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The Blue Velvet Project

Blue Velvet, 47 seconds at a time by Nicholas Rombes

The Blue Velvet Project, #87


Second #4089, 68:09

1. Dorothy to Jeffrey: “Do you want to do bad things? / Anything . . . anything. / I want you to hurt me.”

2. Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Experience (1844):

It is very unhappy, but too late to be helped, the discovery we have made that we exist. . . . Ever afterwards we suspect our instruments. We have learned that we do not see directly, but mediately, and that we have no means of correcting these colored and distorting lenses which we are, or of computing the amount of their errors. Perhaps these subject-lenses have a creative power; perhaps there are no objects.

3. Jeffrey, in Dorothy’s arms, is in some sort of zone, confined by the frame of the screen but unmapped nonetheless. He ventures, but where to? Dorothy calls to him, beckons him, from some other place, which grows more distant the closer he gets to it. Dorothy: she is someone’s daughter.

4. Emily Dickinson, from her first (of three) letters to someone called “Master,” Spring 1858:

I wish that
I were great, like Mr
Michael Angelo, and
could paint for you.
You ask me what
my Flowers said-
then they were
disobedient-I gave
them messages-

5. Robert Coover, from Stepmother (2004):

She is led now, blind and naked, toward the nothingness to come, able to stagger along on her own only because a friendly soul has tipped a cruet of laudanum down her throat.

6. Julia Kristeva, from The Severed Head: Capital Visions (2012):

Suffering is not the most human of experiences, as Dostoyevsky believed, nor the most animal because hardest to master, as Georges Bataille would have it. Between judgment’s vigilance and cellular immersion, the dark underside of pleasure, there exists a transition.

7. Dorothy has suffered. She is Freud’s masochist (“It can often be shown that masochism is nothing more than an extension of sadism turned round upon the subject’s own self,” he wrote in 1905 in Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality) but also something beyond that. In fact, she recedes from Jeffrey the closer he gets. Even if he wanted to hurt her (to make her feel, to wake her from her nightmare) he couldn’t.

Over the period of one full year — three days per week — The Blue Velvet Project will seize a frame every 47 seconds of David Lynch’s classic to explore. These posts will run until second 7,200 in August 2012. For a complete archive of the project, click here. And here is the introduction to the project.

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