“For all cats have this particularity, each and every one, from the meanest alley sneaker to the proudest, whitest she that ever graced a pontiff’s pillow — we have our smiles, as it were, painted on. Those small, cool, quiet Mona Lisa smiles that smile we must, no matter whether it’s been fun or it’s been not. So all cats have a politician’s air; we smile and smile and so they think we’re villains.”—Angela Carter, Puss in Boots (from The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories)
“A suicide is always, for those close to the deceased, a tragic and agonising event; but when it is accomplished by the means of jam, one cannot be less than terrified. Never would I have believed that your sister could resolve to die embedded in a vat of jam! And yet, all those unlucky enough to befriend her knew of her most morbid attraction to jam, even in jars. Do you remember how she could not contain herself when she saw it with desserts, how she had to caress it before even serving herself? Numerous incidents of this nature should have aroused our suspicions; but, blind that we were, we never understood their profound significance. Nonetheless, I shiver at the thought of how her last moments must have been.
Please believe me that I share your pain and approve of your descision to banish jam from your life. This is a healthy reaction and I can only commend it from the bottom of my heart. It demonstrates both your determination, and your courage in overcoming pain as well as your instinct for self-preservation. I am truly glad, that without jam, you do not, indeed, risk letting yourself be compelled to follow the example of your sister.”—
“trying to exhaust himself, vaughan devised an endless almanac of terrifying wounds and insane collisions: the lungs of elderly men punctured by door-handles; the chests of young women impaled on steering-columns; the cheek of handsome youths torn on the chromium latches of quarter-lights. to vaughan, these wounds formed the key to a new sexuality, born from a perverse technology. the images of these wounds hung in the gallery of his mind, like exhibits in the museum of a slaughterhouse.”—
“The game of man and of his own rotting is perpetuated in the most dismal of conditions without the one having the courage to confront the other. It seems that we will never find ourselves faced with the grandiose image of decomposition whose risk, which intervenes at every breath, is nonetheless the very meaning of a life that we prefer, we know not why, to the life of another whose breath may survive us. We know only the negative form of this image - soaps, toothbrushes and all the pharmaceutical products we accumulate in order to escape daily, with difficulty, from filth and death. Each day we make ourselves into the docile servants of these petty fabrications, the sole gods of modern man. This servitude continues in all places where a normal being might still go. We go to an art dealer like we’d go to a pharmacist, seeking well-displayed remedies for respectable illnesses.”—
“With your hand in mine, idly we’ll recline
Amid bowers of neuroses,
While the sun seeks rest in the great red west
We will sit and match psychoses.
So come dwell a while on that distant isle
In the brilliant tropic weather;
Where a Freud in need is a Freud indeed,
We’ll always be Jung together.”—
The Passionate Freudian to His Love, Dorothy Parker