Reportedly Ridley Scott‘s Napoleon (Apple, 11.22) isn’t a chapter-and-verse history of the rise and fall of the mercurial French emperor (Joaquin Phoenix), but a story of “Napoleon’s rise to power through the lens of his addictive and volatile relationship with Empress Josephine (Vanessa Kirby).”

With this in mind, I was struck yesterday by a passage from Stanley Kubrick‘s Napoleon script, which of course was never filmed. It appears near the end of the story, and is basically Napoleon’s conveyance of the heart of his relationship with Josephine when they were both young.

The idea is that the pain and torment of a love affair is preferable to its absence — that nothing is worse than the void.