[lit-ideas] Re: What, then, is wanting to know?

  • From: Andy Amago <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 13:50:59 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

-----Original Message-----
>From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
>Sent: Feb 27, 2007 12:32 PM
>To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: What, then, is wanting to know?
> >>As far as knowledge being erotic, we need to define erotic.  Carnal 
>knowledge is miniscule, virtually irrelevant "knowledge" paraded as 
>wisdom (your average "maturation story" is virtually always about sexual 
>maturity).  Miniscule, virtually irrelevant knowledge turned into 
>obsession and tragedy.
>Andy, you highlight the negative. Erotic doesn't mean orgasmic. I 
>commend to you the Greek myth "Eros and Psyche" and "Death in Venice" by 
>Thomas Mann. Also consider Socrates and his relation to the young men 
>about him or the relation between Shakespeare and the beloved of his 
>Sonnets. Or the "ladder" of the neoplatonists, where crude erotic love 
>sophisticates itself to knowledge of forms.

Actually, technicalities and Muses apart, erotic is associated with the flesh.  
The beloved of Shakespeare's sonnet is quite of this earth, and the motivation 
of Shakespeare's writing those sonnets is to sway that teenager, Earl of ?? 
(can't remember) to marry.  In the process of writing the sonnets, Shakespeare, 
easily ten years the Earl of ??'s senior, fell in love with him and I think 
they were lovers.  (Shakespeare actually hated his wife.)  So, yes, Shakespeare 
most certainly put his pants on one leg at a time.  When people speak of erotic 
and Eros, they hardly have the forms in mind.  Erotic has to do with sex.  

I would be interested in why you think sex is so obsessed over and so 
overblown.  Why do maturation stories virtually always revolve around sexual 
maturation?  Why are verbal ejaculations (pun intended) that involve sex always 
considered the worst?  That sucks; fuck you, etc. etc.  When Andreas posted 
that beautiful Christmas card by Eric Idle, I thought, gee, this is beautiful, 
and no sex, so it is possible.  Sex is also associated with violence.  
Circumcision, male in the West and female in Islam, what's the point?  Why 
don't people cut off a piece of the ear so they can hear less?  Instead, sex is 
so, what's the word, mysterious, powerful, dangerous, whatever, that males lose 
30% of their sexual tissue and females even worse.  Where is the vaunted human 
spirituality in this?

>Or just as well, the great movie, Groundhog Day, where an erotic 
>obsession, pursued in a day that constantly repeats, leads the character 
>from a coarse and selfish view to a truer understanding of himself, his 
>community, and his beloved.

Naturally, it has to be a sexual experience that brings the character 
enlightenment.  Why not some other thing?  Are humans that simple minded?  
Clearly they are.  

>If Satan is the "spirit that denies," eros is the spirit that affirms. 
>Like the Greek myth or the Mann story, one doesn't want to look that 
>force in the face; otherwise one gets the dark obsessions you describe 

See above, eros has nothing to do with spirit.  Guns and butter, guns or 
butter, and, of course, happiness is a warm gun ...  Missiles are shaped like 
penises.  Eros is a spirit the way a leprechaun is a spirit.  It does not exist 
in real life.  

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