On the musicality of matter and life

“Perhaps the figure of music offers a genuine alternative to both thing and idea, the emergence of rhythm and melody as something more than juxtaposed beats or notes while something less than an explicit thought, as a sense that invade the subject rather than being reducible to an object for it. The rhythm of the heart and the breath indicate the musicality of matter and life from which the mind emerges, and the relation of the lived melody to its virtual score may yet figure the relation between life and mind in an entirely new register, the register of expression rather than of signification. This is a suggestion to which Merleau-Ponty will return in his later writings, but which may already be suggested when he characterizes our relation with nature, in Phenomenology of Perception, as ‘singing the world’”

-Ted Toadvine, Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy of Nature

On Truth

“Woman does not entertain the positive belief that the truth is something other than men claim; she recognizes, rather, that there is not fixed truth. It is not only the changing nature of life that makes her suspicious of the principle of constant identity, nor is it the magic phenomena with which she is surrounded that destroy the notion of causality. It is at the heart of the masculine world itself, it is in herself as belonging to this world that she comes upon the ambiguity if all principle, of all value, of everything that exists.”

-Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex

On Lovers

“Lovers live the carnal bond as a fleshed supplication. Each risks being violated in their otherness. Each asks to be received by the other in their vulnerability. Each offers themselves to the other as a fleshed gift. Each lives its excess with the other. Each turns to the other in the generosity of disclosure where the aimlessness of desire immerses itself in the flows of the flesh.”

-Debra B. Bergoffen, “Beauvoir: (Re)counting the sexual difference”

On laughter and wine

“Freedom assumes its real, flesh and blood figure in the world by thickening into pleasure, into happiness. If the satisfaction of an old man drinking a glass of wine counts for nothing, the production and wealth are only hollow myths; they have meaning only if they are capable of being retrieved in individual and living joy. The saving of time and the conquest of leisure have no meaning if we are not moved by the laugh of a child at play. If we do not love life on our own account and through others, it is futile to seek to justify it in any way.”

Simone de Beauvoir, Ethics of Ambiguity