Last Tango in Paris (1972) was the first of his films I saw. I’m sure if I would see it again, it would bore me to death. In contrast, Performance (1970) by Roeg (see prev. post) has aged better. Both films are a testament to the sexual revolution.
The last of Bertolucci’s film that I saw was The Dreamers (2003). I remember liking it and I guess that likely hasn’t changed.
Luck has it that YouTube has an entire copy of The Spider’s Stratagem (1970). Like Performance of Roeg, it is inspired by Jorge Luis Borges.
I’ve never seen it, I’ll watch it now.
Let me end (because I can) with this beautiful juxtaposition only marginally linked to Bertolucci:
I finished another ‘roman dur’ by Simenon, L’Enterrement de Monsieur Bouvet, one might say a rather unremarkable novel were it not for the fact that it makes one realize that it used to be possible to lead a double life, to disappear many times in one’s life and start all over again elsewhere without leaving a trace. And were it not of course that this is a Simenon ‘roman dur’ and this is the only ‘genre’ I currently enjoy, and have for a year or three.
L’Univers de Simenon, sous la direction de Maurice Piron avec la collaboration de Michel Lemoine
Tom Wolfe was an American author and journalist widely known for his association with New Journalism, a style of news writing and journalism developed in the 1960s and 1970s that incorporated literary techniques.
Regarding the obfuscation in this book, Robert Harbison says in The Built, the Unbuilt, and the Unbuildable (1993):
“Recently the idea has infiltrated academic consciousness that the eighteenth-century crank Lequeu, one of the world’s fringiest paper architects, is really Marcel Duchamp inserting himself Trojan-horse-like into the musty tomes of the Bibliotheque Nationale, whiling away countless hours creating a large hollow space in which a few hundred pseudo-eighteenth-century beings can roost.”
It is of course the work of Marquis de Sade that interests us here. It so happens that one of the translations of Wainhouse, Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings is freely available online. And the most interesting item in that collection is “Yet Another Effort“, perhaps the first piece of writing anyone who wishes to acquaint himself with de Sade should read.
As you may have heard, I have resumed my work as pornosopher and I am currently writing my master’s thesis which investigates whether porn can be art. In my research I get lost very often (which kind of seems to be the purpose).
However, it is time for me to stop getting lost, because I have another paper to finish on political myth, a paper which I have tentatively titled “Mythe, meute, Europa,” which translates as “Myth, mob, Europe.”
Before I start that work, one of my most satisfying finds of the latest obsessive quest: Annie Besant’s sublime pamphlet: “Is the Bible Indictable?” (illustration).
Besant asks (in 1877, mind you!):
“Does the Bible come within the ruling of the Lord Chief Justice as to obscene literature? Most decidedly it does, and if prosecuted as an obscene book, it must necessarily be condemned, if the law is justly administered.”