Sunday, February 07, 2016

(Electronic & Others) High or Middle Culture?


Je me souviens avoir discuté avec Stockhausen... l'idée selon laquelle 'notre musique' (cette notion
 commune existait encore un peu)... aurait pour mission... d'édifier un 'space' suffisamment
 étendu et complexe pour que puissent s'y rencontrer... soit l'ancien
 et le nouveau, soit le 'savant' et le 'populaire'...
Henri Pousseur, Musiques Croisées

In one of its innumerable forms music is a powerful drug, partly stimulant and
partly narcotic, but wholly alterative.
A. Huxley, The Devils of Loudun

... long live dancing in the eddy of the infinite!
The young person in Repetition (translation by M. G. Piety)



The Knife:



Björk:




Arnaldo Baptista:



----------------------------------------------------------------

... des échanges, parfois secrets, s'établissant entre les 'genres', et même certaines des acquisitions les plus aventureuses des musiques expérimentales s'acclimatant dans des régios moins 'distinguées' ou même plus commericales (qu'on pense à la subversion du langage qu'a représente le 'free jazz' ou l'assimilation de l'électronique par le pop, le rock et, surtout les musiques illustratives et 'fonctionelles')...
Henri Pousseur, Musiques Croisées



Ornette Coleman's Sound Museum:


*******************************************
Alack Karis & Kian Freitas/ Karlheinz Stockhausen's Mantra:


======================================
Code Morel (A/Z):


See also:
- liste des déclencheurs;
- Kur-d-t My Ghost;
- God Save the Queen;
- Darkwaves beyond the 80's;

Friday, February 05, 2016

Rimbaud (Correspondance + Pierre Petitfils)

"Jusqu’à quel point faut-il prendre ces jeremiads au sérieux, puisqu’il nous met lui-même en garde contre elles? « Si je me plains, écrit-il le 10 juillet 1882, c’est une espèce de façon de chanter . » ([preface de Jean Voellmy]: 9).

"...je vois avec le plus grand plaisir que derrière votre terrible masque d’homme horriblement sévère se cache une bonne humeur que beaucoup auraient bien raison de vous envier" ([Ilg a Rimbaud, Zurich, le 19 février 1888]: 59).

"Ne vous faites pas de mauvais sang, mon cher, j’en aurais bien plus de raisons et je m’en passe. C’est comme si le diable régnait en Abyssinie depuis une année, tout va de travers et l’on ne sait plus de quel côté se tourner" ([Ilg a Rimbaud, Antotto, le 9 mai 1890]: 176).

****Arthur Rimbaud, Correspondance 1888-1891 (Gallimard: 1965).
----------------------------------------------------


"Incroyable est le nombre d’ouvrages qu’il put lire en quelques mois: le principal lui en prêtait, ainsi qu’Izambard, Deverrière et Bretagne. Il dévorait tout avec un égal appétit: la philosophie, la sociologie, la politique, les oeuvres de Thiers, Mignet, Tocqueville, Edgar Quinet, Proudhon, Louis Blanc... et naturellement les auteurs classiques, les poètes — sans ometter la Bible souvent consultée" (: 62).

"Cette lettre à Mme Rimbaud, que contenait-elle? Une facture! Izambard demandait le remboursement des frais que lui avait occasionnés son élève..." (: 89).

"Bientôt, tout bascula dans l'écoeurement du contact avec la soldatesque débraillée; c’etait plus qu’il n’en pouvait supporter. Si profond fut son dégoût qu’il brisa son élan et que sa foi révolutionnaire coula à pic" (: 107). 

"...Rimbaud, déçu à son égard (refuser un voyage en Russie, une vie de luxe!), lui retira sa confiance..." (: 111).

“Mallarmé dit de Gautier qu’il est un voyant, Gautier le dit de Baudelaire, Nerval le dit de lui-même... Mais Rimbaud prend le mot dans uns sens biblique: celui qui voit au-delà des choses de Dieu” (: 115). 

[livres demandées par Rimbaud dans la bibliothèque de Charleville: “traités de sorcellerie, de sciences occultes ou encore des romans, de contes ou de vers libertins (Restif de La Bretonne, Parnasse satyrique, etc.)” (: 119);] 

"Rapidement, son crédit baissa, on le considéra comme un détraqué... Les plus indulgents virent en lui un raté de génie, une étoile filante qui brille intensément avant de finir en poussière..." (: 140). 

"...un reflet de l’enseignement musical de Cabaner qui, à l’hôtel des Etrangers, donnait des leçons de piano à Rimbaud" (: 149). 

"'Nous apprenons l’anglais à force... dans Edgar Poe, dans les recueils de chansons populaires, dans Robertson, etc.'" (: 198). 

"Rimbaud se vit refuser la communication des oeuvres du marquis de Sade, une autorisation spéciale étant nécessaire..." (: 199). 

"Mon frère Arthur, écrit Vitalie dans son Journal, ne partageait point nos travaux agricoles, la plume trouvait auprès de lui une occupation assez sérieuse pour qu’elle lui permît de ne..." (: 224). 

"En proie à une dépression nerveuse comparable à celle qu’avait connue Verlaine en décembre 1872, il fit comme lui; par lettre ou télégramme, il pria sa mère de venir... Mme Rimbaud comprit que là était son devoir et se mit en route avec sa fille Vitalie âgée de seize ans..." (: 238).

"Ce qu’il voulait, c’était s’armer pour l’existence et compenser pour la pratique e langues étrangères le déficit de son bagage universitaire... il se plongea avec frénésie dans l’étude de la langue allemande, dévorant journaux, livres et revues" (: 244).

"Le piano devint à cette époque une des passions de Rimbaud. On raconte qu’à la suite du refus de sa mère de lui acheter ou louer un, il avait entaillé la table de la salle à manger en forme de clavier pour exercer ses doigts... Et puis, au cours de cet hiver, il se mit, comme un forcené, à l’étude de langues étrangères, le russe, l’arabe, l’hindoustani, l’amaharina, etc... Afin que personne ne le dérange... il s'enferme à plusieurs reprises dans une armoire" (: 260). 

"L’année 1876 s’ouvrit dans la musique: Mme Rimbaud consentit en effet à louer un piano, espérant peut-être retenir Arthur à la maison" (: 263). 

"A Hambourg, entré par désouvrement dans un casino, il vit fondre au jeu ses économies" (: 273). 

"Le médecin de bord aurait diagnostiqué une inflammation des parois de l’abdomen provoquée par des marches excessives" (: 277). 

"...le 2 novembre, il commanda à des librairies de Paris, par l’intermédiaire de sa mère ou de sa soeur, quantité de livres techniques traitant de métallurgie, hydraulique, navigation, architecture navale, maçonnerie, fonerie, scierie, tannerie, textiles... — même le manuel du fabricant de bougies!" (: 289). 

"Sur ce voyage, qui ne fut pas de tout repos, nous n’avons que peu de renseignements: l’accueil des indigènes fut amical, nous dit Alfred Bardey, mas celui des lions le fut moins: Sotiro dut rentrer sur une mule car l’un d’eux avait dévoré son cheval" (: 294). 

"... Rimbaud eut alors tout le temps de réfléchir et de se convaincre qu’il n’avait pas l’âme d’un commerçant et que sa vraie vocation était d’être explorateur-écrivain..." (: 298). 

"On a retrouvé aussi tout un lot de photographies prises par lui avec son fameux appareil et conservées presque toutes au Musée Rimbaud de Charleville-Mézières..." (: 303).

"...et avoir au moins un fils que je passe le reste de ma vie à élever à mon idee, à orner et à armer de l’instruction la plus complète qu’on puisse atteindre à cette époque... De cette époque date son penchant pour l’islamisme dont nous verrrons d’autres manifestations: le 7 octobre 1883, il comande chez Hachette un Coran, texte arabe et français. 'Comme les musulmans, dit-il encore, je sais que ce qui arrive c’est tout'" (: 304).

"Il est infatigable. Son aptitude pour les langues, une grande force de volonté et une patience à toute épreuve le classent parmi les voyageurs accomplis... Rimbaud, de son côté, fut ravi de faire la connaissance de Borelli: enfin quelqu’un d’intelligent!" (: 327).

"Je sors de l’opération avec une perte de 60% sur mon capital, sans compter vingt et un mois de fatigues atroces..." (: 333). 

"A Obok, il embarqua sur un navire de la Compagnie nationale, avec son domestique Djami Wadaï, âgé de seize à dix-sept ans, qu’il avait ramené de Harar pour le sauver de la famine" (: 334). 

"...et la confirmation de la présence au Caire du jeune Djami" (: 337). 

"... les exemples de son insociabilité sont nombreux. Un jour il accepta de se joindre à une partie de chasse organisée par un groupe d’Eurpéens mais, le soir, au rassemblement... on ne le trouva plus; il était rentré tout seul sans avertir personne..." (: 354-55). 

"...sa charité, très discrète et large..." (: 356). 

[assimilation du Coran (“il... devint propagandiste”) et des autres costumes musulmans; “ses interprétations personnelles auraient soulevé des colères” (: 357);] 

"Il fallut recourir à la morphine... Toujours il se croyait à Harar; sa soeur, il l’appelait Djami; il la bousculait" (: 389). 


Pierre Petitfils, Rimbaud (Paris: Julliard, 1982).
----------------------------------------------------

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Boswell, Dover & others on male homosexuality

"No evidence supports the common idea that homosexual and heterosexual behavior are incompatible; much data suggests the contrary" (: 9).

"Far fewer people are aware that Oscar Wilde was a husband and father than that he was gay and had a male lover" (: 10).

"It is unlikely that at any time in Western history have gay people been the victims of more widespread and vehement intolerance than during the first half of the twentieth century" (: 23).

"Richard lion Heart, Edward II, the Duc d'Orléans, the Prince de la Roche sur Yon, the Grande Condé, the Maréchal de Vendôme — all these men noted for matial skill or valor were also noted for being gay" (: 25).

"... beauty was not considered exclusively in terms of youth... 'as garland bearers for Athena, old men are often chosen, demonstrating that there is beauty in every stage of life'" [Xenophon, Symposium 4.17] (: 29, n. 54).

"In a now famous remark, Edward Gibbon observed that 'of the first fifteen emperors Claudius was the only one whose taste in love was entirely correct', meaning heterosexual. If Gibbon was right, the Roman Empire was ruled for almost 200 consecutive years by men whose homosexual interests, if not exclusive, were sufficiently noteworthy to be recorded for posterity" (: 61).

"In fact intense love relations between persons of the same gender figure prominently in the Old Testament — e.g. Saul and David, David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi — and were celebrated throughout the Middle Ages in both ecclesiastical and popular literature as examples of extraordinary devotion, sometimes with distinctly erotic overtones" (: 105).

"Sexuality appears to have been largely a matter of indifference to Jesus. His comments on sexual mores are extremely few, especially in comparison with the frequency of his observations on such matters as wealth and demonic possession, which were largely ignored by later Christians... When confronted with adulterers, he recommended no punishment and clearly suggested that the sins anyone else might have committed were of equal gravity" (: 114).

"A Christian contemporary in the West, Ausonius, kept in his library volumes of homosexual literature which were considered scandalous even by Roman standards... and took delight in translating from Greek to Latin such tidbits as Strato's puzzle about four sex acts being performed simultaneously by three men" (: 132).

"Saint Augustine himself, writing in this tradition, expressed the love he felt for a friend of his youth, whose death so desolated him that he was driven to God in unbearable pain..." (: 135).

"Almost without exception the few laws against homosexual behaviour passed before the thirteenth century were enacted by civil authorities without advice or support from the church" (: 174).

"Regular confession and spiritual direction were in any case not widespread in the Middle Ages outside areas directly controlled by cathedral chapters or religious orders. Except for the clergy, few people made regular confessions more than once a year" (: 182).

"An entire genre of Germanic literature revolves around ceremonial insults... in which one warrior accuses another of having been sexually passive with him or others... It seems probable from the sum of the evidence that among some of the Germans certain men fulfilled a role similar to that of the berdache among American Indians, adopting feminine social roles and being sexually passive to another male, and such relationships may have been institutionalized as 'marriages' among them" (: 184).

"... most Muslim cultures have treated homosexuality with indifference, if not admiration. Almost without exception the classic works of Arabic poetry and prose, from Abu Nuwas to the Thousand and One Nights, treat gay people and their sexuality with respect and casual acceptance... The Arabic language contains a huge vocabulary of gay erotic terminology, with dozens of words just to describe types of male prostitutes" (: 194).

"Poems about the physical allore of a young man's first beard constitute an entire genre of Arabic poetry" (: 195).

"Homosexual love imagery was a standard currency of Islamic mystical writings both in and out of Spain. Many of the authors of gay erotic poetry on the Iberian peninsula were teachers of the Qur'an, religious leaders, or judges; almost all wrote conventional religious verse as well as love poetry" (: 197).

"Only anal intercourse with a married man seemed to Burchard a grave sin, but even if committed habitually this sin did not incur a penalty as severe as for a single instance of heterosexual adultery" (: 205).

"The twelfth-century 'revival' of love included gay people and their passions no less than other... the proportion of gay literature surviving from this period is astonishing" (: 209).

"... it is difficult to question the unanimity and equanimity with which chroniclers allude to the sexual orientation of Richard Lion Heart, the crusading king whose valor became the symbol of chivalric idealism... Richard gave every indication of being profoundly Catholic: he heard mass daily for much of his life and was the driving force behind the third crusade" (: 231).

"Homosexuality occurs so frequently in the [Arabian] Nights that it would be impossible to cite even the major instances" (: 257, n. 54).

"Most of the attitudes of fanaticism and intolerance which are today thought of as characteristically 'medieval' were in fact common only to the later Middle Ages... Perhaps the single most prominent aspect of the period from the later twelfth to the fourteenth century was a sedulous quest for intellectual and institutional uniformity and corporatism throughout Europe" (: 269-70).

"The Franciscans came perilously close to being declared heretical before their final acceptance by the church" (: 275).

****John Boswell, Christianity, social tolerance, and homosexuality: gay people in Western Europe from the beginning of the Christian era to the fourteenth century (University of Chicago Press, 1980).
------------------------------------------------

"... a certain Theron chopped off his own thumb and challenged a rival erastes to do the same... The most remarkable anecdote of this kind, however, comes from the early fourth century B.C... [and] tells of a man willing to die for a youth about whom he knew no more than the visual stimulus of bodily beauty could tell him" (: 51).

"... a boy is compared to a horse which, ‘sated with barley’, has ‘come back to our stable wanting a good charioteer’... ‘Barley’ (krithai) is comic slang for ‘penis’..." (: 58-9).

"... the publicity associated with modern ‘pin-ups’ belonged to males rather than females..." (: 66).

"Timarkhos, according to Aiskhines, was in just such a position while supported as an expensive male prostitute by Misgolas; his money went on luxurious food, gambling, hetairai and girl-musicians, and later in life he allegedly displayed a highly-developed heterosexual appetite, pursuing other men’s wives" (: 67).

"The analogy between an ancient homosexual and modern heterosexual society can be pursued further if we extend the category ‘modern’ to include the presentation of respectable British society in the literature of the nineteenth century. The good woman, in this literature, does not desire or seek sexual intercourse…" (: 90).

"The assumption that all homosexual submission is mercenary, and with this a total silence on the possible emergence of extreme devotion, courage and self-sacrifice from a homosexual relationship, is analogous to another characteristic feature of comedy, the assumption that all holders of administrative offices feather their own nests" (: 145).

****Sir Kenneth James Dover, Greek Homosexuality (Duckworth, 1978).
-------------------------------------------------------------

"Research over the past ten years has tended to confirm... that boy-inseminating ritualized homosexuality in certain traditional societies of Melanesia is prehistoric... Comparative scholars such as Greenberg believe that this tradition should be seen as a survival of a Paleolithic practice once widespread throughout the world" (: xv).

"Through successive sexual experiences with males and females, I would guess, first only with males—and later with younger boys in addition to marital sex—the East Bay man becomes a whole social and sexual person. It is a sexual course of life, incidentally, that never alters until death, since East Bay adult men, after they are married, and even as grandfathers, may continue inseminating boys" (: xxxii).

"'The ideological reason for insemination is to "grow" the boys into men, but homosexuality appears for all practical intents and purposes to be grounded in personal affection rather than obligation'" [Knauft] (: xxxii).

"Initial reports in this area [Lower Fly River] came from the Fly River delta and Kiwai Island... These small tribal groups were once fierce warriors. All males were initiated into a secret cult... Beardmore... a missionary, first mentioned that 'sodomy is regularly indulged in' on the left bank of the Fly'" (: 18).

"Given the available Melanesian data, our survey conservatively results in between 10 to 20 percent of all Melanesian cultures having ritualized homosexuality as defined" (: 56).

"[Ritualized homosexuality] does not make these males into what we Westerners call 'homosexuals'; these data instead challenge our own views about what that category means, and what parts of nature and nurture it is made from. Perhaps we should now better look to understand how the fluidity of the human condition allows this Melanesian phenomena and what, in a general sense, bisexuality is all about" (: 65). 

****Gilbert H. Herdt (Ed.), Ritualized Homosexuality in Melanesia (University of California Press, 1993).
---------------------------------------------------------------------

"Although homosexual roles may be recognized, mere involvement in a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex does not become the basis for classifying someone as a distinct type of person. This remains true in all the early civilizations, as well as in feudal social systems" (: 14). 

"In Greek or Roman antiquity, homosexuality was not—as far as we can tell—rare, and was not assumed to reflect something intrinsically distinctive about those who engaged in it" (: 17).

"Although most berdaches seem to have maintained the role for life, Spier tells of a Klamath adolescent who wore women's garb and perfomed women's tasks, but later abandoned the female and became a chief who married seven wives" (: 43).

"The manang bali of the Iban (Sea Dyak) of turn-of-the-century Sarawak (in northwestern Borneo) adopted female costume in obedience to supernatural instructions conveyed in dreams and seduced young men. Toward the end of the nineteenth century they were populars as curers—in fact, they were the most highly regarded of shamans" (; 57). 

"Until recently, Mangaia, one of the Cook Islands, had several transvestites, but ccording to Marshall, they did not choose male sexual partners. Nor did the transvestites of Rapa, south of the Society Islands. Indeed, one extremely effeminate man had a wife and several children" (: 59).

"The extremely wide dispersion of the transvestite shaman role, among peoples whose later ways of life have been very diverse, suggests that the role does date back to the late Paleolithic (if not earlier)" (: 64).

"Lafitau, a French Jesuit missionary in early-eighteenth-century Canada, describes intense and socially recognized 'special friendships' among Indians from coast to coast..." (: 70).

"In addition to marrying Hera and chasing nymphs and women, the Greek Zeus adbucted Ganymede. Apollo impregnated nymphs and women, but also fell in love with the male Hyacinth. Poseidon, who married Amphitrite and pursued Demeter, also raped Tantalus" (: 93). 

"... one of the assinu's [male-homosexual cult prostitute] functions was to serve as the receptive sexual partner of male worshipers in anal intercourse, perhaps particularly with those who wanted trouble to leave them..." (: 97).

"The aristocratic warrior societies do seem to have had extensive male homosexuality, which was completely accepted... According to Aristotle, the Celts steemed homosexuality... Diodorus Siculus found Celtic women charming, and every indicator of their social status suggests that it was quite high. Nevertheless, he added, 'the men are much keener on their own sex; they lie around on animal skins and enjoy themselves...'" (: 111).

"The city of Thebes maintained an elite Sacred Band of three hundred homosexual lovers—older heniochoi (charioteers) and their young paraibatai (companions), who were given a complete set of military equipment on reaching maturity" (: 115).

"The potentates of the East found eunuchs politically invaluable" (: 123). 

"...biblical references to Sodom do not even mention homosexuality; they suggest that the city was destroyed because of its inhospitality to guests... even if—as I have argued— homosexuality was involved, it was not consensual homosexuality but homosexual rape" (: 136).

"... Greeks assumed that ordinarily sexual choices were not mutually exclusive, but rather that people were generally capable of responding erotically to beauty in both sexes... It was said of Alcibiades... 'that in his adolescence he drew away the husbands from their wives, and as a young man the wives from their husbands'" (: 144).

"To be sure, it was recognized that some men preferred women, and others, male partners. Atheneus, for example, remarked that Alexander the Great was indifferent to women but passionate for males" (: 145).

"This preference for youths stemmed from the intensely competitive individualism of Greek male culture... When the partners were of similar social status (brother, friends), possession implied status derogation, and this was an insult... Most men accommodated these status considerations by choosing a status inferior (a slave or prostitute), or a free younger partner, whose youth made him ineligible for military service or political office..." (: 146-47).

"Polybus, a Greek historian who visited Rome in the second century B.C., reported that most young men had male lovers. Many of the leading figures in Roman literary life in the late Republic
—Catullus, Tibullus, Vergil, and Horace—wrote homophile poetry" (: 154).

"Many a young [Roman] man had a concubinus—a male slave to use sexually before marriage" (157).

"When the Aztecs and Incas legislated against homosexuality, they may have been trying to substitute the political state and its official religion for the shamans of tribal society... [who] were frequently male-to-female tranvestites who engaged in sexual relations with other men..." (: 165). 

"Notwithstanding the opposition of Islamic religious law, a de facto acceptance of male homosexuality has prevailed in Arab lands down to the modern era, though in some times and places discretion has been required" (: 177). 

"The Vendidad was a product of the Parthian period, the work of magis who synthesized the Zoroastrian cult with the older Aryan fire worship. Their hatred of Hellenistic culture may have added to an earlier opposition to cult prostitution, producing an expecially extreme hostility to homosexuality" (: 189).

"The treatment of sexual offenses in Leviticus suggests that the level of anxiety with sex was quite high" (: 195).

"For Plato, the ideal life was to be spent seeking and discussing Beauty, Truth, and Good. Although bodily perfection could inspire this pursuit, lust itself was evil because it leads to an undignified, slavish, animallike surrender to the passions" (: 203). 

"[Morton Smith] concludes that Jesus broke sharply with Jewish legal restrictions, believing that his religious-magical powers gave him and his followers freedom to disobey the Law. He thinks Jesus conducted secret baptismal initiations at which mystical secrets were imparted, and at which ritual homossexual intercourse may have taken place..." (: 217).

"Pederasty, [John Chrysostom] insists, is so dangerous, and yet so omnipresent, that to protect them from it, boys should be sent to live in monasteries for one or two dozen years starting in late childhood" (: 222).

"Had [Augustine] endorsed the doctrine that only virgins could be saved, he would have had to accept the absolute impossibility of his own salvation" (: 224-25).

"Cult tranvestism persisted for centuries in Scandinavia, along with other pagan religious practices and a traditional way of life" (: 243).

"Evidently the Vandals' horror of effeminacy, on which Salvian commented, did not preclude submission to pederasty when it was military advantageous—and probably in other circumstances" (: 249).

"In [the chanson that commemorates the life of William Marshall (1145-1219)] King Henry II loves his page, who is his first cousin. After expelling William from his court for having an affair with his wife, Henry got rid of his wife and displayed great affection for William... In Lancelot, Sir Gawain prays that God turn him into a beautiful woman so that he will be loved by the unknown knight" (: 257).

"Male homosexuality... in Japan... during the feudal age... flourished among the military aristocracy. A samurai warrior went to battle accompanied by a favorite youth, who also served as a sexual partner... Literary sources depict the relationships as highly romantic, sustained by undying loyality... The relationships were not only accepted, but considered extremely desirable, especially in those regions of Japan where physical strenght and military prowess were highly prized" (: 260).

"By the year 1300, Europe had become distinctly less hospitable to those who engaged in homosexual acts than it had been two hundred years earlier" (: 279).

"... church's claim that it, rather than the secular rulers, should exercise spiritual authority, was not easy to maintain while the moral standards of the clergy were so vulnerable to criticism" (: 281).

"Projecting one's own unacceptable desires onto someone else is ... reaction formation... hostility toward those believed to be homosexual should be greater if they are one's own sex, for it is they who as potential sexual partners should arouse the greatest anxiety... (: 289). 

"In Russia, homosexuality had long been under church jurisdiction, but at the start of the eighteenth century Peter the Great, who often slept with his soldiers, hypocritically made the prohibition [against homosexuality] secular" (: 303).

"According to Saint Bernardino of Sienna, Florence and other early-fifteenth-century Tuscan cities had such a reputation for sodomy that Genoa would not hire Tuscan schoolmasters, and boys walking down the streets of Florence were in greater danger than girls of being sexually assaulted" (: 305). 

"Antonio Becadelli's widely read Hermaphroditus... was made court poet at Pavia and was knighted at Naples... Cellini's sodomy convictions did not stand in the way of his receiving comissions from the church for his sculptures... Many of the homosexually active men were also actively heterosexual... Cellini had affairs with women and eventually married. Caravaggio lived for years with one of his male models, but later had a relationship with a woman... [they] probably identified themselves and were considered by others as libertines" (: 308-309). 

"The conjuncture of extremely harsh legislation justified primarily on religious grounds, erratic enforcement, and popular indifference, punctuated by infrequent episodes of repression, remained characteristic of social responses to homosexuality from the Renaissance through the eighteenth century, but began to change in the modern era" (: 347).

"Benthan, the philosopher of rational hedonism, argued that same-sex love was thoroughly innocuous, and rebutted one argument after another for its criminalization. Fearing the prejudices against homosexuality would jeopardize his reform program—and possibly his life—he never published these writings. Charles Fourier went even further..." (: 351).

"The new capitalist order contributed to this stigmatization and to the intensification of prosecutions which occurred late in the century in the United States, England, and Europe. It did so by intensifying competition between men, by sharpening the sexual division of labor and strengthening the ideology of the family, and by stimulating the invention of medical explanations of social deviance" (: 356).

"[Freud] was aware of his own erotic attraction to Fliess, which he would surely have been reluctant to label a sign of degeneracy. Nor could he easily label his patients degenerate... Freud had assisted one of his teachers in research on sex alternation in crustacea and was thus quite familiar with these findings. They were widely interpreted as demonstrating that sexuality was complex..." (: 423).

"In 1905 [Freud] told a newspaper reporter that 'homosexuals must not be treated as sick people, for a perverse orientation is far from being a sickness'... Though Freud may have built on the scientific discoveries of others, the particular emphases in his work reflect the culture and political milieu of fin-de-siècle Vienna. The Austrian aristocracy of the late nineteenth century had neither been defeated by the haute bourgeoisie nor assimilated to it. As the latter became more affluent, they began to emulate the sensuosity and aestheticism of the aristocracy... eroticism pervaded the art of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oscar Kokoschka" (: 426). 

"An experimental study of aggression toward homosexuals... found that male-heterosexual college students who had negative views of homosexuality were more aggressive toward homosexual targets they believed to be similar to themselves than toward those they considered dissimilar. When the targets were heterosexual, the response pattern was just the opposite... This difference in patterns of agressiveness suggests that hostility toward homosexuals may be provoked by an irrational sense of personal threat aroused by unconscious homosexual impulses" (: 448). 

****David F. Greenberg. The Construction of Homosexuality (The University of Chicago Press, 1988).

----------------------------------------------------------------

See also: 
- Most Interesting LGBT's Movies; 
- Orlando 06/12;
- Série, presque à genoux with thread
- Pier Paolo Pasolini

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Needham*** & van Gulik****: CHINA

"'Returning to the state of infancy...' It was indeed one of the most ancient slogans of Taoism..." (: 25).

"... tien tao, 'turning nature upside down'"(: 26).

"...the keynote was to avoid excess in everything, to live the most healthy kind of life, to cultivate ataraxia" (: 29).

[contrast between "Buddhist acceptance of fate" and "the Taoist attitude... that people can do something actively and successfully about their life-span..." (: 46);]

"However we may judge their physiological theories now, there is no reason for doubting that under appropriate conditions they could perform miracles of restoring physical and mental health" (: 47).

"The first thing which must be said about the fundamental ideas of nei tan alchemy is that without giving serious attention to the ideology of the I Ching... there is no hope of understanding them" (: 52).

["going against nature", "exaltation of feminine qualities", "sublimation of intra-specific aggressiveness" (: 61);]

"...he who possesses abundant virtue may be likened to a babe; a man harbouring the fullness of in his mouth and bosom is protected by the spirits as if they were protecting a child... An infant does no hurt to any creature, nor does any creature hurt it. In a generation entirely peaceful, men are neither esteemed nor despised. Stinging creatures therefore then reverse their nature, and poisonous snakes do no harm to man" (: 132).

"The most important thing is simply to... breathe like an embryo (: 143)... Neither during exhalation nor inhalation should one hear with one’s ears the sound of the breathing, and one should make sure that more goes in than comes out. A wild goose feather may be placed in front of the nose and mouth..." (: 144).

"... the breathing became secondary to an imaginative voluntary circulation of the chi of the internal organs" (: 147).

["... the body should be exercised in every part but... this should not be over-done in any way... By stretching at the waist and moving the different joints to left and right one can make it difficult for people (to grow) old" (: 161);]

"It was only natural that Chinese Buddhism should have had a strong physical (: 166) exercise tradition of its own because it inherited much of Indian yoga technique" (: 169).

[Taoist influences on the development of the Naturphilosophie movement (: 175);]

[Goethe interest in Chinese ideas (: 177);]


"The way to get it is not to want it" (: 181).



"One of the most curious practices was the 'absorbing the image of the sun'" (: 183).

["Hsi Wang Mu... was a woman who obtained the Tao (of immortality) by nourishing the Yin (within her)..." (: 194);]

"This was simply that the essential procedure of coitus thesauratus could be effected by masturbation" (: 201).

[Ko Hung, Pao Phu Tzu book: "This is all nonsense, exaggerated talk of enchantments derived from the books of wizards and magicians... it has lost all relation with the facts. Some of it indeed is the work of licentious charlatans... There are obvious natural limits to these principles... once the essential rules are known, the benefits will increase in proportion with the number of copulations; but if one makes love without properly knowing this Tao, it is enough even to bring danger of quick and sudden death, as has been seen in one or two cases. All the essentials are contained in the old methods of Phêng Tsu..." (: 210);]


"Although from the Upanishads onwards the general Indian tendency had been to reject the phenomenal world as ephemeral, painful and illusory, for both Yoga and Samakhya the world was real and not illusion" (: 258).

"... the movement was both anti-ascetic (in the extreme sense of the word) and anti-speculative. In the Kalacakra Tantra a Buddha reveals that man’s own body is the true cosmos" (: 260).

"Let us now take a brief look at certain general characteristics of the yogistic systems, thinking particularly of relations with China and the physiological alchemists there. First, 'contrariness' as such. Liberation (mukti), in Indian thought, always had a flavour of 'going contrary to all normal human inclinations'" (: 261).

"There may be a remnant of the ancient shamanism complex here, with its ecstatic aerial voyages, its mastery of fire, and its changes in and out of animal forms" (: 262).

"... [the idea of going counter-current] was therefore entirely congruent with modern science and technology, which in so many ways have had to convince these later centuries that it is not always necessary to proceed 'in the way that God intended'" (: 292).


***Joseph Needham, Science and Civilization in China, vol. 2 (Cambridge, 1956). 
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"...peculiarly Chinese was the belief in a mysterious life force, ch'i, which pervades the universe and all it contains in a continuous circular course of waning and waxig, later to be defined as the eternal mutual interaction of dual cosmic forces, the positive (yang) and the negative (yin). It was believed that this life force followed a definite path that represented the supreme order of nature, later called tao... Those who lived in consonance with the natural order collected thereby a great amount of ch'i, which increased their , 'virtue' — to be understood in its original sense of magical power, mana. This was not the exclusive possession of man, also birds and beasts, plants, trees and stones were deemed to have it" (: 12).

"Since the king has a maximum of , he needs a large number of female partners to nourish and perpetuate it through sexual intercourse. The king has one queen (hou), three consorts (fu-jên), nine wives of the second rank (pin), twenty-seven wives of the third rank (shih-fu), and eighty-one concubines (yü-chi). These figures are fixed according to a hoary number-magic" (: 17).

"The unbroken line represented the positive, male force in accordance with the above-mentioned number-magic which had fixed odd numbers as expressive of positive and male forces. The broken line represented the negative, female force because even numbers stood for that element" (: 35).

"Fire easily flares up, but it is also easily extinguished by water; water, on the contrary, takes a long time to heat over the fire but it will also cool down very slowly. This is a true image of the actual difference in pre- and post-orgasm experience of man and woman. Chinese medicine, though weak in anatomical science, has always evinced a very shrewd appreciation of psychological factors" (: 38).

"According to the theory of yin and yang generating each other in an everycurrent circular movement, when yang is at its minimum it changes into ying; ying then grows and when it has reached its maximum it changes into yang. For yang harbours a yin element, and yin harbours the embryo of yang" (: 41).

"...intimate contact between two yang elements can not result in a total loss of vital force for either of them... It is praised if such a relationship inspired great artistic achievements. It may be added that while female homosexuality was widely spread, male homosexuality was rare in early times up till the Han dynasty; during that period it was at times deemed fashionable, and it seems to have flourished especially in the early part of the Liu-ch'ao period, and again during the Northern Sung dynasty (960-1127A.D)" (: 48).

"... since the Chinese considered the sexual act as part of the order of nature, and the exercise of it the sacred duty of every man and woman, it was never associated with a feeling of sin or moral guilt" (: 50).

"The Palace cult of the Han rulers was predominantly Taoist. It was intended to enhance the Emperor's position as Lord of the Universe, of super-human magical potency and longevity. The rulers surrounded themselves with Taoist alchemists and magicians, which engaged in the search for the Elixir of Life, and the quest for the Isles of the Immortals" (: 56).

"The first three Emperor, Kao-tsu (i.e. Liu Pang, the founder of the dynasty, 206-195 B.C.), Hui-ti (194-188 B.C.) and Wên-ti (179-157 B.C.) were pronouncedly bi-sexual; next to their regular intercourse with the uncounted haren-ladies, all three had relations with young men... Emperor Wên's homosexual proclivities were encouraged by his Taoist studies. He once dreamed that a boatman ferried him over to the Abode of the Immortals. When later he saw a good-looking young boatman called Têng T'ung who resembled the man seen in his dream, he made him his favourite boy-lover, and showered wealth and honour on him. This same Emperor sought assiduously for the Elixir of Life, and together with Taoist adepts engaged in various alchemistic experiments" (: 62).

"The last Emperor of the Former Han dynasty, Ai-ti (6-1 B.C.) had a number of boy-lovers, the best known of them was a certain Tung Hsien. Once when the Emperor was sharing his couch with Tung Hsien, the latter fell asleep lying across the Emperor's sleeve. When the Emperor was called away to grant an audience, he took his sword and cut off his sleeve rather than to disturb the sleep of his favourite. Hence the term tuan-hsiu 'the cut sleeve', has become a literary expression for homosexuality among man" (: 63).

"The ancient Chinese recognized that, apart from other advantages, the completion of the sexual act regulates the blood circulation and relaxes the nervous system (: 69). This is a train of thought where Confucianism and Taoism meet. It brings us to the subject of the handbooks of sex, and the Taoist attitude to sexual relations" (: 70).

"... the commentary states that all these three lived to an advanced age, and always looked like young men... 'He lived to the age of 150 years by practising the art of having sexual intercourse with women, as taught by Jung-ch'êng'... 'Then one's grey hair will turn black again and new teeth will replace those that have fallen out'" (: 71).

"...thereafter she would there let handsome young men drink good wine, and let them stay the night there with her, so that she could practise with them the art described in the book. When she had done so during thirty years, she looked younger still, as if she were only twenty" (: 75)

[handbooks of pictures of positions of the sexual act, given to daughters by parents "in Japan... till well into the 19th century" (: 76);]

"'The people of the present love trifling technical skills, they do not examine the profundity of Tao, they abandon the right and follow the false. They want to arrive at the goal quickly and thus find their path obstructed... And yet those who (really) desire to know the method of partaking of 'the medicine', will find it simple and easy to put into practice'" (: 81).


"... the great musician and philosopher Hsi K'ang (223-262 A.D.), and his bosom friend the poet Yüan Chi (210-263 A.D.). Their close friendship has become the classical example of similar male attachments among poets and artists of later ages — as for instance of the T'ang poets Li Po (701-762) and Mêng Hao-jan (689-740), and Po Chü-i (772-846) and Yüan Chên (779-831)" (: 91).



"Buddhism had been introduced into China in its Mahayanic form, including such magical aspects as that embodied in the Mantrayana, the 'Doctrine of Spells'. The Mantrayanic spells and charms proved to be attractive to both the Chinese literati and to the masses, it appealed to them as a kind of glorified Taoism. Buddhist monks acted as mediums, rain-makers, soothsayers and exorcists, and also Buddhist nuns engaged in these activities" (: 113).

"As soon as the scholar dares to write on this particular subject [sex] he is immediately ostracized. These facts are eloquent proof of how badly ensnarled Chinese literati of the Ch'ing period had become in their own sexual inhibitions" (: 123).

"Every man must regulate his emissions according to the condition of his vital essence. He must never force himself to emit semen. Every time he forces himself to reach orgasm he will harm his system. Therefore, strongly-built men of 15 years can afford to emit semen twice a day; thin ones once a day" (: 146).

"The Plain Girls said: 'The 16th day of the fifth moon is the day when Heaven and Earth mate. On this day one should refrain from sexual intercourse. Those who offend against this taboo will die within three years. In order to obtain proof one has but to suspend a piece of white cloth of one foot long on the evening of that day on the eastern wall (of one's house). If one inspects it the next morning one will find it covered with blood. Thus this day is taboo'" (: 151).

"'If one wishes a proof of the existence of incubi, on has but to repair alone to a marshy place far away in the mountains, in spring or autumn. One should stay there in a condition of complete tranquility, staring into space and concentrating one's thoughts on sexual intercourse. After three days and three nights, the body will suddenly become alternately cold and hot, the heart will be troubled and the vision blurred. Then, a man engaging in this experiment will meet a woman, and a woman a man. During sexual intercourse with such an incubus one will experience a pleasure that is greater than ever felt while copulating with an ordinary human being. But at the same time one will become subject to this disease which is difficult to cure'" (: 152).


"... reading the numerous poems that must date from this part of her life one obtains the impression that Yü Hsüan-chi was a passionate woman of strong personality who would not readily give up a man she was in love with. Her poetry is vigorous and original, she disdained the conventional clichés used in love-poetry of that time" (: 174).

"Every city took pride in its courtezans, and they figured largely in all public festivities" (: 180).

[sexual intercourse as playing a secondary role in men association with courtezans (: 181);]

"... jealous wives would often brand the faces of concubines out of spite, or as a punishment for some offense" (: 186).

"As to the ideal of male and female beauty of that time, one notices that the men cultivated a virile, even martial appearance. They liked thick beards, whiskers and long moustaches, and admired bodily strength. Both civilian and military officials practised archery, riding, sword fighting and boxing, and proficiency in these arts was highly praised" (: 188).

"Lady Wu Chao, who while still a consort of the Emperor T'ai-tsung established sexual relations with his son, the Crown-prince... When she had become Kao-tsung's favourite, she killed her own child and then falsely accused the Empress and another favourite of the Emperor of having murdered it" (: 190).


"'When a fox is fifty years old, it acquires the ability to change itself into a woman. At hundred it can assume the shape of a beautiful girl, or that of a sorcerer, or also that of an adult man who has sexual intercourse with women. At that age the fox knows what is happening at a distance of a thousand miles, it can derange the human mind and reduce a person to an imbecil. When the fox is a thousand years old, it is in communication with Heaven, and is then called Heavenly Fox'" (: 210)



"...the main point of [Vajrayanist] philosophy was that the ultimate Truth resides within the human body... For the body contains the 'spark of life' which through a meditative process can be made to flare up into a fire that destroys the duality of sex and thereby identifies the practitioner with the deity, making him one with the ultimate power in the universe, the Void" (: 340).

[tantrism highly consideration of woman: "... just as Taoism in China. Contrary to traditional Hinduism, Tantrism considered woman as equal to or even higher than man... one should bow to any female, be she a young girl, flushed with youth, or be she old, be she beautiful or ugly, good or wicked..." (: 346);]

"Having perused this summary of Buddhist and Sakta sexual mysticism, it will have struck the reader that there are striking parallels with modern psycho-analytical theories. It would indeed be worth while to consider Indian, Chinese and Tibetan sexual mysticism from the viewpoint of analytical psychology. Apart from such obvious resemblances as that of the libido to sakti in its sense of universal creative energy, the adept's raising of the 'serpent power' could be explained as an attempt at crossing the boundary between the individual consciousness and the collective unconscious... For on the adept's perilous journey into the unconscious he need solid support so as not to succumb to its centrifugal tendencies that might destroy his mind. It does not seem quite impossible that the adepts in sexual mysticism had come to realize dimly through their experiments the terrors of the unconscious" (: 346-47, n. 1).

"Since sexual mysticism based on the coitus reservatus flourished in China since the beginning of our era, whereas it was unknown in India, it seems obvious that this particular feature of the Vajrayana was imported into India from China, probably via Assam" (: 351).

****Robert Hans van Gulik, Sexual Life in Ancient China (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1974). 
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