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Showing posts from March 21, 2004
Bollettino “The most remarkable letter came from a woman who signed herself Thérèse M***, who asked the Courrier des spectacles to call on women to join together to "unveil this madness and force her to appear for what she is, so that visible beauty no longer be humiliated by hidden ugliness." It seems that Thérèse's husband was so taken by this "spectacle held up as the triumph of [the female] sex" that he demanded that she make herself invisible, having no further communication with him except through acoustic horns protruding from a globe of glass. "You can easily imagine that a woman of 23, not badly treated by nature, would not accommodate herself with facility to such a condition," wrote the disconcerted wife. Nevertheless, she explained, she would give anything in the world to know this secret, for, she realized, "it is enough to be invisible, however ugly one is, to receive the most flattering compliments." – Jann Matlock, The In
Bollettino Two announcements: One is that LI will be coming out much more erratically in the upcoming weeks, if at all. We talked to a man about a job today -- he actually had one. Seven bucks an hour, telemarketing. If you told LI when he was twenty that he'd be working for seven bucks an hour when he was forty seven, well, perhaps we would have opened the vein right there and then. But so it goes in this ruin of an economy. Second is that LI has a small piece coming out in the New Yorker. Small as in Books in Brief small. A review of Marilyn Yalom's book. It should be published in the next couple of weeks. These guys have such class -- they are eager to pay me. Unlike some places that I can't name, that have floated me for two months and caused my ability to eat, turn on lights, and talk on phones serious damage. Alas, we won't have time to examine the conceptual strain in the use of the word 'object' in feminism. Throw it on the fire, boys.
Bollettino Beautiful women We’ve reached the fourteenth chapter of our novel. At this point, we have to describe Holly Sterling. Holly’s death is the event that sets in motion the whole plot, and her corpse has been drained and buried since at least the third chapter. Eventually, we knew that we would have to show her in life – we would have to go backwards. And we knew that we had a problem. Holly Sterling is beautiful. Her reputation is held in that adjective. Beauty is one of her assets. But between the saying of the thing and its credibility lies the whole sad mechanism of art. A mechanism that is as prone to breakdowns as one of those early versions of the horseless carriage. The ones with the engines you had to crank. The figure of the beautiful woman lies at the very limit of the descriptive powers of the novel. At that limit, it defines the describable. What can be described is everything up to the beautiful woman. She, however, by being so purely descriptive, e
Bollettino Our far flung correspondents The following is from Paul Craddick, who runs a weblog that we strongly recommend, Fragmenta Philosophica . We want to thank him for letting us publish this letter. Roger, You're beginning to strike me a bit like Hegel - the architectonic is in need of serious repair, but that doesn't prevent you from unearthing shining gems of insight. I thoroughly enjoyed your latest "Bollettino" - it had real historical sweep, was superbly written, and provocatively argued. I think you're definitely on to something with your notion that the "bourgeoisification" or the "proletariat" has been helped along rather well by the easy availability of consumer credit, and I can't recall any other writer coming at it from quite the same angle as you. There's definitely food for thought there. But - surprise! - I do think you omitted something essential in your analysis. The fountainhead of (ec