On Joan Riviere's "Womanliness as a Masquerade"
The Real Aims of the Analytic Act
Plastic Fantastic Lover (object a)
The Rules of the Game
Resolved: to bury the idea of self-expression beneath the rubble of its collapsing factory.
Resolved: to rebuild the same with the same.
Resolved: use this bulky overcoat with the confidence of an experienced smuggler.
Resolved: memorization of the defiant laughter the thinly written hero was forced to deliver in the last act.
Resolved to finish by June.
When the moon rose were you the one discovered across the street from the marble academy with blackjack, knife, and your mother's coral necklace?
When Sunday came and the car owners and their brood streamed out to beach and mountain campground, was that you sweating in the moth-eaten park, brown bottle and stale crust at your side?
When Bud and Dumbo suggested a visit to the Happy-Go-Lucky Lounge, did you consent to become one of their company in that place? And were you later seen forcing your attention on Holly and Gisela? And were you subsequently observed falling off a perfectly stable chair?
Was that your flight jacket in the back alley last Sunday afternoon?
That oath you once swore on the hill overlooking the old canal, were you still trying to live by it a year later?
When you spent six months on the terrace of the Caffe Verdi repeating the name of the deceased (by his own hand) foreign film director, between sips of frascati and scribbled passages of second-hand phenomenology, were you not in fact merely continuing your strange revenge on xxxxxx and xxxxxx by other means?
I had almost found the right words, but I began writing a moment too soon. Somewhere else, five or seven years earlier, I'd already said what needed to be placed here. More patience would allow me to recover that statement, whatever it was, but it is too late for further research. One burned for the definitive. This provisionality came later.
Resolved: to finish in June.
"I had lunch with Dudley Coats today, and he depressed me about the war, and told me Peter Broughton-Adderly was killed and that it would last some months. I feel near tears and despairing this evening, perhaps because I have not been to bed till 2 a.m., for so many nights that my nerves are feeble. Dudley told me you had lost £200 at Mr. Dod, of all idiotic games. O darling, it isn't faithful of you. I ask no other whimsical boons. Do humour me there. Is it to be an obstacle to happiness all my life?"
Not ready to begin this; more padding required; delay; digressions; disclaimers of every sort imaginable; transcriptions from newspapers or 25 year old novels of questionable merit; descriptions of arbitrarily chosen objects; in short, everything but the subject at hand.
The songs of New England were over, though she did not know it, nor did I.
"Jack Pixley has been killed. It upsets me a lot. My endurance is weakening. Osbert told me as he often does a great ill-omened bird in the middle of the opera, and I have come home and cried and been beastly to Mother on the subject of my lovers, which O shame! comforted me. I must try and be better. At what?"
With the intention to simultaneously erase and point to, supersede and honor, forget and engage every word I have previously written.
Absence as revenge. Truncation as protest. Persistence as unproven evidence. Somehow to suggest that any given moment something much more satisfying could be appearing, that one could be performing selections from a vast repertoire with singular confidence and ease. Somehow to suggest that all this is for the interim, the interval, the prolonged tuning up of an excellent instrument.
Illustration: Elena Berriolo, Untitled, plastic, 1991 enamel on stainless steel
Subscribe to Lacanian Ink click here.