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"Method of this work:
I have nothing to say only to show." (Passagenwerk (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin)
2005, Oct 10; 11:45 ::: The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays () by M. M. Bakhtin
The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays () by M. M. Bakhtin [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Contains "Discourse in the Novel" (written 1934-5 but not published until 1975; published in English in The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, edited by Michael Holquist, translated by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist [University of Texas Press, 1981])
The English terms dialogic and dialogism often refer to the concept used by the Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin in his work of literary theory, The Dialogic Imagination. Bakhtin contrasts the dialogic and the "monologic" work of literature. The dialogic work carries on a continual dialogue with other works of literature. It does not merely answer, correct, silence, or extend a previous work, but informs and is continually informed by the previous work. Dialogic literature is in communication with multiple works. This is not merely a matter of influence, for the dialogue extends in both directions, and the previous work of literature is as altered by the dialogue as the present one is.
The term 'dialogic', however, does not just apply to literature. For Bakhtin, all language - indeed, all thought - appeared dialogic. This means that everything anybody ever says always exists in response to things that have been said before and in anticipation of things that will be said in response. We never, in other words, speak in a vacuum. As a result, all language (and the ideas which language contains and communicates) is dynamic, relational and engaged in a process of endless redescriptions of the world.
Scholars in France, the United States and United Kingdom in the 1970s and 1980s rediscovered Bakhtin's work, and it seemed to fit with the then-nascent concepts of "intertextuality". More recently, many people have seen his concept of dialogism as especially relevant to the world of online interaction. Wikipedia in this light becomes an intensely dialogic phenomenon, doing away with the idea of knowledge as emanating from single, authoritative, closed (what Bakhtin would call 'monologic') sources and instead embracing the idea of knowledge as collective, relational and dynamic. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialogic [Sept 2005]
See also: linguistics - Mikhail Bakhtin
2005, Oct 10; 11:06 ::: Menippean Satire
Critical Synoptics : Menippean Satire and the Analysis of Intellectual Mythology (2001) by Carter Kaplan [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
See also: grotesque - Ancient History
Menippean Satire is a term employed broadly to refer to prose satires that are rhapsodic in nature, combining many different targets of ridicule into a fragmented satiric narrative, which we may attempt to call a "novel" with some sense of unease. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menippean_satire [Oct 2005]
2005, Oct 10; 10:06 ::: Heteroglossia
In linguistics, the term heteroglossia describes the coexistence of distinct varieties within a single linguistic code. The term translates the Russian raznorechie (literally "different-speech-ness"), which was introduced by the Russian linguist Mikhail Bakhtin in his 1934 paper Slovo v romane, published in English as "Discourse in the Novel." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heteroglossia [Oct 2005]
Philosophy of language
Philosophy of language is the branch of philosophy that studies language. Its primary concerns include the nature of linguistic meaning, reference, language use, language learning and creation, language understanding, truth, thought and experience (to the extent that both are linguistic), communication, interpretation, and translation. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_language [Oct 2005]
See also: linguistics - Mikhail Bakhtin
2005, Oct 09; 21:06 ::: Offensive Films (2005) by Mikita Brottman
Offensive Films (2005) by Mikita Brottman [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Brottman offers a study of movies so offensive, that some are practically unwatchable. From the ever-popular "Faces of Death" movies to purported snuff films, from classic B-movies such as "The Tingler", to more popular but no less controversial films such as "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", Brottman takes a wide-eyed look at movies most folks watch only through parted fingers. Part anthropology, part psychoanalysis, "Offensive Films" vivisects these movies in order to figure out just what about them is so offensive, obscene, or bizarre. --via Amazon.co.uk
Science Fiction Studies
"Consistently witty and intelligent, informed by a cheerful nihilism. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it."
". . . for those called to be diagnostic morticians of a sick culture. Not recommended for the faint."
About the author
Mikita Brottman was born and raised in Sheffield, England. She has a PhD in English Language and Literature from Oxford University, and has taught in various universities in Europe and the U.S. Her main field of research interest is the pathological impulse in contemporary culture; she has authored and edited a number of books on this subject, including, most recently, High Theory, Low Culture. She writes regularly for a number of publications, both mainstream and alternative, and is also a psychoanalyst in private practice. --http://www.mica.edu/FACULTY_DIRECTORY/index.cfm?faculty_id=157 [Aug 2005]
See also: Mikita Brottman - offensive - paracinema - film
2005, Oct 09; 21:06 ::: Funny Peculiar: Gershon Legman and the Psychopathology of Humor (2004) by Mikita Brottman
Funny Peculiar: Gershon Legman and the Psychopathology of Humor (2004) by Mikita Brottman [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Why are jokes funny? Why do we laugh? In Funny Peculiar, Mikita Brottman demurs from recent scholarship that takes laughter – and the broader domain of humor and the comical -- as a liberating social force and an endearing aspect of self-expression. For Brottman, there is nothing funny about laughter, which is less connected to mirth and feelings of good will than to a nexus of darker emotions: fear, aggression, shame, anxiety. Brottman rethinks not only the mechanisms of humor but the relation of humor to the body and the senses. To this end, she provides an engrossing account of the life and work of Gershon Legman, exiled author, publisher, and sexologist, Alfred Kinsey’s first bibliographer, and legendary compiler of the dirty joke. Like Freud, Legman was convinced of the impossibility of understanding humor apart from sex, and Brottman shows how his two massive works on the subject, Rationale of the Dirty Joke and No Laughing Matter, provide a framework for understanding the ambivalent and often hostile impulses that underlie the comic impulse in its various guises. In lively and enlivening chapters, she traverses dirty jokes, the figure of the "evil clown" in popular culture, the current popularity of "humor therapy," changing fashions in stand-up comedy, and the connection between humor and horror. Brottman’s sparkling prose, laced with wit, does not obscure the seriousness of Funny Peculiar. It is a thoughtful and wide-ranging elaboration of the Freudian claim that joking, in point of fact, is no laughing matter.
About the Author
Mikita Brottman, Ph.D., who earned her doctorate at Oxford University, is Professor of Language and Literature at the Maryland Institute College of Art and a candidate at the Washington Square Institute for Psychotherapy and Mental Health (NYC). She writes regularly for mainstream and alternative publications and is the author of three books on the horror film.
See also: Gershon Legman - laughter
2005, Oct 09; 20:06 ::: The Aesthetics of Murder : A Study in Romantic Literature and Contemporary Culture (1991) by Joel Black
The Aesthetics of Murder : A Study in Romantic Literature and Contemporary Culture (1991) by Joel Black [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
"Do it beautifully," says the heroine of Ibsen's 1890 play Hedda Gabler to Eilert Loevborg as she commands him to take his life..." (first sentence)
What connects the Romantic essays of Thomas De Quincey and the violent cinema of Brian De Palma? Or the "beautiful" suicides of Hedda Gabler and Yukio Mishima? Or the shootings of John Lennon and Ronald Reagan? In The Aesthetics of Murder, Joel Black explores the sometimes gruesome interplay between life and art, between actual violence and images of violence in a variety of literary texts, paintings, and films.
Rather than exclude murder from critical consideration by dismissing it as a crime, Black urges us to ponder the killer's artistic role -- and our own experience as audience, witness, or voyeur. Black examines murder as a recurring, obsessive theme in the Romantic tradition, approaching the subject from an aesthetic rather than a moral, psychological, or philosophical perspective. And he brings into his discussion contemporary instances of sensational murders and assassinations, treating these as mimetic or cathartic activities in their own right.
Combining historical documentation with theoretical insights, Black shows that the possibilities of representing violence -- and of experiencing it -- as art were recognized early in the nineteenth century as logical extensions of Romantic theories of the sublime. Since then, both traditional art forms and the modern mass media have contributed to the growing aestheticization of violence.
See also: murder - aestheticization - aesthetics - violence - philosophy
2005, Oct 09; 20:06 ::: Unruly Pleasures: The Cult Film and Its Critics (2000) - Xavier Mendik (Editor), Graham Harper (Editor)
Unruly Pleasures: The Cult Film and Its Critics (2000) - Xavier Mendik (Editor), Graham Harper (Editor)[Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
This shady tome's said "pleasures" will only be so for the most select audience. But it's both fun and informative, exposing many a cult chimera... --Empire, August 2000
Whether defined through genres such as horror, science fiction, pornography or camp musical, the cult film has come to attain an important place in cinema culture. Unruly Pleasures is the first British volume dedicated to the critical consideration of cult movie making from the margins to the mainstream. In a series of innovative articles by leading film critics and theorists the book deals with aspects of the medium including the cult film's definitions, genres, film styles and gender depictions. --Book Description, amazon.co.uk
See also: Xavier Mendik - pleasure - cult movies - paracinema - criticism
2005, Oct 09; 19:06 ::: The Modern Fantastic: The Films of David Cronenberg (2000) by Michael Grant
The Modern Fantastic: The Films of David Cronenberg (2000) by Michael Grant [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
“An excellent bibliography tops off this volume, which is recommended for upper-division undergraduates through professionals.”–Choice
This collection of seven critical essays explores the multifaceted nature of the cinema achievements of David Cronenberg. From The Fly through Crash and M. Butterfly, Cronenberg's work has been provocative and important to the development of contemporary American film.
See also: David Cronenberg - modern - fantastic
2005, Oct 09; 18:50 ::: Study of pornography in academia
IN THE Musical Offering Café, across the street from the Berkeley campus, Linda Williams, a professor of film studies at the University of California, was describing to me the virtues of Latex, a futuristic hard-core porn flick about a man possessed of the psychic ability to divine people's sexual fantasies.
Williams is the author of a book Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the 'Frenzy of the Visible', a study of pornography which has gained a wide readership among academics and has just been reprinted in a revised, illustrated edition. She also teaches a graduate course entitled "Pornographies On/scene", which features the in-class viewing not only of such classics as Deep Throat, The Opening of Misty Beethoven and Behind the Green Door, but also of rawer specimens, like Suburban Dykes and John Wayne Bobbitt: Uncut.
A handsome woman with greying hair and horn-rimmed glasses, Williams is the very antithesis of a campus radical. Her conversation is equable, measured and wide-ranging in its cultural references; she's as likely to drop the name of D H Lawrence or Jacques Lacan as that of the porn star Candida Royalle. Her book, an erudite and closely argued assessment of porn films from the crude era of stag through to the lavish extravaganzas of today, belongs on the growing shelf of academic works devoted to pornography, books by scholars like Laura Kipnis, a tenured professor at Northwestern known for her pioneering study of the industry, Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Pornography in America, and Chris Straayer, of New York University, the author of Deviant Eyes, Deviant Bodies: Sexual Re-orientation in Film and Video.
Both of those books are on the syllabus of Rhetoric 241, as Williams's course is blandly identified in the Berkeley catalogue. Students must also work their way through some heavy theory - such as Foucault's classic History of Sexuality and the Marxist critic Fredric Jameson's essay "Pleasure: A Political Issue" - and write a 20-page paper "on some aspect of visual pornography".
James Atlas, © The New Yorker via http://www.suntimes.co.za/1999/05/30/lifestyle/life07.htm [Oct 2005]
See also: James Atlas - academic - academic porn - Joan Hawkins - Laura Kipnis - pornography - Connie Shortes - Jeffrey Sconce - Linda Williams
Volksgeist (also Volksseele, Nationalgeist or Geist der Nation, Volkscharakter, and in English “national character”) is a term connoting the productive principle of a spiritual or psychic character operating in different national entities and manifesting itself in various creations like language, folklore, mores, and legal order.
2005, Oct 09; 17:07 ::: Volksgeist
Connotatively, the German word Geist is related in meaning to the Hebrew ruah, to the Greek pneuma, and to the Latin spiritus. Volksgeist is the spirit (Geist) of a people expressing itself in certain articulated creations. The shift to spirit as against expression, follows the shift from the letter of the law to the spirit of the law as in Saint Paul (II Corinthians 3:6). To the extent that the term is related to genius or to génie (as a derivation from genius), it is associated with the Roman idea of genius loci, the attendant spirit of a place, household or city, e.g., genius urbis Romae. Along with other parallel terms, the term Geist and Volksgeist, however, connote a spirit not outside but inside a certain entity.
1. Emergence of the Concept.
The distinction introduced by Leibniz between dead power and living power (vis viva)—the latter being understood also as a directive power—became the philosophical basis for the idea of a directive principle within historical entities guiding their existence in time and expressing itself in their creations. As a guiding principle the living power is not a logical or rational principle and could thus be connected with various concepts expressing the irrational directive principl e of human creations and evaluations as the French goût, the Italian gusto, the German Geschmack, or the English taste. Gusto has sometimes been associated with ingenio. --http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/cgi-local/DHI/dhi.cgi?id=dv4-66 [Oct 2005]
Nationalism is an ideology which holds that the nation, ethnicity or national identity is a fundamental unit of human social life, and makes certain political claims based on that belief, above all the claim that the nation is the only legitimate basis for the state and that each nation is entitled to its own state. In this form nationalism is a universal ideology, but the term also refers to the specific ideology of nationalist movements, which make political claims on behalf of a specific nation. These movements may dispute each others specific claims, but nevertheless they share the general nationalist ideology.
Nationalists define individual nations on the basis of certain criteria, which distinguish one nation from another, and also determine who is a member of each nation. These might include a shared language, shared culture, and shared values, but the most important is probably now ethnicity, the membership of an ethnic group. National identity refers both to these defining criteria and to the sense of belonging to that group. Nationalists see membership of nation as exclusive and involuntary, meaning that you can not simply join it like an association. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalism [Oct 2005]
See also: difference - group - identity - ethnicity - sociology
2005, Oct 09; 16:07 ::: Cultural phenomenon
Jameson's analysis of postmodernism attempted to view it as historically grounded; he therefore explicitly rejected any moralistic opposition to postmodernity as a cultural phenomenon, and continued to insist upon a Hegelian immanent critique. His failure to dismiss postmodernism from the onset, however, was perceived by many as an implicit endorsement of postmodern views.
See also: condition - postmodernism - Frederic Jameson
2005, Oct 09; 15:07 ::: Phenonmenon
An occurrence, circumstance, or fact that is perceptible by the senses. --AHD
A phenomenon (plural: phenomena) is an observable event, especially something special (literally something that can be seen from the Greek word phainomenon = observable). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenomenon [Oct 2005]
An event is something that takes place; an occurrence and arbitrary point in time. A significant occurrence or happening. A social gathering or activity.
Individuals define an event's significance subjectively; people actively and retroactively compartmentalize their lives and history in terms of epochs delimited by events considered to be significant. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Event [Oct 2005]
See also: behaviour - movement - sense - happening - time
2005, Oct 09; 15:07 ::: The Civilizing Process (1939) by Norbert Elias
The Civilizing Process: Sociogenetic and Psychogenetic Investigations (1939) by Norbert Elias [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
The book The Civilizing Process written by German sociologist Norbert Elias was an influential work in sociology. It was first published in 1939 in German Über den Prozeß der Zivilisation but virtually ignored, republished in the 1960s when it was also translated into English. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Civilizing_Process [Oct 2005]
See also: 1939 - civilization - sociology
2005, Oct 09; 15:07 ::: Timelessness
Camp has no aspiration to timelessness, but rather lives parasitically on the strength of dominant culture. It does not want to present basic values, but precisely to confront culture with its waste, to show how any norm is historical. This rebellious utilisation of critical concepts originally formulated by modernist art theorists such as Theodor Adorno, who were radically opposed to the kind of popular culture that camp endorses, can be understood as a deeply reflexive problematisation of the problematisation of taste itself that modernism represented. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_(style)#Origins_and_development [Oct 2005]
See also: time - history - camp (style) - retro
2005, Oct 09; 14:07 ::: "Good" design
Image sourced here.
Image sourced here.
SK4 record player, 1956
Design: Dieter Rams and Hans Gugelot
Dieter Rams is the last survivor of the modern movement (Stephen Bayley, 1991)
The modern movement can be interpreted as an attempt to restore rules to the theory and practice of architecture after a century and more of eclecticism. (Stephen Bayley, 1991)
Good design would mean something as long as there was some identifialbe competition in the form of "bad" design. (Stephen Bayley, 1991)
See also: Stephen Bayley - good - bad - design
2005, Oct 09; 14:07 ::: Kant's aesthetic theory
Kant reasoned that aesthetic judgements have universal validity. Kant was wrong. (Stephen Bayley, 1991)
Immanuel Kant searched for the basis of aesthetic motivation. For such a difficult journey, Köningsberg [where he was born and died) was not a good place to start. (Stephen Bayley, 1991)
The age of consumerism has no time for Kant. (Stephen Bayley, 1991)
See also: Stephen Bayley - aesthetics - Immanuel Kant
2005, Oct 09; 14:07 ::: The Semiotics of Ideal Beauty
The Semiotics of Ideal Beauty asks whether there can ever be a single yardstick of beauty or whether what is recognised as beauty will be in continuous flux as each culture evolves and establishes new measures of social acceptability. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiotics_of_Ideal_Beauty [Oct 2005]
Universal correlates of beauty
Despite significant variation, there nonetheless exists a tremendous degree of agreement among cultures as to what is perceived as attractive. There is a strong correlation between judgements of attractiveness between cultures. Furthermore, infants, who presumably have not yet been affected by culture, tend to prefer the same faces considered attractive by adults. This implies that a large part of attractiveness is determined by inborn human nature, not nurture.
Strong correlations between attractiveness and particular physical properties have been found, across cultures. One of the more important properties is symmetry, which is also associated with physical health. Large, clear eyes are also important. Large eyes are often considered to mark a high degree of attractiveness in East Asia, perhaps because some Asians consider large eyes relatively more rare in Asian populations, and are often spoken about in Asian culture; Asia culture often notes ethnic non-Asians for their eyes. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_attractiveness#Universal_correlates_of_beauty [Oct 2005]
Facial symmetry and the golden ratio
Facial symmetry is seen as a universal determinant of health and therefore of beauty. A person of either gender who is considered as attractive in various cultures has been found to have facial symmetry based on the golden ratio of 1:1.618. Plastic surgeon Stephen Marquardt developed an ideal beauty mask marked with various outlines of facial features based on the golden ratio. The faces that are judged as most attractive are found to fit the mask. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_attractiveness#Facial_symmetry_and_the_golden_ratio [Oct 2005]
See also: semiotics - ideal - beauty
2005, Oct 09; 13:50 ::: Style, genius and taste (1770) - Sir Joshua Reynolds
Image sourced here.
Sir Joshua Reynolds (July 16, 1723–February 23, 1792) was the most important and influential of eighteenth-century English painters, specialising in portraits and promoting the "Grand Style" in painting which depended on idealization of the imperfect. He was one of the founders and first President of the Royal Academy. George III appreciated his merits and knighted him in 1769. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Reynolds [Oct 2005]
From a discourse to his students by Joshua Reynolds:The principle now laid down, that the perfection of this art does not consist in mere imitation, is far from being new or singular. It is, indeed, supported by the general opinion of the enlightened part of mankind. The poets, orators, and rhetoricians of antiquity, are continually enforcing this position, that all the arts receive their perfection from an ideal beauty, superior to what is to be found in individual nature. They are ever referring to the practice of the painters and sculptors of their times, particularly Phidias (the favourite artist of antiquity), to illustrate their assertions. As if they could not sufficiently express their admiration of his genius by what they knew, they have recourse to poetical enthusiasm. They call it inspiration; a gift from heaven. The artist is supposed to have ascended the celestial regions, to furnish his mind with this perfect idea of beauty. "He,” says Proclus, “who takes for his model such forms as nature produces, and confines himself to an exact imitation of them, will never attain to what is perfectly beautiful. For the works of nature are full of disproportion, and fall very short of the true standard of beauty. So that Phidias, when he formed his Jupiter, did not copy any object ever presents to his sight; but contemplated only that image which he had conceived in his mind from Homer’s description.” And thus Cicero, speaking of the same Phidias: “Neither did this artist,” says he, “when he carved the image of Jupiter or Minerva, set before him any one human figure as a pattern, which he was to copy; but having a more perfect idea of beauty fixed in his mind, this he steadily contemplated, and to the imitation of this all his skill and labour were directed.
The moderns are not less convinced than the ancients of this superior power existing in the art; nor less conscious of its effects. Every language has adopted terms expressive of this excellence. The Gusto grande of the Italians; the Beau ideal of the French and the GREAT STYLE, GENIUS, and TASTE among the English, are but different appellations of the same thing. It is this intellectual dignity, they say, that ennobles the painter’s art; that lays the line between him and the mere mechanic; and produces those great effects in an instant, which eloquence and poetry, by slow and repeated efforts, are scarcely able to attain. Such is the warmth with which both the ancients and moderns speak of this divine principle of the art; but, as I have formerly observed, enthusiastic admiration seldom promotes knowledge. Though a student by such praise may have his attention roused, and a desire excited, of running in this great career, yet it is possible that what has been said to excite, may only serve to deter him. He examines his own mind, and perceives there nothing of that divine inspiration with which he is told so many others have been favoured. He never travelled to heaven to gather new ideas; and he finds himself possessed of no other qualifications than what mere common observation and a plain understanding can confer. Thus he becomes gloomy amidst the splendour of figurative declamation, and thinks it hopeless to pursue an object which he supposes out of the reach of human industry.
But on this, as upon many other occasions, we ought to distinguish how much is to be given to enthusiasm, and how much to reason. We ought to allow for, and we ought to commend, that strength of vivid expression which is necessary to convey, in its full force, the highest sense of the most complete effect of art; taking care at the same time not to lose in terms of vague admiration that solidity and truth of principle upon which alone we can reason, and may be enabled to practise.
It is not easy to define in what this great style consists; nor to describe, by words, the proper means of acquiring it, if the mind of the student should be at all capable of such an acquisition. Could we teach taste or genius by rules, they would be no longer taste and genius. But though there neither are, nor can be, any precise invariable rules for the exercise or the acquisition of those great qualities, yet we may as truly say that they always operate in proportion to our attention in observing the works of nature, to our skill in selecting, and to our care in digesting, methodising, and comparing our observations. There are many beauties in our art, that seem, at first, to lie without the reach of precept, and yet may easily be reduced to practical principles. Experience is all in all; but it is not every one who profits by experience; and most people err, not so much from want of capacity to find their object, as from not knowing what object to pursue. This great ideal perfection and beauty are not to be sought in the heavens, but upon the earth. They are about us, and upon every side of us. But the power of discovering what is deformed in nature, or in other words, what is particular and uncommon, can be acquired only by experience; and the whole beauty and grandeur of the art consists, in my opinion, in being able to get above all singular forms, local customs, particularities, and details of every kind.
All the objects which are exhibited to our view by nature, upon close examination will be found to have their blemishes and defects. The most beautiful forms have something about them like weakness, minuteness, or imperfection. But it is not every eye that perceives these blemishes. It must be an eye long used to the contemplation and comparison of these forms; and which, by a long habit of observing what any set of objects of the same kind have in common, that alone can acquire the power of discerning what each wants in particular. This long laborious comparison should be the first study of the painter who aims at the greatest style. By this means, he acquires a just idea of beautiful forms; he corrects nature by herself, her imperfect state by her more perfect. His eye being enabled to distinguish the accidental deficiencies, excrescences, and deformities of things from their general figures, he makes out an abstract idea of their forms more perfect than any one original; and what may seem a paradox, he learns to design naturally by drawing his figures unlike to any one object. This idea of the perfect state of nature, which the artist calls the ideal beauty, is the great leading principle by which works of genius are conducted. By this Phidias acquired his fame. He wrought upon a sober principle what has so much excited the enthusiasm of the world; and by this method you, who have courage to tread the same path, may acquire equal reputation.
This is the idea which has acquired, and which seems to have a right to the epithet of Divine; as it may be said to preside, like a supreme judge, over all the productions of nature; appearing to be possessed of the will and intention of the Creator, as far as they regard the external form of living beings.
When a man once possesses this idea in its perfection, there is no danger but that he will he sufficiently warmed by it himself, and be able to warm and ravish every one else.
Thus it is from a reiterated experience, and a close comparison of the objects in nature, that an artist becomes possessed of the idea of that central form, if I may so express it, from which every deviation is deformity. But the investigation of this form I grant is painful, and I know but of one method of shortening the road; this is, by a careful study of the works of the ancient sculptors; who, being indefatigable in the school of nature, have left models of that perfect form behind them, which an artist would prefer as supremely beautiful, who had spent his whole life in that single contemplation. But if industry carried them thus far, may not you also hope for the same reward from the same labour? We have the same school opened to us that was opened to them; for nature denies her instructions to none who desire to become her pupils. --http://www.authorama.com/seven-discourses-on-art-5.html [Oct 2005]
Inspired by Taste (1991) by Stephen Bayley
See also: 1770s - Stephen Bayley - style - genius - taste
2005, Oct 09; 13:21 ::: Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia (1647) by Baltasar Gracián y Morales
Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia (1647) by Baltasar Gracián y Morales [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)
Maurer retranslates a 17th-century Jesuit's aphorisms and reflections on the morality of success. This long-admired work sounds surprisingly relevant today. It also combines brevity and grace of expression with wise advice, which should appeal to those seeking "how-to" spirituality which is universal, practical, and applicable in business. Recommended for public libraries. --Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The remarkable best-seller -- a long-lost, 300-year-old book of wisdom on how to live successfully yet responsibly in a society governed by self-interest -- as acute as Machiavelli yet as humanistic and scrupulously moral as Marcus Aurelius.
The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica wrote of Gracián that "He has been excessively praised by Schopenhauer [who translated it into German], whose appreciation of the author induced him to translate the Oráculo manual, and he has been unduly depreciated by Ticknor and others. He is an acute thinker and observer, misled by his systematic misanthropy and by his fantastic literary theories." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltasar_Graci%C3%A1n [Oct 2005]
Inspired by Taste (1991) by Stephen Bayley
See also: 1600s - Stephen Bayley - taste
2005, Oct 09; 12:21 ::: Jordan
Image sourced here.
Travelling to central London from the south coast every morning wearing spikes heels, stockings and rubberwear and with an electric-shock blonde beehive and outrageous mae-up, Jordan became as much of an attraction at the shop as the clothes, particularly since her obvious intelligence and ready wit provided a counterpoint to Westwood´s schoolmarmiosh persona. --http://www.geocities.com/seditionaries2/jordan2.html
Jordan - (real name Pamela Rooke)
Shop assistant in Sex and seditionaries. Jordan became one of the most outrageous and sussed punkettes instantly recognisable by her beehive/spiked hairdo and geometric Mondrian style makeup.
Originating from a small coastal village she would travel on commuter filled trains from her South east Coast base to London in some of Vivienne Westwood's most shocking creations. She became a willing human guinea pig for Vivienne's latest punk fashion designs and would wear everything and anything on the changing face of the Kings Road punk scene. Gained early fame at an embryonic Pistols gig by being stripped by Johnny Rotten on stage.
Later became manager of Adam & the Ants in 1977 during their hardcore punk era and starred in Derek Jarman's 1978 film 'Jubilee' singing Rule Britania. She worked on and off through the incarnations of Malcolm's and Viv's shop from 'Sex' to 'Seditionaries' till 1980 when it became 'World's End.'She got involved again with Adam & The Ants and helped shape their successful pirate look before leaving at the height of their fame with band member Kevin Mooney. They married and formed a band called Wide Boy Awake in 1984.
She faded out of focus in the early 80's claiming punk wasn't a challenge anymore and returned to her roots on the south coast. Now works as a veterinary nurse and breeds Burmese cats. --http://www.geocities.com/seditionaries2/index.html [Oct 2005]
See also: Vivienne Westwood - punk - Derek Jarman
2005, Oct 09; 12:21 ::: Ben Westwood Works (2000) by Ben Westwood
Ben Westwood Works (2000) by Ben Westwood [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
See also: Vivienne Westwood - Trevor Watson - erotic photography - Erotic Print Society
2005, Oct 09; 12:21 ::: Bounce! (2005) by Trevor Watson
Bounce! (2005) by Trevor Watson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
A must-have book for any lover of breasts, by the bestselling photographer of Cheek!, Kink! and Girls Behaving Badly. The idea behind bounce! was simple. It would complement one of photographer Trevor Watson's most popular books, CHEEK!, an anthology of beautiful female bottoms, with one that devoted itself entirely to the female breast. This is the fifth book dedicated solely to Trevor Watson’s images in almost as many years; moreover his work appears in over 20 anthologies. Few photographers today can claim that sort of popularity and yet the man remains unaffected by the increasing interest in his work. He just keeps producing more and more of the good stuff. With over 160 sensationally sexy images of breasts, small or large, pointy or rounded, soft or firm, bounce! is a celebration of every size and shape of these proud indicators of a woman’s sex. Whichever part of the female anatomy Trevor Watson is photographing, the results are always, both artistically and sensually, highly enjoyable. There’s often a strong element of theatre in many of Trevor’s images. They tell a story which may be a half-told romantic fragment or a more’in yer face’ cheeky dare that’s pure complicity between model and photographer. The extraordinary range and liveliness of his work is also brought about by a natural curiosity. He tirelessly seeks out new erotic possibilities, new positions, new fetish gear, new props and new locations. Trevor is irrepressibly cheerful and upfront about his love of beautiful women. Professional models respond warmly to him and his basic kindness and ability to get on with just about everyone he meets very quickly establishes a special rapport between photographer and subject.
About the Author
Trevor Watson is one of the best-selling erotic photographers. This is the fifth book dedicated solely to his images in almost as many years (Cheek!, Kink!, Girls Behaving Badly & Exposed). Moreover his work appears in over 20 anthologies. Few photographers today can claim that sort of popularity and yet the man remains unaffected by the increasing interest in his work. He just keeps producing more and more of the good stuff. Whichever part of the female anatomy Trevor Watson is photographing, the results are always, both artistically and sensually, highly enjoyable.
See also: breast - Trevor Watson - erotic photography - Erotic Print Society
2005, Oct 09; 12:21 ::: F**K Fashion (2005) - Stephen Bayley (Foreword), Ben Westwood (Photographer)
F**K Fashion (2005) - Stephen Bayley (Foreword), Ben Westwood (Photographer) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
F**K-FASHION: The Erotic Photography of Ben Westwood is a celebration of this brilliant young photographer’s more explicit work. Ben was born in London in 1963 and is the eldest son of Vivienne Westwood, the famous British cutting-edge fashion designer. He is a professional photographer who pursues his specific interest in erotic images of women by photographing a heady combination of stylish clothing and lingerie worn (or not) by very pretty models with admirably few inhibitions. This dynamite mix has created a book, full of rich, saturated colour, which will appeal to the style- and fashion-conscious as well as erotic photography lovers.
About the Author
Ben Westwood was born in Edgware, North London in 1963, the son of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. For most of his life, however, he has lived south of the river Thames and as a professional photographer he travels internationally to pursue his specific interest in erotic images, colourful culture and adventure. His style is highly distinctive, an eclectic mix of fashion, glamour and ubercool; he has already published two books and held several exhibitions of his work. --Amazon.com
See also: fuck - fashion - erotic photography - Erotic Print Society - Stephen Bayley
2005, Oct 09; 09:21 ::: The Best Way to Walk (1976) - Claude Miller
The Best Way to Walk (1976) - Claude Miller [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Claude Miller is a French film director who was born February 20 1942 in Paris.
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Miller
Dans une colonie de vacances, dans les années 60, Philippe, moniteur sensible et un peu efféminé, est surpris par le macho de service, Marc, en pleine séance de travestissement. S'ensuivent brimades et coups bas, mêlant sadisme et vénération qui lieront les deux moniteurs de façon ambiguë... --http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/La meilleure façon de marcher
See also: French cinema - France - film - 1976
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