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"Method of this work:
literary montage.
I have nothing to say only to show." (Passagenwerk (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin)

2005, Dec 31; 11:56 ::: Conflict Between Good and Evil

Heart of Darkness (1902) - Joseph Conrad [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The Conflict Between Good and Evil is one of the most common conventional themes in literature, and is sometimes considered to be a universal part of the human condition. There are several variations on this conflict, one being the battle between individuals or ideologies, with one side Good, the other Evil. Another variation is the inner struggle in characters (and by extension, humans in reality) between good and evil. Conrad defined all humans as having an "inner evil" or Heart of Darkness in his novel. The Star Wars franchise is one of the best examples of the conflict, representing the outer and inner struggles. The inner conflict is shown in characters such as Luke Skywalker, who struggles between his inner evil and inner good, defined in the story as between the Dark side and the Light side. Meanwhile, the direct Good vs. Evil conflict is raging between the Empire, an evil tyrannical faction, and the Rebel Alliance who are trying to restore peace and democracy in the Galaxy.

The Inner Evil Conflict
Alternatively called the Heart of Darkness, due to its prominence in the novel of the same name.

While certainly not as widely-seen as the direct Good vs. Evil conflict, the concept of "individual vs. self" is often much more compelling to a reader/watcher, especially if it is the protagonist. In both literature and film, it requires well-written character development in order to truly succeed.

Conrad's version of the Inner Evil Conflict, widely seen as the most realistic one, known as the Heart of Darkness, is a human's struggle with their own morals, and their own battle with their hidden evil. Although first chiefly used in the novel, this improved device was commonly used, as opposed to the old devices used in literature before the turn of the century. It is a conflict that exists outside of literature as well, making it a universal truth of the human condition.

The Good vs. Evil Conflict
This convention is seen in almost every piece of literature that was written from the dawn of man. It has not much changed since then, as the basic concept is still in place: The side of Good battles Evil. Good usually triumphs. It is the platform for countless books, movies, graphic novels, and even documentaries. In modern times, some criticize the Good vs. Evil concept as being too unoriginal, and many have had their works not make the distinction between good and evil, rather focusing on the individual conflict. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_Between_Good_and_Evil [Dec 2005]

Heart of Darkness
Heart of Darkness is a novella (published 1902) by Joseph Conrad. This highly symbolic story is actually a story within a story, or frame tale, narrated by a man named Marlow to colleagues at an evening gathering. It details an incident earlier in Marlow's life, a visit up the Congo River to investigate the work of Kurtz, a Belgian trader in ivory in the Congo Free State.

The story within a story device actually descends four levels: Conrad writes the story we read, which is the account of an unnamed narrator relating Marlow's yarn of his journey down the Congo river to meet and examine the central character Kurtz. (Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein used a similar device.)

To write the book, Conrad drew heavily from his own experience in the Congo. Eight years before he wrote the book, he served as a sea captain for a Congo steamer. On a single trip up the river, he had witnessed so many atrocities that he quit on the spot.

The theme of "darkness" from the title recurs throughout the book. It is used to reflect the unknown (as Africa at the time was often called the "Dark Continent" by Europeans), the concept of the "darkness of barbarism" contrasted with the "light of civilization" (see white man's burden), and the "spiritual darkness" of several characters. This sense of darkness also lends itself to a related theme of obscurity - again, in various senses, reflecting the ambiguities in the work. Moral issues are not clear-cut; that which ought to be (in various senses) on the side of "light" is in fact mired in darkness, and so forth.

To emphasize the theme of darkness within ourselves, Marlow's narration takes place on a yacht in the Thames tidal estuary. Early in the novella, the narrator recounts how London, the here-and-now where Conrad wrote and where a large part of his audience lived, was itself in Roman times a dark part of the world much like the Congo then was. Like Marlow himself, the astute reader emerges from the tale with an expanded comprehension of the darkness within his own mind.

Themes developed in the novella's more superficial levels include the naïveté of Europeans - particularly women - regarding the various forms of darkness in the Congo; the Belgian colonialists' abuse of the natives; and man's potential for two-facedness. The symbolic levels of the book expand on all of these in terms of a struggle between good and evil, not so much between people as within every major character's soul.

Conrad's experiences in the Congo and the historical background to the story, including possible models for Kurtz, are recounted in the historical work, King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild.


  • 1979 -- Francis Ford Coppola based Apocalypse Now loosely on the novel.
  • 1993 -- Nicholas Roeg filmed Heart of Darkness for television with Tim Roth as Marlow and John Malkovich as Kurtz.
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_of_Darkness [May 2005]

See also: horror - 1902 - good - evil - poetic justice

2005, Dec 30; 10:56 ::: Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish (2001) - Supervert

Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish (2001) - Supervert [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Absinthe Literary Review, Spring 2002
Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish is nothing short of brilliant.

Zombiegirls.net, Spring 2002
There is much dark humor throughout the text, which brings to mind Burroughs or Cronenberg...

San Francisco Bay Guardian
What intrigued me was Supervert's seductively nasty way of showing the dark side of Sagan-ite speculations about our celestial cohorts

Sex and Guts Magazine
Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish is one of the most astonishing books to come out in years

Science Fiction Chronicle
The weirdest damned thing we've ever seen

Book Description
Through its profile of Mercury de Sade, a computer programmer obsessed with the erotic potential of alien life, Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish introduces a new perversion into the lexicon of sexual pathologies: exophilia, an abnormal attraction for beings from worlds beyond earth.

Unlike other fetishes, whose objects may be difficult but not impossible to obtain, exophilia is a sexual desire for something that is literally not to be found on earth. The necrophile can rob a cemetery, the foot fetishist can steal shoes, but where is an alien sex fiend to find the objects of his desire? A basic inability to satisfy his fetish inspires sadism in Mercury de Sade, and though obsessed with extraterrestrials he is thus compelled to victimize a series of "ninfas" or young girls...

But can a human, however alluring, ever compensate for the fantastic sexuality to be expected of extraterrestrials? If aliens are more intelligent than man, then might they -- must they -- not be more sexually advanced than man too?

About the author SUPERVERT 32C INC. is a media company that utilizes the techniques of vanguard aesthetics to research the pathology of novel perversions. A veritable Bauhaus of psychoses, Supervert seeks to invent new kinds of art and literature through the synthesis of abnormal psychology, operant conditioning, sadistic pornography, rationalist philosophy, and modernist aesthetics.

SUPERVERT has been featured in Alternative Press, New York Magazine, The Village Voice, Artforum, Wired, Mondo 2000, Mediamatic, Lingua Franca, Juxtapoz, and numerous other print publications.

Comments via Amazon.fr

Supervert is an alias — a nom de plume — a moniker for an individual — a company — a corporation — better yet, a brand name. Yes, that's it. Don't get hung up on what's behind Supervert. Just get off on what Supervert offers you, a unique combination of intellect and deviance. Perversity for your brain. Vanguard aesthetics, novel pathologies.

Supervert is the creator of the critically acclaimed book Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish. Supervert is the creator of the heavily trafficked web site PervScan.com. Supervert is the creator of FleursDuMal.org, the definitive online presentation of Charles Baudelaire's Fleurs du mal. Supervert is the creator of the premier online community for fans of William S. Burroughs, RealityStudio.org. Supervert is the co-creator of the notorious series of BLAM! CD-ROMs. --http://supervert.com/ [Dec 2005]

PervScan.com is a compendium of the latest headlines in sordid behavior. It is not a porn website but an index to the strange obsessions, sexual outrages, and deviant doings that can be found in the news. --http://www.pervscan.com/

Supervert Google gallery [Dec 2005]

See also: fetishism - perversion - perversion in the cinema - erotic art

2005, Dec 30; 10:56 ::: Sexuality in Western Art (1991) - Edward Lucie-Smith

Sexuality in Western Art (1991) - Edward Lucie-Smith [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Eroticism in Western Art (1972) revised as Sexuality in Western Art (1991)

Edward Lucie-Smith's examination of sexuality in Western art from prehistory to the present first treats the tradition chronologically, then considers its characteristic themes and symbols. --Amazon.de

John Edward McKenzie Lucie-Smith (born 27 February 1933) is a British writer, known as a poet and art critic, and as a curator and author of exhibition catalogues.

He was born in Kingston, Jamaica, moving to the United Kingdom in 1946. He studied at The King's School, Canterbury , and after a little time in Paris at Merton College, Oxford.

After serving in the Royal Air Force and working as a copywriter, he became a full time writer. He succeeded Philip Hobsbaum in organising The Group, a London-centred poets' group. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Lucie-Smith [Dec 2005]

See also: Edward Lucie-Smith - sex - art - erotic art

2005, Dec 30; 09:56 ::: The Complete Book of Erotic Art (1988) - Phyllis Dr Kronhausen

The Complete Book of Erotic Art (1988) - Phyllis Dr Kronhausen [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
This is a reprint of the 1968 two-volume set published by Grove Press.

(side bar: there is one especially comical bit in the foreword of the second volume, put out in 1970, which begins like this: “the era of pornography is coming to an end for pornography is possible only where censorship exists.” haha. I guess in 1970 it looked as if things were really a’changin. it then mentions that “victorian england produced more ‘hard-core’ smut than any other period in western history.” I wonder whether more recent editions of the book amend this statement? In any case after looking for more info on the Drs. This foreword on the mutation of pornography into something “less smutty” struck me in a totally different light. Perhaps as a soft sell for future ventures? Yup, turns out the good drs. have directed a few porn films themselves. most notably The Hottest Show in town, from 1973, the synopsis of which goes like this - The circus is going to close its doors, the public’s no longer interested in it with so many porno films in town… Unless!... Desperate acrobats, clowns, lion tamers, and tricksters go naked on stage in their circus acts. --http://thenonist.com/index.php/weblog/permalink/the_first_international_erotic_art_show/ [Dec 2005]

Viset was a pseudonym of belgian painter and illustrator Luc Lafnet. more of his work (under the pseudonym Jim Black) can be seen here.

Jules Pascin
quote: the french painter Jules Pascin today is best known for his paintings of prostitutes in various states of undress and melancholy. his engravings are of a mostly black and white world of sordid languor, frenetic partying and heavy dues-paying. you can see many of his paintings here.

Hans Bellmer
Hans Bellmer is best known for his life-sized surrealist female dolls.

Ramon Alejandro
alejandro is a cuban exile painter still working today. you can see more current works here.

Mario Tauzin
I could find almost nothing about Tauzin. he’s French and he did a book in the 1930’s with Henri Breton called the Devil’s Whisper. I think Rita Ackermann’s early work is remarkably similar to Tauzin’s (and just as with him i can’t find a decent site representing her body of work.)

Tomi Ungerer
Tomi Ungerer is an extremely accomplished illustrator doing everything from ad campaigns, to children’s books, to erotica. you can see lot’s of his work at his official site and you can see the rest of the series i’ve shown here in in the online version of his book Fornicon. --http://thenonist.com/index.php/weblog/permalink/the_first_international_erotic_art_show/ [Dec 2005]

See also: Jules Pascin Google gallery - Luc Lafnet Google gallery - Hans Bellmer Google gallery - Tomi Ungerer Google gallery

See also: erotic art - Hans Bellmer - Tomi Ungerer - Grove Press - 1968 - The Kronhausens

2005, Dec 29; 21:56 ::: Sexuality in literature

[Michael] Lucey says social changes over past decades have paved the way for work like his. While books about sexuality in literature began to reach the mainstream in the 1970's, sexuality studies were not fully accepted in academic circles for several more years.

"Even now, you hear comments like, 'Proust is such a great author. Why reduce him to his sexuality?'" says Lucey. "They could just as easily ask, "Why reduce Proust to his interest in music, or in art, or in anti-Semitism, or in X? 'X' could be anything. When an author's interest in sexuality is so prominent, the question would rather be, why would you imagine it reductive to consider it as part of an intellectual inquiry?" --Todd Dayton via http://illuminations.berkeley.edu/archives/2002/article.php?volume=2&story=3 [Dec 2005]

See also: sex in literature

2005, Dec 29; 11:56 ::: Heinrich von Ofterdingen (1802) - Novalis

Heinrich von Ofterdingen is a famous, quasi-fictional Minnesinger who participated in the Sängerkrieg (Minstrels' contest) on the Wartburg. He is chiefly known by the novel of Novalis of the same name and the role of Tannhäuser in Wagner's opera. The Novalis novel also contained the symbol of the Blue Flower which became a key symbol in Romanticism. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_von_Ofterdingen [Dec 2005]

Novalis was the pseudonym of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg (May 2, 1772 – March 25, 1801), a German philosopher, poet and novelist. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novalis [Dec 2005]

Inspired by The Outsider (1956) by Colin Wilson.

See also: Romanticism - Germany - 1800-1809

2005, Dec 29; 10:56 ::: Lilya 4-ever (2002) - Lukas Moodysson

Lilya 4-eve (2002) - Lukas Moodysson

Lilya 4-ever (or Lilja 4-ever) is Swedish director Lukas Moodysson's third full length film. It marks a sharp change of mood from his previous two films, the uplifting love story Fucking Åmål and 1970s comedy Tillsammans. Lilya 4-Ever is an unremittingly bleak story of the downward spiral of Lilya (played by Oksana Akinshina), a girl in the former Soviet Union, whose mother abandons her to move to the United States. The story is based on the life of Dangoule Rasalaite and examines the issue of trafficking in human beings.

Plot summary
The films starts with Lilya running desperately towards a motorway bridge, with a factory belching smoke in the background, to a soundtrack of aggressive rock by Rammstein. The film then looks back on how she ended up there.

Lilya's mother tells her they are emigrating to the USA with her boyfriend, but at the last minute Lilya is left behind, in the care of her aunt. A forced move into a squalid flat is only the beginning, and a succession on miseries are heaped upon Lilya, as her friend betrays her to save her own reputation, a gang viciously abuse her, and she is forced into prostitution to get by. One glimmer of hope is her friend Volodya (Artyom Bogucharsky), abused and rejected by his parents, with whom she forms a tender protective relationship. Another glimmer of hope is Andrei (Pavel Ponomaryov), who becomes her boyfriend and offers her a job in Sweden. But all is not what it seems, and only bad things await Lilya when she arrives there.

After arriving in Sweden, she is greeted by her future "employer" and taken to an apartment where he imprisons her. She is then forced to perform sexual acts with several men while her "employer" reaps all the financial gain. She then escapes with the help of Volodya's ghost (Volodya in the meantime committed suicide considering the fact that Lilya abandoned him for a better life in Sweden). She then commits suicide in the continuation of the scene from the beginning of the film.

The film's conclusion shows Lilya and Volodya, now both dead and angelic, playing blissfully on the roof of some tenement building, safe from all harm the world can do to them.

About the film
The film is set in an un-named 'former republic of the Soviet Union'; the 'Soviet' scenes were filmed in Tallinn in Estonia. The Swedish scenes were filmed in Malmö.

The film is considered by many to be very powerful and moving. Lukas Moodysson told audiences at the 2002 London Film Festival that he hoped the film would make them want to change the world for the better. Despite its bleak nature, Moodysson claims that the film is about the power of God, and shows how the human spirit clings to optimism even in the face of the most terrible adversity.

The film also arguably contains criticism of capitalism post Soviet collapse. Several times an image of the Virgin Mary appears on a wall behind Lilja next to a pornographic image (both of which being illegal in the U.S.S.R). Lilja consistently worships the image throughout before smashing it shortly before her suicide. Also, in a government building both Lilja and Volodya mention that their parents were employed there before the collapse of the Soviet Union and that they are now jobless. This is followed by Volodya reading a tribute to Lenin and the October revolution.

The film has been shown in various countries in Eastern Europe in campaigns to stop trafficking in human beings, in particular, women. In Moldova, The International Organization for Migration has shown it to 60,000 people. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilya_4-ever [Dec 2005]

See also: Sweden - prostitution - film

2005, Dec 28; 20:56 ::: Souvenirs of the men I loved (1982-1988) - Ria Pacquée

Souvenirs of the men I loved (1982-1988) - Ria Pacquée
Image sourced here.

See also: art in Belgium - MuHka

2005, Dec 27; 20:56 ::: Sex in fiction

The Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award is an award given annually to the writer who produces the worst description of a sex scene in a novel.

The award is in the form of a "semi-abstract trophy representing sex in the 1950s", which depicts a naked woman draped over an open book. It has been presented each year since 1993 by the Literary Review, a London literary journal. The award was originally established by Rhoda Koenig, a literary critic, and Auberon Waugh, then editor of the Literary Review. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Sex_in_Fiction_Award [Dec 2005]

See also: sex in literature - erotic fiction - love scene - sex - fiction

2005, Dec 27; 20:56 ::: Freddy Filter Vs Nirvana

MASTERSTROKE003 Freddy Filter Vs Nirvana / Come as You Are MP3 --MP3 via directrecords.co.uk [Dec 2005]

Courtesy Horny Hour, Horny Erwin, Erwin De Winter, Radio Centraal, Antwerpen.

Dedicated to Doms.

See also: grunge - dance

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