Friday, September 08, 2006

Lisa Robertson - "I think that now America needs better pornography."

I think that now America needs better pornography. This idea has been influenced by my early-summer romance with Pauline Reage and The Story of O. Living in France, reading in French, coming across the plain yellow paper volume in a used book shop in the next town, having an ongoing need to build for myself a history of how women have thought, so that I might have a sense gradually of what thinking will be for me in my life, what thinking could become—this is an abbreviated background for my immersion in a text whose anarchism is as sustained, feral and relentless as it is elegantly poised. I think this is the magic formula of O. Each limit or expectation one could have regarding the relation of the subject to desire, to power, to sex, to identity, is systematically obliterated, but this happens in a language whose stylistic achievement is so restrained, so balanced, so modest , that the reader has the feeling she is participating, with sublime effortlessness, in a masque. The only obscenity is the reader’s repeated need to stop and build a moral defense against her own immersion in the imaginary, her own identification with a punitive sadism. Yet L’Histoire d’O is really the first book I’ve read in French nearly effortlessly, voraciously, fast, with full-on admiration. This complex tension, between the sinuous ease of the text as a styled object, the questions it allegorizes—around the relation between embodied will and desire and thus the political—and the reader’s suspension between a received moral hygiene of gender and a freefall into a fantastical extreme—this confused yet poised tension says things about thinking itself as a open form of sustained erotic anarchy.more..


Post a Comment

<< Home