Girl power

girl powerLeaving Boston on Monday I spent a few days in NY, crashing at Jan’s (a guy we met with in a seminar at ACLA conference) place. We met in the “Masters of Universe” seminar and somehow clicked immediately – and as a result have spent most of the last week together. In addition to being a PhD student in comparative literature at Columbia Jan is also a font nut and as a result I have received a crash course in typography over the last few days, among other things.

So yesterday I moved on to New Brunswick, to visit an old friend of mine who runs an Institute of Women’s Studies at Rutgers. There was a lecture by Uma Narayan yesterday and a graduate seminar today – and I feel very underrepresented gender-wise, being, for the most of the time, in possession of all the y-chromosomes in the vicinity. I really haven’t looked into gender, feminist and queer studies much at all, apart from an odd dip into works of Judith Butler and few other chance encounters, so in fact it is both useful and interesting. I will be here over the weekend and fly over to Atlanta on Monday.

On the vein of gender and feminism – Jan introduced me to this poem by Bertold Brecht along with a translation and some critical commentary. You need to know German, and actually know it quite well (so I would really advise against trying to figure this particular one out with the help of online translation engines), in order to be able to appreciate what it really is about – and what precisely is the feminist/gender/queer connection here – but if you do it is just great.

Über die Verführung von Engeln

Engel verführt man gar nicht oder schnell.
Verzieh ihn einfach in den Hauseingang
Steck ihm die Zunge in den Mund und lang
Ihm untern Rock, bis er sich naß macht, stell
Ihn das Gesicht zur Wand, heb ihm den Rock
Und fick ihn. Stöhnt er irgendwie beklommen
Dann halt ihn fest und laß ihn zweimal kommen
Sonst hat er dir am Ende einen Schock.

Ermahn ihn, daß er gut den Hintern schwenkt
Heiß ihn dir ruhig an die Hoden fassen
Sag ihm, er darf sich furchtlos fallen lassen
Dieweil er zwischen Erd und Himmel hängt —

Doch schau ihm nicht beim Ficken ins Gesicht
Und seine Flügel, Mensch, zerdrück sie nicht.

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