Is there a more thrillingly warped visionary artist working today than Alejandro Jodorowsky? The Chilean filmmaker-writer-guru-composer-artist had his heyday in the 1970s when he got John Lennon himself to help fund his esoteric and now cult-classic The Holy Mountain. But after 2013’s Jodorowsky’s Dune, Frank Pavich’s trippy documentary journey into the director’s attempts at producing his film adaptation of that sci-fi book, Jodorowsky has experienced a much deserved renaissance. His cinematic adaptation of his autobiography came to life in two separate films, with the final installment Poesía sin fin just having premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
This May, Jodorowsky’s 2000 novel Albina and the Dog-Men arrives on paperback in the U.S. The story follows an albino giantess whose horny bites make canines out of the men around her. Featuring a dwarf, an irascible woman, Incan iconography, and a search for a magical elixir hundreds of years in the making, the plot is pure Jodorowsky. It is psychedelic and weird in the best possible way — where else could you find a werewolf-type plot that manages to be a deep examination of desire and spirituality?
To whet your appetite for the English translation, we’ve singled out the 5 of the most touching quotes from Jodorowsky’s madcap fantasy novel that show that despite featuring talking parrots, albino strippers, and giant hares, Albina and the Dog-Men actually has a lot to say about things like hope, depression, and the power of love. Enjoy the quotes alongside images from his craziest films.
“The skeleton of her solitude appeared before her: impersonal, heavy, and cold. And then she saw flesh gather around those bones, forming a body for which she felt not the slightest tenderness. It reacted to her disdain by tightening itself around her from her stomach to her throat to deliver a dull, constant pain. It was like having her soul pierced by a nail, in the depths of the world transformed into jelly, where she was sentenced to drown for all eternity.”
On Feeling Adrift
“I don’t know where I’m going, but I do know with whom I’m going. I don’t know where I am, but I do know that I’m here. I don’t know what I am, but I do know how I feel. I don’t know what I’m worth, but I do know not to compare myself to anyone else. I don’t know how to dodge punches, but I do know how to withstand them. I don’t know how to win, but I do know how to escape. I don’t know what the world is, but I do know that it’s mine. I don’t know what I want, but I do know that what I want wants me.”
On Loving Two People
“Crabby had to admit that her own heart was behaving like a capricious pendulum, going back and forth between two extremes, a dwarf and a giant, so completely opposite to each other that it was impossible to make one out of the two. Those twin currents of love, sweet bonds, tied her hands, keeping her from choosing. … ‘What I’d like, with all my soul, is to divide, like an amoeba, and be two! But only two? Who knows? Perhaps with time other beings will come along, which would force me to be four and then eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and so on to infinity.’”
On Enjoying The Present
“What does it matter that it will only last a short time! The aridity, which in all likelihood will come later, must itself have a memory. It must know that the past is a form of the future, that what was shall be, and that what is has already been. A drought with hope is not the same as a drought without hope. In the first, every second is venerated because it brings the anxiously desired rain closer. In the second, each instant is hated because it pushes the generating liquid away.”
‘La danza de la realidad’
“When he realized he could not accept the place as his own, when he saw it narrow, ugly, devoid of soul, the little man understood that his gaze had changed. Before, the dark den had been his refuge. Not finding in himself any beauty, as it is not one’s own gaze that supplies it but the gaze of another, he was unable to recognize the beauty of the world. Now that he had a reverent companion he could sink his roots into her; Isabella was his home, his country, the tower from which he could observe the world.”