Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

What Is A Beautiful Woman?

“A beautiful young woman is a true voltaic cell,…in which the captive fluid is retained by the form of surfaces and the isolating virtue of the hair; so that when this fluid would escape from its sweet prison, it must make incredible efforts, which produce in turn, by influence on bodies differently animated, fearful ravages of attraction…The history of the human race swarms with examples of intelligent and learned men, intrepid heroes,…transfixed merely by a woman’s eye. … The holy King David proved that he perfectly understood the condensing properties of polished elliptical surfaces when he took unto himself the young Abigail.” — From Alphonse Toussenel’s L’Esprit des Betes (1853) as quoted in Walter Benjamin‘s Arcades Project,  (Convolute G. 12. 4)

 

A cool image I stumbled upon at The Womanhouse Zine. Can’t say why I paired the image and the quotation from Toussenel’s L’Esprit des Betes. What I do know is that I find both quite baffling. Feel free to make of the two whatever you will. You might also want to know that Toussenel was a French “”utopian socialist, a “disciple of Charles Fourier,” “anglophobic and anti-semitic.” He freely used “his studies of natural history as a vehicle for his political ideas.” 

Tags: , , , , , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

One Response to “What Is A Beautiful Woman?” Subscribe

  1. Corn Eater 2012/10/01 at 22:53 #

    I know a beautiful woman when i see one. I like the image you used. While not exactly beautiful, the image is very profound. I think the door says a thousand words. I know many people who would like to see the relationship between that door and beautify as revolving.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Erotic Africa: The Sex Anthology Forthcoming in December

erotic-africa

Twelve months after the call for submissions was made in January, we are happy to announce that Erotic Africa: The Sex […]

Photos from the 2nd Edition of the Write With Style Workshop in Lagos

Write With Style Workshop Group II 2

The second edition of Oris Aigbokhaevbolo’s Write with Style Workshop took place in Ikeja, Lagos on 24 and 25 November […]

At the Purple Hibiscus Trust Workshop | Clementine Ewokolo-Burnley

purple hibiscus workshop

There is water everywhere, a skyline, tall buildings, twinkling lights, pleasure craft behind locked gates. Leaning back in the taxi, […]

The Longlist for the 2018 Golden Baobab Prize Announced

golden baobab prize

The longlist for the 2018 Golden Baobab Prize is out. The prizes provide opportunities for African writers and illustrators to […]

PHOTOS | Bambooks Limited Launches Mobile Reading App and Announces Monthly Subscription Service

FictionPoetryEssay&ThinkPiece (1)

There is a myth that says Africans do not read and if you want to hide something from them put […]

Africa in Dialogue Publishes Interview e-Book with 2017 Brittle Paper Awards Winners: Sisonke Msimang, Hawa Golakai, JK Anowe, Megan Ross, Chibuihe Achimba

brittle paper 2017 winners - graph

Leading interview magazine Africa in Dialogue has published an e-book of interviews with the winners of the 2017 Brittle Paper Awards. […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.