Wednesday, May 03, 2006

John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

A Restoration Libertine...

First Johnny Depp.. then Rochester, a Monkey, Nell Gwynn and some more..

There are so many loose ends and black holes on one's understanding of what went on around us that my advice is to stick to that ankle whenever you find yourself biting one. After managing to see Johnny Depp impersonating Lord Rochester in "The Libertine" I've decided to dedicate a full holiday to "further reading" on that subject. I have after all a special sympathy for rogues and wits that indulge in hedonistic pursuits..

I finally finished re-reading Jeremy Lamb 's biography "So Idle a Rogue - the life and death of Lord Rochester" then; I read Stephen Jeffrey's original play "The Libertine" (which I had seen in the Royal Court in 1995, in a double-whamming program, together with George Etherege 's "The Man of Mode" ); I speed-read the "The Man of Mode" itself (also acquired in Sloane Square in the last century); I managed to find among my books Anthony Master's "The Play of Personality in the Restoration Theatre" bought ten years ago in a Portobello second hand bookshop; and, as a final flourish, I convinced Malinka to have as a post-dinner DVD-viewing "She Stoops to Conquer", a theatrical performance of Oliver Goldsmith's play that resuscitates most of the flair of a Restoration Comedy.

For the benefit of the Right Honourable Reader this blogger of yours intends, in a forthcoming blogtext, to share generously the thoughts and comments evoked by this 10-hours total immersion exercise.
As an appetizer I'll drop a Catullus' quote that could very well resume the moral choices of a libertine:
Odi et amo: quare id faciam, fortasse requiris
Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior
(I hate and I love: why I do so you may well ask
I do not know, but I feel it happen and am in agony)

No comments: