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  • from Antitherapies
  • Jacques Fux (bio)
    Translated by Eric M. B. Becker

Once again, the traps of writing were set. Once again, I was like a child playing hide-and-seek, and who doesn't know what he fears or desires the most: to remain hidden or to be found.

Georges Perec

(Damn Nazis. Eichmann. Bormann. Argentina. Brazil. Now it all makes sense. Everything fits.) I was a normal child. Normal, but with all the peculiarities of a Jewish kid living in the modern-day ghetto. I had my Jewish mother and father, my Jewish friends, my Jewish relatives, my Jewish school, the Jewish club, and, at the time, I even thought that The Xuxa Show was kosher programming. There were plenty of wombs around to nurture me. The first of them I managed to break free from (as everyone does) with great effort. I feel like after leaving that cozy, warm, comfortable, safe place (I seek it out again and again), I got my first kick in the ass. To be honest, I'm able to see years later that it was little more than a Michelangelo pat on the rear, since at that point I was already a masterpiece who should have parlare. But right from the start, Mom was giving me love, affection, safety, and loads of milk. There was no need for me to ever cry. I could have it all. So in the end, I didn't suffer so much with this first kick in the ass. And one week later, they snipped off my foreskin. Brit milah, my covenant with the chosen people and my protection against cruel Lilith. That is, if God and Lilith exist. Or is circumcision designed to make certain that we're always incomplete? In my case, this incompleteness has always been physical—there's nothing more to be done. I've never heard of a foreskin transplant. I've never heard of someone who wanted one. The truth is the whole thing must have hurt a lot. I must have felt scared with all those people there, eating and drinking on someone elses dime (wherever you find free food and drink and another's misfortune, you'll find plenty of Jews, especially the kind of relatives who probably only appear at brit milahs and bar mitzvahs). They looked on at me and my wee-wee. So tiny, the two of us … At least one of them grew up (even if it wasn't much). They even doused the tip in wine to mock me. In vino veritas. Soon after, they literally castrated me. The castration, Freudian theory of plagiarism by anticipation, did in truth take place. Some extremist psychoanalysts consider the rite of brit milah to be a sort [End Page 66] of Jewish self-mutilation, this being one of the explanations for anti-Semitism. I don't know anything, but I suspect a great many things. I don't remember a thing. This is where I would insert myself into History. The Story of Abraham and his covenant with God. In medieval Jewish literature, along with Lilith and the dybbuks. My own story began to replicate literature. I discovered inside myself the symptoms of Portnoy's Complaint. Fascinating. The way history had reproduced history was already quite staggering; that my story could reproduce literature was inconceivable. Yet, all the same, my story went on.

The other womb that always kept me protected—this one omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent—was that of Mom and Dad, the most unforgettable people I ever met. They must have made a womb of the sort of material used to construct those black boxes in airplanes. They knew everything, could do everything, thought of everything, and I believe they were even able to guess at every one of my thoughts, the most intimate, even without knowledge of the Kabbalah and its manipulation of sacred letters. Could my parents have been followers of Tzinacan and known the Holy Scripture? Could they have been characters from literature? Was it magic? Reality? Magical realism?

Still another womb offered me protection. Or should have offered me protection. It was much bigger, much scarier, and shared with many other kids...


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pp. 66-77
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