File spoon-archives/french-feminism.archive/french-feminism_1999/french-feminism.9901, message 17

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 16:06:23 +0800
Subject: An original unpublished work GARGOYLE

>by jenny armstrong
>Half way a grotesque and a half way a clown, that is what he reminded me
>of.  As he stood there like a wind gong or a clanging chime, picking up
>snatches of the last few phrases or words he had registered and tossing
>them back, revelling in their meaninglessness when redirected from within
>the hollow inner-workings of the clown.  The fact that they were swear
>words made him rotate and gesticulate in decadence, his eyes protuding like
>a hindu god -- a god with feet of oil and dust.
>Was this the new christianity I had encountered? The grotesque blocked the
>doorway so I could not escape, all the time time insinuating with the greed
>of his eyes that I was "the source of evil",  and that therefore nothing
>that I'd say would ever be taken at face value.
>Screaming at it would only make it worse, as though I was conceding to its
>power, lending it being with my hollow protests.  it wanted to disgust: it
>wanted to show me the full force and arena of what it considered
>disgusting.  it wanted to show me, above all: itself.   it was its inner
>workings that it wanted to reveal and to demand for them nothing less than
>my full approval.   "See", it seemed to leer and grin, "here you and I are
>both created equal.
>"Now nothing that you say is anything but hollowness and chimes.   Don't
>you feel the disgust, as well!  . . . Don't we even share the same
>Reality, for once?"
>The gargoyle rocked on its haunches, its ears flapping, its tongue
>metaphorically protuding ( the shadow-overlay of this mere human being was
>so shocking and repulsive that he seemed to metaphysically change form, to
>become both a thing of horror and of pathos: something less than human;
>some thing that had bracketed itself off from normal human existence.
>Perhaps it would somehow disintegrate?)   In all likelihood it sought its
>own annihilation in this malignant frenzy: the silence of a pain refused;
>an impending disintegration which could only be answered in cold, harsh
>tones; which refused without further recourse any more human,
>life-prolonging warmth and solace: the thing had determined that it wanted
>other than to sustain itself.  ("Would something ever save this from its
>deathly body?")
>The degeneration of reason; a wilful aphasia:  "I'd rather be nothing
>than to have you be Something." The aggregate of Reason: Strength.   This
>is what it sought to destroy completely.  The River Ganges would rise:  The
>statue and all reasoning-strength would be annihilated with it.  THOSE were
>its ostensible goals.  (But could you explain this to an inanimate thing?)
>The thing mocked.  Above all it mocked itself.  "You are destroying
>yourself," say I.  "It is not me that you are destroying."  How much it
>wanted to block its ears and drown out reason.   To merely increase the
>volume of its self-mockery must have seemed to it a dead-end.  It seemed to
>me that this thing of pathos had its life riveted with dead-ends.  Why did
>it need to beat its head against the door to discover yet another one?  It
>wanted comfort from me; reassurance deeper than the Ganges that at heart we
>are all gargoyles -- that there was no real danger, and  that dead-ends
>spelt security:  Above all, it only really wanted hope.  So, here it had
>come with its begging bowl, and its ascetic self-refuting robes, begging
>for reassurance, a few small coins, anything . . .
>Thus, I had been priveleged to see these "inner-workings".


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