January 22, 2006

Eliot says as a young girl I was Hamlet

Hamlet (the man) is dominated by an emotion which is inexpressible, because it is in excess of the facts as they appear... It often occurs in adolescence: the ordinary person puts these feelings to sleep.

T. S. Eliot, ‘Hamlet and his Problems’.

I (the girl) was dominated by an emotion which was inexpressible, because it was in excess of the facts as they appeared. I hate him I hate him I hate him I hate him And the supposed identity of myself with the girl in my diary was genuine to this point: that the diary girl’s bafflement at the absence of an objective equivalent to her feelings was a prolongation of the bafflement of myself in the face of an artistic problem. I’m your problem. Look at me. I’ll eat your heart in the marketplace. Expose you for what you are. That I fear you raping me, hitting me. Remember when I was up against the difficulty that my disgust was occasioned by my father, but that my father was not an adequate equivalent for it; my disgust enveloped and exceeded my father, what would you do if I was drowning? If you were watching on the shore and I was drowning with my eyes so wild? It was thus a feeling which I could not understand; I could not objectify it, and it therefore remained to poison life and obstruct action. None of my diary girl’s actions could satisfy it; and nothing that I could write could express her for myself it is an azure evening: the sky flashes like the inside of a jewelled locket, popped open for my widening eyes, my own wet lips. For my father, downstairs, it is ‘comedy night’. Laughter comes out of his mouth, comes echoing up the stairs and it is not laughter. If he could hear it, if he could hear himself, he would stumble into the kitchen and take the knife from its comfortable home inside the varnished jar by the butter puffs, the oranges (Blood! the fearful blood!) and happy, and achingly sad- I would put my ear to my bedroom carpet. The hight, the levity of the girl from my diary, her repetition of phrase, her puns, were not part of a deliberate plan of dissimulation, but her form of emotional relief. In her character is the buffoonery of an emotion which could find no outlet in this constant tuneless whistling and the sound of his dry fingers rubbing together in her actions; and I want to silence it. Silence for him and for myself it was the buffoonery of an emotion which I could not express in art.


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  • Nice to see these poems again, Niki. I really enjoyed reading them last year. by on this entry
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  • okay red fish–net tights (zzz) Alice as knife… (yay) Alice as bird… (sweetie, lay off the crack)… by Rodney Eats Dildos for Dinner on this entry
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