from the constant handling of their lean, muscular bodies, I came to understand the essential cleanliness, the innate nobility, of sexual love on its physical side.
The transgression is not one of gender but of privacy, of having crossed frightful thresholds of intimacy without permission or even intention.
vertiginous movement between abjection and desire, the shattered ruins of the battlefields and the longing for that one perfect body.
does physical revulsion induce a reciprocal need for physical union, even erotic contact, as if only the coming together of healthy bodies in a context of wholeness and pleasure could sooth the daily assault on the most intimate of human senses?
There is an anxious attempt to separate physicality from sexuality, the aesthetic from the erotic.
The nurse as the 'broken doll' becomes an inversion of the image of the nurse in her Pieta-like posture in the popular recruiting poster, cradling her toy-like soldier. What essentially is a reversal of roles, facilitating a process of identification-the nurse in pain, like her patient-is intruded upon by a grotesque image
the terribly phrase 'mangled testicles' moves beyond the tightening, the violation and the waste to the absolute crushing of female subjectivity: these mangled 'things', neither human nor yet wholly objects, unmake the fundamental categories of gender and sexual difference that structure the human world: the woman is rendered irrelevant, unwanted.
intimacy of gesture is balanced by the professionalism of service as the patients gradually fade out of the memory of the nurses
the 'hands', engaged in the text and yet locked into the past, also help to bridge the gap as we turn the pages of the book meant for us.
these moments of physical contact often define the subjectivity of the women, marking their transformation both as witnesses and participants.