The Herb

The dope on lesbians on dope.

Monique Wittig and Sande Zeig. Lesbian Peoples: Material for a Dictionary.

Among the different varieties of known herbs[,] the lazy herb is much appreciated by the lesbian peoples who practice an intensive idleness. “It gives an exquisite somnolence, a bliss, a state of well-being. The shapes seen by the eyes mix and appear like mists of colors. The sounds soften and prolong. The lazy herb gives consciousness without consciousness” (Sseu Tchouan, Book of Idleness, China, Glorious Age).

We cross-reference this entry with the one for “sleep” given the hint of somnolence. Worth a peek before nodding off in embrace…

Physical time is no longer mechanically divided into sleeping and waking hours since the companion lovers sleep at any moment. To sleep has therefore changed its meaning. This explains how one companion lover may say to another “I sleep you.” To sleep someone means both to sleep beside her and to sleep the love of her. Sleeping someone takes precedence over many other activities. It is often called “an exercise of total idleness, the highest delight” (Sseu Tchouan, Book of Idleness, China, Glorious Age).

Sleep it!

Dreaming and metabolizing a language, ingesting herbs, luxuriating in idleness. Where the verb to sleep takes a direct object most often a lover shifting shape and colour.

And so for day 1386

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2 Responses to The Herb

  1. Tarta says:

    what is the book of idleness is that just made up?

  2. Tarta,

    The Book of Idleness appears to be a fictional artefact created by Monique Wittig and Sande Zeig. There may be some French intertexts which feature “la paresse” and can be read not as influences but as elements in a field of associations.

    Clément Paensers, L’apologie de la paresse.


    Halluciné. Moi ? Dompteur de tribades
    – corrompu de sagesse livresque


    Ici la paresse éblouit l’idée
    domine la pensée et la guide.


    La paresse dynamite
    les masques de mensonges,
    les spectres de conventions fétides


    There is the political pamphlet Le droit à la paresse by Paul Lafargue with its epigraphy from Lessing:

    Paressons en toutes choses, hormis en aimant et en buvant, hormis en paressant

    And the novelist Joseph Kessel wrote a little essay La paresse. The Anglophone world has an essay by Bertrand Russell on the topic of idleness.

    Always more to read in one’s idle moments.

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