Tag Archives: Walt Whitman

SORRY ANGEL

In the art-for-art’s-sake world of Christophe Honoré and his characters—gay men in love with love and the legends of representation that give their at-risk lives sense, sensibility, and station—matters of love, life, death are navigated through a filter of literature and performance, and this combination of high art and pop sentimentality brings solace.

In PLAIRE, AIMER ET COURIR VITE / SORRY ANGEL—now playing at the Nuart—the brief 1990s encounter of Jacques (Pierre Deladonchamps) and Arthur (Vincent Lacoste) is haunted by the long shadows and quotations of some of the writers Honoré recently celebrated in his stage piece Les IdolesBernard-Marie Koltès, Hervé Guibert—supplemented by queer icons and allies Jean Genet, Isabelle Huppert, Robert Wilson, Walt Whitman, W.H. Auden, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Jacques, not willing to undergo yet another course of AIDS treatment, is reaching the end of his story just as Arthur—like Honoré, a transplant from the provinces—is beginning his. With a little help from his idols, Jacques can put Arthur on the path to become a proper young Parisian.

SORRY ANGEL

Through March 21.

Nuart Theatre

11272 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles.

From top: Pierre Deladonchamps (foreground) and Vincent Lacoste in Sorry Angel; Deladonchamps; Deladonchamps and Lacoste; Lacoste.

EDMUND WHITE ON JEAN GIONO

9781635571172

“Recently I wrote a note to accompany Paul Eprile’s translation of Jean Giono’s MELVILLE, which quickly evolved into a novel that has nothing to do with the historical neurasthenic and queer-leaning Herman Melville and everything to do with Giono himself.

“Giono was deeply influenced by American writers… [He] first discovered Walt Whitman in French [and] later studied the ‘American Homer’ in English. He loved Whitman’s all-embracing egalitarianism and his pantheism, and the first part of Giono’s œuvre obviously owes a debt to this passionate revolutionary figure. In Hill, his first novel, Giono tried to illustrate two very Whitmanesque truths:

‘The first of these truths is that there are people, simple and nude; the other is that this earth fleeced [entoisonnée] with woods… this living earth, exists without literature.’

“Cutting down on metaphor and simile (he could never altogether forego them) must have been painful for Giono, so naturally gifted with that kind of eloquence. As Aristotle suggest in The Rhetoric, metaphor is one of the greatest ornaments of writing but also the one no one can learn.” — Edmund White, The Unpunished Vice

White’s blend of memoir and literary criticism is out now.

 

EDMUND WHITE, THE UNPUNISHED VICE: A LIFE OF READING (New York: Bloomsbury, 2018).

Top image credit: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Above: Edmund White and Zadie Smith at a writers’ festival in Florence, 2017. Image credit: Édouard Louis‘ Twitter.

Below, from left: Bernard Buffet, Jean Giono, and Pierre Bergé in Manosque, June 16, 1950. Image credit: Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Paris.