Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bodies that matter

Since there are people out there who seem to fret about the rapid decline in quality of my reading matter, here a brief missive of reassurance. Fear not -- help is at hand and good times just around the corner (pending NHS decisions)!

Thanks to -- dare I say it? -- The Mail, I know that with the aid of a simple kidney transplant I will be returned to the world of intellectual thought from which I stray so peevishly and with such insistence.

Behold, the miraculous story of Cheryl from Preston, who after having a kidney transplant "ditched the lowbrow novels" and turned to "documentaries on Egyptology," Jane Austen and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

It's a pity, though, that as yet this change in personality has not had an impact on the way Cheryl -- who says: "I totally respect the family which gave me this kidney" -- speaks. Now just where exactly in Pride and Prejudice did she find this unpleasant Americanism, I wonder?

Just to, like, totally reacclimatise myself with highbrow thought, I delved into some recent Judith Butler this afternoon -- you want to be prepared when the big personality change comes:
If one wants to begin with most common of beginnings, namely, with the claim that one would like to be able to consider sexual politics during this time, a certain problem arises. Since, it seems clear that one cannot reference "this time" without knowing which time, where that time takes hold, and for whom a certain consensus emerges on the issue of what time this is. So if it is not just a matter of differences of interpretation about what time it is, then it would seem that we have already more than one time at work in this time, and that the problem of time will afflict any effort I might make to try and consider some of these major issues now. It might seem odd to begin with a reflection on time when one is trying to speak about sexual politics and cultural politics more broadly. But my suggestion here is that the way in which debates within sexual politics are framed are already imbued with the problem of time, of progress in particular, and in certain notions of what it means to unfold a future of freedom in time (In: The British Journal of Sociology 59.1 [2008]: 1).
As no clock in this house shows the same time, I totally know what she means.


Jura Watchmaker said...

"I totally respect the family which gave me this kidney"

"Which"? I am aghast, and will have to lie down for a while to compose myself.

GR said...

And there I was thinking bodies didn't even have organs.

(Incidentally, I'm originally from Preston, too - not too far form Penwortham in fact - and that's totally how we talk there.)


The Wife said...

Gwyn! I owe you an email, don't I? You'll get it soon, promise.

Organs? Who needs organs when we're all rhizomatic synapses entering accidental assemblages with other inessential blobs that have no beginning, no ending and are multiple in the middle ....

"We evolve and die more from our polymorphous and rhizomatic flus than from hereditary diseases, or diseases that have their own line of descent. The rhizome is an anti-genealogy" (Deleuze and Guattari).


Why did I underline this sentence? What did it mean to me at one point in my life? Why do I own A Thousand Plateaus in the first place?

All best,

Gwyn said...

Ha, I was reading that myself recently. The emperor's new clothes spring to mind, for some reason...

Saw this:

art and literature do need to have their questions grounded, at some point, in reality, in scientific fact, or they will become floating bubbles, self-contained, beautiful but useless, and subject to the wind.

and thought of you and John...