Director's Cut: A novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Based on a true story, Arthur Japin’s new novel is a tale of consuming love and artistic creation that reimagines the last romance of the legendary filmmaker Federico Fellini.
In Director’s Cut we enter the mind of Snaporaz, the lion of Italian cinema, as he slips into a coma in his final days. Having always drawn inspiration from the world of his dreams, he welcomes the chance to take account of his life and, in particular, his most recent love affair, with a beautiful but tempestuous young actress called Gala. Here is the story as Snaporaz tells it.
Lured by the glamour of Rome, Gala and her boyfriend, Maxim, an actor as well, are hoping to be discovered when they manage the impossible: entrée to the studio of the great master. Despite an age difference of four decades, Gala soon becomes Snaporaz’s mistress, leaving Maxim, guardian of her secrets and her fragile health, to be an anxious and helpless observer of her physical and spiritual decline. As Gala becomes increasingly dependent on Snaporaz’s attentions, her desperation never to disappoint him leads her down a reckless path to anorexia and prostitution before the one true bond in her life is restored.
Snaporaz’s intoxicatingly baroque—Felliniesque—account of the affair slyly challenges us again and again to ask what is dream and what is reality, and to conclude that the difference is irrelevant when such a genius immerses himself in his most natural element: the imagination. A dazzling tale from one of Europe’s most celebrated writers.
think about it—and considered the compulsion to take yourself by the hand and ponder the consequences of every deed as something childish, a rigidity he would eventually grow out of. He tried to remember whether he had ever lost himself in someone so completely before. I’ve got to stick close to Gala, he thought, and learn to see as she does. “So, she has finally deflowered you, has she?” As charming as ever, the Pole shouted it out from the other side of the lecture theater. Everyone noticed
“It’s all right, Maxim,” she says in Dutch. Then in Italian, “Do what he says.” And, “It’s nothing terrible.” Then he’s cut off. Maxim calls the police. He tells them everything. Stumbling over his words. Actors. Bunny. Nude fairy-tale characters. Snaporaz. They don’t take him seriously. He can come into the station. Tomorrow morning. Preferably with the slides. He runs back to the Via Brunetti. He kicks the door. People look out of windows. Some swear at him. He keeps it up, kicking, cursing,
lays a hand on Maxim’s shoulder and massages it gently while the last glow dies away behind the city. All the while, she’s thinking, Snaporaz, Snaporaz, Snaporaz. The old man pinched my cheek like I was still in diapers, but have I ever felt so clearly what a woman can do? He spoke to me like a father, but he looked at me like a lover. Do what you can, Snaporaz: I’ll eat you up and spit you out. Just you try to humiliate me! She feels Maxim’s muscles under her hands and runs her fingers over
go.” “The circus!” bleated Jan, as if she had just said something ridiculous. He couldn’t understand how the pastor could find a remark like this as entertaining as the words of Cato the Elder, and when the clergyman slapped his knees and exclaimed, “Sunt pueri pueri, pueri puerilia tractant!”* Jan thought he was scoffing at him. He snapped at Gala to recite the first lines of the Odyssey in the original Greek. The girl’s hand went to the pocket in the seam of her dress where she kept her bike
usually caused either by a congenital weakness in a capillary or a small clot in the bloodstream. The stroke had taken place in the left side of Gala’s brain and might have been brought on by an epileptic fit. Until Gala regained consciousness and was able to tell them exactly what she had felt, there was little more they could say about it. The first day her father and mother sat by her bed holding hands, too tense to cry. They were silent, afraid that even one word of superficial solace would