Feb 8, 2013

Green Eyes ---- teasers (updated, reposted)

We just have to do this, we have to do this. We found this picture on the interwebs:

Spiritual awakening

Usually it's easy to find a matching fragment from the Green Eyes. It was a bit more difficult this time. So here are two fragments:

Chapter 28 (The Harold Halma photograph scandal)

I’m trying to flirt, that’s obvious, but is he flirting back? All theses yesses and noes, what do they mean? Reader, do you realize—perhaps not a big insight, but anyhow—do you realize that in our situation a flirt means more than a fuck? Much more?

I can’t ask him whether he’s flirting, of course. “You’re like the Bible, it’s yes, yes, or no, no,” I flirt.

It’s coming back to me now. And I don’t mean the Bonny Tyler song “A Total Eclipse of the Heart,” or Capote's gayness, I mean the Harold Halma photograph scandal.

Yes, that’s the way to go, much better than to ask him to carefully evaluate our homosexual encounter retrospectively and split the infinitive in the process. “You know about Truman Capote,” I ask.
“You’ve heard about the Harold Halma photograph scandal?”
“Capote was already a budding young author, after World War Two, when a picture was taken of the prodigy, the author in reclining pose on a winged settee, eyes staring into the camera, the hand resting on his abdomen. The picture caused a scandal at the time, people got very upset, even though Capote was fully dressed, mind you, since there was this suggestion, or implication, that he quote was dreamily contemplating some outrage against conventional morality unquote,” —how do I remember this? — “because he had one hand in talking distance of his crotch. Contemplating some outrage against conventional morality. Pathetic. Imagine this happen today.”

Harold Halma's photo of Truman Capote (1947)

Let’s see what Ben is going to say. I guess Ben masturbates a lot. Two times per day. Three times on Sundays.

"It's not yes," he says, "it's yea....'But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.' Matthew, five-thirty seven."

"It took you a while," I say, deeply disappointed.
"The Bible at your fingertips."
"Well, you ain’t, it took you two minutes or more."
"Think first, then let the Bible speak."

Last Chapter (Boys of the summer)

“The bed is occupied.”
“We should let him sleep. Ray.”
“We could go to the beach. Have sex in the dunes.”
“Sure,” he says.
“You surprise me,” I say. “Yesterday you sounded not so sure.”
“I haven't conceded my point.”
“Of not being gay?”
“Of not being in heaven.”
“How do you mean?”
“I never conceded the point. Remember, our discussion two days ago, in the hospital, whether I’m dead or alive? Post felo de se? For all practical purposes, I could be dead. I could be in heaven. This is heaven. You are heaven. Amy-Lou is heaven. Alice is heaven. Maurice is. Ray is.”
“It wasn’t heaven for me, yesterday, I assure you.”
“Let me think. You have a minute?"
“I can string fifteen sentences in a row?"
“Some people thought seriously about this. Leibniz say, the guy who also co-invented the calculus. Leibniz held that our’s is the best of all possible worlds. Got much-maligned by Voltaire, of course, whose arguments were pure rhetorics, Voltaire’s. In the same mold as the arguments of Intelligent Design. Anyhow, the trick is, the trick of the possible world argument, even God is constrained. So this is the best of all possible worlds. Assume. So it doesn’t matter whether it’s heaven or hell, for as long as it is the best of all possible worlds. No big deal. I mean, I’m sorry, for you, of course, I know we misbehaved, Amy-Lou and I. I know. She knows it as well. She’s sorry, I think. I’m sorry.”
“You had this French guy, Sartre, who said 'l’enfer, c’est les autres'.”
“Hell, that are the others.”
“See, that’s my point. We are sorry. We’ll ask you to be our best man at the wedding.”

Fragment from Voltaire's Candide (Chapter 6, Comment on fit un bel auto-da-fé pour empêcher les tremblements de terre, et comment Candide fut fessé): Après le tremblement de terre qui avait détruit les trois quarts de Lisbonne, les sages du pays n'avaient pas trouvé un moyen plus efficace pour prévenir une ruine totale que de donner au peuple un bel autodafé ; il était décidé par l'université de Coïmbre que le spectacle de quelques personnes brûlées à petit feu, en grande cérémonie, est un secret infaillible pour empêcher la terre de trembler. (Yes, we know, Alex will have some explaining to do, that's why John's next line, not printed here, will say: "Perhaps you should read Candide a bit more carefully," and why Alex will answer: "You are right, I'm playing the fast woman here.")

I believed it, I believed it for a second. He saw it.

“You love me,” he says. “See, we are in heaven. I love you, man.”

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