Monday, August 31, 2009

The Pursuit of Honors and Riches

While all this was happening the Vincennes Glove Co. was busy stitching together gloves: whore’s gloves and evening gloves, dinner gloves and postprandial gloves, woolen gloves and goatskin gloves, calfskin and ostrich, emu and alpaca, gloves for dancing and gloves for sitting, furry gloves and fleece-lined gloves, gloves for debutants and gloves for seniors, the bobbins and skeins whirling and spitting out gloves for all occasions and all sorts of people. Stitched in gold thread onto the palm of a dinner glove was the following, [4] (1) By sensual pleasure the mind is enthralled to the extent of quiescence, as if the supreme good were actually attained, so that it is quite incapable of thinking of any other object; when such pleasure has been gratified it is followed by extreme melancholy, whereby the mind, though not enthralled, is disturbed and dulled. (2) The pursuit of honors and riches is likewise very absorbing, especially if such objects sought simply for their own sake, [a] inasmuch as they are then supposed to constitute the highest good.[1] The glove was made for a Countess with a whorish disposition, a disposition she unveiled behind her husband’s back in the cold cellar. The psalm stitched into the palm was a reminder that men are beasts and women saintly whores. She hadn’t the foggiest who this Baruch Benedict de Spinoza was, for had she she would surely have had second thoughts about disgracing such an eminent, albeit unassuming man. The Countess spreads her legs, the smell of mare’s piss sating her desire, she’s a fine fuck, never ‘disturbed and dulled’. His breath smelled like vintner’s gas, sour and vinegary. ‘I dare say I wouldn’t dare touch a hair on her head’ said the tailor’s apprentice, ‘...surely she’d bust a stitch’.
[1] Benedict de Spinoza, On the Improvement of the Understanding

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"Poetry is the short-circuiting of meaning between words, the impetuous regeneration of primordial myth". Bruno Schulz

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