The Lack of Desire is the Void of Boredom

by Christian Parreno

When I desire you a part of me is gone: your lack is my lack. I would not be in want of you unless you had partaken of me, the lover reasons. ‘A hole is being gnawed in [my] vitals’ says Sappho. ‘You have snatched the lungs out of my chest’ and ‘pierced me tight through the bones’ says Archilochos. ‘You have worn me down’, ‘grated me away’, ‘devoured my flesh’, ‘sucked my blood’, ‘mowed off my genitals’, ‘stolen my reasoning mind’. Eros is expropriation. He robs the body of limbs, substance, integrity and leaves the lover, essentially, less. This attitude toward love is grounded for the Greeks in oldest mythical tradition: Hesiod describes in his Theogony how castration gave birth to the goddess Aphrodite, born from the foam around Ouranos’ severed genitals. Love does not happen without loss of vital self. The lover is the loser. Or so he reckons.

Carson, Anne (2005) Eros the Bittersweet. London – UK. Dalkey Archive. 32

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