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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: November ::
Re: Death and Orgasm
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2218  Thursday, 7 November 2002

From:           Claude Caspar <
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Date:           Wednesday, 6 Nov 2002 11:01:34 -0500
Subject: 13.2211 Re: Death and Orgasm
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2211 Re: Death and Orgasm

>One assumes that this is what "Th' expense of spirit in a waste of
>shame" (sonnet 129) is all about, though no one has mentioned it yet in
>this stand, as far as I recall.

Well cited, but touches on even deeper regions, if anything could be
deeper, more profound, than Death- see the admittedly poetic, yet
tremendously parabolic meditation by Sandor Ferenczi, "Thalassa: A
Theory of Genitality."*

Is what fuels Life more significant to us than the fact of its demise?
Is Life & Death one process in which we take sides?  Our Shakespeare
gives this much thought throughout.

Now, for those of us who salute WS as embodying not only artistic
mastery, but revealing, as if from a nether shore, like Beethoven's Last
Quartets, the most exquisite wisdom & understanding, this Sonnet's
secret reveals the veils. The nature of Desire is at the core. In this
Sonnet we see the Will-not-to-Will, pun accepted.

Kojeve magisterially proclaims: "History is the history of human
desires." (see Rosen's Hermeneutics as Politics) Death merely marks,
some say, the boundary between Dasein & Being- to access Being, some
say, one must transcend Becoming- Becoming obfuscates Being.

At the risk of being tedious, here is Kafka's Parable on Parables,
another message brought to us by the waves from the nether shore:

ON PARABLES

Many complain that the words of the wise are always merely parables and
of no use in daily life, which is the only life we have. When the sage
says; "Go over," he does not mean that we should cross to some actual
place, which we could do anyhow if the labor were worth it; he means
some fabulous yonder, something unknown to us, something that he cannot
designate more precisely either, and therefore cannot help us here in
the very least. All these parables really set out to say merely that the
incomprehensible is incomprehensible, and we know that already. But the
cares we have to struggle with every day: that is a different matter.

Concerning this a man once said: Why such reluctance? If you only
followed the parables you yourselves would become parables and with that
rid of all your daily cares.

   Another said: I bet that is also a parable.
   The first said: You have won.
   The second said: But unfortunately only in parable.
   The first said: No, in reality: in parable you have lost.

* [We are amused:]

>From the Publisher:

In Thalassa, Ferenczi expands the symbols of phallus and vagina into
cosmic symbols, not by reference to myths but by his interpretations of
embryonic, physiological, and psychological facts. he develops the view
that the whole of life is determined by a tendency to return to the
womb, equating the process of birth with the phylogenetic transition of
animal life from water to land, and linking coitus to the idea of
"thalassal regression": "the longing for the sea-life from which man
emerged in primeval times."

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