Alpha, Tome 11 : Fucking patriot by Youri Jigounov

By Youri Jigounov

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Louis Lambert speaks of thoughts as children who flourish or who die for lack of enough ‘‘substance ge´ne´ratrice’’ (Louis Lambert, 11:632) [generative substance]. Again, given Lambert’s theories of the materiality of thought, this generative substance seems quite physical, as if a thought and, more important, language, were a real, physical child. Lambert writes that ‘‘la PAROLE [. ] engendre incessamment la SUBSTANCE’’ (11:686) [the WORD . . incessantly engenders SUBSTANCE]. 27 And Balzac represents quite mundane ways in which a scientist could create a new being.

If she has not been created by our mesmerist Sarrasine, she is nevertheless a woman who has been created, literally ‘‘sculpted,’’ in the operation that altered her sex, and here our introductory concept of dissection becomes the interventionist act of castrative surgery. ‘‘Man,’’ through medical ‘‘science,’’ creates Sarrasine’s perfect woman, who is, not surprisingly, equated (in later life) with a machine, with a manmade, technological product: ‘‘Un sentiment de profonde horreur pour l’homme saisissait le coeur quand une fatale attention vous de´voilait les marques imprime´es par la de´cre´pitude a` cette casuelle machine’’ (Sarrasine, 6:1051).

Balzac famously articulates in the ‘‘Avant-propos’’ Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire’s claim that the animal body varies from the basic form because of the environment in which it must live: ‘‘Il n’y a qu’un animal. Le cre´ateur ne s’est servi que d’un seul et meˆme patron pour tous les eˆtres organise´s. L’animal est un principe qui prend sa forme exte´rieure, ou, pour parler plus exactement, les diffe´rences de sa forme, dans les milieux ou` il est appele´ a` se de´velopper. ’’4 [There is only one animal.

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