shoshana felman, the scandal of the speaking body
“extravagance is important.”
“it’s a gamble i’m willing to take.”
“this is what you do on the upper east side.”
aliza ordered for both of us with extreme self-confidence. i confided that i’m actually kind of easy. we discussed, again, how we hate people who don’t make grand gestures and how if you’re going to do it, do it, have two bottles of champagne and two cards waiting at home after your girlfriend calls to tell you she won an award, and spend $200 at an upper east side bar and flirt (back) with old men who notice we are looking at their prayer beads, which they explain, with exactly the right amount of eye contact, “are muslim, even though i’m jewish,” because we are kind of into our daddy issues. normally i do not split bills, i believe in generosity and illusions, but we thought this would make a really good picture for the documents of documents series and because i am very interested in price tags.
stanley cavell in the forward to shoshana felman’s super-important and well-quoted the scandal of the speaking body. endlessly redescribing is all i want to do in life and, mostly, is.
michel foucault, the history of sexuality, an introduction: volume I
this makes me think about when i said that i felt like privacy rejected me and so why be silent. this also make me think about when we were first dating and he was like, “i know you like to keep your relationships private” or, much, much later, when mikki said to me, “this must be really hard for you. the relationship has been so theatrical from the beginning and you’ve always been such a private person.” one of the reasons i was always so private, i think, is because that’s what allowed me to actually be vulnerable.
i became less private, perhaps, during all of those terrible couples therapy sessions—not my idea—in which silence is considered an affront to the entire process. i remember one time, in particular, when i felt like the therapist and my boyfriend were colluding to try to get me to speak on a subject, even though i clearly didn’t want to, even though it was hardly the worst of our problems, but perhaps a convenient one for him, a way for him to make it look like i was acting out on issues that were all in my head, or maybe it was our worst problem, related to the fact that i thought he was all talk about the relationship but wouldn’t do anything, least of all protect me or my feelings. anyway, they both appeared rational, your dry heat feels like power, while i was clearly on the verge of some traumatic reaction—i felt terrible, i felt like no one cared that i felt terrible, not to mention overpowered—and i had already said i didn’t want to talk about it. and so i didn’t. i fucking refused to talk about it and remained silent as a form of speech and self-protection and i’m glad i did. vulnerability is a privilege. anyway, when i was ready i did talk about it, right here, on my tumblr.
He said, ‘It’s all in your head.’
And I said, ‘So’s everything.’
But he didn’t get it.
This song is sublime, as is the video.
important and well-timed fiona apple interlude. how many good lines are there in this song? so many. “it was just a paper bag.” “a fail to kiss is a fail to cope.” etc.
at valentine’s day dinner last year, during one of our endless discussions of our discussions, he looked genuinely pained and said he didn’t think i wanted “violent intimacy” the same way he did. today my therapist said “what i don’t think you want to do is get into another relationship where you feel lonely in the relationship.” the space between these two statements—maybe the “you said” and “truth is only an act”—is what i am still negotiating. i woke up way too late today because i was having this really extended dream. i couldn’t remember what happened so my therapist wanted to know what it felt like. i said, “it felt, not ambivalent exactly, but like it couldn’t end until i had worked it all out. just like the relationship felt, actually.” i once told jeanne, in the midst of those violently intimate couples counseling sessions, that i had to feel like i had tried everything, which i did, but i guess my unconscious has a little bit more work to do.
also he he once said he saw the “you said” and “truth is only an act” on my tumblr and had never felt so concerned about our relationship and i was like (…it’s not about self-esteem, it’s about recognition…), “i’ve been telling you this stuff for months!”
He said he would be back and we’d drink wine together
He said that everything would be better than before
He said we were on the edge of a new relation
He said he would never again cringe before his father
He said that he was going to invent full-time
He said he loved me that going into me
He said was going into the world and the sky
He said all the buckles were very firm
He said the wax was the best wax
He said Wait for me here on the beach
He said Just don’t cry
I remember the gulls and the waves
I remember the islands going dark on the sea
I remember the girls laughing
I remember they said he only wanted to get away from me
I remember mother saying : Inventors are like poets,
a trashy lot
I remember she told me those who try out inventions are worse
I remember she added : Women who love such are the
Worst of all
I have been waiting all day, or perhaps longer.
I would have liked to try those wings myself.
It would have been better than this.
muriel rukeyser, waiting for icarus (via grammatolatry)
this poem is everything. there can never be too much written about women and waiting, which is maybe the ultimate humiliation (surpassed only by its potential accompaniment, asking, over and over and over). this also reminds me of tracey emin’s you said… and i keep believing….
“i’m through with doubt/there’s nothing left for me to figure out”
“it turned my whole world around/and i kind of like it”
“i made my bed and i sleep like a baby”
“i don’t know what it is with females/but i’m not too good with that shit”
the entire refrain especially the part about work but actually every single line
“now pick your next move/you can leave or live with it”
“neiman’s shop it off”
“every bag, every blouse, every bracelet/comes with a price tag baby, face it”
“you should leave if you can’t accept the basics”
“the things about people that we fall in love with are often the things that end up driving us mad. either we cannot bear the intensity of our love, or we didn’t really love these things in the first place—they were merely what required some psychic alchemy to make something else possible. it is this something else that really fascinates us, that keeps us together.”
“it is not that one person cannot satisfy our needs, but that with each person we create a new set of needs. this is one way we can tell that we have found a new person. couples make appetites together; this is the calling of coupledom. each new person shows us that there is something else to want, but usually in the guise of someone else to want. seduction, the happy invention of need.”
“truth is only an act”
—courtesy of the dixie chicks, kanye, adam phillips, and shoshana felman