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Dark Glasses August 30, 2009

Filed under: Books,Miscellaneous — Jung @ 2:24 am

cacher / to hide

A deliberative figure: the amorous subject
wonders, not whether he should declare his love
to the loved being (this is not a figure of avowal),
but to what degree he should conceal the
turbulences of his passion: his desires, his
distresses; in short, his excesses (in Racinian
language: his fureur).

1. X, who left for his vacation without me, has shown no signs of life since his departure: accident? post-office strike? indifference? distancing maneuver? exercise of a passing impulse of autonomy (“His youth deafens him, he fails to hear”)? or simple innocence? I grow increasingly anxious, pass through each act of the waiting-scenario. But when X reappears in one way or another, for he cannot fail to do so (a thought which should immediately dispel any anxiety), what will I say to him? Should I hide my distress — which will be over by then (“How are you?”) Release it aggressively (“That wasn’t at all nice, at least you could have . . .”) or passionately (“Do you know how much worry you caused me?”) Or let this distress of mine be delicately, discreetly understood, so that it will be discovered without having to strike down the other (“I was rather concerned. . .”)? A secondary anxiety seized me, which is that I must determine the degree of publicity I shall give to my initial anxiety.

2. I am caught up in a double discourse, from which I cannot escape. On the one hand, I tell myself: suppose the other, by some arrangement of his own structure, needed my questioning? Then wouldn’t I be justified in abandoning myself to the literal expression, the lyrical utterance of my “passion”? Are not excess and madness my truth, my strength? And if this truth, this strength ultimately prevailed?
But on the other hand, I tell myself: the signs of this passion run the risk of smothering the other. Then should I not, precisely because of my love, hide from the other how much I love him? I see the other with a double vision: sometimes as object, sometimes as subject; I hesitate between tyranny and oblation. Thus I doom myself to blackmail: if I love the other, I am forced to seek his happiness; but then I can only do myself harm: a trap: I am condemned to be a saint or a monster: unable to be the one, unwilling to be the other: hence I tergiversate: I show my passion a little.

3. To impose upon my passion the mask of discretion (of impassivity): this is a strictly heroic value: “It is unworthy of great souls to expose to those around them the distress they feel” (Clotilde de Vaux); Captain Paz, one of Balzac’s heroes, invents a false mistress in order to be sure of keeping his best friend’s wife from knowing that he loves her passionately.
Yet to hide a passion totally (or even to hide, more simply, its excess) is inconceivable: not because the human subject is too weak, but because passion is in essence made to be seen: the hiding must be seen: I want you to know that I am hiding something from you, that is the active paradox I must resolve: at one and the same time it must be known and not known: I want you to know that I don’t want to show my feelings: that is the message I address to the other. Lavatus prodeo: I advance pointing to my mask: I set a mask upon my passion, but with a discreet (and sily) finger I designate this mask. Every passion, ultimately, has its spectator: at the moment of his death, Captain Paz cannot keep from writing to the woman he has loved in silence: no amorous oblation without a final theater: the sign is always victorious.

4. Let us suppose that I have wept, on account of some incident of which the other has not even become aware (to weep is part of the normal activity of the amorous body), and that, so this cannot be seen, I put on dark glasses to mask my swollen eyes (a fine example of denial: to darken the sight in order not to be seen). The intention of this gesture is a calculated one: I want to keep the moral advantage of stoicism, of “dignity” (I take myself for Clotilde de Vaux), and at the same time, contradictorily, I want to provoke the tender question (“But what’s the matter with you?”); I want to be both pathetic and admirable, I want to be at the same time a child and an adult. Thereby I gamble, I take a risk: for it is always possible that the other will simply ask no question whatever about these unaccustomed glasses; that the other will see, in the fact, no sign.

5. In order to suggest, delicately, that I am suffering, in order to hide without lying, I shall make use of a cunning preterition: I shall divide the economy of my signs. The task of the verbal signs will be to silence, to mask, to deceive: I shall never account, verbally, for the excesses of my sentiment. Having said nothing of the ravages of the anxiety, I can always, once it has passed, reassure myself that no one has guessed anything. The power of language: with my language I can do everything: even and especially say nothing.

6. … so that a long series of verbal contentions (my “politenesses”) may suddenly explode into some generalized revulsion: a crying jag (for instance), before the other’s flabbergasted eyes, will suddenly wipe out all the efforts (and the effects) of a carefuly controlled language. I break apart:

Connais donc Phédre et toute sa fureur.
Now you know Phaedra and all her fury.

— — A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments Roland Barthes

this is quite funny… love how Barthes whines… Wink

3 Responses to “Dark Glasses”

  1. bill says:

    A Mona Lisa smile lights her face,
    Million promises of eternal nights,
    Nights of delirium.

    Bemused in her beauty, her eyes crush,
    Dark eyes burning the soul. It’s a passion stronger then life,
    That makes the blood boil.

    Her dark hair floating, rising from the waves,
    Her eyes a million reflections in every ripple,
    Lost in yearning.

    No illusions, I have no dreams
    Only her beauty shattering my universe, her eyes branding the soul,
    Her dark hair my eternal prison of endless nights lost in passion.
    Lost in her Mona Lisa smile

    Yearning for Affection

  2. bill says:

    The Virtual Mona Lisa: An Amorous Discourse

    Mona Lisa
    A woman of great beauty who has
    inspired men to create immortal
    prose, poetry, music and art
    through the ages; A woman whose
    smile promises endless passion.

    1. This is a virtual encounter – that does not in any way lessen the impact on you:

    This is Michele getting hit by the “thunderbolt” when he sees Apollonia for the first time. It’s not as simple as taking Clemenza’s advice: “Mikey, why don’t you tell her you love-a her with all-a your heart. If I don’t see you soon I’m-a gonna die”.

    This is Homer’s immortal Helen that drove peace-loving classical Greeks to bloody civil war – the singularly momentous event in western civilization!

    This is running into Bo Derek on the beach, and not hiding behind your shades as the script calls for. You will chase her and you will say and do anything to get to know her that instant, that night.

    Every hot-blooded male knows this to be a fact.
    But do facts and reality come into play here?

    2. Consider those indusputable reasons for man’s existence:

    If the great question in life is “Why do we exist?” shouldn’t the answer be “To tell her”? Wouldn’t the great dilemma then become “How to” tell her?

    The other key question is how to do it in such way that is both whiny and makes her laugh. “Why whiny?” you may ask – that is an essential requirement as you shall soon see. But
    is that even possible? Should I resign myself to the inevitability of failure? Or give it a shot and risk being the Don Quixote to his Dulcinea?

    This is therefore an exploration, a discourse on the endless possibilities in declaring amorous passion to the Virtual Mona Lisa.
    And that explains it all.

    3. She laughs when men whine, therefore I’ll need to get whiny:

    That seems to be the way to go.

    But what if she then sees you as a total fool? How do you whine at just the right level? Only enough to make her laugh without seeming the clown?

    But how does one develop the essential whining technique? Maybe do post-graduate work in 19th century French romantic literature and Goethe? “Every maiden sighs to win man’s love”
    But that’s for another time and this is now.

    On the other hand, wouldn’t it be better not to sail into uncharted waters?
    This is one tough nut to crack – incredibly perplexing and confusing.

    4. She likes French whiners: “C’est peut-être pas l’amour, mais l’illusion”

    Shall we emulate a great French romantic writer and for the sake of clarity organize my declaration on his tradition?

    Just imagine: “How do I love thee, let me count the ways: 1)….2)…….10)….”
    Does that sound good? Will she see beauty and emotion in precision?

    Or is that a recipe for failure? Consider a recipe for blackberry bellinis: 1) mash fresh berries in a champagne flute, 2) add Chambord, 3) top off with champagne, 4) float a few fresh berries.

    I know we have digressed from our exploration of the merits of the French romantic declarative style – but I am certain she will like my blackberry bellini.
    And that is most likely the only sure thing in this encounter.

    5. The Italian in me tells me she has great passion: “Sei un miracolo”

    I instinctively know she is my match in emotion and in loving. But isn’t that a fool’s errand? Do knowing and reality ever match?

    When was the last time you were dead certain she was the one, only to trek miles through searing heat to find it was a mirage?
    “Ces pauvres chameaux!”

    Better to hold the emotions back! Perhaps pretend it’s all in good fun? Or should I run like hell, away from her?

    If I ever ran into my virtual Mona Lisa will I be hiding behind dark glasses? Because the stakes will be as high as they can get? Will it be the fear of failure?
    But not the fear of the passion?

    6. Is it better to control emotions and passion in what I say?

    There is a wide cultural schism – not to mention about 3,500 miles of separation. I have known precisely where the cultures differ.

    Wouldn’t ignoring her norms and her rules spell disaster to me? But if I hold back and demonstrate self-discipline – an impossible proposition under these ircumstances – wouldn’t that make me a coward? a fake?

    I have always looked for total and full expression of feeling and emotion in any setting. Doesn’t that compel me to be open and direct in what I say to her? Why pretend otherwise?

    Why not play the game according to the rules, calculating and reacting?
    But not with her, not with the Virtual Mona Lisa.

    7. I decide to go full speed ahead: “Vieni Via Con Me”

    The delirium drives my exuberance in expression.
    The compulsion to tell all overwhelms.

    “I never hold back” I say, “Man the guns – Fire at will”…..”Its wonderful”
    As I jump into the maelstrom, the captain going down with his ship:
    “Her dark hair my eternal prison of endless nights lost in passion”

    Have I learned to whine a bit better? “D’accord?”
    Now you know the Virtual Mona Lisa and her Mona Lisa Smile

  3. f says:

    Hello. I’m a girl from Iran who read your blog. I hope you succeed in your love life always. Heart

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