Time’s Edge in the Garden of Pain (on Deleuze)

Stop there, an inch above the flesh.
And in that gap desire lives,
with the whoosh of the cane
dissipating into silence.

At that moment
when anticipation
fills the eyes, the cup
the veins to overflowing
and trembles in edge-hung

Beyond it lies the known world,
the betrayal of dreams,
the sting already felt,
the smack, the strangled grasp,
the cry of having done the thing
and being done

(On reading Coldness and Cruelty, by Deleuze. p. 34)

“The aesthetic and dramatic suspense Of Masoch contrast with the mechanical, cumulative repetition of Sade. We should note here that the art of suspense always places us on the side of the victim and forces us to identify with him, whereas the gathering momentum of repetition tends to force us onto the side of the torturer and make us identify with the sadistic hero. Repetition does occur in masochism, but it is totally different from sadistic repetition. In Sade it is a function of acceleration and condensation and in Masoch it is characterized by the ‘frozen’ quality and the suspense.


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