Monday, March 06, 2006

"Potiphar's Wife" by Brion Gysin

You might remember the story of Joseph the shepherd and Potiphar his rich employer from the Old Testament; well, this isn't exactly that, though there are some parallels, obviously. Set in corrupt, smuggler-ridden post-World War II Morocco, which will be familar to readers of Paul Bowles, this is the tale of innocent Yussef and married Zuleika--who may just not be all that good for each other. Read by Scoot. Time 24:08.

Standing in the shadows and hidden in the indices of many mid-twentieth-century accounts of the Beats and other dharma bums is Brion Gysin, a true Renaissance man, inventor of the "cut-up" and the Dream Machine, painter, collagist, historian, jazz musician, shipyard welder, poet, novelist, "Sufi maverick," and anarchist of sorts. Although he described himself as "the man from nowhere," he was English, Canadian, American, and French, in that order. Maybe it was just the drugs, but he obviously wanted people to experience some kind of otherworldly, perhaps divine, experience through his work. Hassan-i-Sabbah, the Old Man of the Atlas Mountains, might be able to tell you more...

2 comments:

Marc said...

Yes! Amazing story, and Suleka(?) is such a lovely character. I think it was all in the falsetto ;)
This one makes up for the Miss Marple fiasco.
(Sorry, I just have no patience for Agatha Christie anymore.)

Scoot said...

Thanks again for the comment, Marc. Zuleika is some character, indeed, and we wonder if she might have been inspired by the redoubtable Zuleika Dobson of the Max Beerbohm novel of the same name (one of the funniest novels ever written).

But... we still liked the Agatha Christie story, as well--though admit to having read very little of her. Maybe reading too much of her would be like eating too many chocolates.