Wittkop & Baudrillard
Reification through polar opposites
I’m having a delight reading Gabrielle Wittkop’s Necrophile & Murder Most Serene, but this quote from the latter stood out:
"...the church of San Barnaba, where filthy old men exhibit their flacidity in the semi-darkness, using a tobacco horn and wearing half fingered gloves. One of these, masked chalk-white, cannot resist the delicious pleasure provoked by leaving obscene drawings between the pages of the missals, in spite of the danger. He does it not so much to enthrall bodies as to disturb souls, through these images (whose very lack of transcendence imbues them with a formidable, mechanical power) may, by their violent effect, produce quite the opposite result, Shameful fascination and no les shameful repulsion serve as mutual mirrors, but the horror of the flesh prevails, perhaps, over its appeal, so that the images may indeed contribute to the salvation of souls; disgust at fornication in all its forms may be transmuted to elevating energy, and the mystic's vile wilting may reveal the face of his god."
I am once again reminded of Baudrillard on Watergate; God is revealed through shame and revulsion at a perceived opposite in the same way the United States is strengthened by the punishment of one of its own rotten functionaries. Systems simulate the dialectic in order to prevent the real thing from happening.
Food for thought