21 July 2012

Porphyria's Lover

To give oneself totally to another is to will one's own annihilation.  Humanly speaking, no person is capable of possessing another, since to enact such a total gift of self would necessitate the elimination of anything incapable of possession.  Ownership, however, is a matter of exclusivity in the right to use, and the mind of one can never be more than indirectly used by another.  Away with it then, let man be nothing more than a body — but a given body.  But if he is to be mindless flesh, then he must be a corpse.  Browning's madman, then, has shown us the fullness of the marital act according to that theory.