Baudelaire On Women And Love

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On Woman’s Airs:

The airs that have charm, and that constitute beauty, are:
The air of sophisticated weariness,
The air of boredom,
The swooning air,
The impudent air,
The chilly air,
The air of looking down from a height,
The air of domination,
The air of wilfulness,
The air of malignity,
The air of sickness,
The air of a pussycat – a mixture of childishness, nonchalance and malice.

 

-Charles Baudelaire, Intimate Journals

 

 

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A Carcass

My love, do you recall the object which we saw,
That fair, sweet, summer morn!
At a turn in the path a foul carcass
On a gravel strewn bed,

Its legs raised in the air, like a lustful woman,
Burning and dripping with poisons,
Displayed in a shameless, nonchalant way
Its belly, swollen with gases.

The sun shone down upon that putrescence,
As if to roast it to a turn,
And to give back a hundredfold to great Nature
The elements she had combined;

And the sky was watching that superb cadaver
Blossom like a flower.
So frightful was the stench that you believed
You’d faint away upon the grass.

The blow-flies were buzzing round that putrid belly,
From which came forth black battalions
Of maggots, which oozed out like a heavy liquid
All along those living tatters.

All this was descending and rising like a wave,
Or poured out with a crackling sound;
One would have said the body, swollen with a vague breath,
Lived by multiplication.

And this world gave forth singular music,
Like running water or the wind,
Or the grain that winnowers with a rhythmic motion
Shake in their winnowing baskets.

The forms disappeared and were no more than a dream,
A sketch that slowly falls
Upon the forgotten canvas, that the artist
Completes from memory alone.

Crouched behind the boulders, an anxious dog
Watched us with angry eye,
Waiting for the moment to take back from the carcass
The morsel he had left.

— And yet you will be like this corruption,
Like this horrible infection,
Star of my eyes, sunlight of my being,
You, my angel and my passion!

Yes! thus will you be, queen of the Graces,
After the last sacraments,
When you go beneath grass and luxuriant flowers,
To molder among the bones of the dead.

Then, O my beauty! say to the worms who will
Devour you with kisses,
That I have kept the form and the divine essence
Of my decomposed love!

 

-Charles Baudelaire, Flowers of Evil

 

 

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Images by Chris Marker

Narcisse

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Narcisse

appearing as a dark angel
searching for someone to devour.

Both muse and vampire.

Not even utilizing a trick of the mind,
but merely a trick of the eye
to get under the skin of a man
and suck him completely dry

then toss the bones
out of the window
of her shabby boudoir

and return to her mirror;
the only object that comes close
to bringing her satisfaction

but never does.

Poor Narcisse.

Adorno: The Death Of Love In Fascism

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Heathen by Jonathan Barnbrook

 

 

 

 “It is one of the basic tenets of fascist leadership to keep primary libidinal energy on an unconscious level so as to divert its manifestations in a way suitable to political ends. The less an objective idea such as religious salvation plays a role in mass formation, and the more mass manipulation becomes the sole aim, the more thoroughly uninhibited love has to be repressed and moulded into obedience. There is too little in the content of fascist ideology that could be loved.”
-Theodor Adorno, Freudian Theory and the Pattern of Fascist Propaganda

Tennessee Williams: Each Other’s Naked Hearts

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“Nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos. That is the way we all see …each other in life. Vanity, fear, desire, competition– all such distortions within our own egos– condition our vision of those in relation to us. Add to those distortions to our own egos the corresponding distortions in the egos of others, and you see how cloudy the glass must become through which we look at each other. That’s how it is in all living relationships except when there is that rare case of two people who love intensely enough to burn through all those layers of opacity and see each other’s naked hearts.”

-Tennessee Williams

 

John Berger: Your Bones And Mine

 

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“What reconciles me to my own death more than anything else is the image of a place: a place where your bones and mine are buried, thrown, uncovered, together. They are strewn there pell-mell. One of your ribs leans against my skull. A metacarpal of my left hand lies inside your pelvis. (Against my broken ribs your breast like a flower.) The hundred bones of our feet are scattered like gravel. It is strange that this image of our proximity, concerning as it does mere phosphate of calcium, should bestow a sense of peace. Yet it does. With you I can imagine a place where to be phosphate of calcium is enough.”

 

John Berger, “And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos”

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