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"The real body, which we have denied representation, is completely inimical to our wishful thinking about the self. We would like to be unitary, controlled from on top, visible, self-contained. We represent ourselves that way, and define our failures to be so, if we cannot ignore them, as disease, hysteria, anomaly. However: The banished body is unhierarchical.

It registers local intensities, not arguments. It is a field of sensations juxtaposed in space. It is vague about size and location, unclear on measurements of all kinds, bad at telling time (though good at keeping it).

It is capacious, doesn't object to paradox, includes opposites--doesn't know what opposites are. It is simultaneous. It is unstable. It changes from moment to moment, in its experience both of itself and of the world. It has no center, but a roving focus. (It "reads" itself.) It is neither clearly an object nor simply a thought, meaning or spirit; it is a hybrid of thing and thought, the monkey in the middle. It is easily influenced; it is largely for being influenced, since its largest organs are sensing devices. It is permeable; it is entered by the world, via the senses, and can only roughly define its boundaries. It reports to us in stories, intensities, hallucinatory jolts of uninterpreted perceptions: smells, sights, pleasure, pain. Its public image, its face is a collage of stories, borrowed images, superstitions, fantasies. We have no idea what it "really" looks like."

Stitch Bitch: The Patchwork Girl, 1997, Shelley Jackson

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