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2006, Feb 13; 15:03 ::: Happiness or misery

"Sex hygiene" is contrasted with "false modesty" in this frontispiece to an early 20th century book.

Left-hand path: Ignorance, lust, obscenity, disease, poverty, defective children, lunacy and senility lead to misery.

Right-hand path: Education, love, health, sanity, energy, temperance, modesty, ambition, comfort, morality and normalcy lead to happiness.

The terms Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path refer to a postulated dichotomy between two distinct types of religion. The exact meaning of the terms has varied over time; the most modern usage regards religions which focus upon the worship of one or more deities and the observance of strict moral codes as belonging to the Right-Hand Path, while religions which value the advancement of the self over other goals are considered to belong to the Left-Hand Path. This usage of the terms is invoked almost exclusively by proponents of the Left-Hand Path; opponents (almost always of religions described as "Right-Hand Path") either argue that this is a means of dividing religions, is a mislabeled or false dichotomy, or, that much of what is called "left hand" is in actuality satanism, or "black magic". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-Hand_Path_and_Right-Hand_Path [Feb 2006]

See also: happiness - morals - mental hygiene

2006, Feb 12; 20:03 ::: Faces of Degeneration : A European Disorder, c. 1848-1918 (1993) - Daniel Pick

Faces of Degeneration : A European Disorder, c. 1848-1918 (1993) - Daniel Pick [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
This book investigates the specific conception and descent of a language of "degeneration" from 1848 to 1918, with particular reference to France, Italy, and England. The author shows how in the refraction and wake of evolution and naturalism, new images and theories of atavism, "dégénérescence" and socio-biological decline emerged in European culture and politics. He indicates the wide cultural and political importance of the idea of degeneration, while showing that the notion could mean different things at different times in different places. Exploring the distinctive historical and discursive contexts in France, Italy, and England within which the idea was developed, the book traces the profound complex of political issues to which the concept of degeneration gave rise during the period from the revolutions of 1848 to the First World War and beyond.

See also: degeneration - Europe - fin de siècle

2006, Feb 12; 20:03 ::: Decadence and the Making of Modernism (1996) - David Weir

Decadence and the Making of Modernism (1996) - David Weir [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Publishers Weekly
What is Decadence? Most literary reference books don't list it as a movement; at most it's defined by time, place, a loose collection of titles, authors and little magazines, and how it shades into more established movements such as aestheticism, symbolism, naturalism. Weir, a professor of comparative literature and foreign languages, does a splendid job of breaking down the elements of decadence and of synthesizing current thinking on both it and modernism. Before going on to discuss Huysmans's A rebours--perhaps the only unarguably decadent novel--Weir describes the elements of decadence found in Flaubert's Salammbo, the Goncourt brothers' Germinie Lacerteux and, in England 20 years later, Walter Pater's Marius the Epicurean. He then makes convincing arguments for the unmediated influence of decadence on modernist literature. Regarding Joyce, he shows not only that ``the unity of the book is decomposed... to give place to the independence of the word'' (to eviscerate Havelock Ellis), but also the heavy use of cultural references. He demonstrates that there is a deliberate anti-decadence in Gide's L'Immoraliste, which eschews decadent artificiality and sickness for a modernist health and naturalism. While Joyce, Gide, Flaubert, Huysmans are well known, Weir thankfully doesn't assume more than a passing acquaintance with his examples of decadence in decay--Octave Mirbeau's Le Jardin des supplices, Ben Hecht's Fantazius Mallare and James Huneker's Painted Veils. Following decadence from romanticism to his postface on post-structuralism, Weir's study is intriguing, well-written and widely accessible. --via Amazon.com

See also: France - French literature - fin de siècle - France - symbolism (art movement) - decadence (art movement)

2006, Feb 12; 20:03 ::: The sense of decadence in nineteenth-century France (1964) - Koenraad. W Swart

The sense of decadence in nineteenth-century France (1964) - Koenraad. W Swart [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See also: France - French literature - fin de siècle - France - symbolism (art movement) - decadence (art movement)

2006, Feb 12; 20:03 ::: Le Torrent (1897-98) - Léon Frédéric

Le Torrent/The Stream (1897-98) - Léon Frédéric
Image sourced here.

Panel from a tryptique.

See also: 1898 - art in Belgium - symbolism (art movement)

2006, Feb 12; 20:03 ::: Porte-manteau (1920) - Man Ray

See also: 1920 - Man Ray - art photography

2006, Feb 12; 19:03 ::: Amori et Dolori sacrum. La mort de Venise (1903) - Maurice Barrès

Amori et Dolori sacrum. La mort de Venise (1903) - Maurice Barrès

Maurice Barrès (September 22, 1862 - December 4, 1923), French novelist, politician, radical conservative and anti-semite was born at Charmes-sur-Moselle (Vosges). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Barr%C3%A8s [Feb 2006]

See also: 1903 - French literature - fin de siècle - France - symbolism (art movement) - decadence (art movement)

2006, Feb 12; 19:03 ::: The Marquise De Sade (1887) - Rachilde

The Marquise De Sade (1887) - Rachilde [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Dedalus publishing
Dedalus list includes contemporary English language fiction, translated European fiction in the Decadence from Dedalus, Dedalus European Classics, Dedalus Europe 1992 -2002 series, Dedalus anthologies and concept books.

Dedalus began publishing on November 30th 1983. Our first list consisted of three first novels, one of which The Arabian Nightmare by Robert Irwin has been translated into 15 languages and has found worldwide success.

Dedalus has invented its own distinctive genre, which we term distorted reality, where the bizarre, the unusual and the grotesque and the surreal meld in a kind of intellectual fiction which is very European.

Our mission is to be unique - an exciting, innovative and distinctive alternative to commercial publishing; to find new talent and put British publishing at the heart of Europe. --http://www.dedalusbooks.com/about.html [Feb 2006]

See also: 1887 - French literature - Marquis de Sade - fin de siècle - France - symbolism (art movement) - decadence (art movement)

2006, Feb 12; 18:03 ::: The Mammoth Book of the History of Murder () - Colin Wilson

One of the most remarkable cases of necrophilia on record concerns a French army sergeant named Bertrand. Sergeant Bertrand was by no means a withdrawn or shy personality; on the contrary, he was well-liked by his men, and something of a Don Juan with the country girls. His arrest in 1849 came as a shock to his army comrades, for it was alleged, and proved at his trial, that for the past two years he had been in the habit of entering cemeteries at night and seeking out the newly-buried bodies of young girls. These corpses, usually buried without coffins, excited him more than living mistresses. Of the corpse of a 16-year-old girl he said: "I did everything to her that a passionate lover does to a mistress," and added, "All my enjoyment with living women is as nothing compared to it." On the first occasion when he saw an unburied corpse in a grave, he was so overcome with frenzy that he leapt into the grave and proceeded to beat it with a spade. Later, he returned, dug it up, and committed acts of necrophia. The compulsion was so powerful that he once swam an icy stream in winter to get into a graveyard. He usually ended by disembowelling the corpse. --via Morbid Fact du Jour via The Mammoth Book Of The History Of Murder

The Mammoth Book of the History of Murder () - Colin Wilson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Proving once again that fact is scarier than fiction, British writer Colin Wilson presents this seam-bursting collection of depravity through the ages. From Ivan the Terrible to Jack the Ripper to Ted Bundy, this haunting cast of characters will have you leaving the lights on all night. Organized by century and types of killers--assassins, pirates, serial killers, and the like--the book traces the evolution of crime within the context of greater societal changes. The author blames the birth of sex crimes on too much leisure time in the 19th century and credits big cities and their crowded conditions for the emergence of the modern serial killer. He also offers a whirlwind tour of torture and cruelty in answering the question, "What makes a monster?"

Wilson is one of the most prolific and eclectic writers of our time, with more than 80 books to his credit on subjects as varied as existential fiction, philosophy, the occult, aliens, and the life of Aleister Crowley. Though often dismissed by critics as an obsessive crackpot, Wilson maintains a large following around the world due to his captivating, conversational writing style and ability to synthesize an impressive amount of esoteric information. The Mammoth Book of the History of Murder is an illuminating volume on a dark subject, written by a born storyteller.

See also: Colin Wilson - murder

2006, Feb 12; 18:03 ::: Sergeant Bertrand

“Listen to this: a soldier who had lost a great deal of blood was recently found at the gates of the Val-de-Grâce hospice, where he had managed to drag himself. The wounded man, one Sergeant François Bertrand, of the 74th line regiment, initially declared that he had been hit by a volley of bullets on his way back to his quarters after a night of carousing in a tavern at the Barrière d’Enfer. He claimed he had been unable to distinguish the source of the rifle fire. But, skilfully interrogated by the physician who had removed the slugs from a large number of wounds in his flesh, made by several different projectiles of unequal size, Bertrand finally changed his story. He admitted he had fallen into the trap that had been set inside Montparnasse Cemetery, for he was in the habit of sneaking in almost nightly to search fresh graves. Luckily, he said nothing of the other soldier who was also there that night... in a lifeless state, it is true. No doubt, he did not notice him. That’s a stroke of luck.” The Chevalier Dupin by Gérard Dôle via http://mapage.noos.fr/chevalierdupin/sergeantbertrand/sergeantbertrand.htm [Feb 2006]

unidentified illustration
Image sourced here.

Auguste Dupin
Auguste Dupin is a fictional detective created by Edgar Allan Poe.

While not the first detective in fiction, Auguste Dupin was the prototype for many that came later (most notably Sherlock Holmes). He lives in Paris alone in an old house. Many tropes that would later become commonplace in mystery fiction first appeared in Poe's stories: the eccentric but brilliant detective, the bumbling constabulary, the first-person narration by a close personal friend. Like Sherlock Holmes, Dupin uses his considerable deductive prowess and observation to solve crimes.

He appears in three stories by Poe:

  • "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841)
  • "The Mystery of Marie Roget" (1842)
  • "The Purloined Letter" (1844)

He also makes a brief appearance in Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic book. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auguste_Dupin [Feb 2006]

See also: Edgar Allan Poe - 1849 - crime fiction - detective fiction - necrophilia - cemetery

2006, Feb 12; 18:03 ::: Monsieur Vénus (1884) - Rachilde

Monsieur Vénus (1884) - Rachilde [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Rachilde was the nom de plume of Marguerite Vallette-Eymery, a French author who was born February 11, 1860 in Périgueux, France, and died April 4, 1953.

She is considered to be a pioneer of anti-realistic drama and a participant in the Decadence movement. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachilde [Feb 2006]

See also: 1884 - French literature - perversion - fin de siècle - France - symbolism (art movement) - decadence (art movement)

2006, Feb 12; 17:03 ::: Histoires de masques (1900) - Jean Lorrain

Mid 20th century cover of Jean Lorrain's Histoires de masques (1900)
Image sourced here.

Jean Lorrain (August 29, 1855 - June 30, 1906), born Paul Duval, was a French poet and novelist of the Symbolist school.

Lorrain was a dedicated disciple of dandyism, and (for the times) openly homosexual. Lorrain wrote a number of collections of verse, including La forêt bleue (1887) and L'ombre ardente, (1892). He is also remembered for his decadent novels and short stories, such as Monsieur de Phocas (1901) and Histoires des masques (1900), as well as for one of his best novels, Sonyeuse, which he links to portraits exhibited by Antonio de La Gandara in 1893. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean Lorrain [Feb 2006]

See also: 1900 - dandy - snob - homosexuality - fin de siècle - France - symbolism (art movement) - decadence (art movement)

2006, Feb 12; 17:03 ::: Madonna with child (1480) - Carlo Crivelli

Madonna with child (1480) - Carlo Crivelli

Carlo Crivelli (1435 in Venice, Italy – 1495 in Naples, Italy) was a Venetian Renaissance or Quattrocento painter.

The only dates that can with certainty be given are 1468 and 1493; these are respectively the earliest and the latest years signed on his pictures--the former on an altar-piece in the church of San Silvestro at Massa near Fermo, and the latter on a picture in the Oggioni collection in Milan.


Unlike the naturalistic trends arising from Florence at the same time, Crivelli's style still echoes the Byzantine styles. The urban settings are jewel-like, elaborately detailed, and full of allegorical detail.

He introduced agreeable landscape backgrounds; and was particularly partial to giving fruits and flowers as accessories, often in pendent festoons. [...]

Despite his Venetian birth, his paintings have a linear Umbrian quality. Crivelli is a painter of marked individuality, hard in form, crudely definite in contour; stern, and sometimes admitting into his pictures objects actually raised in surface; distinct and warm in color. His pictures gain by being seen in half-light, and at some little distance. Few artists seem to have worked with more uniformity of purpose, or more forthright command of his materials, so far as they go. [...] --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlo_Crivelli [Feb 2006]

See also: Madonna - child - Renaissance - Italian art - 1400s

2006, Feb 12; 16:03 ::: Salmacis and Hermaphroditus (c. 1585) - Bartholomeus Spranger

Salmacis and Hermaphroditus (c. 1585) - Bartholomeus Spranger

The Flemish painter, draughtsman and etcher Bartholomeus Spranger was born in Antwerp in 1546. In 1565, after finishing his studies he travelled to Paris by way of Italy. There he worked on wall paintings in various churches. In Rome he was appointed court painter by the Pope in 1570. He acquired fame with his elegant Mannerist paintings of nudes in all kinds of complex poses. In 1581 he was appointed to the Prague court. Through his intensive contacts with artists of the Haarlem academy, he formed an important link in the spread of Mannerism. His work became known in Northern Europe through the engravings Hendrick Goltzius made of his paintings. --http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/aria/aria_artists/00017009?lang=en [Feb 2006]

See also: hybrid - intersexuality - 1500s - Mannerism - Flanders - Belgian visual artists

2006, Feb 12; 16:03 ::: Decadents, Symbolists, & Aesthetes in America: Fin-De-Siecle American Poetry : An Anthology (2000) - Edward Foster (Editor)

Decadents, Symbolists, & Aesthetes in America: Fin-De-Siecle American Poetry : An Anthology (2000) - Edward Foster (Editor) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See also: poetry - fin de siècle - USA - aesthetic movement - symbolism (art movement) - decadence (art movement)

2006, Feb 12; 16:03 ::: Hope (1872) - Pierre Puvis de Chavannes

Hope (1872) - Pierre Puvis de Chavannes

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, (December 14, 1824 – October 24, 1898) was a French painter.

He was born Pierre Cécile Puvis de Chavannes in Lyon, Rhône, France.

In 1844 he went to Paris, where he studied under Eugène Delacroix and Thomas Couture. It was not until a number of years later when the government of France acquired one of his works that he gained any sort of wide recognition. Although he studied with some of the romanticists, his work is seen as symbolist in nature and he is credited with influencing an entire generation. In turn, one of his proteges was Georges de Feure.

In Montmartre, he had an affair with one of his models, Suzanne Valadon, who would become one of the leading female artists of the day.

He is noted for painting murals, several of which can be seen at the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) in Paris and Poitiers, the Sorbonne, and the Paris Panthéon, as well as in the United States at the Boston, Massachusetts Public Library. His easel paintings can be found in many American and European galleries. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre Puvis de Chavannes [Jan 2006]

See also: erotic art - female nude - 1872 - symbolism (art movement) - decadence (art movement)

2006, Feb 12; 16:03 ::: Gorgon and the Heroes (1897) - Giulio Aristide Sartorio

Gorgon and the Heroes (1897) - Giulio Aristide Sartorio
Image sourced here.

Giulio Aristide Sartorio, Italian painter, was born and died in Rome in 1860-1932. His most famous works are: Diana of Ephes and the slaves, and Gorgon and the Heroes (1895-99, Rome, Gall.Naz.d'Arte Mod.); an encaustic frieze in the Parliament Chamber (Palazzo di Montecitorio, Rome, 1908-1911). He also collaborated with D'Annunzio in a magazine "The Banquet" (1895-98). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giulio Aristide Sartorio [Jan 2006]

See also: hero - Gorgon - 1897 - Gabriele D'Annunzio - decadence (art movement) - symbolism (art movement) - Italian art

2006, Feb 12; 13:03 ::: Five Faces of Modernity (1987) - Matei Calinescu

Five Faces of Modernity (1987) - Matei Calinescu [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

First sentence:
"It is always hard to date with precision the appearance of a concept, and all the more so when the concept under scrutiny has been throughout its history as controversial and complex as "modernity." " (more)

Matei Calinescu (born 1934) is a Romanian literary critic and professor of comparative literature at the Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, United States of America. In 2003 he returned to Romania. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matei_C%C4%83linescu [Jan 2006]

See also: modernity - Modernism - avant-garde - decadence - kitsch - Postmodernism

2006, Feb 11; 12:03 ::: Eros Modern Style (1964) - Patrick Waldberg

Eros Modern Style (1964) - Patrick Waldberg [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Bibliothéque Internationale d'Érotologie N 14; 236 pgs; illus. endpapers; b/w illus. Profusely illustrated in b&w. Text in French. Overview of the erotic in fine and graphic art from the 19th and early 20th century.
Publisher: Pauvert (January 1, 1964)


Dreamers of Decadence: Symbolist Painters of the 1890s (1969) - Philippe Jullian [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See also: Jean-Jacques Pauvert - 1964 - erotic art

2006, Feb 09; 20:03 ::: The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962) - Joseph Green

The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962) - Joseph Green

The Brain That Wouldn't Die (also known as The Head That Wouldn't Die), a 1962 horror B-movie directed by Joseph Green, is not only considered a cult classic, but is considered by many to be among the worst movies ever made. Internet Movie Database users briefly rated it as the 76th worst movie of all time. In October 1993, The Brain That Wouldn't Die was featured as an episode of television show Mystery Science Theater 3000, which mocks such films.

The Brain That Wouldn't Die was also featured in the Steve Martin comedy The Man With Two Brains, along with Donovan's Brain.

Plot outline
Dr. Bill Cortner is a successful scientist, and has a beautiful fiancée named Jan Compton. But after a horrible car accident that decapitates Jan, Dr. Cortner rushes to his laboratory where he revives the severed head, and manages to save his fiancée from death.

Dr. Cortner begins the search for a new body to attach to his fiancée's head, but isn't aware of his fiancée's contempt for him. By not allowing her to die peacefully, she becomes bitter, and communicates with the mutant in the laboratory cell to kill her fiancé.

The movie title The Head That Wouldn't Die is visible at the end of the credits in some versions of the movie. This title makes more sense as during the film the whole head "doesn't die", not just the brain. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Brain That Wouldn't Die [Feb 2006]

See also: 1962 - brain - head - severed head - horror film - American film

2006, Feb 09; 20:03 ::: Dorothy True (1919) - Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz helped fine art photography and documentary photography to become accepted in the art world and the gallery system. He was the first to recognize the photographic potential of isolated parts of the human body.

Dorothy True (1919) - Alfred Stieglitz
Image sourced here.

Alfred Stieglitz (January 1, 1864 – July 13, 1946) was an American-born photographer who was instrumental over his fifty-year career in making photography an acceptable art form alongside painting and sculpture. Many of his photographs are known for appearing like those other art forms, and he is also known for his marriage to painter Georgia O'Keeffe.

[...] Throughout his life, Stieglitz was infatuated with younger women. He married Emmeline Obermeyer in 1893, after he returned to New York, and they had one child, Kitty, in 1898. Allowances from Emmeline's father and his own enabled Stieglitz to not have to work for a living.

[...] From 1905 to 1917, Stieglitz managed the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession at 291 Fifth Avenue (which came to be known as the 291). In 1910, Stieglitz was invited to organize a show at Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery that set attendance records. He was insistent that "photographs look like photographs," so that their realism would allow painting to become more abstract. This shift to abstract art mystified Camera Work subscribers and the viewing public.

Stieglitz divorced his wife Emmeline in 1918, soon after she threw him out of their house when she came home and found him photographing Georgia O'Keeffe, whom he moved in with shortly thereafter. They married in 1924 and were both successful, he in photography (he would take hundreds of pictures of her throughout his life), she as an artist who had received notoriety from Stieglitz at the 291 years before. However, their marriage became strained as she had to care more for Stieglitz's health due to a prevailing heart condition and his hypochondria. By the 1930s, she would spend six months out of the year away from him in New Mexico.

Dorothy Norman () - Alfred Stieglitz
Photography sourced here.

In the 1930s, Stieglitz took a series of photographs, some nude, of heiress Dorothy Norman, who became in O'Keeffe's mind a serious rival for Stieglitz's affections. Both these photos and those of O'Keeffe are often recognized as the first photographs to recognize the potential of isolated parts of the human body. In these years, he also presided over two non-commercial New York City galleries, The Intimate Gallery and An American Place.

Stieglitz's camera work ended in 1937 due to heart disease. Over the last ten years of his life, he summered at Lake George, New York and worked in a shed he had converted into a darkroom and wintered with O'Keeffe in Manhattan's Shelton, the first skyscraper hotel in that city. He died in 1946 at 82, still a staunch supporter of O'Keeffe, and she of him. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred Stieglitz [Feb 2006]

See also: 1919 - photography - art photography - USA

2006, Feb 09; 19:03 ::: Paik Nam-june (1932 - 2006)

"Art is just fraud. You just have to do something nobody else has done before" --Paik Nam-june

Exposition of Music - Electronic Television (1963) - Nam June Paik
Photograph: Manfred Montwé
Image sourced here.

Paik Nam-june (July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a South Korean-born American artist, particularly noted for his video art.

Paik studied music history, art history, and philosophy at the University of Tokyo, where he graduated with a dissertation on Arnold Schoenberg. He went to Germany in 1956 to continue the study of music history at the University of Munich. In Germany he met composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage, who inspired Paik to go into electronic art. Paik worked with Stockhausen in a studio for Electronic Music. He also became involved with the post neo-Dada art movement Fluxus, founded by George Maciunas. He was a frequent collaborator with cellist Charlotte Moorman.

He began working with modified television sets in 1963 and bought his first video camera in 1965, returning to Japan to conduct experiments with electromagnets and color television alongside electronic engineer Shuya Abe. With Abe he constructed his first video synthesizer while artist-in-residence at WGBH, the Boston public broadcaster. He was known for using rapid cuts and fast motion in his videos. He also claimed to have coined the term "information superhighway" in a paper written in 1974.

He will be remembered as a founding father of video art and will continue to influence the younger generation of artists. A space rock unit known as Paik is named in his honour.

"Art is just fraud. You just have to do something nobody else has done before", he famously declared during an interview with a Korean newspaper, and this has now become a popular quote.

He died on January 29, 2006, at his apartment in Miami, Florida, of natural causes. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nam_June_Paik [Feb 2006]

See also: 1963 - video art - modern art

2006, Feb 09; 08:03 ::: Not everyone understands house music

"Not everyone understands House music; it's a spiritual thing; a body thing; a soul thing." --Eddie Amador, 1997

See also: house music - body music

Sampled from: "Together Forever" (1982)

2006, Feb 08; 21:03 ::: Love, only love that you are, carnal love

In search of a definition of l'amour fou.

Thus Breton's hymn to the glory of Melusina, in Arcanum 17, betokens an abandonment of the love celebrated in L'Amour fou:

Love, only love that you are, carnal love, I adore, I have never ceased to adore, your lethal shadow, your mortal shadow. A day will come when man will be able to recognize you for his only master, honoring you even in the mysterious perversions you surround him with.
--via http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/postsi/cavalier06.html [Feb 2006]

See also: passion - carnal - irrational - love

2006, Feb 08; 21:03 ::: Toward the Poetics of Surrealism (1976) - J. H. Matthews

In search of a definition of l'amour fou.

Toward the Poetics of Surrealism (1976) - J. H. Matthews [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

JH Matthews defines amour fou as passion ‘undisciplined by reason, expressive of irrational impulses and therefore assertive of freedom': see his Toward the Poetics of Surrealism, Syracuse, New York. Syracuse University Press, 1976, p. 169.

See also: passion - Surrealism - irrational - poetics

2006, Feb 08; 21:03 ::: The Gorgon's Gaze : German Cinema, Expressionism, and the Image of Horror (1991) - Paul Coates

In search of a definition of l'amour fou.

The Gorgon's Gaze : German Cinema, Expressionism, and the Image of Horror (1991) - Paul Coates [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
This interdisciplinary study of recurrent themes in German cinema as it has developed since the early twentieth century focuses on pertinent films of the pre- and post-World War II eras. The author explores the nature of expressionism, which is generally agreed to have ended with the advent of sound, and its persistence in the styles of such modern masters of film noir as Orson Welles and Ingmar Bergman. In considering the possibility of homologies between the necessary silence of pre-sound cinema and the widespread modernist aspiration to an aesthetic of silence, Coates relates theories of the sublime, the uncanny, and the monstrous to his subject. He also reflects upon problems of representability and the morality of representation of events that took place during the Nazi era. --from the publisher

See also: Gorgon - gaze - German cinema - German expressionist film - horror film

2006, Feb 08; 21:03 ::: Automatic Woman: The Representation of Woman in Surrealism (1997) - Katharine Conley

In search of a definition of l'amour fou.

Automatic Woman: The Representation of Woman in Surrealism (1997) - Katharine Conley [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Contemporary feminist critics have often described Surrealism as a misogynist movement. In "Automatic Woman", Katharine Conley addresses this issue, confirming some feminist allegations while qualifying and overturning others. Through insightful analyses of works by a range of writers and artists, Conley develops a complex view of Surrealist portrayals of woman. Conley begins with a discussion of the composite image of woman developed by such early male Surrealists as Andre Breton, Francis Picabia, and Paul Eluard. She labels that image "Automatic Woman" - a term that comprises views of woman as provocative and revolutionary but also as a depersonalized object largely devoid of individuality and volition. This analysis largely confirms feminist critiques of Surrealism. The heart of the book, however, examines the writings of Leonora Carrington and Unica Zurn, two women in the Surrealist movement whose works, Conley argues, anticipate much contemporary feminist art and theory. In conclusion, Conley shows how Breton's own views on women evolved in the course of his long career, arriving at last at a position far more congenial to contemporary feminists. "Automatic Woman" is distinguished by Katharine Conley's judicious understanding of how women - and the image of woman - figured in Surrealism. The book is an important contemporary account of a cultural movement that continues to fascinate, influence, and provoke us. Katharine Conley is an assistant professor of French at Dartmouth College. --from the publisher

See also: women - representation - Surrealism

2006, Feb 07; 21:03 ::: Visions of Light:Art of Cinematograph (1992) - Todd McCarthy, Stuart Samuels

Visions of Light:Art of Cinematograph (1992) - Todd McCarthy, Stuart Samuels [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Visions of Light is a documentary about the art of cinematography from 1992. Many film makers appear in the film including Robert Wise, László Kovács and James Wong Howe.

The film documentary features clips from the following films:

* Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1895) * Repas de bébé (1895) * L' Arrivée d'un train à la Ciotat (1895) * The Kiss (1896) * Spectre rouge, Le (1907) * The Birth of a Nation (1915) * Intolerance: Love's Struggle Through the Ages (1916) * Kabinett des Doktor Caligari, Das (1920) * Way Down East (1920) * Letzte Mann, Der (1924) * Ben-Hur (1925) * Napoléon (1927) * Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) * The Crowd (1928) * The Cameraman (1928) * The Cocoanuts (1929) * Applause (1929) * The Locked Door (1929) * Possessed (1931) * Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) * Shanghai Express (1932) * As You Desire Me (1932) * What Price Hollywood? (1932) * Red Dust (1932) * Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) * Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) * Queen Christina (1933) * Becky Sharp (1935) * Peter Ibbetson (1935) * Desire (1936) * Camille (1936) * Jezebel (1938) * The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) * Midnight (1939) * The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939) * The Wizard of Oz (1939) * Gone with the Wind (1939) * The Grapes of Wrath (1940) * Rebecca (1940) * The Sea Hawk (1940) * The Long Voyage Home (1940) * Citizen Kane (1941) * How Green Was My Valley (1941) * The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) * Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) * Mildred Pierce (1945) * The Killers (1946) * Out of the Past (1947) * T-Men (1947) * The Naked City (1948) * Oliver Twist (1948) * She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) * Young Man with a Horn (1950) * Sunset Boulevard (1950) * The Big Combo (1955) * The Night of the Hunter (1955) * Picnic (1955) * Sweet Smell of Success (1957) * Touch of Evil (1958) * Jules et Jim (1962) * Lawrence of Arabia (1962) * Hud (1963) * Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) * The Professionals (1966) * Cool Hand Luke (1967) * In Cold Blood (1967) * The Graduate (1967) * 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) * Rosemary's Baby (1968) * Easy Rider (1969) * Midnight Cowboy (1969) * Il Conformista (1970) * McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) * The French Connection (1971) * The Godfather (1972) * Fat City (1972) * Chinatown (1974) * The Godfather Part II (1974) * The Day of the Locust (1975) * Jaws (1975) * Dog Day Afternoon (1975) * Taxi Driver (1976) * Eraserhead (1977) * Annie Hall (1977) * Days of Heaven (1978) * Apocalypse Now (1979) * Raging Bull (1980) * E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) * Blade Runner (1982) * Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) * Blue Velvet (1986) * The Last Emperor (1987) * Empire of the Sun (1987) * The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) * The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) * Making Do the Right Thing (1989) (TV) * Do the Right Thing (1989) * Goodfellas (1990)
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visions_of_Light [Feb 2006]

Cinematography literally means "writing in the movement", and is the discipline of making lighting and camera choices when recording photographic images for the cinema. It is closely related to the art of still photography, though many additional issues arise when both the camera and elements of the scene are in motion. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinematography [Feb 2006]

See also: film - documentary film - photography

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