Reading circle (Per Faxneld: Satanic Feminism)

Discussion on literature other than by the Star of Azazel.
obnoxion
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Re: Reading circle (Per Faxneld: Satanic Feminism)

Postby obnoxion » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:16 pm

Wyrmfang wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:02 pm
It is my turn now, and I recognized I had somehow skipped September in the schedule and marked myself to October. If it doesn´t bother anyone, we could go with that, I am very busy at the moment (noticed afterwards I had completely missed my turn in the Jung reading circle).
I think it's ok to skip a month if your busy.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Kenazis
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Re: Reading circle (Per Faxneld: Satanic Feminism)

Postby Kenazis » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:55 pm

obnoxion wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:16 pm
Wyrmfang wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:02 pm
It is my turn now, and I recognized I had somehow skipped September in the schedule and marked myself to October. If it doesn´t bother anyone, we could go with that, I am very busy at the moment (noticed afterwards I had completely missed my turn in the Jung reading circle).
I think it's ok to skip a month if your busy.
Ok, for me. Let's skip the month. Wyrmfang october, me november.
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Polyhymnia
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Re: Reading circle (Per Faxneld: Satanic Feminism)

Postby Polyhymnia » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:25 pm

Happy to have the catch up month. These chapters are dense.
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Re: Reading circle (Per Faxneld: Satanic Feminism)

Postby Wyrmfang » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:35 pm

6. Witches as Rebels Against Patriarchy

In chapter 6 Faxneld provides several examples against Maureen Moran´s argument that during the 19th century the figure of the witch served conservative purposes almost without exception. The first counter-example can be found in the historian Jules Michelet´s work La Sorcière, a highly unconventional work which serves more political and aesthetic purposes than scientific ones. Michelet presents Satan in an openly positive fashion and the witch as someone who mediates his inspiration. Michelet´s work evoked immediate condemnation and adoration alike, as it was not only anti-clerical but had socialist and feminist tendencies as well.
On the other hand, the character of the witch was obviously also used for conservative purposes. Both medical and anti-feminist authorities saw a close connection between witches and their demonic possession in the earlier centuries and the contemporary popular medical diagnosis of ”hysteria”. That is, possession was retrospectively interpreted as hysteria, and feminist claims were also associated with this condition. In general, the figure of the witch pertains the same ambivalence between Satanic Feminism and Demonic Feminism, which has come up many times before in the book.

Strictly anti-clerical theosophist Matilda Joslyn Gage was highly influenced by Michelet´s celebration of witches but added her own esoteric viewpoint to the issue. For Gage, the witch was not only a protagonist of individuality against church´s oppression but also an upholder of esoteric wisdom. In contrast to authors discussed above, amateur folklorist Charles Leland claimed that there is a continuous tradition of witchcraft up to his day, at least in Italy where he allegedly gained information including hymns and rituals from a local witch. George Egerton (Mary Chavalita Dunne) published two relatively popular short story compilations which have been recognized as feminist celebration of the figure of the witch. Though herself critical to feminism as a political movement Egerton was thoroughly feministic in mocking the double standards of sexual behavior of men and women. Another author inspired by Michelet is Oliver Madox Hueffer, except that like Gage, he didn´t share Michelet´s enthusiansm of witches as proto-scientists.

When it comes to pictorial art, male artists had traditionally depicted witches as old and ugly with occasional exceptions of semi-pornographic approaches. In the 19th century, however, painters became inspired by witches in mythologies both ancient and later. In these paintings the witch often steals power (for example, a spellbook) that belongs to a man. Some authors have seen feministic intention here, but, according to Faxneld, it is more likely that these themes were intended as warning. Female artists of the period had the witch quite rarely as their subject. According to Faxneld, only Teresa Ries´ sculpture Witch Making Her Toilette for Walpurgisnacht was intended as a subversive piece of art.

Apart from pictorial art, Mary Wigman present several famous dances which were based on the idea of the witch. These dances could be seen as corroborating the ”hysteric-feminist-witch” – narrative, but at the same time they could be interpreted as empowering. The same applies to the witch figures Dane Benjamin Christensen´s movie Häxan. In general the representations of the witch during the 19th century strongly resemble the logic of the ”counter-myth” Faxneld discussed at the beginning of the book. When applied this way to art and literature, I think I begin to understand why Derrida has been conceived as such an influential thinker especially in literature studies.

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