Tuesday, November 06, 1990

Twelve Czech Proverbs by Jakub Kalousek

by Professor Witold Wojtech Dlaha

Modern sex was created in the dark caves and musty, wattled pit-dwellings of the Bohemian forests as the result of humankind’s drive to punctuate the endless tedium of Time with the immediacy of Fire. That this Promethean undertaking has ultimately failed is not any judgement on the validity of the undertaking itself. That the bonfires of the Wallachian sex-priests collapsed into embers and eventually into dead coals is merely a fact and not worthy of mythos-making. That, however, a few glowing sparks rose like snakes through the fir branches, danced in circular ecstasy above the steepled treetops, and finally spun away on the warm currents of the night air, each to land like Pandora’s glowing casket in the not-yet-laid cobblestone streets of Paris, Rome, Copenhagen and Vienna is merely one more aspect of what history has bequeathed us.

Around the now-cold vulvic fire-pits of the Boehmerwald, the disenfranchised priests of sex still danced their crippled mummer’s dance, tongues waggling and heads lolling under baroque crowns, arms flailing phallic totems, torsos contorting in ritual postures emptied of obscene meaning. This vocabulary of the body, shorn of function and significance, came to be known as the “Klamny Stuha,” forming the ur-syntax of MittleEuropean sexual mythology and practice, that apocryphal story whispered on millions of beds from Warszawa to Wales, from Goteborg to Gibraltar. This book contains some of these stories, translated back into the simple pre-lapsarian homilies of the Bohemian forest.