Thursday, January 08, 2009

DANCING WITH DISTANT PARTNERS - Luce Irigaray

With the objective and subjective losing their boundaries. With each one of all "things" resting one in the other, pouring themselves out one into the other without bounds. A recalling of a state so long past that few can manage to do it...Entrusting to the other the very rhythm of their breathing...Putting language, the precinct of Being, into danger so that it might regain its voice. Its song...Where the only guide is to call out to the other. Whose breath subtly suffuses the air, like a vibration sensed by those distraught with love.


Here Irigaray is talking about the "venture" a poet must make to get beyond the "inert sky of thought" that man has for so long labored falsely within, with the possibility that he might reach something primary, existential, real. This venture begins with the dissolution of dualisms, which unwieldy work like tripwires against the elegance of his dancing. In this new field that her feet step into, she cannot measure herself against “things” as such, but must move within the net of “things,” which have similarly dissolved, and now present only the interpenetrations of their proximity. The poet pours forward, stepping ahead, tracing no path except the one born from a contingency of movement. In this field, the only wrong step is the one laid knowingly; the only way to lose direction is to look for a compass. The poet steps into the already altering topography of his nearest leanings, as if the horizon had been brought to his immediacy, relenting in elastic distortions to his every movement. This is why the venture requires the recalling of a state “so long past that few can manage to do it.” It is situated in the already. The path remains at the beginning of the step, where what is given spreads out, and where the gift of air surrounds one with the necessity of its embrace, flooding the lungs with reasons to continue. And continue they do, pulsing in and out with the advent of air, falling into the rhythm of breath, which is necessarily shared, perpetuating the conspiracy we make with the other, entraining the two in an improvisatory and porous corporeality. The two that is no longer two, but a shifting conglomerate of forces, all caught up in the movement beyond or before thought, which commends the body into flux, the dance made by those who trust the world and call it sufficient.

This is where the song intercedes. One hears the call, as hearing is the primary sense: immediate, proximate, uncontrollable. The call of the world falls upon us with all its solicitous appeal, resounding direly but without threat. The only threat arrives from within, as one must move past the false hope of thought, that which craves its constructed peace, its false balance, its fa├žade of control that rests heavily upon the flimsiest of conceptual borders. The singer must plant her foot blindly, moving in trust toward the world’s appeal. The singer opens his mouth, forming the shape of disclosure, and pulls air’s swirl into the rhythmic bell of his lungs. What arrives revives itself in the body’s dangerous bloom, which obliterates all delicacy, splitting language’s tenuous ligature, splaying literature into its origins as song. Song is the conspiracy air carries from mouth to mouth, from ear to ear. Here Irigaray mistakes the nature of this conspiracy, which is not subtle. The song is ongoing, patient beyond the need of nuance or inflection. The song is direct, as only the most fundamental facets of existence can be, which isn’t to say that it doesn’t swerve or zag or suffuse the world with what Grosz calls “pivots of unpredictability.” This is the movement of throes, those flights of imbalance that eviscerate geometry, galloping direct yet directionless in the unadorned freedom air provides. This is the movement known to lovers, who find themselves raw, and receive each febrile jolt the body suddenly tunes into its porous orbit. The body is a radio, but more than that it is an instrument. The singer opens her mouth and sings back to the world its ongoing call, responding with intemperate glee, returning and retuning her own cells to the oscillatory embrace air makes of us all.

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