My first experience with Hubert was about a year and a half ago when I rented out "Requiem for a Dream". For some reason I can't remember, I was playing around with the extras on the DVD before I ever watched the film itself, and came across an interview with him. I watched it, and it started out normally. He talked about his illnesses - of which he's had many, and then he came to a quote that burned into my brain. It started:
One day I had an extraordinarily profound experience, one more "real" than I had ever had. I experienced the fact that some day I was going to die, And just before I died, two things would happen:
Being the cynical bastard I was at the time, and not knowing anything about the guy or his work, I thought that I was just about to be inundated with schmaltz - something about true love, or Heaven or whatever. Man, I was wrong:
One, I would regret my entire life; Two, I would want to live my life over again, and then I would die.
This was like a punch in the face. I was bewildered by this little frail guy in a chair, and the sheer rawness of those words. At that point I knew that Hubert was my kinda guy. It was this experience that apparently made him start writing. We're all the better off for it.
The film, by the way, was excellent.
- This quote also appears in the introduction to my version of "Last Exit to Brooklyn", along with more stuff about his life and works. Apparently the guy had 10 ribs removed after getting pneumonia. 10 ribs! Fuck! I would also like to point out to those concerned that I am no longer a cynical bastard.