1. "But if you are to be any use, you will have to stop equating madness with captivity; that is, stop proving you aren’t crazy, since this assumes that if you were, you might deserve to be locked up; you’re only innocent if you’re sane, and so on. So your mind has to be cold sober, if possible, slightly depressed, in order to be adequate or credible. No mania. No imagination, no fantasy, no coming apart. Not till you permit madness, coming apart into smithereens, can you really stand against the bin as prison and punishment. Then you have a case—not otherwise. But you don’t even know madness from sanity. And you fear madness as much as the others, would cut it out of your mind like a cancer. Would be surgical about it, lobotomise your own errant thoughts, silly pronouncements, metaphorical thinking, symbols, woolgathering, impulsive urges, double identities, resemblances, similitues, traces and recollections. All like dirt to be sprayed away with detergent. Say that you were mad, luniticking around Shannon Airport—they still have no right to put you here, deprive you of your liberty and even hope. Laing believes that and Szasz and David Cooper. But you don’t believe it enough yet. No one else believes it at all. That, finally, is the problem."

    Kate Millett, The Loony-Bin Trip (via madness-narrative)

    "metaphorical thinking" 

  2. "I’m climbing up the walls cause all the shit I hear is boring
    All the shit I do is boring, all these record labels boring
    I don’t trust these record labels, I’m touring
    All these people on the planet working 9 to 5 just to stay alive
    The 9 to 5 just to stay alive, the 9 to 5 just to stay alive (x3)
    All the people on the planet working 9 to 5 just to stay alive, how come?”

    —beyoncé, “ghost”  

    sometimes people need to hear it from beyoncé. 


  3. "

    You know, narcissism is something that I think a lot about and am deeply indebted to, especially in the thinking of Kate Zambreno, Kara Jesella, Barbara Browning, and many, many others who quite honestly will probably speak more eloquently about it to you. Maybe a good place to start would be the original literary dad, Freud, whose conception of feminine narcissism is one pretty straightforwardly of phallus envy, where woman, lacking a dick, seeks to constantly decorate herself in order to make up for this lack, to attach artificial substitutional parts to herself so she becomes phallus. So in a way this accusation of narcissism has always been a hyper-masculine mode of trivializing femininity as something deeply rooted in lack, constantly painting its nails and attaching its hairpieces to make up for it, but I also think this is boring. I’m secretly a structuralist, and for me narcissism is the ultimate form of feminine nihilism, so I’m more interested in its formal qualities.

    Narcissism to me speaks more toward a self-staging of my own life into vacant serial production. It’s a process wherein the noisy distortion of looking at myself with such intensity for an indefinite period of time becomes a series of architectural markers, a plastic Mattel style, via its very efficacy. Narcissism as a process kind of takes a grand narrative structure that one should have regarding an identity or life, or a social expectation can paradoxically become one where constituent parts fade out the bigger picture, in favor of an oversaturated field of references, even if all of those references are about cute boy bands and Hello Kitty. Looking at myself really yields over-exhausted iconography, but it still lures you into that gushy emotional feeling too, techno-aesthetic melodrama. I’m interested in sitting right there, between the style of a pixelated heart: “I love you, I hate you, let’s get a Coke,” and the deeply desperate feelings these forms can also often elicit. Pretty much exactly like that Frank Ocean mixtape nostalgia, ULTRA, or Sailor Moon’s tearful anime eyes. I just got a “nostalgia, ULTRA” tattoo under my Columbine tribute tattoo. Wanna see?

    I was at the opening night of the One Direction movie, you know, 1D3D? I had the same sparkly fangirl backpack as a twelve-year-old in line, and I spent five minutes watching her watch me apply lipstick in my compact. On the brighter side, the feral intensity of that teen girl gaze is what I think can really weaponize narcissism, too. Like, sometimes I like to think about Tumblr, the ultimate zone of teen girl boredom and selfies as this giant mechanic assemblage with this languid temporal quality of waiting and scrolling and waiting and scrolling and how it’s this long moment that allows for a resistance to emerge and hold. But also I think about how Tumblr is just this processed excess of demand and desire, and it’s this very pressurized excess that literally flattens IRL persons like Harry Styles and Ryan Gosling into paper-thin templates. Almost like you can leach the life out of these characters, so instead there’s this vampiric community of sublimely narcissistic adolescent flesh, and I would be more than happy for the world to end with its knees buckling to this heterogeneous mass.

    — trisha low on her new book the compleat purge at bookslut. trisha and i had a class together a few years ago, but i didn’t really get to know her, because i was busy having that major depressive episode. however, i do remember telling people that i was impressed by this girl who regularly wore see-through tops to class. “she takes it even further than i do!” excellent taste in bras.  
  4. eve fowler, a spectacle and nothing strange, 2011 (text from gertrude stein’s tender buttons

  5. elanormcinerney:

    Josef Breuer & Sigmund Freud | Studies on Hysteria


  6. i asked molly what she wants to do about her bat mitzvah

    1. molly: i want to do it. it seems boring but also fun, you know?
    2. m: your auntie kara knows all about things that are boring that are also fun.

  8. believermag:

    CK: …Literally, I see my writing as transcription—a transcription of what I see, hear, think, live. I’ve always been a fan of plain writing. I hate metaphor-laden, heavily larded, lyrical writing.

    BLVR: Transcription is completely different from memoir, right?

    CK: I think so.

    BLVR: It’s more about blocking—like blocking on a stage.

    CK: It’s not privileging the emotional transformation of the narrator above other kinds of experience. I hate that. The epiphany of the individual against the backdrop of other lives. It’s so false! And it plays into such petty narcissism. And it’s not what people feel all the time. People feel boredom. People feel a lot of things that don’t find their way into those narratives.

    An excerpt from Sheila Heti’s interview with Chris Kraus (current issue).

    (via thechapess)


  9. Living Labor: Marxism and Performance Studies
    April 11-13th, 2014 at Performance Studies, NYU 
    Keynote Addresses by Professors Fred Moten and Sianne Ngai
    Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, 
    and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.
    —Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1

    To live and to labor are the twinned imperatives to which we are always already given.  Together, they animate a rhythm of material production and reproduction across time.  Marxism and performance studies both offer ways of thinking through the imbrication of life and labor.  On one hand, Marxist theory historically attends to the capture and distribution of life: to the maintenance and reproduction of labor power, as well as to the processes of commodification and consumption that produce value for capital.  On the other hand, performance studies is a field in which questions of life and labor are central, surfacing in discourses of force, liveness, endurance, iterability, and the everyday: it is concerned with not only what things mean, but what they do.  By bringing Marxist and performance theory together, this conference asks how thinking about life and labor between these two bodies of literature can help us attend to the world at hand.  

    How does performance analysis bring together the living body and the working body?How do Marxist and Marxist-inspired philosophies articulate and reimagine labor, value, and revolutionary struggle, particularly in relation to the social, aesthetic and political dimensions of performance and performativity?  Marxism, in its many iterations, offers a methodology of thinking about materiality, temporality, and movement that revivifies an enduring question in performance studies: What can a body do? This question not only makes explicit the convergence between Marxist and performance theory, but also makes central critical traditions of black, feminist, and queer Marxism in which relationships between life, labor, and capitalism have never been incidental. The material experience and historical condition of race, gender, and sexuality is, in this sense, the premise that animates our Marxist considerations of what it means to live, labor, and perform.

    To live labor is to negotiate the extended processes of reproducing ourselves and others.  To live labor is to engage the material conditions that traverse personhood and thinghood.  To live labor is to attend to the forces, resonances, and energies that intertwine in the affects and objects of everyday life.  For this reason, Living Labor: Marxism and Performance Studies invites submissions that explore the intersections of performance studies and Marxist philosophies. Papers may intervene at points of seeming incompatibility, address convergences, or look forward to emerging discourses relating to this nexus. 

    Topics may engage, though are not limited to:
    • Queer failure and futurity: nonproductivity and reproductivity, utopianism and time
    • Feminism and reproductive labor: “undifferentiated” matter and sexual difference
    • Consent and contracts: the marriage contract, the labor contract, and the non-consensual and non-contractual relations of trans-Atlantic slavery
    • Capitalism, racialization, and racism
    • Work and non-work: time-wasting, narcissism, and boredom as collective practices
    • Materialism and immaterialism: from surface readings to speculative realism
    • Contagion and speculation: the transmissibility of debt, theories of abjection, excess as a surplus value
    • Value and magic: commodity fetishism as it troubles personhood and thinghood, vibrant matter, animacies, and enchantment
    • Bodily capacity to embodied materiality: disability, labor, and dance
    • Matter and movement: vibrational ontology, repetition and difference, temporalities of revolution
    • Subjecthood and the question of sovereignty: biopolitics, necropolitics, and bare life
    • Repetition and reproduction: speech acts, performativity and periperformativity, iterability and resignification
    • Living in common, working apart: the commons, communism, collectivity
    • Autonomy and mass-production: the art object and the factory line
    • Doing abstraction: financialization and performative force
    • The arts and the university as a market: institutional critiques and critical perspectives on the performative turn within the arts and humanities

    Please submit a 300-word abstract and one page CV to Aliza Shvarts and Joshua Lubin-Levy at livinglaborconference@gmail.com by December 1, 2013
    some bolding mine. you should submit!

  10. i told barbara about my new living situation and she smiled and said “a room of one’s own.” that’s my reference point, too, and i like the other thing that virginia woolf said about rooms, which is that she never knew what her husband was going to say when he walked into one. carolyn heilbrun called this “a remarkable definition of a good marriage,” which i told marc the last night we were in puerto rico, and he agreed. to christen the apartment, i’m spending today re-reading shoshana felman’s the scandal of the speaking body. it’s been a long time since i posted the quote “to seduce is to produce felicitous language." barbara asked if marc ever asks me not to write about things, or if it bothers him for me to write about things, and i said no, i think he likes it.