Cosmopolis Discussion Group: “Sex finds us out. Sex sees through us.”

Sexual tension - Packinson style

It’s Wednesday, yes? Otherwise known as HUMP DAY and therefore, the perfect day for today’s discussion topic. In Cosmopolis, Eric Packer has four separate and distinct sexual encounters (yes, I’m counting the eye-fucking of Lucky Jane – it charts). Who wants to talk about these romps in detail? I think we have to guys, we owe it to ourselves to fully understand the book. The things we do for Rob.

We have a few different angles *snicker* of approach.

I’m interested in each woman’s meaning or significance to Eric and as a symbol within the story. We have Didi, Elise, Jane and Kendra. I’m tempted to really complicate things and add Vija. This day’s topic is probably as good a place as any to discuss his mother too. Break out the Freud! I do see a little bit of the “Madonna and the whore” syndrome but there is so much more.

Looks like Eric to me...

Chauffeur Tink was vexed at the media’s use of “love interest” to describe Elise’s relationship with Eric. I felt it was mostly just convenient media short-hand, it’s difficult to convey something so complicated in a little article about casting. Rereading though… I don’t know. Eric is affectionate with her, he does try to figure her out, understand her. I think his statement to Elise, “I look for you” is telling. Discuss. 🙂

Do you think any of those encounters show us the real Eric? I should rephrase that; in which encounter is Eric most himself?

Eric says, “Sex finds us out. Sex sees through us. That’s why it’s so shattering.” I wonder about how he relates to women vs the way he interacts with men. I’m not even sure what I”m asking here, it’s just an observation.

I love the ‘sexual tension’ monologue. He almost seems in awe of his body (as am I) but let down by that damnable prostate. I’m sure one of you lovely ladies will clue me in to what I’m missing here. So often while reading this I feel like I’m almost understanding, I’m getting it on one level. Then I come here and realize there are 3 or 4 or more levels. I’m going to be rereading!

Let’s have some fun too. We’ll have threads for serious thoughts and interpretations but let’s hear some gut-reaction opinions too. Which one of the lucky ladies would you want to be, I mean, play in the movie? Did a particular line or move jump out at you – make you say ‘whoa there’? 😉

There have been some great comments in previous discussions about sex, orgasms (little death – how perfect) and the roles of the women in Eric’s life. This post is for you! Happy Hump Day – it’s gonna be a bumpy ride in the limo today.

  • Feeling shy are we? I relate most to Didi and would love to have more of their back story. How long had that been going on? Blast it I can’t talk now… BBL

    Have fun. 😉

    • dazzledtodeath

      I’d like to be Didi-she seems to understand Eric, and they had a deeper connection than he had with Kendra or even Elise (until the end..). I get the feeling they’d been seeing each other for awhile.Also I love the older woman/younger man dynamic 😉 can’t imagine why…

      • ha! Rob’s management knows what’s up. 😉 since his success, he’s never been with a younger female co-star after Kristen. if Knightley goes through, she’ll still be technically older.

  • Marina H.

    OooooooOOOOOoooohhhh…This is gonna be a good one. I can’t wait to see what everyone says!

    I’m trying to think how I can organize my thoughts here. My favorite sexual encounters are Jane and the final one with Elise. I remember the exact moment I was listening to the audio tape when he and Jane had their “moment” and I think I drove ten miles with my mouth hanging open. That was INTENSE. The language that was used to describe such a tiny moment with SO much sexual tension and emotion was amazing. That one really effected me. Like “pull over because I can’t think correctly” effected me. (I’m joking, I didn’t really pull over)

    I’m also totally cliche and root for the basic romance, so I really enjoyed his encounters with Elise as well. Their climactic last meeting was one of my favorite moments of the book. I liked it because it was all emotion, Eric wasn’t trying to uphold his image, he had literally stripped down to nothing. (naked yum) I liked that Elise was a high standard, that he had to work to appeal to her, and that he was always intrigued with her. I like the Eric that she brought out. He did a lot of good thinking when he was in her presence.

    My favorite partner of his is Didi, just because I felt like he was the most comfortable with her. They had obviously been meeting each other for a long time and had a mutual respect. At least, I feel like Eric paid more respect to her than his other lady conquests.

    Kendra was whatever, in my opinion. I thought the description of him wanting her to stand in the right sunlight was pretty, but that was just pure carnal lust. *spaces off while she thinks about the Vodka…*

    I’m gonna fangirl out for a sec and talk about what lady I’d like to play in the movie. I think the most challenging moment to convey on film would be the Eric/Jane moment. How do you show all the lust and longing just by a look? Well, I’d certainly like to stare at Robert all day and figure it out.

    Just saying.

    • dazzledtodeath

      I enjoyed Eric’s final meeting with Elise as well. The setting and the dialogue made it surreal, almost a dream sequence-wondering if they’re supposed to be dead, the movie having lost its financing, the money being all gone, filming being suspended indefinitely(a parallel to Eric’s situation), Elise’s comment that she loses things all the time, when Eric tells her he’s lost all her money-all these things gave it a dreamy, very intense quality. It’s going to be a very powerful scene in the film. Their love-making is very emotional, the desperate and almost rough. Eric realizes he loves her and she slips away-is this what he needed to be at peace with his end? He’s been trying to connect with and understand his wife throughout the book-he’s finally made the connection.

      • His time with Elise is a glimpse of “what could have been”. Very poignant.

        • dazzledtodeath

          I’ve seen all kinds of nasty words used to describe Eric-at first glance he’s not a very sympathetic character-but I really felt sad when I finished this book. This one encounter meant so much more than all his material possessions and power. Very poignant indeed.

        • Marina H.

          it’s so the sads 🙁

          *sighs*

        • No. As he is waiting for the shot at the end, he sees himself at dinners with her, asking what the doctor said, cheating on her etc. All that life doesn’t interest him. He has no desire to be normal.

      • Marina H.

        I totally agree, that’s why I love it so much. They finally have that connection, hat possibility of a future, perhaps? That’s probably seeing too much into it, but like I said, romantic 😉

    • I suggest you listen to Rob’s song and music Falling in Love for the Last Time and what he says about the Gaze. Unacknowledged Rob song I must add done by a friend of his.

      • this strays from the point but it’s misleading to say Rob’s song…or even “unacknowledged”….

    • Kim

      I’m not sure where everybody is?? Finished the Cosmopolis book last night and yep gotta say I did like it. Seriously the comments here are helping and I probably should read it again. The fifth person with a first letter V I don’t recall at all/have to check on that one. Definitely agree with most here about Kendra and the vodka equals lots of fun, and Jane equals a power trip. With Didi all seems good except maybe the age, so not good forever.
      I don’t think anyone mentioned this though, with Elise she is acting at the end and that is the killer to me. The awful heart breaker for Eric realizing he does love her and that he messed that up with the many escapades. In the end she is able to make love to him and walk away. Sad.

      • Vija is Eric’s “Chief of Theory”. They don’t have any “sexual encounters” but I included her thinking maybe she represented asexuality. Another comment was that she symbolized seduction.

        I really like the scenes with her and Eric during the riot. Looking forward to seeing that. And I hear you on a reread. I did not digest it all yet… not even close. 🙂

  • rpattzgirl

    I have to say the encounter with DiDi was my favorite for the reason listed above. Very comfortable, mutal respect..and I think they’ve been together a while.
    I still really did not connect to his wife Elise but maybe that’s because I’m just jealous, who knows!
    I thought the ending was really sad, as I said on another thread…he had everything, money, power, looks, and then in the end, what does all that mean? Not a whole lot.

    • it was sad and i think that’s why i like him. he became real to me. human. he starts off so untouchable to me but by the end…i feel.

  • pingvingirl

    It’s funny- I was wondering yesterday which one I’d choose to be but didn’t really reach any conclusion. I think possibly Vija Kinski, if that’s an option- I’ll come back if I can explain why!
    I don’t think I’d want to be any of the others- in some ways I think Didi is like a fairly conventional mistress as well as a mother figure. I quite liked Jane but what happens with her is really just Eric’s fantasy about someone who works for him- there’s a power thing going on there. And I really don’t like Elise- I feel like she’s ultimately responsible for his total destruction. It’s as though she’s playing with him – and not in a good way- until their final meeting. I know you can argue that he deserves it- he probably does- but I feel like he’s trying with her and she’s not. Maybe it’s poetic justice that she has that power over him when he starts off with power over everything and everyone else but she’s the character I like least of all.
    I’m not very coherent today- I shall try and explain myself if I get time later!

    • dazzledtodeath

      get what you’re saying about Elise-she always seemed to be going anywhere but to Eric. Yet she thinks it’s awful that Eric finds his ruin freeing,offers to help him and cries when she tells him that their marriage is over. they had brief encounters but couldn’t fully connect, until the end.

      Their last scene together feels like an afterlife scene-Eric’s left all his worldly worries behind, he’s at peace with his fate and his encounter with Elise is an idealized version of what could have been-two people in love,stripped bare, without worldly constraints.

      • Marina H.

        oohhh…i like the afterlife bit.

        That’s very cool. I really like that.

  • Kim

    Ladies in the limo…I did not finish yet, page 126, I know my bad. But here’s what I know so far.
    Elise is who he wants, tries the hardest for. Hard work, brains, luck has gotten him so much worldliness, yet she won’t come to him, she hides. She does this cause something is wrong with her, past wise, she’s been burned, therefore afraid.
    The lady boss well that’s power, they are equals so to speak. They can do it without really doing it.
    Didi is the comfort lady who has showed him, taught him to feel and care, at least about the beauty in life, such as art work, flowers, trees, sex and everything else she wants to give. He does not want to question this or lose this.
    The last babe, just catching this one, don’t know where she fits in yet.
    I think I forgot the question?? Oh yeah, which one would you want to be/portray in the book/movie?
    Definitely not Elise, am thinking about the others and must finish this book.
    Talk about poetry and use of words, language, they will surely have to go into an art museum or do flashbacks to bring all this out.
    Ok, stepping out now, drop me off…join you later!

    • hehe….we’ll pick you back up for another round of discussion 😉 you gotta finish…and see if your answer still applies

  • RobPattzBoo

    I would certainly play Kendra in the movie. She’s a bad ass with a stun gun and she has my cinnamon skin tone to match. There was a carnal and physical attraction there. Maybe it was her beauty or as he said, the fact that Torval would not approve of her that appealed to Eric. It was so naughty. Their interactions were fun and oh so hot! Vodka never tasted so good!!!!

    He and Elise finally made love and were naked both literally and physically. Striped of everything, the were finally able to SEE each other. For me this was the closure, and not his death.

  • Eileen

    Elise.
    In the beginning of the story we learn that Eric loves poetry. “Poems made him conscious of his breathing. A poem bared the moment to things he was not normally prepared to notice”. When Didi asks Eric about his marriage, he says almost with pride that Elise is a poet. Maybe he hopes to get the same thing out of his relationship with Elise as he gets out of his love for poetry and is that the reason why he’s putting such an effort in the relationship or maybe he just wants her, because she always seems to be running away from him? I guess he’s used to getting what he wants.
    Did you notice that only in the love scene with Elise they are both completely naked and there are no obstacles or distractions. They are individuals with nothing else to give than themselves and that’s why they are truly feeling something and connecting to each other, but it’s too late and that makes it really sad. Although I’m happy that Eric had the chance to experience this.
    I would never want to be Elise. She knows that Eric is lying to her and cheating on her. The same day he had sex with three other women and it wasn’t the first time this happened either !!!!!!!

    • dazzledtodeath

      Eric likes both art and poetry.When Didi asks him how much money he and Elise are worth together, he answers, “She’s a poet.” To her response that she thought Elise was a Shifrin, Eric says she’s “a little bit of both.” He downplays her wealth as though it taints her. Knowing how quickly and willingly Eric decides to divest himself of his fortune, perhaps art and poetry work to cleanse him somewhat of the taint of all that money, like the grander gesture of dying at the hands of Benno. This is part of Elise’s appeal.

    • And then he says her poetry is shit. Or shitty. To himself or out loud I forget.

  • When you put it that way Eileen, it is pretty disgusting and less beautiful. If Mr Packer were my husband I would be the considerable threat not some crazy man in a squatting house! I’d have my way with him and then chop his cheating balls off! He’d have a lot more to worry about than is asymmetrical prostate. Voila! Problem solved. 😉

    • dazzledtodeath

      It will be pretty hard in the film to make it seem plausible that a woman would keep running away from Rob(Eric) when he’s asking her for sex and trying to connect. I’d drop everything lol.

      • Like in Remember Me when Ally pulls away when Tyler first tries to kiss her. UNREALISTIC!!!!! 😉

        But really, Elise does seem very hurt by his cheating ways (of course). In that way, their last time together is her showing him what he’s thrown away. She’s already said goodbye and it’s over. Oh man, that bit makes me sad. 🙁

        • Did you listen to Alan Coulter’s comments on the DVD? He remarks on that scene. If she had she would have been just another fling as they would have ended up in bed together.

          • Ah, I was just making a joke. 🙂

    • LMAO!

  • Eileen

    Didi
    It’s obvious that Didi and Eric are not having just a fling, but are having a long time relationship. They are friends, they are mother and son, teacher and student, they are so comfortable with each other and they seem to really know and respect each other. Eric is honest to Didi and I believe that he has the most chemistry with her. He needs her in his life.
    When he enters her house they don’t even have time to remove their clothes, because there’s this immediate passion that takes over, they have some hot wall sex and.when they remove their clothes they have some very intimate moments together. With Didi he talks about personal things; his marriage, not having sex with his wife, the fact that he’s ruthlessly efficient and that he has decided to follow her advice (“Talent is more erotic when it’s wasted”). She feels, knows and understands that he has changed and thinks he made a courageous decision. By the way one of my favorite quotes of Eric is when he’s with Didi and says: “If this makes me sexier then were are you going”.
    Yes, tell me where can I sign up for the role of Didi! I relate to her the most of all the women in Eric’s life. When he doesn’t get the sex he wants from his wife he goes to Didi first. Not only for the sex, but to talk. She knows he’s married and what her role in his life is and she’s totally okay with that. The whole older woman/younger man thing appeals to me, because I’m close to Didi’s age.

    • dazzledtodeath

      Totally agree with you. I def see a mother/ son element to their relationship . I also loved that line, “If it makes me sexier…”

      • Freud is dead. Did you read that? Eric says it. It is true.

        • dazzledtodeath

          I did, actually. This is my opinion regardless.

    • beesue

      Didi all the way, also I feel she would be the only one to cry at Eric’s funeral.

      • Kim

        just read that and that stirs me like maybe I am sad/wow.

  • Eileen

    Jane
    I so want the scene with Eric, Jane and the doctor to be in the script exactly like it’s in the book. It’s going to be so hot! Poor Jane, divorced mother of how many children (?) didn’t see this one coming and she was totally overpowered by Eric. He wanted to make her go crazy and knew he could do it. I thought that the FY-stare that Eric gave her, only Rob could produce. He as no other can so totally nail this and I almost sorry for the actress who he’ll be staring at, because she’s going to rip the bottle to pieces and won’t be able to get out of the limo alive, because she’ll be lying dead at his feet. At least that’s how my reaction would be. I get weak in the knees when he does this stare in photos let alone if I get the live version. As much as I would love the experience of the stare and the no touch orgasm, no, the presence of the doctor would make me feel very uncomfortable, although he would come in handy for CPR.
    I wonder if Eric wouldn’t have died, would Jane have been able to face him again after this without thinking about it and getting exited all over again?

    • Kim

      LOL-your response is great and I’m laughing, actually tearing up here!

    • “Why haven’t we spent this kind of time together before?” What. A. Line. They’re really seeing each other for the first time, seeing possibilities. As much as I love the layers of the story, I do like the human story, the romance, possible romance etc.

      I can’t wait to see who they cast as Jane and Vija.

      NB: I’m not feeling well and will be prone to rambling and incoherency. It has nothing to do with the topic or the thought of Rob smexin all over the place.

    • “He as no other can so totally nail this and I almost sorry for the actress who he’ll be staring at, because she’s going to rip the bottle to pieces and won’t be able to get out of the limo alive, because she’ll be lying dead at his feet.” LMAO, so true!!

  • DebbieCDC (aka Seattle Chik)

    Up until the last encounter with Elise, I always felt like there was nothing really “there” between them…that her appearances at crucial times in the story was kind of like a Greek chorus sort of device. But as someone noted in a comment above, in their last encounter when is literally stripped down to nothing, they seem to really connect, not just physically (altho I am really looking forward to that scene in the film) but emotionally as well. Eric says at one point something to the effect that when he’s deliberately losing Elise’s money that he wants them to meet as equals with nothing. I think in that last encounter they were equals, for probably the only time in their brief marriage. When she walks away at the end of their encounter, it’s sort of a warning of what’s to come. I got a little emo at that point, and really I didn’t feel much (if any) sympathy for Eric at all until that moment. Then looking back from there to the babershop, talking about this father and then reading his thoughts about his mother, I started to feel more sympathy than at any other time in the book. Maybe because he was finally starting to understand himself a little, I could understand him a little.

    Now the asymmetrical prostate thing, I thought about that a lot and came to the conclusion that Eric uses that as a metaphor for his life — his life is TOTALLY out of sync with most people’s lives and I think his constant reptition of this phrase is his way of saying to himself how totally fucked up all of this is…that he can manipulate capital and countries and politicians, etc. at his whim. HE is able to touch all those lives he sees thru the limo windows with his actions but those lives can’t touch HIM in any way….until in his encounter with Benno who also has the “asymmetrical prostate” analogy for HIS life. I don’t know if I’m being clear with what I’m trying to say here, because this book took a lot of thought to read and the concepts are somewhat difficult to put into words.

    In terms of Eric’s other physical encounters, Didi was definitely someone he had a long terms relationship with and obviously there was some respect and/or affection between them. However, I think eventually that would have faded away because my feeling is he would have connected more and more with Elise, had things worked out differently in the end. The Jane encounter I think was just Eric being Eric — I can do what I want whenI want to and to whom I want to. Kendra, that was just quickie sex on the go…altho I’d volunteer to play that role in a second (I love vodka – #HaveStoliWillTravel).

    I also detected a bit of the madonna/whore dichotomy when he talks about his mother and her taking him to the movies, etc. but that really doesn’t get developed enough to get any deeper understanding IMHO.

    Really in the end he’s basically committed suicide…he knew there was only one bullet left in the gun, he uses to incapacitate himself and all he can do is wait for the end — the end of his life’s journey as described in the events of one day.

    A friend of mine says that a recurring theme of Cronenberg’s films is “who am I really?” (maybe that’s what attracted Cronenberg to this story). Certainly that’s the underlying question Eric asks throughout the entire book – not in so many words perhaps but in thought and action. Who am I really? Young billionaire tycoon, master manipulator, observer of life, participant in life, on and on until finally he comes to the realization he’s just a person like everyone else, ending up in the morgue with a “unknown” tag on him.

    Reading this book was a bumpy ride!! I cannot wait to see this film, as I can just picture Rob in all of these scenes as we’ve talked about them. I don’t know tho how I’ll handle it if the film actually shows him getting shot and/or laid out on a morgue slab. That might be more than I can take!!

    • dazzledtodeath

      Re: you’re last comment-I agree, I don’t look forward to seeing that. Please Rob stop taking roles where you die. I was really freaked out when I saw RM , even though you don’t see what happens, on top of the tragedy of 9/11, just the fact that it was Rob…Irrational but what can I say. I can’t read FF where Edward dies either.

      • DebbieCDC (aka Seattle Chik)

        I don’t think I’ve ever read a FF where Edward dies, at least I haven’t yet read one where that happens.

    • Kim

      Great thoughts! I like the prostrate idea, how clever, that Delillo if that is the metaphor. You know this book and all the discussions, it’s just getting better and better with all the talk. Whenever you walk out of the cinema and your smiling and you can’t wait to ask your friend or hubby if they saw it the same, or you start asking questions cause you didn’t get everything and you get so excited, you know you just saw a great movie. Even if you see it differently that’s good too, when there’s room to differ and ask.

  • Well. I have lots to say but can’t right now. asymmetrical refers to the Radical, Asymmetrical Universe we are all inhabiting right now as I type. For a lead up to that see Social Network. Since the universe is asymmetrical so are our bodies-Inscription of the Body: Foucault, Deleuze, Baudrillard. Eric gets his haircut asymmetrical. He starts out obsessed with balance looking for the revealed/concealed pattern of the yen, yen equals desire always coupled with lack, a yen, a want, but he doesn’t know what he wants. Hair is a fetish and for a brilliant and wickedly funny analysis of that see Rubenstein “Chicks With Dicks”. His hair is cut halfway. The barbershop is the real, not the simulated reality he lives in. He is searching for a referent. He can’t get there because Events are in the way as obstacles.

    And why has no one mentioned the line, “Then he knew he loved her,” and in that moment she slipped away and was gone. Exactly what she should have done. She is his muse as Kristen is Rob’s.

    His death is a chosen death, a suicide, a sacrifice because of Impossible Exchange. The world cannot be exchanged because there is no other. You cannot exchange your life for the same philosophical reason. You can only sacrifice it. David Foster Wallace. Passolini. You can only choose your own death if you are thinking like this. Scott Nearing when he reached 100 told Vivien that he was no longer going to eat anymore. And that is how he died, chose to die, and she supported him in that.

  • Each sexual encounter is different. Didi is about discharge. Jane is about the Gaze. Kendra is about S/M pornography between consenting adults. Vija is Seduction. Elise is about Love and its inherent meaning in Transgression. The assistant doctor is homoeroticism.

    shooting himself in his left hand, which the right side of the brain controls, the intuitive side, the side where Broca’s area is not, the side where language is not situated. the wound in his hand is the wound of the nail in the palm of Jesus. The pain of it reveals himself to himself.

    But Eric has no desire. Not even at the end. Buddha. He only has post mortem wishes. And he sees the images resulting in his choice of death. Alice. Lewis Carroll. Deleuze. Baudrillard. Cronenberg knows exactly who Baudrillard is and what he has said about him. Cronenberg knows exactly what this book is about. And you and the world are going to know because he picked Rob to show you. To pierce through the world’s denial with his talent and his beauty.

    And De Lillo and Eric have told you that Freud is dead. Einstein is next. Although I’m not sure about Einstein yet.

    • Each sexual encounter is different. Didi is about discharge. Jane is about the Gaze. Kendra is about S/M pornography between consenting adults. Vija is Seduction. Elise is about Love and its inherent meaning in Transgression. The assistant doctor is homoeroticism.

      i like this analysis…

    • Kim

      Abbeysbooks, is that worlds denial a part of Eric’s demise? Liked your physics and energy thoughts, all things have energy to a degree, those positive and negative charges always pulling.

      • Baudrillard discusses the problem of the will. and decisions becoming a prohibition as soon as you make them. How to escape from freedom? The problem. The positive and negative charges always pulling.

        You do what Rob does. He lets the world think him on purpose. Do you want to hear more about this?

        • Kim

          Are you talking of free will? And do you think Eric in the Cosmopolis book has free will? I don’t really have an opinion on this just hear people from time to time talk free will.

          • Your question is really complicated. Will is a complex concept. He speculates with money, money that is no longer real, no longer exchangeable, money that is worth nothing because in a simulated universe it is no longer exchangeable. Money is in circulation constantly. His will is focussed on this activity. He is enslaved by his will. He is in serfdom. this is Baudrillard’s analysis. I am thinking that won’t make sense for you but I don’t know how to say it simple. I’m trying to learn.

            As for Rob he doesn’t will. People have suggested he do certain things and he decides to follow their advice or not. He is not responsible for being deleted from Vanity Fair. He is not responsible for being forced to become a nicotine addict in The Haunted Airman. He is not responsible for being marginalized as much as possible in Harry Potter. He then goes after roles against type. Nerds, Fuckups etc. Edward was willed by his american agent who got him to come, whose place he stayed at so he went. He composes on open mics right on the spot. That way the will cannot get in a tug. To be ruled by your will is to be enslaved my the master in yourself. This is the paradox. So Baudrillard says to shuck it off and let the world decide for you. Let the world think you. The Chinese sage says “You don’t drink the tea, the tea drinks you.” So Kristen chooses him. Tai the elephant chooses him. Bel Ami chooses him. Cronenberg chooses him. He says yes right away. No playing cool and let me think about it and then talk to a bunch of people who second guess it and so on and so on. This is very different from going after roles because you have decided you definitely want them and then do what you have to do to get them. He has said he hates auditions. He has said lots of things that allow us to know him. And of course since he isn’t trying to clone himself we love him. Did I answer your question? Sorry it took so long.

          • kim

            no you didn’t answer and I will be right back.

          • kim

            You are obviously someone with very complex thoughts and rightly so. Ha many of us have those simultaneously thoughts.

            Free will is something my dad has been preaching to me for some time but I have not made up my mind on that matter/do you know cause I am open to that idea. He also preaches energy ideas too!

            Robert Pattinson you were talking much about. I’m not sure if you were wanting him to do certain things or not?! You are strong in your opnion, so you must be for or against him. Which is it?
            i

          • No I don’t want him to do anything or not to do anything. He is perfect just the way he is, as you are also. The will fits in with slavery so look at it genealogically. The slave/master relationship is clear to you. Yes? Then the slave is liberated, for a person can only be liberated if they are a slave. Yes? Now the person is in an exploited relationship in terms of labor. Rob has commented on this. He has said you can’t get good parts until they think you can carry the pic, bring in the money. But you can’t get that credibility until you sstar in a pic. Yes? So you are in a catch-22. If you do indie films you can pretty much do what you want in a role but few people will see you in it. In a big studio production they tell you what to do. What angle to kiss from, etc etc as all is programmed for you. Your acting is not the same as theatre when you have an aura and are in direct contact with the audience (Benjamin). Your part is done in the editing room. You are an object. But a lot of people will see you but they will not see what you really wanted to do with the part. The employer uses you, you are exploited, a slave of sorts. The next level is you internalize will and force yourself to do what you have decided to do. The master is now inside your head, a part of you and you are divided and working against yourself. And this is the worst kind of slavery. It is inescapable. This is where Eric is at the beginning of Cosmopolis. And it is why he does not lose everything because he had nothing to lose. It is why he kills Torval because Torval is keeping him hostage and being paid to do so by Eric. Eric cannot step outside the limo without Torval disapproving. So he has to die for Eric to be free. Helpful?

          • Kim

            @ abbeysbooks…I have had 2 days to think about the free will(having read no books on it, nor discussions of late except here). Let me make some sense of my jibberish nonsense from the other night!

            You are obviously more read than myself so I’ll give you my take on it. Society and surroundings play an important aspect of who and what we are and we play an equal part in that. We can say yes or no to our decisions. So therefore for me free will does exist only it is 50 %, that is kinda low. I have not read Baudrillard and certainly the Chinese are disciplined and their ideas are magnificent. Parents have the most influence I believe, they formulate the beginnings.

            The Torval killing was for me like whoa what’s going on??!!
            So your explanation is worth considering.
            I know I’m taking the middle road here but am still formulating my ideas for free will. And yes of course you respect Rob P. that’s why your here! I’d like to hear his thoughts on this topic. He speaks well from the interviews I’ve watched , thoughtful and smart.

          • Kim

            @Abbeysbooks/the big picture or the small indie film(i have no background) sounds like what we deal with in regular life big corporation or our own business. He is really getting an education with so many films. This will make him quite the expert someday.
            Good for him.

          • kim

            ok he’s an artist that much said, money, draw, acknowledgment, I get your point of the world draws him and tells him. But!! I deny this, he yes listens a bit, he is so young that these ages not really they are diffuse. Money is not the draw..reality is and that is the real luck/draw for him. If he changes from this then he will be like all the rest.

            his core is the difference and you see this too am I right???

          • First there is no reality. That’s the message in Cosmopolis. There is only the world that has no other, so therefore it cannot be exchanged for anything. Called Impossible Exchange in philosophical meditations. I have thought decades about free will. Hanna Arendt (coining the banality of evil) said that as soon as you will something, you set up a resistance, a struggle. Talk to a nicotine addict who has tried to quit smoking any number of times or an alcoholic. Baudrillard in Impossible Exchange discusses will and goes to its limit. As soon as a decision is made it becomes a prohibition. Remember Bella at the dance in the book when Edward says, “Now?” and she goes rigid, her hands clench etc but she is going to force herself to submit because that’s what she has decided. She has spent 3 books being out of control passionate and when she is married in BD and Edward is waiting for her in the water, she gets cold feet, goes in the shower, shaves her legs, all to delay what is now OK and basically demanded of her, that she consummate the marriage. (Yes I know Edward would be happy if she went back on it but forget about that for a minute.) All of a sudden the prohibition is gone. Something she was trembling and lusting for just disappears when the magic marriage vows are spoken. And then cut to the next morning with feathers all over and from then on we basically have a modern romance. I have a feeling I didn’t satisfy your questioning.

          • Kim

            @abbeysbooks/I did not read Breaking Dawn. The WFE, Bel Ami and this Cosmopolis just seem more interesting to me. Don’t get me wrong the whole Twilight Saga is awesome, it seems to be extending itself, then again all will probably be worth it.

          • Yes BD is not an especially good book but there are parts that are excellent. Stephenie is a very uneven writer.

          • I really don’t want to cut in here but I just wanted to say that I love the saying “You don’t drink the tea, the tea drinks you.” I have always lived my life this way and the way you say Rob lives his. So much so that many people always ask me how things happen to me (the good and the bad). I usually don’t have the slightest clue because I don’t think, I just do. Some people find this to be reckless, but it’s just who I am because I find that to be less complicated and more natural. My mother tells me I am a hard nut to crack. LOL This discussion has struck a nerve with me. Lately, because of some bad circumstances in my life, I have been trying to “will” things into existence. And it just doesn’t work for me. I know this is beyond talk of Cosmopolis, but I just wanted to comment because I’ve had breakthrough reading this.

          • I made a fortune in real estate in Phila in a few short years. Then I decided that if I could do this sort of by intuition, having fun then what might I be able to accomplish if I did it on purpose! So I went at it. I piled it up and then lost it to what Baudrillard calls Symbolic Exchange. You see when you save someone’s life it is a gift that becomes a debt. The only way that debt can be repaid (and not right away) is to kill you one way or another. So that’s what he did. It has taken me 20 years and all of Baudrillard to fully understand what I considered betrayal. What would have been worth 15 million in the real estate run up (and I knew exactly what was going on because Alan Greenspan was my teacher in the early 60’s) was not mine any longer to cash in on.

          • Kim

            Did you come out on top/clean?
            Hope so!

          • Nope. Busted.

          • Yes the bad happens too and you can read below. But this is more important to understand now than it ever was. I am validating your reality.

  • Sex sees through us. Sex finds us out.

    No it doesn’t. I used to think so before I read Foucault’s genealogy of sex in his The History of Sexuality volumes 1, 2, 3. That idea is just another one that appeared in history because of a crossroads of ideas, feelings and thoughts. Just as it appeared it can disappear. And it certainly is faster and faster each day.

    • Sorry it’s genealogy of sexuality not sex. They are different categories.

  • Sex finds us out. Sex sees through us.

    The correct quote from above altho my comments still stand as written.

  • Sexuality is interwoven with power/knowledge.

    Sex is disappearing. Now we have porno! Porno is faux sex.

  • In photo shoots they often have women hanging all over Rob. In Kristen’s photo shoots she doesn’t have men hanging all over her. I bet she won’t allow it. Why are they treating Rob like a sex object when women won’t permit that anymore? Jes sayin’.

    • Kim

      Agree…agree. I guess though these photos might fit a character and sex sells face it, always did always will. Eric in the book wants to be seen as sexy from Didi, that probably makes him feel like a man I’m thinking.

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