LEADING MEN By Christopher Castellani
Of the fever dreams that punctuate the oeuvre of Tennessee Williams, the most powerfully weird, for me, has got to be the scene in “Suddenly Last Summer” when Sebastian Venable is eaten alive by cannibal children. Narrated in the play by Sebastian’s cousin, Catharine Holly, and surreally staged in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s film adaptation, the scene depicts a gang of “frightfully thin and dark naked children that looked like a pack of plucked birds” pursuing the effete Sebastian through the Spanish beach town of Cabeza de Lobo. Bashing together tin cans flattened out into cymbals, the children overtake and descend upon Sebastian, whom they proceed to devour, tearing or cutting “parts of him away with their hands or knives or maybe those jagged tin cans they made music with” and stuffing them “into those gobbling fierce little empty black mouths of theirs” until all that remains is a heap of flesh that Catharine compares to “a big white-paper-wrapped bunch of red roses.” Like so much of Williams’s work, the episode occupies that liminal zone in which, in the 1950s, what could not be spoken could be implied: in this case, that Sebastian Venable, like so many gay men of his time, regularly paid poor youths for sex, a form of sexual consumerism for which their literal consumption of him serves as a sort of inverse analogy.
As far as I have been able to determine, Sebastian Venable’s death has no basis in Williams’s life other than the one that Christopher Castellani has invented for it in “Leading Men,” his audacious new novel about Williams and his relationship with Frank Merlo, the Italian-American lover to whom he dedicated “The Rose Tattoo.” A work of “alternative-history fiction” (to quote Publishers Weekly), “Leading Men” takes, as its starting point, a vacancy: As Castellani explains in an afterword, Williams’s diaries contain no entries for the period between July 28 or 29 and Aug. 7, 1953, a lacuna that coincides both with a famous party Truman Capote threw in Portofino (Williams, then living in Rome, was invited but told a friend he wasn’t going since Capote wouldn’t let him bring his bulldog) and with the mysterious death of the American novelist John Horne Burns, author of “The Gallery,” in the Livornese village of Cecina. The concurrence of these events, combined with an enticingly brief reference, in a letter Capote wrote to David O. Selznick from Portofino, to a “Swedish mother and daughter who share a fisherman between them,” provides Castellani with the germ of his novel, in which not just Williams and Merlo but Burns and his Italian boyfriend, Sandro Nencini, decide at the last minute to go to Capote’s party, where they meet one another and also the aforementioned Swedish mother and daughter, Bitte and Anja Blomgren. It is on the day after the party that these six characters make the expedition to the fictitious Testa del Lupo (the Italian translation of Cabeza de Lobo, or “Wolf’s Head”), a creepy cliffside sculpture garden where they are attacked — and the women almost raped — by a mob of nearly naked boys with “bony little bodies” making a “racket” of “weird drumming” and chanting “a nightmarish cacophony of nonsense.” Unlike Cabeza de Lobo, the only person to die at Testa di Lupo is one of the attacking boys; all the principals are rescued in the nick of time. The episode forms the spine of “Leading Men” and provides Castellani, in his alternative history, with a ready-made, if entirely made-up, biographical point of origin for the scene of Sebastian Venable’s murder.
Yet the events of the summer of 1953, recounted in close third-person from Frank Merlo’s point of view, are only half the story. The rest takes place six decades later. Anja Blomgren — now Anja Bloom, a famously imperious Swedish actress who bears more than a passing resemblance to Liv Ullmann — is living in splendidly Bergmanesque isolation in an unnamed Northeastern city when she receives a visit from Sandrino Nencini, the son and namesake of John Horne Burns’s lover. An intimacy ensues, at the culmination of which Anja shares with Sandrino and his boyfriend, Trevor, a heretofore unknown Williams play, “Call It Joy,” of which she has the only copy and which is included in its entirety in the novel. At their urging, she agrees to stage the play in the Provincetown bar where Williams and Merlo met.
I only wish he had been bold enough to go further. Instead, as if abashed by the shadow Williams casts over him, too often he undermines his own inventions, withdrawing into excesses of explanation, banal writing and self-contradiction just when he ought to go for broke. This is especially the case in those passages where, hewing close to Merlo’s point of view, he tries to describe Williams’s creative process, and stoops to a level of prose from which his acerbic protagonist would recoil. (“The tunnel in which Tenn lived was cluttered with calamities and ailments and heartbreaks strung together with the colored lights of poetry.”)
More problematically, when the time comes to carry through on his boldest inventions, the Testa del Lupo episode and “Call It Joy,” Castellani lets Williams get the better of him. Asked by Anja about Testa del Lupo, Williams dismisses its significance, telling her that “Suddenly Last Summer” was “the detritus of my psychotherapy, the slime that leaked from my head when they shrunk it. It was a way of making sense of my time in Barcelona, not Portofino.” This is, as it happens, the standard interpretation of the play — yet if Castellani wished to let it stand, why put in Testa del Lupo, and call it Testa del Lupo, in the first place?
A worse misstep, I think, is his decision to incorporate “Call It Joy” into the novel, only to have his characters trash it. (“I kept waiting to feel something,” Trevor says of the play. “For the first few pages, I almost did, but then, as it went on and on, I just wanted the guy to shut up and die already.”) On one level, the vigorous drubbing that “Call It Joy” receives might be read as an attempt by Castellani to insulate himself against accusations of self-aggrandizement (or as an oblique invitation to readers to reassure him that the play isn’t really as bad as all that). And yet, in the novel, “Call It Joy” isn’t Castellani’s play; it’s Tennessee Williams’s play. As a result, fraught questions about appropriation, biography and the legitimacy of “alternative history” are spotlit, distracting attention from the narrative itself and the often moving stories that it comprises.
About halfway through “Leading Men,” Sandrino and Trevor, in an effort to persuade Anja to let them read “Call It Joy,” suggest that they hold a séance. The idea is to rouse the spirit of the dead Williams and ask him if he wants the play produced; yet, to their disappointment, he refuses to materialize. Were I an occultist, I might suggest that Williams’s recalcitrance reflects his disinclination to take part in a novel that both attributes to him a play he never wrote and, in the case of one he did, supplants a hothouse cultivar as uncanny and unsettling as Sebastian Venable’s Venus flytrap with an overdetermined myth of real-life origin. If Williams haunts “Leading Men,” it’s not as its guiding spirit but as its guilty conscience.B:
2016年3d126期开奖结果【秦】【沁】【恬】【有】【一】【个】【秘】【密】，【她】【没】【和】【任】【何】【人】【说】【过】，【事】【实】【上】，【知】【心】【朋】【友】【太】【少】【的】【她】【也】【不】【知】【道】【和】【谁】【说】，【又】【从】【何】【说】【起】。 【那】【是】【关】【于】【那】【个】【明】【媚】【的】【女】【孩】【子】【和】【俊】【雅】【少】【年】【的】【事】。 【那】【天】【周】【三】，【阳】【光】【很】【好】，【前】【一】【晚】【忘】【记】【拉】【窗】【帘】【导】【致】【阳】【光】【透】【过】【窗】【户】【直】【射】【到】【她】【的】【床】【上】。 【她】【醒】【了】。 【睁】【眼】【看】【着】【明】【媚】【的】【阳】【光】，【心】【想】【这】【么】【好】【的】【天】【气】【和】【早】【起】【更】【配】，【遂】【轻】【手】
“【不】【愧】【是】【攻】【击】【金】【相】【磊】【精】【神】【最】【强】【的】……” 【在】【八】【点】【禁】【令】【的】【中】【间】，【岳】【腾】【也】【感】【到】【惊】【喜】。 【他】【只】【是】【感】【觉】【到】，【随】【着】【他】【周】【围】【的】【攻】【击】【越】【来】【越】【多】【地】【击】【中】【蟾】【蜍】，【蟾】【蜍】【似】【乎】【在】【体】【内】，【也】【似】【乎】【凝】【聚】【出】【了】【一】【种】【非】【同】【寻】【常】【的】【力】【量】，【所】【以】【在】****，【他】【试】【图】【摧】【毁】【这】【种】【力】【量】，【但】【他】【万】【万】【没】【有】【想】【到】，【这】【种】【力】【量】【竟】【然】【如】【此】【强】【大】，【现】【在】【的】【白】【芒】，【天】【堂】【设】【防】【无】
“【但】【是】【真】【的】【有】【要】【到】【剥】【夺】【自】【身】【记】【忆】，【并】【且】【编】【写】【虚】【假】【记】【忆】【的】【程】【度】【吗】！” 【对】【于】【大】【长】【老】【的】【不】【好】【感】【觉】，【众】【人】【还】【是】【比】【较】【相】【信】【的】。【因】【为】【强】【大】【要】【陨】【落】【的】【时】【候】【会】【短】【暂】【的】【预】【知】【未】【来】，【这】【并】【不】【罕】【见】，【而】【大】【长】【老】【的】【实】【力】【和】【年】【岁】【很】【明】【显】【都】【符】【合】【预】【知】【的】【条】【件】。 【而】【二】【长】【老】【现】【在】【怀】【疑】【的】【是】【不】【是】【做】【的】【有】【些】【过】【了】，【毕】【竟】【按】【照】【大】【长】【老】【说】【的】【抽】【取】【掉】【这】【场】【会】【议】【的】
【圣】【光】【之】【理】【教】【廷】【的】【教】【皇】【陛】【下】，【哪】【怕】【称】【其】【为】【整】【个】【刀】【塔】【大】【陆】【最】【有】【权】【势】【的】【人】【也】【不】【为】【过】。【单】【纯】【以】【信】【徒】【数】【量】【而】【论】，【巅】【峰】【时】【期】【圣】【光】【之】【信】【徒】【的】【数】【量】【足】【足】【占】【据】【大】【陆】【总】【人】【口】【的】【五】【分】【之】【四】。 【虽】【然】【这】【几】【百】【年】【来】【随】【着】【各】【大】【帝】【国】【的】【崛】【起】，【不】【仅】【是】【几】【大】【亚】【人】【帝】【国】【都】【拥】【有】【各】【自】【供】【奉】【的】【神】【明】，【就】【连】【人】【类】【建】【立】【的】【新】【兴】【国】【家】【也】【都】【不】【再】【供】【奉】【圣】【光】【之】【主】，【改】【为】【侍】【奉】【其】2016年3d126期开奖结果【今】【天】【想】【在】【这】【里】【和】【大】【家】【说】【说】【心】【里】【话】。 【结】【束】【得】【如】【此】【的】【仓】【促】，【不】【仅】【是】【大】【家】，【连】【我】【自】【己】【都】【没】【有】【想】【到】。【本】【来】【上】【架】【时】【答】【应】【的】【日】【更】【三】【章】，【到】【现】【在】【的】【每】【天】【两】【章】，【承】【诺】【一】【个】【个】【没】【做】【到】。 【书】【的】【成】【绩】【其】【实】【非】【常】【不】【好】，【只】【能】【拿】【个】【全】【勤】【奖】，【但】【是】【为】【了】【答】【应】【的】【一】【百】【万】【字】，【尽】【管】【更】【新】【量】【少】，【一】【直】【默】【默】【的】【坚】【持】【着】。 【到】【今】【天】，【连】【续】【的】【创】【作】【时】【间】【为】2
【完】【本】【了】? 【嗯】，【完】【本】【了】！ 【有】【点】【懵】【逼】，【不】【知】【道】【该】【说】【些】【什】【么】，【突】【然】【有】【点】【空】【落】【落】【的】，【明】【天】【不】【用】【码】【字】、【不】【用】【想】【情】【节】【了】，【该】【高】【兴】【才】【是】【吧】? 194【万】【字】【耶】，【天】【涯】【从】【来】【没】【写】（【水】）【过】【这】【么】【多】【字】【的】【小】【说】。 【毕】【竟】，【这】【么】【多】【字】，【可】【都】【是】【抱】【着】【手】【机】【一】【个】【个】【打】【出】【来】【的】【啊】！ 【不】【论】【本】【书】【成】【绩】【如】【何】，【毅】【力】【可】【嘉】。（【为】【自】【己】【鼓】【掌】！）