mortal lover and she transformed him into a cicada, a bug which has an extremely loud song. Probably the source of this kind of transformation comes from here.

© 2018 Marieta Maglas