anneliese's picture

(page under construction - sorry, had to remove the images due to copyright issues; that's what I get for asking permission!)

Brought to you by The Slippery Brain Sodality


"Suspended between the tangible and the ephemeral, I find myself pondering: Would anyone but a crazed bicephalous being, half engineer, half poet, willingly shackle himself to a venture of such magnitude? I am prisoner of my dream." (Man on Wire, p. 41) 

 "The child of the trees I was, the skyscraper I became, still wants to conquer the world -- explore, I should say -- convinced that the world inside you, inside me, inside those around us is equally rich in marvels and mysteries."
(Man on Wire, p. 235)


I regret that I was unable to keep the images I originally included (taken by Jean-Louis Blondeau), because I felt they conveyed so much more eloquently the pieces of the story that most captured my attention. On the one hand, you would have seen Petit sitting on the edge of the tower, wire before him, with a brooding expression, which represented for me the intense inner turmoil he described, the agitation, the obsession, the irresistible passion and drive that threatened to consume him. Next, you would have seen him in the center of the wire, walking toward the camera, beaming with pure joy - embodying the essence of balance (in the fullest sense of the word) and freedom/release. This story is not captured in the film, which, though also breathtaking, bears the mark of its creator and offers little insight into the workings of this slippery brain. 

(While this page is part of an ongoing book club discussion, visitors are warmly invited to share their experiences and join the conversation.) 


alesnick's picture

conversation about Man on Wire

I appreciate the selection of quotes above.  (I am also glad I saw the pictures before you took them down.  I wonder what Petit himself would think of the copyright issue.)  These quoted passages speak to something about Man on Wire that intrigued me: the way Petit "balances" -- is suspended between -- exploration/mystery/marvels/dream/poetry/trees with conquest/engineering/magnitude/skyscraper.  Is this what it means to "become a skyscraper?"  And does one have to be "crazed" to attempt this kind of . . . balancing/integration/encompassing .. power that is also such lightness? 

I am sorry I missed the book discussion last Saturday and hope for a record, and continuation, of it here.

Thanks --


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