Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Red and The Black

Reading too much into Jenny's red/black boots,
Bette's episode 510 red/black flannel shirt,
and Tina's red/black elevator panties...

It could be another TLW shoutout to Stendhal.

Think back to 'L Word's first season, and the art reference to the Stendhal syndrome: the rapture that overtakes one whilst embracing an unspeakably beautiful work of art.

Well, Stendhal didn't just faint at paintings. He also wrote books, one of which is (ta-da!) 'The Red and The Black'. This novel (remarkable for 1830) dealt with the turmoil of a young man as his planned life is overturned by his passions. One of the earliest books to delve into human psychology and sexual choices, it contains some disturbing imagery, such as his lover kissing the lips of his severed head at the end. But one of the central themes of the book should be recognizable to all TLW fans: ''Stendhal's novel reveals how any individual's desire for another is always 'mediated' by a third party - put crudely, that we desire something (or someone) because we see that someone else desires that thing.'' Ring any bells?

So perhaps these red/black transformations right in front of our viewing eyes are calling out a deep and meaningful reference, if only our slow wits could be coaxed into following along. Or it could just be that JB picked the red shirt, and Jenny's boots plus Tina's panties are yet more continuity errors to add to TLW's growing pile. Your call.

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