Joli cadeau surprise de la part d’un ami dans ma boîte aux lettres hier. Et lu presque immédiatement, The Richard Burton Diaries.
Un bon acteur, un alcoolique coléreux et un amoureux difficile et insupportable mais le journal qu’il a tenu toute sa vie et qui vient d’être publié montre aussi un homme attachant et amoureux. Lui et Liz Taylor s’aimaient, parfois mal, mais si l’amour était simple, il n’y aurait pas de littérature et certainement pas de Mr Darcy. (pour D. qu’elle voit au moins CETTE scène)
Je partage quelques extraits qui m’ont plu. Il écrivait en sachant que Liz Taylor allait le lire et lui offrait aussi ses pages pour qu’elle lui réponde par écrit. (c’est en anglais mais c’est très facile à lire).
Tuesday 12th: E [his shorthand for Elizabeth] to go into hospital tomorrow for an operation. Came to lunch with me and felt sick and faint. Poor little thing. I shouted and bawled at her for being ‘unfit’ for lack of discipline, for taking too much booze. I think I was talking about myself — out of fear for her. God get tomorrow over rapidly.
In Elizabeth’s handwriting: Bachgen [Welsh for ‘boy’], I love you.
Wednesday 13th: What a day. I went to work at 7.30 [both were starring in Franco Zefferelli’s The Taming Of The Shrew] and was made up and learned lines. All the time I waited for the phone to ring. I thought a lot about our lives and shades of mortality grew round me like a mist. Then the blower blew and joy of joys it was herself on the other end and the operation was over and she was in pain but alive and will live to be shouted at another day.
Thursday 21st: E much better today. I may have to work tomorrow. I look forward to it.
In Taylor’s hand-writing: You ill-tempered bastard! So do I — at least you’ll be out of my hair!
Thursday, 28th: We dined at home quietly and made lovely love.
Sunday 13th: Elizabeth has great worries about becoming a cripple because her feet sometimes have no feeling in them. She asked if I’d stop loving her if she had to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. I told her that I didn’t care if her legs, bum and bosoms fell off and her teeth turned yellow. And she went bald. I love that woman so much sometimes that I cannot believe my luck.
Tuesday 19th: I’ve been inordinately lucky all my life but the greatest luck of all has been Elizabeth. She’s turned me into a moral man but not a prig, she’s a wildly exciting lover-mistress, she’s shy and witty, she’s nobody’s fool, she’s a brilliant actress, she’s beautiful beyond the dreams of pornography, she can be arrogant and wilful, she’s clement and loving, she can tolerate my impossibilities and my drunkenness, she’s an ache in the stomach when I’m away from her, and she loves me! I’ll love her till I die.
Wednesday 24th: The seas were high and the skies grey and the boat rocked and shivered. So we settled to read and, in my case, do crossword puzzles. E anxious that I write about her, so here goes: She’s a nice fat girl who loves mosquitos and hates pustular carbuncular Welshmen, loathes boats and loves planes, has tiny blackcurrant eyes and minute breasts and has no sense of humour. She is prudish, priggish and painfully self-conscious.
Thursday 26th, Paris: Elizabeth has gone off to work [on The Only Game In Town, with Warren Beatty]. After seven, or is it eight years, I still miss her if she goes to the bathroom.
Monday 9th, London: I became very drunk and abused people and insulted E a lot on the telephone when I arrived. I miss her terribly already. I wish I didn’t love people. And I wish I didn’t shout at people.