[Above artwork by Tsuruko Yamakazi]
and locked in during a snowstorm i made a whole ridiculous series of things out of his diaries, scholarship on him, and jeanette winterson’s the passion. i used it mostly to work out tensions w/r/t power & how it moves things in the world; how narcissism is often what makes one both lovable and lethal; how power can feel on either side of a divide - both collectively and personally - and how quickly it can shift; the fact that power is, in a lot of ways, total delusion, but marveling that it somehow still functions nonetheless; and how vulnerable power itself is.
anyway it’s still this climate-space i remember moving through although my miring in a lot of that is finished and i don’t often think about napoleon at all. but today i came across this list of excerpts from napoleon’s love letters to josephine and of course am reminded why i was obsessed. these letters make me gawk, like his histrionics are as familiar as my best friend’s. “you would, you freak,” beaming. i mean obviously this is insane: “I don’t love you, not at all; on the contrary I detest you – You’re a naughty, gawky, foolish slut […] I hope before long to crush you in my arms and cover you with a million kisses burning as though beneath the equator.” but this: “Your tears rob me of reason”… that is good.