Monday, August 04, 2008

The Annotated Nexus - Page 51

51.0 After an apparently humiliating and forceful sexual advance by Dr. Kronski, Stasia stands purposely naked in front of the group. Set off by the doctor’s criticism of her “exhibition,” Stasia creates a scene by frantically fucking herself with a candle, declaring that she and Mona do things like this for lesbian shows they put on to raise rent money.

51.1 “Or haven’t you told them how we raise the rent money?”
Stasia, addressing Mona, is referring to the public display she is making by being naked and calling for a candle with which to masturbate with. The “we” implies herself and Mona, whom she turns to as she says this. “And it’s gratis this time. Usually I get paid for making an ass of myself, don’t I?” Mona tearfully begs her to stop.

Throughout Miller’s writings on Mona, he makes reference to her (his wife June) raising cash through various shades of prostitution. In some cases, there are only references to “admirers,” who appear to be willing to spend money on June simply for her attention and company.

In this scene, Mona only asks Stasia to stop talking; she never refutes her assertion. Later, on page 142, Miller makes reference to money coming from “suckers” willing to pay for Mona’s “blood.” One of them pays just to have “one of them” urinate on a sandwich.

51.2 worth fifty dollars
When Stasia finally grabs a large candle from the bureau and stuffs it into her vagina “roll[ing] her pelvis frantically,” she declares that this performance is probably worth fifty bucks.

According to this inflation calculator, $50 in 1927 would be $581 in 2007—excessively high. From the perspective of the late 1950s, when Miller wrote this, $50 would be $377. If a private masturbation performance were done today by a high-end prostitute for $200, that would equal approximately $17 in 1927. Perhaps Stasia was exaggerating; perhaps Miller was trying to make sure that the reader understood she meant a lot of money (since $17 in 1959, when Nexus was published, would sound like $10) instead of meaning she worked for peanuts.

51.3 what’s his name … pervert
Stasia says that “what’s his name” would probably pay more for the candle performance. It’s not clear to me if this particular person is referred to elsewhere in Nexus. In contemplating this, Stasia adds that he’d want to “suck [her] off” too, but that she doesn’t like that, at least not “by a pervert.” Mona screams for Stasia to stop. The candle finally falls to the floor.

51.4 “I’m crazy”
As Stasia dresses, she says that she has no moral sense and is crazy, therefore she’s the one who should take the brunt of being “injured or humiliated” and not Mona—“your dear wife.” Nexus had begun with references to Stasia being in a mental hospital—See 8.26, page 9, and page 10.

51.5 my guardians
Stasia pulls an envelope out of a drawer: there’s a check inside “sent to me by my guardians. Enough to pay next month’s rent.” This is an interesting detail for trying to sort out who exactly Stasia (Jean Kronski) was. One hypothesis is that she’d been adopted (see The Many Names of Jean Kronski); this little detail certainly backs this up, as adoptive or foster parents seems to be the only way she can mean “guardians” in this context.

Stasia then proceeds to tear up the check, rhetorically saying “we don’t want that kind of money, do we”—meaning, I presume, ‘clean’ money or charity.

51.6 “pretending that we’re Lesbians”
It’s not the guardians’ money they want, says Stasia, making a point—“We know how to make our own way…giving exhibitions…pretending that we’re Lesbians.” A long-standing question has been, Were June and Jean really in a sexual lesbian relationship? Her statement seems to imply that they’d at least engaged sexually for the sake of performance, but Stasia adds: “pretending that we’re make-believe Lesbians. Pretending, pretending, …I’m sick of it. Why don’t we pretend that we’re just human beings?”

Does “pretending that we’re make-believe” mean that their role-playing was obviously fake, that no real contact was made, that their sexual interaction in those exhibitions was less than convincing? And does her desire to just be a human being and not a pretend-Lesbian mean that her lesbian leanings have been a façade all along, or does it mean that she just wants to be herself--lesbian, bisexual or whatever--without playing the role of lesbian-as-heterosexual-male-object?

Just a general reminder: all scenes and lines of dialogue are written by Miller, and should not necessarily be considered objective, accurate or even factual.

<--- Previous pages 49, 50 . Next pages 52-53 --->

5 Comments:

Anonymous Eric said...

You've really outdone yourself with the photomontage at the top this time.

3:03 pm  
Blogger RC said...

Hey, thanks Eric.

6:42 pm  
Blogger xumeiqing said...

151118meiqing
ugg boots clearance
cheap oakley sunglasses
kate spade handbags
ugg outlet
uggs outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
uggs for women
michael kors outlet online
ugg slippers
nike air max
michaek kors handbags
kevin durant shoes
oakley sunglasses
louis vuitton handbags
hollister uk
louis vuitton outlet
canada goose outlet
oakley sunglasses
coach factory outlet
canada goose outlet
cheap oakleys
rolex watches outlet
michael kors outlet online
mulberry handbags
ray ban sunglasses outlet
ugg outlet
nike air huarache
supra shoes
nike air max
north face jackets
polo ralph lauren outlet
ray ban sunglasses
prada outlet
adidas originals
ugg boots
uggs outlet
michaek kors outlet
nike free run
adidas originals
ugg boots outlet

1:27 am  
Blogger Minko Chen said...

coach outlet online
oakley sunglasses
ralph lauren outlet
tory burch outlet online
coach outlet
tiffany and co
coach outlet store
ralph lauren,polo ralph lauren,ralph lauren outlet,ralph lauren italia,ralph lauren sito ufficiale
michael kors outlet online
ray ban outlet
ralph lauren outlet
coach factory outlet
celine outlet
herve leger dresses
michael kors outlet online
fitflops clearance
michael kors outlet
thomas sabo outlet
nike roshe
ralph lauren outlet

10:23 pm  
Blogger chenlina said...

chenlina20160420
abercrombie outlet
toms outlet
gucci handbags
michael kors outlet
lebron 13
michael kors purses
michael kors outlet online
ralph lauren polo
kate spade
true religion jeans
burberry outlet
cheap air jordans
authentic louis vuitton handbags
cheap jordan shoes
louis vuitton purses
coach factory outlet
north face outlet
adidas originals store
canada goose
michael kors handbags
replica watches
oakley sunglasses
michael kors outlet online
louis vuitton
hollister clothing
adidas outlet
oakley sunglasses
nike free runs
michael kors outlet online
michael kors outlet
coach outlet
ralph lauren outlet
insanity workout
pandora outlet
tiffany jewelry
toms shoes
oakley canada
michael kors
coach outlet
ray ban sunglasses
as

9:43 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home