“Anxiety is when we must know something we do not know. There is no creation without anxiety. There is always anxiety. Anxiety is the sign of the new Real. Too much Real. A Real which is an excess of Real. Courage is the effect which gives human animals the means to go beyond anxiety. There is a dialectical relationship between courage and anxiety. Anxiety indicates that there is really something new for the subject.”
On anxiety (anxiety has no external object. Anxiety comes from within) and faith:
Kierkegaard, from “Anxiety as Saving Through Faith”:
"In one of Grimm’s folktales there is a story of a young man who went out in search of adventure in order to learn what it is to be anxious…As a beast or an angel, a human being could not be made anxious. Through being a synthesis a human being can be made anxious, and the more profoundly, the greater the human being. Not, however, in the usual sense in which anxiety is about something external, about something outside a person, but in the sense that it is the person himself who produces anxiety. Only in this sense can the words be understood when it is said of Christ that he was grieved unto death, as well as the words Christ spoke to Judas: Do quickly what you are going to do. Not even the terrifying verse that made Luther himself anxious when preaching on it: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?", not even these words express suffering as strongly. For what these latter signify is a condition Christ finds himself in, the former a relation to a condition that is not.
Anxiety is freedom’s possibility; this anxiety alone is, through faith, absolutely formative, since it consumes all finite ends, discovers all their deceptions. And no Grand Inquisitor has such frightful torments in readiness as has anxiety, and no secret agent knows as cunningly how to attack the suspect in his weakest moment, or to make so seductive the trap in which he will be snared; and no discerning judge understands how to examine, yes, exanimate [exanimere: dishearten], the accused as does anxiety, which never lets him go, not in diversion, not in noise, not at work, not by day, not by night.
Anyone formed by anxiety is shaped by possibility, and only the person shaped by possibility is cultivated according to his infinitude. Possibility is therefore the most difficult of all categories. It is true that we often hear the opposite, that possibility is so light, while in actuality it is so heavy. But from whom do we hear such words? From a few wretches who do not know what possibility is, and who, when they were shown by actuality that they were good for nothing and always would be, had mendaciously spruced up a possibility that was then ever so fine, so enchanting, and this possibility was at bottom no more than a little youthful frivolity of which one should rather be ashamed. The possibility said to be so light is usually thought of as the possibility of happiness, good fortune, etc. But this, absolutely, is not possibility: it is a lying that human depravity has tricked up in order to have some reason to complain at life, and at Governance, and an occasion to be self-important. No, in possibility, all things are equally possible and anyone truly brought up by possibility has grasped the terrifying just as well as the smiling.
…for an individual to be formed thus absolutely and infinitely by possibility, that individual must be honest toward possibility and have faith. By faith I understand here what Hegel, somewhere, characteristically and very rightly, calls the inner certainty that anticipates infinity. When the discoveries of possibility are honestly administered, possibility will discover all finitudes but idealize them in the shape of infinity, in anxiety overwhelm the individual, until the individual again overcomes them in the anticipation of faith…By cheating possibility, which molds the individual, an individual never arrives at faith…So when an individual, through anxiety, is formed to faith, anxiety will then eradicate what it itself produces. Anxiety discovers fate, but when the individual would entrust itself to fate, anxiety switches around and takes fate away; for fate, like anxiety, and anxiety like possibility, is a witch’s letter.”
*”brought up by possibility.” The idea that one can be raised/reared by something like this. Possibility and faith as value system, ethos, ethic.
Kierkegaard stating “Whoever has learned to be anxious in the right way has learned the ultimate…It is an adventure that every human being has to live through, learning to be anxious so as not to be ruined either by never having been in anxiety or by sinking into it” is what Avital Ronell means when she says that anxiety is the mode of ethicity par excellence.
She conceived of the most insane idea that any woman can think of. Which is to love… "Either become normal, that is anonymous, or die," the handsome man told Don Quixote. ‘I can’t be normal because I can’t stop loving."
“The lure of Al… His face, his nose, and what about those eyes? I kept trying to figure out what I could do to make them mine. They never were… For the next twenty years I kept losing a man I never had.”—
“Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty,” Diane Keaton. (via ray-pride)
Have always liked the way Diane Keaton is a sucker for male beauty. How she loves a face.
“it’s coming out of yourself, really. it’s a deeply appreciative and enthusiastic awareness of somebody else. i mean, in general. it’s what we’re living for and that’s what i’m fighting for. i think of myself as a political person doing whatever i do, but basically what i aim for is to make love a reasonable possibility. ‘cause if things are really horrifying all the time, i don’t think it is a reasonable possibility. if we’re living in a climate of awesome cruelty exercised by folks who have power over us, it can happen, but i don’t think it becomes reasonable. but it’s that possibility that makes living worthwhile. my commitment to love is not an alternative to my political commitments. it’s the same thing.”—
June Jordan on love as a reasonable possibility from
MASHA TUPITSYN: As James Baldwin wrote, true lovers are as rare as true rebels. This has been a pivotal decree for me, and the quote makes a number of appearances in Love Dog. Baldwin makes an important correlation between love and rebellion. Not only is true love rare and true rebellion rare, real love is itself a radical form of rebellion—engagement, thinking, and being—and therefore happens in the context of a larger project of justice, liberation, and critical thinking. In the book, the stakes of love are co-intricated with the stakes of knowledge. This is why even though Love Dog is a web-based manifesto about love—a kind of digital, feminist follow-up to Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse—it is, like all my work, also a collection of cultural criticism. So it’s no accident that those deliberations run alongside one another in the book.
In truth, the life that is ours is the one we make, and that includes our partners. If we really have been criminally careless with the love of our life, and driven him away, or let her go – well, then – we deserve to be unhappy, at least until that unhappiness prompts such a change in us that the miracle of a second chance (with someone else) is not thrown away.
*Jeanette Winterson is one of my early teachers on love. Love has always been important to her. It’s why the words, “what you risk reveals what you value” appear over and over in different books. I read all her books one after the other in my late teens and early 20s. And she is in a lot of my writing, quoted and in spirit.
Here I am
I never know what’s good for me
Here I go
Don’t let me go
Hold me down
Help me, darling
Help me please
I don’t know what’s good for me
Do you know what I really need?
Do you know what I really need?
I need love love love love love
For some reason this opening landscape shot from Murphy’s Romance (1985) is so 80s to me. You see it in so many early Spielberg films. That shot, that color, that America, that tells you everything is possible. That horizon is hope. And story.
Etel Adnan: “We project our longings on the horizon’s precarious line.”
Marisa Tomei’s hair in Unhook The Stars is so great. And so 90s. So actually messy. In the 90s, women had androgynous personality hair, now you we have hair that is so manicured, so hyperfeminized, it hides personality and conveys all sexual politic.
"… It felt like the bright green pain on the bad side. I couldn’t always see these colors and I didn’t know they were the colors of energy. I thought the purple was transferable. All the colors were. I was so frustrated and wanted so much to see all the time, I thought it would be simpler to see and to know rather than ask questions and try to figure out the answer. Sometimes I questioned the energy and I would pick up something it gave a negative on and would get a shock of energy. The clear ones, I discovered, were blue. I didn’t know that blue, which was the equivalent of the green in intensity but was the flame that did not burn, was the color of high energy. When the purple and red and green were gone the blue was the purified energy. I thought white was the highest manifestation and yellow or gold the physical manifestation of the clear light; and the pale pastels came next; the pink and green and the pale clear blue. So the energy would point out what I could use and I would use it."
Yesterday my Semiotexte publisher and I discussed love and sex over the phone. I talked about OK Cupid, which I’ve never used. And won’t use. He talked about Grindr. He said: “I have too much respect for language to use something like that for sex. You grind meat, or your hips. You don’t grind people.”
I like people who do things, or don’t do things, on principle.
Some of Nietzsche’s 10 rules on style in writing. The following are very dear to me. In particular, I would be nothing if I did not feel what I think and think what I feel.
Collected under the heading “Toward the Teaching of Style”
1. Of prime necessity is life: a style should live.
2. Style should be suited to the specific person with whom you wish to communicate. (The law of mutual relation.)
3. First, one must determine precisely “what-and-what do I wish to say and present,” before you may write.
4. The richness of life reveals itself through a richness of gestures. One must learn to feel everything — the length and retarding of sentences, interpunctuations, the choice of words, the pausing, the sequence of arguments — like gestures.
7. Style ought to prove that one believes in an idea; not only that one thinks it but also feels it.
9. Strategy on the part of the good writer of prose consists of choosing his means for stepping close to poetry but never stepping into it.
"Everywhere I look, I see people writing about me. I find this completely unmarxist concentration on a single individual very harmful. It is wrong, undesirable and unnecessary. And as for these portraits! They are all over the place! What’s the point of it all?"
-Lenin (quoted by Margarita Tupitsyn in The Moscow Vanguard Art: 1922-1992, forthcoming with Yale University Press)
*This might as well be a critique of celebrity and American capitalism.