TABLE OF CONTENTS

Devil’s Advocate

What’s wrong? Open the door! I was scared. What happened? / What’s wrong? Open the door! I was scared. What happened? / You can’t lie underwater like on a bed and then just wait. / You can’t lie underwater like on a bed and then just wait. / It’s impossible. Wait for what? / It’s impossible. Wait for what? / Idiot! Do you know the mess you can get me into? / Idiot! Do you know the mess you can get me into?

THESE WORDS ARE THE LYRICS to a song I wrote in 1997 entitled “The Devil, Probably.” A year earlier I had generated the text that would become those lyrics by isolating thirty-five frames of a minute-long scene from Le Diable, probablement, a film by Robert Bresson, and then transcribing the English subtitles from them. The scene depicts the first suicide attempt by Charles, his failed drowning in a bathtub. An image of placid containment, it bears little trace of the implicit trauma

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