“You mean that’s your idea of desire, with all those commas?” —
Michael Palmer, from “Idem 1”
by Desire \ rakkauttaskatu
David Levinthal - Untitled ( Serie Desire), 1991-1992
“Hélène Lagonelle’s body is heavy, innocent still, her skin’s as soft as that of certain fruits, you almost can’t grasp her, she’s almost illusory, it’s too much. She makes you want to kill her, she conjures up a marvelous dream of putting her to death with your own hands. Those flour-white shapes, she bears them unknowingly, and offers them for hands to knead, for lips to eat, without holding them back, without any knowledge of them and without any knowledge of their fabulous power. I’d like to eat Hélène Lagonelle’s breasts as he eats mine in the room in the Chinese town where I go every night to increase my knowledge of God. I’d like to devour and be devoured by those flour-white breasts of hers.
I am worn out with desire for Hélène Lagonelle.
I am worn out with desire.
I want to take Hélène Lagonelle with me to where every evening, my eyes shut, I have imparted to me the pleasure that makes you cry out. I’d like to give Hélène Lagonelle to the man who does that to me, so he may do it in turn to her. I want it to happen in my presence, I want her to do it as I wish, I want her to give herself where I give myself. It’s via Hélène Lagonelle’s body, through it, that the ultimate pleasure would pass from him to me.
A pleasure unto death.” — Marguerite Duras, The Lover
“Love is distinct from desire… Because its aim is not satisfaction, but being.” —
Jacques Lacan, Seminar I, trans. John Forrester
“I am dead. I have no desire for you. My body no longer wants the one who doesn’t love.” — Marguerite Duras, The Lover
“I, too, overflow; my desires have invented new desires, my body knows unheard-of songs.” —
Hélène Cixous, The Laugh of the Medusa, translation by Keith Cohen and Paula Cohen
“It is not the figure of seduction that is mysterious, but that of the subject tormented by his own desire or his own image.” —
Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories, translation by Chris Turner
“absence / absence
But isn’t desire always the same, whether the object is present or absent? Isn’t the object always absent? —This isn’t the same languor: there are two words: Pothos, desire for the absent being, and Himéros, the more burning desire for the present being.” —
Roland Barthes, The Absent One from A Lover’s Discourse, translation by Richard Howard
“The heart is the organ of desire (the heart swells, weakens, etc., like the sexual organs), as it is held, enchanted, within the domain of the Image-repertoire. What will the world, what will the other do with my desire? That is the anxiety in which are gathered all the heart’s movements, all the heart’s ‘problems’.” — Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments
“The object of sensual desire is by nature another desire. The desire of the senses is the desire, if not to destroy oneself, at least to be consumed and to lose oneself without reservation.” —
Georges Bataille, The Object of Desire and the Totality of the Real from The Accursed Share
“…desires contrasting, contradictory, impacted, immobilizing. The desire to become fully visible, to be seen (at last) as one is, to be honest, to be unmasked. The desire to hide, to be camouflaged. To be elsewhere. Other.
The desire to be stripped down, to be naked, to be concealed, to disappear, to be only ones skin, to mortify the skin, to petrify the body, to become fixed, to become dematerialized, a ghost, to become matter only, inorganic matter, to stop, to die.” —
Susan Sontag, from Fragments of an Aesthetic of Melancholy
“If our desire had not had so much difficulty overcoming our undeniable repugnance we would not have thought it so strong, we would not have seen in its object that which was capable of inciting desire to such a degree.” — Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share
“The other that will guide you and itself through this dissolution is a rhythm, text, music, and within language, a text. But what is the connection that holds you both together? Counter-desire, the negative of desire, inside-out desire, capable of questioning (or provoking) its own infinite quest. Romantic, filial, adolescent, exclusive, blind and Oedipal: it is all that, but for others. It returns to where you are, both of you, disappointed, irritated, ambitious, in love with history, critical, on the edge and even in the midst of its own identity crisis; a crisis of enunciation and of the interdependence of its movements, an instinctual drive that descends in waves, tearing apart the symbolic thesis.” — Julia Kristeva, Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art
“All my desires are born of my dreams. And I have proven my love with words. To what fantastic creatures have I entrusted myself, in what dolorous and ravishing world has my imagination enclosed me? I am sure of having been loved in the most mysterious of domains, my own. The language of my love does not belong to human language, my human body does not touch the flesh of my love. My amorous imagination has always been constant and high enough so that nothing could attempt to convince me of error.” — Paul Éluard, At the Window