Adriana Hunter marvellously translates Catherine Millet’s candour as recorded in The Sexual Life of Catherine M. and is particularly adept as conveying the play of pronoun reference:

[…] an ability to program the body independently of physical reactions. A body and the mind attached to it do not live in the same temporal sphere, and their reactions to the same external stimuli are not always synchronized. That is how we hear a shattering piece of news without batting an eyelid or, conversely, can carry on crying even after we have taken on board the fact that everything possible has been done to console us. If I set the assembly-line of pleasure in motion inside me, even if my body encounters some discomforts, they will not be enough to stop it. In other words, I will become aware of the discomfort only after the fact, after I seem to have reached a peak of pleasure, and in the aftermath you really don’t care about the discomfort; you forget it before you have noticed it.

There is an admirable capture of the delicate shifts in tone as the prose moves from an impersonal observation on human nature through an inviting and inclusive “we” and yet again turns to the very personal statement about the procurement of erotic pleasure and concludes with a gentle turn away from a very voyeuristic instance to the force of the “you” that is “one” or “anyone”.

It is all like blowing out a candle and lingering to smell the smoke.

And so for day 15

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