Re-reading favorite fragments from A Lover’s Discourse again.
The Other’s Body
corps / body
Any thought, any feeling, any interest aroused in the amorous subject by the loved body.
1. The other’s body was divided: on one side, the body proper–skin, eyes–tender, warm; and on the other side, the voice–abrupt, reserved, subject to fits of remoteness, a voice which did not give what the body gave. Or further: on one side, the soft, warm, downy, adorable body, and on the other, the ringing, well-formed, worldly voice–always the voice.
2. Sometimes an idea occurs to me: I catch myself carefully scrutinizing the loved body … To scrutinize means to search: I am searching the other’s body, as if I wanted to see what was inside it, as if the mechanical cause of my desire were in the adverse body (I am like those children who take a clock apart in order to find out what time is). This operation is conducted in a cold and astonished fashion; I am calm, attentive, as if I were confronted by a strange insect of which I am suddenly no longer afraid. Certain parts of the body are particularly appropriate to this observation: eyelashes, nails, roots of the hair, the incomplete objects. It is obvious that I am then in the process of fetishizing a corpse. As is proved by the fact that if the body I am scrutinizing happens to emerge from its inertia, if it begins doing something, my desire changes; if for instance I see the other thinking, my desire ceases to be perverse, it again becomes imaginary, I return to an Image, to a Whole: once again, I love.
(I was looking at everything in the other’s face, the other’s body, coldly: lashes, toenail, thin eyebrows, thin lips, the luster of the eyes, a mole, a way of holding a cigarette; I was fascinated–fascination being, after all, only the extreme of detachment–by a kind of colored ceramicized, vitrified figurine in which I could read, without understanding anything about it, the cause of my desire.)