Do you like these drawings?
Ayant braqué sur moi une lampe de poche, il me
vit telle que j'étais là: serrée dans ma gaine,
les épaules, le bras et les cuisses nus. - Triste
époque - dit-il - triste époque.
Personally I do not. Nevertheless these are the drawings of the author of a
masterpiece of erotic literature: The repeal of the Edict of Nantes (La
révocation de l'édit de Nantes, Ed. de Minuit, 1959).
Its story unrolls through the pages of Octave's journal.
protagonist, who doesn't hyde any of his perversions and manias. Octave,
who, on the contrary, talks about them with a horny pleasure; who enjoys
thinking about his own lasciviousness.
Octave embodies the writer's morbidity and erotic mania, starting off with
the most material aspects: fetichism (hands, gloves), libido in seeing his wife
in someone else's arms.
Soon enough, though, one realizes that his morbidity goes somehow to a
Octave is catholic.
Sans du tout se soucier de mon buste ni de
m'enlever la veste de mon tailleur gris, on
dégrafe ma jupe et me retire tout le reste...|
je ne me contiens pas davantage, en vain j'essaie de
lever mon genou, de cacher de ma cuisse les
His wife, Roberte, is protestant.
This difference between them excites Octave and his morbidity related to
theology. Actually, the writer studied theology and approached the
Domenicans before joining Lutheranism, and eventually departing also from
Octave is a writer.
Roberte is a member of the parliamentary committee for the censure.
Octave writes obscene books.
Roberte censures them, for the sake of the French youth.
Octave tries to throw into Roberte's arms every man coming into their house.
These are the "laws of hospitality", which are not always appreciated by his
visitors, but Octave does not get discouraged, since his aim is to challenge
Roberte's modesty and take her to the point where she will see herself
For example, one time he invites home Vittorio di Santa Sede, a slimy
intrigant who reached a high ranking position in the Vatican by organizing
sly plots with fascist and nazi leaders. A person who at the end of the war
managed to escape from the Germans first and then from the allies. Needless
to say, Vittorio's function is to put Roberte in trouble.
In his diary Octave, in a very picky way, describes the mishaps Roberte
runs (or WOULD run) into, when tempted by various people and
Men that abduct her in the street, men that tie her up and take advantage of
her, sweeping away any resistance of her pudency.
Young men that plot a mischief to stop her with the excuse to shine her
shoes and assault her clumsily.
Roberte's fate is to be eternally modest, continuously tempted, inevitabily
won, not so much by the impulses coming from the outside as by her own
bursting, irresistible carnality.
Pendant qu'elle était demeurée ainsi à ne s'agiter que
du buste, impuissante sous le coup de l'émotion, moins
de la surprise que de la gêne, haletante à ne pouvoir
émettre un cri, cherchant au moins à porter sa main gantée
sur tout ce que F. illuminait, X. apercevait le contour de son
Quelle heure était-il lorsque Roberte porta ainsi sa main
encore gantée sur son trésor gonflant l'empiècement de
Roberte, as the protagonist of Octave/Klossowski's novel, drawings and life,
embodies the multiform aspects of the author's personality (a man who
expresses his own erotic ideal with a feminine character, how funny).
Thus, he keeps for himself the role of illustrator and director of living
pictures, in which voyeurism is brought to a sort of theological
A movie has been made out of the book The repeal of the Edict of Nantes:
Octave's and Roberte's roles were played by the real chrachters in lihe.
When I entered the movie theatre all seats were already taken. Therefore I
sat on the floor in front of the first raw.
I then realized that I was sitting next to the Klossowskis, who were also
attending the movie.
It looked like the maximum of voyeurism to me.
But when the lights went off I started feeling frightened: what if, taking
advantage of the dark, they would abduct me, taking me away all tied up and
then tearing off all my clothes and...
anyway the movie went on with no incident.
A novel (in Italian, but there is a translation into Russian) is my modest tribute to Klossowski, who died in august 2001.
Iris for you