Thursday, March 03, 2005

Erotic, Aesthetic, See Struck


The erotic thus appears to vary rather freely across the spectrum of the beautiful and the ugly, though which is preferred seems to be a matter of individual taste. Indeed, for some people, their conscious and reasoned preference for the beautiful, and for good taste, often seems to war with a desire for a much cruder and uglier eroticism -- one may think of the diffident English actor Hugh Grant, who strayed from his stunning girlfriend, lovely actress Elizabeth Hurley, for the backseat ministrations of a street walker, Divine Brown (who then definitely got her fifteen minutes of fame). The coolness of the merely beautiful, however, can be supercharged by the sublime or even the numinous. If beauty is great and charismatic enough, it begins to take on attributes of the sublime -- the nobility, the majesty, and awesomeness. Where the knees tremble and the breath becomes short, this may be an ordinary social awkwardness, or it can be a fear as in the presence of an overpowering natural phenomenon -- as when Ed Bundy met Jessica Hahn on the television series Married with Children. A divine and numinous eroticism is no longer familiar in religions without goddesses, but it is still perfectly identifiable in religions that have had, not only goddesses, but goddesses particularly of love and beauty, like Aphrodite, Ishtar, or Hathor. The uncanny or magical aspect of this is remembered in the word glamour, which now is trivialized into an aspiration for all beauty but tends to be applied particularly to those celebrities whose charisma seems to rise to superordinary levels, where glamour returns to its original meaning of a spell.


aaron said...

you have issues i thin. divine and numinous eroticism is certainly something i can support.

i like divine beauty, too. If only i could experience it more often than once every 23 years give or take...

aaron said...