Wednesday, September 25, 2013

painting and pleasure, drama and driving

"What poet, in sitting down to paint the pleasure caused by the sight of a beautiful woman, would venture to separate her from her costume?"

—Charles Baudelaire, "The Painter of Modern Life" (originally published in Le Figaro), 1863

"Maybe I wrote Autobahn in part because sitting in a car was where I first remember understanding how drama worked. My mother and father certainly provided enough of that. And hidden in the spacious backseat of a late-model American sedan, I realized quickly how deep the chasm or intensely claustrophobic it was (depending on how things were going up front) inside your average family car. I can still get a pretty good silence going myself these days when I want to—of course I learned from the best. Hell, I can almost make it echo in there if somebody really pushes me hard."

—Neil LaBute, "The Pleasures of Limitation" (introduction to Autobahn, a series of short, two-character plays set in cars), 2004