Koestenbaum and Whitman

More from The Queen’s Throat (p43) , especially for Deen:

The listener’s inner body is illuminated , opened up: a singer doesn’t expose her own throat, she exposes the listener’s interior. Her voice enters me, makes me a ‘me,’ an interior, by virtue of the fact that I have been entered. The singer, through osmosis, passes through the self’s porous membrane, and discredits the fiction that bodies are separate, boundaried packages. The singer destroys the division between her body and our own, for her sound enters our system. I am sitting in the Met at Leontyne Price’s recital in 1985 and Price’s vibrations are inside my body, dressing it up with the accouterments of interiority. Am I listening to Leontyne Price or am I incorporating her, swallowing her, memorizing her? She becomes part of my brain. And I begin to believe—sheer illusion!—that she spins out of my self, not hers, as Walt Whitman, Ancient-Of-Days opera queen, implied when he apostrophized a singer in ‘Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking’: ‘O you singer solitary, singing by yourself projecting me,/ O solitary me listening, never more shall I cease perpetuating you…’

I follow a singer towards her climax, I will it to happen, and feel myself ‘made’ when she attains her note.


About Madame Moselle

Freelance provocateur. Enthusiastic optimist. Dancing bear. Believer. Facilitator of perversion. Disseminator. Libertine. Moth and flame. Rouser of rabble. Stirrer of pots. Bowerbird. Public spectacle.
This entry was posted in Bodies, Music, Opera, Queer, Quotes, The Arts. Bookmark the permalink.

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