23.0 Stymer brings Henry to an Italian restaurant and indulges in self-analysis.
23.1 "I'm honest with myself."
Stymer [see 21.4
] states this as his one good personality trait. One bad trait, he says, is self-obsession, which causes him to loathe himself. Miller suggests that Stymer be more generous: "I mean, with yourself
. If you can't treat yourself decently how do you expect others to." It's worth exploring (some other time) how Miller applied this advice to his own life.
23.2 Marquis de Sade
The Marquis de Sade
(1740-1814), infamous French aristocrat and pornographer from whom the term sadism
derives. Miller had asked Stymer once if he'd read de Sade. Stymer tried, but was "bored stiff."
23.3 the divine Marquis
Having been bored with de Sade, Stymer wonders aloud why people called him this. He was dubbed "the divine Marquis" long after his death, by Guillaume Apollinaire
, the avant-gardist. In 1909, Apolinaire published a critique of de Sade's writings entitled L'Œuvre du Marquis de Sade
, in which he gave him this title (likely in an attempt to romanticize the Marquis' debauchery).
Italy's most famous red wine. (history: Wikipedia
). Miller and Stymer drank Chianti along with their spaghetti. The wine produced a "limbering effect," though Stymer was still unable to "lose himself."
23.5 a mentalist
Stymer defines himself as a mentalist
; by this he means not that he has mental powers (as the term may also mean), but (I believe) that he is preoccupied with the cognitive process (see Mentalism
). In other words, he thinks too much: "A mentalist who can even make his prick think."
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