[Reigian Studies.] [On behalf of the baroness.]

4.7.08

Rated "S" for Sex







Rated “S” for sex














Or just another little bit of ephemera – a little “biblical parable” that C. R. wrote for the handbill offered to patrons at the opening of Travessa deserts, in the event delayed until February of 1979. The paltry or spare handbill was prepared for a different venue than the one that ultimately proved valid, but anyhow it was kept as is, probably for lack of resources. After the delay, the handbill, printed for the first venue (Teatre Nord,) stood. It seems that during the couple of months of rehearsals, a bunch of scurrilous fascist christians meantime had time to take over the management of the locale and just happened to find the play “objectionable in all fronts, on all counts,” and banned it forthwith, flaunting the previous contract and what have you. The representation of the play was about to be scrapped when the exiled found a new venue, the Cupula of the lower Rambla, in Barcelona...



Travessa deserts, although obviously too “dirty” for the bigoted, right-thinking, folks from the northern districts, proved a great success... As a written play, it had already been banned by the censors... (All of Reig’s plays were at a time banned for publication. The system works perfectly, it’s excellent for silencing authors without the need to kill them. Banning a book means that, except for a tiny few that are later vindicated, it is taken away from the mind of the people at hand. People die or get to something else. So, most banned works are lost in time, forgotten; even if somebody tries to revive them once the particular dictatorship that banned them is gone, they’ve become irretrievably obsolete.) Travessa deserts had remained unpublished until a rebellious though inept publisher from Mataró, having little to lose, dared brave the censors, and issued the play in a flimsy volume which sold “like tigernuts” (that’s a Catalonian saw meaning a lot.)




...





[“Inept” publisher? Or should one say a “rather incurious” one? Whole chunks of the play missing – not censored, mind you, just mislaid. Same thing with the other plays published by the helpful, volunteering, naive and very necessary guy. His name was Jordi Casals (he was a dyed in the wool communist, so somebody else acted as his front at the time).]





...





Also, Travessa deserts was the first play in the whole of the Catalonian show-circuit to be rated S. (S for Sex.) This dubious honor (a windfall, really, in those years of pornographic penury,) of which the producers made a big to-do, was duly and gleefully emphasized in all the ads that appeared in newspapers and on the radio.



...





The vicissitudes the play went through are reported in the letters C. R. wrote to his girlfriend Jocelyn. Jocelyn had two little children from a botched marriage, and those must we assume to be the dying “meus fillets” (my children) in the parable...




...





Concerning the doomed locale from which they were tossed away by the demonic supersticians that took over its punishing reins, there’s this vignette in a letter to Jocelyn by Carles Reig.













“They had one of these ‘moral’ gatherings, and they wanted us to attend, perhaps to reckon up to which level of malignity and vice we’d reach... Something was brewing, and most of them were on the know... So I found myself practically alone, I knew nobody there. None of the main actors had shown up. The director, of course, I had already surmised that he wouldn’t be there. Probably drunk, for it was Saturday night...



“Then I saw the devout regulars all there, queuing on the dance floor, five in front facing the wall flowers, the rest of the guys queuing as I say behind the five fast ones up front. The wall flowers were the expectant girls (the females, rather, for there were some there that were really old gals; same thing with the guys, some of them eighty if a day.)



“They encouraged me to queue also... I went and put myself behind one of the longest lines... But then, luckily, before I had a chance to dance with any of the women that would get up with a flourish of skirts and a giggle as any (any at all) of the pretenders came to ask... a bell rang. It was time for the syrupy punch... All ran away toward the tables... Well regimented, the whole bunch; while the bosses of management kept an eye on the proceedings, never allowing a misplaced hand or a flying peck.



“I’m not going to drink any of that dross, I said to myself, and I went toward the toilets... A girl was approaching up the corridor from the same toilets I was going to... ‘Are you alone...? Want to make it...?’ And she apparently meant for the two of us to go fuck each other inside the reeking cabinets. I said: ‘Alas, unfortunately not... Came in with the lady...’ But of course I was only charitable, making her believe she was a better choice than whatever I already had me over there, poisoning herself around the bowl of punch.



“The toilets stank. There was shit everywhere: the walls, the floor... I don’t know what took me over... I took my handkerchief out, I started wiping shit off the walls... Then I took hold of one of those brushes to scour the toilet bowl... Shit was dripping from it... Instead of cleaning the floor, I was making it worse... The stink overpowered me... I started retching... I felt awful... I had chosen to make their locale a bit cleaner behind the pious façade... cleaning the hidden shit that nobody else seemed ever to clean... but now the horrible reek was puncturing my soul... I couldn't any longer... I couldn’t stay... I had to go... I had to leave them to their own resources... Much as I endeavored to gain control over myself, I couldn’t obtain, I couldn’t deliver... The retching was raking my membranes inside... I fled... A strange noise followed me outside... It seemed to me that inside now everyone was laughing, fighting, carousing, fucking, drunk... gone... As if the punch had been spiked or something... I couldn’t make myself go back though... Damn, no way; the memory of all that shit makes me retch and pule even now...”


















The frightened ones are not allowed reentry










Says the parable: Whoever imputes scandal, he’s just despicable.




Because it is verily true that not long ago there was one who, in the dark night, felt himself to be full of sorrows. Slowly a heavy sleep took hold of him and made him numb, until he lost conscience and found himself sailing along a very long emptiness...



But suddenly you wake up full of anguish. You are fighting to breathe. “What am I doing, here inside, locked?” franticly you are asking yourself. Out of whack, grappling in the void, you manage at last to clutch your tatterdemalion throat. Breathing is becoming too wearing an exercise. There’s a mephitic gas that thickens around you; as if encasing you, as it becomes solid... Horrified, you see now the congealed bodies of the members of your family. “I must be the one that does it! I have to rise to the occasion!” you hear telling yourself, as your commendable sense of responsibility calls you to duty, damn the sundry ordeals that chose to come your way at this wrong moment. For you are inherently heroic. Now you are thinking fast... Air, that’s what’s needed: air! Here inside the poison only piles up with the passing of the seconds... The poison comes directly from a corpse enclosed in the premises... progression brings death... there are pipes leaking, cracked butane canisters... I’VE GOT TO SAVE MY LITTLE CHILDREN... I’VE GOT TO SAVE MY WIFE... So, crawling along, with a last effort, you reach the panes of the balcony... But you can hardly move any more, too exhausted... and the lethal gas has you already practically paralyzed... you’ll be unable to open the shutters... you’re stuck, like tied up with the ropes of apoplexy... that’s why your maximum wish is now to fly away, aloft, lost in a dream... “Reality...!” you invoke, pulling yourself together in a supreme fling, now that you realize that your dear ones are already smiling at death... “Save them...!” you ordain, burning your last flicker of energy.



And now, in an epical burst, you break the glass by throwing all your weight at it!



You asshole! A malignant asphyxiating flight invades your space. Instantaneous death touches each you. An agonizing convulsion crosses the happy sleepers, and now they all remain as mommified.



With an ultimate thread of deathrattle, ephemerally, you call yourself the worse you could call anyone. That’s how you die: like a nitwit, and hating yourself to death. For you had never had time enough to think... You had been living instead in fast, transient, nightmares.



Because I say verily unto you that outside is always worse... And what are you going to do about it? Are you going to fight against the constant contamination that seeps inside your from the outside, are you going to fight against it with the useless noise of the unreasonable, UNREFLECTED FLURRY...?





















L’espantat no torna pas a entrar.







(Paràbola:) Ai, desgraciat d’aquell qui s’escandalitza...!



Perquè s’escau no fa pas gaire que hom era afligidament torbat dins la sinistra nit. Lentament, una son feixuga se li empara esmorteint-lo. Fins que perd l’esment i navega llarguíssima buidor...



De sobte et despertes en l’angoixa. Estàs mig asfixiat. “Què hi faig, aquí tancat...?” et demanes esbalaït. Esborneiat, t’arrapes la gola. Respires com més va més difícilment. Un gas mefític es densifica al teu voltant. Esgarrifat, veus els cossos inerts de la teva família. “Sóc jo! Haig de fer-ho jo...!” el teu insigne sentit de la responsabilitat et dóna forces. Ets heroic. Penses ràpid... Cal aire. Aquí dintre s’hi congria el verí; s’escapa d’un cadàver; el progrés duu la mort; bombones, canonades... HAIG DE SALVAR ELS MEUS FILLETS... HAIG DE SALVAR LA MEVA DONA... Amb un esforç final t’arrossegues fins al vidre del balcó... t’has exhaurit... El gas letal ja et paralitza. No podràs pas obrir els batents. Restes garratibat que voldries fugir, volar, perdre’t en el somni... “Realitat...!” t’ordenes en un suprem esforç, ara que veus que els teus ja somriuen a la mort. “Salvar-los...!” t’imposes cremant-te...



I esbotzes el vidre en llençar-t’hi tot èpic!



Carallot! Un vol maligne i xafogós ha envaït el teu espai. La mort instantània toca tothom. Una convulsió agònica travessa els feliços dorments... i rígids romanen. Amb un postrem filet de ranera t’increpes efímer. Mors odiant-te i tan ruc...



No t’havies parat a pensar. Has viscut tothora en veloços malsons...



Perquè us dic en veritat que fora sempre és pitjor...



I lluitaràs contra la contaminació que se’t filtra amb l’inútil soroll de l’escarafall desraonat, IRREFLEXIU...?




we are the continuators... emptying the boxes, and more

visits since July 2008