Jul 202012


“And that madness—talking to animals, trees, that part of themselves which suffocates and explodes, that transference—you find it in all women, including women of the middle class. It’s what I call their neurosis. Neurosis in women is so ancient, thousands of years old—all women are neurotic in my opinion—that people are used to their behavior. . . Of course women express this neurosis differently in our day. They no longer talk to animals or trees, because, apparently, they aren’t alone. In fact, however, they are completely alone in their millions, in their poverty, in their comfort, and in their slums, in all their completely functional marriages—whether rich or poor. They are as alone as before, and everywhere. Madness has found other expressions but it is still there. It is still the same madness. ” –Marguerite Duras interview, 1975 Duras interview is excerpted in 'New French Feminisms: An Anthology', edited by Elaine Marks and Isabelle de Courtivron, University of Massachusetts Press, 1981.

madness what madness i don’t see any madness.
wait wait yes I do maybe what does it look like?

Marriage is completely functional. 1 pt.
Still shopping in the regular sizes, not sneaking around the Plus department. 1 pt.
Holidays with extended family, at least one member per holiday. 2pt.
What? Completely functional marriage scores negative points? Okay, fine. -3.
Exercising at least two but no more than six times a week. +20
Healthy facebook birthday scroll. +2
Not attracted to Justin Bieber. 0+
Member of the Jane Austen Book Club. +50
Never been involved in a hit-and-run. +1

Not in prison, not a French intellectual, not harboring body lice of any kind, not missing teeth, not wanted by law enforcement, not pregnant, not menopausal, voting when appropriate, not involved in politics at the state or local level, not over-commenting online, not having an affair, not teaching children immersion Mandarin, not hoarding, not gambling or gardening compulsively.

Not currently starring in Reality TV. 100 pts.

Oh, and don’t forget, Marguerite Duras is dead. She was confident, but she was mad. Her heroines are crazy. Crazy sexy, crazy scary.
They live on, if you can bear it.

Define crazy. NO, define sane.
I can’t, I won’t. It might implicate me, my friends, and the pedicure arts in general.

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Jun 242012

still from 'Carrie,' directed by Brian De Palma. from 'Stephen King at the Movies,' Starlog Press, 1986.


“In giving the Furies their place, we may come to recognize that they are not such alien presences as we think in our moments of evading them. In fact, far from being alien, they are part of ourselves, like all gods and demons. The conspiracy to forget them, or to deny that they exist, thus turns out to be only one more contrivance in that vast and organized effort by modern society to flee from the self.” –William Barrett, from Irrational Man Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy, by William Barrett. Doubleday: 1958. Still in print in new versions, in case you don't shop at library sales.

From a profile of Fiona Apple by Dan P. Lee in last week’s New York Magazine:

1. “she was consulting her laptop, which she often struggles to operate”

2. “she finds climbing into a normal bed torturous”

3.” if she saw a person burn his finger, her finger burned, and she’d have to run it under cold water to get it to stop”

4. “on the ledges of the wainscotting she had propped branches and books, her artwork, toy horses from her childhood, coconuts she’d drawn funny faces onto, peacock feathers”

5. “she’d dated a fat man specifically to see what that would feel like”


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Feb 242012

“Orlan has recounted the circumstances surrounding her first surgical operation on numerous occasions; one could say that it has become part of her ever growing mythology. The story goes something as follows: during a 1978 performance symposium in which she was scheduled to speak, Orlan suddenly became ill. Instead of focusing completely on her physical pain and discomfort, Orlan reflected on the possibilities her medical crisis offered. As she was being rushed to a hospital, Orlan asked that a camera crew accompany her to the emergency room and document what was to be emergency surgery for an extra-uterine (ectopic) pregnancy. Orlan had the idea that a videotape of the event could be shown to fill the gap in the symposium program created by her unexpected absence.”

Tanya Augsburg, from her essay in the collection The Ends of Performance



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