Monique Wittig on the challenge from “One is not born a woman” (1981) in The Straight Mind and Other Essays
This operation of understanding reality has to be undertaken by every one of us: call it a subjective, cognitive practice. The movement back and forth between the levels of reality (the conceptual reality and the material reality of oppression, which are both social realities) is accomplished through language.
Which va-et-vient leads me to Claude Beausoleil Promenade Modern Style (Montréal: Éditions Cul-Q, 1975) — the text is gathered on cards in a small portfolio, each card carrying handwriting and on the verso a different picture of Marlene Dietrich. The elements of course in good modernist style can be shuffled and read in any order.
l’épiderme le rose toujours en murmures dans la voix rauque du décor artificiel des alliances temporaires ces coalitions de chair the devil is a woman au flanc de l’écriture qui se déplace comme seule profondeur de l’extériorité élaborée sans utopie en travaillant le support ténu des lèvres
an attempt to transfer the works
epidermal pink always murmuring in the husky voice set in an artificial decor of temporary alliances and carnal coalitions – the devil is a woman – flanked by writing displacing itself as the only depth (response) to the elaborated exteriority without utopiques while working the thin frame of the lips
it deserves another reworking, perhaps softer lighting
And in case you are wondering about the pairing of Beausoleil and Witting, Promenade Modern Style has an epigraph from Rose poussière by Jean Jacques Schuhl which reads “Marlène Dietrich notre seule déesse avec Karl Marx”. Simply nowhere but in the coming and going of language.
And so for day 1467