The bike I gave Belle which looks like it is a knock-off of the blue bike Bridget Bardot is riding in ‘And God Created Woman’. BB inspired Simone de Beauvoir to behold BB as a Lolita.
“The first work by a philosopher (to my knowledge) that gathered together some of these threads was Simone de Beauvoir’s “Brigitte Bardot and the Lolita Syndrome,” an essay first published in Esquire magazine in August 1959.”
My brother drove Sue Lyon to school. Sue allegedly slept with the actor Sire Richard Burton who is in my family tree. If Belle marries me, she will be kin to Burton and Liz, as well as Thomas Pynchon. Then there is Talitha Getty, the Bohemian Muse and model for the greatest art collector since the Medicis. Talitha was famous for her Bohemian line. Belle could be a REAL Bohemian model with family credentials.
Belle and Sue have the same body-type, they both bathing beauties coming out of the sea. With this post, I have elevated Belle she now owning a place amongst the Great Muses! Who would take this from her? Belle wanted me to make her a real Bohemian. Now she is a real Bohemian Muse!
Talitha is a Dutch extraction, like Belle, and is kin to the famous Bohemian couple Augustus John and Dorothy “Dorelia” McNeil. I suspect they share the same genetics. Belle is my discovery.
Talitha Getty, Beauty Muse of the Moment
Thu, 22 March 2012 10:52AM
There are several beauty icons whose names pop up regularly backstage at the fashion shows, as makeup artists reference them as their guiding hair or makeup influence. Brigitte Bardot is a favourite (cue smoky eyes and bedheady hair); Sophia Loren another (nobody did winged eyeliner better); and Brooke Shields too (whenever anyone wants to make a strong brow statement). But there’s another name that has been thrown around with increasing regularity recently.
It’s Talitha Getty, who was the wife of the oil heir, John Paul Getty Junior, in the 1960s. She’s probably best known for this photograph:
It was taken in Marrakesh in 1969, and has come to symbolise the whole 1960s bohemian hippie vibe. Any time a designer or fashion editor goes all gaga about kaftans and harem pants, you can bet Talitha Getty’s name is not far behind.
I don’t know about you, but I try not to wear mumus and Jeannie pants all that often. Nevertheless there has always been something about the Talitha Getty look I’ve loved – that tawny skin, sand-swept cheeks and rich bronze eyes.
Another to come under Pol’s spell was the dancer Rudolf Nureyev, who first met her at a party in 1965. According to Nureyev’s biographer, Julie Kavanagh, the two were in thrall to each other, to the extent that Nureyev “had never felt so erotically stirred by a woman” and told several friends that he wished to marry Pol.
Talitha Dina Pol was born in Java, then part of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). Her father was Willem Jilts Pol (1905–88), a painter who subsequently married Poppet John (1912–97), daughter of the painter Augustus John (1878–1961), a pivotal figure in the world of “Bohemian” culture and fashion. She was thus the step -granddaughter of both Augustus John and his muse and second wife, Dorothy “Dorelia” McNeil (1881–1969), who was a fashion icon in the early years of the 20th century. By Ian Fleming’s widowed mother, Evelyn Ste Croix Fleming née Rose, Augustus John had a daughter and Talitha’s aunt, Amaryllis Fleming (1925–1999), who became a noted cellist.
in Augustus John’s art she at times served more exotic purposes, wearing scarves and long dresses, but was also the subject of domestic scenes, including those which show her with Augustus’ first wife and their children. It is said that she “made a significant contribution to the ‘bohemian utopianism’ of the artist’s most intensely creative period, c. 1903-1914.” Eventually she had two sons and two daughters with Augustus. She lived with him until his death in 1961. Her step-granddaughter was the 1960s bohemian fashion icon Talitha Getty.
“For years, Pynchon trackers have wondered about Tharaldsen, listed as married to Pynchon in a 1966–67 alumni directory. The real story is not of a secret marriage but a distressing divorce—hers from Seidler.”
It appears Thomas Pynchon is in my Family Tree, as is Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor who may have been jealous of Sue Lyon who played Lolita, who is running around half-naked in front of Richard Burton on the set of ‘The Night of the Iguana’. Sue Lyon was best friends of Patty Presco, the ex-wife of my brother. Mark Presco, who drove Sue Lyon to Santa Monica City College five days a week in his GTO Mustang that he bought from his wages earned by helping put men in space V-ia rockets. Mark was Mary Ann Tharaldsen’s brother-in-law, and the famous artist ‘Rosamond’ was her sister-in-law.
Rosamond took up art after seeing my painting of Rena Easton, who walked about California half-naked. She was seventeen, a real nymph I drove around in my 1950 Dodge.
My brother held our wedding reception at his house, and took the photos of Mary Ann and I. His eyes fell upon Sue Lyon for a semester. Stanley Kubrick worked with Vladimir on the Lolita script. Above is a letter from Vladimir to Kubrick. Did the Vlad have anything to do with casting Sue Lyon? Was he hidden behind two way mirror – with Paynchon during audition?
I am now running The Most Outrageous Pynchon Guess Contest. Send me you entries.
In the article in the New York magazine Boris (and Vlad) says Pynchon encouraged folks to keep on guessing about who he is, and what he is all about. My guess is, Thomas was an avid fan of the BBC series Connections, and might own this series on video tape. Anyone who has read a biography of a famous artist or musician, has read a book about Connections. With the addition of Pynchon in my family tree, so grows the Creative People therein. The relationship between Thomas and Mel Lyman, is amusing. As is the relation to Sir Richard Burton, the man who could not get enough attention, and the man who did not want any! I see a play on par with Waiting For Gadot.
If Rena had married me she would be kin to Taylor and Burton. At twenty-five, Rena married Sir Ian Easton, aged sixty one. Ian was an Admiral who was awarded a KCB. The lived on the Isle of Wight where British Admirals go to die. To make a picture of the old Admiral and his beautiful Water Nymph getting out of a Bentley to attend a ball, is Lolitish. Rena, the Mermaid of Wight, is the catch of the season. Ian made many old Admirals – jealous! Then there is the swimming pool at the club. There are smoking jackets. There is a book here.
Above is a photo of Rena that was taken by her lover in the woods. She was seventeen and totally naked. This photo appeared on a poster advertising an event held by the University of Nebraska. It was posted everywhere! There are real egg-head writers, and, there are real-life nymphs!
Vladamer was living in Oregon when he wrote Lolita. He went on a drive looking for butterflies. Did he come upon a loving couple that were a generation apart? Were they in a resturant, and after eating, he watched them drive away.
The average male has sex-thoughts every twenty seconds. In my novel ‘Capturing Beauty’ my big complaint was, that when Rena and I were in public, I saw nothing but powerful sex-thoughts firing away the second they lay eyes on her. These males captured Rena via the lenses in the eyes, and took her to their dungeon, or, some shady Motel out on the highway.
Nabokov believed he captured the unsung heart of America, the love of young maidens, and the automobile. We American love go out on the road – and have sex! Having casual visual sex with pretty young things, is par for the course.
Rena would not let me in the water with her, because she was having visual-sex with her admirers, her audience. Sue Lyon got in hot water over the image of her coming out of the water with an older man, my kindred Richard Burton.
Lolita – is a Muse? She is a Road Nymph in that Nymphs are associated with locality.
Here are more famous folks Thomas Pynchon is kin to….
What is truly exciting is that I am kin to the fashion Model, Talitha Getty, who was married John P. Getty Jr. who amassed the world’s largest art collection. Talitha is still the Bohemian Fashion Muse that influenced the first work of my late sister, the world artist, Christine Rosamond Benton, who husband rendered murals at the Getty mansions. Lawrence Chazen owns several high class restaurants and is a partner in the PlumpJack Wineries along with members of the Getty, Newsom, and Pelosi family. Add to this the political Benton and Fremont family, ad you have California Bohemian Royalty.
My ex-wife, Mary Ann Tharaldsen, any my two Models and Muses, Marilyn Reed, and Rena Victoria Easton, have played a huge role in bringing together the world’s foremost Creative Dynasty that is a New Renaissance in America! Rosemary, Christine, Marilyn, and Gloria Ehlers made their own clothes. Gloria made me the blue shirt you see in photo with Rosemary and my aunt Lillian. These Rosamond sisters did not know we were related to Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor. Nor did my daughter, Heather Hanson.
The Persistence of the ‘Lolita Syndrome’
By ANDY MARTIN
May 19, 2013, 7:00 pm 249 Comments
The Stone is a forum for contemporary philosophers and other thinkers on issues both timely and timeless.
Ever since the details of the Jimmy Savile case started to come to light, I have, like some philosophical gumshoe, been pursuing an investigation into the possible intellectual origin of his mentality. In other words, I have been looking into what has loosely been referred to as the “culture of abuse,” which may or may not have been a factor at the BBC, or what Michel Foucault would have called the “epistémé” — a kind of conspiracy at the level of language and ideas and metaphor that (in this context) could conceivably promote or justify the sexual exploitation of young girls. (Alongside its continuing “Savile review,” the BBC has also promised to examine the case of Stuart Hall, another broadcaster, who has pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting 13 girls over three decades.)
I detected a significant congruence between “Lolita” and Savile’s autobiography.
I believe there has now been a breakthrough. Of course, it is perfectly possible to object at the outset that this whole inquiry is futile, that there is no intellectual origin to anything, that the very idea of a whodunit — beyond reference to the actual perpetrator — is irrelevant in comparison with overriding biological imperatives. It’s the libidinal economy, stupid! But that argument is itself an integral part of the conspiracy.
Surveying the list of usual suspects, I could hardly avoid considering “Lolita,” Nabokov’s classic novel — virtuosic, teasing, elusive, complex, ironic — which was published in 1955 and neatly coincides, historically, with the rise of Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine (first issue: 1953). The pushy, hectoring, rhetorical voice of the narrator, Humbert Humbert, is set against the almost voiceless figure of Lolita herself, the 12-year-old girl (as she is at the beginning of the novel) whom Humbert abducts. I was about to write “seduces,” but the key to understanding the narrative is that it is Lolita herself who does the seducing. At least, according to Humbert. The narrative is, in judicial terms (pitched, as it is, at a notional jury), a disavowal or diminution of responsibility on behalf of the accused, or a re-attribution of responsibility. The argument is that the “nymphet” is already sexually adventurous. “Between the age limits of 9 and 14 there occur maidens who, to certain bewitched travellers, twice or many times older than they, reveal their true nature which is not human, but nymphic (that is demoniac).”
I detected a significant congruence between “Lolita” and Savile’s autobiography, “As It Happens,” published in 1974, Chapter 10 of which reads like a pedophile’s charter. Savile’s equivalent of “nymphet” is “teentype” or “sirene” (or “crumpet”). Always seeking to outwit irate or concerned parents, he is hazy about ages on the grounds of his “disjointed sort of theory that all girls, in relation to their male opposites, are 2,000 years old when they are born.” Savile, a Catholic, may be making some point about original sin here. But the trope that braids together Nabokov and Savile is the Hugh Hefner image, repeated with variations, of an older man (replete, ideally, with tweed jacket and pipe — Savile prefers the cigar) festooned with nymphets/sirenes/“playmates,” who have clearly been drawn to him, like bees to some highly pollinated plant. All three insist on some kind of categorical imperative governing the behavior of the girls. Savile also argues that “girls have taught, trimmed and trained me up to Olympian standards.” It is they who groomed me.
The first work by a philosopher (to my knowledge) that gathered together some of these threads was Simone de Beauvoir’s “Brigitte Bardot and the Lolita Syndrome,” an essay first published in Esquire magazine in August 1959. It has to be said that Beauvoir’s interest in these matters was not purely theoretical (in fact, it is hard to conceive of any philosopher’s thoughts being purely theoretical). As a diligent investigator, I am obliged to say that she was dismissed from her teaching job in 1943 for “behavior leading to the corruption of a minor.” The minor in question was one of her pupils at a Paris lycée. It is well established that she and Jean-Paul Sartre developed a pattern, which they called the “trio,” in which Beauvoir would seduce her students and then pass them on to Sartre. (See, for example, “A Disgraceful Affair,” by Bianca Lamblin, in which she recalls being infatuated with Beauvoir, but romanced systematically by Sartre, who cheerfully remarks, on the way to a consummation, that “the hotel chambermaid will be really surprised, because she caught me taking another girl’s virginity only yesterday.”)
Beauvoir’s “Lolita Syndrome” (her personal favorite, she said, among her essays) offers an evangelical defence of the sexual emancipation of the young. They have been tied up in chains for too long: Bardot is presented as the Harry Houdini who will get them out of bondage. Bardot is a filmic counterpart to Beauvoir herself, the Socrates of St. Tropez who is falsely convicted of “corrupting the youth of France.” She is a “woman-child” — a “garçon manqué érotique” — whose age difference is capable of re-igniting burned-out desire: “she retains the perfect innocence inherent in the myth of childhood.” Beauvoir posits Bardot as the incarnation of “authenticity” and natural, pure “desire,” with “aggressive” sexuality devoid of any hypocrisy. The author of “The Second Sex” is keen to stress sexual equality and autonomy, but she also insists on the “charms of the ‘nymph’ in whom the fearsome image of the wife and the mother is not yet visible.”
In a rhetoric that is half-French Revolution, half-Marxian, Beauvoir sets her heroine up as a modern-day, bare-chested Liberté, leading the cohorts of the younger generation, breaking down the taboos, “capable of incinerating the poor disguises that camouflage reality.” “Children ceaselessly ask: Why? Why not? Are we going to stifle the questions that BB has raised?”
Perhaps in the background there is a whole genre of what has been described as “female pedagogical pedophilia,” fixated on the sexual awakening of schoolgirls. But probably the key work of this generation, published in the 1930s but going on to become a manual of the 1960s, was Margaret Mead’s “Coming of Age in Samoa.”
Mead was an anthropology postgrad at Columbia when she took off for Samoa to do research for the thesis that would eventually become the book. Mead was in some ways America’s Beauvoir, an exponent and apostle of feminist themes. But she was also a precursor to Nabokov’s Lolita (and the early Bardot). Her Samoan girls are always on the lookout for sexual adventures “under the palm trees,” curious to experiment before being tied down in marriage. Whether or not she was hoaxed (as has been argued), the Lolita syndrome narrative enabled her to give an anthropological twist to Freud, depicting the Southern Hemisphere as the realm of the unconstrained id, with the North — North America in particular — still tangled up in sublimation and repression. It remained only for the sultry, grass-skirted breezes of the South to blow northward.
Savile takes up the very same argument, on the last page of “As It Happens,” looking forward to “admirable Polynesians” joining Europe and bringing “jolly goings on” to his native Yorkshire: “Why should they have it all?”
Both Beauvoir and Mead hark back to 18th-century or early-19th-century harbingers of sexual liberation. Sartre and Beauvoir used the word “pivotal(e)” to describe each other — the “necessary” significant other in their lives in contrast to “contingent” lovers. They were alluding to the works of Charles Fourier, the post-revolution utopian thinker (who provided a template for the future to the early Marx and Engels). Fourier’s “phalanstery” offers (in “Le Nouveau monde amoureux” of 1805) to provide a “sexual minimum” that tends toward a maximum: the rigorous timetable of the future sketches out a permanent sexual Olympiad involving mass public orgies, multiple affairs and a sexual AAA call-out service for emergencies.
Boredom and frustration — the dissatisfaction of any one of the 12 principal “passions” — become the cardinal sins of this society and the root of all evil. “Civilization” has (as Freud would argue) been built on repression, and it doesn’t work: the point is to satisfy all desires, thereby eradicating conflict and violence and ushering in the state known as “Harmony.”
Both Mead and Fourier (and Freud, more critically) refer back to the voyages of discovery, and notably Bougainville and Tahiti in 1768. This was the 1960s of the 18th century and Tahiti provided an alternative culture. The theme of Bougainville’s “Voyage” was that his men were accosted and seduced – “conquered” by “jeunes filles” (young girls, possibly virgins). The French sailors had become objects of the other’s desire. And the sexually voracious nymphet, or “Venus,” is given some kind of historical/anthropological documentation for the first time. Diderot’s subsequent satirical take on the subject suggests how this seemingly idyllic state of affairs could go wrong and how it was all inevitably connected up to the exercise of colonial power. The writings of the Marquis de Sade (notably “Philosophy in the Boudoir”) — another of Beauvoir’s touchstones — might be taken as a more brutal satire on the Bougainvillean/Fourierist vision of desires and passions leading naturally to a state of harmony rather than one in which murder, torture and rape are the norm.
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The original model of Bougainville’s narrative is Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Bougainville was an avid reader of the “Discourse on the Origin of Inequality.” But more crucial for the Lolita Syndrome is “Emile,” dating from 1762, notable for Rousseau’s theory of “negative education.” Formal education, as such, can only spoil the growing child. Children should be kept well away from libraries and schools and teachers for as long as possible. They already know everything they practically need to know. They are (as we might put it now) genetically pre-programmed. Rousseau, in a move that is perhaps the foundation of Romanticism, turns the classic pedagogical relationship on its head, and suggests that it is the child who teaches us, not the other way around. All we can do is corrupt and distort the inbuilt software.
I realized, when I returned to “Emile,” that I had found here the intellectual precursor of Nabokov’s Humbert Humbert and Savile. For Savile, it is the “teentype” who “taught, trimmed and trained me.” Humbert Humbert, the English academic, is overthrown by the superior, carnal knowledge of the nymphet. Beauvoir finds salvation in the figure of the naïve, artless BB; Mead sees the future of the North in the primitive South. In each case it is assumed that education no longer serves any real purpose. Education, as Rousseau would argue, is only a way of locking the child up in irons. The child is always already 2,000 years old, automatically educated.
The irony of my investigation into the perpetual orgy paradigm is that I am arguing that the style of thinking that made a real difference maintains that thinking makes no real difference. Rousseau was the distant godfather of contemporary arguments that imply that education is, in effect, irrelevant, since the selfish gene (or “nature”) is paramount and sociobiology rules. But the point that emerges from Beauvoir’s analysis in “The Lolita Syndrome” is that liberation and “authenticity” are indistinguishable from coercion because they turn the very notion of “freedom” into a categorical imperative. As Rousseau argues in “The Social Contract,” the citizen (young/old, male/female) has to be “forced to be free.” As so often, freedom coincides with what I want you to do for me.
Perhaps the phalanstery of Fourier is already here, with its unremitting satisfaction of passions. But there is a certainly an ironic convergence between believers and atheists. Savile for one, mother-fixated and explicitly convinced of his own sinfulness, nevertheless expected to get himself off the hook with a final, posthumous appeal to the “Boss.” And in a strange mirror image, secularists are perfectly capable of dissolving any notion of responsibility in an invocation of ancient, even pre-human patterns of behavior. For Savile, there is predestination; for others, there is the overarching excuse of genetic fatalism.