Coda
Getting Medieval:
Pulp Fiction, Foucault, and
the Use
of
the Past
I'm proud of my country's past, but I don't want to live in it.
Tony Blair, in comments on a recent effort
to update Britain's image
Quentin Tarantino's Middle Ages
My title derives from some lines in a dark scene deep within
Pulp
Fiction.
They are spoken by Ving Rhames acting the part of Mar-
sellus Wallace, the big black boss presiding over the underworld of
the movie-that world's heretofore unmoved mover. To this point
virtually all we have seen of him is the back of the neck. Due to cir-
cumstances definitely beyond his control, Marsellus has been raped
by a sadistic white southerner in an
S/M
dungeon; and after he has
been rescued by the very man he has been chasing, Butch Coolidge
(Bruce Willis), he snarls back to "Mr. Rapist," now shot in the crotch
and writhing on the floor:
I'm gonna call a coupla pipe-hittin' niggers, who'll go to work on homes
here with a pair of pliers and a blow torch.
(to Zed)
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