Christopher Swink ~ The Clown

Christopher Swink ~ The Clown

There is one temporarily effective remedy: alcohol; there could be a permanent cure: Marie. Marie has left me. A clown who takes to drink falls faster than a drunk tile-layer topples off a roof.

When I am drunk my gestures during a performance become confused – their only justification in the first place is their precision – and I fall into the most embarrassing trap to which a clown is ever exposed – I laugh at my own tricks. A ghastly humiliation. As long as I am sober my stage fright increases till the moment I walk on (I generally had to be pushed), and what some critics have called “that reflective, critical gaiety hiding a beating heart” was nothing but the desperate icy control with which I turned myself into a puppet; it was terrible, incidentally, when the thread broke and I fell back on myself. I imagine monks go through a similar experience when they are in a state of contemplation. Marie always carried around a lot of mystical literature, and I remember the words “empty” and “nothing” occurred very often.

Heinrich Böll – Prose: Excerpt from The Clown“. Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 12 Feb 2015


Legs Larry At The Television Centre by John Cale (1972)