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Quick, an island! Hélène Cixous

How sick we were yesterday, you remember –of stupidity, of mediocrity, how sick we were globally, of cowardice, of the poisoning of truth, of worthless traffickers trading in conscience and science, of the complicity of the powers-that-be with all the forces of destruction, of the willful dilapidation of language, the dizzying fall of enlightenment into a crater of shadows.
So, in the year 2000-and-some-20-or-100, we moved away from the big cities and thus from the plague and the ten scourges, and we did it so well that the next day we arrived at the Golden Island. We go aboard and the play begins.

In case of calamities, give us an island and without delay we will create a new world. Right away, from all corners of the Universe, there hasten the bands of survivors through imagination, come from many of the damaged lands. You recognize the partisans of the idea of Happiness and the love of Liberty: the agents of Life and its victories, the poets and the children of the Theater, that is, of the triumph of Truth.

This is not a fable.

Does the Golden Island exist in reality? Where does one find it? This time it is found in the waters of Japan. Yes, it exists. This is not the first time. It has already existed (and it will exist again) more than once in the long chronicle of our Stars and Disasters. Each time that the world is on the brink of autodestruction, many joyful defenders of the honor of hope, not mad in the least, struggle to find the ark or the vessel. They go to the Island, it seems like an exile, it’s a refuge and a new beginning.

You remember Utopia, naturally. An almost incredible island: responding to a violent, cruel – and real – tyrant King who was shaking up the planet and decapitating by way of argument, the courageous man of letters Thomas More came to make the discovery of this promised island. And already, in the 1530’s, it was the culture of the heart against the Brutal Powers, assassins of the spirit.

A bloody fog spread in the city?

Quick! an island. And everything necessary to make for paradise, equality between the sexes, cultivation of the arts, creation of a language, utopian, delivered from the harsh sounds of the vulgarities called “modern.” Apropos, what will we speak on our island? Without any doubt, the melodic Aureus (gold in Latin) of the theater.

In truth the Theater is always an island. But this is not always apparent at first glance, especially when the Theater, Globe, Nef, Cartoucherie, is anchored in the soil of a continent. But it can be felt and guessed at. And one day, in the midst of the Political Storm, the Golden Theater breaks chains and moorings and reaches the outside.

It is really called the Golden Island. But what is gold? For our characters defenders of Happiness, it is not the gold of mines and of banks it is the gold of hospitality, innocent gold, outside strongboxes, the gold of friendship banquets, the good gold that is going to allow the Feast of Healing to come, from revived intelligence.

Ah! Some of you might have believed the Golden Island sleeps? It happens sometimes. But the island of the Theater sleeps with one eye open all the better to dream. With one eye it is always awake. With one ear, always vigilant: not mad, not innocent, our island is on the alert. Who sleeps watches, night and day, over the preparations of the Festival.

The Festival is the Ceremony of the Moments of Life. From the four corners of the poor world we have not come to the island to forget but to celebrate, to pick ourselves up. We have come to put our numerous and diverse angers to music, to play them, transform them, and let them be heard.
Not to flee the Virus and its co-viruses, but, braving its bombs, by the light of its explosions, to try to light up the chaos of the world and illuminate the nests and corners of happiness and promise.
The Festival?! Just hearing this word, the people of Stupidity and Wars mobilize. Happiness? How dreadful!
The Festival? No! No festival! Anything except theater, that is, the paths of liberty, and not listed on the stock market.

– A Theater Festival? groan the demon speculators. And you think our henchmen are going to let you fly over the abyss, laugh, play, enjoy, stop suffering, allow Life to win? A Festival? Never. To hell with actors! We are for actions! You make us laugh!

The Festival will indeed take place, you pack of jealous fools! – We’ll see about that!? How will this end? Will it ever end??

Hélène Cixous
March 11, 2021
(translated by Peggy Kamuf)