Me and The Marquis: Floating to Odd Destinations on an Internet Stream of Consciousness (...while I wait for the Ambien to kick in.)
The story begins as I board my ethereal Kon Tiki, built with logs of web. My first blog-stop is Richard's
I realize that I know only what most of us know about the Marquis and have never even heard of Juliette, so I Google it and the Marquis. I read critical essays and other bits from here and there as I peruse the results until I land on this page. Having had my curiosity sufficiently piqued, I happily find immediate gratification in the form of free PDF downloads. The offerings: Philosophy in the Bedroom and 120 Days of Sodom.
I download both and begin reading. First, Philosophy on the Bedroom. Though it served well as a vocabulary primer for the second book, I find it a bit too contrived and the dialogue so hokey (maybe a bad translation) that I'm unconsciously making fun of it out loud. So I move on to 120 Days of Sodom. Of the 391 page book, I read the 56 page introduction, which is the "set-up," followed by Part the First, which is 256 pages long. I don't get through the whole of this section because the more I read, the more I am struck by the familiarity of the many perversities. I've seen this before....
I stop reading and go back to Google- looking up Pasolini, and lo, there it is. Springtime in Paris, 1999. It's Controversial Film Week. Tonight's Movie: Pasolini's Salo, or 120 Days of Sodom. To see this piece of work made into film is really something. My traveling companion was quickly disgusted, couldn't take it and went to bed. But I stayed up and watched the whole thing, in Italian with French subtitles. It was one of the most bizarre films I've ever seen. (And I've seen some strange ones.) It would probably gross most people out. But sometimes sick things fascinate me in that way that makes my curious mind struggle to understand the appeal.
I parked my little boat on the Seine for the night and I didn't get to reading the other blogs on my itinerary. You never knoe where someone else's posts and links will deliver you, despite the best laid plans. I never would have imagined this destination.
On the following night, (our last in Paris,) we were treated to Ken Russel's The Devils. This web site describes it as follows:
The Devils is one of the finest of Russell's films. Throughout his films Russell takes a schoolboyish delight in courting outrage. And The Devils is filled with such typically Russell-esque touches - self-flagellating nuns, piles of rotting plague victims and corpses tied to wheels, sexual fantasies of nuns fucking Jesus Christ, and nun mass orgies.