Friday, June 24, 2005

The promise of verbs

I'm happy to see that my friend Trevor is blogging again - and each time I read about his dissertation research I am all-over-again awed by how he can make theology seem mundane. It's beautiful.

But right now I'm focussed on this bit:

"At the simplest level should I talk about the body using nouns or verbs? Is the body a person so that I privilege identity or the self when talking about the body? Is the body a place or a site open to the construction of a particular kind of building or colony? Is the body a thing so that I can account for it as an object, albeit a very special kind of object? Or should I employ verbs in approaching the body, so that I privilege what bodies do: bodies that touch, feel, see, occupy attention, smell, taste, hear, hum, move, relate, love, burn? Or, as much of contemporary thought on the body actually proceeds, should I privilege the adjectival body: the political body, the economic body, the female body, the gendered body, the black body, the brown body, the red body, the white body, the textual body, the machine body, the virtual body, the cybernetic body, the body of a cat, the body of Christ?"

I'm all for privileging what bodies do. And I'm all for using verbs more than adjectives and nouns. They are always already in motion. If we haven't been turned into stable adjectives and nouns then there is still hope. Plus, it just sounds way more appealing to be/have a body that touches and tastes and hums and relates and loves and burns...


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