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Notes


  • Love's Work

    2022-05-16

    A crisis of illness, bereavement, separation, natural disaster, could be the opportunity to make contact with deeper levels of the errors of the soul, to loose and to bind, to bind and to loose. A soul which is not bound is as mad as one with cemented boundaries. To grow in love-ability is to accept the boundaries of oneself and others, which remaining vulnerable, woundable, around the bounds. Acknowledgement of conditionality is the only unconditionality of human love.

    Exceptional, edgeless love effaces the risk of relation: that mix of exposure and reserve, of revelation and reticence. It commands the complete unveiling of the eyes, the transparency of the body. It denies that there is no love without power; that we are at the mercy of others and that we have others in our mercy. Existence is robbed of its weight, its gravity, when it is deprived of its agon. Instead of insinuating that illness may better prepare you for the earthly impossibilities, these enchiridions on Faith, Hope and Love would condemn you to seek blissful, deathless, cosmic emptiness—the repose without the revel.、

    I reach for my favourite whisky bottle and instruct my valetudinarian well-wishers to imbibe the shark’s oil and aloe vera themselves. If I am to stay alive, I am bound to continue to get love wrong, all the time, but not to cease wooing, for that is my life affair, love’s work.

    公园里读到第六章结尾这一段。如果是在家我一定会放声哭笑。

    This ill-will towards philosophy misunderstands the authority of reason, which is not the mirror of the dogma of superstition, but risk. Reason, the critical criterion, is for ever without ground.

    在书中几处提到 risk 无法让我不想到几天前读完的 Éloge du risque.

    Gillian Rose, Love's Work


  • 2022-04-14

    IMG 0854

    IMG 0852 1

    IMG 0860

    IMG 0869


  • Unknowing

    2022-02-21

    有一天突然想到写下来的:

    Art, or any kind of creative work, or even psychoanalysis, is not about explaining all, to reduce everything into a system of concepts and theories. It’s about facing the inexplicable, to admit that we don’t understand certain things, to relish in this strange unknowing, that there are parts of the world, parts of ourselves completely unknown even (and above all) to ourselves. It leads to new discoveries. The parts not looked for, unheeded, not known, inactive or even atrophied, long time suppressed, yet always persisting, undiminished, for they are in one sense the most central parts of ourselves, the true self that though deeply hidden yet survives every trauma and rests always as a secret source. From which no rock of (false) self is solid enough to hold back.


  • los caprichos / Mystères de Paris

    2022-01-30

    最近才知道,戈雅那副 The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters 是系列 Los caprichos 中的一部分。全体总共80幅,大部分很吓人。

    The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

    When Day Breaks we will be off

    同样是前几天,看到了关于 « Mystères de Paris » 的一条推特, 喜欢插图的风格。

    Le tapis-franc


  • like the notebooks of a dreamer

    2022-01-06

    Adrienne Rich wrote:

    For others, a belief in the necessity to create ourselves anew still allows for curiosity about the artifacts of written history—not as verifiable evidence of things done, but as something like the notebooks of a dreamer, which incompletely yet often compellingly depict the obsessions, the denials, the imaginative processes, out of which s/he is still working. Believing in continuity, I myself am hard put to know where the “past” ends and the “present” begins; and far from assuming that what we call the past must teach us to be conservative, I think that for women a critical exploration backward in time can be profoundly radicalizing. But we need to be critically aware of the limitations of our sources.

    I quite like the analogy between written history and “the notebooks of a dreamer”. For a long time I was not interesting in history. If it was only about things past as isolated events, then it didn’t motivate me. Like the rises and falls of dynasties or the military conquests of emperors. I want knowledge to be personal: that I can change my life by knowing. Yet recently I came to a different understanding. To understand the world we live in is also to learn about its origins and formations. How different historical forces have formed the lives of people dead and living. And how the weight of history, of culture and society is finally passed down onto individuals. From every single person’s suffering we could find traces of a historical combat, and in every collective struggle it’s the individuals’ lives that are at stake.

    Of Woman Born, IV. The Primacy of The Mother


  • Attente de Dieu

    2022-01-02

    I read this passage in Arienne Rich’s Of Woman Born this afternoon:

    Monotheism posits a god whose essential attribute is that he (sic) is all-powerful: He can raze Babylon or Nineveh, bring plague and fire to Egypt, and part the sea. But his power is most devastatingly that of an idea in people’s minds, which leads them to obey him out of fear of punishment, and to reject other (often female) deities because they are convinced that in any contest he will be victorious. He calls himself “Father”—but we must remember that a father is simply a male who has possession and control of a female (or more than one) and her offspring. It is not from God the Father that we derive the idea of paternal authority; it is out of the struggle for paternal control of the family that God the Father is created. His word is law and the idea of his power becomes more important than any demonstration of it; it becomes internalized as “conscience,” “tradition,” “the moral law within.

    I couldn’t completely agree with her. Although there exists a link between God and the paternal authority, the power of God, if we were to understand it in the highest sense, should not be a power on others, but an internal power of creation. (At least if it's a Spinozian God).

    However there is another point that came to my mind. Rich wrote about man's fear of their initial and total dependence on the mother as a woman. And then I thinks of the creation of Eve: from one of Adam’s ribs. Is this an attempt to overcome the fear by an inversion of woman’s and man’s roles in the act of giving birth? It’s not without some irony: for in reality, it’s the mother with a child in her womb that feels the ache in her ribs, not the man.

    And just now, when reading Jacqueline Rose on Simone Weil, I came across these words:

    A central question that has vexed so much political thought becomes why justice is always so elusive. Weil’s struggle with this question makes her a psychologist of human power. “Everyone,” wrote the Athenian historian and army general Thucydides in lines that she quoted more than once, “commands wherever he has the power to do so.” No one can resist mastery over others, because the alternative—to be dominated—is so wretched. “We know only too well,” the quotation continues, “that you too, like all the rest, as soon as you reach a certain level of power, will do likewise.” (That “you” is generic and aimed at everyone.) Justice requires, before anything else, a laying down of arms, in both senses of the term. It demands a “supernatural virtue,” Weil comments, because, however advantaged you might be, it involves behaving as if the world were equal; “supernatural” therefore suggests both inspired by divine grace and requiring superhuman effort, as if it were almost too much to ask of anyone.

    These reflections on power come in the midst of her 1942 text Attente de Dieu, her deepest meditation on God: “The true God is God conceived as all-powerful, but as not commanding everywhere he has the power to do so.” (This makes God the one exception to Thucydides’ rule.) In fact, “God causes this universe to exist, but he consents not to command it.” Through Creation, God renounced being “everything.” To revolt against God because of human misery is to misrepresent God as a “sovereign” or tyrant who rules the world, as opposed to a deity who has laid down his power. It falls on humans to create a better world—a form of freedom, or divine abandonment, or both.

    Most often translated as Waiting for God, Attente de Dieu might also be rendered as God’s Expectation; it is God who is waiting for man to fulfill this promise. To do so, he must relinquish the misguided conviction, cherished by the strong, that the justice of their cause outweighs that of the weak. Nothing, we might say, perpetuates injustice as much as the belief of the privileged that their privilege is just. Or, as Weil observes in her Marseille notebook, “the rich are invincibly led to believe they are someone.”

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