Cool Memories 13

Cool Memories 13

By Jean Baudrillard 布希亞

Translated by Springhero 雄伯


A universe without animal space, without the servile regularity of beasts, is never the same again. It is a long time since we knew such a thing in Europe. It needs a semi-desert space, without the marks of property, without demarcation lines. It was by marking out all spaces that we got rid of the desert and of hierarchical servility, which is respectful of the inhuman and takes its orders from the inhuman—from a distant planet or an animal god, the constellations or an imageless divinity. It is a marvelous conception this imageless divinity: nothing could be more opposed to our modern iconolatry.



The gods can only live and hide in animals, in the sphere of silence and objective brutishness, not in the sphere of men, which is that of subjective brutishness, language and psychology. The Man-God is an absurdity. A god who rejects the ironic mask of the inhuman, who steps out of the animal metaphor, in which he was the silent embodiment of the principle of evil, and affords himself the luxury of a soul and a face, at the same time takes on the hypocritical psychology of the human. The gods have to be able to move like animals from one pasture to another. The dividing up of the land was the only way of banishing them.



She had the heavy breath of insomniacs’s mouths, the chapped lips of hysterical women, the confused sex of sterile women, and sadness, inexorable sadness. What wouldn’t you have given her in her innocence? Neither god, nor pleasure—grace perhaps, the savage grace of felines on the defensive, the retractile grace of her claws and of a gooseflesh extraordinarily soft to the touch, the grace of a fragile and defenseless frame. Nobody can do anything for her. She is impossible to protect, but her whole vulnerability is a caress and her retractility is a weapon, whilst her body, the whole of her body, becomes all weak and sly in order to seduce.



I call that woman a slut who is capable of shying away from you out of sheer perversity, without any amorous necessity, out of the pure temptation to slip through your fingers. Women are sluts more through this ability to be absorbed hysterically by absence, than by physical and mental prostitution. And I recognize and admire this skill at escaping which is given only to those who do not know the obstacle of value judgments.



For his part, the male is rendered fragile by the mechanisms of representation. He does not have the ability to retract himself so suddenly and absolutely—he has to cast off his image. A woman, on the other hand, may convert herself into an absence by pure reflect or stratagem and surprise a man in that way as cruelly as she may enchant him by her presence.



The story of the ship built with such a quantity of iron and steel that its compass-needle, instead of showing north, simply pointed towards its own mass. Turning endlessly back upon itself, it was eventually lost in the fossilized ice of the Quaternary.



The real joy of writing lies in the opportunity of being able to sacrifice a whole chapter for a single sentence, a complete sentence for a single word, to sacrifice everything for an artificial effect or an acceleration into the void.




Cool Memories by Jean Baudrillard 布希亞

Translated by Springhero 雄伯



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