[jahsonic.com] - [Next >>]

[<<] March 2005 Blog (6) [>>]

On Expo - Film - In concert

This month's blogs: 2005 March (6) | 2005 March (5) | 2005 March (4) | 2005 March (3) | 2005 March (2) | 2005 March (1)

WWW jahsonic.com

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

2005, Mar 27; 11:44 ::: Erotica

image sourced here.

2005, Mar 27; 11:44 ::: List of films by gory death scene

Le Sadisme au Cinéma/Sadism in the movies (1964) - George de Coulteray [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

This is a list of films in which special effects are used to have characters die violently and gorily.

    1 Death from being eaten
    2 Death by bisection or dismemberment (excluding decapitation)
    3 Death by crushing
    4 Death by blendering
    5 Death from blinding
    6 Death by chainsaw
    7 Death from decapitation
    8 Death due to contact with a caustic or otherwise deadly substance
    9 Death from a fall into a molten substance
    10 Death by fluid extraction
    11 Death by gunfire
    12 Death by impaling or crucifixion
    13 Death due to an improper use of explosives
    14 Death by violent organ removal
    15 Death from slicing by such a sharp object, that it takes some moments for victim to fall apart
    16 Death from decompression or over-pressure
    17 Miscellaneous/Other
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_by_gory_death_scene [Mar 2005]

see also: violence - gore

2005, Mar 27; 11:44 ::: Don Welch

You have a great web site anf I have visited many times, but there was another guy from Brooklyn New York who was flown to London's Battery Studio to mix "I Need You Now" with Nigel Green. The guy was me, Don Welch from the Underground Network. I also mixed Richard Jon Smith & Katie Kasson that same week. (Check the back on the label.) I also did the acappella to "I need You Now" about 4 hours before my flight back to NY. Also Bernard F has been singing backup for The Rolling Stones for some time now.

Music First, Thanks, Don Welch. http://www.ohm1.com/unnow.htm

Bernard Fowler also sang on Sinnamon's horny jam for Jive records 'I Need You Now'. The Sinnamon cuts on Becket rds 'He's Gonna Take You Home (To His House)' and 'Thanks To You' did not feature Bernard Fowler and were mixed by Shep P[ettibone], whereas 'I Need You Now' had been mixed by Nigel Green, the man responsible for the dub of Hugh Masekela's 'Don't Go Lose It Baby'. --Don Welch via email

THE UNDERGROUND NETWORK started in 1992 in New York City @ a nightclub called Savage/Elite. It was created out of the need to bring the dance community together by showcasing artist 4 major & indie- record labels. The enormous talents of singers, djs, song writers, record producers, musicians & dancers were being used but always in the shadow of so-called main stream music. We decided to dedicate one night per week as the first Dance Music Industry Night ever created. In our second year we moved the the Sound Factory Bar were Barbara Tucker & myself took the event to another level. With the support of DJ Little Louie Vega and a wonderful staff we became a household name in the dance community around the world. We also took our show on the road, from Europe to Japan, Canada & to cities across the U.S. Back In NY bringing celebrity music lovers together from Ru Paul to Janet Jackson, Wesley Snipes to The Wayans brothers, Nile Rodgers to Morris Day just to name a few. This web page is dedicated to all the wonderful people who have supported us & to everyone that enjoys Dance Music. Peace Don Welch --http://www.ohm1.com/un.htm [Mar 2005]

see also: Bernard Fowler - Hugh Masekela - Shep Pettibone - dance music

2005, Mar 26; 12:48 ::: Nouveau Roman Fiction Theory and Politics (1992) - Celia Britton

Nouveau Roman Fiction Theory and Politics (1992) - Celia Britton [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

This text discusses Robbe-Grillet, Sarraute, Simon, Butor and Ricardou, analyzing both the interaction of their own theory and fiction, and their reactions to the work of Sartre, Barthes, Levi-Strauss, Sollers and Kristeva. The nouveau roman writers have been involved in the theory as well as the practice of fiction, participating in a series of debates on issues such as the political significance of literature, formalism and structuralism and the status of the author. The book is an introduction to the relationship between theory and practice. --via Amazon.co.uk

2005, Mar 25; 20:48 ::: Hans Baldung Grien

Hans Baldung Grien
image sourced here.

This part of our site will eventually become the largest source of Anthropomorphic Death imagery available on the web today, with a focus on those images that may be a bit more obscure, or lesser known than the classical "Danse Macabre" series. I have been an avid collector of images that portray Death in personification for as long as I can remember. --http://www.westgatenecromantic.com/necrotic.htm [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 25; 20:48 ::: Antwerpen: Scheld'apen reopens with Volxkeuken and Kontra film

Zaterdag 26 MAART 2005, 19.00u

Kontra stelt voor : "De Letterleggers"
Raphael Vandeputte en Iwan Verhulst mogen als de letterleggers de cinemazaal openen. Vanuit hun achtergrond als grafici verwerken zij letters aan de hand van vrije associatie tot animaties, dansvoorstellingen of een 'live typo performance'.

dj raphael

Zaterdag 2 APRIL 2005
Kontra film : "THEMROC" [IMDb]

Zaterdag 9 APRIL 2005, 21.00u
Kontra film : "TIERISCHE LIEBE" [IMDb]

Zaterdag 16 APRIL 2005, 21.00u
Kontra film : "MEIN LIEBSTER FEIND" [Amazon.com]

Tip from Pellignillot en ampersand, Radio Centraal, every Friday 20-21:00

STIJN (B), vr, muziek
“Wiezeddegij?” Zoiets vraagt Stijn Vandeputte zich af op zijn eerste reguliere plaat EP # 1 [aka “Sexjunkie”]. De 27-jarige muzikant, acteur en voormalig filmschoolstudent stoeit met Michael Jackson, Sly & the Family Stone en The Flying Lizards als een Chinees lego-genie. Het is spelen met machines maar dan zonder platte samples, elektronicaclichés, laptopfetisjisme of playbackgezwam toe te passen. Wat hij doet, doet hij rechtuit voor je neus. Een mens van vlees en bloed die naar eigen zeggen zijn inspiratie voor “Sexjunkie” haalde op het moment dat hij zijn vriendin vuilnis zag weggooien. Kinky.
--Negende editie van DE NACHTEN 30 & 31 januari 2004 in deSingel in Antwerpen, http://www.kkunst.com/kk/20031218526.php [Mar 2005]

Iwan Verhulst en Raphael Vandeputte zijn als duo bekend van De letterleggers of ‘the world’s very first live typo performance’, waarin ze met een alfabet in zwart rubber gedurende uren improviseren met beeld en taal op een wit oppervlak - een witte dansvloer. Dat alles onder het oog van een camera die alles registreert; de beelden worden geprojecteerd tegen de achterwand. --http://www.wpzimmer.be/ne/artiesten/bouche_project.html [Mar 2005]

--http://users.skynet.be/scheldapen/ [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 25; 14:46 ::: The Difference Engine (1990) - William Gibson, Bruce Sterling

The Difference Engine (1990) - William Gibson, Bruce Sterling [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
The Difference Engine is an alternate history novel by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. It is a prime example of the steampunk sub-genre.

The novel posits a Victorian England in which the Industrial Radical party, led by a longer-lived Lord Byron, took power and in which inventor Charles Babbage succeeded in his ambition to build a mechanical digital computer (actually his analytical engine rather than the eponymous difference engine). Following this success, these massive computers have been mass-produced, and their use emulates the innovations which actually occurred during the information technology and Internet revolutions. The novel explores the social consequences of having such a revolution a century before its time.

The action of the story follows Sybil Gerard, a politician's tart and daughter of an executed Luddite leader; Edward "Leviathan" Mallory, a paleontologist and explorer; and Laurence Oliphant, a diplomat and spy. Linking all their stories is the trail of a mysterious set of reportedly very powerful computer punch cards and the individuals fighting to obtain them. As is the case with special objects in several novels by Gibson, the punch cards are to some extent a MacGuffin.

In the novel, the British Empire is more powerful than it ever reached in the height of the real British Empire thanks to the power of extremely advanced steam driven technology ranging from computers to airships. Britain opened Japan to Western trade rather than the United States, in part because the United States has broken apart into several smaller nations, the United States, the Confederate States, the Republic of Texas, and a Communist commune in Manhattan. Among other historical characters, the novel features Texan President Sam Houston. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Difference_Engine [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 25; 14:36 ::: Conceiving Ada (1999) - Lynn Hershman-Leeson

Conceiving Ada (1999) - Lynn Hershman-Leeson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Ada Byron
Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (December 10, 1815 - November 27, 1852) is mainly known for having written a description of Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace [Mar 2005]

Charles Babbage
Charles Babbage (December 26, 1791 - October 18, 1871) was an English mathematician, analytical philosopher and (proto-) computer scientist who was the first person to come up with the idea of a programmable computer. Parts of his uncompleted mechanisms are on display in the London Science Museum. In 1991, working from Babbage's original plans, a Difference Engine was completed, and functioned perfectly. They were built to tolerances achievable in the 19th century, indicating that Babbage's machine would have worked. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Babbage [Mar 2005]

see also: Byron

2005, Mar 25; 14:26 ::: Preaching to the Perverted (1997) - Stuart Urban

Preaching to the Perverted (1997) - Stuart Urban [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Preaching to the Perverted is a 1997 British comedy film written and directed by Stuart Urban.

The film stars Guinevere Turner who plays Tanya Cheex, a New York dominatrix. Henry Harding MP is played by Tom Bell and Christien Anholt plays Peter Emery. Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.

Henry Harding MP, a British government minister on a moral crusade, hires an inexperienced young computer whizzkid, Peter Emery who works for a Christian computer company called Holy Hardware, to infiltrate the United Kingdom BDSM scene. Harding is set on putting a club called "House of Thwax" run by Mistress Tanya Cheex out of business, and is sure that Peter's secretly videotaped evidence of the club's activities will do the trick. However, the virginal Peter takes a liking to Tanya Cheex and finds himself falling for the Mistress ! --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preaching_to_the_Perverted [Mar 2005]

see also: perversion

2005, Mar 25; 14:16 ::: The Golden Bough (1890) - James George Frazer

Golden Bough (1890) - James George Frazer [Amazon.com]

The title was taken from an incident in the Aeneid, illustrated in this painting The Golden Bough by the British artist Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851): Aeneas and the Sibyl present the golden bough to the gatekeeper of Hades to gain admission. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Bough [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 25; 14:06 ::: The Mothers (1927) - Robert Briffault

The Mothers (1927) - Robert Briffault
[ cover shown here is of the abridged, 1959 edition ]
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]

[Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Old Fashioned Quality Research
The three volumes that form this work are an incredible source of information. Briffault, more or less an amateur yet with lots of time on his hands during WW1, went about his study of cultural institutions, rules and taboos like a loving stamp collector. He carefully documented his sources; and therefore his footnotes and bibliography alone make this work a gold mine. That his outlook was refreshingly less patriarchal and judgmental than that of most his colleagues of the time, for example Sir J.G. Frazier and his famous Golden Bough (1922), makes him all the more readable.

From the Mysteries of Eleusis to tribal fertility dances, from defloration customs to ritual prostitution, from strange marriage ceremonies to circumcision, "The Mothers" is a major source for "Dirty Laundry" from all over the globe. --http://www.yoniversum.nl/blissbooks/review/briffmother.html [Mar 2005]

Robert Briffault, novelist, social anthropologist, and surgeon, was born in Nice, France in 1876. He was educated at the University of Dunedin and Christ Church University and began medical practice in 1901 in New Zealand. In May 1896 he married Anna Clarke; the couple had three children, Lister, Muriel, and Joan, born from 1897 to 1901. After service on the Western Front during World War I, he settled in England, his wife having died. In the late 1920s he married again, to Herma Hoyt (1898-1981), an American writer and translator, best known for her English translations of modern French literature. The Brifffaults became clients of the literay agent William Bradley and were befriended by his wife, Jenny. Briffault is the author of several books, including The Mothers (1927) and Europa (1935). He died in Hastings, Sussex, England on 11 December 1948. --http://library.mcmaster.ca/archives/findaids/fonds/b/briffaul.htm [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 25; 12:05 ::: Eating Raoul (1982) - Paul Bartel

Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov in Eating Raoul (1982)

Eating Raoul (1982) - Paul Bartel [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Eating Raoul was a 1982 film comedy about a married couple living in Hollywood who eventually take to killing people for their money. It was directed by Paul Bartel and written by Paul Bartel and Richard Blackburn. The writers also commissioned a single issue comic book based on the movie for promotion; it was created by underground comics creator, Kim Deitch.

Mr. and Mrs. Bland are a wine dealer and a nurse, respectively, who grieve over their low statuses in life and dream of someday opening a restaurant.

After Mr. Bland is fired from his job at a wine shop (shortly after an unrelated in-store shooting), and Mrs. Bland narrowly escapes rape from a number of different men, they are at home together, trying to figure out how to raise money for their restaurant.

After a "swinger" (more or less along the lines of Austin Powers) wanders drunk into their apartment and tries to rape Mrs. Bland, Mr. Bland accidentally kills him by hitting him with a frying pan. They take his money and put him in the garbage disposal. Later on, they kill another swinger along the same lines, and realize that they could actually make money by killing "rich perverts", and proceed to do so.

Taking some times from "Doris the Dominatrix" whom Mr. Bland met at a swingers' party he didn't want to go to, they set up shop in their home and put ads in papers. After finding a flyer attached to their car for cheap lock installation, they decide, for the safety of Mr. Bland's wine collection, to have it done.

The lock installer's name is Raoul, and he drops by and has a look around the apartment, and proclaims that the Blands, even though on the fifth floor, should also have window locks. Mr. Bland protests, but Mrs. Bland suggests it for the safety of his wine collection, which Raoul overhears.

Their customer for that afternoon is a Nazi (or at least someone who likes to pretend to be a Nazi), and after killing him the Blands go to sleep. In the dark of night, Raoul sneaks in to steal the wine, and finds all the Nazi paraphernalia and the dead man. Mr. Bland is awakened and catches Raoul, but instead of killing him, Raoul makes Mr. Bland an offer: he will take away the dead bodies and give the Blands a cut. They accept.

Raoul starts taking away the bodies (and the swingers' cars, too, as Mr. Bland discovers) and sells them as meat to the Doggie King Dog Food company.

One night shortly afterwards, the Blands have a hippie customer who they decide isn't going to come. Mr. Bland leaves to buy groceries (and a new frying pan, "I'm a bit squeamish about cooking with the one we use to kill people") and Mrs. Bland is left alone in the house. The hippie arrives afterwards, and when Mrs. Bland explains that he missed his appointment, he tries to rape her. Raoul enters at that point and kills the hippie. After offering some drugs to Mrs. Bland, he then has sex with her himself.

This affair goes on for a while, and Mr. Bland becomes suspicious. After Raoul tries to kill him (although he can't be sure it was Raoul) he hires Doris to pose as a number of people in attempts to get rid of Raoul by persuasion.

The final confrontation is when Raoul arrives in the Blands' apartment with a gun and prepares to kill Mr. Bland. Mrs. Bland kills Raoul with the frying pan. This is shortly before they are to have dinner with a man who is trying to sell them a house in the country for them to use as a restaurant. With no food in the house and very little time, they do, in fact, end up eating Raoul. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eating_Raoul [Mar 2005]

Swinging, sometimes referred to in North America as the swinging lifestyle or simply the lifestyle (although this simplified term is also used by people into Leather and BDSM), includes a wide range of sexual activities conducted between three or more people. Swinging activities can include watching others have sex; having sex with your partner while being watched; kissing, stroking, or having oral sex with a third or fourth person (called soft swinging); or having penetrative sex with someone other than your partner (Full Swap), which is the commonly understood definition of swinging. Typically swinging activities occur when a married, or otherwise committed, couple engages with a similar couple or a single individual. These acts may or may not occur in the same room. Sex on these occasions is often referred to as play. The phenomenon (or at least its wider discussion and practice) may be seen as part of the sexual revolution of recent decades. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swinging [Mar 2005]

see also: Paul Bartel - cannibalism - Mary Woronov

2005, Mar 25; 11:42 ::: Imprisonment of Alexander Trocchi (1960)

Alexander Trocchi
image sourced here.

Resolution of the Fourth Conference of the Situationist International Concerning the Imprisonment of Alexander Trocchi

THE DELEGATES to the fourth conference of the Situationist International, being informed of the arrest in the United States of their friend Alexander Trocchi, and of his charge of use of, and traffic in drugs, declare that the Situationist International retains full confidence in Alexander Trocchi.

The conference DECLARES that Trocchi could not have, in any case, traffic in drugs; this is clearly a police provocation by which the situationists will not allow themselves to be intimidated;

AFFIRMS that drug taking is without importance;

APPOINTS Asger Jorn, Jacqueline de Jong and Guy Debord to take immediate action on behalf of Alexander Trocchi and to report upon such action to the Situationist International at the earliest moment;

CALLS in particular upon the cultural authorities of Britain and on all British intellectuals who value liberty to demand the setting free of Alexander Trocchi, who is beyond all doubt England's most intelligent creative artist today. London, 27th September 1960

from Internationale Situationniste #5 (December 1960) via http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/si/resolution.html [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 25; 10:24 ::: Sex in history (1954) - Gordon Rattray Taylor

The history of civilization is the history of a long warfare between the dangerous and powerful forces of the id, and the various systems of taboos and inhibitions which man has erected to control them. --Sex In History (1964) -- Gordon Rattray Taylor

Sex in history (1954) - Gordon Rattray Taylor [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Full text of the book http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/shop/taylorgr/sxnhst/index.htm

RAPE and incest characterise the sexual life of the English in the first millennium of our era; homosexuality and hysteria the years that followed. The Christian missionaries found a people who, especially in the Celtic parts of the country, maintained a free sexual morality. On them, it sought to impose a code of extreme severity, and it steadily increased the strictness of its demands. --Gordon Rattray Taylor via http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/shop/taylorgr/sxnhst/chap2.htm [Mar 2005]

Eros and Thanatos
But while we openly admit the existence of the sexual mystery, we make no such clear recognition of the destructive urge, and avert our eyes from the fascination of violence and death. This horrid perturbation is the magnet which draws many of those who frequent speedways and boxing contests: but it can be seen in its purest form, perhaps, when a man is put to death by the law. In the eighteenth century there were many who travelled long distances to attend public executions, and the guillotine had its regular audience. Today, we no longer permit public executions, but the bare knowledge that an execution is taking place is enough to draw crowds. When Bentley was executed in 1953, people drove all night from places hundreds of miles distant to be present in the street outside the prison, for the meagre reward of seeing the death notice hung upon the gates. Some of those present told reporters that it was the fourth or fifth execution which they had attended. Most extraordinary are the reactions of the onlookers when the warder appears at the gates with the notice. A ripple runs through the crowd, which emits a noise-half-sigh, half-boo. An angry hand strikes the board, so that the warder cannot hang it on the hooks. At once there is a general outburst of violence: arms flail, noses bleed. Ten police officers link arms and form a cordon, against which the crowd charges again and again. Elsewhere other police officers are embroiled with members of the crowd, both men and women, punching, scratching and kicking. There is a crash of breaking glass. A shower of coins rattles against the notice board. For twenty minutes the battle continues, until the police and the warders manage to force the door shut. The crowd surlily begins to look for hats, shoes and coat-belts torn off in the scrimmage. A burly man who has not shaved observes: "Pretty small crowd, all considered Haven't missed one of these in fifteen years. Nice fresh June morning and a little more sun, that's what you want, really."

But the columns of the popular papers, those great hornbooks of the appetites, are proof enough of the universality of man's obsessive interest in violence, and of his equally obsessive interest in sex. Man has other appetites indeed, but they are controllable. He does not surround his appetite for food with the same prohibitions and taboos that surround his cravings for cruelty and lust, nor does he daily purchase printed accounts of the food consumed by others. --Gordon Rattray Taylor via http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/shop/taylorgr/sxnhst/chap1.htm [Mar 2005]

see also: Eros - Thanatos - psychology - sex - history - Gordon Rattray Taylor

2005, Mar 25; 10:00 ::: Funkadelic and Pedro Bell

Electric Spanking War Babies (1981) - Funkadelic [Amazon.com]
image sourced here.

Cosmic Slop (1973) - Funkadelic [Amazon.com]

2005, Mar 25; 09:14 ::: Quaaludes

In the meantime, Quaaludes coupled themselves to the ideal musical form: disco.

Surveying the history of 'lude-taking, one is struck by the number of cultural totems that were born during the downer decade: the Juice Bar, the chill-out room - and the phrase "disco biscuit". Quaaludes were the originals, necked by the clientele of Studio 54 and its countless imitators. In retrospect, the quintessential 'lude combination of marshmallow softness and inconclusive horniness was disco's meat and drink: listen to Donna Summer's I Feel Love, and you're well on the way to understanding the 'Lude experience circa 1977.

In the Rolling Stone book The '70s, the writer Bill Von Parys evocatively draws the line between 'Ludes and the disco era: "By 1977, my world seemed to become sex-obsessed and synthetic at the same time. Maybe it was all hormones and Donna Summer's fault: I had shifted from tie-dye to ultra-suede, from High Times to Playboy, from acid rock to Funkadelic. Downers ruled. So, hello pills, and specifically, hello Quaaludes. They got you downed out without destroying your sex drive. Perfect. By the end of the decade, I'd disguised myself as a giant 'lude for Halloween and stumbled into people as part of my "act". Funny, I can't really remember." --http://www.johnharris.me.uk/arch/interview/quaaludes.htm [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 24; 23:25 ::: The Red and the Black (1831) - Stendhal

The Red and the Black (1831) - Stendhal [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black) is a novel by Stendhal, published in 1831. The title has been translated into English variously as Scarlet and Black, Red and Black, and The Red and the Black. It is a melodramatic novel set in 1830s France relating a young man's hypocritical rise to power, influence and wealth and subsequent fall. With this book Stendhal has been said to have practically invented the psychological novel.

The story is told mostly through detailed descriptions of the characters states of mind, an unusual technique at the time this novel was written. Few events pass in which we are not treated to a bird's-eye view of the mental state of all participants.

The title of the novel has never been satisfactorily explained. One explanation is that red and black are the contrasting colours of the army uniform of the times, and the robes of priests, respectively.

A "writer's writer" Stendhal is known more in literary circles than in the public at large. Many writers have acknowledged his influence on their work and used his technique of detailed psychological description in their own stories. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_and_the_Black [Mar 2005]

see also: Stendhal - modern novel - psychology - 1830s

2005, Mar 24; 22:27 ::: Lonesome Cowboys (1969) - Andy Warhol

Lonesome Cowboys (1969)- Andy Warhol

see also: loneliness - film - western (film)

2005, Mar 24; 21:37 ::: Mimesis : The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (1946)- Erich Auerbach

Mimesis : The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (1946)- Erich Auerbach [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

see also: representation - reality - western - literature

2005, Mar 24; 21:37 ::: The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding (1957) - Ian Watt

The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding (1957) - Ian Watt [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Literary critic and literary historian Ian Watt (1917-1999) was a professor of English at Stanford University. His The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding (1957) is an important work in the history of the genre. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Watt [Mar 2005]

Due to the influence of Ian Watt's seminal study in literary sociology, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding (1957), Watt's candidate, Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719), gained wide acceptance. But with the rise of feminist criticism in the 1970s and 1980s and its concomitant rediscovery of forgotten writings by women, it is now more often argued that Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko (1688) is the “first English novel”. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_novel_in_English [Mar 2005]

Around 1740, England's taste for scandal decreased, and the desire to reform morals and manners took hold. Samuel Richardson's Pamela (1740) often is seen as the first novel embodying this new social trend. In it, he claimed he would "instruct" and "entertain"; it became one of the first "bestsellers". It is the story of maid, who, through chastity, wins the heart of her master and becomes his wife. Richardson's contemporary readers were treated to what they identified as a new level of lietrary "realism" in Pamela; Ian Watt argues that this novel inaugurated the psychological novel genre, because it focused on the psyche of one character, though many argue that this distinction should be awarded to William Godwin’s Caleb Williams (1795). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novel [Mar 2005]

see also: literature - novel

2005, Mar 24; 13:54 ::: Young Adam (2003) - David Mackenzie (II)

Young Adam (2003) - David Mackenzie (II) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Young Adam is a 2003 film written and directed by David Mackenzie, based on the novel of the same name by Alexander Trocchi, which was first published in 1957. It is set in Glasgow, Scotland in the 1950s and stars Ewan McGregor.

The film follows the exploits of Joe (played by McGregor), a young drifter who has ended up working on one of Glasgow's river barges. It deals with lust and sin, as we see Joe move from one brief affair to the next as he tries to get away from a guilty secret. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Adam [Mar 2005]

see also: Alexander Trocchi

2005, Mar 24; 13:36 ::: Highbrow

Highbrow is a colloquial synonym for intellectual. It can apply, adjectivally to music, implying most of the classical music tradition and much of post-bebop jazz; to literature, i.e. literary fiction; to films in the arthouse line. It is also used as a noun.

Egghead, which was American English and is now obsolescent, is a pejorative form: anti-intellectual. Other terms formed by analogy are lowbrow, and middle-brow. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highbrow [Mar 2005]

see also: high - high art - high society

2005, Mar 24; 13:30 ::: Literary fiction

Literary fiction is a somewhat uneasy term that has come into common usage since around 1970, principally to distinguish 'serious' fiction from the many types of genre fiction and popular fiction. For example, a traditional first novel is supposed not to be science fiction, nor a detective story, but with literary content usually partly autobiographical.

Literary fiction includes works written as short story, novella, novel and novel sequence. Of these, the novella is relatively uncommon in English literature, and more important in German literature or Russian literature. There is no particular reason that forms should be so limited; other categories could include the novelette, and the graphic novel as represented by a work such as Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth.

The distinction has its artificial side, in the sense that magical realism counts as literary, while fantasy writing is excluded; the dividing line cannot be accurately drawn on the basis of content alone, and has to include style as a consideration. Literary prizes usually concern themselves with literary fiction, and their shortlists can give a working definition.

It has become a commonplace that 'literary fiction' is in itself just another genre. This accords with the marketing practices now general in the book trade. It may also be taken to be the latest version of the death of the novel debate that has run from 1950, and reflects at one remove the importance accorded the novel as it replaced poetry as the central literary form in Western Europe and North America from the 1930s. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_fiction [Mar 2005]

see also: auteur - literary - fiction - genre fiction

2005, Mar 24; 13:16 ::: The Alexandria Quartet: Justine/Balthazar/Mountolive/Clea/Boxed Set (1957-1960) - Lawrence Durrell

The Alexandria Quartet: Justine/Balthazar/Mountolive/Clea/Boxed Set (1957-1960) - Lawrence Durrell [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The Merriam-Webster Encylopedia of Literature
Series of four novels by Lawrence Durrell. The lush and sensuous tetralogy, which consists of Justine (1957), Balthazar (1958), Mountolive (1958), and Clea (1960), is set in Alexandria, Egypt, during the 1940s. Three of the books are written in the first person, Mountolive in the third. The first three volumes describe, from different viewpoints, a series of events in Alexandria before World War II; the fourth carries the story forward into the war years. The events of the narrative are mostly seen through the eyes of one L.G. Darley, who observes the interactions of his lovers, friends, and acquaintances in Alexandria. In Justine, Darley attempts to recover from and understand his recently ended affair with Justine Hosnani. Reviewing various papers and examining his memories, he reads the events of his recent past in romantic terms. Balthazar, named for Darley's friend, a doctor and mystic, reinterprets Darley's views from a philosophical and intellectual point of view. The third novel is a straightforward narrative of events, and Clea, volume four, reveals Darley healing, maturing, and becoming capable of loving Clea Montis, a painter and the woman for whom he was destined. --via Amazon.com

Lawrence Durrell (February 27, 1912 - November 7, 1990) was a British novelist, poet, dramatist, and travel writer. He was born in India and, at the age of eleven, was sent to attend school in England - a country in which he was never happy and which he left as soon as possible.

His first novel, Pied Piper of Lovers, was published in 1935. In that year Durrell, his wife, siblings and mother moved to the Greek island of Corfu where they lived until 1941, when they had to leave the island due to WWII. Lawrence Durrell separated from his wife in 1942, and became peripatetic, living for some time in Egypt, Rhodes, Argentina, and Greece, and finally settling in the south of France. He was married four times in all.

His most famous work was The Alexandria Quartet, a tetralogy. His brother, Gerald Durrell, was a major British naturalist and wildlife conservationist. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Durrell [Mar 2005]

The Alexandria Quartet is a tetralogy of novels by British writer Lawrence Durrell, published between 1957 and 1960. A critical and commercial success, the books present four perspectives on a single set of events and characters in Alexandria, Egypt, before and during World War II.

The four novels are:

  • Justine (1957)
  • Balthazar (1958)
  • Mountolive (1958)
  • Clea (1960)
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Alexandria_Quartet [Mar 2005]

Jack Kahane had published such luminaries as Henry Miller, Anais Nin, James Joyce, Frank Harris and Lawrence Durrell under his own Obelisk imprint in the 1930's. After World War II, Girodias began to accumulate a crew of American and British writers living in Paris to produce what became know as "dirty books" under his Traveller's Companion series. These small green paperbacks were written in English and sold mainly to American servicemen and tourists who helped to "distribute" them throughout the world. --http://www.evergreenreview.com/101/articles/mgirodias.html, accessed Feb 2004

2005, Mar 24; 12:25 ::: La Belle Noiseuse () - Jacques Rivette

La Belle Noiseuse () - Jacques Rivette [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

La Belle Noiseuse est un film français de Jacques Rivette, sorti en 1991, durée 244 min, scénario : Pascal Bonitzer, Christine Laurent, Jacques Rivette, d'après la nouvelle de Honoré de Balzac Le Chef-d'œuvre inconnu publiée en 1831.

La Belle Noiseuse a remporté le grand prix du jury du festival de Cannes en 1991. --http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Belle_Noiseuse [Mar 2005]

see also: Jacques Rivette

2005, Mar 24; 12:25 ::: Radley Metzger’s ‘Elegant Arousal’: Cultural Value, Eroticism and Sexploitation

Radley Meztger Collection Volume 2 (Little Mother / The Dirty Girls / Score) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The Lickerish Quartet (1970) - Radley Metzger [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]

“Radley Metzger’s ‘Elegant Arousal’: Cultural Value, Eroticism and Sexploitation,” Elena Gorfinkel (New York University)

Having entered the film industry editing foreign productions and making trailers for American audiences at Janus Films, Radley Metzger’s progression in the 1960s to the status of producer, exhibitor, and director is inextricably bound to the logic of the cut which inaugurated his career. Operating at a moment in film history when censorship debates and obscenity laws were in a state of turmoil and transformation, and during a period in which sexuality on the screen was no longer an unmentionable, unshowable subject, Metzger’s “aristocratic erotica” aimed to distinguish itself from the lower-budgeted sexploitation industry in both sensibility and execution. Liberally trimming the excesses off the films he aquired overseas, Metzger would insert sexual content, repackage, and finally “present” the resulting material to an American arthouse audience. His own films characteristically employed an indulgent, decadent aesthetic focusing on atmospherics and the textures of character rather than on dialogue or narrative weight, and his phantasmatic mise-en-scenes foregrounded the utopian elements of sexual liberation politics while eliding any sense of danger beyond the stylization and melodrama-often read in terms of camp or irony-of its seductions, betrayals, and power plays.

By staging sexuality within the domain of the fantasy upper classes (e.g., Camille 2000) or in the space of literary adaptation (e.g., Therese and Isabelle), Metzger’s project of cultural distinction seemed to segment the target audience for more mundane sexploitation features according to their preferences with respect to entertainment, art, and arousal. His films blurred the boundaries between exploitation and art at a time when generic misrecognition and confusion over the categories of “adult film” and “mature content” was pervasive in American culture. Vying for cultural legitimacy through his aesthetic strategies, yet maintaining a deep connection to sexploitation through his sexual themes-lesbianism, bisexuality, sadomasochism, prostitution, nymphomania, and fetishism-Metzger’s status as independent auteur emerged from the hybridized niche he himself had managed to invent.

Defending the intelligence and sophistication of the viewers he appealed to, maintaining faith in their sensibilities and capacity to recognize the relationship between artistic craft and sensuality, Metzger nevertheless argued for their spectatorial regularity and normality as members of the middlebrow. His films can be seen as an instance of public pedagogy, in which the erotic tastes of the audience are trained, expanded, and diversified through a discourse of aesthetic appreciation and spectatorial civility, rather than the “crass vulgarity” attributed to to the lesser budgeted sexploitation features. Therefore, Metzger’s films get defined, distinctly classed, and attributed “social value” in relation to “higher” and “lower” cultural forms. Metzger’s particular brand of “high class soft-core” would later be assimilated into a more mainstream current of film production, extending industrially this rhetorical tendency towards the erotic tutelage of the film audience.

This essay will explore Metzger’s pivotal role in such a cultural climate, in his relationship to the sexploitation industry, to arthouse exhibition, and to film reception and obscenity. --http://members.bellatlantic.net/~sschneid/USA.htm#Gorfinkel [Mar 2005]

2005, Mar 24; 08:59 ::: Immoral Tales (1974) - Walerian Borowczyk

Erzsébeth Bathory segment from Contes Immoraux (Immoral Tales) (1974) - Walerian Borowczyk
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]

Immoral Tales (1974) - Walerian Borowczyk [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

see also: Erzebet Bathory - Walerian Borowczyk

blog archive - previous blog - other blogs and sites

your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products

Managed Hosting by NG Communications