Looking Back at the Semester

This past semester the course Dispersed Desire has touched on themes such as diaspora, identity, sexuality, colonization, and the erotic. For me this course has expanded my theoretical knowledge, but I have also gotten the chance to have a personal connection with the different works read in the class. Being Haitian-American myself, Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory resonated with me very much. Reading Breath,Eyes,Memory by Edwidge Danticat felt like reading a family history. Sophie the main character is a young Haitian girl. Her aunt looks after her. Her mother lives in the US and she doesn’t meet her until she’s twelve. My own Aunt told me long ago this was her situation. She grew up thinking her Aunt was her mom till her mom sent for her. Sophie’s family are of the fields want a better life for her. Education is highly stressed. This is almost every immigrant I know. When Sophie gets to the US she’s told to learn English quickly or she’ll be ridiculed. My parents have stories for days about how they treated Haitians in the US.

When reading a piece of work that was seemingly so familiar to me it was difficult to analyze it for what it was. I recall the blog post I made for this book having a lot of personal opinion infused into it. After that particular blog post and the commentary I received I found that my own close readings and analysis on works thereafter shifted in tone. This course furthered my ability to consider the different meanings behind text. Moreover, to reconcile the theoretical with the creative and how they work together.

Above all, I’m really grateful to this course because it felt like I fell back in love with reading and writing. It reminded me that academic writing can be interesting and engaging. Furthermore, with the small class size I truly felt comfortable participating in discussion. With all the different backgrounds we had contributing to the class it was always an enjoyable hour.

Yun Cho Blog 5

I really enjoyed the diversity of narratives and styles of the novels we read for the class. Each work really drew me into the lives and visions of the characters, especially Breath, Eyes, Memory, No Telephone to Heaven, Zami, and Before Night Falls. The distinct voices and narrative structures provided me with a very intimate and lucid insight into the lives of the characters. After finishing a novel, I feel almost exhausted yet fulfilled in having absorbed a lifetime of emotions and experiences. I really enjoyed how in No Telephone to Heaven, syntax and punctuation was deliberately played around with to truly capture a distinctive voice and style.
I also liked that we watched the movie of Before Night Falls, which I think depicted the book well. As a memoir, the book does reads more like an autobiography than the other novels. However, I feel that the style itself captures an essence of Reinaldo Arenas’ personality, since he seemed to be someone who enjoyed going out into the world and experiencing as much as he possibly could. He liked to meet and interact with so many different people and get involved politically in such a direct way. In comparison, Edwidge Danticat in Breath, Eyes, Memory seemed to filter life experiences more through her memories and metaphors. I think they were both very politically and socially observant in their relative contexts, but in very different ways of perceiving the world, which is manifest through writing style and voice.
Sexuality was definitely emphasized in all four novels and was a major theme that drove the narratives. Personally, it enriched my conceptualization of sexuality and intimacy considering the multiplicity of ways one can view and experience them. For each of the main characters in the book, sexuality meant way more than a mere physical pleasure. Each of them pointed to a notion of sexuality more concerned with the intimacy that is inevitably attached to sex. They write regarding sexual experiences to dive deeper into how being a sexual being in the world influences their relationship to specific individuals and the larger world around them. I think this is an effective way to get a more nuanced and phenomenological understanding of human sexuality and intimacy, which undeniably are a major part of the human condition. I wonder how my absorption of such various ways of interpreting sexuality and intimacy will subtly affect the ways in which I experience them in the future.
The performance art pieces we saw and discussed were quite bold and made me think about the subject matter they represented more deeply. It really was rather jarring to view the caged couple in the context of a museum setting. I wonder myself how I would have reacted to the performance if I didn’t already know it was an act put on by the artists as satire. I personally think that this kind of performance piece better captures what art is about compared to the way museums display and exhibit art in a more traditional sense. With the history of the institution of art, it makes sense to me how performance art would emerge as a kind of critique of that history and institutionalization. I think the cage performance being placed in somewhere like the American Museum of Natural History conveys a much stronger political and social message than on the street. The artists attempted to critique colonialism in a much more affected way, considering the direct implication of the audience in real time, compared to addressing the subject matter through writing or painting. I am interested in learning more about performance art and hope to see more performance pieces in the future as an audience-participant.

An Account

“My account of myself is partial, haunted by that for which I have no definitive story (27).”

In Judith Butler’s essay “Giving an Account of Oneself” she proclaims that it is quite impossible for one to be able to tell their own complete history. She takes a Levinasian standpoint affirming that this inability to tell one’s own story is due to our inherent and inextricable connection to the Other. One must rely on this Other to tell of one’s own emergence into being. Thus, at the very moment we are able to relay our story to the Other we fail to ever give a complete account of our life because this moment of emergence is enigmatic to us. Ultimately, Butler claims that when we believe we are telling our autobiography what we are actually doing is re-creating ourself; attempting to make ourselves transparent to ourself.

I find that this essay, and in particular, this passage resonates heavily with the literature we have read in this class. In almost all of the works we have read there have been at least one character that attempts to relate its history to the readers. For instance, Sophie, Audre, and Arenas all provide a chronological account of their lives; at some point even managing to retell their birth tales. Yet, the mere fact that they relay a tale of their birth, rather than telling us of their birth, speaks to Butler’s assertions. It in specifically in this way that draws out their inability to give us the whole truth of their lives.

Moreover, neither of their stories is bereft of the life stories of others. In order for Sophie to relay her conception tale, she must tell of the life of her mother. The same can be said for Arenas and Antoinette/Bertha and to lesser, more implicit, degrees, Audre and most of the Cliff’s characters. Arenas’ memoir is of special interest in this sense because it is exactly that: an account of his life. Yet, his memoir will always be incomplete because his beginning and ending with always be unknown to him. Additionally, his middle will forever be muddled because to answer the Butler’s question of “who are you?” he has to answer the question of “who have you become?” which he cannot do without telling how each person has shaped a bit of his personality. That is, he is a prime example of how one fails to be able to fully give an account of oneself because each time the question of “who are you?” comes into play, the story works off the assumption that you were born as someone else told you.

Given this, I believe this class has expounded upon the inner desires of all people of the African and Caribbean Diaspora. We all so desperately want to answer that question of “Who am I?” and “What have I become?”. But our incapacity to respond is not only bound in the mere fact that we cannot recall our own births, or relay our deaths. We are more incomprehensible to ourselves than most other peoples in that even our histories are incomplete. Walcott’s sea holds our history yet it is one that has been buried by sands carried from Australia. That is to say, that even if we were to search for our history, attempt to trace it back to the motherland, the chances of us coming to a complete account of our composition has been lost at the bottom of the ocean.

Thank you :)

This class has become one of my favorite classes at Emory. At first, I was a little nervous about taking the class. I know students from the Business school have a reputation or stigma about us in the college: they often make students in the College uncomfortable while taking classes at Goizueta, and I was worried about coming off as another arrogant B-school senior. I was equally nervous about taking a Women’s and Gender Studies course (subject matter that I have little exposure to) crossed with Comparative Literature and having to analyze text (something I haven’t done since my senior year of high school). From the choice of text and weekly discussions, this class has made me really appreciate my heritage and has made me proud to be a female. My favorite books are Wide Sargasso Sea, No Telephone to Heaven, Breath, Eyes, Memory, and Before Night Falls. Wide Sargasso Sea was difficult to read, but in retrospect I think it was a good introduction into the course and helped me gauge the level of analysis at which my colleagues were used to in their other classes. It was also amusing to read some of the Jamaican terms that I’ve heard growing up and how these terms have persisted since the time the novel was written. This novel also made me reflect on the impacts that colonization have left on the Caribbean, especially the class system and revolts against the imposed class system. Likewise, I enjoyed the depiction of Jamaica in No Telephone to Heaven. I was amused by the way Michelle Cliff switched between English and Patois, as I often do when I’m speaking with my family at home. It also made the think introspectively about having to bridge the gap between two cultures and finding acceptance within the two. Like Claire, I also have half-siblings, so I empathize with some of the differences she felt between her and her sister Jennie. The familial relationships in Breath, Eyes, Memory struck me the most. I felt it was a beautifully true story of the matriarchal society in the Caribbean (in contrast to a patriarchal society in the United States). I have always had a strong bond with my mother, so I enjoyed reading characters who do not share the same type of relationship with their mothers and seeing how their relationships change in the novel. Before Night Falls was the most surprising to me. First, it was the only novel we’ve read so far with a male protagonist. Second, Reinaldo Arenas’ autobiography was a striking account of the persecution writers and other “counter revolutionaries” faced in Cuba. What I appreciated most about the novel was how honest he was about all his experiences, even admitting that he had lost hope and pride at times. I’ve greatly enjoyed being in this class this semester. I truly felt welcome despite my lack of experience in feminist literature and love the discussions we have in class. Best of luck to all of you next year 🙂

Desperate for Life

“On our erotic adventure, Hiram and I went as far as the Isle of Pines, where we could enjoy entire regiments. The recruits desperate for sex, woke up the entire camp when we arrived . . . All dictatorships are sexually repressive and anti-life. All affirmations of life are diametrically opposed to dogmatic regimes. It was logical for Fidel Castro to persecute us, not to let us fuck, and to try to suppress any public display of the life force” (92-92)

Reinaldo Arenas’s Before Night Falls is the story of a Cuban gay exile from birth to death. Arenas chronicles in detail his life on the island of Cuba, from the erotic to the despair and destruction. Most intriguing about his memoir is the irony. Not just the erotic being in the midst of despair, but the overthrowing of one dictator to only be controlled by another. The enforcers of the anti-homosexual revolution engaging in sexual relations is an outstanding paradox in the book and movie. I will discuss the portrayal of the paradox of Arenas and his friends having sex with military officers.

In the movie Arenas and his friends are confronted by an army regiment after dark. The scene begins in a menacing tone, but then Arenas boldly flirts with the head of the regiment. The next scene shows all of the men running around a fire naked. These men were repressed by the revolution and had no outlet. They were turning to the literal antithesis of their revolution, which they were charged with keeping intact, for release.

Arenas directly links the erotic and sex to life, and Castro’s suppression of sexual freedom is a suppression to their very life force. Arenas and his friends enjoying the erotic out of these army men’s desperation is another irony. This is due to the fact that Arenas and his friends are also desperate, their desperation is to live freely. They are taking their life back from their oppressors in a sense by enjoying the erotic from them.  Furthermore, in the movie it is significant that the director did not simply show a sex scene, which he placed throughout the movie. Rather, they are running around a fire. Fire, which symbolizes passion but also destruction. The men were playing with fire in the literal and figurative sense. They were living out their passions but could so easily be destroyed by the men they were expressing their passions with.

Arenas’s memoir was shocking, but revealed a truth about life in Cuba that is often overlooked. Island life in general, which is often romanticized is seen through a clearer lens in his memoir. Through his own sexual history, he reinforces the idea of the erotic being essential to life. Arenas expresses how desperate island residents are, but also their will to live. Moreover, his sexual relations with men from the regiment exemplify how their will to live and to have access to their life source made it worth risking everything for.

An unlikely pairing

“The erotic and the literary went hand in hand.” (pg. 101)

Before Night Falls is a compelling and personal account of Reinaldo Arenas, a Cuban writer, and his experiences in Communist-lead Cuba. Growing up as a peasant, Arenas and other young boys often engaged in homo-erotic behavior; perhaps they used it as a way of entertainment and passing time, or as a way of establishing a bond amongst the boys in their neighborhood. Despite their severe poverty, these sexual encounters existed as a type of freedom along with the environment in which they lived: “I think the splendor of my childhood was unique because it was absolute poverty but also absolute freedom…” (pg. 5).

These encounters arguably also provided Arenas and the other boys lessons in anatomy, in lieu of formal education on the subject in school. Any curiosities about the human body that Arenas entertained were explained by the other youths. One instant of this curiosity is seen in the passage in which Reinaldo talks about the mystery of the river and of thunderstorms. As the men climbed out of the water, he was able to catch a glimpse of their bodies and developed an appreciation for male anatomy: “To see all those naked bodies, all those exposed genitals, was a revelation to me: I realized, without a doubt, that I liked men…I was only six years old, but I watched them spellbound, in ecstasy before the glorious mystery of beauty” (pg 8).

This appreciation of beauty in the human body translates into one of the factors supporting his appreciation of beauty in literature. Just as the erotic was a way of freedom in an oppressing regime. Through literature, Arenas and other writers could write down their life experiences in defiance of the revolution but could also create a thing of beauty.

The erotic and the literary are often paired together in describing some of Reinaldo’s sexual encounters as a young adult. While working in the National Library, he had the chance to read Communist literature while being able to write poetry and stories. Reinaldo also offers an account of two women being found together in the library, which is interesting because not only has the reader not seen an account of eroticism between two females (it has been predominantly male-focused until this point), Reinaldo chose to reveal suppressed desires in an environment that aids in suppression, censoring the material that is being circulated. Reinaldo also sought refuge in the National Library after a sexual encounter between his friend Tomasito and a young man. In addition to pairing literature and the erotic in terms of location, he pairs the two constructs as part of one process – creating a literary work of art. Reinaldo states, “I could never work in pure abstinence; the body needs to feel satisfied to give free reign to the spirit.” (pg. 101) This statement can apply to any act of creation. In singing, tension in one area of the body will then travel to the diaphragm, lungs, and eventually the larynx, where most of the production of sound occurs.



“The Downpour”

“Perhaps the most extraordinary event I enjoyed during my childhood was one provided by the heavens: the heavy downpour…It was a tropical drenching, heralded by violent thunder in cosmic, orchestral bursts that resounded across the fields, while lightning traced the wildest designs on the sky, striking palm trees that suddenly burst into flames and then shriveled like burnt matches. And in no time the rain would come down strong and seem like a massive army marching across the trees…it sounded like a million footsteps overhead” (16).

Reinaldo Arenas’ memoir entitled Before Night Falls was written shortly before his death. In it one finds the life of a man persecuted, discriminated, and conspired against even by his closest allies. Despite the long and frequent battles this writer endured, he found a way to continue creating some of the most inspirational and beautiful art amidst degradation and the oppression of Castro’s regime.

This passage, situated at the beginning of this chronological account, features Arenas recounting one his favorite events during his time spent as a peasant in the countryside of Cuba. Being that he was illiterate at the time, his retelling of the inception of the heavy rains is one plagued with literary embellishments. It is, in a sense, his way of contradicting his humble beginnings with his post-lettered genius. The passage reads similar to that of a poem, or perhaps, a hollywood film. The elements of lights (lightning), camera (Arenas’ eyes), action (the striking of the trees), along with amazing sound effects (thunder and rain) are all part of this nostalgic depiction. It is a moment of literary theatrics in that it moves far beyond simple imagery; it provides a full-fledged production of a tropical storm.

Furthermore, this passage reads as a foreshadowing of the eventual rise of Fidel Castro. The moment is one as theatrical as the war between rebel Fidel and dictator Batista. Castro’s overthrow of the tyrant was not one done in silence or bereft of attention, rather it has been argued that it wholly consisted of cinematics. Much in the way that the rain was preceded by the boisterous shouting of thunder to only conclude in its million man march, so was the rebellion led by Castro. The rebel army “seem[ed] like a massive army moving across the trees” (16). In other words, neither the rain nor the rebellion (as told in this recollection) resulted in a blood-stained event. The rains ran-off peacefully, reshaping the landscape beneath it; the rebels walked to the capitol,reforming the government without a full out battle between the new and old regime.

However, both managed to reach a certain level of violence, despite its seemingly peaceful intentions. Heavy rains are meant to erode unusable soil and replenish the earth with new, rich food for crops. In the end it proclaims be more beneficial than its initial destruction. The same was true for the rebellion. At its onset it portrayed the image of a better Cuba; one cleansed of its immoral and misguided corruptions and directed towards a more stable and healthy nation. Yet, unlike the rains, the rebellion did not live up to its promise.

Nonetheless, this passage brings up an important question as to why Arenas enjoyed, not only the rain but, the entire storm that ensued. Keeping in mind that at 14 he sought to join the rebels, it suffices to assume that he also noticed the similarities between the rain and the rebels. Perhaps, these theatrics provided a way in which he could feed his creativity given the extreme oppression of such outlets. Prohibited from creating, Arenas was forced to become an appreciator of the arts, in all its forms. It seems that it was this early flamboyancy of nature that sparked his already demonstrated beautification of violent occurrences.

Dangerous Intimacy

“…in moments of danger I have always felt the need to have someone close to me” (162)

In the memoir Before Night Falls, by Reinaldo Arenas, the narrator states this quote during his escape to Guantánamo as a fugitive on a train. I think this quote captures an essential aspect of the narrator’s life in regards to his relationship with violence, sexuality, desire, emotions, and literature. A main component of the narrator’s relationship to intimacy, of all kinds, can find its roots in his relationship with his mother.

His relationship with his mother is filled with ambivalence, as he feels sad for her loneliness, as well as being vexed by projecting her own feelings on him. Whenever he thinks of her he envisions her as a forlorn woman yearning for her lover who seduced her and then abandoned her. He being the fruit of such a brief encounter, harbors guilt for her sadness and bitterness, and he mentions early on in the novel how he feels guilty for getting more physical intimacy from the male sex that his mother so desperately craves. His mother seems like a ghostly figure to the narrator throughout the novel, since she seems perpetually haunted by the void created by his absent father. The narrator encapsulates his mother’s ghostliness through a metaphor of sweeping,

“She had a light way of sweeping, as if removing the dirt were not as important as moving the broom over the ground. Her way of sweeping was symbolic; so airy, so fragile, with a broom that swept nothing; it seemed that an ancestral habit forced her to repeat the motion. Perhaps with that broom she tried to sweep away all the horrors, all the loneliness, all the misery that had accompanied her all her life, and me, her only son, now a homosexual in disgrace and persecuted as a writer” (142).

The mother seeming like a fragile shell holding onto deep feelings of sadness and loss and betrayal manifests through her interactions with Reinaldo. She repeatedly asks him to get married supposedly knowing that Reinaldo is homosexual. Reinaldo interprets this as her desire for him to bring her a song to satisfy her loneliness. This reflects his mother’s denial of her son’s sexuality out of shame (“removing the dirt”); furthermore, it reflects her rather hollow connection with her son as simply her last chance at experiencing pure, untainted love redeem her abandonment and disgrace (“a broom that swept nothing”).

As much as he pities and harbors guilt for his mother, he also experiences emotional violence as a result of his mother’s emotional absence as a nurturer. His lack of a true, meaningful, reciprocated connection with the main female figure in his life and the one who gave him life itself, can be seen as an emotional violence of the deepest and stealthiest kind. Even with the person who supposedly would care for and love him the most embodies an almost emotionally dangerous energy; therefore, it would make sense for him to have a more complex relationship to emotional intimacy. Perhaps this relationship would emphasize the significance of the quote, “…in moments of danger I have always felt the need to have someone close to me” (162), for Reinaldo. As danger seems to continuously follow Reinaldo through his life, whether it be tied to political issues or romantic obstacles, his main beacon of hope and nourishment seems to stem from an almost tangible craving for intimacy, which includes physical, emotional, and literary intimacy. Certain repeated moments of danger include Reinaldo being arrested and confined, as well as escaping and hiding, throughout the novel. During those times, he often finds solace in writing. With the lack of a person to become close to in such times of danger and loneliness, writing becomes his way of having some form of a relationship and means of communication, even if it is with himself. However, in consideration of the context and nature of the memoir itself, writing would not be as solitary of an act as it may seem at a glance; since, for Reinaldo, writing about himself would conjure up such lush memories, as his life was so enriched by all the lovers he ever had and his ability to be emotionally saturated by life’s joys.


Undefined Sexuality

“I smiled up at her and said nothing. I certainly couldn’t say I don’t know. Actually, I was at a loss as to what to say. I could not bring myself to deny what I had just this past summer decided to embrace; besides, to say no would be to admit being one of the squares. Yet, to say yes might commit me to proving it, like with the vodka. And Ginger was a woman of the world, not one of my high school girl friends with whom kissing and cuddling and fantasizing sufficed. And I had never made love to a woman before. Ginger, of course, had made up her mind that was a woman of the world and knew “everything”, having made love to all the women about whom I talked with such intensity.” (pg 135)

In this passage, Audre is talking with Ginger, a coworker at crystal cutting factory in Stamford. After starting high school, Audre went from having very few female friends to being friends with an entire group of girls, some of whom she kept in contact with after leaving Hunter College. Throughout her friendships, Audre seems to have blended the rigid lines of what society and culture may categorize as platonic versus sexual relationships. Through her exploration of the erotic, Audre does not categorize herself as gay or straight but rather welcomes opportunities to love a person. After meeting Ginger, Audre’s practice of sexual non-identification is openly challenged. Her reluctance to answer makes one wonder if her decision to not identify her sexuality was driven by a desire to be different (from not wanting to be “one of the squares”) or mainly a result of her own confusion about some of her deepest desires.

Another interesting thing to note is Audre’s occasional habit of putting up a front, almost as if she feels a need to prove something to others or more importantly, to herself – a habit she may have learned from her mother. Earlier in the novel, she discusses her parents’ ability to ignore things (like racism and the scars on Gennie’s face before she committed suicide), as a means of either shielding their daughters from the harmful emotional damage or as a way of making things temporarily go away. Audre sometimes does the same thing. We saw it with her abortion, when she was confronted about how ill she looked. She tried to convince herself the pain would go away if she just ignored it. When she failed her summer courses, she tried to convince herself of something other than the truth (that some people weren’t made to understand German, instead of the fact that she neglected her studies to entertain members of her group of girls). Following this passage, Audre verbally admits that she is, in fact, gay – but still she puts up a front to not “lose face” or her reputation with Ginger.

One thing that struck me about this passage was Audre’s impression of her reputation with Ginger. Ginger thinks she is a woman of the world, fully experienced in making love to women; Audre admits that she barely knows anything about making love to women. However, I think she is a woman of the world in a different sense. What she lacks in that sexual experience, she makes up for in other worldly experience. Her most important life experience being her abortion and the emotional toll it took on her. Genevieve, her first friend that she truly cared for, committed suicide when they were teenagers. Her strained relationship with her mother could also be added to the list of emotionally damaging life experiences. In each case, Audre feels a lack or loss of love, which is perhaps why she is reluctant to open up or even try to tie sexuality and desire.


Morsels of Intimacy

“If no one came in, I sat quietly in the back room and watched him eat. He was meticulously neat, placing his bones in even rows on the paper towel beside his plate. Sometimes my father looked up and saw me watching him, and he reached out and gave me a morsel of meat or a taste of rice and gravy from his plate.

Other times I sat with my book, quietly reading, but secretly waiting and hoping for this special treat. Even if I had already just eaten the same food, or even if it was some dish I did not particularly like, these tastes of my father’s food from his plate in the back room of his office had an enchantment to them that was delicious and magical, and precious. They form the fondest and closest memories I have of warm moments shared with my father. There were not many” (Lorde 67).


In this particular scene in Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, Audre Lorde illustrates memories of moments shared with her father that were unusually intimate. She explains how her father was rather aloof and secretive because he didn’t like to place himself in rather vulnerable situations and circumstances, especially in front of his children. As a child, Lorde would often view her father in the context of being behind closed doors and eating in the absence of strangers. This particular passage exudes a sense of pride from the narrator, as Lorde is aware of being given access and literal sight to her father having a meal, which is denied to virtually everyone else except his immediate family. The relationship shared between Lorde and her father mimics one of silent reverence, almost worship. Lorde silently, with respect, attentively observes her father’s almost ritualistic eating habits. There is a kind of unspoken communication going on in the tension of the somewhat awkward father-daughter relationship. While the daughter struggles to contain herself from exposing her deep desire to connect with her father, the father feels the uncomfortable need to step out of his comfort zone to pay attention to and care for his daughter.

The moments in which her father offers Lorde some of his food signifies much more to Lorde than the literal act of a father feeding his daughter. For Lorde, this offering and tasting encapsulates the highest extent of intimacy she ever had with her father. Considering the rarity of such a level of intimacy, Lorde can only describe these moments as enchanting, magical, and precious. What makes these memories so beloved to Lorde, she emphasizes, is everything but the literal, physical nature of eating the morsels of food itself. However, it is because of the basic, and necessity-driven nature of the instinct of a father to feed his daughter itself that even allowed the possibility of such a connection to occur, since her father is not one to be bothered with frivolity or open affection. While the act may (or may not) be a trivial one for Lorde’s father, the experience sparks Lorde with a kind of inward, effervescent energy that heightens and intensifies her emotions, which consequently bonds her closer to her father and makes her saturate the most mundane experiences with him with rich meaning. This can be an example of what Lorde would describe as “the erotic” in the essay, “The Uses of the Erotic.” Through such an experience that allows Lorde to find the knowledge of the erotic within herself, it empowers her to have control over a lens through which she filter her reactions and feelings to certain situations or circumstances. With explosions of deep inner feeling and joy that are unlocked from intimate experiences of all kinds, she regains her inner power and control of the erotic that allows her to saturate her life with the intensity of a broad spectrum of feelings. Perhaps this experience in particular helps her find the erotic within herself because of the extent to which she yearns for intimacy with her rather detached father.