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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reading Savage's Hide and Drink Through Jaycee Dugard-Reading Jaycee Dugard Through Hide and Drink

Hide and Drink

Edward Cullen Entering the Cafeteria
This is the moment the audience and Bella first see Edward Cullen in Twilight. 

For those who haven't seen the film or read the books,  this is the scene where Edward imagines all the ways he is going to kill Bella and drink her blood. 

All this precedes the opening of Hide and Drink but it is not necessary for reading Hide and Drink, but does add to the horror. Hide and Drink is a fanfic based on Meyer's Twilight.
The resonances with H.P.Lovecraft are inescapable. In Meyer's Twilight Lovecraft is only on the periphery. In Hide and Drink Lovecraft breathes through it. In his book on Lovecraft, Houellebecq has given us a portrait that is loving, respectful and profound. And he has said about Lovecraft, How does he do it! And in fact you cannot know. Lovecraft is all seduction and there is really no way to produce his seductive horror without entering the Order of Seduction and leaving the Order of Production, mimicry,reproduction far behind. I have already said elsewhere that this is what Savage does in Hide and Drink.

Savage has created an Edward from his Double, the monster that emerges and is kept down in the above biology lab scene, but which takes precedence in Hide and Drink. Edward goes to Bella's house, attacks her, drinks from her and instead of draining her and killing her has the idea that if he keeps her he can go on drinking indefinitely until and unless he kills her on purpose or accidentally. So he abducts her and makes her his captive. 

I was taking her blood in gulps. I had to slow down or she would be dead in seconds.And when she dies, this blood will die with her.

There was no other blood like this. Once she was gone, it would no longer be within my grasp. But if I stopped now, she would heal. Her body would make more. The blood would replenish. I could drink again. The promise of more – it was the only incentive that could have caused me to stop.
My tongue slipped over the cut, sealing it. (H&D 1 Bite and Run) And here we have Baudrillard's Impossible Exchange.

He takes her to a remote cabin in Canada. He knows he has to ration her blood, so he decides on every three days. We feel the excessiveness of this and how it weakens her and our anxiety increases with hers. When the three days are up, and she has finished her last meal of the day:

Once she finished her final meal of the day and started to clean up, I decided I had waited long enough.
I inhaled deeply.
There was a difference in the scent from the day before, even if it was slight. It was a little darker, deeper, and more pungent. I watched it flow through the vein in her neck as she reached down into the sudsy water for another supper dish.
I stepped up behind her, my finger drawn there, to that spot just under her ear. I ran my finger along the bluish line and her body stiffened when I touched her.
"Its time," my voice came out in a hoarse whisper. Her breath caught in her throat. (3 Cry and Consume)

And so we enter into a rhythm. The days after he feeds he is more relaxed, he tries to make her comfortable, gets movies for them to watch, is considerate. Gradually his anxiety builds up as his need increases again. But the reader has entered her horror. We know the feeding time is coming again and we, as does Bella, anticipate it in fear. It is the waiting that permeates everything between them and us also. This is the skill Lovecraft has in his stories. Everything is quiet but completely apprehensive, the terror an awful presence. Worse because it is silent and invisible. We wait for Edward's words,

It's time.

Because this is when Death stands there in the room..                                                                                                              
I absolutely could not read this without thinking and feeling the whole time of Jaycee Dugard. Garrido, like Edward, is predictable. They both perseverate, repeat, and the horror of Jaycee feeling the rhythm of his need, knowing the time is approaching again, and being alone in the meantime as Bella is not, is to experience her feelings in an almost intolerable way. Savage has created a fiction that informs us with a knowing. It is worth far more than all the circulating information, fed us by the media, that we know about her captivity.

Edward takes her into the bedroom, restraining her for the drinking and then holds her and soothes her afterwards telling her how sorry he is over and over and over and he knows he will never stop. In Bella's despair she clings to him because there is no one else there for comfort as she sobs.

And it is so very erotic. The reviews often mention that fact and the reviewers feel perverted for feeling that way. So we enter DeSade's world I think. Because it really is erotic in the way it affects the reader.

The novel enters the long slow time of Proust, of primal time, of eating and waiting and sleeping and dreaming and nightmares. The outside world recedes and its demands dissolve. 

Kenzaburo Oe: Every time you stand at a crossroads of life and death, you have two universes in front of you...(A Personal Matter)

Oe on captivity and confinement in Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids

Nonetheless, for aliens like captured wild beasts to be safe before others watching them, it is best to lead the will-less existence of a stone, flower or tree:a purely observed existence. (22)

A dissertation of Marguerite Duras's work at the University of Helsinki:

Sirkka Knuuttila
Fictionalising Trauma
The Aesthetics of Marguerite Duras’s India Cycle

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Two Captives:Jaycee Dugard and Eunice Williams

Both these girls were abducted violently. Jaycee Dugard in 1991 and Eunice Williams in 1704. We have volumes of information about Jaycee from the internet records and many pictures. We have no pictures of Eunice Williams but we have John Demos's book The Unredeemed Captive. Demos has searched through hundreds and hundreds of archival records to uncover her story. So we have a
picture of her in words unlike any captive story in all the captive literature, and it is voluminous


Both girls matured into women during their captivity. Both emerged absolutely unique and Other within the era of their time. Both were searched for and both were eventually "found". Their stories follow a Deleuzean Difference and Repetition perception of each Event. That is, the kidnappings were kidnappings, what might be

termed the same act; however, they are very different even though they are considered as an identical Event, a recurring Event in time.  So if a Foucaudian genealogy is applied to both Events a fold  in history is unfolded. A genealogy identifies the "cut" in time of an Event. In this case we have two Events of abduction separated by 300 years. John  Demos
The Unredeemed Captive

 has spent his time in archives to dig for his data just as Foucault did his entire life researching human behavior (language, sex, science, economics and what is now psychology). The genealogy does not focus too much about the girl/woman herself, recounting only a few appearances, but instead shines a laser beam onto the workings of the culture that each came from in the era in which they lived. Rarely are we so privileged to have a find like this, a genealogy so detailed in both cases, and separated by 300 years in time that gives us an astonishing long look into the North American mind and psychology, the  difference in human behavior between 1991 and 1704.

A genealogy does not attempt to enter the psychological swamp of interpretation. It simply reports data without elaborating on it. The reader is left to form their own feelings, thoughts, judgments, etc as individuals. Questions are posed but only as possible hypotheses.

When we read their stories following Baudrillard, an entirely different perception emerges with a sharp focus on the two women and their singular emergence from captivity. A more mythical frame can be imagined: Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Ariadne in her Labyrinth, the kind of ordeal or trial the Jungian analyst Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes in her book Women Who Run With the Wolves. She allows us to think of both women as undamaged, as does Baudrillard. Two women who are not sick from their ordeal, not damaged, not in need of being fixed, not needing to be healed, but completely Other, completely unique and whole. This allows each woman to think of herself as a heroine of major import, not a poor victim as society labels her.
Women Who Run With the Wolves