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Rick Moody

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Подборка по Рику Мууди

Биография и фото. 1

Книги Рика Муди. 2

The Ice Storm by Rick Moody 3

Demonology. 13

Демонология. Рецензия на русском.. 32

Purple America by Rick Moody 38

О книгах Рика Муди. 57

Oyster Boy Review. Rick Moody's The Ring of Brightest Angels around Heaven. 58

Книга Рика с Трупом.. 67

Экранизация романа. 73

О фильме 'Ледяной ветер' по роману 'Ice Storm' by Moody Rick. 74

Ледяной ветер. США, Франция.1997. 88

Ледяной шторм.  95. 94


Интервью Рика Мууди. 106

f i n d i n g    p o e t r y:    a n    i n t e r v i e w    w i t h    r i c k    m o o d y. 108

The Paris Review.. 159

Ryan Boudinot with Rick Moody. 175

Rick Moody on 'Polysexuality'. 204

Упоимнания о Рике Муди. 222

Опра Уинфри диктует Америке, что почитать "Книжный клуб" телезвезды порождает бестселлеры.. 224

Выдержка из статьи об Американской литературе. 241


Биография и фото

Rick Moody

ick Moody is the author of the novels Purple America (1997) and The Ice Storm (1994) and the story collection The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven (1995). His fiction and essays have been published in the New Yorker, Esquire, the Paris Review, Harper's, Grand Street, Details, and the New York Times. He lives in Brooklyn.

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Книги Рика Муди

The Ice Storm by Rick Moody

The Ice Storm

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Format: Paperback, 1st ed., 288pp.
ISBN: 0446671487
Publisher: Warner Books, Incorporated
Pub. Date: June  1995
sales rank: 73,683
A Reader's Catalog Selection


 From Our Editors
This novel about a fractured suburban family and a Thanksgiving weekend that changed life forever is a devastating statement on American political & moral values in the 1970s--the era of Nixon and Vietnam, bad music and shag carpeting, cheap psychology and "key parties"

This novel is set "in 1973 in a small dormitory town in Connecticut, where the Hoods and the Williamses are two of a dozen families which are showing signs of incipient collapse. Specifically, Benjamin Hood is having an affair with Janey Williams and, as a consequence of a neighbourhood 'key party', their marriage partners briefly pair off as well. The two sons of Mr and Mrs Williams and the son and daughter of Mr and Mrs Hood are also unhappy. All the children are aged 14 to 16 and obsessed by sex, which for both generations, says Benjamin Hood, is about 'hunting for comfort'. A freak ice storm causes a crisis for each character." (Economist)

The literary event of the season: a long-awaited novel that transports us back to the 1970s--and puts a nervy postmodern spin on the familiar suburban territory of Cheever, Updike, and Irving. By turns funny and lacerating, The Ice Storm is a family romance written with insight and generosity.

Description from The Reader's Catalog
Growing up suburban and dysfunctional in the '70s: a widely acclaimed portrait of a generation

From the Publisher
The familiar suburban landscape of Updike, Cheever, and Irving gets dazzlingly reinvented in this audacious and funny novel. It's the weekend after Thanksgiving 1973 in the suburbs. American troops are leaving Vietnam. The Beatles are recording solo albums. Pet Rocks are on the drawing board. And the Hoods are skidding out of control. Benjamin Hood is reeling from drink to drink, trying to bed his new mistress - who seems oddly uninterested - and trying not to think about his failures at the office. His wife, Elena, is reading self-help books and losing patience with her husband's clumsy lies. Their son, Paul, home for the holiday, escapes to the city to pursue an alluring rich girl from his prep school. And young Wendy Hood roams the neighborhood, innocently exploring the liquor cabinets and lingerie drawers of her friends' parents, looking for something new. Then an ice storm hits, the worst in a century, and things really get bad. The Ice Storm explores what it was like to be part of a family at a time when all of American culture seemed to be in prolonged adolescence, when the music was bad, the psychology was astral, everybody had shag carpet, and it seemed the best a family could do was to fall apart gracefully. By turns acerbic, hilarious, and lacerating, this is a novel with edge and heart, a chronicle to be savored by everyone who survived the '70s or the suburbs.

 From the Critics
From Veronica Groocock - The Economist  
'Ice Storm' is remarkable in presenting every character as pitiable to the same degree. Usually in this sort of inter-generational novel the younger generation is portrayed sympathetically and the older generation is made unattractive and responsible for the whole mess. (The paradigm is 'Catcher in the Rye' {by J.D. Salinger, BRD 1951}.) Mr Moody's suspension of the customary moral ranking of the novel means, for instance, that the plight of Benjamin Hood,the anxiously adulterous father, is given the same weight as the plight of Paul Hood, his 16-year-old son, who is morbidly absorbed by popular comic books and about not being good at anything. In a more conventional book, Mr Hood would simply be blamed for Master Hood's problems. . . . At times the author's exploration of human frailty is profound.
From Ginia Bellafante - Time  
More than any one character, it is the decade of the '70s itself that serves as the focus of Rick Moody's deft second novel. . . . The Hoods are a troubled lot. Father Benjamin is a securities analyst always drunk, always cheating. His wife Elena is too obsessed with herself, the I Ching and the writingsof Masters and Johnson to offer the teenage Paul and Wendy any semblance of stability. In turn, the children, pained and neglected, seek comfort in Seconal and promiscuity. While the problems of the Hoods are unrelenting, Moody recounts them with a detachment that sets the novel apart from those darker chronicles of New England suburban misery, the works of John Cheever and Richard Yates. Moody is a stylishly clever writer, but by making one too many references to Match Game and eight-track tapes, he undercuts the struggle and pathos ofhis characters.
From Publisher's Weekly - Publishers Weekly  
Exhaustive detailing of early 1970s popular/consumer culture in suburban New England provides the context for this archetypal tale of the American nuclear family in decline. The affluent WASP community of New Canaan, Conn., is home to the Hood and Williams families, neighboring two-parent, two-child households built around increasingly dysfunctional marriages. Benjamin Hood, plagued by a loss of importance at work and a growing drinking problem, pursues an ill-fated affair with Janey Williams; his wife, Elena, feels herself losing what little regard she has left for him. Meanwhile, the adolescent children of both families experiment with sex, alcohol and drugs to find identities and to overcome a ponderous sense of alienation. A neighborhood ``key party,'' at which couples exchange mates by drawing keys out of a bowl, brings the action to a chaotic climax as an apocalyptic winter storm culminates in physical tragedy to match the emotional damage in the small community. Pop-cultural references of the time, from Hush Puppies to the film Billy Jack , pervade the text. Unfortunately, Moody, winner of the Pushcart Press Editors' Book Award for his first novel, Garden State , tends to use these details in a more encyclopedic than evocative manner. His depiction of these families, however, is insightful and convincing, penetrating the thoughts and fears of each individual. And the central tragedy of his tale remains resonant, though his decrying of our cultural wasteland seems a bit stale. (May)



Rick Moody


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Format: Hardcover, 320pp.
ISBN: 0316588741
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Pub. Date: January  2001
Edition Desc: 1 AMER ED
sales rank: 35,139


 From Our Editors
The Barnes & Noble Review
Among the swirl of ethnic weddings at a marriage mill in Connecticut, grief-stricken employee Andrew Wakefield plans an evil revenge against his dead sister's fiancé that involves a chicken mask and human ashes. Andrew, the central character in "The Mansion on the Hill," is just one of the many offbeat and troubled characters who populate Demonology, the second short story collection by Rick Moody, the author of the acclaimed novels
The Ice Storm and Purple America. In this brilliant, satirical collection framed by the deaths of two sisters, Moody uses his acerbic wit and perceptive eye to address our futile attempts to find meaning and catharsis in our suffering.

Moody's stories navigate long, winding roads over which the author capably propels his readers toward certain intended epiphanies. In "The Carnival Tradition," he plays with the chronology of two aspiring bohemians in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1985, then brings them back to when they met as teenagers ten years earlier on Halloween. What begins as a send-up of scrambling and pretentious artists evolves into a comedy of manners about rich and awkward adolescents, finally becoming a devastating meditation on the loss of love and the death of youthful dreams. The story's maimed protagonist is left alone and isolated.

Moody further displays his penchant for breaking short story conventions when he uses a newly discovered cassette collection to tell of the downward spiral of an upper-class ne'er-do-well. In "Wilkie Fahnstock: The Boxed Set," notes on the cassette tapes record the rock hits through the 1970s and '80s, as well as the young scion's inability to hold down jobs, stay out of drug rehab, stay in graduate programs, or to develop a meaningful life.

In "Surplus Value Books, Catalogue #13," Moody re-creates the book list of a mentally ill man selling his library. Each title he is selling refers in some way to his obsession with a female graduate student he will never kiss. As the list goes on, the increasing book values and outrageous liner notes become a vehicle for expression of the madman's hysteria.

In the title story, which ends the collection, Moody weaves a compelling ode to a sister who dies suddenly. With the orange flames of Halloween licking the edges of the story, Moody chronicles the sister's difficult but not entirely meaningless life while she takes her kids trick-or-treating. The grief of the narrator is unflinching.

Moody is on firmest ground in Demonology when he takes apart life in suburban America and examines the pieces with his biting humor. His mockeries of social conventions illuminate the raw human feelings of hurt and loneliness in his characters. Demonology proves once again that Moody is a master storyteller who weaves elaborate tales, bringing readers right where the writer wants us: looking into a mirror that reflects our naked emotions.

Dylan Foley is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, New York.

From the Publisher
"Rick Moody's stories have received astonishing praise that confirms his stature as one of the most important young writers at work today. Writing in Harpers, Vince Passaro named Moody as one of a handful of writers who have "presented us with some of the best and formally most innovative short fiction in our literature." The publication of Demonology will expand Moody's admiring audience and further cement his place in American letters."

 From the Critics
From Janet Maslin - New York Times  
[Moody] animates this eccentric group of experiments with glimpses of a soulfulness behind the game-playing (the first story begins with the sight of a man in a chicken mask) and with a streak of gratifyingly acerbic wit.
From Chris Lehmann - Washington Post  
Rick Moody's fiction...admirably evokes the grace concealed within petty routines, the forgiveness entwined around deep family recriminations and the generosity of spirit detectable within our facile and feeling-challenged age...
From Book - The Magazine for the Reading Life  
In such '90s novels as the much-lauded The Ice Storm and the even more ambitious Purple America, Moody explored a northeastern suburbia shaped by pharmaceutical numbness and post-punk rock. In his second collection of stories (The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven was the first), Moody is more concerned with narrative strategies, extending the possibilities of structure and voice. One story is like the liner notes to a box-set anthology, annotating a life through a selection of favorite records. Another is like an annotated catalog of rare books, examining what the fictional narrator calls "the pathology of book collectors" (while perhaps revealing more of that narrator's own pathology than he intends). Two other stories are each a single sentence long (one lasting two-and-a-half pages, the other sixteen). However uneven the results, the collection, which confounds the distinction between form and content, consistently challenges the reader to come to terms with what these stories mean. The best transcend literary gamesmanship, with both the opening "The Mansion on the Hill" and the closing title story dealing with a sister's death. The latter reads like autobiography (much in the manner of Lorrie Moore's "People Like That Are the Only People Here") and both ring devastatingly true.
-Don McLeese

To read more about Book Magazine, click here.

From Library Journal  
A new collection from the author of The Ice Storm, the basis of the Ang Lee film, and prize winners like Garden State. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
From Washington Post  
...admirably evokes the grace concealed within petty routines...and the generosity of spirit detectable within our facile and feeling-challenged age.
Read all 13 reviews about this title

Number of Reviews: 2    Average Rating:

Matthew G. Schinzel, Sr. (mschinzel@adversearch.com), someone who writes for fun., April 2, 2001,
My agreed thoughts...
Sometimes, in life, there is only the chicken mask, the luggage that makes all others obsolete, and the thoughts you would never share with yourself.

A reviewer (harstan@ix.netcom.com), January 17, 2001,
Insightful anthology
This thirteen story anthology affirms the belief that author Rick Moody writes intricate tales that bares open the good, the bad, and the ugliness of the human soul. His current anthology, DEMONOLOGY, provides a look into the heart, especially the broken kind, of the suburbanite. The reader will feel they are lost in an endless cavern of emotions before Mr. Moody guides the audience out of the well.

This collection will please the author's fans (see THE ICE STORM) as the characters question why. All the stories are well written though a few seem stretched in terms of trying to send a message that at times is depressing and leaves an aftertaste of helplessness.

Harriet Klausner

Демонология. Рецензия на русском

Demonology by Rick Moody. - 288 pages. - Little, Brown & Company; ISBN 0316588741.

"Демонология" - классический образец книги (в отличие от сборника) рассказов. В ней есть все, что характеризует и создает жанр: традиционная стилистика малой прозы с ее концентрацией на деталях и тщательно проработанной интонационной картиной, а также своеобразное сюжетное единство книги как целого.

Книгу обрамляют два рассказа, посвященные умершей сестре писателя. Первый - прямое обращение к мертвой, в котором рассказчик пытается разобраться, что же из ее посмертного образа в самом деле принадлежало ей, той, которую он знал до смерти, и что в этот образ привнесли все те, кто вместе с ним оплакивал ее.

Заключительный рассказ дает непосредственную картину смерти сестры. Детали, детали и еще раз детали - за несколько минут до инсульта она заходит в детскую получше укрыть свою дочь, задерживается, чтобы поцеловать ребенка ("потому что моя племянница - маленькая рыжая проказница, которую невозможно не поцеловать"), и едва ли не в следующей же сцене эта женщина уже лежит на операционном столе, и врачи не в силах вновь заставить ее сердце работать.

Сочетания эпизодов могут быть неожиданными, даже слишком резкими, повествование - обрывистым, что создает эффект мозаики, не нарушающий цельности картины, и даже если в тексте встречается авторское, прямым текстом высказанное предупреждение "с этого места начинается трагедия", можно не сомневаться - трагедия действительно начнется, и наше знание о том, что она приближается, ничего не изменит.

Purple America by Rick Moody

Purple America

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Format: Hardcover, 1st ed., 298pp.
ISBN: 0316579254
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Pub. Date: March  1997
sales rank: 547,992
Other Formats: Hardcover, Paperback

"Melancholy alcoholic Hex Raitliffe has been summoned home by his invalid mother, Billie, the victim of a raging neurological disorder that has lefther body paralyzed and her speech garbled. She has been abandoned by her second husband, Lou Sloane, the manager of a nuclear power plant." (Booklist)

In this tour-de-force literary triumph, the bestselling author of The Ice Storm offers a masterly novel in the tradition of Updike and Roth. Over the course of a single incendiary night, a young man, his mother, and his stepfather discover the profound connections between the forces that bind both family and the society in which familial love is played out.

From the Publisher
Purple America brings us a family in extremis: a son is summoned home to care for his mother, who has long been sick, after she is abandoned by her husband. Over the course of a single weekend night, the son, Hex Raitliffe, sees his good intentions annihilated by a phalanx of opposing forces - not least of them his own predilection for strong drink. Hex confronts his stepfather, stirs up the heat of an old attraction, and tries to accommodate his mother's demands. What begins as a mission of mercy leads, one fatal step after another, to confusion, debauchery, old wounds reopened, and the stinging revelations that only a visit home can bring. The story arrives in the voices of Hex, his mother, his stepfather, and others whose paths they cross this night. Through their thoughts and their memories we see also, amazingly, a portrait of the family in its heyday: the joy of new love, the innocence of young families, and the optimism that brings people together with the idea of creating something new. Even as Hex reels through the catastrophic present, amid tears and confrontations and the shadow of death, the novel shows with great tenderness the beauty of everyday longings for shelter, for company, for family, for peace.

From the Critics

From David Kipen

Certain metaphors ought to come with expiration dates, just like milk or medicine. Rick Moody's third novel, Purple America, is an ambitious, funny, beautifully written book whose prevailing metaphor -- the faltering promise of the nuclear age and with it the decline of the American nuclear family -- has begun to curdle. The military and civilian uses of atomic physics have been with us for only half a century, but somehow their fictional uses, irresistible over the years to numberless writers and filmmakers, already seem as inert as a spent fuel rod.

This subtle handicap never keeps Purple America from succeeding as an uncommonly empathetic fugue of voices emerging from what's left of the Raitliffe family of Fenwick, Conn., during one night in 1992. The novel starts with awkward, stammering, prematurely middle-aged Hex Raitliffe bathing his paralyzed, vaguely senile mother, Billie, in the upstairs bathroom of her once-stylish home. "If he's a hero," Moody writes of Hex, "then heroes are five-and-dime, and the world is as crowded with them as it is with stray pets, worn tires, and missing keys." In the second chapter, the point of view shifts to Billie. This pattern repeats throughout the book. At first we resist such a wrench, having spent the previous pages inhabiting Hex's mind with the intimacy only very fine writing can create. But before long we are Billie's, and the subsequent sidesteps into Billie's overwhelmed second husband Lou's mind, or that of Hex's unforgotten ninth-grade love, Jane, are just as wrenching.

Reading Purple America can feel like dancing a quadrille with four very different partners. On we go, propelled from consciousness to consciousness by Moody's prodigious gift for ventriloquism and large, supple vocabulary. Along the way, Billie asks Hex to promise to help end her life, and Lou troubleshoots a crisis at the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant, where he works. The action of the book obeys Artistotle's unities, taking place over a single night on Long Island Sound, but this doesn't keep Moody from flashing back twice to the letters of Hex's late father, who worked on the Manhattan Project in what seemed the golden age of atomic experimentation, long before it became such a millstone around the national neck.

Connecticut character studies and nuclear questions aren't incompatible subjects, as John Cheever showed in the classic short story "The Brigadier and the Golf Widow," in which an upper-middle-class man building a backyard bomb shelter ultimately confronts the possibility that he just might want the world to end. But in Purple America, the cosmic stakes feel just slightly extrinsic, an overlay, estranged from the urgency of the story. Occasionally mistrusting his considerable powers, Moody's like the off-duty cop who uses his siren to get home even when he's got the turnpike all to himself. - Salon

From Details

You come up gasping on the last page.

From Janet Burroway - The New York Times Book Review

Scientists sometimes confess that they rely on science fiction writers togive them a guesswork overview of other worlds. Mr Moody's dark comedy is a vision of that sort. No one else can know what goes on in the mind of a person with a fatal nerve disease, but an author with sufficient empathy and sufficient eloquence can help us imagine a state of consciousness that's not available to scientific inquiry. Mr. Moody does this with Billie Raitliffe. . . . The novel is wonderfully convincing about the contrary, almost arbitrary shifts that seem to lie at the heart of human feeling.

From Mirabella

Moody's sentences travel great distances; they knock the breath out of you. So does Purple America.

From Publisher's Weekly - Publishers Weekly

Ambitious, stylistically dazzling and heartfelt, this fourth novel from a Pushcart Prize winner (Garden State) chronicles the meltdown in a single evening of a well-to-do Connecticut family. Dexter "Hex" Raitliffe-middle-aged, stuttering, alcoholic-returns home to care for his ailing mother, Billie. Suffering from a degenerative disease, Billie has lost her mobility, her speech-and her hope. So exhausted is her second husband, Lou (manager at a crumbling nuclear power plant beset with problems of its own), that he reluctantly abandons her. Their lives come to crisis poignantly and violently in one night; Moody's dense prose evokes their "dance of feelings" in their disparate voices. Tenderness and guilt war in Lou's mind even as we understand Hex's conviction that his stepfather, who callously left his farewell to his wife typed out on her voice synthesizer, is monstrous and selfish. Hex's own struggles against self-abasement and denial and Billie's rage at her illness are also powerfully rendered in urgent, intense stream-of-consciousness. The novel catalogues the detritus that fills their thoughts; fragments of the technical jargon of nuclear power and of neurological medicine; the features on the face of coastal Connecticut; Billie's obsession with lavender. That linguistic play is dazzling-so much so that it sometimes overshadows the drama it is meant to serve (as in an episode in which Billie finds herself neglected at the restaurant where she and Hex were to dine). It serves less ably the various secondary characters. But the specificity and nuance of the voices of Hex, Billie and Lou drive the story towards a climax that is grotesque, inexorable and deeply sad.

О книгах Рика Муди

Oyster Boy Review. Rick Moody's The Ring of Brightest Angels around Heaven



O Y S T E R   B O Y   R E V I E W   [ 6 ]




Warner Books.
December 1996. 241 pages.
$11.99, paperback.

To me, one of the most beautiful words in the English language is glossolalia. From the Latin root glossa, or tongue, it means an eruption of words, usually under the influence of a trance; think of snakehandlers, or Pentacostals speaking in tongues. In Rick Moody's third book, The Ring of Brightest Angels around Heaven, a novella and stories, we find a writer with a gift for wordcraft that rivals those spontaneous eruptions. Each story is glossolalia, a true convulsive gift of words.

The title novella is the most rewarding piece in this book. A trip through sex clubs, shooting galleries and crack houses, with a supporting cast of transvestites and submissives, "Ring" is a downtown story with echoes of Nelson Algren and Jim Carroll. Its language propels the reader along with an almost musical momentum. In a novella where one of the central characters makes a documentary that she never completes, it is appropriate that much of the action is narrated from a filmic perspective. The combination of visual and lyric, coupled with the author's astounding compassion for his subjects, makes this novella an almost sensual experience, a binge of life through the East Village, Hell's Kitchen, and the Upper East Side.

An early story in the collection, "The Grid," shares with the title piece an interesting obsession with the notion of coincidence. Just as "Ring" culminates with its characters intersecting at a bakery that serves as a front for a Lower East Side heroin dealer, "The Grid" focuses on people that intersect at a specific Sixteenth Street address. Throughout the book, Moody displays an interest in risk-taking. While his first novel, Garden State, was rendered in primarily realist fashion, each of the stories in Ring makes a deliberate attempt to step beyond the real. Many of the stories present experiments in form; "The Preliminary Notes" is presented as the deposition of an expert witness in an accident case, yet the text is presented as an outline, with a numbering system lifted from the writings of Wittgenstein. Moody does not shy away from the touchstones of either academe or popular culture. "Pip Adrift" is a continuation of Melville's most famous novel, while "The James Dean Garage Band" begins its dissection of the popular icon by saying, "He walked away from the accident, of course."

Another of the book's exemplary stories is "The Apocalypse Commentary of Bob Paisner," a palimpsest where the narrator, a college student, maps the experiences of his own life onto the Revelation of St. John the Divine. Through Bob Paisner's term paper, we learn of his obsession with communication, the struggle it is for him to relate to his roommate, his professor, and most painfully, the women of his university. The narrator's obsession with the minutiae of apocalyptic scholarship replaces, at least for an evening, any healthy pursuit. Yet it manages to present a humanistic world view, and as readers, we wince at Bob Paisner's efforts to extract a simple human connection, a hug from a coed in a dormitory laundry room.

In a recent blurb for an unknown writer, Norman Mailer commented that the art of the short story depended on "the felicity of the details." It was the type of fatuous comment you'd expect from Mailer, except that he is half right. Stories, like the immensely successful ones in Ring, depend not only on the felicity of details, but of language as well.

-Steve Kistulentz

Книга Рика с Трупом

Conjunctions: 36,Dark Laughter è BN

Bradford Morrow (Editor)  Rick Moody (Editor)  


Quincy Troupe (Editor) - это соавтор книги о Майлзе Девисе, которая была отсканированна мной и выложена у меня на сайте с его автографом. Я с ним встречался в Нью-Йорке на чтениях поэзии. Тогда я с ним и познакомился. Интересно то, что он встретился мне здесь в компании Рика Муди.


Экранизация романа

О фильме 'Ледяной ветер' по роману 'Ice Storm' by Moody Rick





1996; цв



Режиссер: Анг Ли

В ролях: Сигурни Уивер /Sigourney Weaver/, Илайджа Вуд /Elijah Wood/, Джоэн Аллен /Joan Allen/, Кристина Риччи /Christina Ricci/, Хенри Черни /Henry Czerny/, Эдам Хэнн-Берд /Adam Hann-Byrd/, Тоби Мэгуайр /Tobey Maguire/, Кевин Клайн /Kevin Kline/, Джэми Шеридан

Экранизация романа Рика Муди. К: Майкл Дэнна. О: М: Тим Скуйрес. Х: Марк Фридберг. Кс: Кэрол Одитц. UGC-Fox. Л: НТВ-ПРОФИТ.  (Иванов М.)

Оператор М: Тим Скуйрес
Монтажер Тим Скуйрес
Композитор Майкл Дэнна /Mychael Danna/
Художник Марк Фридберг /Mark Freidberg/
Костюмы Кэрол Одитц /Carol Oditz/


НТВ ПРОФИТ - Держатель лицензии

Премии и награды:


Номинирован в категориях:

1 - Лучшая актриса второго плана
        Сигурни Уивер /Sigourney Weaver/

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Ледяной ветер. США, Франция.1997                      


            Ледяной ветерОдин из сотен провинциальных американских городков, где жизнь течет по раз и навсегда установленным канонам. Чтобы как-то оживить пресный быт, обитатели на День Благодарения устраивают игру: дамы вытаскивают из вазы ключи от машин, с владельцами которых обязаны провести ночь. Их детишки тоже времени даром не теряют просвящаются, кто как может. Однако известно, что такие игры до добра не доводят, рано или поздно ледяной ветер ворвется в их город и горе тому, кто встретит его на своем пути.

Режиссер: Энг Ли


В ролях: Сигурни Уивер, Джоан Аллен, Кевин Кляйн


Ледяной шторм.  95


Наверное, нет в мире семьи на сто процентов счастливой. Как нет ничего совершенного на земле, и поэтому каждый разными способами ищет для себя свое счастье, или если хотите, сто процентное удовлетворение от жизни. В последней своей картине "Ледяной шторм" Анг Ли попытался заглянуть в еще незабытые нами 70-ые годы, обратясь к проблеме счастья в семье. 
История фильма проста, средняя американская семья Худ из зажиточного городка в штате Коннектикут, что близь Нью-Йорка, живет себе тихо-тихо со своими проблемами. Погружаясь в них все больше и больше, мы узнаем, что папа спит с соседкой миссис Карвер, а дочурка Уенди играет в сексуальные игры с соседскими ребятами, сыновьями папиной любовницы. Мама ничего не делает, только балуется всякой книжной белибердой. А старший сынок Пол учится далеко от дома, иногда навещая своих. 

Так Пол (Тоби Магуайр) приезжает на день благотворения домой, и папа (Кевин Клайн) спешит его встретить, только что, переспав в очередной раз с доброй соседкой Дженни Карвер (Сигурни Уивер). Мама (Джоан Аллен) тем временем подозревает измену,  ну а дочка-пышка (Кристина Риччи) пока совращает  младшего из соседской семьи Карверов. За окном тем временем погода все больше портится, и вместе с ней портятся отношения в добропорядочной семье Худов. Развязка всех этих сложных и наболевших проблем близится к концу, а погода, как бледное отражение семьи Худов, все ближе тянется к ледяному шторму, где и сидит прозрачная такая подсказка к концу картины. 

Режиссер Анг Ли в представлении не нуждается. Родом из Тайваня, Ли уже имеет в своем активе, такие картины, как "Sense and Sensibility" и "Eat Drink Man Woman", получившие признание везде, где любят хорошее кино. Интересно, что фильмы Ли совершенно друг на друга непохожи. Прежде чем снимать "Ледяной шторм", Ли долго готовился, изучая жизнь 70-ых в Америки. Он признался, что днем и ночью читал комиксы, книги, газеты тех времен, пересмотрел безумное количество фильмов.  Так Ли пришел к окончательной версии фильма, поставленному по сценарию Джеймса Шамуса, который в свою очередь написал его по роману Рика Муди. Кстати, Шамус получил премию за сценарий к фильму на Канском фестивале в этом году. 

"Ледяной шторм" - один из немногих вышедших фильмов этого года, который может претендовать на соискание оскара. Для Анг Ли это была бы уже третья номинация, так что посмотрим, куда выбросит судьба новый фильм талантливого режиссера. 




США, 1997. В других ролях Генри ЧЕРНИ, Илайя ВУД, Майкл КАМСТИ, Джейми ШЕРИДАН


  Фильм поставил оскаровский номинант этого года Энг ЛИ (за фильм 'Присевший тигр, затаившийся дракон'). В одной из главных ролей - оскаровская номинантка этого года Джоан АЛЛЕН (за фильм 'Претендент'). Бок о бок с ветеранами Сигурни УИВЕР и Кевином КЛЯЙНОМ в экранизации книги Рика Муди поучаствовал цвет талантливой голливудской молодежи: Тоби МАКГУАЙЕР ('Правила винодельческого цеха'), Кристина РИЧЧИ ('Ценности', 'Сонная лощина') и героиня сериала 'Бухта Доусона' Кейти ХОЛМС.

  Фильм воскрешает атмосферу начала 70-х годов прошлого века, а речь в нем идет об отцах и детях. Подхваченные лихим ветром сексуальной революции родители не слишком озабочены тем, какой пример показывают отпрыскам, а отпрыски давно распрощались со всеми иллюзиями насчет предков. И вот в этот самый грустный момент на город обрушивается ледяной шторм...

  Идея создания фильма принадлежит супруге продюсера Джеймса ШИМУСА. Она прочитала роман Муди, вспомнила свою юность и своих родителей и предложила мужу подумать об экранизации этой книги. Сценарий Шимус и Муди писали вместе.

  Энг Ли в то время снимал фильм по роману Джейн Остин 'Разум и Чувства', тоже впоследствии получивший номинацию на 'Оскар'. Он согласился и сразу набросал распоряжения в постановочную часть студии: 'Сделайте побольше углов, приглушите свет, пусть все выглядят желтыми и потасканными. Если вы хотите, чтобы герои выглядели пустыми и потерянными, создайте им депрессивную атмосферу на площадке, а то у вас тут слишком хорошая жизнь и омерзительно довольный вид'.

  В производстве шторма по его задумке эффект обычной снеговой пушки должны были подкреплять установленные под разными углами зеркала. Среди хрома, стекла со снующими в нем собственными унылыми отражениями и картин в стиле фотореализма актерам действительно было страшно неуютно.

Интервью Рика Мууди


f i n d i n g    p o e t r y:    a n    i n t e r v i e w    w i t h    r i c k    m o o d y

--- T E R E S A   L E O

This interview was conducted over e-mail from March 6-April 18, 2000. Rick Moody is well-known for his fiction and essays, but is also currently working with the collage and found forms in poetry. Three of his collage poems, "The Sport Which Calls for Sorrows," "Lodge Escorts Mourners," and "Use Caution Near Edge," appear in this issue, the sources of which are: an essay by Cotton Mather on dancing; a how-to book from the Fred Astaire School of Dance; a travel guide to the Grand Canyon; a web site on how to make found poems; an e-mail message from the author of this interview; a book on Masonic practices; an anthology by Ted Hughes of poems to learn by heart; Ezra Pound's Cantos; letters of Nathaniel Hawthorne; Jung; D. L. Moody; H. F. Moody, III; Simon and Schuster's Guide to Trees of the World; Pilgrim's Progress; When I Say No I Feel Guilty; Caroline Ticknor. Also in this issue is a poem, "Outtakes/Intakes," a collage assembled from parts of this interview and peripheral material from the e-mail exchange.

Teresa Leo: With the commercial success of your fiction and non-fiction, why poetry and why poetry now? Did these collage poems demand to be collage poems instead of, say, a stream-of-consciousness short piece of prose, i.e., could they be nothing else, the old "form is never more than an extension of content" paradigm, that somehow the content drove the form which drove you to poetry?

Rick Moody: I'm not sure I was driven to poetry, because that sounds romanticized. I wrote poetry as a kid, and some in my twenties, but only very occasionally. As an adult, I got the idea of found poetry from having read some examples of it. I found these examples exciting. So I began working on some collages myself, and I just kept working at them. Always with no interest but to amuse myself and a couple of friends. This is work that I can do out of the glare of the literary spotlight. I wanted to do something where play, and nothing but play, was my motive.

TL: Can you say more about "found poetry" and your process in writing it, why this form interests you, what the freedoms/constraints are, etc.?

RM: I don't know why I like found poetry, really, and the whys and wherefores of any creative act are always hard to fathom. I'm just going where inclination takes me. Maybe I like the form because it seems very contemporary, in the same way as hip-hop and electronica are contemporary: highjacking sounds from what's floating around in Western culture. I like the idea of stealing language from the history of literature, both high and low. It's sort of how the inside of my head feels: full of other texts. Remember that Walter Benjamin said that the most modern of texts would be made entirely of other texts? (I'm paraphrasing, of course.) Well, this is that idiom. I think one of the first poems I wrote along these lines came when I was working as a freelance editor for the University of Pennsylvania Press back in 1992. I edited a book with a lot of citations from Stith Thompson's Motif Index of Folk Literature, and I liked the entries so much that I made a poem out of them.

TL: Where would you like to go with these poems?

RM: I'm moving toward more density, higher volume of sources, and so forth. I have an idea, since I wrote a pretty good poem about Bill Clinton, to make a few more presidential poems, and I'm actually looking at some Nixon transcripts, in order to think about a Nixon poem. Maybe I'll do a series of presidents, maybe not.

TL: Are you moving toward a manuscript here?

RM: I made a little manuscript of the early found poems, called Fair Use, which is coming out in a limited edition this year at some point (from Lame Duck books), but I'm not really oriented toward manuscripts with this work. I'm not sure anyone would want to publish them. And, moreover, the poems are just to amuse myself, and to use pleasure and curiosity alone as barometers of success. In fiction (and non-fiction) I have to think about audience sometimes, and I don't like thinking about them. I'd rather they just followed me wherever I went. Well, there's no such literary universe, really, where a readership is so passive, and that's a good thing, but the poems get closer to it, than the prose does, because, historically, the audience for my poems has been me.

TL: This is the second time you've used the word "amuse" to describe the allure of the found poem. Thing is, I think it's as good a reason as any, perhaps even the most noble and sincere, and I hear you about poetry being something you can do outside of the literary spotlight, but I wonder if you'd comment on the work that's involved.

RM: It's a little like Burroughs with his cut-ups. Instead of looking at the source material and thinking, "What can I say with it?" I'm looking to see what I imagine it is saying itself, and figuring out how I can support or enhance that secret voice of the text. So, for example, when I was doing my Starr Report poem (The New Yorker, October 5, 1998), I was so taken with the sound of certain lines from the text ("Depends what the meaning of the word 'is' is") that I wanted to find relatives for these lines, from Shakespeare, Whitman, etc. It's very process-oriented for me, and all about sound, not at all about making any kind of declarative statement. The psychology of this language, therefore, is very complex, very ambiguous, very elusive. I have to stay so close to the meaning of prose in my prose, I have to be somewhat accessible, but this poetical process gives me the opportunity to turn my back on accessibility if the work requires it.

TL: My sources say found poetry has a bad rap. How would you defend it as an art form? Does it need defending?

RM: Yeah, it has a bad rap, but I like that it has a bad rap. I'm attracted to stuff that some people in the literary world think unworthy of attention. I like monster movies and bubble gum rock and roll and strip malls. Negation is often the site of affirmation, right? So I don't think found poems need defending at all. If you don't like them, don't read them! My sense is that my found poems have become so dense in terms of sources and allusions that they defend themselves, but if not, not. As John Lydon said once, "Our cause will be lost, but that won't be so bad."

TL: Can one do research in order to "find"? And what about citing sources? Do we have to explicitly alert the reader to the "foundness" of a found poem?

RM: Technically speaking, sure, you can do research, and I do it all the time. The poem's not done until it feels a certain way (and this feeling is intuitive, so I'm not sure I can qualify it), and I research continuously until that time. As to the citation of sources, yeah, I think it's important to cite, although I don't think you need to cite the specific passages. I usually include a note, as in Fair Use, just lumping them all in together: Cotton Mather, Stith Thompson, the Starr Report, Nicholson Baker, Walt Whitman, Shakespeare, me. Like that.

TL: For kicks I poked around the web and found a 5-step instruction to the found poem:

1. Copy your selected prose onto a blank sheet of paper.
2. Break the sentences into poetic lines, arranging words and phrases in the most meaningful and surprising ways.
3. Give your poem a title that expresses the main idea of your work.
4. Beneath your title, write "Found in [the title of the book from which you chose the lines or phrases]."
5. At the end of your poem, and to the right, write "arranged by [your name]."

At first glance, this looks utterly doable and probably describes the process pretty well, but might it not be the recipe for disaster? Maybe it goes without saying, but is there not an artistry in the arrangement of found objects, swatches of images, bytes of conversation, phraseology, an eye for what happens when the edges of the disparate meet and synchronize or repel?

RM: Your recipe for found poems is very exciting to me, and I could make it into a poem itself, and may well. What is of interest to me is the democracy of the form--that "anybody could do it." I make absolutely no claims for myself as a poet. I'm just an obsessive-compulsive hack with a pair of scissors and a desire to escape from my reputation. I could teach my eleven-year-old nephew how to do what I do, and if he does it with a sense of wonder and reverence for language his poems will turn out just as well as mine, if not better.

TL: You've worked with collage in prose as well as poetry. Can you talk about the essay you wrote recently on Brian Eno (Tin House, vol. 1, no. 1)? What did this particular form as a way to talk about Eno afford you?

RM: I wrote thirteen separate pieces on Brian Eno and then Amy, my partner, wrote a computer program to generate a random sequence of numbers between one and thirteen. Each section of the piece was given a number, and then when the random sequence was generated, this became the order of the sections of the essay. The title, in Lotus Notes code, is the program for the generation of a random sequence of numbers that served as the organizing principle for the essay as a whole.

As far as Eno himself goes, this kind of technique is one that he has used in his work (in Music For Airports the loops are constructed to "fall" into the piece, and not according to time signatures, just however they happen), and of course it's also familiar from John Cage's work, which has been very, very important to me as a writer.

TL: I think there's crossover here with the collage poetry, but here more than in the poetry I suspect the secret is in the balancing, the self and the self's response to Eno, sort of (to use some of your words) a "lateralness," not meaning without depth, but more of an "equal but opposite" rendering of personal vignette and something like critique, equally weighted and shaped as much by omission as by action. Could any random ordering of the sections really have worked?

RM: Well, the Eno piece is definitely cut from the same cloth as the poems. I'm not sure if all random constructions of this piece would have worked as well as the random construction which is its completed state. There is a finished shape to the piece, of course, and if it were in a different shape, I might have titled it differently or messed internally with it a little bit, etc. So I'm not interested in all the possible shapes of this piece, but, actually, just the one that now exists in nature. I suppose the issue here is the nature of randomness. Are we trusting strictly to chance, or do we believe that important subconscious work, not to say the work of collective unconscious or even the Divine, are in play when we allow a piece to assume a "random" shape?

Some of the poems have been randomly constructed, or constructed initially according to numerical constraints (there was one called "Sixteen," in which each fragment had to come from a page that had a number divisible by sixteen, which is, of course, the signature number of all contemporary books), but when these constructions are finished being assembled they become loveable in their final shape, like a certain Coltrane solo which becomes the Coltrane solo. Retroactively, the poems must be in the shape they're in, until a different construction is attempted. So I suppose I don't believe in a randomness that has no other motivation than chance. Randomness is a way to martial other forces.

TL: What poets have you read or heard whose work appeals to you and why?

RM: I love Susan Wheeler's poems. I love the long narrative poems of Frank Bidart, especially "Ellen West." I love the earlier Wallace Stevens. I love everything I've read of Anne Carson. My tastes, as in fiction, are very, very Catholic, so there's no real rhyme or reason to this, except that pleasure is the least fallible of guides with respect to poetry, as elsewhere. I like some Merwin, some Ashbery, some Ginsberg, some Robert Hass. Anything, just about, by William Carlos Williams. I like some spoken word poetry quite a bit, Hal Sirowitz, for example, and I think it is a useful force. Catherine Bowman. Campbell McGrath. But this is useless. I hate making lists in this way.

What I've always resisted about poetry (and in this sense my "found poems" are surely a commentary on this aspect of contemporary poetry) is its cabalistic, secret-society aspect: only specialists need apply. I'm much more interested in the definition of the art that includes love poems by American teenagers and Hallmark greeting cards, and the Starr Report, as well as all the high art above, etc. It's poetry trying to sequester itself that leads to trouble.

TL: I know what you mean about the kind of sequestering that could rival that of the O.J. Simpson jury. There are so many camps out there, from Pinsky's let's-bring-poetry-to-the-people plan to the spoken word to the political/confessional/narrative/ethnopoetic to those "ex-po" writers, the experimentalists/computer generators/gematria aficionados that have come out of and have gone beyond the Language school. If such a trajectory exists, where would you put collage or found poetry?

RM: I think that I would put found poetry, as a practice, way down on the list, somewhere just above light verse and greeting cards, just below abcedary books for children. But that doesn't mean, though the practice is quite simple, that the results might not be somewhat complex, somewhat demanding.

TL: How, if at all, does narrative fit in?

RM: I have written found poems with a lot of narrative, and also found poems that are the most autobiographical work in my entire canon. I'm thinking, in the latter case, of a "sonnet sequence" I wrote (Open City #6, 1998) entitled "Two Sonnets For Stacey," written for my friend the short story writer Stacey Richter. It's one of my earlier efforts, using only one source, viz., two fourteen line assemblages of the agree-or-disagree statements from the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Index test. I simply chose only statements from the MMPI that I agreed with. It's a tragicomic little opus, and tells you more about me than you will ever want to know. It's ironic, odd, but also, in a way, very direct.

TL: What about the author, the "I" of the poem? Should he/she be decentralized, evacuated? I think of Roethke: "Which I is I?" Does it matter?

RM: I'm familiar with a number of experimental poets, like Jena Osman from Temple University, Rob Fitterman, Stacey Dorris, Ann Lauterbach, and I like all this work a lot, but no one of these poets has ever convinced me that they are evacuated from the work. Look at Lauterbach's "Prom in Toledo Night." It's practically a confessional poem. Even the most hard-to-interpret Language poetry is autobiographical at its fundament, even if an attempt to purge self is the most selfish thing about the work. All writing is about human consciousness, all of it. To this extent, I have always found the rationale for Language poetry more interesting than the poetry itself. I like any kind of experimental urge with respect to language, poetical or otherwise, maybe because I was a would-be deconstructionist when I was an undergraduate and was trained in a lot of these postmodern impulses. But I don't think we should ever fool ourselves about the ultimate source of all this work: a writer. Nor should we fool ourselves about how this work is completed: by a discerning reader.

TL: Yes, yes, and speaking of the autobiographical, I wonder if you'd talk a bit about non-fiction, the personal essay/memoir variety. I think there's some truth in Phillip Lopate's remark in his intro to Art of the Personal Essay, when he says that non-fiction makes people feel "less freakish and lonely." What's your take? Do you have a policy on disclosure/autobiography as it applies to your work, especially non-fiction? Where do you draw the line--any boundaries, pull-back caveats?

RM: You know, I've been working on a non-fiction book for a long time, almost three years, that is really about these issues. For each book, I make a little sign for myself, which I glue onto my printer, to remind myself of why I'm writing it. (For Purple America, e.g., the sign was "If it isn't Purple, it isn't Purple America.") For the new book, the sign is simply "Naked Vulnerability." I do think that what Lopate says has a lot of merit. For me, the source of the impulse is Montaigne, and the opening of the Essays, "I intended my book solely for the solace of my family and friends: that when they have lost me (as soon they must), they may recover here some lines of my character, and by this means more fully and vividly cherish me in their memory." It's as simple as that, really. The inscription aspect of writing, the putting of words down on the rock, or on parchment, is about history and about the consignment of the self to history, even for Language poets. And so whether I am making a fiction or a collage or working on the self-revelation of non-fiction, it is all about leaving myself behind, for family and friends, as editor and arranger of language.

TL: From what I have read of your work, it seems like you are able to traverse all ground in all genres. Do you think this is true instead of say, going to fiction for X, non-fiction for Y, and poetry for Z? I'm sure it's not as clear-cut as this. But for me there's something about the container and conventions of poetry in particular that allow for and forgive the kind of deranged syntax and ghosting of meaning I find necessary to talk about certain things.

RM: In a way, I'm superstitious about answering this question, because to do so would be to claim to have fully investigated each genre and thus to know what each genre can do and cannot do, to the exclusion of the others. Part of my working hypothesis for a while (and it is more prevalently the case, probably, in the non-fiction stuff) has been that genre is actually only a convenience and not a quality that inheres in a literary act. It's something that we impute to a work, later, so as to be able to shelve it properly. To take the idea to its conclusion: genre is a capitalist taxonomy, one which enables booksellers to slot a writer into the proper department, one which enables magazines to review the work on the proper page. But when Montaigne did what he did, he didn't know what he was doing, and later he called his works "essays." I don't really think my poems are poems and I don't really think my non-fiction works are non-fiction works, and some of my fictional works are not fiction. I think of all these works as literary efforts, and whether they adhere to codes that have sprung up in the wake of these categories (since we are shelving poems here, all the things that go on this shelf should have the following qualities) is not of much interest to me. Indeed, the most exciting work for me is work that strides these divides and borrows elements from each of the provisional categories.

TL: What was your first act of writing? I mean, back then, as a kid, some moment/event that drew you toward the page instead of say, to the basketball court or canvas or glockenspiel as a means of expression.

I'm thinking of what you said earlier, how "the putting of words down on rock" is about the "consignment of the self to history." For me that's literally how it happened. I had immigrant grandparents (Italy) and was raised by one set where my grandfather was a coal miner, this in a town of slag-covered mountainsides, breakers, draglines on the hill that overlooked the high school, etc.

My grandmother kept the little cup of pencils up in the cabinet next to the shot and highball glasses out of my reach. No one seemed to care about my desire to get at those pencils, so I used chunks of coal to write words out on the sidewalk, the road, the neighbor's concrete wall, rocks in the backyard. Just a few words here and there: rain, worm, door, girl, help, get out. I don't know if this counts as poetry, but it was a way of leaving messages to myself, a way to pretend, when I'd stumble upon a stray word days later, that there was some narrative larger than that of my life.

I think this is why I'm drawn to poetry, especially the kind that plays with "fractured narrative." You?

RM: My early creative endeavors are far less poetical than yours. I was a very, very slow learner and not terribly good at writing or anything else as a child. I was a reader, above all, and came from a household of voracious readers and very fluent people. My mother wrote some, but kept it all to herself; my father was a keen student of American literature, though he got sidetracked in the world of finance somehow. Since I was a reader first, it stands to reason that my work would be taken up with reading and with signs of reading. The collage as a gesture is a kind of surfeited reading. So much has been taken in that some of it has begun to pour back out. I do remember, however, writing things on the driveway in chalk and getting lectured for it. Apparently, this was not what one did with one's driveways in the orderly Connecticut suburbs. But a rainstorm came soon after and got me out of the trouble.

I really can't talk about my childhood with any kind of verve, because it was so routine, and what magic there was was anyone's magic. I am exactly like every other kid from the middle class. My childhood appalls me. I was frequently lonely and sad, and that's about the only unusual thing I can say about it. I remember being in love with Halloween, however, because I knew there was another register of human events that couldn't be easily perceived with the available sentences, and I remember, one day, taking an ordinary piece of Tupperware with the intent that I was going to decorate it with the signs and symbols of this other register of human events, this Halloween register. I worked and worked, in my abbreviated mind, to attempt to come up with just the right image, and finally settled on the classic ghost image.

I drew this ghost on the outside of the Tupperware container with the traditional American laundry marker known as the Sharpie. But I was incredibly disappointed by my efforts, by the crudity of my creative skills, and abandoned the decorated piece of Tupperware, and it's only later in life that I have come up with the exculpatory notion that decorating a container is so like what the Greeks did, and maybe, in my way, I was attempting a kind of iteration of what interested me as an artist, in just the way the Greeks decorated their casks of wines and bowls and so forth. It's a stretch, but I wasn't raised by coal miners, I was raised by middle class people in Connecticut who didn't understand what it was to be creative, but tried to help me along just the same. We didn't have coal sitting around the house. Well, maybe over by the barbecue . . .

TL: Ever have any regrets about something personal you wrote after seeing it in print? I even have small twinges of regret right after I hit the "Send" button on an e-mail.

RM: I have never regretted anything I've put down in print, although some of the stuff about my time in the psychiatric hospital is not easy for me to talk about. But talking is so different from writing, as it is provisional and temporary. Amy, my partner, has a sign on her computer, "It wants to be written," and that to me is what language really does want, to be made coherent for future generations, rather than to be spoken. Talk is trash language, really, although it can be useful in the way that jazz is useful, for immediacy and spontaneity. But what I have written, I have written, as Pilate says. I can live with all of it.

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The Paris Review



Lorrie Moore

The Art of Fiction CLXVII

Interviewed by Elizabeth Gaffney

Issue # 158
Spring-Summer 2001


INTERVIEWER: What got The Ice Storm started?

MOODY: I had a friend in those days who was a writer for the Voice. And I had given her Garden State to read, and she read it and remarked, You don't know anything about the working class, so you should quit writing about the working class. Which I think was an unusually harsh thing to say to a friend. But it had a beneficial aspect, which was that I decided I was going to write a book about a place I really knew well, of which nobody would be able to say that I wasn't, you know, an exemplar. Meanwhile, I had been reading a lot about American policy in Cambodia, because I sometimes get really obsessed with public policy issues and historical difficulties. I had read I think three or four books on Cambodia in a row and I was reading Sideshow by William Shawcross, this really tremendous book about Nixon's immoral policy in Cambodia. I decided that if I was going to write a book about the early seventies in Connecticut, I might somehow indicate, too, the immense hypocrisy of the Nixon administration, as it trickled down into a group of people. I already had the cast in mind and I had the landscape, but I was looking for an angle. What would make this story go? Turned out it was the so-called sexual revolution, which, when it finally got to the suburbs, looked exactly like Nixon policy in Cambodia, after a fact. Both were founded on deceit and hypocrisy.

INTERVIEWER: Did you find it easier or harder to write what you know?

MOODY: I'm resistant to any kind of traditional wisdom with respect to craft, so I always resist the old saw about writing about what you know. Any time I'm told there's a rule, I want to prove the opposite. Therefore, I wrote about a lot of stuff on which I was completely uninformed when I was younger. It took me a long time to see that it's wasteful not to use material close to home. Now I'm happy to spill all of my secret knowledge on the page. This spillage confers on me the language of authority, if not outright authority. In the meantime, I think that as you get older and more sympathetic about other people, you get better at imagining. So the paradox is that I can now write pretty well about things I know nothing about (nuclear power, contemporary psychiatry, Hawthorne criticism), even as I better understand the wisdom of writing about what I know.

INTERVIEWER: The Ice Storm is loaded with found objects-it's full of very representative items of the period. The pop psychology of the time, for instance. How did you prepare for that book?

MOODY: At the time, I didn't really know how to be faithful to history without cultural detritus. So I had to have all that seventies junk in there. I read every book mentioned in The Ice Storm. I reread Games People Play and I'm Okay, You're Okay, all that shit. And I went to the library and read newspapers and magazines from the seventies and I watched Electra Glide in Blue and Billy Jack. One tangent I pursued was strictly superstitious: in order to channel 1973 I reread Gravity's Rainbow, which was published that year. Because to my way of thinking, Gravity's Rainbow, along with Watergate, was the most important historical event of that year. I think there are only two references to it in the entire novel, and they're very obscure-you'd really have to be hardcore to get them. But I felt like I wanted to have that book in my consciousness while I was writing The Ice Storm.

INTERVIEWER: What about for The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven? Did you really visit sex clubs like The Ruin?

MOODY: The Ruin was based on The Vault, and in all honesty I never went to The Vault because I have trouble staying up late. The Vault doesn't really get going till way after midnight. But I did some sleaze research for it, I made the rounds.

INTERVIEWER: What were the origins of The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven?

MOODY: That story began all at once. I was hanging around one afternoon with a bunch of friends in midtown, all of them sex addicts. They each had stories about going to the old sex clubs before HIV, and while we were talking they really got into those tales of the past. Can you top this, and so forth: "Oh yeah, when I was at the Manhole that time," or the Mineshaft, or the Toilet. Lots of these stories. And it seemed to me that, obviously, I knew something about this, had had similar experiences with addiction in my own life. It seemed to me that all addiction stories were the same, especially in New York. All addiction stories seemed to say something about New York City at a certain time. This was the starting point for the novella, and then the strategy that drove the narrative was this idea about how New York stories are often parallel and simultaneous, so wherever you go, there's a whole life story happening nearby, in the very space you occupy. You walk by that person there and miss this whole parallel web of incidents by a quarter of an inch. Or less.


Ryan Boudinot with Rick Moody

Rick Moody is the author of the novels Purple America, The Ice Storm and Garden State, and the short story / novella collection The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven. He is the co-editor (with Darcey Steinke) of Joyful Noise, a collection of essays on the New Testament. He is currently working on a "non-fiction novel" called The Black Veil. The following interview was conducted via e-mail over the course of a couple weeks in May and June 1998.

Ryan Boudinot: What have you been working on lately?

Rick Moody: I've been on tour for three weeks, so I haven't been working on anything, although I did have time to write a review of Richard Powers' excellent new novel, Gain.

RB: So are you done with the 1998 O. HENRY AWARDS anthology? Have you noticed any overarching themes in the stories you've had to read for this project?

RM: Yes, it's done, but I only had to read 20 stories. Another guy does all the raw sortage for it. The 20 I read I had to read blind (without author's name attached) and interesting things happened as a result. I voted, in second place, for a story by a writer I never would have voted for, someone whose work I usually dislike. That was illuminating and fun. The Pushcart Prize, for which I have read a couple thousand stories in the last three years, gave me a sabbatical this year. I read thirty or forty stories for them and didn't see anything I liked particularly well.

RB: Often it's hard to approach certain writers' work without preconceptions about where they're coming from aesthetically or thematically. Cheever was typecast as the guy who wrote about the suburbs, Carver's been called a minimalist, etc. Have you felt yourself become similarly pigeon-holed? If so, does this push you in any direction you wouldn't normally go in order to defy categorization, or is it merely a pain in the ass you have to deal with?

RM: I have worked really hard to defy categorization, to break down a taxonomy whenever it comes my way. I hope it has worked to some degree. After The Ice Storm, I wrote Ring of Brightest Angels to defeat the "suburban writer" tag, and then made Purple America demanding enough that it wouldn't fit comfortably in any preconception. I hope The Black Veil will further defy expectations. Also, Joyful Noise has done a lot to frustrate ideas about me: last week in Philadelphia a friend of mine was talking to editors of the local weekly paper there, and they asked her if I were really a born-again Christian.

RB: While I wouldn't call you born-again, I do notice a certain thread of spiritual yearning running through your work. With The Black Veil, I've heard you've taken on a character-one of your ancestors-who was a clergyman and inspiration to Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil." Is this new novel in any way a continued exploration of themes, spiritual or otherwise, that interest you?

RM: The new book is not a novel, but a sort of non-fiction novel, in the Mailer-esque sense, with myself commenting liberally throughout. To be interested in the spiritual, and to be interested in critiquing the institutional power of the church, these are the furthest possible endeavors from being "born again" and even mentioning them in the same breath makes clear why Joyful Noise was a worthy idea. I am interested in discussions of the spiritual because this register of consciousness is a part of American life, and was, of course, really important for the foundation of our nation (we are a nation of religious Protestants, initially) and thus any writer who's interested in this culture might take up similar issues. The Black Veil, the new project, takes up these questions of faith, sure, but it takes up a lot of other stuff as well.

RB: I was just reading an article this afternoon about Islamic fundamentalism's dominance of Egyptian politics and how this has put Arab writers in physical, as well as intellectual, danger. I imagine the Islamic equivalent of Joyful Noise would guarantee the death sentence for all the writers involved. Has it become impossible to be blasphemous as an American writer? Is being mislabeled a Bible-thumper the worst fate imaginable for the American writer engaged in spiritual issues?

RM: No, I'm sure it's still possible to blaspheme. I have felt the ominous possibility just off to the side on occasion. I had a born-again guy heckle me at a reading once. He then walked out and made a commotion doing so. It was a stunning moment for me, and I will never forget it. Still, it's pretty hard to blaspheme among liberals, because death sentences are not politically correct (rightly so, to pile on a pun), but it can be done. In a way, I think Joyful Noise is just that, an example of liberal blasphemy, though of a mild sort, and that the response, labeling me born-again, is the sentence that would appropriately be handed down among liberals (among whom, I count myself, it should go without saying). American Psycho is blasphemy; Naked Lunch is still blasphemy (try rereading it, if you haven't lately), etc. The Marquis de Sade still looks pretty good as blasphemy. I suppose I should say that I treasure blasphemy, as a faith of the highest order. Blasphemy hates piousness as deeply as piety loves God. And I like all sorts of strong feelings.

RB: I haven't read Naked Lunch since my sophomore year of college. All I really remember is coprophagy, homo rape and neck-breaking and the overwhelming urge to take a shower once I finished it. I might argue, though, that Burroughs ceased to be blasphemous the moment he started hawking tennis shoes for Nike.

RM: To discount Burroughs for the Nike ad is precisely the kind of Thomas Frank-esque reasoning that I discount. Naked Lunch as a book no longer requires Burroughs for its assembly, and, in fact, Burroughs is irrelevant to the process at this date. It is a thing unto itself (a sequence of words) because you, Ryan, or me, or anyone else, brings our own interpretive skill to it. There is no right or wrong reading of Naked Lunch, though some readings are more common, and thus Burroughs' commercial is not the issue. More important, perhaps, is whether or not you, Ryan, have done a commercial at the time you read the book.

RB: I know, I know. It's the bullshit Bob-Dylan-sold-out-because-he-went-Christian argument. Naked Lunch doesn't lose any of its authenticity retroactively, sure. I do think it's ironic that Burroughs appeared in the Nike commercial, but that doesn't make me discount his work so much as it performs a sort of mind-fuck on me. What I find disagreeable more than the Beat Generation being used as a ready-made system of icons readily appropriated by corporate America is when the whole aura of the Beats distracts from the power of particular works those guys produced. It was hard for me to read "Howl" for a long time without feeling-as you put it-like I was part of a commercial. In other words, the Beats as shorthand for coolness doesn't interest me as much as what's going on in their books, but it seems our culture has largely commodified the hep exterior without taking into account much of the spiritual vitality and hunger in their work. I read something in Time magazine awhile ago that summed all this up perfectly (I'll paraphrase here): "It's still impossible to understand Naked Lunch, but it's still cool to be seen reading it."

RM: You're exactly right to say that the Beats emphasized personality over production. They allowed this to happen, and you can understand why, but it's a shame, because the work is very important. Or some of it is anyway. And there was a revolution in style implicit in the early Beat work, and we still have not completely recovered from it. But Ginsberg and Burroughs both made a decision to make personality essential to their production later, with grim results.

RB: When Don DeLillo went on his speaking tour for Underworld, there was a lot of grumbling about him becoming a pitchman for his own novel, especially in light of the fact that so much of his work deals with the overabundance of commercial information. I got to see him speak here in Seattle and I must say it was the best reading I have ever been to. Have we gotten to a point where the commodification of personality has become so overbearing that it's impossible for us to separate self-promotion from expression?

RM: I think about Don's tour that he made a decision to play with the team on Underworld, never having much read or toured, that he has done far less of that than most people (less than I have, e.g.), and that his position is pretty clear. He doesn't like doing it. Doing a little touring, however, avoids the backhanded, inadvertent commodification of Salinger/ Pynchon, and so there's an argument for it there, too. Even Richard Powers is touring this year. I don't think most reading tours are about "pitching" a book. I think they are about getting in touch with one's readership, with the actual people who turn the pages. This is exciting and makes the business of writing less alienated. And touring therefore gets you around the publisher, for a change, into direct address with the book buyer. I think the real paradox here is that neither argument (1) that the writer is wholly commodified by a relation to the book distributor and (2) that commerce is free of meaning and merely distributes the product with judgement is capable of completely totalizing. The truth is somewhere between these two poles, and everyone, every writer, oscillates back and forth between these two arguments. You find yourself a comfortable spot in the middle. [David Foster] Wallace saying he will never appear on television in his promotion tour; Elizabeth Wurtzel appearing naked on the cover of her book jacket.

RB: Seems to me that being able to read to an audience is one of the more pure modes of literature, going back to the origins of storytelling. Awhile ago I was able to see Haruki Murakami read from his book The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. He performed half his reading in Japanese, then read the same passage in English. In each instance he electrified the room. Has your work been translated into other languages? I imagine something like The Ice Storm would be pretty popular in Japan. You have said you want to be an American, as opposed to a regional writer. Any thoughts on being a global writer?

RM: The Ice Storm, because of the movie, has had, or is to have, a vigorous life in other cultures. UK, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Poland, Taiwan, Japan, Israel, Holland. It's mostly lost on me what the nature of its effects are in these distant lands, because I don't travel there (with the exception of the UK) and am not in touch with native speakers in most cases. It's also true, however, that having conquered the regional writer ghetto, I am now intent on conquering the nationalist writer ghetto and moving out into the world more. I think I will always have an American flavor (how could I not), but I think as I go on, that the community of literature is precious and has no international boundaries, it's one of those cultural productions that is lucky in this way (I once met a guy from Argentina who had followed intently the course of my comic strip in Details magazine) and so I could easily see moving further in this direction. Were I to give away any morsel of information about the novel that follows The Black Veil, this is the one it would be: it will be more global.

RB: You've got some roots planted in the comic book medium, with your strip and the Fantastic Four motif in The Ice Storm. Are you still a comic book fan?

RM: I love comic books and always did as a kid. I always wanted to write something illustrated, and the Details strip finally gave me the opportunity. My grandfather was a newspaper publisher and his paper had all the comics in NYC, so some of my earliest memories are of reading the family paper and heading straight for the comics insert. When I was writing The Ice Storm I went through a whole resurgence of comic book reading (I always have an obsession or two when I'm working on a book), and first it involved Marvel Comics, Fantastic Four, but also X-Men, which was really big then, but then I became involved with underground comics, especially Dirty Plotte by Julie Doucet, Peep Show by Joe Matt (I think that's his name), and Stickboy. I read these for a long while, until, some years later, I was reading about physics for Purple America. Then I was done with comics. I'm sort of out of touch with the whole thing right now.

RB: What kind of research has The Black Veil involved and how did you become interested in this project?

RM: I have wanted to work with the imagery of The Black Veil for more than ten years. I proposed it to Grand Street (in essay form), after I finished my first ever piece of published non-fiction (about Stanley Elkin), for that magazine in 1988, I think. So the idea has been kicking around for a long time. Hopefully, I can be done with it now and move on to more fiction next. The sort of research it requires is massive and never-ending. I am in Boston right now, in fact, to do work at the New England Historical Genealogical Library, where I'm trying to finish up tracing my lineage back to the seventeenth century.

RB: Your characters seem to have pretty unfulfilling sex lives. Is this in response to how sexuality has been depicted in literature in the past?

RM: What would a fulfilling sex life mean? I actually think that they have excellent sex lives, in that it's not a man-on-top-comes-in-fifteen-minutes sort of thing. If you mean they are sometimes unhappy during sex, I hope that this is simply realistic, and that the bias toward bodice-ripping, even in contemporary fiction, toward the earth-shaking, rockets-in-flight heterosexist orgasm is horse shit and needs to be dispensed with as rapidly as possible. Impotence, fetishism, bisexuality, and bondage are all facts of life, and our fiction should reflect that.

Click HERE to read a review of Rick Moody's Purple America


Rick Moody on 'Polysexuality'

Rick Moody on Polysexuality

Intellectually, I don't really have any taboos. Or at least, there are no limits to what I am willing to admire in the literature of sexuality. I have always found virtually anything provocative and satisfying and, on the other hand, very little upsetting or abject. It's the elimination of boundaries and the practice of liberty in the realm of erotic imagination that affords the keenest revelations. Thus, I'm a practicing heterosexual (well, most of the time), who nonetheless likes gay and bisexual sexually-explicit literature as well as bestiality, necrophilia, transgender imagery, inter-generational sex, psychoanalysis, continental philosophy, fetishism, etc. None of these interests have had much effect on my more intimate pursuits in the real world (well, most of the time), but as far as literature and the life of the endocrines goes, permanent revolution -- as Trotsky described it -- seems to be the best approach.
     I wasn't always this way. Like most kids from the suburbs my early training in the literature of the sexually-explicit was confined to period sex manuals spirited away from various adults -- The Sensuous Woman, The Joy of Sex, and page 28 of The Godfather -- manuals whose cabalistic secrets I pored over with the intensity of a hermeneuticist. When you're ten or eleven, words like "vulva" or "orgasm" or even "blowjob," seem impossibly mysterious. Anyway, I had no idea of the catholicity of my tastes in these things until I was away at college and studying, among other things, literary criticism. This was during the heyday of deconstruction, when theorists like Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes were in vogue, and Semiotext(e), the Columbia university-based magazine of postmodernity, was at the peak of its sway. In 1981, Semiotext(e) published an issue called "Polysexuality," devoted, as the title would suggest, to the idea that sexuality is a continuum, not a structuralist economy of either/or's or do's and don'ts. Among its contributors were William Burroughs, Jacques Lacan, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, and such venerable pornographers of the past as Klossowski, Bataille, Verlaine, Rimbaud (these last two in a collaboration entitled "The Sonnet on the Hole in the Ass") and Anonymous, that heavyweight of the field.

     "Polysexuality" didn't avoid a single sexual expression that I could think of, then or now: bondage and discipline, incest, necrophilia, coprophagy, etc. And many of its essays, befitting the intellectual intensity of its contributors, were excruciatingly exact in their depiction of these practices. For me, it was a tremendous eye-opener. I read it the way other people read techno-thrillers or romance novels. Not only did I interpret "Polysexuality" as an act of political rebellion (that such work would be published is itself political), and as a philosophical investigation (what is sexuality, and what separates it, at its most arcane, from other human endeavors?), but it was also a tremendous turn-on. Especially the pieces relating to theory. I was also, however, quite dizzy with the language of case histories. (I never felt the same about Freud's Dora or Little Hans after "Polysexuality" -- they seemed, in that context, patently sexualized. It's no surprise, therefore, that such debased examples of erotic literature as Penthouse's "Forum" now seem to me reminiscent of the style and language of the Freudian case history.) No question about it: the intellectual revelation is closely related to the orgasm. At least the boy model of the orgasm. The life of the mind and the pursuit of sexual expression are often one and the same.

     My favorite piece of all in "Polysexuality" was called "M." It concerns a happily married man who subjected himself to the most baroque expressions of masochism. And it follows here. The life of a writer or reader or intellectual, I'm trying to suggest, is always about liberation. Don't allow any social or economic force to abridge or coerce or limit in any way your own expressions of sexuality, as you would not allow any other speech act to be limited. Be free, consider every possible point of view, the ones that horrify, the ones that delight, the ones that you refuse to admit delight you, and thereby know yourself.   -RM

* * *


M. [Mr. M.'s Story] by Michel de M'UzanFrom "Polysexuality" an issue of Semiotext(e)

Mr. M. was sixty-five when he came to me for the first time. A radiologist colleague of mine discovered him after he had consulted her about a hemoptysis which proved to be of a short-lived duration. My colleague examined him and made a careful inventory of all traces indicating perverse practices: she discussed his state with him and advised him to see me. Mr. M. acquiesced at once, remarking that his case might be useful to others with the same perversion as his. He also admitted that by agreeing to consult me, he might also be hoping for an opportunity to be humiliated, and at the same time to better understand his curious status. His curiosity about himself had never been satisfied: he had read all there was on the subject of masochism and had always been disappointed in his findings. Actually, many other factors played a part in his decision to see me as I shall indicate later on.

     Mr. M.'s appearance and habits were those of a calm and collected person. He was extremely careful to conceal his perversion from those around him. He had been a highly skilled technician in radioelectricity before his retirement. His employers held him in such high esteem that he was able to obtain special working conditions, and in particular arrangements affecting his hours and his vacations. He loathed the idea of personally exerting any form of authority or of holding a commanding position and considered both giving and receiving orders to be sure ways of losing his freedom! He was very fond of this freedom which involved long, solitary walks during his holidays. He lived in a small suburban cottage with his adopted daughter and her husband. In short, his daily existence was singularly devoid of any moral masochism.
     But what a contrast between these outer appearances and his naked body! Provided that certain thresholds be exceeded, quantitative considerations and intensity factors can modify the qualitative aspect of a phenomenon and its sense. Going on the assumption that masochistic practices are no exception, I shall describe them in detail and thus possibly modify certain conceptions of masochism.

     To begin with, Mr. M.'s body, except for the face, was almost completely covered with tattoos: "All big cocks welcome," and laterally, with an arrow, "Big pricks enter here" on the buttocks; in front, in addition to the penises tattooed on his thighs, one found the following impressive list: "I'm a slut," "I like it up my ass," "Up with masochism," "I'm not a man, I'm not a woman, I'm a slut, I'm a whore, I'm fuckmeat," "I'm an ambulating shit-house," "I love swallowing shit and piss," "I love to be beaten all over, and the harder, the better," "I'm a slut, give it to me up the ass," "I'm a whore, use me like a female, I'll make you come but good," "I'm the stupidest cunt around, my mouth and my asshole are for big pricks."

     Mr. M.'s scars and marks of torture were equally startling. His right breast was literally absent, having been seared with a red-hot iron, pierced by sharp objects and torn off. His navel was a sort of crater: molten lead had been poured into it which was prevented from spattering out (as it would have done because of rivulets of sweat) by introducing a red-hot metal rod into the lead. Thongs of flesh had been cut along his back, through which hooks were passed so that Mr. M. could be suspended while a man penetrated him. His small toe was missing: it had apparently been sectioned with a hacksaw by Mr. M. himself, acting on the orders of a partner. The bone surface was rough even after the amputation and he had filed it even. Needles had been pushed almost everywhere into his body, even into the thorax. His rectum was enlarged, "so it would look like a vagina." Photographs were taken during this process. It is interesting to note that none of these tortures were followed by the slightest suppuration, even after foreign bodies, such as needles, nails and pieces of glass had been inflicted on his body. The daily ingestion of urine and excrement over a period of time did not cause any apparent upset. The internist asked Mr. M. to show him various "instruments of torture" boards imbedded with hundreds of needles, a wheel full of phonographic needles with a handle that was used to beat him. Lastly, and most remarkably, Mr. M.'s genitalia had not been spared.

     Many phonograph needles were imbedded in the testes as the x-rays revealed. The penis was blue all over, perhaps as the result of india ink injected into a vein. The tip of the glans had been slit with a razor blade so as to widen the orifice. A steel ring of several centimeters in diameter had been permanently affixed to the tip of the penis, after the prepuce had been made into a sort of cushion filled with paraffin. A magnetized needle was imbedded in the penis itself, which I dare say bordered on black humor since the penis could "deviate" the needle of a compass, thereby asserting its power. Another ring, but removable this time, girded the base of the penis and the scrotum.
     All of this could easily be verified. The tortures mentioned above left definite traces which incontestably proved that Mr. M. was not lying. And yet (should I attribute this to a defensive attitude on my part?) I sometimes doubted the accuracy of certain unverifiable facts without being able to justify my doubts in any way. Why should he lie about certain details when others were undeniably true? I cannot say, and yet I had vague doubts concerning in particular what he related about his wife and a specific case of aggressive acting out.
     Her death, caused in no small amount, one feels, by the tortures she had endured, had a profound effect on M. He was overcome by depression and developed pulmonary tuberculosis in his turn, but was completely cured after two years spent in a sanitarium.

    His masochistic practices, which had completely ceased during this period, began anew. Especially with men he picked up since the relations with his former partners had rapidly dwindled to nothing. He married a second time but the marriage soon ended in divorce: his second wife was a prostitute whom he had selected in the hope of finding an experienced partner. The fact that she was a prostitute and a procuress put M. in danger of being exposed if she were arrested for her illegal activities and he wanted to avoid that possibility at all costs. He also intimated that his wife's lack of morality shocked him. He legally adopted the young girl who was their maid during their brief marriage. M. was forty-six or forty-seven at the time. It was then that his perverse activities ceased altogether. From then on, he lived completely within the framework of the family life he had created and to which he was very much attached. Nothing of his singular past was known to the persons involved. Correspondence was practically the only contact he maintained with his real daughter. He told me that he did not think she was masochistic, "except for the fact that she had ten children."
     M. described his parents as having been very considerate and kind to him. He was an only child and his parents were not young when he was born. His mother was very affectionate; his father was a little more rigid. M. was very attached to both of them and gradually grew quite close to his father in particular. His father followed M.'s progress at school quite closely but without being overly severe. All of this is very ordinary, one might say. Nevertheless, M. at four years of age had seen a little girl in his neighborhood eating her excrement. He even remembered her name. He said that "I was disgusted. But later on it came back to me." Another time during our talks he made the following statement about a book he had read on Fakirs: "At first I thought it was horrible. But later on it came back to me." The appearance early in life of erogenous masochism -- often cited by writers on the subject -- was verified in M.'s case: His practices began when he was ten years old. He became aware of his punishment-seeking penchant and his attraction to urine at boarding school. He went through a short period during which a certain repugnance apparently held him back, but when this was over his masochistic practices started in earnest and grew in importance. After being sodomized by a monitor, he became the target of maltreatment by his classmates, the sexual aspect of which is obvious. His classmates, however, often backed off, not daring to actually commit certain deeds: they dared not, for instance, push needles through his arm themselves but would give him orders to do so. In sexual "games" he would always assume the female role. As he said, "I was really the local slut. And it satisfied me." After his marriage his masochism developed to its fullest. M. and his wife, although engaging as I have stated in normal sexual activities, were at the same time indulging in shared masochistic relations: "I liked it when she made me suffer, and she liked it when I made her suffer." Then came the idea of incorporating another person into their activities. One person, then two, shared their sexual existence for three years.

     If one considers the development of this case, it seems definite that constitutional factors weighed heavily in the balance: M. married his cousin who had begun her masochistic practices when she was eleven years old (she would stick needles under her fingernails) long before they knew each other. In addition, M. was twenty-one when he discovered that his father (who had just died and whose correspondence he was examining) probably had masochistic tendencies as well. Other than this important constitutional factor, the fact that M.'s masochistic tendencies ceased between his forty-fifth and fiftieth year is to be noted. At the beginning of this period he still had a few homosexual encounters but soon all perverse practices ceased completely. And yet, a most curious thing deserves consideration: M. still had fairly frequent nocturnal emissions after erotic dreams that had become perfectly heterosexual in nature and less and less masochistic. M. told me that in his dreams he was with "a voluptuous woman with whom my sexual activities were close to being normal." He added that "my interest had died out; I had evolved; If I can judge by my dreams, I had become normal again." (It is a fact that his earlier dreams were strictly masochistic.) Thus M.'s masochism described a veritable curve starting from just before the moment the clinical signs appeared -- the constitutional factor which M. himself finds very important -- to the point where the perversion ceased. For a long time -- right from pre-puberty -- his perversion seems to have been the sole actor on stage. But if one considers the fact that later on M. had been capable of engaging in parallel, normal sexual activities which occupied his dreams as he got older, one can say that the perversion, intimately linked to M.'s destiny, was added, as it were, to his "normal" sexuality to meet an economic need -- at least one may suppose this is the case. Developments of this kind have prompted me to prefer the term "masochistic movement" rather than masochism.

     M.'s case also reveals that the phenomenon of physical pain and its mysterious ability to trigger erotic pleasure and orgasm is not what certain specialists have claimed it to be. Theodore Reik, for instance, claims it is terror and anxiety which are associated with pleasure and then with orgasm: M.'s case disproves this, indicating clearly that pain itself is the trigger. The basic link between the intensity of the pain and the intensity of the orgasm underlies everything M. described and at times mentioned openly: "On the whole, it was pain that triggered my ejaculation." This explains the characteristic attitude of the masochist who constantly demands that his partner increase the pain. M. was quite aware of this outbidding. Fear of pain would be absent from him and it was his sadist partner who would back off because of the extreme nature of his demands: "At the last moment, the sadist always backs off." It appears moreover that pain has a double function: on the one hand it apparently acts as a catalyst for sexual arousal: on the other hand it would seem to increase sexual excitement and push it to its climax while losing its own specificity. In this sense, pain has no boundary. "Every inch of my body could be aroused through pain." This would indicate an extreme mutation of the body's sensitivity. Yet pain in itself was not the ultimate leisure. It was but a means. M. made the distinction very clearly: "At first, and on the spot where pain was applied, it hurt, but then I got an erection. More pain, and still more, and the feeling of pleasure gradually became sharper, clearer. Ejaculation occurred when the pain was at its most intense. After ejaculation, there was pain again and it hurt." This aspect of pain as a means was identified by Freud in The Economic Problem in Masochism, where he posits that, in the case of masochism, physical pain and unpleasure are neither ends in themselves nor signals, but means to attain a goal which is always pleasure. M. did not only demand that his tortures be increasingly painful, but that they be prolonged, suspended, resumed, and diversified. In this respect he is a good adept of Freud who says in Civilization and Its Discontents: "When any situation that is desired by the pleasure principle is prolonged, it only produces a feeling of mild contentment. We are so made that we can derive intense enjoyment only from a contrast and very little from a state of things." M. had mastered the art of producing contrasts, i.e. increases and decreases in the quantity of stimuli within a given period of time. These ideas of time and quantity give us definite information which can throw some light on the mysterious connection between physical pain and pleasure. From M.'s endless search for pain, we can logically infer an equally endless need for pleasure. M. orchestrated the brutal tortures inflicted on him in order to obtain the keenest possible pleasure. He undoubtedly experienced "the feeling of happiness derived from the satisfaction of a wild instinctual impulse untamed by the ego." One would be incorrect in assuming, however, that M. was free to desire or to refuse that joy. The paradox is that it was forced upon him. In a sense he was condemned to pleasure and this is why his case is so difficult to unravel. Suffer the worst torments to obtain pleasure under absolute compulsion: such was M.'s destiny for the greater part of his life.

     In the same way that M.'s reactions to pain were different from what is generally accepted, his relations with others were unorthodox in various ways. It is well known that most specialists stress the masochist's quest for humiliation. I would add that this is particularly true when the importance of physical pain in itself is minimized: torture is seldom very horrifying, the genitalia are not subjected to mutilation, pain does not go beyond a certain threshold, etc. M.'s case shows that this is not true and that ever-increasing physical pain was actually sought for. However, it is obvious that although pain and humiliation belong to two different registers, the fact that torture is inflicted of necessity by another party establishes a most intimate link between them. And how did M. live this correlation? According to him, what he craved for was above all the abasement of his personality. To achieve this "veritable moral suicide" every means was valid the moment M. and his wife "were really two slaves of two lovers." Every means, i.e. in addition to the tortures, the simplest slap or obeying orders to indulge in coprophagy, which apparently enabled him to prolong the "psychical pleasure" after ejaculation. The homosexual side of all this was, according to M., another means to humiliation, as he felt that homosexual practices were tantamount to insults. Witness these phrases M. got a partner to order him to inscribe on his skin so his moral decay could be seen: "I gave the impression I was an invert which I was not out of pleasure, but out of humiliation. I experienced no physical satisfaction, it was all on the moral plane." M. depicted himself as having a pressing need to be humiliated -- homosexuality was only an instrument to this end and a means to completely destroying his will. Certain expressions kept recurring in his speech such as: disregard of the will, total annihilation of the will, the will existed no longer, abolition of the will, etc. This trait undoubtedly concealed something despite the general tone of his discourse which, on the whole, was restrained and free from dramatic effects. Nevertheless there was something a trifle too strong in this insistence on renouncing his will "for the benefit of the person who was in command."
     To be more precise, he really renounced nothing at all: first, he was the one who wanted the erotic relationship to exist; second, as soon as it was terminated he resumed his freedom vis-a-vis those persons who supposedly held him in bondage and he did not allow any further servitude to occur. M.'s deeply concealed assertion of total power was matched by his overweening pride which could be glimpsed whenever he described the hideous tortures he had undergone. He felt he was almost unique: only one person he knew of, who lived in a cage bristling with sharp points, had ever surpassed him. He said the only reason he was reticent about performing even more drastic mutilations -- such as amputating his penis -- was the fear of medical or legal complications and the problems involved in hemostasis. It was also his immense pride and his scorn for his partners which prompted his remark that "the sadist always backs off." The sadistic student who shared M.'s life and his wife's was supposed to be all-powerful: he gave orders that had to be obeyed -- and yet he was in fact looked upon as utterly worthless. M. claimed that he himself did not exist as a subject but that he simply embodied the sadist's fantasies. He claimed that he had very little real existence of his own. And here he hoodwinked his interlocutor for he was very definitely expressing a desire: the desire that the other person proceed in such a way as to negate M.'s existence. He was ready to submit to any kind of investigation since reticence was totally foreign to him and indeed literally inconceivable: to show any reticence would have meant to exert his will and therefore cancel himself out. Thus the interlocutor or the partner found himself in the paradoxical situation of being stripped of all power of speech and desire. And so the masochist, behind the facade of a dramatic assertion of his nothingness, actually subdued the sadist by forcing him to assume the role which he, the masochist, appeared to assume. The total power that M. conferred on his partner was an utter mockery. I personally believe that the perverse masochist is not totally unaware of his deep-seated attitude. In any case, he cannot resist letting it be glimpsed or guessed at. The bondage to which the sadist is condemned by the masochist is, in part, so opaquely veiled that one might consider it to be the last word on the whole matter, while another bondage must in fact be concealed, which holds prisoner the masochist himself.

(Translation by Daniel Slote, © Semiotext[e])

Упоимнания о Рике Муди


Опра Уинфри диктует Америке, что почитать "Книжный клуб" телезвезды порождает бестселлеры

Тринадцать миллионов американцев каждый месяц включают свои телевизоры и смотрят "Книжный клуб" Опры Уинфри. Клуб существует с сентября 1996 года. Это не организация, в него не надо записываться, к тому же клуб не продает и не высылает читателям книги. Тем не менее за эти годы "Книжный клуб" Опры принес американским издателям прибыль, которую приблизительно оценивают в сто семьдесят пять миллионов долларов. Благодаря Опре и ее феноменальному таланту вести за собой народные массы двадцать восемь романов стали бестселлерами и увеличили свои тиражи в десятки раз. Ну а их авторы, естественно, превратились в звезд и миллионеров.

Как ей это удается? Всем известно, что заставить американцев читать - задача не из легких. Нет у них к этому занятию ни привычки, ни национальных традиций. Однако могущественная и влиятельная Опра Уинфри благодаря своим ток-шоу на самые разнообразные темы, на которых уже выросло целое поколение американцев, пользуется у зрителей таким авторитетом, что, будьте уверены, если она объявляет в конце очередного "Книжного клуба" название приглянувшегося ей романа, то уже завтра эта книга будет сметена с прилавков магазинов.

Нельзя сказать, что драматургическая модель "Книжного клуба" Опры как-то уж очень оригинальна. Начинается передача с небольшого репортажа об очередном авторе. Потом Опра, писатель и несколько избранных по письмам-заявкам зрителей мирно едят в студии, попутно обсуждая новую книгу и ее героев. Никакого анализа текста, стиля и прочего "заумного" литературоведения. Боже упаси! Опра любит книги "про жизнь" и разговоры о них ведет тоже исключительно "за жизнь": "Смог ли бы ты подружиться с главным героем? Помогла ли тебе эта книга решить какие-либо личные проблемы?" "Книги, - считает Опра, - помогают нам главным образом разобраться в самих себе". Ее же задача - приучить Америку читать.

И Америка послушно приучается. Каждый месяц "Книжный клуб" получает около десяти тысяч писем-заявок на участие в шоу. К тому моменту как очередная книжная новинка обсуждается в эфире, оказывается, что более пятисот тысяч зрителей уже с ней ознакомились. По крайней мере столько же, а может быть, и больше прочтут книгу после выхода передачи.

Один из авторов, чью книгу Опра сделала бестселлером, рассказывал, что через неделю после обсуждения в "Книжном клубе" его романа он отправился куда-то самолетом по своим делам и был просто потрясен, обнаружив, что примерно треть пассажиров в полете читают его книгу.

Что же включает в себя тот круг чтения, который Опра диктует американцам? Разумеется, это беллетристика, в которой описывается "долюшка горькая, долюшка женская". "Мы - женщины, и мы хотим читать про женщин", - заявляет Опра. Из двадцати восьми авторов, представленных читателям в "Книжном клубе", двадцать два - женщины. Во всех этих книгах героини страдают, а герои их всячески угнетают, обижают или просто цинично соблазняют. Женщины в этих романах любят, ненавидят, интригуют, анализируют свою грешную жизнь, но практически никогда не работают. В общем, чаще всего эти книги не имеют ничего общего с окружающей реальную американку действительностью, поэтому и раскупаются дамами на ура.

В конце 1999 года Национальная лига книги вручила Опре Уинфри золотую медаль за ее бесценный вклад в дело приобщения американцев к литературе. В речах, обращенных к ней, многократно прозвучало огромное человеческое спасибо благодарных за прибыли издателей.

Конечно, за глаза издатели всегда рады посмеяться над вкусом могущественной Опры. "Я вам расскажу, какой должна быть книга, чтобы Опра вывела ее в бестселлеры, - заявил в разговоре с журналистами редактор одного из крупных издательств. - Роман обязательно должен быть написан женщиной и повествовать о женщине. Стиль должен быть легким, но не очень. Автор должен быть не начинающим, но и не слишком известным. И конец просто обязан быть счастливым". Впрочем, редактор настоятельно пожелал сохранить свое инкогнито. Прибыль - дело святое.

Когда издатели полагают, что в их руках экземпляр книжной продукции, подходящий для того, чтобы Опра обратила на него внимание, то всеми силами стараются подсунуть свое детище в "Харпо продакшн". Разумеется, сама Опра не в силах прочесть все предлагаемое "Книжному клубу". Читают менеджеры и выставляют книгам оценки по десятибальной системе. Но окончательный выбор все-таки за Опрой.

Провинциальная девочка с трудной судьбой, Опра Уинфри с детства много читала, и книги вели ее по жизни. Как утверждает она сама, идея вести передачу "Книжный клуб" в основном подкупила ее возможностью общения с живыми писателями. Для Опры идеальным образом провести выходные - это успеть прочитать целых три книжки. Бывает, это ей удается, и тогда она чувствует себя по-настоящему отдохнувшей.

Если книжка Опре понравилась, то она может сотворить с ней истинные чудеса. Как ведущая Опра невероятно эмоциональна и непосредственна, и поэтому ей удается стопроцентно заразить своим интересом телезрителей.

Книга неизвестной широкому кругу читателей Жаклин Митчард "Глубокое дно океана", с представления которой в свое время начался "Книжный клуб", имела в своей основе довольно банальную, но трогательную историю. В ней рассказывалось о женщине, чей ребенок был похищен, но, как оказалось, все время безутешных поисков жил неподалеку. Роман этот, в мягкой обложке небольшим тиражом в 68000 экземпляров, выпустило издательство "Викинг". К выходу на экраны "Книжного клуба" издательство допечатало еще 100000 экземпляров книги, которые разошлись мгновенно. И это было только начало! Книга "Глубокое дно океана" выдержала четыре переиздания, и тираж ее достиг 750000 экземпляров.

Выбор Опры - каждый раз сенсация. Но сенсация эта тщательно готовится. Говорят, что планы "Харпо продакшн" охраняются покруче, чем секреты "Форт Нокса". Проникнуть в них или предсказать выбор Опры не удается никому. В планы "Книжного клуба" посвящены только те сотрудники, которые непосредственно готовят шоу, десяток человек в издательстве и сам автор. Издательства допечатывают в срочном порядке дополнительный тираж книги, и в день выхода на экраны передачи произведение как по мановению волшебной палочки возникает на прилавках всех магазинов Америки, а также в каталогах всех библиотек. И на обложке уже стоит логотип "Харпо". Самому автору разрешено бывает поделиться приятной новостью о том, что он или она удостоились чести быть избранными, лишь с самым близким родственником, а уж остальным друзьям и знакомым - ни-ни! И это правильно. Атмосфера секретности работает на имидж "Книжного клуба". Роман-открытие должен возникать как будто из-под земли. А затраты на дополнительный тираж оправдываются всегда. Еще не было ни одного случая, чтобы книга, представленная публике Опрой, осталась нераспроданной.

Она очень хорошо знает вкусы своих зрителей, никогда не пытается предстать перед ними "слишком умной", никогда никого эстетически не воспитывает и не подтягивает до должного уровня. Она предлагает американским зрителям то чтение, которое они выбрали бы и без нее, имей они привычку читать и посещать книжные магазины. Опра просто принимает современного американского читателя таким, какой он есть, и помогает ему встретиться с доступной его интеллектуальному уровню литературой. За это ее и любят. Поэтому и следуют ее выбору.

Майкл Питч, главный редактор издательства "Литл Браун", которое выпускает книги таких известных писателей, как Дэвид Фостер Уэллас и Рик Муди, похвастался как-то, что истекший год был для их издательства удивительно удачным. "Благодаря Уэлласу или Муди?" - спросили его. "Да нет, благодаря Опре", - честно признался он.

Сейчас Опра отобрала для своего "Книжного клуба" три романа из продукции издательства "Литл Браун": "Жену пилота" Аниты Шрив, "Белый олеандр" Жаннет Фитч и "Реку, пересекающую мое сердце" Брины Кларк. О содержании этих произведений вполне можно судить по их заглавиям. Но надо отметить, что выбор Опры принес издательству "Литл Браун" дополнительную прибыль в шесть миллионов долларов, что составило одну треть от общего годового дохода. Судите сами: ну как же после этого спорить со вкусом Опры?!

В конце концов, что человек читает - дело глубоко личное, почти интимное. Заслуга Опры в том, что рядовые американцы просто-напросто взяли в руки книгу. В "Книжный клуб" приходят письма от людей, которые признаются, что лет по двадцать не открывали ни одной книги, пока Опра не помогла им с выбором. А теперь эти люди - прилежные читатели.

Одна из крупнейших в Америке книготорговых фирм "Барнс энд Нобль" отметила в своих маркетинговых исследованиях, что семьдесят пять процентов покупателей, которые приходят в магазин за книгой, объявленной в "Книжном клубе" Опры, уносят с собой еще какую-нибудь книжку, уже по собственному выбору.

С легкой руки Опры в Америке на сегодняшний день насчитывается полмиллиона книжных клубов, объединяющих десять миллионов читателей.

Опра Уинфри совершила то, что не смог сделать никто до нее, - она не только заставила американцев открыть книги, но еще и научила их получать от процесса чтения удовольствие.

По материалам зарубежной прессы подготовила Ася КАВТОРИНА

Выдержка из статьи об Американской литературе

Однако задача была поставлена, и ее предстояло выполнить. В число лучших молодых писателей 1999 года вошли авторы, творчество которых отражает основные направления развития художественной литературы наших дней.

Это сюрреалисты и импрессионисты Рик Муди и Э. М. Хоумс,

мастера драматических монологов Дэвид Фостер Уоллес и Джордж Саундерс,

историографы Чанг-Рей Ли, Майкл Чебон, Уильям Т. Уолман,

наследники традиционных форм и юмора Дональд Антрим и Мэтью Клэм.

Особое место в современной американской литературе занимают произведения, посвященные тому,

как становятся американцами. К числу лучших мастеров этого жанра принадлежат недавние эмигранты Джумпа Лахири, Эдвидж Дантикет, Джуно Диас. Имена этих и других молодых писателей пока еще мало известны за пределами США. Однако, по мнению редакции 'Нью-Йоркера', именно им предстоит в будущем веке доказать, что настоящая литература в Америке не умерла.


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update 30.09.01