|December 7, 2012|
Vaginas drive men crazy—some in a good way, some in a really bad way. The vagina is a lurid mystery, wild, reckless, immoral. A primitive thing to get lost in, like the bubbling cauldron at the centre of all cannibalistic ceremonies. Vaginas have a will of their own. As far as I know, in my life, I have driven only one man literally crazy with the unintentional power and timing of unbidden acts of my own vagina.
I was sixteen years old and one of a dozen or so passengers from Montreal, heading down in a converted school bus to a hippie festival in a remote location on the edge of a large, murky lake in Texas. It was 1988, and we wore secondhand clothes and jewellery made of coloured thread and semi-precious stones, silver, wood, and bone. Our hair was unwashed and our tanned skin buffed by the dust and the dirt; nature was gradually repossessing us. You can lie down anywhere and the earth is your blanket. The boundary around yourself slowly disintegrates. We arrived at sunrise, the air misty, a trace of coolness in the heat, a pink sky; the milky edge of the water the colour of tea.
It was there that I first laid eyes on Lance, a few evenings later, as I wandered from one campfire to another, stepping into the halo of yet another small, human grouping: the conversations, the music, the preposterous lines of dialogue. She’s doing power animal retrieval in Colorado now. I was young and enthralled by the newness, the adventure, the exhilarating freedom of it all. I was naked except for a long Indian cotton skirt. The air was full of insect noises and the ring of laughter in the darkness. The sky was flung with stars.
Inherent Vice’s Two Directions
The jokes certainly strike one as sophomoric and the latter one as clichéd, further below Pynchon’s intelligence than one would like to think he would stoop, at least in print. Discounting them and moving on, or throwing the book across the room as Parker half implies we should do, however, would be to lose sight of “that high magic to low puns”.
Auden, Larkin and Love
I was prompted to revisit these ancient questions anew by a long footnote about a single line in the new Complete Poems edition of Philip Larkin’s poetry. The footnote refers to “An Arundel Tomb” contains a provocative remark about that the poem’s celebrated, controversial, closing line, the one about the true nature of immortality: “What will survive of us is love.”
Plato, Our Comrade?
Not surprisingly, there have already been critics of Badiou’s translation. The first is that his translation breaks the formal rules of translation to such a degree that the original meaning of the text has lost its significance. But this critique is inadequate at face value because Badiou’s hyper-translation is forthright in its intention of taking Plato’s concepts and modifying them into his own lexicon.