23 July 2011

SIXTY-FOURTH

A. "The lover's discourse is usually a smooth envelope which encases the Image, a very gentle glove around the loved being. It is a devout, orthodox discourse. When the Image alters, the envelope of devotion rips apart; a shock capsizes my own language. Wounded by a remark he overhears, Werther suddenly sees Charlotte in the guise of a gossip, he includes her within the group of her companions with whom she is chattering (she is no longer the other, but one among others), and then says disdainfully: 'my good little women' (meine Weibchen). A blasphemy abruptly rises to the subject's lips and disrespectfully explodes the lover's benediction; he is possessed by a demon who speaks through his mouth, out of which emerge, as in the fairy tales, no longer flowers, but toads. Horrible ebb of the Image. (The horror of spoiling is even stronger than the anxiety of losing.)" — Barthes, Fragments of a Lover's Discourse, "Altération", paragraph 5

B. "Since I am guilty of this, of that, (I have—I assign myself—a thousand reasons for being so), I shall punish myself, I shall chasten my body: cut my hair very short, conceal my eyes behind dark glasses (a way of taking the veil), devote myself to the study of some serious and abstract branch of learning. I shall get up early and work while it is still dark outside, like a monk. I shall be very patient, a little sad, in a word, worthy, as suits a man of resentment. I shall (hysterically) signify my mourning (the mourning which I assign myself) in my dress, my haircut, the regularity of my habits. This will be a gentle retreat; just that slight degree of retreat necessary to the proper functioning of a discrete pathos." — ibid., "Askesis", paragraph 1

C. I mentioned Scarlett Johansson earlier. Apparently she's been recording music. (This may hurt.)