When she does not find love, she may find poetry. Because she does not act, she observes, she feels, she records; a colour, a smile awakens profound echoes within her; her destiny is outside her, scattered in cities already built, on the faces of men already marked by life, she makes contact, she relishes with passion and yet in a manner more detached, more free, than that of a young man. Being poorly integrated in the universe of humanity and hardly able to adapt herself therein, she, like the child, is able to see it objectively; instead of being interested solely in her grasp on things, she looks for their significance; she catches their special outlines, their unexpected metamorphoses. She rarely feels a bold creativeness, and usually she lacks the technique of self-expression; but in her conversation, her letters, her literary essays, her sketches, she manifests an original sensitivity. The young girl throws herself into things with ardour, because she is not yet deprived of her transcendence; and the fact that she accomplishes nothing, that she is nothing, will make her impulses only the more passionate. Empty and unlimited, she seeks from within her nothingness to attain All.

Simone de Beauvoir
The Second Sex

Books

August 11, 2019

…I preferred books to the world of reality, and something of that has remained with me — a slight taste for eternity.

Simone de Beauvoir
The Mandarins

Wander round the cafés

August 8, 2019

During the evening I would wander round the cafés or the little dance halls on the front. With utter indifference I let strangers sit down at my table and speak to me. I was so enchanted by the mild night air, and the lights, and the soft lapping of water, that nothing and no one could cause me annoyance.

Simone de Beauvoir
The Prime of Life: The Autobiography of Simone de Beauvoir; 1929-1944

Sick

August 3, 2019

I’m sick of it I’m sick of it sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick sick.

Simone de Beauvoir
The Woman Destroyed

Kissing you

May 12, 2018

Writing to you is like kissing you. It is something physical.

Simone de Beauvoir
letter to Nelson Algren, November 1949

repress revolt

March 25, 2018

Man enjoys the great advantage of having a god endorse the code he writes; and since man exercises a sovereign authority over women it is especially fortunate that this authority has been vested in him by the Supreme Being . . . the fear of God will therefore repress any impulse towards revolt in the downtrodden female.

Simone de Beauvoir
The Second Sex

Naughty Reading

December 9, 2017

This one might have confused Simone de Beauvoir…?

Good reading

December 9, 2017

I remember years ago my father had the same edition of this book…

Reflections, echoes, reverberating back and back to infinity: I have discovered the pleasure of having a long past behind me. I have not the leisure to tell it over to myself, but often, quite unexpectedly, I catch sight of it, a background to the diaphanous present; a background that gives it its colour and its light, just as rocks or sand show through the shifting brilliance of the sea. Once I used to cherish schemes and promises for the future; now my feelings and my joys are smoothed and softened with the shadowy velvet of time past.

Simone de Beauvoir
The Woman Destroyed
transl. Patrick O’Brian

25th / 26th May

Is it possible I’ve inhaled you in to me? Isn’t that you hiding behind my eyes? I can feel you in my blood, flowing, an impossible heat…

Beside the river bank, jeweled weeds: stinging nettles with translucent stems like human bones in miniature and cow parsley and foxgloves with warm, moist interiors like glowing uteruses.

Hot, sultry weather. At dawn the light seeped like a sigh into the night. Here, in the middle of nowhere, time ceases – or rather, ceases to have meaning. And my thoughts slip into lost infinities –

I hear your laughter, like co-conspirators, the pair of you: children spontaneously giggling. Last night we three drowned in dreams together, and came to realise the distances between stars is vast and lonely. Night remained framed in the bedroom window, while a solitary flickering candle reflected in the glass blotted out those stars and the monstrosities living between them.

I felt your hands running slowly across my memories –

#

Zentai, so I understand, is a term for skin-tight garments that cover the entire body. A second skin, so to speak. I think of those men and women with a latex fetish, smooth as polished black glass, but with access of some sort at the crotch –

#

It is easy to imagine Beauvoir on top of Sartre until she gives that one loud, feminine shriek of pleasure realised. Sartre, of course, is all about suppressed desires, wet dreams, and –

Beauvoir would have hated having him on top of her, stabbing her over and over, until every nerve felt split and bruised. Her pale silver body forced open by him. She would have thought of a new born desperately trying to scramble back inside its mother. She’d have hated that, but would have faked an orgasm anyway. Sartre, of course, wouldn’t have been fooled by her deception –

But he would have remained reasoned, affectionate and polite –

While I would have purchased her a dress of words; she had the most beautiful hands, you know? The slender, flexible fingers of the most lewd fricatrice imaginable. Oh, how I would have loved her to rub me in that special way –

#

Love can be such a fatal disease; kisses infect; kisses kill – like a freakin’ apocalypse of infected lips and words, drowning us all in my disjecta membra.

#

Writing is a battle between laziness and lies which, if you’re lucky, exposes truth.

#

Beside the river in such dreamy weather it is easy to image that ‘golden afternoon’ in 1862 when Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) with his friend the reverend Robinson Duckworth took the three Liddell sisters rowing on the Thames. Lorina Charlotte was the eldest sister, aged thirteen, Alice Pleasance was ten and Edith at age eight, the youngest. They had tea together on the riverbank near Godstow, and Dodgson told them “the fairy-tale of Alice’s adventures underground”. Dodgson who had many ‘child-friends’ and liked to photograph ‘naked little girls’, had a great fondness for writing ‘nonsense’, playing with mathematics, logic and words, and, welding them together, he created on that sun-filled day an immortal children’s fantasy –

Here, today, the hedgerows are a tangled mass of colour: valerian, red campion, common mallow, field ‘forget-me-nots’, and of course blue bells and daffodils grow all around. Nearby woods offer dappled shade and ‘secret places’ where blue bells run wild – as if on steroids! Often we have picnicked here or made love or just sat and contemplated our wild surroundings –

‘For I think it is Love,
For I feel it is Love,
For I’m sure it is nothing but Love!’

If ever you feel oppressed by the ‘monstrous mindlessness’ of the cosmos, walk here in the woods beside the river, and that oppression will soon fade away.