And this little-more-so is extremely sardonically funny. With their sad old long-jowled faces and their flat disillusioned eyes, they reproduce Rosalino and a little-more-so without moving a muscle. And then they "break off into a cackling chatter, and one knows they are shifting their clumsy legs, perhaps hanging on with their beaks and clutching with their cold, slow claws, to climb to a higher bough, like rather raggedy green buds climbing to the sun", before suddenly imitating the sound of someone calling the dog with "penetrating, demonish mocking voices". That a bird - or any creature - should be able to pour such acidic sarcasm over the voice of a human being calling a dog, strikes Lawrence as truly incredible.
It makes him chuckle and it makes him ask himself: "Is it possible that we are so absolutely, so innocently, so ab ovo ridiculous? Ultimately, man is the joke of all creation who should cover his head in shame. See: D.
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Labels: corasmin and the parrots , d. She would fling open the bedroom windows and the back door - whatever the weather, whatever the temperature - as if fulfilling a daily religious duty. In this way, I learnt to equate being healthy and being righteous with exposure to a cool breeze blowing down the back of my neck and quickly grew to hate warm, stuffy rooms with windows closed and the radiators turned up high.
Later, this obsession with ventilation was reinforced by a neo-primitive form of pagan vitalism. This meant, for example, that when a large hole appeared in the roof of the house in which I was living in Leeds, I saw it as an opportunity to admire the stars in the night sky and allow in a little more fresh air, rather than as something in need of urgent repair. Eventually, the bathroom ceiling fell through and I remember sitting in a tub amused as snowflakes fell upon the soap suds.
But this, of course, was a long time ago and I've since tempered my ascetic idealism and learned to accept many of the conveniences provided by the modern world. It turns out that having frozen fingers doesn't make you a better writer after all and the demand for fresh air can itself become a stale obsession. Indeed, even Lawrence discovered during his final days spent living in the South of France that there's something to be said for indoor plumbing after all.
For as his biographer David Ellis reminds us, Lawrence was obliged due to ill health to make a number of compromises:. Only a few years before, he had been sarcastic about those who turned up the radiator [ Not, that is, until failing health eroded such long held principles and prejudices, just as mild-mannered middle-age destroyed such in my case although, in my heart, I still maintain a degree of kontempt for those who happily conform to an easy life founded upon those words beginning with the letter C Labels: ascetic idealism , c-words , central heating , d.
The work, which Sade famously composed in just 37 days on a roll of paper 39 feet in length made from bits of parchment glued together that he had smuggled into his cell whilst imprisoned in the Bastille, tells the story of four wealthy male libertines in search of the ultimate form of sexual gratification achieved via the rape, torture, and murder of mostly teenage victims. When the prison was stormed and looted at the beginning of the French Revolution in July , Sade was freed but his manuscript was lost and believed destroyed - much to his distress.
However, after his death , the unfinished work turned up and was finally published in by the German psychiatrist and sexologist, Iwan Bloch. Perhaps not surprisingly, it was banned in the UK until the s. Indeed, even in post-War France the work remained highly controversial due to its pornographic nature and disturbing themes to do with power, violence and sexual abuse. Government authorities considered destroying it along with other major works by Sade, prompting the feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir to write an essay provocatively entitled Must We Burn Sade?
Beauvoir not only argues that, ultimately, Sade must be thought of as a great moralist, but she also admits to being sympathetic to his utopian politics of rebellion and credits him with being one of the first writers to expose the despotic and obscene workings of patriarchy. Where he falls short - apart from being a technically poor writer - is that he doesn't examine the manner in which cruelty destroys the intersubjective bonds of humanity and ultimately compromises the naked liberty that he most desires.
In the end, Beauvoir concludes, Sade was misguided and his work misleads. But his failure still has much to teach us and it would be folly to consign his work to the flames. Margaret A. Note that this edition also contains other writings by Sade, the above essay by Simone de Beauvoir, and an essay by Pierre Klossowski, 'Nature as Destructive Principle' This post was suggested by Simon Solomon, to whom I'm grateful.
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Photo of David Bowie by Masayoshi Sukita. Bowie always had a thing for Japan. But, if I'm honest, Yamamoto's designs are just a little too theatrical for my tastes. I don't mind elaborate outfits and outlandish makeup, but don't like fancy dress or things that are made to be worn on stage by performers only. To be fair, when news broke of Burretti's death in , Bowie generously paid tribute to the young Londoner whom he'd first met at a gay club El Sombrero in the late s, saying that Freddie was not only one of the nicest, but also one of the most talented spirits that he'd worked with.
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Why you should read China's vast, 18th century novel, Dream of the Red Chamber
Photo: Gary Greenberg. Indeed, when viewed at a magnification of over times, grains of sand are shown to be delicate, colourful structures of great beauty; tiny fragments of crystal, shell and volcanic rock, many thousands of years old and each one as unique as a snowflake. It was probably written in , but remained unpublished until It can be read on the Poetry Foundation website by clicking here.
Labels: alien phenomenology , auguries of innocence , dots , gary greenberg , grains of sand , ian bogost , tiny ontology , william blake. Heil honey, I'm home! Hitler's love life has long been subject to critical and clinical analysis, as well as sensational speculation and obscene rumour. We know that he had relationships with a number of young women during his life and seemed to enjoy their company. The most famous and long-lasting of these relationships was with Eva Braun, whom he married in a civil ceremony on April 29, , shortly before they committed suicide.
Is there anything more Romantic than a honeymoon in Hell? There is also no real evidence that Hitler ever had any homosexual encounters, or desired such. The report by Walter C. Langer for the American Office of Strategic Services and the separate psychoanalytical study for the OSS by Henry Murray written in the same year that describe Hitler as having repressed homosexual tendencies and speculate that he was a shit-loving, sado-masochist with only one testicle who had trouble getting it up can, I think, be safely dismissed as shameful wartime propaganda that, actually, relies upon homophobia and encourages queer bashing.
Even if true, there's nothing wrong with being a kinky monorchid and coprophile; certainly in Hitler's case, this wasn't the most troubling aspect of his character and doesn't explain the genocidal nature of National Socialism. It's a shame, ultimately, that Hitler wasn't more of a libertine and less of a Nazi. For without wanting to sound like an old hippie, it's always better to make love rather than war, no matter how perversely one may choose to do so - though we shouldn't, of course, mistakenly posit these things as mutually exclusive terms, or binary opposites.
Note: readers interested in the idea of kissing Hitler should go to part one of this post: click here. Curtis later explained that this was meant as a humorous rather than a malicious remark. One that whilst seemingly made at Monroe's expense, was also intended to poke fun at the absurdity of the question - for how could pressing your lips against Marilyn's be anything other than pleasurable? What really interests me, however, is the further underlying assumption that Hitler would have made an unattractive recipient of one's affection and was probably not only a monstrous human being, but also a terrible lover.
This may, in fact, have been the case, although there's little real evidence to support such a belief and there's no way that Curtis would have been able to know this for sure. What it tells us is that for a Jewish-American heterosexual male of Curtis's generation he served with the US Navy during the Second World War , Hitler was just about the very last person one might imagine kissing Labels: billy wilder , hitler , marilyn monroe , some like it hot , tony curtis. Einai gar kei entautha theous.
One of the reasons that D. Lawrence continues to fascinate is because his work is an attempt to construct a queer form of philosophical realism that is very much object-oriented.
Even when, as a novelist, he writes of human subjects, he clearly cares more about their impersonal and, indeed, inhuman elements and how they interact within an ontological network made up of all kinds of other things; be they dead or alive, actual or virtual. For Lawrence, art is primarily an attempt to help us understand how all things — including ourselves — exist within this dynamic network of relations. Human being, we might say, has its belonging in this network and although Lawrence often suggests that the most important of all relations is that between man and woman, there is of course no such hierarchy in reality.
All things may not be equal, but they are all equally things and all relations are established, developed and dissolved on a flat ontological playing field. For a man to be rich in world requires more than the love of a good woman. He has to have also a quick relationship to "snow, bed-bugs, sunshine, the phallus, trains, silk-hats, cats, sorrow, people, food, diphtheria, fuchsias, stars, ideas, God, tooth-paste, lightning, and toilet-paper" [ SoTH ]. This is true irrespective of actual physical contact, although Lawrence encourages his readers to establish joyful small contacts with objects, even offering a philosophical justification for doing the washing up:.
I am at the middle of an infinite complexity of motions and adjustments and quick, apprehensive contacts When Lawrence advocates climbing down Pisgah , this is an important aspect of what he means; discovering the sacred in daily life. It's not a new idea, obviously. Even Heraclitus standing before his kitchen stove was keen to impress upon visitors that the gods were present everywhere and in all activities. But it remains an important idea that counters all forms of ascetic idealism that advocate separation from the world of things and devotion to a spiritual life of prayer and meditation.
Critics have often accused Lawrence of contemptuously dismissing modern life as inauthentic. However, in order to make this charge stick they have to glide over passages such as the above which demonstrate that he was eager to relate his ontological vision to everyday existence and those things that lie closest to hand such as a bowl of soapy water.
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For Lawrence, no chore was too humble that it didn't warrant being done well and he happily absorbed himself in cooking, cleaning, chopping wood, and milking the cow, whilst his wife lay in bed smoking cigarettes. Indeed, far from washing the dishes, Frieda was prone to breaking them over Lawrence's head - though I suppose this too is a way of demonstrating that matter actually exists and that violence can also give pleasure Notes: D.
Bruce Steele, Cambridge University Press, This includes "children, creatures, cities, skies, trees, flowers, mud, microbes, motor-cars, guns, [and] sewers". See Appendix III of the above text, p.
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