Joe Eszterhas’ Epiphany

Posted by Censor Librorum on Jun 15, 2008 | Categories: Arts & Letters, Humor, Scandals

“This is a truly naughty book, but it is also a strangely moral one.” Talk

That was the description of Joe Eszterhas’ book, American Rhapsody, with its  globs of dirty gossip about Hollywood celebrities and the Clinton presidency, including  the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

But the point isn’t about the book, its about the writer.   It seems to me, that many times the person who leads an envied sex life, has all kinds of colorful exploits, drinks, smokes, ingests, lives life like a wild man or woman, ends up with religion. Look at St. Augustine. Or, a person who makes a living writing about these people. Look at Anne Rice.

Joe Eszterhas has written screenplays for 16 films that have made more than a billion dollars at the box office. Among them are Basic Instinct, Flashdance and Showgirls.

A former editor at Rolling Stone, he is the author of six books,  including American Rhapsody, Hollywood Animal and Charlie Simpson’s Apocalypse, which was nominated for the National Book Award.

Joe Eszterhas looks like his reputation. Thick, grizzled mane of hair,  biker brawler face, ex-boozer–my father would have called him, “a man’s man.” esz_3.jpg

Eszterhas left Hollywood and returned to the home of his youth–Ohio. He lives with his second  wife, Naomi, and their four sons just east of Cleveland.

He has just finished a book about himself and his relationship with Jesus, called Crossbearer.   The title refers to himself, not Jesus; Eszterhas carries the cross at Mass at his church.

He came close to dying from his additions to drinking and smoking. The contracted cancer, struggled with a tracheotomy. He had an epiphany. It is this transformation that he describes in his new book, along with differing on what he sees as the church’s “wimpification” of Jesus.

“I didn’t even really know how to pray…Part of it was that I felt myself to be presuming God’s favor in our new relationship. I thought to myself: Yeah, right, I reject Him so long ago, and then, after forty years of not just ignoring Him but trashing Him in my writings, I’m suddenly back and talking to Hi as though nothing had interrupted our relationship, syaing “How ya doing, God? Haven’t seen you in a while..what up? Everything cool?…”

“And now here I was trying to speak to God whom I had marginalized and mocked and lampooned. How do you approach someone to whom you’ve done that? I didn’t know what to say, so one of the first things I said was ‘I’m sorry. I’ve acted like a colossal A-hole. I’m really, really sorry. I don’t deserve to be forgiven, but please try to forgive me.”crossbearer.jpg

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One Response to “Joe Eszterhas’ Epiphany”

  1. Robert Hosking Says:

    I wish ol’ Joe would give me an interview. I’d love to know how his mind tics. He may have religion now, which is great, but the WAY he thinks, I’m sure, is what makes him unique in his viewpoints.

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