Sunday, December 28, 2008

Quote 'o the Moment - Sucking the Sweat

Just finished watching the venerable James Lipton interview Daniel Radcliffe on Inside the Actors Studio. They discussed Radcliffe's performances in the West End and Broadway revivals of Equus, which got me thinking about my favorite moment of that show.

In this scene, Dr. Martin Dysart confesses that he's secretly jealous of his patient, Alan Strang, a teenage boy who (and this is an extreme oversimplification of the plot, so please forgive me) literally worships horses:

I tell everyone Margaret is the puritan, I'm the pagan. Some pagan. Such wild returns I make to the womb of civilization.

Three weeks a year in the Mediterranean. Beds booked in advance, meals paid with vouchers, cautious jaunts in hired cars, suitcase crammed with Kaopectate. What a fantastic surrender to the primitive.

The ‘primitive.’ I use that word endlessly.

’The primitive world,’ I say, ‘What instinctual truths were lost with it.’

While I sit baiting that poor, unimaginative woman with the word, that freaky boy is trying to conjure the reality. I look at pages of centaurs trampling the soil of Argos. Outside my window, that boy is trying to become one in a Hampshire field.

Every night I watch that woman knitting, a woman I haven't kissed in six years. And he stands for an hour in the dark, sucking the sweat off his god's hairy cheek.

In the morning, I put away my books on the cultural shelf, close up my Kodachrome snaps of Mount Olympus, touch my reproduction statue of Dionysus for luck...

And go off to the hospital to treat him for insanity.


Matt Gerlach said...

That's a great quote; one of those "should be required reading for pagans" quotes...

Evn said...

I agree!

Red Delicious said...

If you're looking for really good equine entertainment, check out Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken.

... I can't even type that with a straight face.

Evn said...

What's the deal with you and that movie?