I've been reading some work on Lacan, AND, we've revivied the salon idea. The second salon is to be around Lacan. And i've fallen in love with how lacan defines jouissance
not as bliss, but more generally as (it would appear) any intensity "which is too much to bear" - i am guessing its the Symbolic-Moi complex which must bear it. So if a flow or rupture too great for the (imaged/worded) I to bear comes across a subject, it arouses a state of great excitation which normally we want to rid ourselves of immediately, right? Feeling hot? Bothered? Un-normed? Go back to being cool, rational, under control ASAP. Irony aside, experiences from anxiety atacks to being horny to not understanding a speaker or text appear to fall under this heading. For me too. But I've noticed it doesn't help.
In modern Western societies, it is considered masculine
for men to have hair on their faces, arms, chests and legs, but the hair growing from the top of the head is generally kept short, relatively speaking; equally, it is considered feminine for women to have no hair on their bodies, with the exception of knuckle hair, but to have a lot of it on the tops of their heads. This is a fairly recent development. Before the First World War
men generally had long hair and beards. The trench warfare between 1914
exposed men to lice
infestation which caused the order to be given for the routine cutting of hair to a severely short length. The shorter style became the new normality and has never entirely gone away since.
With activities like extreme sports, we also SEEK these states (in a form the I can just so barely control or perhaps pushing into a limnal state where control is a dangling question.) I just flashed on Genet's The Balcony
here, a similiar fetishized state at the edge of control as theater
, and also as (barely) mediated eruption of the repressed unconscious desires.
Hair is the filamentous outgrowth of the epidermis
found in mammals
Now thinking of this and reading - a text which disrupts too radically the symbolic logic causes jouissance
. but this jouissance
too will largely /most likely be construed as painful, irritating, annoyance. Won't it be the work of the ego to say that this outbreak is "petty" or "painful" and therefore dismissable/to be avoided, so we can return to biz as normal?
In humans neoteny is manifest in the paedomorphic
characteristics exhibited by fertile women. See Sexual attraction
It appears as a threat, and the threat, one way or another, must be extinguished.
This seems to me to make enormous sense in interpreteting the response to the various modernisms and po-modernisms of the last 100yrs. A writer fucks with the code, and the general response is one of... defense, of reentrenchment, dismissal, pot-shot, boredom, the same response a client on the couch is likely to have as the analyst pushes the work into the unconscious 'wound' (or i guess Lacan would say the neurotic knot). An artist may do the same so long as the ghetto (i.e. container) of the Object is not compromised - then their disruption is recouped through capital and object fetishism, again as a form of theater. The book is such a marginal site for this theater (not as restricted of entrance as a whorehouse or limited edition object) that only the critic can recoup it for capital/audience in a larger symbolic order. But with nothing to buy, the critic loses the ear of the elite (as well as the privleged site of the gallery space) . And not owning any of it, the privleged classes show far more indifference to its larger cultural promotion, freed as they are from any shareholder's stake in the enterprise. UNLESS the book is a limited edition affair, a "book arts" project, esp. one bridging the art and literary world, providing them an accessible entrance into this new theater. With attendant high cost/restricted access
Some studies suggest that one source of physical attraction of a human male
to a human female
is dependent upon a proportion between the width
of the hips
and the width of the waist
(see Golden ratio
— see talk page
Writers who engage in this process of focusing on jouissance
, on documenting and heightening it - are threatening to unravel just what the normative society is absolutely forbidden itself to unravel. Not that this work is necessarily heroic or particuarly intelligent - just that the general direction of the avant-garde (insofar as it shares this direction to trouble the smooth surface of language-logic) is towards increasing jouissance in texts, contra the broader tendency to extinguish or severely deplete or ghetto-ize it.
One idea of physical beauty regarding the breasts
of women is that the best shape approaches the shape of a three dimensional parabola
(which is called a Paraboloid of revolution
) as opposed to a hyperbola
, or a sphere
. Conversely, the shape of the buttocks
of an attractive person (male or female) tends to resemble the shape of a cardioid
, which is the inverse transform of a parabola.
(i actually dont know if you are interested in Lacan. hi there)
Sexual attraction to a man
by a woman is determined largely by the height
of the man. For the woman
, the man should be at least a few percent taller than her in order to be perceived as handsome. In European populations the average height of males is about 175 cm whereas the average height of females is about 165 cm - a 6% difference. It would be preferable if the man
is at least a little above the average in height in the given population of males. This implies that women look for signs of social dominance and power as factors that determine male beauty.
It's also worth noting that Lacan saw the process of jouissance
as a destructive one - its uncontainable energies provide unbearable suffering unto its conscious subject, who is unable to maintain the symbolic order of meaning under tis "attack" - yet, at the same time, the unconscious drives and energies of the same subject experience jouissance
as a satisfaction - its eruption provides the body an aspect of release, a discharging of clogged/trapped energy. Even psychotic episodes ("breaks") are moments where flow is restored. The unconscious mammalian body thus regulates its flows of jouissance
on its own, even when the conscious and Symbiolic egos act as its intractable foes. In the end, the "real" body may be dominated, exploited, suppressed, but it can never be extinguished, and its unmediated, non-symbolic power, like any force of nature, will be felt both in the continually escalating degree of control nec. to "maintain order" (response to the current riots in France, and the continual bark of the right wing to unleash the army) and in the pent-up destructive energies which turn, inevitably explode (the riots themselves) when measures of containment and repression themselves threaten a greater disruption than jouissance itself. There is a comedy here, or play of forces, as the Symbolic order and the Real energies of the unconscious do their dance. Its worth noting that neither force has a monopoly on violence.
At various times in history and throughout various cultures and sub-cultures the growth, maintenance and display of facial or body hair produced as a by-product of testosterone activity within male bodies has been considered a primary characteristic of sexual attractiveness, and of a display of masculinity in general. Cultural development seems to oscillate through multi-generational cycles from one pole to another: extreme hair growth, especially of facial hair accompanied by elaborate grooming rituals is often followed within a couple of generations by a widespread antipathy to body hair and the widespread adoption of depilatory practices.
The causal mechanism for this oscillation has not been established but differences in the simultaneous characterisation of body hair attractiveness within a culture between different social classes may indicate that the dynamic force driving the diffusion of differing male body hair social practices is in fact mate selection by females.
The text is a body with as many operative levels of Symbolic order (and hence social demands, with their ever distance from instinctive drives) as the political body of a nation. Language - for Lacan - is the seat of Symbolic power, the source of its energy, the means of its effect. The text operates Symbolically through plot, through diction, through the heirarchies of clause, sentence, paragraph, chapter, through "proper spelling", through dialect and the associated rhetorical tropes. Jouissance
, for most writers, is what falls outside (Symbolic) intention, it is seen as inattentive writing, as error - it is swept away. The repressive/winnowing master-author alone decides what goes into his text. Any other autonomy within the book is discarded. What is left of jouissance
is the titilation of the romance, the suspense of the who-dunnit, etc., a disruptive tension playd like a string inthe maestro's hands, to its ultimate, and never-in-doubt conclusion. And these are in textual forms geared towards emotive release - legal documents, instruction manuals, newspaper articles, medical and mathematical treatises: what role does jouissance
play in these? Aren't the Symbolic reigns even more tightly bound into the unconscious flesh?
The appearance of health
also plays a part in physical attraction. Often, women with long hair
are thought to appear more beautiful
, as the ability to grow long, healthy looking hair is an indication of continuous health of an individual
But the next place i go to is Lacan's sense that the analyst's task is then to regulate jousissance
. As flow/current. Which brings me to chinese energetics, to meridians. To hazard some fairly obvious translations: jouissance
is a dark, mature yin energetics, the Symbolic a classic yang ordering principle. A rupture comes about when the dark yin unseats the ruler - yang - sowing chaos which is also fruitful release, dependingon perspective. As in the flooding of the Yangtze, or civil unrest, or a wife leaving her husband (classical Chinese thought seeing a direct gendered extension betwene man and woman in the paly of these energies, one the West has also inherited, with all its associated problematics - its in Lacan as well, and has likewise been a fruitful troubling in his inheritance among the French feminists). Neuroses and psychoses are unharmonious (excessively disruptive or short-term emergency measure) pairings of these energies - they create grievious distances and (social/psychic) ruptures even as they allow the subject to carry on against a threatening backdrop of chaos.
Structurally, hair consists of an inner cortex, comprising spindle-shaped cells, and an outer sheath, called the cuticle. Within each cortical cell are many fibrils, running parallel to the fibre axis, and between the fibrils is a softer material called the matrix. It grows from a hair follicle
But, also, in writing, doesn't this become the work? To explore the edges of the unbearable and find that we can bear them, and to enter intensities without so much habitual baggage? i think this is what i have found of value in my writing and reading practice. I can't pinpoint Lacan in this, but in my practice, the fear of this chaos, of the rupture or break, becomes so unbearably prohibitive, that writing against it - into chaos and trouble - is a welcome release, not the thing to be feared as endangering my sanity. It is also a fear which prohibits bliss - it is the clamp down which tends towards obssesive death-in-life, which I equate with the zombie.
Cross-section shape of human hair is typically round in people of Asian descent, round to oval in European descent, and nearly flat in African peoples; it is that flatness which allows African hair to attain its frizzly form. In contrast, hair that has a round cross-section will be straight. A strand of straight round cross-section hair that has been flattened, for example, with an edge of a coin, will curl up into a micro-afro.
Terror and bliss, as horror movies point out, are intimates. Daring writing does much to explore and document the same links. Likewise all states we habitually avoid - especially ones which cause no obvious physical harm, such as listening to a long, difficult lecture, or watching an unfathomable movie or (so goddamn often) dancing or speaking up - bind us, tie us down, and we attach to ever more narrow zones of comfort and control in which we move, and which, as the American Right has reaped so much capital from claiming, consitutes our "freedom", which, sliver that it is, we are paranoiacally disposed to staunchly defend.
Hair is strong. A single strand can hold 100g (3.5oz) of weight. A head of hair could support 12 tonnes. It is equivalent in strength to aluminium
. Wet hair, however, is very fragile.
How can our writing proceed into this territory? It is work against the grain, but there are so many... there is a lifetime of work here, work that is libratory in that its aim is to bring into harmonious relations the Symbolic and the all-too-often repressed Real. So that jouissance
's eruption is allowed, engaged in, appreciated, even enjoyed - not because its wild difficulty is wholly contained and regulated, but precisely in experiencing this not being so, in the very real felt tension of a work springing form both camps, a work which proceeds as a Lacanian "sinthome" a modulated creative activity in the place of a eactive situation of violence and repression of violence (itself violent). By attending to it, giving it a place within the city limits (likethe theater, at its edge) we can become more intimate and expert at noting its flows, at discerning real from imaginery dangers, at learnign to relax and repress a little less, widening the current of human possibilities : on the stage, in bed, at work, etc. It is a work of engineering wild flows, with all the attendant contradictions. Humans have been at it since before the Neolithic, no time to stop now, just because Mussolini, Giuliani, New Formalism, your inner version of the same, et al are on the momentary epochal ascension. After all Schwartzenegar lost all his ballot initatives.
People starting out with very pale blond hair usually develop white hair instead of grey hair when aging.