A category for posts and resources pages with content related to the book Navaratri

Theoretical Physics

I'm not going to publish too many articles on advances in theoretical physics simply because much of it just that, theoretical, and there is still a lot of disagreement. However I did find this article interesting because it digs deeper and questions the fundamentals of space-time, something that the main protagonist of Paradise succeeds in doing."Attempts thus far to incorporate gravity into the laws of physics at the quantum scale have run up against nonsensical infinities and deep paradoxes."

The Naked Child In Art: Joseph-Desire Court

One of the complaints made against Henson (this series is in response to the ignorance shown by the public at the time) was that he was fascinated with adolescent sexuality, with the implication that he was just an old perv. Another complaint was that you could see the model's budding breasts, as if somehow, adolescent breasts are especially taboo. I'm not sure why adult breasts are acceptable, but adolescent breasts have to be kept hidden. But who said this was a rational argument? So now to Joseph-Désiré Court and Young Girl at the Scamander River or Nymph and Faun bathing. [...]

A New Understanding Of Child Abuse

Whilst I was thinking about doing this post an independent investigation (chaired by Wim Deetman) released its report on abuse within the Dutch Catholic Church. The report estimated that between 10,000 to 20,000 children had been sexually abused between 1945 and the present. The abuse rate was calculated to be twice that of the normal population. We can describe the reaction to child abuse as belonging to three distinct phases. 1. The phase of systemic abuse and denial. Prior to the 1970's child abuse was kept quiet. The taboo over discussing sexual matters meant that children did not reveal sexual [...]

The Muff March

This has hit the news and its a perfect example of the mistaken analysis of some radical feminists. Whilst the Muff March  has the noble aim of drawing attention to cosmetic genital surgery, they are completely wrong to blame the trend on porn. Women’s beauty regimes increasingly encompass ‘ideals’ peddled by the pornography industry, like the porn norm of women removing all their pubic hair, the industry preferring its performers to look more like pre-pubescent girls. (Kat Banyard) There is so much pressure on young women to conform to an ideal that comes straight out of the porn industry. (Jess [...]

Hedy’s Folly

This one ticks a lot of boxes; a gifted child, a transgressor, pre-war Germany, Austria in the 20's. It's the new biography of Hedy Lamarr called Hedy's Folly. Turns out she was intellectually gifted and is credited with inventing frequency hopping which is now used in a number of applications. The book is now firmly on my holiday reading list and I'm interested in three areas of her life. Her childhood in Vienna and her exposure to the art and intellectual arguments of the period. Apparently her father encouraged her studies. She studied ballet, piano and obviously acting. She was [...]

Nora: An Act Of Rebellion

This is worth adding as a follow on from my series critiquing Abigail Bray - so consider it an addendum. The moral conservatives can only imagine harm and shame when it comes to images of naked children. They cannot shake the idea that nudity equals sex. That's why a naked picture always sexualises the subject, because to them nudity is sexual. But as I've pointed out several times, very often the children who pose naked deny any sexual intent or content, even later as adults. Nora is an interesting example because her mother was charged with producing child pornography for [...]

Dead Can Dance

In a rather cryptic response to my critique, Abigail Bray simply provided a link to Melbourne group Dead Can Dance. It's so good that I thought I'd put it, and a few others, into the blog. First is Abigail's choice Host of Seraphim then comes Persephone. Persephone of course, travels to the underworld and I note that in the clip the actors perform a pasodoble, a ritualised bull fight. The bull fight is closely linked to the pagan symbolism of the bull, and hence the Minotaur. The third clip is Out of the Labyrinth , and the fourth contains a [...]

Abigail Bray (3): Silencing The Subject

Censor the body and you censor breath and speech at the same time. Write yourself. Your body must be heard. Hélène Cixous For a feminist this is the worst betrayal of all. Feminism is supposed to empower women and girls. Yet in adopting the paedophiliac gaze she does what all paedophiles do: silences the subject. In the previous post I asked if Abigail had spoken to Henson. More importantly. Has she spoken to the model in the photograph? What does the model think of Abigail's interpretation? In the US trial of British artist Graham Ovenden one of his model's defended [...]

Abigail Bray (2): Intentional Misrepresentation

In my previous post I quoted from an article in which Abigail Bray accuses Bill Henson of 'an ugly sexual political intent'. Might I suggest that the only person with an 'ugly sexual political' intent is Abigail. I cannot believe she is ignorant. I can therefore only assume that she intended to demonise Henson, to situate him within a patriarchy that exploits the images of women for some deviant purpose. Has she met Henson and discussed his art practice? Or is she guessing from afar, using Henson as a scapegoat for a larger ideological purpose? I still cannot believe that [...]

Abigail Bray: Adopting The Paedophiliac Gaze

All that is stopped, grasped, all that is subjugated […] which is to say all that is taken, caged, is less true.   Hélène Cixous ...but the system gave that line a negative value and sent the scapegoat fleeing down it. Deleuze and Guattari - A Thousand Plateaus I am left puzzled after Abigail Bray commented on my post Colonising Porn. I did a bit more research on her area of expertise and was left even more puzzled. This is someone of intellectual substance. The author of Hélène Cixous: Writing and Sexual Differences, and of several academic papers that reference [...]