“The text is a fetish object, and this fetish desires me. The text chooses me, by a whole disposition of invisible screens, selective baffles: vocabulary, references, readability, etc.; and, lost in the midst of a text (not behind it, like a deus ex machina) there is always the other, the author. As institution, the author is dead: his civil status, his biographical person have disappeared; dispossessed, they no longer exercise over his work the formidable paternity whose account literary history, teaching, and public opinion had the responsibility of establishing and renewing; but in the text, in a way, I desire the author: I need his figure (which is neither his representation nor his projection), as he needs mine (except to “prattle”).”
— Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text, trans. Richard Miller, New York: Hill and Wang, first published in French 1973, p. 27.
This scene, like BOB under the bed (and that ongoing unreal sequence with the fan on the top of the stairs, and Leland cackling dementedly at BOB in the mirror, and “How’s Annie?”, and the white horse, and and…) still affects me so potently. Like listening to Bobby Vinton without instantly thinking of Kenneth Anger (and then David Lynch, if you think in chronological order), I can’t hear this song any more without instantly thinking of Lynchian surrealism.
A lexicography of lewdness - I love this kind of stuff too. Am randomly reminded of Erica Jong’s heroine (in the second sequel to Fear of Flying, which is incidentally crap) having personalised ‘QUIM’ licence plates. My own ‘QUIM’-emblazoned (monogrammed?) tea-towel is far more tasteful (and less erm exhibitionistic).