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

2005, Sep 12; 20:16 ::: Genre painting

Google Gallery

The Problem We All Live With (1964) - Norman Rockwell

Rockwell is dismissed as a "serious painter" by some contemporary artists, who often regard his work as bourgeois and kitsch. He is called an illustrator instead of an artist by some critics, a designation he did not mind, as it was what he called himself. Yet, Rockwell sometimes produced images considered powerful and moving to anyone's eye. One example is The Problem We All Live With, which dealt with the issue of school integration. The painting depicts a young African American girl walking to school, flanked by white federal marshals, walking past a wall defaced by racist graffiti. It is probably not an image that could have appeared on a magazine cover earlier in Rockwell's career, but ranks among his best-known works today. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Rockwell [Sept 2005]

Genre painting, also called genre scene or petit genre, attempts to depict aspects of everyday life, via portraits of ordinary people engaged in common activities. These depictions can be realistic, imagined, or romanticized by the artist. Because of their familiar and sentimental subject matter, genre paintings have often proven popular with the bourgeoisie, or middle class.

Genre paintings like those by Adriaen and Isaac van Ostade, Tenier, Cuyp, Johannes Vermeer and Pieter De Hooch became popular in the Netherlands in the 17th century. These works inspired eighteenth-century French painters who also sought to depict everyday life, whether through careful realism in the works of Chardin or the romanticized paintings of Watteau.

Genre paintings have been created wherever artists seek to celebrate and record the everyday experiences of the middle class. The works of American painter Ernie Barnes and those of illustrator Norman Rockwell could exemplify a more modern type of genre painting. Today, genre paintings can also provide a window into the everyday life of a bygone era. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genre_painting [Sept 2005]

See also: genre - painting - everyday life

2005, Sep 12; 16:56 ::: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (1633) - John Ford

'Tis Pity She's a Whore (1971) - Giuseppe Patroni Griffi
Image sourced here.

John Ford (baptized April 17, 1586 - c.1640?) was a Caroline playwright and poet.

Ford is best known for the tragic play Tis Pity She's a Whore (1633) a family drama of incest. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ford_%28dramatist%29 [Sept 2005]

See also: tragedy - drama - theatre - 1600s

2005, Sep 12; 19:42 ::: The Big Heat (1953 ) - Fritz Lang

The Big Heat (1953 ) - Fritz Lang
Gloria Grahame's face is burned by a pot of hot coffee thrown by Lee Marvin.

The Big Heat (1953 ) - Fritz Lang [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The Big Heat is the 1953 Fritz Lang-directed motion film drama of crooked cops and murder. Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford) is a honest cop who learns that one of his fellow officers has committed suicide.

As Bannion digs deeper into what now he suspects is a murder, he becomes more and more driven to solve the mystery. He keeps digging even when the gangster violence and terror hits home. Lee Marvin and Gloria Grahame were part of the supporting cast in this film noir. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Heat [Sept 2005]

See also: film noir - film - American cinema - Fritz Lang - 1953

2005, Sep 12; 14:18 ::: La Bête Humaine (1890) - Émile Zola

La Bête Humaine (1938) - Jean Renoir

Human Desire (1954) - Fritz Lang

Human Desire (1954) - Fritz Lang

Human Desire is a black-and-white drama film, shot in film noir style, directed by Fritz Lang. The movie, based on the novel La Bête Humaine by Émile Zola, was released in 1954. The story was made twice before in film: La Bête Humaine ("The Human Beast" released in 1938) directed by Jean Renoir and Die Bestie im Menschen (1920).

Hard-drinking Carl Buckley is a railroad worker fired from his job. His seductive wife pays a visit to a railroad offical to try to get his job back. When Buckley suspects that his sexy, younger wife Vicki (Grahame) has done more than just talk with a railroad official, he first brutally beats her then he tracks down the railroad man and eventually stabs him to death in a jealous rage. Train conductor, and Korean War vet, Jeff Warren (Ford) knows that Vicki was a witness at the murder scene, but because of mutual attraction, refuses to testify against her. The two begin an affair with each other. Vicki then desides Warren should kill her violent husband and comes up with a plan. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Desire [Sept 2005]

La Bête Humaine
La Bête Humaine is a 1890 novel by Èmile Zola. The story has been made into film three times. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_B%C3%AAte_Humaine [Sept 2005]

Èmile Zola
Émile Zola (April 2, 1840 – September 29, 1902) was an influential French novelist, the most important example of the literary school of naturalism, and a major figure in the political liberalization of France. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%88mile_Zola [Sept 2005]

See also: human - desire - beast - literature - 1890 - Émile Zola

2005, Sep 12; 14:18 ::: Naturalism (literature)

Naturalism is an outgrowth of Realism, a prominent literary movement in late 19th century France and elsewhere.

Naturalistic writers were influenced by the evolution theory of Charles Darwin. They believed that one's heredity and surroundings decide one's character. Whereas realism seeks only to describe subjects as they really are, naturalism also attempts to determine "scientifically" the underlying forces (i.e. the environment or heredity) influencing these subjects' actions. They are both opposed to romanticism, in which subjects may receive highly symbolic, idealistic, or even supernatural treatment. Naturalistic works often include uncouth or sordid subject matter. For example, Emile Zola's works had a frankness about sexuality along with a pervasive pessimism.

Naturalists also adopted the technique of detailed description and an eye for the minute from their immediate predecessors, the Realists.

The main proponent of naturalism in fiction was Emile Zola, who wrote a treatise on the subject ("Le roman experimental") and employed the style in his many novels. Other French authors influenced by Zola were Guy de Maupassant, Joris Karl Huysmans, and the Goncourt brothers. Stephen Crane is probably the best-known naturalistic author to have written in English.

While literary naturalism is similar in definition to the philosophical and artistic movements of the same name, these were neither concurrent with nor extremely relevant to it. The music of the period, however, was influenced to some extent by it.

Slightly before 1900, symbolism and neo-romanticism began as reactions to naturalism and realism. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_%28literature%29 [Sept 2005]

See also: literature - 1800s - realism

2005, Sep 12; 14:18 ::: Naturalism (art)

Naturalism in art refers to the depiction of realistic objects in a natural setting. The Realism movement of the 19th century advocated naturalism in reaction to the stylized and idealized depictions of subjects in Romanticism, but many painters have adopted a similar approach over the centuries. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_%28art%29 [Sept 2005]

See also: art - 1800s - realism

2005, Sep 12; 14:04 ::: Realism in French 19th century literature

The expression "Realism", when applied to literature of the 19th century, implies the attempt to depict contemporary life and society. The growth of realism is linked to the development of science (especially biology), history and the social sciences and to the growth of industrialism and commerce. The "realist" tendancy is not necessarily anti-romantic; romanticism in France often affirmed the common man and the natural setting (such as the peasant stories of the woman writer George Sand) and concerned itself with historical forces and periods (as in the work of historian Jules Michelet).

The novels of Stendhal (including The Red and the Black and The Charterhouse of Parma) address issues of their contemporary society while also using themes and characters derived from the romantic movement. Honoré de Balzac is the most prominent representative of 19th century realism in fiction. His La Comédie humaine, a vast collection of nearly 100 novels, was the most ambitious scheme ever devised by a writer of fiction -- nothing less than a complete contemporary history of his countrymen. Realism also appears in the works of Alexandre Dumas fils.

Many of the novels in this period (including Balzac's) were published in newspapers in serial form, and the immensely popular realist "roman feuilleton" tended to specialize in portraying the hidden side of urban life (crime, police spies, criminal slang), as in the novels of Eugène Sue. Similar tendancies appeared in the theatrical melodramas of the period and, in an even more lurid and gruesome light, in the Grand Guignol at the end of the century.

In addition to melodramas, popular and bourgeois theater in the mid-century turned to realism in the "well-made" bourgeois farces of Eugène Marin Labiche and the moral dramas of Émile Augier. Also popular were the operettas, farces and comedies of Ludovic Halévy and Henri Meilhac.

From the 1860s on, critics increasingly speak of literary "Naturalism". The expression is imprecise, and was frequently used disparagingly to characterize authors whose chosen subject matter was taken from the working classes and who portrayed the misery and harsh conditions of real life. Many of the "naturalist" writers took a radical position against the excesses of romanticism and strove to use scientific and encyclopedic precision in their novels (Zola spent months visiting coal mines for his Germinal and Flaubert was famous for his years of research for historical details). Hippolyte Taine supplied much of the philosophy of naturalism: he believed that every human being was determined by the forces of heredity and environment and by the time in which he lived. The influence of certain Norwegian, Swedish and Russian writers gave an added impulse to the naturalistic movement.

Gustave Flaubert's great novels Madame Bovary (1857) -- which reveals the tragic consequences of romanticism on the wife of a provincial doctor -- and Sentimental Education, and the short stories of Guy de Maupassant are often tagged with the label "naturalist", although neither author was devoid of comic irony or certain romantic tendancies. Flaubert's romanticism is apparent in his fantastic The Temptation of Saint Anthony and the baroque and exotic scenes of ancient Carthage in Salammbô. Maupassant used elements derived from the gothic novel in stories like Le Horla. This tension between portrayal of the contemporary world in all its sordidness, detatched irony and the use of romantic images and themes would also influence the symbolists and would continue to the 20th century.

Naturalism is most often associated with the novels of Emile Zola (such as his Les Rougon-Macquart novel cycle, which includes Germinal, L'Assommoir, Le Ventre de Paris and La Bête humaine) in which the social success or failure of two branches of a family is explained by physical, social and heriditary laws. Other writers who have been labeled naturalists include: Alphonse Daudet, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Edmond de Goncourt and his brother Jules de Goncourt, and Paul Bourget.

An attempt to be objective was made in poetry by the group of writers known as the Parnassians -- which included Leconte de Lisle, Théodore de Banville , Catulle Mendès, Sully-Prudhomme, François Coppée, José María de Heredia and (early in his career) Paul Verlaine -- who (using Théophile Gautier's notion of art for art's sake and the pursuit of the beautiful) strove for exact and faultless workmanship, and selected exotic and classical subjects which they treated with rigidity of form and emotional detachment (elements of which echo the philosophical work of Arthur Schopenhauer whose aesthetic theories would also have an influence on the symbolists).

Modern science and geography were united with romantic adventure in the works of Jules Verne and other writers of popular serial adventure novels and early science-fiction. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_literature_of_the_19th_century#Realism.2C_Naturalism_and_Parnasse [Sept 2005]

See also: France - literature - 1800s - realism

2005, Sep 12; 12:46 ::: The Public Face of Modernism: Little Magazines, Audiences, and Reception, 1905-1920 (2000) - Mark S. Morrisson

The Public Face of Modernism: Little Magazines, Audiences, and Reception, 1905-1920 (2000) - Mark S. Morrisson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Between the 1890s and the 1920s, mass consumer culture and modernism grew up together, by most accounts as mutual antagonists. This provocative work of cultural history tells a different story. Delving deeply into the publishing and promotional practices of the modernists in Britain and America, Mark Morrisson reveals that their engagements with the commercial mass market were in fact extensive and diverse.

The phenomenal successes of new advertising agencies and mass market publishers did elicit what Morrisson calls a "crisis of publicity" for some modernists and for many concerned citizens in both countries. But, as Morrisson demonstrates, the vast influence of these industries on consumers also had a profound and largely overlooked effect upon many modernist authors, artists, and others. By exploring the publicity and audience reception of several of the most important modernist magazines of the period, The Public Face of Modernism shows how modernists, far from lamenting the destruction of meaningful art and public culture by the new mass market, actually displayed optimism about the power of mass-market technologies and strategies to transform and rejuvenate contemporary culture-and, above all, to restore a public function to art.

This reconstruction of the "public face of modernism" offers surprising new perceptions about the class, gender, racial, and even generational tensions within the public culture of the early part of the century, and provides a rare insight into the actual audiences for modernist magazines of the period. Moreover, in new readings of works by James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, Wyndham Lewis, Ford Madox Ford, T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and many others, Morrisson shows that these contexts also had an impact on the techniques and concerns of the literature itself.

The Public Face of Modernism explores the ways in which the early British and American modernists envisioned the relationship between literary culture and institutions of publicity, the public, and public discourse (what we now call the public sphere), and challenges the commonplace understanding that modernists turned their back on mass audiences, publishing only for coteries in little magazines. It considers how modernists understood the sociocultural changes occurring between the 1890s and early 1920s that created twentieth-century mass market culture, including the beginning of highly organized mass advertising, mass-produced brand name products, and modern mass market newspapers and magazines. Examining little magazines both as primary venues for modernist publication and as public forums that marked the intersection of literary production and non-literary discourse, the author argues that the burgeoning commercial culture caused modernists to feel not only a sense of alarm at what they saw as a crisis of publicity and public discourse, but also---most surprisingly---a sense of optimism about redirecting the public function of the press. The book adds a significant new dimension to the remapping of modernism's relationship to mass culture by exploring how modernists' visions of alternative networks of publication and sites of public discourse (like those envisioned by the suffragettes, socialists, and anarchists who were their contemporaries) intersected with and borrowed from the new mass market. Morrisson's book is also the first study to explore the broad field of modernist magazines in relationship to this issue, and should add a timely voice to the current resurgence of interest in little magazines. Finally, this work sheds new light on the early work and aspirations of authors such as Ford Madox Ford, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Margaret Anderson, and many others.--via Amazon.com

About the Author
Mark S. Morrisson is assistant professor of English at Penn State University.

See also: modernist literature - modernism - mass - magazine - audience

2005, Sep 12; 12:18 ::: The True Story of the Novel (1996) - Margaret Anne Doody

The True Story of the Novel (1996) - Margaret Anne Doody [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

A 1996 National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, The True Story of the Novel disputes the British claim to the invention of the novel, calling it "one of the most successful literary lies." Margaret Anne Doody claims that the conventional separation of Romance and Novel was 18th-century England's approach to restricting the literary canon from anything "foreign" to their Empire. Not only did this distinction exclude the great novels of the Roman Empire--including Africa, Asia, and Europe--but it forced the novel, and therefore literature as well, into a narrowed definition of necessary "realism" that altered the way we interpret history. In redefining the Novel as a multicultural construct, Doody opens the relationship of literature and history to new connections.

From Library Journal
Doody, a novelist and the director of Vanderbilt University's comparative literature program, offers a corrective to those who find the origins of the novel in the 16th or 17th century. Challenging the distinction between novel and romance, Doody examines in depth ancient Greek and Roman prose narrative, tracing the novel's transformations through the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and 18th century. She shows the continuity between the ancient novel and the modern, as well as the striking affinities between the Western novel and those of Africa, China, and Japan. Her treatment is thorough and sophisticated yet accessible to the general reader. It is also ambitious and one of the few works that can truly claim to look at world literature.?Thomas L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.

See also: literature - novel - history - truth

2005, Sep 12; 10:36 ::: Happy ending

A happy ending is an ending of the plot of a work of fiction in which most everything turns out for the best for the hero or heroine, their sidekicks, and just about everyone but the villains. The prince gets the princess and, in the traditional phrase from fairy tales, they all live "happily ever after."

The presence of a happy ending is one of the key points that distinguishes melodrama from tragedy. In certain periods, the endings of traditional tragedies such as Macbeth or Oedipus Rex, in which most of the major characters end up dead, disfigured, or discountenanced, have been actively disliked. In the eighteenth century, the Irish author Nahum Tate sought to improve Shakespeare's King Lear by rewriting the ending so that Lear survives, Cordelia and Edgar marry, and the three sisters are reconciled. Most subsequent critics have not found Tate's amendments an improvement. Happy endings have also been fastened to Romeo and Juliet and Othello.

In the modern world, happy endings have sometimes been viewed as an American specialty, and the English-language words happy ending (or happy end) have been imported as-is into other languages to make this point. In the 1928 Austrian operetta, Die Herzogin von Chicago, the two lovers who are too proud to speak to one another are finally brought together by a Hollywood producer who explains that he plans to make a movie of their love story, but that he cannot, until it has the required happy ending.

Some works of fiction, such as Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's operetta The Threepenny Opera or F. W. Murnau's film The Last Laugh, have intentionally implausible happy endings. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_ending [Sept 2005]

See also: happiness - story - technique

2005, Sep 11; 14:14 ::: Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative (1985) - Mieke Bal

Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative (1985) - Mieke Bal [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Card catalog description
Since its first publication in English in 1985, Mieke Bal's Narratology has become a classic introduction to the major elements of a comprehensive theory of narrative texts. In this second edition, Professor Bal broadens the spectrum of her theoretical model, updating the chapters on literary narrative and adding new examples from outside the field of literary studies. Some specific additions include discussions on dialogue in narrative, translation as transformation (including translation between different media), intertextuality, interdiscursivity, and the place of the subject in narratology. Two new sections, one on visualization and visual narrative with examples from art and film and the other an examination of anthropological views of narrative, lead Bal to conclude with a re-evaluation of narratology in light of its applications outside the realm of the literary.

See also: narrative - story - technique

2005, Sep 11; 14:14 ::: Cultural artifact

A cultural artifact is an man-made object which gives information about the culture of its creator and users. The artifact may change over time in what it represents, how it appears and how and why it is used as the culture changes over time. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_artifact [Sept 2005]

See also: culture - artifact - human - craft - visual arts - fiction - music - reproduction

2005, Sep 11; 14:02 ::: Free Jazz (1961) - Ornette Coleman

Jackson Pollock's 'White Light' appears through a hole cut in the sleeve of Ornette Coleman's 'Free Jazz' LP (Atlantic 1364) but, like the previously mentioned covers for Daydream Nation (featuring Richter's 'Two Candles') and The Faust Tapes (Riley's 'Crest'), it isn't strictly a cover design. --http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=440 [Sept 2005]

See also: 1961 - Free jazz - abstract art - Jackson Pollock - Ornette Coleman

2005, Sep 11; 13:39 ::: Representational art

Representation is a topic in visual arts, music and literature, it concerns the depiction and ethical and political concerns of image construction and narrativity.

Abstract art is sometimes called non-representational art and absolute music is called non-representational music. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representation_%28arts%29 [Sept 2005]

See also: depiction - description - portrait - presentation - representation - visual arts - fiction - music - abstract art

2005, Sep 11; 13:04 ::: Donald Judd

Untitled sculpture from 1990 by Donald Judd

Donald Judd (June 3, 1928 - February 12, 1994) was a minimalist American artist (a term he stridently disavowed) whose work sought autonomy and clarity for the constructed object and the space created by it, ultimately achieving a rigorously democratic presentation without compositional hierarchy. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Judd [Sept 2005]

See also: representation - minimal - art - abstract art

2005, Sep 11; 13:04 ::: Walk In Love (2005) - Green Velvet

Walk In Love (2005) - Green Velvet [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See also: Curtis Jones - music - house music - dance music - Chicago

2005, Sep 11; 12:54 ::: Musical minimalism

In classical music of the last 35 years, the term minimalism is sometimes applied to music which displays some or all of the following features: repetition (often of short musical phrases, with minimal variations over long periods of time) or stasis (often in the form of drones and long tones); emphasis on consonant harmony; a steady pulse. It is almost inseparable, currently, from electronic music and composition.

It should be noted that the minimalist movement in music bears only an occasional relationship to the movement of the same name in visual art. This connection is probably one reason why many minimalist composers dislike the term. Philip Glass, whose group initially performed at art galleries where his minimalist visual artist friends were showing, reportedly said of minimalism, "That word should be stamped out!" Apart from Philip Glass, Steve Reich is arguably the most famous minimalist composer, with John Coolidge Adams also being notable. Following the classical compositions of Philip Glass, the Chicago House scene in the late 1990s saw a major revolution with the advent of the ghettotech single "Time for the Perculator" by Cajmere, which was decidedly more minimalistic in its outlook. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimalism#Musical_minimalism [Sept 2005]

See also: music - repetition - minimalism

2005, Sep 11; 12:42 ::: Repetition in music

Repetition is important in music, where sounds or sequences are often repeated. One often stated idea is that repetition should be in balance with the initial statements and variations in a piece. It may be called restatement, such as the restatement of a (music)|theme]]. While it plays a role in all music, in fact most musical sounds are periodic, it is especially prominent in minimal music and, its influence, popular music. Theodor Adorno criticized repetition and popular music as being psychotic and infantile. Richard Middleton (1990) argues that "while repetition is a feature of all music, of any sort, a high level of repetition may be a specific mark of 'the popular'" and that this allows an, "enabling" of "an inclusive rather than exclusive audience" (p.139). "There is no universal norm or convention" for the amount or type of repetition, "all music contains repetition - but in differing amounts and of an enormous variety of types." This is influenced by "the political economy of production; the 'psychic economy' of individuals; the musico-technological media of production and reproduction (oral, written, electric); and the weight of the syntactic conventions of music-historical traditions" (ibid, p.268).

Thus Middleton (also 1999) distinguishes between discursive and musematic repetition. A museme is a minimal unit of meaning, analgous to morpheme in linguistics, and musematic repetition is "at the level of the short figure, often used to generate an entire structural framework." Discursive repetition is "at the level of the phrase or section, which generally functions as part of a larger-scale 'argument'." He gives "paradigmatic case[s]": the riff and the phrase. Musematic repetition includes circularity, synchronic relations, and open-ness. Discursive repetition includes linearity, rational control, and self-sufficiency. Discursive repetition is most often nested (hierarchically) in larger repetitions and may be thought of as sectional, while musematic repetition may be thought of as additive. (p.146-8)

Put more simply, musematic repetition is simple repetition of precisely the same musical figure, such as a repeated chorus. Discursive repetition is "both repetitive and non-repetitive" (Lott, p.174), such as the repetition of the same rhythmic figure with different notes. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repetition [Sept 2005]

See also: music - repetition - trance - Fela Kuti

2005, Sep 11; 11:27 ::: Don Quixote (1955) - Pablo Picasso

Don Quixote (1955) - Pablo Picasso

It is ironic that Cervantes's Don Quixote is described as the first novel (an extended work of prose fiction, written in "vulgar Latin", i.e. the people's language), the first modern novel (due to its focus on the psychological evolution of a single character) and the first postmodern novel (due of its use of self-reflexivity in the second volume).

The novel also introduced Sancho Panza, the first use of the sidekick stock character.

Miguel Cervantes's Don Quixote has been called "the first novel" by many literary scholars (or the first of the modern European novels). It was published in two parts. The first part was published in 1605 and the second in 1615. It might be viewed as a parody of Le Morte d'Arthur (and other examples of the chivalric romance), in which case the novel form would be the direct result of poking fun at a collection of heroic folk legends. This is fully in keeping with the spirit of the age of enlightenment which began from about this time and delighted in giving a satirical twist to the stories and ideas of the past. It's worth noting that this trend toward satirising previous writings was only made possible by the printing press. Without the invention of mass produced copies of a book it would not be possible to assume the reader will have seen the earlier work and will thus understand the references within the text. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_literature#The_early_modern_period [Sept 2005]

Inspired by Joost

See also: genre theory - Cervantes - 1600s - modern novel - postmodern novel

2005, Sep 11; 10:48 ::: The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Sorrows of Young Werther (German, Die Leiden des jungen Werthers) is a loosely autobiographical novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, first published in 1774. A climactic scene prominently features Goethe's own German translation of a portion of James Macpherson's Ossian cycle of poems which had originally been presented as translations of ancient works, but then had been found to have been written by Macpherson.

It was Goethe's first major success, turning him from an unknown into a celebrated author practically overnight. Young men throughout Europe began to dress in the clothing described for Werther in the novel. It also led to some of the first known examples of copycat suicide.

The majority of the novel is presented as a collection of letters written by Werther, a young artist with a very sensitive and passionate temperament. In these letters, Werther gives a very intimate account of his stay in the fictive village Wahlheim (based on the town of Garbenheim, near Wetzlar), where he meets and falls in love with Lotte, a beautiful young girl who is taking care of her siblings following the death of their mother. Lotte is, however, already engaged to a man named Albert. Despite the pain this causes Werther, he spends the next several months cultivating a close friendship with both of them. Every day serves as a torturing reminder that Lotte will never be able to requite his love, and after several failed attempts to break off his ties with her, Werther sees no other choice but to take his own life.

The Sorrows of Young Werther is mentioned in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Frankenstein's monster finds the book along with three others (Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, Volney's The Ruins: Meditation on the Revolutions of Empires, and Milton's Paradise Lost) in a sack. He sees Werther's case as similar to his own. He, like Werther, was rejected by those he loved. This realization depressed the monster and, eventually, persuaded him to commit suicide. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sorrows_of_Young_Werther [Sept 2005]

See also: Germany - literature - 1770s - romanticism

2005, Sep 10; 20:48 ::: French pomo

Generally, the French pomo thinkers succeed at two things: They offer a hysterical (read paranoid) but insightful perspective on the cruel and schizophrenic nature of late 20th century techno-culture, and they engage in linguistic sophistry to try to save Marxism's irrelevant ass. --R.U. Sirius, 1994

See also: France - philosopy - French philosopy - postmoderism

2005, Sep 10; 20:28 ::: The Great Gatsby (1925) - F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby (1925) - F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby (1925) is a short novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald set in New York City and Long Island in the 1920s. It has often been seen as the epitome of American literature of the so-called "Jazz Age".

The novel was not popular when it was first published, selling less than 24,000 copies during Fitzgerald's lifetime. Largely forgotten during the Great Depression and World War II, it was republished in the 1950s and quickly found a wide readership. Over the following decades it emerged as a standard text in high school and university literature classes in the United States. It remains a consistent seller for its publisher, and is now often cited as one of the greatest English-language novels of the 20th century. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Gatsby [Oct 2004]

See also: modern - modernism - Jazz age - 1920s - 1925

2005, Sep 10; 18:34 ::: The Pleasure of Modernist Music (2004) - Arved Ashby

The Pleasure of Modernist Music (2004) - Arved Ashby [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The debate over modernist music has continued for almost a century: from Berg's Wozzeck and Webern's Symphony Op.21 to John Cage's renegotiation of musical control, the unusual musical practices of the Velvet Underground, and Stanley Kubrick's use of Ligeti's Lux Aeterna in the epic film 2001. The composers discussed in these pages -- including Bartók, Stockhausen, Bernard Herrmann, Steve Reich, and many others -- are modernists in that they are defined by their individualism, whether covert or overt, and share a basic urge toward redesigning musical discourse. The aim of this volume is to negotiate a varied and open middle ground between polemical extremes of reception. The contributors sketch out the possible significance of a repertory that in past discussions has been deemed either meaningless or beyond describable meaning. With an emphasis on recent aesthetics and contexts -- including film music, sexuality, metaphor, and ideas of a listening grammar -- they trace the meanings that such works and composers have held for listeners of different kinds. None of them takes up the usual mandate of "educated listening" to modernist works: the notion that a person can appreciate "difficult" music if given enough time and schooling. Instead the book defines novel but meaningful avenues of significance for modernist music, avenues beyond those deemed appropriate or acceptable by the academy. While some contributors offer new listening strategies, most interpret the listening premise more loosely: as a metaphor for any manner of personal and immediate connection with music. In addition to a previously untranslated article by Pierre Boulez, the volume contains articles (all but one previously unpublished) by twelve distinctive and prominent composers, music critics, and music theorists from America, Europe, Australia, and South Africa: Arved Ashby, Amy Bauer, William Bolcom, Jonathan Bernard, Judy Lochhead, Fred Maus, Andrew Mead, Greg Sandow, Martin Scherzinger, Jeremy Tambling, Richard Toop, and Lloyd Whitesell --via Amazon.com

See also: modern - modernism - modernist music - music

2005, Sep 10; 18:34 ::: Hawkwind (1970) - Hawkwind

Hawkwind is a British rock music group.

Formed in the summer of 1969 as Hawkwind Zoo, they were offered a record deal by Liberty Records in November of that year and immediately shortened the band name to Hawkwind. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Dave Brock has been the only consistent band member though multiple personnel changes. Their music began as hard-driving blues rock, but quickly added doses of psychedelic music, with prominent use of special effects and synthesizers. Their music usually deals with urban and science fiction themes (writer Michael Moorcock was a collaborator), and Hawkwind are widely seen as one of the earliest space rock groups.

Their elaborate live performances (somewhat reminiscent of Sun Ra's) quickly gathered them a cult following, partly because they were seen as a 'community' Of the People - For the People group. Their second album In Search of Space was very successful.

Hawkwind were, along with the Pink Fairies, key 'community bands' in Ladbroke Grove home of the Mountain Grill cafe. During the early 1970s Hawkwind played a number of benefit gigs along with other 'community' bands/artists including Pink Fairies and Steve Took who, as a key member of the UK Underground went on to work with a number of Hawkwind members.

Hawkwind achieved chart status with the release of the single "Silver Machine" in 1972 (Written by Dave Brock and Robert Calvert, allegedly about his bicycle. Vocals by Lemmy Kilmister). Their follow up single "Urban Guerrilla" was withdrawn after increased terrorist activity by the Provisional IRA.

Hawkwind have had a long-standing connection with many free festivals including the Stonehenge free festival that ran from 1973 until banned in 1985. Authorities moved in "with force" to stop the event that 13th year as, under ancient charter law, it would have become a public festival for all time. The spirit of these festivals has been reawakened by their last two "Hawkfest" weekends.

On October 21, 2000 the Hawkestra, a band formed by virtually all former members of Hawkwind, played a sell-out gig at the Brixton Academy. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawkwind [Sept 2005]

See also: space rock - music - 1970

2005, Sep 10; 18:07 ::: Shapeshifter! (1992) Gong

Shapeshifter (1992) Gong [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Gong are a progressive rock band formed by Australian musician Daevid Allen. Their music has also been described as space rock.

They were formed in 1967, after Allen - then a member of Soft Machine - was denied entry to the United Kingdom due to a visa complication.

Between 1973 and 1974, Gong, now augmented by guitarist Steve Hillage, released their Radio Gnome Trilogy - three records that expounded upon the (previously only hinted at) Gong mythology. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gong (band) [Sept 2005]

Space rock
Space rock is a style of music; the term originally referred to a group of early mostly British 1970s progressive rock and psychedelic bands like Pink Floyd and Hawkwind, though it now tends to refer to a series of late 1980s British alternative rock bands. This style is characterized by shimmering, melodic sounds, often with copious drug and science fiction references (such as pioneers Spacemen 3's legendary quotation: "taking drugs to make music to take drugs to"). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_rock [Sept 2005]

Psychedelic music
Psychedelic music is a musical genre which is not rigorously defined, and is sometimes interpreted to include everything from Flower Power music to Hard Rock and Acid Rock. However, an inner core of the genre that came to fruition in 1967 can be recognized by characteristic features such as modal melodies; esoteric lyrics often describing dreams, visions, or hallucinations; longer songs and lengthy instrumental solos; and recently invented "trippy" electronic effects such as distortion, reverb, and reversed, delayed and/or phased sounds. It is often inspired by the experience of mind-altering drugs such as cannabis, psilocybin, mescaline, and especially LSD. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychedelic_music [Sept 2005]

Psychedelic music and Gong
Alongside the progressive stream, space rock bands such as Hawkwind, Arthur Brown's Kindom Come and Gong maintained a more explicitly psychedelic course into the 1970s. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychedelic_music [Sept 2005]

See also: recreational drugs and music - music - progressive - psychedelic - trance

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