Friday, December 21, 2018


Conceptual work is going well, but I don’t have anything to say about it now.

I streamed “Things To Come” (“L’avenir,” 2016), starring Isabelle Huppert. I’d seen it in a theater when it first came to town, but I needed it again. And I got infatuated with its everydayness (so French, you know—having the legacy of Cinéma vérité).

So affirming is Nathalie’s authenticity amid so much pretentiousness around her—going with the flow amid personal chaos, having serenity about endings, beginnings, loss, and renewal—being her ownmost unchained melody of life.

I found as many reviews as I could, filed them away with some interviews of the filmmaker (Mia Hansen-Løve, 34 years old then). No reviewer recognized that all of the inauthenticity (and phoniness) around Nathalie derives from Germanic intellectual life, whereas Huppert might well be a symbol of authentic France itself (given that she’s done so many films). Nathalie’s heart is Rousseau—and the longing of the medieval lovers Abelard and Heloise (whom Rousseau drew upon for a novel that Nathalie discusses with her philosophy students). It’s immensely relevant (but unnoted by reviewers) that Hermen-Løve lived through the ending of her marriage, while she was making the film. No wonder it ends with sweet melancholy.

Welcome, winter.

December 15

Progress! The “love of better being” set was done Dec. 13 (linked below); “solioquy for J. D. Salinger” today; and a long confessional posting yesterday (not linked here).