Skip to main content


Showing posts from March 13, 2022

techniques of the body: a kiss is not just a kiss

  In Marcel Mauss’s Techniques of the Body, he begins his discourse with a few references and a few anecdotes. This is one of the anecdotes:   "A kind of revelation came to me in hospital. I was ill in New York. I wondered where previously I had seen girls walking as my nurses walked. I had the time to think about it. At last I realised that it was at the cinema. Returning to France, I noticed how common this gait was, especially in Paris ; the girls were French and they too were walking in this way. In fact, American walking fashions had begun to arrive over here, thanks to the cinema.”   We are familiar with the idea that tv and movie violence provokes violence in the general mob. The more subtle notion that many of our basic traits have been folded, spindled and mutilated by various dream factories – this is something more, a surplus.   INn Cute, Quaint, Hungry and Romantic, Daniel Harris made the surprising argument – or rather, exhibited the  surprising implicatio

death of a political animal

  … il avait tué la marionette. – Paul Valery So often in the past twenty years – the bla bla era – I imagine myself, a political animal, in the figure of a fly dying at the base of a window. The fly keeps bumping against that congealed air that 350 million years of evolution had never warned him against. The fly’s experience of the world, which is, as is well known, a place divided into 360 spaces, each space radiating a certain glow, and the edge of each space grading into the edge of the next space save when the edges parted to make a passage just exactly equal in width to the width of a fly’s body, seems, for magical reasons, no longer to work. In addition, something seems to be happening in the back behind the eyes, the load, as the fly would name it, that it always carries about and that sometimes gets sexually excited. Something seems to be squeezing the load. Normally, a pressure like this would prompt the fly to escape, but lately the 360 spaces seem to be liquefying to such