Monday, January 03, 2011

Failings and Feminisms

Brain bursting. I recently read Eileen Myles new book Inferno (which you can't buy at amazon, dears, you have to go to O/R books website - which is either an amazing or really limiting way of distributing, of course we hope for the former). In it, Myles maps out a most productive period of writing in which she spent time at a denizen's country house. There she would rise at 8:30 and heavily caffeinate. Around 9 she would read until she felt full, which she admits to typically achieve in under an hour. Then for a run, two laps around the land. Then an hour of... not meditation per se but a time to clear thoughts and attempt to think at nothing (though, after the run, Myles admits much of her thoughts centered around breakfast). Then the breakfast she was holding out for. Then, and only then, would she sit down to write. If this schedule was interrupted in any way she would not feel confident in the afternoon's writing and the day, while not wasted, became somewhat more dubious.

I've been trying to do this type of routine lately. Of course, given my hatred of all things athletic, I nix the workout portion and I've been too voracious to allow for just 1 hour of morning reading. Basically, I am failing in such formulaic attempts at a morning routine since I get to bound up in step 2, reading. I'm trying to cut out internet as much as possible, so I sit in bed for 2 sometimes 3 hours a morning reading. Today I turned back to my first love: psychoanalytic film theory and now my head hurts, swimming in a sea of castration anxiety and feminine as masquerade. I'd never actually read Mary Ann Doane's "Film and the Masquerade: Theorising the Female Spectator" (which is an embarrassing admission with a masters in Cinema Cultures - though I've read her book The Desire to Desire a couple times) so I did a bit of that this morning before sitting down to work on a catalogue essay for Margaret Tedesco's upcoming show at [2nd Floor Projects] of ephemeral work by Marco Vassi and the Daughters of Houdini. Doane served a good counterpoint. The Daughters of Houdini are great since they use the zine format to send up phallocentric pathology. Wonderfully crude drawings accompany texts like "Jesus, I'm glad I don't have health insurance So's I'm not tempted to support the medic patriarchs!" while one comic traces the hysterical letting loose of their lesbian wombs. They fly off into the sunset, only to be scrutinized and netted by ornithologists! More on the daughters soon...
(Eileen photo by Claude Peck)


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