Jean Eustache committed suicide in November 1981. My immediate response to the death of this French director, whose 1973 film La Mamam et la putain (The Mother and the Whore) I took as an esthetic model and a personal talisman, was to write a short prose poem in his memory. It was after only losing the page on which I'd scribbled that poem that in early 1982, I began the text which follows. The idea that I could never regain the inspiration I felt when writing the poem may account for some of the stylistic nihilism of these pages, but they also reflect my then current ambition to write texts that would be like black holes, voids into which everything would disappear, even the text's own intentions.
The "two small notebooks" were give-away samples I'd picked up at a print-industry fair shortly before. I was in the midst of an 8 month sojourn in San Francisco and did most of my writing at the Caffe Puccini on Columbus Avenue, though when I needed a break from the Puccini, which featured large plate-glass windows, a jukebox filled with Italian pop music and an endless drifting in and out of friends and acquaintances, I would cross the street to the much quieter Europa. After the three-hour-and-forty-minute triumph of La Maman et la putain, Eustache made only one other feature, Mes Petites Amoureuses (1975). When he killed himself, his friend Alix Cleo Roubaud wrote, in her journal, of his suicide "as a natural death; as if he had carried death in himself for so long that he had to die."
"I like to live among those who have chosen the same cinema as I have." J. E.
Subscribe to Lacanian Ink click here.