October 18, 2014
"Marx speaks of the reproduction of the worker, but he speaks of it in a way that is very peculiar. For Marx, reproduction of the worker occurs through the wage, and through the acquisition by means of the wage of commodities. The worker consumes the commodities. He basically uses the paycheck to buy food and clothing, and then consumes this commodity and reproduces himself. Well, there’s no trace of any other work in the picture that Marx presents. I’ve always explained this phenomenon, arguing at the time that Marx was writing it’s a moment in the development of industrial capital where there is maximum employment of women, particularly younger women, in the factories. Perhaps Marx saw this female workforce industrialized and in the first phase of industrial development when he was writing reproductive work was extremely reduced; this is one explanation I give for his misunderstanding. But clearly, a lot more is necessary for the day-to-day and generational reproduction of the labor force. Starting with 1860, this is work that was definitively assigned to women. By the turn of the century and later with World War One, there’s a concerted production of the housewife and domestic work becomes the object of a science. It’s a science that is taught in schools to every girl, and there is an ideological campaign deployed to turn the home into a center of production and reproduction of the workforce. The argument that domestic labor is essential to the process of valorization of capital has a very strong historical foundation."

— Silvia Federici x

October 17, 2014
"The decision to feed the world is the real decision. No revolution has chosen it. For that choice requires that women shall be free. I choke on the taste of bread in North America, but the taste of hunger in North America is poisoning me."

— Adrienne Rich

October 17, 2014
"Historically, manuscript recipe collections descend from medieval books of secrets (collections of treasured medical, alchemical, or trade recipes) written in Latin and circulated among an elite readership. The chief of feasts for Richard II who compiled a set of royal recipes in Forme of Cury (or Manner of Cookery) is credited with authoring the first receipt book in English in 1390. Culinary cookbooks later go into print with the anonymous publication of This is the Boke of Cokery in 1500, and the genre of printed cookbooks (often written by men and aimed at a female audience) and household manuals (sometimes containing medical and culinary recipes) became increasingly popular in England in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Alongside this flourishing print culture in which male-authored recipe books and household ‘how-to’ manuals were popular bestsellers, women circulated their recipes exclusively in manuscript until the middle of the seventeenth century."

— Michelle M. Dowd, Genre and Women’s Life Writing in Early Modern England

October 17, 2014
Market Scene (1569), Pieter Aertsen
“One woman makes a din, two women a lot of trouble, three an annual market, four a quarrel, five an army, and against six the Devil himself has no weapon.”
—  from a book of proverbs, published in Antwerp, 1568

Market Scene (1569), Pieter Aertsen

One woman makes a din, two women a lot of trouble, three an annual market, four a quarrel, five an army, and against six the Devil himself has no weapon.

—  from a book of proverbs, published in Antwerp, 1568

October 15, 2014
"When Viola gives Feste a coin in Twelfth Night, he begs another: ‘I would play Lord Pandarus of Phrygia, sir, to bring a Cressida to this Troilus….’ (III.i.51-52). Feste’s remark makes explicit what is in Troilus and Cressida a perhaps surprising subtext: Shakespeare’s play about the long-gone Heroic Age is obsessed with decidedly contemporary, mercantile issues of currency, trade, and valuation. More specifically, both its principal female characters are coded as public yardsticks of value who, like Malynes’s publica mensura, money, are nevertheless themselves subject to revaluation in the course of foreign exchange. The play’s concern with value has attracted considerable attention from scholars, who have often viewed Shakespeare as offering a proplectic Hobbesian vision of market economy. Troilus and Cressida’s ruminations on value, however, couched in the contradictory terms of pathological discourse torn between exogenous and endogenous etiologies of disease, resonate much more closely with the language, concerns, and confusions of Malyne’s Canker of England’s Commonwealth."

— Jonathan Gil Harris, Sick Economies: Drama, Mercantilism, and Disease in Shakespeare’s England

October 13, 2014
TroilusYou have bereft me of all words, lady.
PandarusWords pay no debts, give her deeds: but she’ll bereave you o’ the deeds too, if she call your activity in question.

Troilus
You have bereft me of all words, lady.

Pandarus
Words pay no debts, give her deeds: but she’ll
bereave you o’ the deeds too, if she call your
activity in question.

October 13, 2014

And suddenly; where injury of chance
Puts back leave-taking, justles roughly by
All time of pause, rudely beguiles our lips
Of all rejoindure, forcibly prevents
Our lock’d embrasures, strangles our dear vows
Even in the birth of our own labouring breath:
We two, that with so many thousand sighs
Did buy each other, must poorly sell ourselves
With the rude brevity and discharge of one.
Injurious time now with a robber’s haste
Crams his rich thievery up, he knows not how:
As many farewells as be stars in heaven,
With distinct breath and consign’d kisses to them,
He fumbles up into a loose adieu,
And scants us with a single famish’d kiss,
Distasted with the salt of broken tears.

—Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act IV, Scene IV

October 12, 2014
"The amplified, magnified, or great in this spurious simulacrum of Homeric epic is presented again and again as the merely inflated or ‘blown up’—not just in the bloated epic materia of the war described by Thersites as nothing but ‘a whore and a cukold’ (II.iii.72-73), product of the adultery of another ‘Helen,’ but also in the tumid inflations of the play’s own interminable verbosity, what Troilus (like Hamlet) calls ‘words, words, mere words’ (V.iii.107)."

— Patricia A. Parker, Shakespeare from the Margins: Language, Culture, Context

October 12, 2014
"Cressid, I love thee in so strain’d a purity, that the bless’d gods, as angry with my fancy, more bright in zeal than the devotion which cold lips blow to their deities, take thee from me."

— Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act IV, Scene IV

October 10, 2014

Aren’t you tired of telling yourself, one day I’ll forget her?
Aren’t you tired of starting fires and burning pictures?

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