The vertical axis of the bourgeois body is primarily emphasized in the
col. 90 9 9,61x11,75
Every layer of the human brain, every phase in the evolution of the human nervous system, every organ, cell, and even mineral component of the human body “speaks,” as it were, from its given level of organization and in the graded subjectivity of its development, to the external habitat in organic evolution from whence it came, and to the internal habitat into which it has been integrated. The “wisdom of the body,” like the wisdom of the mind, speaks in a variety of languages. We may never adequately decipher these languages, but we know they exist in the varied pulsations of our bodies, in the beat of our hearts, in the radiant energy of our musculatures, in the electrical impulses emitted by our brains, and in the emotional responses generated by complexes of nerve and hormonal interactions. A veritable “music of the spheres” resonates within each living form and between it and other living forms.
And in fact the artist’s experience lies so unbelievably close to the sexual, to its pain and its pleasure, that the two phenomena are really just different forms of one and the same longing and bliss. And if instead of “heat” one could say “sex”—sex in the great, pure sense of the word, free of any sin attached to it by the Church—then his art would be very great and infinitely important. His poetic power is great and as strong as a primal instinct; it has its own relentless rhythms in itself explodes from him like a volcano.
William-Adolphe Bouguereau,L’Aurore (detail) 1881.
Il ratto di Ganimede di Alessandro Kokocinski
A selection of doors from Vilhelm Hammershøi, part 01.
marija brasnic | nexus II.
Whatever pain achieves, it achieves in part through its unsharability, and it ensures this unsharability through its resistance to language. “English,” writes Virginia Woolf, “which can express the thoughts of Hamlet and the tragedy of Lear has no words for the shiver or the headache. The merest schoolgirl when she falls in love has Shakespeare or Keats to speak her mind for her, but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.” True of the headache, Woolf’s account is of course more radically true of the severe and prolonged pain that may accompany cancer or burns or phantom limb or stroke, as well as of the severe and prolonged pain that may occur unaccompanied by any nameable disease. Physical pain does not simply resist language but actively destroys it, bringing about an immediate reversion to a state anterior to language, to the sounds and cries a human being makes before language is learned.
Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain