The sinner can abhor her sin and the malefactor loathe the guilt in him. If the shamed one turns his spit-streaked face away from the shamer, the shamer is then also impelled to turn away from the degradation she has brought about.
I am ashamed of being a man. The shamed person has been given a kind of inviolability, through being made to be identical with their wound, or their mark.
Only a few women have really wanted to embrace male clownishness, as opposed to the traditional female comic arts of sassy and self-securing wit. Hence a double shame is involved: The word me is the shame-word.
People are to be shamed, but their shame is not to be countenanced; allowing yourself to be shamed, is in itself shameful. Shame is a skin thing.
Shame is itself shameless, which is why it can cause such anger and resentment in those who encounter it. I am ashamed most of all of the Ulysses agenbite of inwit essay that is inseparable from being a man. This is because I lose the power of the face to confront the world and others, to meet it front to front, to project myself as a front towards the world.
So, from Istanbul to the Isle of Wight, no dungeon worthy of the name lacks its kennel. Shame is bottomless, there is far too much ever to tell of it, Ulysses agenbite of inwit essay so it holds its tongue. Shame is therefore not the apotheosis of the eye, but its abomination.
It seems certainly true for example that there is a strong male tradition of attempting to write the weakness of shame, beginning perhaps with Swift and extending through Melville, Kafka, Beckett, Genet and Coetzee, while women writers - with certain exceptions, perhaps Rhys, Duras - have seen their task as the much more urgent one of writing themselves out of shame rather than into it.
What does this mean? Masochism is said to be, and probably is experienced by many, as a life-enhancing exposure to and immunisation against misery and death. For this, I look forward to a scolding the like of which she hands out to the two men, apparently standing for all men, who essayed to suggest that another reading of her exemplary situation was possible.
You can acknowledge guilt, and identify yourself as a guilty person because what you are responsibile for is accidental rather than essential; guilt is not of you.
Shame is on the move, as always. Is Deleuzian masochism beyond good and bad, less and more, because it is so entirely within it?
Think of him so hard that he can no longer be an object, and equally so that you cannot identify with him. I find smug defiance in its Oblomovian lethargy, even as I borrow and wallow in it.
But any prophylactic also harbours the thought and possibility of that which it forfends, becoming its secret home. For something we want to call a power, there is the notion of an agent that precedes and deploys the power, a who looming through the what.
It can be thought of as an intense internalisation of guilt, but this is not really a clarification of the nature of shame, so much as a prematurely clarifying transformation of it into something else.
Shameless shame has been virulently operative in the history of religious feeling, in the heretical eruptions of spiritual and bodily destitution to be found in medieval mysticism and seventeenth-century religious dissidence, for instance, before they were themselves subjected to saving, shaming discipline on the part of religious institutions.
And it is also why writing about shame might at this moment again be feebly flaring: Writing might also be a way of meeting with shame, a coming in to male shamefulness.
Whatever it can get, our shame, more and more of it, for ever, as though it were meant to outlive us, and it is. For the aristocratic-individualist, it is shame that is shameful, while for the feminist-collectivist, it is shaming that is shameful.
Shame is a form of life: We have put aside the religious and mystical languages which allowed the copulation of pride and shame to be thought on, but we perhaps have need of them still to make sense of the embracing of the signs of degradation, the degradation into the condition of a sign, which are so abundant today.
I think that the chances of persuading Ullaliina Lehtinen that the kind of male shame of which I am attempting to write could ever be other than the ruffling of aristocratic composure are very remote, but for that I see no help. I am ashamed of the things men carry on agreeing to want and ashamed as well of what men have done, and what I believe being a man continues to entail doing, to women and to other men, and not just accidentally but systematically, as part of the long, and now almost comprehensively rumbled, plot of patriarchy.
Shame and guilt have both tended to be analysed as moral emotions, which enact the involvement of the person in the judgements of others as to rightness or worth. Men have never been represented as so clownish and ridiculous as we are today; men nowadays are represented on every front not as wicked and cruel and dangerous and demonic but as slow and oafish and absurd and tedious.
The bearing of marks is also a protection against shame, for the bearing of marks can help put my skin back on.
In our systems of law, you cannot be guilty without the avowal of guilt. Because of the outwardly small occasion that has precipitated shame, the intense emotion seems inappropriate, incongruous, disproportionate to the incident that has aroused it. The electronic media are amplifying the role discharged by newspapers for over a century now as engines of shaming.
By contrast, a guilt culture, such as ours is thought to be, is one in which the self feels responsibility for itself, so that guilt is taken deeply into, or may even be thought of as arising in the self.
For shame does not involve merely looking, but, more precisely the inversion or ruin of looking.Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin The Shame of Being a Man Steven Connor This is an expanded version of a paper given in the Gender and Sexuality seminar series, Institute of English Studies, 30 November A shortened version appeared in Textual Practice 15 ():Download