Friday, August 22, 2008

Misogyny

I've been reading the freshest and most au courant tome of misogynist literature, the newest perambulation of Alexander Theroux, namely Laura Warholic: Or, The Sexual Intellectual. It's a bit slow going only because it is such a mammoth object that it hurts my arms to hold it up in bed: the only place I seem to get a chance to read these days due to my Interweb addiction. While the current literary apple of or twinkle in my eye is naturally intriguing in itself, what is more enchanting is the synchronism between Monsieur Theroux and My Dear Friend Ms. Bunnywhiskers. (In the beautiful Violet Carson photo on the left, she is the bunny hunted by the merciless trapper.)

But first, we need to take a flashback here to my youth, where I first happened across one of the author's other books, D'Arconville's Cat.  I loved this book just so so much that I scoured used bookstores across the country for years to find a second copy just in case something happened to the first. I was completely enraptured during my first read of it, gasping with delight, my heart racing as I burned through the pages.  In my second and more leisurely read, I laughed out loud at the main character's Yankee chauvinism, his marvelous ingenuousness as his heart is ripped out and stomped on.  And I see my error: I thought the misogynist Dr Crucifer was intended as funny, a ridiculous straw persona. It slowly dawned on me over the years that, no, he was not only meant to be a mentor to D'Arconville, but to me the reader as well, and that his hatred of women was intended by the author to be the correct point of view. This has caused a bit of cognitive dissonance in an old skool feminist like myself, having been raised through Simone de Beauvoir & Germaine Greer, the gender neutralization of the Lutheran Church, a mother who told me at the tender age of ten that women "might have to take up arms against men," and who was caught in the middle of the feminist controversies between those of the somewhat inaccurately named sex-negative (e.g. Andrea Dworkin) and sex-positive (e.g. Susie Bright) persuasions due to his love for porn and suchlike.

However, even with my proclivity to label the book evil, its language - the beautiful busty overweening rush of language - still captivated me. I considered an opera around it, but it seemed too massive and the author too alive and, from his output, to be someone who held on to resentment, especially with regard to women and since I am, well, a bit foppish, even effeminate (see: Lake of Fire), maybe gentle, as in the opposite of those butch and virile, motorcycle-riding, selfish and domineering, rakes and assholes that my women friends seem to adore so much, I thought that maybe I should be careul. Through Bunnywhiskers's personal stories about women in His life, from the erudite anger of Theroux Metaphrastes, and from my favorite book itself, I've come to realize the danger of getting His dander up, of His irascibility, and have decided - for once in my life - to avoid the possible drama. Yes, I've tried to develop a bit of wisdom over the years and have come to prefer my drama in the confines of the theater and the picture frame. 

We close with a pleasantry from Giordano Bruno, a bon mot, whose statue I sat below, inebriated, eating some of the best gelato of my life. Was that the same warm evening I cried with Lynne in a 10th century chapel and then we stumbled outside, drunk-dialing our various crushes back in the States? Maybe it was.

... for that bosom, for that white, for that crimson, for that tongue, for that tooth, for that lip, for that hair, that dress, that mantle, that glove, that slipper, that high heel, that avarice, that giggle, that scorn, that empty window, that eclipse of the sun, that throbbing, that disgust, that stench, that sepulcher, that cesspit, that menstruation, that carrion, that malaria, that uttermost insult and lapse of nature? *

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