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Thread: Masters Typography Project - Parsifal or Wagner Line

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    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Masters Typography Project - Parsifal or Wagner Line

    Unfortunately, this is not my review post about the Pappano and Thielemann DVD Parsifals or my last 5 Ring reviews I've been doing for a month and a half.

    With deadline at the end of December or mid January, don't know, I have to make a 2d graphic design with a sencence and typographies of choice. We cannot add illustration. I thought that I could choose something I had invested a lot of time into and could find help to understand it better. Together with Elisabeth's line about Tannhäuser's treason to her in Act II, I was struck by the sentence that DA and Wooduck comment here:

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    I am continuing my deep dive into Parsifal, an observation and perhaps a question for forum members....

    I love the mysterious description that Gurnemanz gives to the pure fool when in act one he is invited to observe the grail ceremony at monsalvat:

    That cannot be spoken; but if you yourself are called to its service, the knowledge will be revealed to you. Now look! I think I know you aright; no path leads to it through the land, and nobody finds their way there, unless the Grail itself leads them.
    Parsifal:
    Ich schreite kaum, -
    doch wähn' ich mich schon weit.


    Parsifal:
    I hardly tread,-
    though it seems I already have come far.

    Then comes the mind blowing next comment by Gurnemanz to the young fool:

    Gurnemanz:
    Du sieh'st, mein Sohn,
    zum Raum wird hier die Zeit.


    You see, my son,
    here time becomes space.

    How was Wagner aware of this abstract multidimensional physics concept before Einstein's work........??????? - Kabbalah? Gnostic writings? Buddhism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    It is fascinating. Possibly just a coincidence in the way it's worded.

    The remark of Parsifal that precedes Gurnemanz's line is: "I hardly move," - I'm not making an effort - "yet I seem to have come far" - I feel my life changing and growing. I think that Wagner means to point out that the evolution of the soul is foreordained once the call of the Grail is felt, and that every passing moment propels Parsifal forward toward the fulfillment of his destiny. Living is becoming, and over time we find ourselves in spaces we never imagined.
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    To modern man the words "time becomes space" have specific scientific meaning, but for Wagner (before Einstein's theory) it was also probably just a general way of referring to the spiritual realm, the presence of divinty where our physical world of senses are transcended (Gurnemanz was referring specifically to monsalvat).....hmmmm
    So this morning I put my Beethoven on Spotify and read the entire Let's talk about Parsifal, and found that 60% of the thread was about Duck insisting on Kundry's character and the sense of redemption and the exposure of chastity imposed by Titurel. But I was more interested in the concept that Wagner had of the Grail territory or how Parsifal reaches the place on two occasions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Gurnemanz, the only remaining character and one who survives, occupies a special position in this story. He is the rational observer. He watches the soul's struggles and its progress, trying to understand, sharing his knowledge, offering gentle guidance when he can. His role in the unfolding of events and the evolution of moral consciousness seems to me very true to the function of reason in the process of human maturation: it evaluates and guides, but does not create or, ultimately, control the forces in human nature which determine our outcomes, much as we might wish it otherwise. It's powers are limited, but essential: the benign voice of reason, in clarity or confusion, must and does live on, serving best when it intuits the soul's highest calling.

    PARSIFAL:

    Who is the Grail?

    GURNEMANZ:

    That cannot be said;
    but if you yourself are called to its service
    that knowledge will not remain withheld. -
    And see!
    I think I know you aright;
    no earthly path leads to it,
    and none could tread it
    whom the Grail itself had not guided.
    I Also documented myself with a Haenchen article about the length Wagner wanted for the opera and how the "false tradition" of Levi, Kna and Furtwängler developed.



    I have to choose whether I want to employ the sentence in the Original German or reduce it to four English words that can be composed more easily.

    Anyway, my question to Wagnerians is: is this sentence too ambiguous or irrelevant in the work or a great challenge to represent Wagner's idea with lettering? Would you have chosen a different sentence from Parsifal to make a shirt from? Which are your favourite Parsifal quotes?

    If you want to I'll show you the progress of my work to see if you like it and it matches the meanings of the opera. Only my professors should tell me about composition.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    You're designing a T-shirt with a Parsifal quote, right? And you want it to be something central to the meaning of the work?
    Last edited by Woodduck; Nov-26-2018 at 01:06.

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    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    I suppose that the long post didn't help at all. The design would fit on a T-Shirt but that isn't the goal of the project. Also, I'm not really looking for a "central" sentence that can represent the opera, but just one of its many nuances. I hope I'm making myself clear. "Here Time becomes Space" is my starting point.

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    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    A very hard project to visually represent a very abstract concept using only size, position and style of type for a few words.......a graphic design exercise

    Makes you concentrate on all the subtle fine visual details of each type family design, size and position of words but in a very exaggerated way to make a learning lesson I suppose
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Nov-26-2018 at 14:45.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    I'm afraid I don't see your purpose and so can't be helpful. Sorry.

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    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Ok, I'll try to explain it in another way. Forget the whole design thing. I'll figure out that part myself because that's what I'm learning in the lessons.

    The reason why I brought up the "here time becomes space" comments by you two is because I wasn't too sure of the meaning of the sentence in the context of the plot or Wagner's universe.

    Why does Gurnemanz explain the "space" of the Grail Kingdom this way when the young Parsifal has lost the sense of the pass of time from the place he came from? I figure that it isn't anything literal, maybe a metaphor. Is that metaphor just a significant or insignificant detail in the work?

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    I guess I'd say that without that bit of dialogue the opera would not be significantly diminished, but it does serve to suggest that we and Parsifal are entering a realm in which our deepest experience of living is no longer governed by the expected dimensions of ordinary life. The key to Gurnemanz's statement is Parsifal's amazed remark that although he's hardly aware of moving, he seems to have come far. It's a metaphor of the subjective experience of a person whose inner development proceeds at its own pace out of sight of the conscious mind, so that apparently minor efforts result in changes of perspective - of the "space" we're in - that seem surprising.

    I think it's safe to say that the line has noting to do with the theory of relativity, general or specific. But perhaps Einstein was listening to Parsifal...
    Last edited by Woodduck; Nov-26-2018 at 23:51.

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