This is our evil bro pairing – the boss (Bechard) and his right-hand (the Southerner). It’s a standard enough combination but in our case the right-hand has a degree of independence which is atypical. The Southerner, after all, is a boss in his own right. His relationship with Bechard is purely a commercial one. He is not Bechard’s puppet. The level of independence that the Southerner possesses means that their relationship approaches some degree of equality. It also tells us something about Bechard, his confidence and his professionalism: he doesn’t feel the need to surround himself with mere stooges. Moreover, Bechard is not just an office bound administrator who is averse to getting his hands dirty. When the two are attacked by a group of thugs he demonstrates that he is quite capable of holding his own. Although they are both intelligent, ruthless and violent men there are significant differences between them. Bechard is more coldly analytical and idealistic. The Southerner, by contrast, is more pragmatic. He does what he does for money and visceral pleasure. He is under no illusions about his nature. He is also, albeit in a rather perverse way, a man of creativity and imagination, as illustrated by the way he goes about his business. This is because, rather like the Marquis de Sade, his thinking is not constrained by the sort of religious and moral conventions which forces Bechard to cultivate sophisticated rationalisations to justify what he does and to undergo masochistic religious penance in an attempt to absolve himself of his guilt.
‘The Prologue’, and chapters 1 to 7 of ‘Casanova in Paris: The Shadows of the King’ are now freely available here.
6 long form articles on Casanova’s life and times are freely available here.
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