Re: origin of the kiss

Frank Schaap (
Fri, 08 Nov 1996 13:34:14 GMT

On Tue, 29 Oct 1996 21:56:30 -0500, Mathew Swerdloff <>

>im working on a book in which two characters discuss the origin of the
>anyone have an idea as to the nature, purpose etc of the first human


this is an interesting question to ask people *grin*, do ask some of your
friends and neighbors, the answers i got were great.

i've been thinking about this since Mathew posted it... and imho the
followup posts tend to focus on rather material questions, like feeding and
hormones... uhm, the question was to the "origin" of the kiss, "the first
human kiss", and i think there is no such thing as an origin of kissing,
let alone a first kiss. what we see around us is a proliferation, endless
imitation and repetition of an action for which there is no original. what
we copy is a copy of a copy, for which we can search and even find (read:
construct) an original, but this proclaimed original would be nothing else
than our construct... a copy we would call original.

what we can find out is how other ppl think about kissing, about the origin
of kissing, the meaning of kissing... but this necessarily is a historical
point of view, limited in scope and retold/rewritten by the person bringing
us an account of her/his inquiry. i don't know if this even remotely
relates to the book in which these two characters, if they can decide on a
definite origin of kissing, add their bit to the myths of origin, but a
rather wonderful book is "A lover's discourse. Fragments." by Roland
Barthes (Penguin 1990 [1977]).

so much for a cold friday morning,

\ Frank Schaap
/ "The question is not whether you agree with what I say,
\ and certainly not with the imperfect way that I am
/ saying it; rather, whether you see some of the things
\ that I see and am trying to point to and am offering
/ a vocabulary to talk about and whether you see other
\ things of this ilk that I have not seen, and can point
/ them out to me. And finally, of course, the question
\ is whether those things that various ones of us have
/ seen are indeed there. The purpose is that we may all
\ live enriched...." (W.C. Smith)