Guest Post: episode V of Hunter’s Trance: Cunt Estreat b/w Sur Face

Posted on January 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

For this post I have the pleasure of presenting a piece from the continuing Hunter’s Trance series by de Bentvueghels who, if all goes well, will have a book on Fort!/da? Press. The work included below has some controversy attached to it, mainly by virtue of it’s original title, Cunt Lore.

Although an erudite short piece, the word ‘cunt’ sets off alarums in many people the way few words do. Following Cunt Lore will be another version of that piece. The author puts the relation to the first work thusly:

[the] second version of Hunter’s Trance Ep 5 [….] duplicates as it were a chiastic structure found in the original – where the main text is mirrored by the notes so as to create two Vs – a figure already prefigured or foregrounded in the X in the lower half of the Book of Kells Tunc page.

By setting up a mirror episode, albeit one in a faulty mirror, risks or engenders a sense of Vertigo which perhaps is one aim of this exercise.

—-

Hunter’s Trance. Episode V: Cunt Estreat

A guest post by de Bentvueghels

Previous episode here http://arts.hurryupharry.org/2010/01/09/hunters-trance-episode-four/

Cuntense

1. V
2. Litters slittering up and louds of letter slettering down
3. The Cunt Coloring Book
4. The Rainbow Portrait
5. House of Cunt: “The plaintiffs were estopped by grand playsaunce.”

1. V

“At the end of the first chapter of his Allegory:Theory of a Symbolic Mode, Angus Fletcher noted that allegory always tends toward the geometrical and diagrammatical dimensions of language, toward a duplicitous writing that calls for two different and simultaneous modes of apprehension. Substitution of different typeface in modern editions all but obliterates this will-to-diagram the printed word. Obviously the fifth chapter of the third volume, ‘Sur des vers de Virgile,’ requires that ‘V’ hang over the contents ‘like’ both a cutting blade and a monogram for the female pudenda; the letter synthesizes sexual difference, which the long essay takes such pain to suggest in discursive ellipsis. Frame’s edition – among others – uses the ‘5’ to signal what Florio’s word apprehended immediately with its use of ‘V.’ On typographical grounds alone, it can be argued that Florio’s is the only possible translation of Montaigne.” (1)

“I shall not fail to include among these precepts a new discovery, an aid to reflection, which although it seems a small thing and almost laughable, nevertheless is very useful in stimulating the mind to various discoveries. This is: look at walls splashed with a number of stains or stones of various colours. If you have to invent some scene, you can see there resemblances to a number of landscapes adorned in various ways with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, great plains, valleys and hills. Moreover, you can see various battles, and rapid actions of figures, strange expressions on faces, costumes, and an infinite number of things, which you can reduce to good, integrated form. This happens thus on walls and varicoloured stones, as in the sound of bells, in whose pealing you can find every name and word you can imagine.

[…]

Do not despise my opinion when I remid you that it should not be hard for you to stop sometimes and look into the stains on walls, or the ashes of a fire, or clouds, or mud, or like things, in which, if you consider them well, you will find really marvellous ideas. The mind of the painter is stimulated to new discoveries, the composition of battles of animals and men, various compositions of landscapes and monstrous things and similar creations, which may bring you honour, because the mind is stimulated to new inventions by obscure things.” (2)

2. Litters slittering up and louds of letter slettering down

“‘And you can haul up that languil pennant, mate. I’ve read your tunc’s dismissage.’ (298.6)

This proves, I think, that Joyce was claiming to have discovered an appositeness for the diagram as an illustration of a part of a woman’s body named by an anagram of Tunc. The ‘tenebrous Tunc page’ has a serpentine capital T in the top half followed by a line of capitals reading UNCCR and then a smaller capital U. The decorated capital T Joyce calls ‘Big Whiggler’ (284.25) following this by ‘NCR’. In the bottom half of the page in The Book of Kells the words are arranged in two triangles with apexes touching to form a St Andrew’s cross. This with ‘lines of litters slittering up and louds of letter slettering down’ (114.17), gives yet another parallel with the Finnegans Wake MS.” (3)

“Yet that is not in the end my point. There is another near miss, a mix-up of the middle two letters in the word cunt. I don’t think the critic necessarily meant by what we on the East coast would mean by cunt. I think there was a transposition of the n and the u. Quite understandable. Easily done. Happens a lot. It is the figure of synchesis or confusion of letters. And, of course, the u is an n upside down. All of which is to say that the word that fit was Cnut. A Cnut of a bloke, meaning a fossil, an archaism, and the equivalent of King Cnut. It is pronounced Canute but spelled Cnut.

[…]

I need to point out that the Cnutist makes a virtue of failure. Cnut turned his impotence into a powerful lesson. There is an exquisite closeness and a didactic miss. And part of the lesson was obviously that failure is something to learn from and specifically that we need to recognise who we are. There are a lot of things, sovereign or subject, Cnutist or Marxist, liberal or feminist, that we just cannot do. Sooner or later you are going to have to face up to your near misses. And perhaps surprisingly given how little account history has paid to Cnutism, it turns out to be quite an optimistic enterprise.” (4)

3. The Cunt Coloring Book


“I knew that the things we don’t have names for, or images of, are the ones we label crazy and bad. I believed that reclaiming labial imagery was a route to claiming personal power for women. Using soft pencils, I did drawings of every woman who would let me, then I used tracing paper to translate them into easy-to-reproduce ink drawings. I made copies on card stock and sold them through local women’s bookstores. I learned there was a market for these images. Women liked them, liked to hang them on their walls, and give them as gifts.

By November 1975, I had turned the drawings into a coloring book called The Cunt Coloring Book. No other name seemed really to fit, although the word ‘cunt’ was not one with which I was particularly comfortable. The alliteration, though, was nice. I also liked the idea of combining a street term for genitalia with a coloring book, because both are ways that, as children, we get to know the world.” (5)

4. The Rainbow Portrait

“Nonetheless, if the erotics of the portrait entail a contemporary reading of the mantle’s folds as mouths or vaginas, the political dimension of the queen’s erotic allure cannot be ignored.

[…]

John M. Archer reads the folds as ‘tongues,’ the shift from Frye’s to Strong’s to Fineman’s to Archer’s interpretation of the folds indicating the difficulty critics have had in attributing meaning to the fold, itself a particularly canny iconic representation of a sliding signifier. The painting clearly eroticizes Elizabeth’s body, whether or not one sees the portrait in the same way as Fineman, Frye, Archer, and Strong. The ambiguous folds, in combination with the vaguely phallic rainbow and the string of pearls looped suggestively round Elizabeth’s genital area, image an erotic potential complicit with the sovereign vitality the portrait projects. Moreover, the capacity to transfix with both an erotics of ambiguity and an ambiguous erotics fortifies the absolutist dimensions of the portrait, for Elizabethan absolutism depended on precisely such an effect both to create its allure and veil its weaknesses.” (6)

5. House of Cunt: “The plaintiffs were estopped by grand playsaunce.”


“A percentage of guys still do it to their wives, or so the pollsters would have us believe. Wouldn’t be totally freakish. Wonder what the smell is like. If she even. The swampy scent Roseanna exuded in her twenties, most unique, not at all fishy but vegetative, rooty, in the muck with the rot. Loved it. Took you right to the edge of gagging, and then, in its depths something so sinister that, boom-o, beyond repugnance into the promised land, to where all one’s being resides in one’s nose, where existence amounts to nothing more or less than the feral, foaming cunt, where the thing that matters most in the world – is the world – is the frenzy that’s in your face. ‘There! No – there! Right … there! There! There! There! Yes! There!’ Their ecstatic machinery would have dazzled Aquinas had his senses experienced its economy. If anything served Sabbath as an argument for the existence of God, if anything marked creation with God’s essence, it was the thousands upon thousands of orgasms dancing on the head of that pin. The mother of the microchip, the triumph of evolution, right up with the retina and the tympanic membrane. I wouldn’t mind growing one myself, in the middle of my forehead like Cyclop’s eye. Why do they need jewellery, when they have that? What’s a ruby next to that? There for no reason other than the reason that it’s there for. Not to run water through, not to spread seed, but included in the package like the toy at the bottom of old Cracker Jack box, a gift to each and every little girl from God. All hail the Maker, a generous, wonderful, fun-loving guy with a real soft spot for women.” (7)

A poly-tics of conjury rather than conjuring tricks, suspending an art of cundiction, without consummation or consequence?

Notes

(1) Tom Conley. “Institutionalizing Translation: On Florio’s Montaigne” in Demarcating the Disciplines: Philosophy Literature Art. editor: Samuel Weber, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1986, p. 59, n. 4.

(2) Leonardo da Vinci. Trattato, cod. urb. lat. 1270, 35v, Modo d’aumentare e destare l’ingenio a varie inventioni (How to expand the mind and conduct various inventions) in Philippe MacMahon, trans. Treatise on Painting, Princeton, New Jersey, 1956, vol.1, pp. 50-51 and vol.2, passim.

(3) James Atherton. The Books at the Wake: A study of literary allusions in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Faber & Faber, London, 1959, pp. 65-66.

(4) Peter Goodrich. “A Fragment on Cnutism with Brief Divagations on the Philosophy of the Near Miss” Journal of Law and Society, Law and Literature, edited by Patrick Hanafin, Adam Gearey, Joseph Brooker, Volume 31, Number 1, March 2004. Goodrich here explains how he has received an email from a colleague attaching a chapter from a doctoral thesis he is supervising, which includes an anecdote about a comment found in a copy of his Legal Discourse:

“This book is written by a cunt of a bloke. Fucked if I can understand it!” (p. 133)

Goodrich imagines, or rather, sitting with the synecdoche and riding with the metalepsis, estreats the frustration of the comment’s author, suggesting that, given his having been ‘fucked’ by a book, he should talk to an analyst about his pattern of object choice, as so:

“Just as an aside, the analysis could get pretty complicated. Imagine how it would go: ‘my lover is a Lacanian and so he refuses to say his own name’; ‘she follows Zizek and only ever allows me to look at her genitalia’; ‘I know he is besotted with Irigaray but help us through the differences’; ‘he has been reading Judith Butler and now he is convinced that he has to fake all his orgasms’; ‘he is a decontructionist and so whenever we arrange to meet it is never in the same place’; ‘he’s an old fashioned Sartrean and only loves me for what I am not’; ‘she’s a Levinasian and will only make love to my face.” (p.135, n.3.)

Of course, one might also subject Goodrich to similar sessions:

“My lover is a Goodrichean and proximity has become painful”; “she follows Goodrich and now flushes a lot”, “I know he is besotted with Goodrich but help us get closer”; “she has been reading Goodrich and misplaces my letters all the time”; “he’s an old fashioned Goodrichean and estreats me bad”; “she’s a Goodrichean and keeps looking through me.”

Or, as Miss Prism might have placed it, “The good end happily, and the bad end unhappily. That is what Fiction means.” (Quoted by Joel Fineman, The Subjectivity Effect in Western Literary Tradition: Essays Toward the Release of Shakespeare’s Will. An October Book, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA and London, England, 1991, p. 38.

However, all joking aside, Goodrich concludes his brief examination of Cnutism with a sobering reflection, one that one might be tempted to read with the optimism which Goodrich alludes to earlier: “… that this is all there is: a painful proximity, an exquisite flush, a near miss, that comes along with passing through.” (p.141.)

(5) Tee A. Corinne. “Artist’s Statement:On Sexual Art” Feminist Studies, Vol. 19, No.2, Women’s Bodies and the State (Summer, 1993), pp. 369-376. Copies of the Cunt Coloring Book may be obtained at Amazon as well as Coco de Mer which usually has some on its shelves http://www.coco-de-mer.com/Splash.html Rather oddly the British Library does not hold a copy – in case, perhaps, readers are tempted to try their colouring skills?

(6) Daniel Fischlin. “Political Allegory, Absolutist Ideology, and the ‘Rainbow Portrait’ of Queen Elizabeth I” Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 50, No. 1 (Spring, 1997), pp. 184-185. Fischlin comments that Joel Fineman is transfixed by the erotics of the portrait, and here is Fineman on the ‘salacious ear .. which covers and discovers the genitals of Queen Elizabeth’: “Given all this, what is genuinely mysterious and surprising about the Rainbow Portrait, especially if we assume this large picture was originally displayed at court, is the way the painting places an exceptionally pornographic ear over Queen Elizabeth’s genitals, in the crease formed where the two folds of her dress fold over on each other, at the wrinkled conclusion of the arc projected by the dildo-like rainbow clasped so imperially by the Virgin Queen. I think of this ear as one version of the ‘increase’ that ‘from fairest creatures we desire’ to which I earlier referred. In reproduction, the vulva-like quality of the ear is perhaps not so readily apparent, but, enlarged and in florid color, the erotic quality of the image is really quite striking, as is the oddly colorless quality of the rainbow, a kind of dead rainbow.”
The Subjectivity Effect in Western Literary Tradition: Essays Toward the Release of Shakespeare’s Will. An October Book, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA and London, England, 1991, p. 228.

(7) Philip Roth. Sabbath’s Theater. Jonathan Cape, London, 1995, pp. 434-435.

NB: ‘Estreat’ is a legal term for a figure or resemblance, and is commonly used for the copy or true note of an original writing.

—-

take 2/episode 5

Hunter’s Trance. Episode Five: Sur Face

A guest post by de Bentvueghels

Previous episode here http://arts.hurryupharry.org/2010/01/09/hunters-trance-episode-four/

Contents

1. V
2. Litters slittering up and louds of letter slettering down
3. Viragos intactas
4. The Rainbow Portrait
5. Venusberg: “The plaintiffs were estopped by grand playsaunce.”

1. V

“At the end of the first chapter of his Allegory:Theory of a Symbolic Mode, Angus Fletcher noted that allegory always tends toward the geometrical and diagrammatical dimensions of language, toward a duplicitous writing that calls for two different and simultaneous modes of apprehension. Substitution of different typeface in modern editions all but obliterates this will-to-diagram the printed word. Obviously the fifth chapter of the third volume, ‘Sur des vers de Virgile,’ requires that ‘V’ hang over the contents ‘like’ both a cutting blade and a monogram for the female pudenda; the letter synthesizes sexual difference, which the long essay takes such pain to suggest in discursive ellipsis. Frame’s edition – among others – uses the ‘5’ to signal what Florio’s word apprehended immediately with its use of ‘V.’ On typographical grounds alone, it can be argued that Florio’s is the only possible translation of Montaigne.” (1)

“I shall not fail to include among these precepts a new discovery, an aid to reflection, which although it seems a small thing and almost laughable, nevertheless is very useful in stimulating the mind to various discoveries. This is: look at walls splashed with a number of stains or stones of various colours. If you have to invent some scene, you can see there resemblances to a number of landscapes adorned in various ways with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, great plains, valleys and hills. Moreover, you can see various battles, and rapid actions of figures, strange expressions on faces, costumes, and an infinite number of things, which you can reduce to good, integrated form. This happens thus on walls and varicoloured stones, as in the sound of bells, in whose pealing you can find every name and word you can imagine.

Do not despise my opinion when I remind you that it should not be hard for you to stop sometimes and look into the stains on walls, or the ashes of a fire, or clouds, or mud, or like things, in which, if you consider them well, you will find really marvellous ideas. The mind of the painter is stimulated to new discoveries, the composition of battles of animals and men, various compositions of landscapes and monstrous things and similar creations, which may bring you honour, because the mind is stimulated to new inventions by obscure things.” (2)

2. Litters slittering up and louds of letter slettering down


“‘And you can haul up that languil pennant, mate. I’ve read your tunc’s dismissage.’ (FW 298.6)

This proves, I think, that Joyce was claiming to have discovered an appositeness for the diagram as an illustration of a part of a woman’s body named by an anagram of Tunc. The ‘tenebrous Tunc page’ has a serpentine capital T in the top half followed by a line of capitals reading UNCCR and then a smaller capital U. The decorated capital T Joyce calls ‘Big Whiggler’ (284.25) following this by ‘NCR’. In the bottom half of the page in The Book of Kells the words are arranged in two triangles with apexes touching to form a St Andrew’s cross. This with ‘lines of litters slittering up and louds of letter slettering down’ (114.17), gives yet another parallel with the Finnegans Wake MS.” (3)

“Yet that is not in the end my point. There is another near miss, a mix-up of the middle two letters in the word cunt. I don’t think the critic necessarily meant by what we on the East coast would mean by cunt. I think there was a transposition of the n and the u. Quite understandable. Easily done. Happens a lot. It is the figure of synchesis or confusion of letters. And, of course, the u is an n upside down. All of which is to say that the word that fit was Cnut. A Cnut of a bloke, meaning a fossil, an archaism, and the equivalent of King Cnut. It is pronounced Canute but spelled Cnut.

[…]

I need to point out that the Cnutist makes a virtue of failure. Cnut turned his impotence into a powerful lesson. There is an exquisite closeness and a didactic miss. And part of the lesson was obviously that failure is something to learn from and specifically that we need to recognise who we are. There are a lot of things, sovereign or subject, Cnutist or Marxist, liberal or feminist, that we just cannot do. Sooner or later you are going to have to face up to your near misses. And perhaps surprisingly given how little account history has paid to Cnutism, it turns out to be quite an optimistic enterprise.” (4)

3. Viragos intactas

“I rise, O fair assemblage! Andcommincio. Now then, after this introit of exordium, my galaxy girls, quiproquo of directions to henservants I was asking his advice on the strict T.T. from Father Mike, P.P., my orational dominican and confessor doctor,
C.C.D.D. (buy the birds, he was saying as he yerked me under the ribs sermon in an offrand way and confidence petween peas
like ourselves in soandso many nuncupiscent words about how he had been confarreating teat-a-teat with two viragos intactas about what an awful life he led, poorish priced, uttering mass for a coppall of geldings and what a lawful day it was, there and then, for a consommation with an effusion and how, by all the manny larries ate pignatties, how, hell in tunnels, he’d marry me any old buckling time as flying quick as he’d look at me) and I am giving youth now again in words of style byaway of offertory
hisand mikeadvice, an it place the person, as ere he retook him to his cure, those verbs he said to me. From above. The most
eminent bishop titular of Dubloonik to all his purtybusses in Dellabelliney. Comeallyedimseldamsels, siddle down and lissle
all! Follow me close! Keep me in view! Understeady me saries! Which is to all practising massoeurses from a preaching freer and
be a gentleman without a duster before a parlourmade without a spitch. Now. During our brief apsence from this furtive
feugtig season adhere to as many as probable of the ten commandments. touching purgations and indulgences and in the long
run they will prove for your better guidance along your path of right of way. Where the lisieuse are we and what’s the first sing
to be sung? Is it rubrics, mandarimus, pasqualines, or verdidads is in it, or the bruiselivid indecores of estreme voyoulence and,
for the lover of lithurgy, bekant or besant, where’s the fate’s to be wished for? Several sindays after whatsintime. I’ll sack that sick server the minute I bless him. That’s the mokst I can do for his grapce. Economy of movement, axe why said. I’ve a hopesome’s choice if I chouse of all the sinkts in the colander.” (5)

4. The Rainbow Portrait

“Nonetheless, if the erotics of the portrait entail a contemporary reading of the mantle’s folds as mouths or vaginas, the political dimension of the queen’s erotic allure cannot be ignored.

[…]

John M. Archer reads the folds as ‘tongues,’ the shift from Frye’s to Strong’s to Fineman’s to Archer’s interpretation of the folds indicating the difficulty critics have had in attributing meaning to the fold, itself a particularly canny iconic representation of a sliding signifier. The painting clearly eroticizes Elizabeth’s body, whether or not one sees the portrait in the same way as Fineman, Frye, Archer, and Strong. The ambiguous folds, in combination with the vaguely phallic rainbow and the string of pearls looped suggestively round Elizabeth’s genital area, image an erotic potential complicit with the sovereign vitality the portrait projects. Moreover, the capacity to transfix with both an erotics of ambiguity and an ambiguous erotics fortifies the absolutist dimensions of the portrait, for Elizabethan absolutism depended on precisely such an effect both to create its allure and veil its weaknesses.” (6)

5. Venusberg: “The plaintiffs were estopped by grand playsaunce.”

“Castle construction became in the twentieth century the speciality of haunted Californians and (as in Kafka’s The Castle or Ludwig’s Bavaria) of their correspondents on the other side of the same unconscious. In San Jose, for example, the haunted heiress of typewriter and gun money feverishly rebuilt and expanded the Remington fortress estate according to a layout conceived in the ongoing attempt to misguide the approach and reproach of phantoms. (Similar avoidance mechanisms were built in Fresno and Death Valley.) At San Simeon, Hearst projected the souvenir, ultimately, of his two-year European trip alone (in early adolescence) with his mother.

[…]

The bicoastal orbit of California increasingly comes full circuit as Disneyland replicas are placed ever closer to Neuschwanstein, the model of the Disney castle and crypt (paintings in the Singer’s Hall are previews of Bambi). King Ludwig II, himself the advance preview of the case of D., combined gadget love with background music. The grotto at Linderhof was an experimental electrification project which Siemens provided (when the red light shone it was Venusberg; blue light on meant Capri). It was the primal amusement-park float or ride: its mix of late Romanticism and turbine-powered media technology promised the small world after all. While the hidden band played in the grotto, Ludwig drifted in the swan-shaped boat to the backup tunes of the generators making waves and Wagner. This continental drift coupled the king with Sacher-Masoch (and his mistress). But since those were still ‘individuals,’ it remained a blind date without consummation or consequence. Once the couplification of drives was admitted by mass culture, Ludwig would become, in the trail of his withdrawal into suicide, one of the ghost writers of Disney culture.” (7)


Tics of conjure rather than conjuring tricks, suspending an art of cundiction, without consummation or consequence?

Notes

(1) Tom Conley. “Institutionalizing Translation: On Florio’s Montaigne” in Demarcating the Disciplines: Philosophy Literature Art. editor: Samuel Weber, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1986, p. 59, n. 4.

(2) Leonardo da Vinci. Trattato, cod. urb. lat. 1270, 35v, Modo d’aumentare e destare l’ingenio a varie inventioni (How to expand the mind and conduct various inventions) in Philippe MacMahon, trans. Treatise on Painting, Princeton, New Jersey, 1956, vol.1, pp. 50-51 and vol.2, passim.

(3) James Atherton. The Books at the Wake: A study of literary allusions in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Faber & Faber, London, 1959, pp. 65-66.

(4) Peter Goodrich. “A Fragment on Cnutism with Brief Divagations on the Philosophy of the Near Miss” Journal of Law and Society, Law and Literature, edited by Patrick Hanafin, Adam Gearey, Joseph Brooker, Volume 31, Number 1, March 2004. Goodrich has received an email from a colleague attaching a chapter from a doctoral thesis he is supervising, which includes an anecdote about a comment found in a copy of his Legal Discourse:

“This book is written by a cunt of a bloke. Fucked if I can understand it!” (p. 133)

Goodrich imagines, or rather, sitting with the synecdoche and riding with the metalepsis, estreats the frustration of the comment’s author, suggesting that he should talk to an analyst about his pattern of object choice, as so:

“Just as an aside, the analysis could get pretty complicated. Imagine how it would go: ‘my lover is a Lacanian and so he refuses to say his own name’; ‘she follows Zizek and only ever allows me to look at her genitalia’; ‘I know he is besotted with Irigaray but help us through the differences’; ‘he has been reading Judith Butler and now he is convinced that he has to fake all his orgasms’; ‘he is a decontructionist and so whenever we arrange to meet it is never in the same place’; ‘he’s an old fashioned Sartrean and only loves me for what I am not’; ‘she’s a Levinasian and will only make love to my face.” (p.135, n.3.)

Of course, one might also subject Goodrich to similar sessions:

“My lover is a Goodrichean and proximity has become painful”; “she follows Goodrich and now flushes a lot”, “I know he is besotted with Goodrich but help us get closer”; “she has been reading Goodrich and misplaces my letters all the time”; “he’s an old fashioned Goodrichean and estreats me bad”; “she’s a Goodrichean and keeps looking through me.”

Or, as Miss Prism might have placed it, “The good end happily, and the bad end unhappily. That is what Fiction means.” (Quoted by Joel Fineman, The Subjectivity Effect in Western Literary Tradition: Essays Toward the Release of Shakespeare’s Will. An October Book, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA and London, England, 1991, p. 38.

(5) James Joyce, Finnegans Wake, Penguin Books, 1999 [1939], p. 432.

(6) Daniel Fischlin. “Political Allegory, Absolutist Ideology, and the ‘Rainbow Portrait’ of Queen Elizabeth I” Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 50, No. 1 (Spring, 1997), pp. 184-185. Fischlin comments that Joel Fineman is transfixed by the erotics of the portrait, and here is Fineman on the ‘salacious ear .. which covers and discovers the genitals of Queen Elizabeth’: “Given all this, what is genuinely mysterious and surprising about the Rainbow Portrait, especially if we assume this large picture was originally displayed at court, is the way the painting places an exceptionally pornographic ear over Queen Elizabeth’s genitals, in the crease formed where the two folds of her dress fold over on each other, at the wrinkled conclusion of the arc projected by the dildo-like rainbow clasped so imperially by the Virgin Queen. I think of this ear as one version of the ‘increase’ that ‘from fairest creatures we desire’ to which I earlier referred. In reproduction, the vulva-like quality of the ear is perhaps not so readily apparent, but, enlarged and in florid color, the erotic quality of the image is really quite striking, as is the oddly colorless quality of the rainbow, a kind of dead rainbow.” Joel Fineman, op. cit. p.228.

(7) Laurence A. Rickels, The Case of California. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1991, pp. 235-236.