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Diana at Her Bath / The Women of Rome

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These two essays explore sexual tropes, rituals, and mores of Roman antiquity from a thoroughly modern perspective. While attentive to the historical interpretations of the mythical meeting of Diana and Actaeon, and the sexual rituals of ancient Rome, Klossowski's studies bring to the reader the affinity the author has for his subject matter. These two essays explore sexual tropes, rituals, and mores of Roman antiquity from a thoroughly modern perspective. While attentive to the historical interpretations of the mythical meeting of Diana and Actaeon, and the sexual rituals of ancient Rome, Klossowski's studies bring to the reader the affinity the author has for his subject matter.


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These two essays explore sexual tropes, rituals, and mores of Roman antiquity from a thoroughly modern perspective. While attentive to the historical interpretations of the mythical meeting of Diana and Actaeon, and the sexual rituals of ancient Rome, Klossowski's studies bring to the reader the affinity the author has for his subject matter. These two essays explore sexual tropes, rituals, and mores of Roman antiquity from a thoroughly modern perspective. While attentive to the historical interpretations of the mythical meeting of Diana and Actaeon, and the sexual rituals of ancient Rome, Klossowski's studies bring to the reader the affinity the author has for his subject matter.

30 review for Diana at Her Bath / The Women of Rome

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sean Tatol

    Diana at Her Bath is one of the oddest pieces of writing I know. It is both and neither a speculative essay on, and a fictional narrative reenactment of, the myth of Actaeon, each brief section shifting along with the obscure variations of the myth as well as following Klossowski's own salacious reading into the details. The effect is like a kaleidoscope vision of the figure of the nude goddess Diana entering her bath and watched by Actaeon from the nearby bushes. The image repeats itself but co Diana at Her Bath is one of the oddest pieces of writing I know. It is both and neither a speculative essay on, and a fictional narrative reenactment of, the myth of Actaeon, each brief section shifting along with the obscure variations of the myth as well as following Klossowski's own salacious reading into the details. The effect is like a kaleidoscope vision of the figure of the nude goddess Diana entering her bath and watched by Actaeon from the nearby bushes. The image repeats itself but constantly shifts details, durations, inner narratives of the figures, which serves to renew the image and hold it fixed in the reader's mind for the whole of the piece. All of Klossowski's hallmarks are here: objectification, the Eternal Return, cruelty, a woman refusing sexual attentions who, through minute gestures, betrays her own arousal. This review is being written after rereading only Diana at Her Bath. As I recall, The Women of Rome is a much more conventional scholarly work on religious sexuality in Rome. Very interesting and enjoyable in its own right but nowhere near as singular.

  2. 5 out of 5

    immaculata form

    Konnte Aktaion seine eigene Sage kennen und absichtlich in Raserei geraten? Oder aber war ihm diese Sage stets vorausgegangen, war seine Raserei allzu simuliert, allzu genau abgestimmt, allzu langsam, um jemals die Sage erreichen zu können? Aktaion raste in der Tat, weil er wußte, daß er raste. Und weil er an der Keuschheit der Artemis zweifelte, zweifelte er auch an seiner eigenen Verwandlung. Da tötete Aktaion, der fürchtete nicht Aktaion zu sein, den Hirsch, schlug ihm den Kopf ab und setzte Konnte Aktaion seine eigene Sage kennen und absichtlich in Raserei geraten? Oder aber war ihm diese Sage stets vorausgegangen, war seine Raserei allzu simuliert, allzu genau abgestimmt, allzu langsam, um jemals die Sage erreichen zu können? Aktaion raste in der Tat, weil er wußte, daß er raste. Und weil er an der Keuschheit der Artemis zweifelte, zweifelte er auch an seiner eigenen Verwandlung. Da tötete Aktaion, der fürchtete nicht Aktaion zu sein, den Hirsch, schlug ihm den Kopf ab und setzte sich diesen auf. Und seine eigenen Hunde wandten sich, als sie ihn wiedererkannt hatten, von ihm ab und verließen ihn.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    A French style travelogue into the Greek mind of nymphs, daimons, crescent moons, and silver bows, long before Plato rationalized them. I'm digging it. A French style travelogue into the Greek mind of nymphs, daimons, crescent moons, and silver bows, long before Plato rationalized them. I'm digging it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alex Obrigewitsch

    Nunc tibi me posito visam velamine narres / Si poteris narrare, licet. These divine words, haunting this text, evoked and figured in its folds and twists, are addressed here, to me, as much as they were to Actaeon himself in the myth here in question. May I speak? Perhaps I may only give a sign. Endlessly repeating, staging the mise-en-scène, of this refigured myth of vision, the vision of this myth, no less of transformation (of passion and transgression, the play of fate), from a multiplicity of Nunc tibi me posito visam velamine narres / Si poteris narrare, licet. These divine words, haunting this text, evoked and figured in its folds and twists, are addressed here, to me, as much as they were to Actaeon himself in the myth here in question. May I speak? Perhaps I may only give a sign. Endlessly repeating, staging the mise-en-scène, of this refigured myth of vision, the vision of this myth, no less of transformation (of passion and transgression, the play of fate), from a multiplicity of entangled perspectives, Klossowski opens the demonic question of the infinite desire of the unapprehendable, which consumes us in the unspeakable agony of our passions. And here, as everywhere, desire is intricately bound to fiction and fictioning, the simulacral dissimulation of truth. As the perspectives unfold, shedding layers of the myth which were perhaps before unspoken, perhaps only now fictively written in, the complexity of the scene of vision, of desire, and of the shifting grounds of our existence are woven not only into the myth itself, but into the larger tapestry of Klossowski's thought and oeuvre, as a figural simulacrum of a miniature, a mise-en-abyme. Can what was witnessed there, in secret, ever be expressed without deception or defiguration? Perhaps more problematic is the question of whether what was witnessed, what is eternally being witnessed, borne witness to, was ever free from the affect of a dissimulation. Was the virgin, verging ever on the limits of possibility, untrammeled, untouched, unsullied? Was the virginal ever pure, ever purely virginal - even as desire? Klossowski notes that Actaeon may only approach, and so broach, this question, this truth, this question of truth, by means of a lie, a dissimulation, a falsity. Is this not the myth redoubling itself, figuring its own operation, its own truth, in simulacrum? For myth, as figural speech, the fictioning of the image which is explicit dissimulation or double of an unspeakable past or divine scene, is essentially faulted, the conscious masking of an absence of face, expressing this absence in its very absence through the figure of the mask. Thus does this myth invoke and present, rendering visible in the simulacrum, the working and unworking of myth itself, and thus of art more generally - the presentation of the truth is always already, by necessity, bound to a masking, a dissimulation, an untruth. Truth, if it "is" anything, remains silent, absent, inexpressible and unexpressed. Bodies, desires, identities, fate - so much is bound up and intricately entwined in the dissimulative myth which is woven and unwoven in our vision, before our very eyes, in this masterful work. For I have only said so little, touching upon but the flesh, perhaps, of this playful work. So much more remains unsaid, silent, here. Perhaps this might be one of the keys to Klossowski's thought and work - one might say this, were it not but an-other manifestation, a (re)doubled repetition of the same phantasmic obsession that acts itself out everywhere in the work and thought of this great monomaniac. The key is everywhere also the lock, the frame the image, the margin at the heart, (re)doubled. * The above is obviously in reference to but the first of the two works that compose this volume. The second, on the appropriation of sacred prostitution and ancient, chthonic matriarchal rites into Roman culture and the figuration of the feminine, and how this (re)doubles the movement of the divine from the temple to the stage, in an explicit rendering or (un)masking presentation of parody. While this essay is certainly of interest, it is far more traditional in its style than the former piece in this volume, and its scope of interest is similarly restricted to those who might study such a historical phenomenon. Again, while of value, it remains in the shadow of the brilliant star which precedes it - just as the ancients believed that the moon garnered its radiance from the sun.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Schuschu

    Odd that I was less intrigued by the transfeminism of Ancient Rome and more intrigued by how much gaze figures into sexuality.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mikael

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melinda Morgenstern

  9. 5 out of 5

    Phil

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alisa Alig

  11. 4 out of 5

    Freddie

  12. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nightocelot

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lasław

  15. 5 out of 5

    Addison Hart

  16. 4 out of 5

    Souftas Konstantinos

  17. 4 out of 5

    Zack Vaughan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Diana

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alex Yang

  21. 4 out of 5

    Steven Felicelli

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rusty

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carson

  25. 4 out of 5

    James

  26. 5 out of 5

    Robby Kee

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jean-paul

  28. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Metelski

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Bienvenu

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

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