Wrestling with Rubens and Roth

There was a time when the old Johnston would stir at the whiff of a breeze. A nicker line, a cleavage, the hint of pubic hair, a smile could get  some stirring in the undergrowth. But of course those days are gone and most of the  time the old and loyal rascal lies comatose in his basket. But even today outside of normal duties the call of the wild is heard.

In recent  months three such events stick out(pun intended). First at the Dulwich Picture Libaray standing in front of Rubens’ Venus, Mars and Cupoid. Now large ladies with bulging stomachs and  full breasts don’t normally appeal. Like most public school men I  prefer the slim hipped, small chested , firm buttock boyish type. But here I was in front of a lady in her full mature glory and  something was going on below the waist.

A year or so ago I read Philip Roth’s Sabbath’s Theatre. Here is a book whose sexual deviancy is so rich, savage and imaginative you either  enter the dark grotto of become physically sick. I entered the grotto and  in the comfort of my own home reached for my baseball mit. Something that hasn’t happened for a good thirty years.

And so we come to the most recent wind that stirred the barley. The French film Blue is the Warmest Colour. Famous for its six minutes sex scene  between the lesbian lovers. And famous in my life for reaching the frozen South.

 Although the film is three hours long at yesterday’s matinee among the other seven in the audience  I heard not one snore. In fact several men got up no doubt to get fresh supplies of paper tissues. Actually even without the athletic wrestling this is a good film about love found ,lost and incompatibility. And as for the long sex scenes I for one totally understand  the artistic point.  They put the film  along side Rubens and Roth

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