Friday, January 12, 2024

Rome Journal: Love in the Ruins


Being in a crowd of tourists on line to get into the Colloseum brings back Sartre's famous line from No Exit (1944) "hell is--other people!" Tourists are the the knights of the Middle Ages chasing The Holy Grail or The Shroud of Turin, purportedly Christ's burial outfit. Max von Sydow played one of these seekers in The Seventh Seal (1957). He ends up playing chess with Death (Gunnar Bjornstrand), but from the look on his face he's ready to tip over his king--after having to deal with the likes of Savonarola, and the Plague. So what are all these gnats looking for? Dr. Thomas More's Ontological Lapsometer in Walker Percy's Love In the Ruins (1971)? If you've ever been on one of those Empress Travel tours with all the prepaid walks through Versailles, Mont Michel, The Parthenon, Petra, Angkor What(?) and every other destination that becomes a collectible for anxious and compulsive seekers, you know when it's time to cash in your chips.

read Hallie Cohen's interview on collaboration

and listen to the playlist for Francis Levy's The Kafka Studies Department

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