Fantasies about Avital Ronell

Joe Barrera (
Mon, 28 Jul 1997 17:42:27 -0700

I (independently) stumbled over a copy of The Telephone Book by Avital
Ronell about two years ago and it changed my life (as much as anything
that isn't airplane food can). It is a very cool book. At any rate,
while surfing the web for references to it, I found the following, which
appears to have been written by my evil (?) twin:


[5] years ago, more or less, Tom Sherman gave me a copy of "The
Book," by Avital Ronell, which I actually read more than half of, a
testament to obsession right up there with "Gravity's Rainbow" and
"Infinite Jest." It's either that I like reading Avital, or that I have
predilection for fantasies I have about her, nothing detailed or
you understand, but she's always wearing something severe and, you know,
black. I can't figure out whether this indicates that I'm TURNED ON BY
INTELLIGENCE, or a victim of a desire to debase intelligence, but it
make me think that there is some connection between mind and body, as in
"Hey kids, What Time is it?....It's Trauma Time," which sets up in my
personal experience of the universe as a direct link between the chakras
of Buffalo Bob and Brigitte Bardot, and not simply that the first BB
evolved into Annette and Doreen on the Mickey Mouse Club and the latter
started with "And God Created Woman" wound up with "The Origin of the
World" setting up some correlation between the good breast which you
see in black and white thus guaranteeing an acceptably moral
content and our dirty little secret; all of which gets problematized
you get back to Buffalo Bob because as Avital points out, "Television is
always related to the law to metonymies of the law and the law always to
power".....which is to say that being somewhat smart, at least art-movie
smart, gave you the material for masturbation, but also the doubly
guilt of whacking it over "The Seventh Seal", which in part explains why
we get, if not need, several shelves of the SEXUAL CONFUSIONS OF
POSTMODERNITY; naturally I started reading her last bit about TV first,
then thought maybe I should see where this starts, which turns out to be
Opera, so Catherine Clement makes her appearance,


- Joe

Joseph S. Barrera III (
Phone, Office: (415) 778-8227; Cellular: (415) 601-3719; Home: (415)
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