When I was about 8 or 9 I went to the hospital and I couldn't eat the food and I grew weak and while walking over to the x-rays I collapsed, fainted and the nurse carried me in her arms. This, as I note in my entrance wound/pageant (forthcoming from Tarpaulin Sky) is how I invented erotics. It was beautiful. They heaped me up on the x-ray machine and it buzzed away while I had visions of doctors in gas masks.
Johannes writes about Catherine Clement's ideas of syncope (rapture) and spazziness for a very interesting reading of what is compelling about the new Lady Gaga/Beyonce video Telephone. He brings up puking and bulimia which I found interesting, the "cinematic body" convulsing, vomiting. The essay is such a great companion to Kate's piece on possession and the teenage body which Johannes also quotes from and uses. I'm thinking too of Breton's ideas of convulsive beauty (which he brings up), how he was inspired by the seductive spasms of the female patients at La Salpetriere, who many of the doctors/medical aides seduced, there's some essay by Breton about that, about fucking mental patients, and it's in some obscure Surrealist journal and I haven't been able to find it. And then in my mind I'm putting that together with the Lady Lazarus persona refusing the sexual attentions of Herr Doktor (Johannes uses Lady Lazarus plus Aase Berg referencing Lady Lazarus as an example of the spasmatic body). And in Lady Lazarus the convulsive body, the hysterical body with its paralytic spasms and hysterical coughing and vomiting, assembling itself back together, speaking back as a monster. Which makes me think of Lidia Y's story "Loving Dora" which I promise to write to. This week. As it is the most perfect hysterical, convulsive, grotesque story.
He also writes about the film "A Hole In My Heart" which I just immediately Netflixed, as it seems to deal with a lot of my interests lately in the grotesque.
the title suggests an old fashioned epiphany but it's instead a medical condition. The constant crisis as a nervous condition. A crisis that won't be survived. That will just be repeated. The spazzing out won't be contained in the well-made text. It's the effect of an excessive text. A shit-and-puke text. The movie moves toward a "real story" by evoking their inner traumas etc, but that movement is always overwhelmed by the grotesque spectacle of their bodies.
An excessive text, being a text with bodily fluids, shit and puke, very Artaud, I love it. This also reminds me of Vera Chytilova's Daisies, although Daisies doesn't have the vomit/abjection. I am supposed to write about Daisies in the book. The gorgeous anarchic bodies of the two Maries, destructive, messy, desiring, always eating.
(I am very tired today, like in a trance. Do not read my writing, I am drained and repetitive today. I lack the appropriate anarchy today. This post is just to say go read Johannes' essay, and Kate Durbin's essay. Oh and James' recent post on Catherine Breillat in Exoskeleton (scroll down, it won't let me link to it), even though I almost didn't want to post about it, as I am jealous James is still living in Chicago and can go see Bluebeard when I have to wait until end of April. And the Bluebeard fairytale is my favorite fairytale. Okay. My favorite fairytales (in no order): Freud's Dora, Frances Farmer's ghostwritten autobiography Will There Ever Be A Morning, Catherine Deneuve in Donkey Tale, Bluebeard, especially Angela Carter's version, Lot and his Daughters. I realize most of these involve taboo sexuality. I also like the original Sleeping Beauty. I remember about a year ago I read Marina Warner's book on fairytales. I am tired. I want to say that reading Kate Durbin's cycle of poems about Catherine Breillat films made me want to watch them all again, but they don't have many of them on Netflix. And in Akron, Ohio, we have Netflix. That's what we have. Although I'm having a strange relationship with film lately. I've become anorexic with film. Now I have Marnie and Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, and I want to watch them, but I'm abstaining from visual stimulation. Like it's too much, it's too intense, it's too close to joy, film. Or I have to watch it on my little computer as have no TV and am snob. This more likely.)