Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Libertine

After I met certain social and professional obligations in London in 2002, I had a week to myself, and decided to update Chaucer and take a train to Canterbury. The train stopped in Rochester. Canterbury has many bookstores and I bought The Works of the Earl of Rochester. He’s a great poet with the views and vocabulary of Larry Flynt. I look at his long poem on dildos and it still seems like a misprint; how could someone writing in 1675 use a vocabulary which I regarded as echt twentieth century?

The Libertine, a Rochester bio-pic, stars Johnny Depp as Rochester and John Malkovich as Charles II. God all-fucking mighty! Before our eyes, Johnny Depp dies slowly and graphically of alcoholism and syphilis.

The gods, by right of nature, must possess
An everlasting age of perfect peace;
Far off removed from us and our affairs;
Neither approached by dangers, or by cares;
Rich in themselves, to whom we cannot add;
Not pleased by good deeds, nor provoked by bad.
-- Rochester after Lucretius


Blogger angelica archangelica said...

I heard today that "Signior Dildo" might not have been penned by Rochester, after all! I do admit, the rhymes are rough at times, but nonetheless hilarious! I like his Lawrencian penchant for the word "cunt".

10:41 PM  

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