story used in Godard film (1 Viewer)

zobraks

Moderator
Can anyone name the story in which a businessman carries on his business while getting a blowjob from under the desk.
There is no such story, or at least Bukowski didn't write it. What he did write is a story called The Gut-Wringing Machine* (from Erections... and The Most Beautiful Woman in Town), and a (very) small portion of that story (slightly changed) is used in Godard's movie "Every Man for Himself" (from 1:08:30 on in Criterion edition). I watched it a couple of hours ago just to see what all the fuss was about.

*it first appeared in NoaDOM, Open City, January 17-23, 1969
 
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I wonder about this. Apparently Bukowski described his encounter with the filmmaker Godard and the latter's use of the story described above by roroldam in Hollywood:

‘Listen’ said Jon-Luc, ‘what I want to ask you to do is to write the English dialogue for the sub-titles of my new movie. Also, I have a scene I want to use from one of your stories, where the man gets a blow job under the desk and just goes about his business, answering the telephone and all that crap. Is it a deal?’ (p. 33)

Elsewhere, in a letter to Gerald Locklin (on 2 August 1981, in Selected Letters 3), Bukowski seems to confirm the story:

"On the Godard subtitles: I can’t speak French and I was surprised that he gave me credit. What happened is that a Frenchman translated the script into English and then I took the English script and Americanized that. But on the other hand Godard used one of my poems for a movie scene and I don’t get credit for that, except one night we were drinking and he handed me this batch of francs, so that is cash, not credit, OK. ( p. 160)"

Anyone with any ideas or comments? Many thanks.
 
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zobraks

Moderator
What makes one wonder is the fact that Godard said he wanted to use a scene from a story while Bukowski says it was a scene from a poem.

I checked the PDFs of Bukowski books (prose, poetry, letters) and couldn't find that scene.
Then I checked the Wormwood Reviews and I think I found a poem that possibly had started it all (in #77) - it's called Swivel, and there's a boss in it (Bukowski, daydreaming) who says to his secretary:

"Mary Lou,"
I tell her,
"slide under this
desk and
give me a bit of
head ...."
If we knew that Godard had been referring to a poem, not a story, it would have taken less to find it.

Btw, the same scene has been cut out of the Martinized version of the poem which was published as Swivel Chair in Open All Night (and that, of course, made the search for the blow job under a desk more difficult).

Greg Locklin
That's Gerald Locklin, of course.
 

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