“The Most Strenuous Intercourse”: Conversation

I just read a book from Michael Herr, an American writer and war correspondent, who wrote Dispatch, a great book about the Vietnam war.

He wrote a book, a “personal biography” about Stanley Kubrick. He worked for him for years as a writer (he co-wrote Full Metal Jacket).

Kubrick was exhausting, very intelligent, and constantly calling people on the phone. He was living near London but spent many hours a day talking to friends and collaborators. He stayed American all his life and stayed connected to his country all the time.

Herr writes that when Kubrick ended a conversation (called by him a “strenuous intercourse”) with you, he knew everything about what you had in your head about a subject. Devouring your brain…

  • Well, I didn’t know this word, “strenuous“, so I found: energetic, vigorous, requiring strength. Also: unremitting, dogged, tenacious. OK!
  • But “intercourse“, really? For me, it was about sex only, but I found: discussion, and this example: “The two businesses had a lot of intercourse over the years”. OKeyyyy!

I ADORE this ambiguity. If in this blog I look for structures, I can’t agree more:

A great conversation is very similar to great sex.

And it installs an “instant roof” over both persons.

  • Listening
  • Attention to the other
  • Games
  • Attempts
  • Giving
  • Deciding together
  • Ecstasy
  • Progress
  • Talking
  • Connecting
  • Intimacy
  • Exploring
  • Laughing
  • Staying silent together
  • Pauses
  • Going fast
  • Changing rhythms
  • Surprises
  • Dancing
  • Ideas
  • Segments
  • Communication
  • Learning
  • Listening!

Thanks for reading!

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