…[The] kind of poetry that interests me…[is] intellectual and moral and political and sexual and sensual—all of that fermenting together. It can speak to people who have themselves felt like monsters and say: you are not alone, this is not monstrous.
Poetry can add its grain to an accumulation of consciousness against the idea that there is no alternative—that we’re now just in the great flow of capitalism and it can never be any different—[that] this is human destiny, this is human nature. A poem can add its grain to all the other grains and that is, I think, a rather important thing to do.
”—Adrienne Rich, interviewed by Michael Klein, “A rich life: Adrienne Rich on poetry, politics, and personal revelation.” The Boston Phoenix, June 1999.
“Sartre asks us to imagine a person who, like Othello, is completely overcome with jealousy. Because he is worried that his lover is betraying him, he behaves in ways that we recognize as symptoms of jealousy. He paces the floor nervously, wondering where his lover is. He then decides that he needs to know what is happening, so he peeks through the keyhole of the door to his lover’s room in an attempt to see if she is being unfaithful. Like Othello, while the lover is possessed by jealousy, his entire world is oriented around that emotion. Various things that he sees, like, say, a discarded blouse, become indications of unfaithfulness. His emotion colors his whole world by providing the interpretive framework within which everything he sees is placed. Suddenly, the lover peeking through the keyhole hears a footstep: “There must be someone coming down the hall. They’ll see me. Oh no! What will they think of me? They won’t understand why I’m here. I look so foolish, face pressed to the door. What can I do?” These are the sorts of thoughts we can imagine the jealous lover having. Sartre’s startling claim is that we have just witnessed a radical transformation in the lover’s existence as a result of his presumption that the footsteps he hears indicate he has been seen. Instead of inhabiting a world of which he is the origin – as he did when he was consumed by jealousy, for he took everything as signs to confirm his own emotion – he now exists within a world whose origin is that other who is looking at him. That is, at least in his imagination, the man now sees himself as the other would see him, as just one of an entire ensemble of beings in that other’s world. The other is, as an independent being, the source of his own world and so the lover is consigned to a position within that world. He becomes just another thing in the other’s world. Not only has his existence been stolen by the other, but he himself has been reduced to the status of a mere object in that other’s world. Thus, in this way, he is subject to a double objectification or reification.”—Thomas E. Wartenberg — Existentialism: A Beginner’s Guide (via ludimagister)