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A Prior #10 / Jean Torrent

© Ana Torfs, Elective Affinities/The Truth of Masks & Table of Affinities (2002)

To Claire


I’m looking but do I see? I’m leafing through a special issue of a magazine dedicated to Maurice Pialat’s film work. Above a portrait of the filmmaker who is already old, his hair and beard turned quite white by now, his right elbow resting on the top of a table beneath which his other hand disappears, a citation highlighted in yellow is printed in large letters, 72 pts at least (his age?). It is taken from the first volume of his Cahiers intimes, a diary of sorts that Pialat kept at the beginning of the nineties in a series of school notebooks. They contain notes on his projects, recollections, impressions, and some general thoughts, often bitter, about the disastrous times he is living in. Notwithstanding the anger and the flow of words that seem to gush out at the speed of thought, his handwriting remains clear, steady, perfectly legible; the letters are written on the slanted pattern required in the days when school desks were equipped…