Sunday, May 30, 2010

Catherine Millet - Jealousy

The question is: Does a libertine have the right to be jealous?

Catherine has a relationship with
Jacques based on the theories of the libertine. That is, a don't ask don't tell aspect to their relationship that allows each to live their private sexual life without having to share it with the other. Their partnership is based on other loves and considerations. The sexuality of each belongs to the self.

When Catherine Millet wrote about her sexual life in The Sexual Life of Catherine M, a tale of hysteria so desperate drive her, that writing the book was the only source of hope and freedom for her. You see Catherine had gotten wind of her husbands "other" life, and although she had her own "secrets" she (to her own shame)
pursued his, snooped around, and came up with the goods.

What ensued was three years of what Millet
calls The Crises in her life. She experienced the most profound jealousy, imaging herself in her husbands shoes as he took other women, fantasising about his lovers, masturbating to his infidelities.

However, and Catherine spoke very eloquently of this at the Sydney Writers Festival this year, because of her libertine beliefs, she had no way of blaming
Jacques. He was living according to a code of ethics the two had agreed to together. In other words, he had done nothing wrong. Catherine had not been wronged. There was no place to locate her jealousy besides inside herself.

Thus begins a three year period of The Crises when Catherine
perpetually tortured and humiliated herself through the curse of jealousy.

Fortunately for us, Catherine is an amazing writer. She has written the book out for us and we can
experience every second along with Catherine of the horror of emotional self abuse.

Catherine was not being blamed for her lifestyle. She was not being punished for loving a
libertine. Catherine was doing something to herself, and getting a twisted and perverse pleasure out of it.


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