Grenouille, the protagonist of Süskind “The Perfume”, has an obsession: to capture the essence of the woman. Since he mets the red-haired girl devotes all his life, his knowledge and his art to that purpose. He succeeds, and creates an intoxicating essence which moves and touches deeply whoever smells it. The perfume is distilled at a very high price but Servetus shows us in these absolutely moving lines how it is indeed possible to capture the essence of a man, just with words.
This is one of the most touching readings I’ve had recently.
[Left: Richard Armitage in Esquire video, 2013. Cap from Armitage Fan.]
I know you were a dancer, twenty years ago. Now I imagine you dancing only out of love. I remember when you said that as a teen you were afraid people would watch you and think you were not very good. I remember when you said musical theater was too showoffy and I think in the settings where I can observe you, that you do not dance to call attention to yourself. Still, I observe it here and there, the twist of a wrist, the way one of your characters rolls his hips, the jaunty cock of your chin, the pose on a red carpet or the position of your feet.
You may not dance any more, but someone taught you how to move, how to pose for just an instant, never heavy-handed. The slide across the room…
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