Monique Wittig

by janeeatonhamilton

Reading The Lesbian Body by Monique Wittig which I read short excerpts from in the 80s. It is like being under a spell, isn’t it, to read Wittig?  An incantation, a shiver of magic?  She leads us into a sensual wonderland :

I discover that your skin can be lifted layer by layer, I pull , it lifts off, it coils above your knees, I pull starting at the labia, it slides the length of the belly, fine to extreme transparency.  I pull starting at the loins, the skin uncovers the round muscles and trapezii of the back, it peels off up to the nape of the neck, I arrive under your hair, m/y fingers traverse its thickness, I touch your skull, I grasp it with all m/y fingers, I press it, I gather the skin over the whole cranial vault, I tear off the skin brutally beneath the hair, I reveal the beauty of the shining bone traversed by blood-vessels, m/y two hands crush the vault and the occiput behind, now m/y fingers bury themselves in the cerebral convolutions, the meninges are traversed by cerebrospinal fluid flowing from all quarters, m/y hands are plunged in the soft hemispheres, I seek the medulla and the cerebellum tucked in somewhere underneath, now I hold all of you silent immobilized every cry blocked in your throat your last thoughts behind your eyes caught in m/y hands, the daylight is no purer than the depths of m/y heart, my dearest one.”  -Monique Wittig, The Lesbian Body (Le Corps Lesbien)

(However, that said, I wish I would not read 18 books at the same time. I am actively reading Lex Leslie, Sally Armstrong, Ellis Avery, Haruki Murakami, these authors who make me grateful to be alive just because they have put words onto paper so beautifully, while dipping into poets–Anne Sexton, Galway Kinnell’s ‘When the Towers Fell,’ Carolyn Kizer, Louise Glück. What kind of justice does that do the authors? Irritating habit of the concentration-challenged.)