Yesterday, as I was reading up on the recently deceased Monique van Vooren, I searched for Fearless Frank (1967) on YouTube and stumbled upon Fearless Frank, or Tit-bits from the Life of an Adventurer (1978). This is a BBC television film directed by Colin Bucksey, an adaptation of Frank Harris’s autobiography My Life and Loves (1922-27) starring Leonard Rossiter as Frank.
There is an amusing scene at 56:29 at the Cafe Royal with Ernest Dowson, Oscar Wilde, Bernard Shaw, Lord Alfred Douglas and Whistler which gives an idea of the boasting of Harris.
And at 35:20 one hears Carlyle say to Frank:
“I did not consummate my marriage Frank … my poor Jane died a virgin.”
A quick search finds that the phrase “Jane Welsh Carlyle died a virgin” is featured in David Markson’s ‘novel’ The Last Novel.
Part of the fun of the writings of Frank Harris is not only the sex bits, but the self-aggrandizing demeanor of Frank.
This is a very enjoyable play, I imagine it to be the best quick introduction to the person and writings of Frank Harris.
Asked what would he like to see in a documentary on a major philosopher, such as Hegel or Heidegger, Derrida replies he would want them to speak of their sexuality and ‘the part that love plays in their life’. He criticizes the dissimulation of such philosophers concerning their sex lives – ‘why have they erased their private life from their work?’