Cool Memories 11

Cool Memories 11

By Jean Baudrillard 布希亞

Translated by Springhero 雄伯

   Every woman is unique, fragile, ineluctable, immoral, radiant, insatiable. But whether pretty or ugly, she is never any of these things entirely directly. The detour that has to be made runs precisely though the opposite appearance: we have to come to terms with this as we would with the everyday destiny of a fatal vanity.


   The whole difference between the sexes resides perhaps not in the way we feel passion for an individual being, but in our feeling of passion for formal abstraction, and the possibility of dying for it, even if it be embodied in a woman.


   We have dreamt of every woman there is, and dreamt too of the miracle that would bring us the pleasure of being a woman, for women have all the qualities –courage, passion, the capacity to love, cunning—whereas all our imagination can do is natively pile up the illusion of courage.


   We are becoming like cats, slyly parasitic, enjoying an indifferent domesticity. Nice and snug in “ the social”, our historic passions have withdrawn into the glow of an artificial cosiness, and our half-closed eyes now seek little other than the peaceful parade of television pictures.


  Dying is nothing. You have to know how to disappear.

  Dying comes down to biological chance and that is of no consequence. Disappearing is of a far higher order of necessity. You must not leave it to biology to decide when you will disappear. To disappear is to pass into an enigmatic state which is neither life nor death. Some animals know how to do this, as do savages, who withdraw, while still alive, from the sight of their own people.



   The beauty of these Japanese tattoos on the thighs of the women: normally invisible, they appear only in the moment of rapture, of lovemaking. A woman is tattooed with the objective marks of her servitude ( the tattoo consists of her lover’s initials). But what servitude this represents for the lover in return—condemned as he is to arouse this woman, to give her pleasure. If not, she will deny him his initials. The game of passion becomes more difficult. And what a delight for the unknown but well-chosen lover who sees his name appear upon his beloved’s body as he makes love to her!


   When nothing moves you any more, you must find a sign to stand in for passion.

   When nothing is at stake any more, you must find a rule to stand in for necessity.



   I have played at passion, I have played at tenderness.

   I have played at parting, I have played at sadness.

   I have gone as far as I can in expressing sadness, as previously I had gone as far as I could in the appearance of seduction. Sometimes it even seems to me that I have never done anything but provide the semblance of ideas. But that is the one and only way out we have to take in a speculative world with no way out: to come up with the most successful signs of an idea.

   Or in an emotional world with no way out: to come up with the most successful signs of a passion.






   And I held beneath my eyelids the sweet hologram of her nakedness.



Cool Memories by Jean Baudrillard 布希亞

Translated by Springhero 雄伯

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