Tag Archives: grimdark

Link! Frida Kahlo: Abjection, Psychic Deadness, and the Creative Impulse

There’s a quote going around, (You deserve a lover who wants you disheveled… etc.) attributed to Frida Kahlo, that doesn’t sound like something she said. It was too tidy… too abstract. It might have been her, I don’t know, I haven’t really studied her.

I looked around for the source of this quote, and couldn’t find one; but I did find her love letters. They affected me. Not in that they were lush, elegantly raw, and moving (which they were), but in the sense that I didn’t feel anything when I read them. I started to cry, because I couldn’t find it in me to feel something. I couldn’t access the part of my spirit that gives and receives passion on that level; but I remembered when I could.

Being cut off from that sucks.

Landing in that emotional oubliette, and not quite knowing how to climb back out, I figured I should keep looking through the library while I’m down here. I found this paper about Kahlo and the relationship between personal desolation and art. I really liked it, so I’m re-posting it here in the hopes to keep it bookmarked.

 

“Kristeva states that all objects are based on an inaugural loss, that laid the foundations of subjectivity. All abjection is in fact recognition of the want on which any being, meaning, language, or desire is founded.

Abjection summons us to an abyss that haunts and terrifies. It insists on the subject’s necessary relation to death, corporeality, animality, materiality,’ those relations which consciousness and reason find intolerable. The abject attests to the impossibility of clear borders, lines of demarcation or divisions between the proper and the improper, the clean and the unclean, order and disorder…

It exposes us to the unbearable, unnameable, and unwanted dimensions of our mortality, an exposure against which we rebel.”

Read the full paper: Frida Kahlo: Abjection, Psychic Deadness, and the Creative Impulse, by Marlene Goldsmith, Ph.D.

Advertisements

On the subject of Evil : Dog Eat Dog

My favorite song from Les Misérables.

I’ve flown up and down highways howling this at the top of my lungs. It’s the mind-set of one who would scavenge the dead long before ever thinking they were human. Grimdark books are peppered with these folks. The simple truth of scarcity-thinking permeates each word, and you can imagine — as Thenardier and everyone like him does — that the Harvest Moon shines on him and him alone.

The death of compassion is the birth of evil.

Lyrics:

THENARDIER ~
Here’s a hint of gold
Stuck into a tooth
Pardon me M’sieur
You won’t be needing it no more.
Shouldn’t be too hard to sell.
Add it to the pile
Add it to the stock
Here among the sewer rats
A breath away from Hell
You get accustomed to the smell.

Well someone’s got to clean ’em up, my friends
Bodies on the highway
Law and order upside down
Someone’s got to collect their odds and ends
As a service to the town!

(Valjean arrives, carrying MARIUS.
VALJEAN collapses)

(THENARDIER robs marius)

Here’s a tasty ring
Pretty little thing
Wouldn’t want to waste it
That would really be a crime
Thank you sir, I’m in your debt
Here’s another toy
Take it off the boy
His heart’s no longer going
And he’s lived his little time
But his watch is ticking yet!

Well, someone’s got to clean them up, my friends
Before the little harvest
Disappears into the mud
Someone’s got to collect their odds and ends
When the gutters run with blood.

It’s a world where the dog eats the dog
Where they kill for bones in the street
And God in His Heaven
He don’t interfere
‘Cause he’s dead as the stiffs at my feet
I raise my eyes to see the heavens
And only the moon looks down
The harvest moon shines down!