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
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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.
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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.
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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.
“The truth of the matter is that—by an exorbitant paradox—I never stop believing that I am loved. I hallucinate what I desire. Each wound proceeds less from a doubt than from a betrayal: for only the one who loves can betray, only the one who believes himself loved can be jealous: that the other, episodically, should fail in his being, which is to love me—that is the origin of all my woes. A delirium, however, does not exist unless one wakens from it(there are only retrospective deliriums): one day, I realize what has happened to me: I thought I was suffering from not being loved, and yet it is because I thought I was loved that I was suffering; I lived in the complication of supposing myself simultaneously loved and abandoned. Anyone hearing my intimate language would have had to exclaim, as of a difficult child: But after all, what does he want?”
— Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments
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I encounter millions of bodies in my life; of these millions, I may desire some hundreds; but of these hundreds, I love only one.
Seduction involves the appeal of destroying that which seduces us.
Georges Bataille, L’érotisme
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Study for George Bataille’s Histoire de l’oeil by Hans Bellmer, 1946
“Only once woman has reached the peak of her experimental calling, is amenable to permutations and algebraic promises, and is willing to submit to transubstantial whims, only once she is ductile, shrinkable and equipped with an epidermis and joints that are equal to the obvious inconveniences involved in post-hoc assembly or disassembly, only then we will finally be able to clarify the anatomy of desire.”
— Hans Bellmer, L’Anatomie de l’Image (Anatomy of the Image)
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Erotic desire is the desire that triumphs over prohibitions: it assumes the opposition of man to himself.
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