‘Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.’
– Deuteronomy 10:16
A strange figure (‘foreskin of your heart’?). Moses demanding that Israelites humble themselves and submit to their god. Circumcision then as an act to reduce men, to remind them of the limits of their power, a warning carved into flesh. Literally: you’ll never be hung like the big guy. Behind it, the irrational, all-powerful castrating father.
It seems to me that all of ‘Nostromo’ – the revolution, the mine, the silver – is written for one purpose, to create the necessary condition for the moment of Nostromo’s cowardice. It seems incredibly overdetermined, although brilliant (the shock when you realize that you’ve been pushed toward this for hundreds of pages). I think certain episodes, like Decoud’s suicide, are unbelievable in themselves, because they only exist to serve the finale. Dialectical materialism as fate.
I was talking to the editor-in-chief of a major men’s magazine about A.J. Liebling and THE SWEET SCIENCE.
‘I love Liebling,’ he said. ‘I started off at the New Yorker and I’ve always been a big boxing fan.’
‘You couldn’t run stuff like that today,’ I said.
‘Only on a blog,’ he said.