“Do you burst into tears at the mere mention of the shrinking Amazon rainforests?” the article I’m scrolling through over breakfast wants to know. “Does the question, ‘Paper or plastic?’ send you into a mental tailspin?”1 If I answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, I am informed, I may be among the growing number of people – now upwards of 40 million in the United States – suffering from eco-anxiety. Eco-anxiety, or ecological grief, is the existential worry or agitation caused by concerns about the present and future state of the environment due to pollution and climate change2 With the growing impacts of climate change, eco-anxiety, which affects women more than men, is increasingly understood to impact mental health, resulting in intense feelings of loss, disassociation, and being overwhelmed as we lose valued species, ecosystems, and landscapes. One eco-anxious reporter describes how the “sight of an idling car, heat-trapping carbon dioxide spewing from the tailpipe,” could send her “into an hours-long panic, complete with shaking, the sweats, and staring off into space while others conversed around me.”3 Eco-anxiety is not simply the guilt of buying plastic-wrapped vegetables or not recycling the yogurt container or even taking a long-haul flight, it’s the knowledge that by existing as a person with an average North American carbon footprint, I am actively shortening the life of our planet.
This sense of disassociation, as well as the spasms and convulsions experienced from watching an idling car or receiving a plastic cup, recall the symptoms of Carol White, heroine of Todd Haynes’s 1995 eco-horror Safe, whose life deteriorates under the stress of what the doctors and media call “environmental illness” but what we can now reinterpret as a nascent form of eco-anxiety. Set in 1987, the film follows the unhappy Californian housewife Carol as she experiences increasingly violent reactions to her environment: her nosebleeds, seizures, hyperventilation, and coughing fits are triggered by the exhaust pipe fumes on the motorway, the chemicals used at her hair salon, and the drycleaner, from which she is removed in an ambulance. But her reactions seem to be initiated by her social as well as chemical environment. She vomits when her husband attempts to embrace her and starts hyperventilating at a baby shower. The moment of sexual dissociation that we see in the film’s uneasy opening bedroom scene expands into other parts of her life: she neglects to laugh at the tedious and sexist jokes made by her husband’s business clients; she leaves midway through her ladies’ exercise class; she wards off her husband with a headache each night, and she eventually abandons her marital bed altogether and moves into a small separate room with a single bed in order to isolate herself from her social and physical environment.
Seeking a cure for her unconventional self-diagnosed ailment, Carol attends meetings with others who claim to be “allergic to the 20th century.” At one such meeting, we listen in on a group of women discussing their own forms of environmental illnesses, which their doctors have dismissed as psychosomatic. One sufferer uses the language of horror to describe her illness, explaining how her symptoms threaten to ambush her at any given time: “when you go into a building, you don’t know when that monster is going to jump out at you….” Rather than the shock created from jump scares, though, the prevailing affect in Safe is a visceral sense of dread that permeates each scene. As Todd Haynes himself noted, “I just wanted to feel like all the air in Safe was like recycled air.”4 In short, the film is extremely uncomfortable to watch.
We might borrow from the language of film – particularly from what the critic Carol Clover and the late, celebrated film theorist Linda Williams have termed “body genres”5 – to think about the form and temporality of environmental illness within in the film and, more broadly, within our own bodily reactions to eco-horror narratives – fictional or otherwise. Body genres are affective responses to aesthetic forms that produce a physical effect such as a reactionary convulsion or spasm from the audience. In William’s study, these genres include melodrama (such as “women’s weepies”), which produces tears; horror, which produces screams; and pornography, which produces erotic responses, such as moans and ejaculation. To this list I add the subgenre of ecohorror, which, rather than screams or tears, produces the very physical sensation of agitation and dread that is not unlike the symptoms of eco-anxiety. In fact, I believe that this sensation of dread evoked by eco-horror narratives can be understood as the response now known as ecological grief.
Theorizing eco-grief as an emerging cinematic body genre, this essay traces the connection between the sick body and the sick environment in recent eco-horror films Safe, and Melancholia (Lars von Trier 2011) in an attempt to understand climate grief as a physical, temporal, and emotional response to the present. In our era of climate crisis, as in Haynes’s prophetic film and von Trier’s doomed Earth, the horizon of shock appears to be looming when disaster is already upon us; the moment of recognition arrives both too soon and too late, producing a feeling of being “out of time” in the sense of being late, but also out of sync or out of tempo. I suggest that it is only when ecological crisis becomes written on the body or responded to by the body – in these cases both the (idealized) female body and the filmic body – that this form of violence is given attention. Thus, viewing these films through the optic of environmental crisis, I wish to look at the ways in which they shed light on the current disconnected realities of our contract with our environment and cinema’s ability to imagine this vertiginous experience of our present moment of loss, and being lost. It is my hope that by examining the haptic and the formal qualities of the eco-horror genre we might find new ways to give aesthetic form, and thereby critical attention, to what Rob Nixon has termed the “slow violence” – a violence of “delayed destruction […] that is typically not viewed as violence at all” – of environmental collapse.6
Out of Time and out of Time: A Permanent State of Shock
The extinction of the bees, vanishing ice-paths, fish swimming up through lawns in Florida, gulls bloated with plastic, tornados dismantling whole island systems, continents moated in oil – these events are understood as slow death in global time, to which human beings, because of our miniscule hourglass, are immune. These disasters are critical; indeed, we use the term crisis to describe the state of the environment, yet on a human scale, they count as a slow emergency. The disjunctive temporalities, these polarizing differences in scale, are what neutralize the emergency and elucidate the way in which action for environmental violence is paradoxically treated as “critical yet not urgent”.7 The uniqueness of Safe as an ecohorror film is largely to do with how the temporality of violence is depicted.
As Williams has argued in her work on body genres, the temporality of horror is always “too soon”: the unwanted surprise, the ambush, the trap always occur too soon and thus produce shock for the unsuspecting victim and audience. The temporality of melodrama, on the other hand, is too late: the belated moment of recognition triggers feelings of regret. In Safe, which traverses both these genres, the horizon of shock seems to be looming when it is already upon us. The palpable dread that we feel in the opening credits of the film as we move through the dark streets of a wealthy Californian suburb, past hedged-off mansions and tall electric gates, becomes the principal bodily sensation that the film emits. Yet, unlike traditional horror, there are no jump scares – or rather the jump scare has been slowed down to a geological timeframe. The film’s slow-burn dread models the ways in which the menace of Carol’s environmental illness, like the menace of eco-anxiety and, more crucially, environmental crisis, has become a shock so pervasive and so permanent, it has lost the ability to surprise. Its temporality is both too soon and too late. Crisis – or permanent shock – has become the body genre of the present.
Von Trier’s Melancholia, also a film about grief and environmental collapse – collapse in a very literal sense, as the film ends with the Earth’s disintegration – captures this sense of ecological dread by conflating a sense of human and ecological time – or macro and micro-cosmic levels of perception – through the use of camera shots. As critics have pointed out, the enormous blue planet Melancholia’s collision with earth is represented by the grandiose, slow-moving shots, scientific or god-like in their point of view, whereas the hand camera, in contrast with the slow, highly pictorial shots, “reveals the terrestrial nature of human beings, lost in a futile attempt to try to put into focus irrelevant details.”8 The merging of the genres of domestic melodrama with sci-fi horror creates a sense of discordance – even a dizzying sensation, as we move between shots filmed with a handheld camera, reminiscent of a home movie, and great slow-moving pans of the landscape and the cosmos. In his analysis of the film, the psychologist Stefano Carta links these different shooting styles to what he calls “the tragic condition of most of our ‘post-modern’ patients … [whose] real symptom is their being lost in their ‘narcissism of small things’ [but] feel that something is missing from their lives, a something that they cannot name, as this malaise, as all-corrosive as imprecise, wholly alienates them from themselves.”9 It is this bodily sense of disorientation – one that I argue is felt by both the viewers and the characters – that causes the patient grief.
The wandering planet’s name alludes to Robert Burton’s 1621 book, The Anatomy of Melancholy, a study of what we could call clinical depression, yet the film moves beyond human experiences of grief and captures something larger and more intricate in scope. We see the protagonist Justine (Kirsten Dunst) battling an ill-timed bout of debilitating depression which coincides with her wedding night, just as the planet Melancholia nears the earth, forecasting humanity’s end, which, like the film’s prelude shots, will seemingly take place in slow motion. Yet, Justine appears unexpectedly energized by the looming planet Melancholia – “The Earth is evil, we don’t need to grieve for it. Nobody would miss it.” she observes – while her fastidious Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), suffers a psychic crisis over the imminent loss of the earth. The film thus both portrays two modes of ecological grief – one created by the modern, petty, wasteful, consumerist, planet-killing world which triggers Justine’s bout of depression during the extravagant wedding, and one brought on the imminent erasure of all worlds, human and ecological, which causes Claire’s anxiety. Instead of a study of clinical depression, Melancholia can instead be understood as an exploration of what film critic Nina Powers calls “objective depression,” where “the pathology is reflected in the world and the world in the pathology: the depressive’s feeling that nothing matters, that we’re all doomed anyway is turned into brute fact.”10 Thus, the film’s focus exceeds what A. O. Scott in the New York Times diagnoses as the “acute anguish … paralyzing hollowness of depression … how disproportionate and all-consuming the internal, personal sorrow,”11 and speaks to a larger sense of externalized, planetary sorrow.
The string of apocalyptic revelries that make up the film’s prologue, accompanied by Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, also contribute to this sense of slowed-down suspense – the feeling of being out of time and out of sync. A horse falls back in slow motion, a bride wades through nightmarish forest, branches clinging to her skirts, a woman carries her son across a sinking golf course, a mysterious blue planet collides with Earth – shattering the atmosphere. On one hand, these images materialize the very physical sensation of grief, wherein time is altered for the sufferer under her bell jar, but on the other hand they also signify how difficult it is to represent planetary crisis on a human scale using human time. As the film critic Roger Ebert pointed out, “in any film involving the destruction of the globe, we know that, if it is not to be saved, there must be a ‘money shot’ depicting the actual cataclysm…[yet in Melancholia] there are no tidal waves. No animals fleeing through burning forests. No skyscrapers falling. None of that easy stuff. No, there is simply a character standing on a hill and staring straight at the impending doom, as von Trier shows it happening in what logically must be slow motion, with a fearsome preliminary merging of planetary atmospheres.”12 There are no familiar scenes of cataclysm – the burning, drowning, and fleeing that we are familiar with – for what this eco-horror film captures is not fast violence, but rather the slow violence of ecological collapse, and the heavy sense of grief, rather than fear, that attends this mode of disaster. Unlike other eco-horror films wherein the earth is saved and returned to the status quo (Contagion and Transformers: Dark of the Moon), Von Trier’s film suggests that the old world must go. All of it. Every last 18-hole golf course, every Last Year at Marienbad-like vista.
Though Todd Haynes’ Safe deals with a different kind of crisis, the twinned psychological and planetary collapse are embodied in similar ways to Melancholia. In Safe, Carol is the figure that allows environmental trauma, as well as the dismissal of environmental destruction, visibility on a human scale. An unremarkable suburban housewife’s environmental illness makes her remarkable. That is to say, Carol’s reactions to her environment make her legible, perhaps even legible to herself (though this is unclear), in ways that she was not before. She becomes remarked upon just as her body becomes marked. On the other hand, as environmental crisis becomes more urgent, it eclipses the remarkable; due to its temporality, it becomes ordinary – in Safe it is depicted as a channel flipped past on daytime TV. Some critics have noted that Carol becomes energized by her illness – perhaps in a similar way to how Justine is affected by the looming planet, Melancholia. As her position in the household shifts, as she rejects her marital “duties” the contours of her status as homemaker blur, and at the same time, something sharpens, perhaps her ability to complain about her intolerance to the social, chemical, and biological demands of her environment.
If we, viewers, thought that the brown, orange and russet colouring of the desert shots in the latter half of the film would offer some relief from the alienating, green-lit household, fume-dense highways, and underground parking lots we’d be mistaken. Indeed, if anything Carol’s trajectory becomes increasingly more claustrophobic, moving from her upper middleclass house to a cabin and then to an “igloo,” essentially a porcelain-walled panic room, in the desert. It does not seem to matter that the lighting is now natural rather than artificial; or that the cinematography now includes occasional tracks, pans and identificatory-inducing techniques such as shot-reverse shot compositions, rather than still compositions in which characters are framed in long shots. As viewers of the film have noted, these changes prove to be deceptive, for Wrenwood mirrors, rather than replaces the San Fernando suburbs Carol has supposedly left behind.13,” Parallax 11 no. 2 (2005): 81–92] Thus, if the plot in Safe is a form of disorder or suffering, a “narrative-as-syndrome”,14 we might long for resolution as a cure for plot. Yet Safe resists narrative resolution: the film denies its viewer a cure. There is no escaping a sick ecology because there is no escaping the capitalist and patriarchal structures that make our environments sick.
The film speaks to this structural disorder – to this social “disease” that is intrinsically linked to environmental illness or a nascent eco-anxiety (especially as most of its sufferers seem to be women) – by offering us an embodiment of the disassociation that Carol feels in her life. In the following two scenes I will discuss, I will show how the supposed disjunctive realities of the sick body and sick environment cause a form of vertigo, but it is perhaps this very sense of feeling dislocated from one’s environment that can lead us to acknowledging how we are, in fact, intimately and imperiously connected to our environment.
Where Am I Right Now?
In search of a cure for environmental disease, Carol visits doctors who, after performing one failed series of tests after another, grow frustrated with her body. She visits a psychiatrist whose office and Freudian black couch resembles her own living room where a similar black couch, which Carol claims not to have ordered, has arrived while she is out. It is the merging of the clinical with the domestic, the monstrous with the mundane, and the global environmental crisis with bodily failure, that leads Carol to feel a sense of disorientation or vertigo within her own home and, in extension, her life.
This sense of being disoriented or lost is crystalized in one of the most distressing scenes between Carol and Greg in their San Fernando Valley home before Carol retreats to Wrenwood. In this scene we hear Carol’s disembodied voice, in the uncertain and child-like tone we are now accustomed to, offering a brief summary of her seemingly uneventful life in the form of a letter of inquiry to the retreat. As Carol’s narrates her letter, in which she describes herself as a “reasonably healthy person” who has suddenly become sick, the camera pans over the objects in her room. We see photographs of her and her husband, Greg, and stepson at different periods of their lives, from childhood to adulthood, alone and together. In this scene, which is one of the many that recall Charlotte Perkin Gillman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Carol’s letter writing is interrupted by her concerned husband Greg. When he asks her what she is doing, she attempts an explanation and trails off, appearing confused. Eventually she says, “What is this? Where am I? Right now?” “We’re in our house,” her husband responds, “Greg and Carol’s house.” The camera, depicting Carol’s focalization, moves back to the photographs. A framed photograph of their wedding stands out. Yet this only seems to increase Carol’s sense of dislocation. Even her husband’s use of their proper names, though perhaps meant to give her a sense of security, instead alienate her further, disassociating her from her official role or identity in the household. In “Meditations on Being Lost”, film critic Vivian Sobchack writes:
Perhaps the most fearsome of all forms of being lost is “not knowing where you are.” Not knowing where you are is not about the loss of a future destination or the return to a previous one; rather, spatially it is about a loss of present grounding and temporally about being lost in the present. This form of being lost seems an existential condition rather than a hermeneutic problem. Its structure is perilously open rather than hermetic, its horizons indefinite, its ground unstable, and its emphasis on the vertical axis (“forward” and “backward” are not the problem, but “here” most certainly is). The shape of “not knowing where you are” is elastic, shifting, telescopic, spatially and temporally elongated; one is orientationally imperiled not so much on the horizontal plane as on the vertical. (Vertigo is often described as “the bottom falling out.”) The primary temporal dimension of this form of being lost is the present—but a present into which past and future have collapsed and that is stretched endlessly. […] This form of disorientation and its resultant existential anxiety also may occur, however, when worldly space and time are “overmarked”—that is, when one’s present spatial and temporal orientation are overlaid and conflated with other (and equally compelling and vivid) space-times.15
Sobchack uses the example of the museum whose multiple indexes of temporalities can cause a form of anxiety – known as Stendhal’s Syndrome – for tourists. As Sobchack suggests, this sense of loss, confusion, or emotional vertigo that Carol feels is brought about by several disjunctive temporalities within an overmarked space: the frozen moments in time captured by the photographs, which form a modest collection in the Whites’ museum of family life; Carol’s letter, meant for a future reader, one of the dubious new age practitioners at Wrenwood; the bedroom where, as we saw with the first scene in the film, Carol frequently undergoes a sense of body-mind disassociation; and finally, the house, Greg and Carol’s House and estate, in which Carol often seems to find herself lost, dwarfed by the green-lit furniture, glowing alien-like lamps and brutalist pillars in the film’s many wide-angle shots.
As the camera pans over the Whites’ family photo collection, we notice that between the photographs are two bedside clocks each suggesting different hours. This collection of objects suggests a distinction between the ways in which photography and film mediate our relationship to time: we see the still frame, what Roland Barthes in Camera Lucida would call a recognition of death, juxtaposed beside the moving film: we are so absorbed in the movement we don’t ponder the relationship between film and mortality in the same way as we do the photograph.16 The photographs depict Carol and Greg as children. At one point we see a photograph of Carol as a child displayed beside Rory, her stepson. In the photograph Carol is younger than her stepson. The camera pans then to show Greg as a child around the same age as Rory. A third photograph shows the family together. This collision of different temporal registers creates a destabilizing effect. It also creates a slowing down effect, as if life were a very slow film reel, and these its individual frames, that flash by not 24 times a second but once every 24 months, or 24 years. These sequence of photographs makes us aware of the body’s clock, and the slower hands of the earth’s clock, as well as the unsynchronized timekeepers beside the bed.
If, as some have suggested, the compass is to the map as the clock is to the calendar – thus, “a clock is a compass whose second hand points to the now instead of the north”17 – the sequence of unsynchronized clocks convey competing spatial as well as temporal registers. Consequently, the question “Where am I right now?” takes on a different meaning within this context. What is the “right now” of Carol’s plea? The hour or minute of the day, or this instant in her life’s passage, or in the world’s transitional moment? Moreover, what space is evoked by the “where” of Carol’s question? What place has become defamiliarized or alien to her? The room, the house, her life, the environment itself? Here, the disjunctive temporalities signalled by collection of photographs and clocks challenge the cardinal directions of Carol’s life.
Carol’s question indicates a sense of instability within a social realm and her position as an unhappy housewife – that much seems clear. But in view of this sequence in which time and space is blurred, frozen, or out of sync, Carol’s question registers a level of loss or being lost on a more global scale. It suggests the extreme instability we embody when confronted with these intersecting time scales, and the slow panic, and emotional and ethical vertigo we experience as inhabitants, parasites, and patients of a sick planet.
Plot without Cure
The 19th-century horror writer Edgar Allan Poe said that “the death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world.”18 Even in the era of environmental crisis, it appears that we have not been able to move beyond this trope. Melancholia and Safe suggest that we can only measure loss when it is presented on a human scale, and when its vehicle is a female body: in this case a white idealized female body in pain. It seems that we have continued to adhere to Alfred Hitchcock’s famous dictum: “Torture the women!”19 On the one hand these striking films evidence how the death of the earth has hitherto only been given visibility through outdated terms: the suffering female body as metaphor. On the other hand, these films propose a link between these bodies and landscapes, suggesting that there is a form of slow violence involved in the continuation of both the trope of the beautiful suffering woman, and the disregard for the diminishing ecologies. In Safe we see resistance to the trope of the suffering woman within the transition shots which, by merging the environmental and female body, implicate the viewer for their complicity within this exchange.
Midway through the film, after a particularly severe reaction, Carol is relegated to a hospital bed, where she decides to seek help at Wrenwood retreat. The transition shot between scenes fades from Carol’s hospital bed to the New Mexico desert, specifically her view from the taxi window as she arrives at Wrenwood in the hope of finding a safe haven from the chemicals of her Californian home environment. This shot is particularly interesting because like the earlier scene in Carol’s bedroom where she writes the letter to Wrenwood, this shot also contains a compression of body/landscapes.
Where the earlier scene contained the collapsing of different temporalities (past photographs, future letter, present room) to create a sense of being lost – causing Carol to ask, “where am I?” – this scene introduces three bodies depicted simultaneously: the patient, the earth, and the film body. The viewer is arguably the fourth body; we are stationary, like the patient, and the landscape, but moving with the camera’s eye. We are also simultaneously in the position of the doctor, analysing the patient, and, in the transitioning scene, in the position of the patient/traveller, Carol, observing her surroundings.
The four bodies in this shot are in distress: the sick patient, the poisoned earth, the film itself (if we agree that recording the narrative is a form of suffering), and the viewer who must endure the plot without cure. On a formal level the film shows how these disjunctive forms of pain synchronize, just as they obscure each other. It prompts us to think about the complex, though elusive, webs that connect these bodies as well as the consequences of these forms of environmental, biological, and aesthetic collapse.
Whether we like it or not, this is the web that securely harnesses us to the consequences of our past. In “Blinding, The White Horse in Front of Me,” her poem about what we now understand as ecological grief, Alice Notley writes:
The Patient says, I see my past drifting away…
I am the being floating above the machine
I must be part of, causing planetary death.20
It is especially the last two lines that speak to Carol’s and our predicament: “I am the being floating above the machine I must / be part of, causing planetary death.” We realize that we are complicit in our own self-poisoning, we are part of the machine that causes planetary death. In this sense then the final lines of the film can be understood as a social contract between patient and viewer. I love you, Carol murmurs into the mirror, which is also the camera: us. I really love you.
This fracturing of the fourth wall means that we are cast in two roles: we are simultaneously the “beloved” to whom Carol addresses the final line of the film, and also her reflection: we replicate her suffering face. Now, 27 years since the film was shot, we are also its future. We reflect back a face whose suffering is not yet fully knowable or quantifiable, whose horizon of shock reveals itself decades too late. In this case, these final lines can also be heard as a plea for forgiveness from a negligent and once-indifferent past to the future inheritors of a very sick earth.
- Stephanie Watson, “How Eco-anxiety Works,” How Stuff Works, 15 October 2008 ↩
- Pihkala Panu, “Anxiety and the Ecological Crisis: An Analysis of Eco-Anxiety and Climate Anxiety” Sustainability 12, no. 19 (2020): 7836 ↩
- Stephanie Watson, “How Eco-anxiety Works,” How Stuff Works ↩
- Todd Haynes Q&A, Safe, Film Society of Lincoln Center ↩
- Linda Williams, “Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess.” Film Quarterly 44, no. 4 (1991): 2–13. Carol J. Clover “Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film” Representations, No. 20, Special Issue: Misogyny, Misandry, and Misanthropy (Autumn, 1987): 187-228 ↩
- Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2011): 2 ↩
- Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, 9 ↩
- Stefano Carta, “Melancholia,” Journal of Analytical Psychology 60, no. 5 (2015): 741–751 ↩
- Carta, “Melancholia,” 741–751 ↩
- Nina Powers and Rob White, “Lars von Trier’s ‘Melancholia’: A Discussion” Film Quarterly, 10 January 2012 ↩
- A. O. Scott, “Bride’s Mind Is on Another Planet,” The New York Times, 11 November 2011 ↩
- Robert Elbert, “I see it coming, I Will Face It, I Will Not Turn Away” RogerEbert.com, 9 November 2011 ↩
- Dorian Stuber, “Patient Zero? Illness and Vulnerability in Todd Haynes’s [Safe ↩
- Stuber, “Patient Zero?,” 81–92 ↩
- Vivian Sobchack, “Meditations on Being Lost,” in Carnal Thoughts: Embodiment and Moving Image Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004): 25 ↩
- Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on photography (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1981): 14 ↩
- John Durham Peters, The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2014) : 214 ↩
- Edgar Allan Poe, “The Philosophy of Composition” in The Complete Poetical Works and Essays on Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. John H. Ingram (London and New York: Frederick Warne & Co., 1888): 175–187 ↩
- Donald Spoto, The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock (New York, 1983): 454. During the filming of The Birds, Hitchcock reflected, “I always believe in following the advice of the playwright Sardou. He said ‘Torture the women!’ The trouble today is that we don’t torture women enough.” ↩
- Alice Notley, “Blinding, the White Horse in Front of Me” in Certain Magical Acts (New York: Penguin Books, 2016): 110 ↩