KS: The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice provides a much more compelling account of gender than does Oedipus myth- one based on mortality instead of castration. The story is also crucial because it helps us to see the foundational nature of gender: The turn away from woman is a turn away from all relationality. Ovid gives the myth a redemptive coda as well. In Book XI of the Metamorphoses, Orpeus is attacked by a band of women who say "Look there's the man who hates us" They strip him of his power to coerce and compel nature, and they dismember his body. Orpheus is transformed by death. When he arrives in Hades, he searches for his "dear" Eurydice and, when he finds her, lovingly embraces her. They spend their time walking side by side through Hades and reenacting what happened on the slope leading from Hades to earth in a way that undoes its violence- turning it into a reversible and ontologically equalizing analogy. Sometimes Eurydice walks ahead and Orpheus follows, and at other times he walks ahead and she follows; and when it is his turn to look back, his look no longer kills. In the first part of his version of the myth, Ovid tell us what heterosexuality is. In the second, he shows us what heterorelationality would look like- if we were ever to have it.

Artforum, February 2010, George Baker in conversation with Kaja Silverman 

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