By Anjuli Kolb

“Robyn F. turned to face Brown and he punched her in the eye with his right hand. He then drove away in the vehicle and continued to punch her in the face with his right hand while steering the vehicle with his left hand. The assault caused Robyn F.’s mouth to fill with blood and blood to splatter all over her clothing and the interior of the vehicle….After Robyn F. faked [a] call, Brown looked at her and stated You just did the stupidest thing ever! Now I’m really going to kill you! Brown resumed punching Robyn F. and she interlocked her fingers behind her head and brought her elbows forward to protect her face. She then bent over at the waist, placing her elbows and face near her lap in attempt to protect her face and head from the barrage of punches being levied upon her by Brown...Brown pulled Robyn F. close to him and bit her on her left ear...Brown bit her left ring and middle fingers.”

– Detective De Shon Andrews’s Affidavit from the LAPD’s Search Warrant following the February 8, 2009 assault of Rihanna (Robyn F.) by then-boyfriend Chris Brown

“Compassionate Justine is robbed by a beggar. Pious, she is raped by a monk. Honest, she is fleeced by a usurer…And so it goes with her throughout…to whomever abuses her, she brings good fortune, and the monsters who torment her become a minister, surgeon to His Majesty, a millionaire. Here’s a novel which bears every resemblance to those edifying works in which vice is seen punished every time, and virtue rewarded. Except that in Justine it’s the other way around; but this novel’s failing, strictly from the view-point of the novel…remains the same: the reader always knows how things are going to end.”

– Jean Paulhan reflects on Sade’s novel Justine (1791) in his 1946 essay The Marquis de Sade and His Accomplice (IV: The Surprises of Love)

“In essence, woman has to take it upon herself over and over again, regardless of circumstances, to bury this corpse that man becomes in his pure state…Thus woman takes this dead being into her own place…Shielding him from the dishonoring operation of unconscious desires and natural negativeness—preserving him from her desire, perhaps?—she places this kinsman back in the womb of the earth and thus reunites him with undying, elemental individuality.”

–Luce Irigaray, “The Eternal Irony of the Community,” an essay on Antigone and death in Feminist Interpretations of G.W.F. Hegel (emphasis in the original)

[R]: Don’t try to hide it / Imma make you my bitch / Cake cake cake cake / You wanna put your name on it / I know you wanna bite this / It’s so enticing / Nothing else like this

[CB]: Legggoooo / Girl I wanna fuck you right now / Been a long time / I’ve been missing your body

–Rihanna feat. Chris Brown, "Birthday Cake (Remix)," released two days ago

Let Me Recite What History Teaches (LMRWHT) is a weekly column that flashes the lavalamp, gaslight, candlelight, campfire, torch, sometimes even the starlight of the past on something that is happening now. The form of the column strives to recover what might be best about the “wide-eyed presentation of mere facts.” Each week you will find here some citational constellation, offered with astonishment and without comment, that can serve as an end in itself, dinner party fodder, or an occasion for further thought or writing. The title is taken from the last line of Stein’s poem “If I Told Him (A Completed Portrait of Picasso)."

Image: The Insider