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2006, Jan 08; 16:07 ::: The Manuscript Found in Saragossa (1797) - Jan Potocki

The Manuscript Found in Saragossa (1797) - Jan Potocki [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The Manuscript Found in Saragossa (original French title Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse, also known in English as Saragossa Manuscript), by the Polish author Jan Potocki (1761-1815), is a frame tale novel from the period of the Napoleonic Wars. The novel was adapted as a Polish-language film by the director Wojciech Has in 1965 and later as a Romanian-language play, Saragosa, 66 de Zile (Saragossa, 66 Days) written and directed by Alexandru Dabija.

The Manuscript Found in Saragossa collects the intertwining stories, all of them set in whole or in part in Spain, with a large and colorful cast of gypsies, thieves, inquisitors, a cabbalist, a geometer, the cabbalist's beautiful sister, two Moorish princesses (Emina and Zibelda), and others that the brave, perhaps foolhardy, Walloon Guard Alphonse van Worden meets, imagines, or reads about in the Sierra Morena mountains of 18th century Spain while en route to Madrid. Recounted to the narrator over the course of sixty-six days, the novel's stories quickly overshadow van Worden's frame story, and the bulk of the novel's stories revolve around the gypsy chief Avadoro, whose story becomes a frame story itself; eventually the narrative focus moves again towards van Worden's frame story and a conspiracy involving an underground — or perhaps entirely hallucinated — Muslim society, revealing the connections and correspondences between the hundred or so stories told over the novel's sixty-six days.

The stories cover a wide range of genres and subjects, including the gothic, the picaresque, the erotic, the historical, the moral, and the philosophic; and as a whole the novel reflects Potocki's far-reaching interests, but especially his deep fascination with secret societies, the supernatural, and so-called Oriental cultures. The stories-within-stories of the novel sometimes reach several levels of depth, and characters and themes — a few prominent themes being honor, disguise, metamorphosis, and conspiracy — recur and change shape throughout. Because of this rich interlocking structure, the novel has drawn favorable comparisons to such celebrated works as the Decameron and the Arabian Nights. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manuscript_Found_in_Saragossa [Jan 2006]

See also: 1790s - fantastique - supernatural - orientalism - fantastic literature - Poland

2006, Jan 08; 16:07 ::: The Devil in Love (1772) - Jaques Cazotte

The Devil in Love (1772) - Jaques Cazotte [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Jacques Cazotte (October 17, 1719 – August 25, 1792), was a French author. The most popular of his works was the Diable amoureux (1772), a fantastic tale in which the hero raises the devil. The value of the story lies in the picturesque setting, and the skill with which its details are carried out. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Cazotte [Jan 2006]

See also: 1770s - fantastique - devil - love - fantastic literature - French literature

2006, Jan 08; 15:07 ::: A Rhetoric of the Unreal : Studies in Narrative and Structure, Especially of the Fantastic (1981) - Christine Brooke-Rose

A Rhetoric of the Unreal : Studies in Narrative and Structure, Especially of the Fantastic (1981) - Christine Brooke-Rose [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

2006, Jan 08; 15:07 ::: Literary Fantastic from Gothic to Postmodernism (1990) - Neil Cornwell

Literary Fantastic from Gothic to Postmodernism (1990) - Neil Cornwell [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Authors of works classed as fantastique

Honoré de Balzac * Robert Bloch * Petrus Borel * Dino Buzzati * Jacques Cazotte * August Derleth * David Farland * Claude Farrère * Théophile Gautier * Robert Erwin Howard * Stephen King * Dean Koontz * Fritz Leiber * Howard Phillips Lovecraft * Arthur Machen * Richard Matheson * Guy de Maupassant * Prosper Mérimée * Haruki Murakami * Michael Moorcock * Gérard de Nerval * Charles Nodier * Thomas Owen * Edgar Allan Poe * Jan Potocki * Jean Ray * Maurice Renard * Anne Rice * Claude Seignolle * Bram Stoker * Theodore Sturgeon * John Ronald Reuel Tolkien * Jules Verne * Mathias Villiers de l'Isle-Adam * Roger Zelazny
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantastique [Jan 2006]

See also: 1990 - fantastique - Gothic novel - literature - fantastic literature - postmodern novel

2006, Jan 08; 10:07 ::: Melmoth the Wanderer (1820) Charles Robert Maturin

Melmoth the Wanderer (1820) Charles Robert Maturin [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Melmoth the Wanderer is a gothic novel published in 1820, written by Charles Robert Maturin.

The central character, John Melmoth (a Wandering Jew archetype), is a scholar who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for 100 extra years of life and spends that time searching for someone who will take over the pact for him; the novel actually takes place in the present, but this backstory is revealed through several nested stories-within-a-story which work backwards through time (usually through the Gothic trope of old books.).

The main character's name has been taken up by other writers, serving as a pseudonym for Oscar Wilde in his self-imposed exile on the continent after his release from Reading Gaol. Aleksandr Pushkin suggests in passing that the hero of his famous novel in verse Eugene Onegin might assume the role of a Melmoth. The name also served as inspiration for Anne Rice's novel, Memnoch the Devil. Balzac wrote Melmoth Reconciled. The sixth story arc of Dave Sim' comic opus Cerebus, which was later collected in to the sixth graphic novel of the series, is titled "Melmoth", and is a fictionalized retelling of the last days of Oscar Wilde.

In Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita, Humbert Humbert drives a Melmoth car. Near the conclusion, he refers to it by name: "Hi, Melmoth, thanks a lot, old fellow". As explained in Alfred Appel's Annotated Lolita, the name is appropriate for the vehicle in which Humbert and Lolita wander across the United States—and for the connotations it evokes through association with Oscar Wilde and possibly Pushkin. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melmoth_the_Wanderer [Jan 2006]

Balzac and the fantastic
Many of Balzac's shorter works have elements taken from the popular "roman noir" or gothic novel, but often the fantastic elements are used for very different purposes in Balzac's work.

His use of the magical ass' skin in "La peau de chagrin" for example becomes a metaphor for diminished male potency and a key symbol of Balzac's conception of energy and will in the modern world.

In a similar way, Balzac undermines the character of Melmoth the Wanderer in his "Melmoth Reconciled": Balzac takes a character from a fantastic novel (by Charles Robert Maturin) who has sold his soul for power and long life and has him sell his own power to another man in Paris... this man then sells this gift in turn and very quickly the infernal power is traded from person to person in the Parisian stock exchange until it loses any of its original power. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Com%C3%A9die_humaine [Jan 2006]

See also: Gothic novel - literature - 1820s - fantastic literature - British literature

2006, Jan 08; 10:07 ::: Umberto D. (1955) - Vittorio De Sica

Umberto D. (1955) - Vittorio De Sica [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The last film in the Italian neorealist tradition.

See also: Italian cinema - Italian neorealism - 1955 - European cinema

2006, Jan 08; 10:07 ::: From the Earth to the Moon (1865) - Jules Verne

From the Earth to the Moon (1865) - Jules Verne

A copy of an engraving for the 1872 edition of Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon

See also: Jules Verne - science fiction - 1865 - French literature

2006, Jan 08; 10:07 ::: Maniac (1934) - Dwain Esper

Maniac (1934) - Dwain Esper [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Maniac (1934 film)

Maniac (alternative title Sex Maniac) is a 1934 black and white exploitation/horror film written by Hildegarde Stadie and directed by Dwain Esper. The film, a loose adaptation of the Edgar Allan Poe story "The Black Cat", tells the tell of a former vaudeville actor working with a mad scientest who attempts to bring life to the dead. The actor kills the doctor, and, in an effort to hide his crime, "becomes" the doctor, taking over his work, dressed like him, and wearing his beard, slowly going insane.

The film is in the public domain. A restored version was made avalible in 1999, as part of a double feature with another Dwain Esper film, Narcotic (1933). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maniac_%281934_film%29 [Jan 2006]

Dwain Esper (October 7, 1892—October 18, 1982) is a director and producer of exploitation films (some of which were written by Esper's wife, Hildegarde Stadie). He is considered to be one of the worst directors of all time, and his films have become cult classics for being so notoriously bad. Some view his work as being unintentionally funny. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwain_Esper [Jan 2006]

See also: Dwain Esper - maniac - exploitation film - 1934 - American exploitation

2006, Jan 07; 23:07 ::: The Colossus (c. 1810-12) - Francisco de Goya

The Colossus (c. 1810-12) - Francisco de Goya

See also: Goya - 1810s - Spain

2006, Jan 07; 23:07 ::: Scène du Déluge (1806) - Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson

Scène du Déluge (1806) - Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson (also given as Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy-Triosson, Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson) January 5, 1767 - December 9, 1824), French painter, was born at Montargis. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne-Louis_Girodet-Trioson [Jan 2006]

See also: 1810s - French art

2006, Jan 07; 23:07 ::: Judgment of Paris (1518) - Niklaus Manuel

Judgment of Paris (1518) - Niklaus Manuel

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niklaus Manuel [Jan 2006]

See also: 1500s - fantastic art - Northern Renaissance

2006, Jan 07; 23:07 ::: Death and Woman (1517) - Hans Baldung Grien

Death and Woman (1517) - Hans Baldung Grien

See also: 1500s - Grien - death - fantastic art - Northern Renaissance

2006, Jan 07; 22:07 ::: Saint Anthony by Callot

Temptation of Saint Anthony (1630) Jacques Callot

Temptation of Saint Anthony (1630) Jacques Callot
Image sourced here.

See also: 1600s - Jacques Callot - Anthony

2006, Jan 07; 21:07 ::: Films styled by Hubert de Givenchy

Bonjour Tristesse (1958) Otto Preminger
Image sourced here.

Filmography as: Costume Designer, Actor

    1. (7.99) - Charade (1963)
    2. (7.70) - Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
    3. (7.69) - Sabrina (1954)
    4. (7.29) - How to Steal a Million (1966)
    5. (7.28) - Love in the Afternoon (1957)
    6. (7.09) - Funny Face (1957)
    7. (6.54) - Bonjour tristesse (1958)
    8. (6.35) - The V.I.P.s (1963)
    9. (6.32) - Once More, with Feeling! (1960)
    10. (5.97) - Love Among Thieves (1987) (TV)
    11. (5.77) - Paris - When It Sizzles (1964)

Hubert de Givenchy (born February 21, 1927) is a French fashion designer who founded the The House of Givenchy in 1952. He is famous for designing all of Audrey Hepburn's clothing and costumes and also working for Jacqueline Kennedy. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubert_de_Givenchy [Jan 2006]

See also: 1952 - fashion - film

2006, Jan 07; 21:07 ::: Victor Hugo

Novelist, poet, playwright, dramatist, essayist and statesman, Victor-Marie Hugo (February 26, 1802–May 22, 1885) is recognized as one of the most influential French Romantic writers of the 19th century. His most well-known works are the novels Les Misérables (1862) and Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame) (1831). Though conservative in his youth, he later became a passionate supporter of republicanism, and his work touches upon many of the major political and social issues and artistic trends of his time. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Hugo [Jan 2006]

illustration to Les Misérables (1862) - Victor Hugo
Who is this illustration by, please mail me if you know.

Les Misérables (lit. The Miserable Ones, The Victims) (1862) is a novel by French novelist Victor Hugo. Among the most well known novels of the 19th century, it follows the lives and interactions of several French characters over a twenty year period in the early 19th Century that includes the Napoleonic wars and subsequent decades. Principally focusing on the struggles of the protagonist—ex-convict Jean Valjean—to redeem himself through good works, the novel examines the impact of Valjean's actions as social commentary. It examines the nature of good, evil, and the law, in a sweeping story that expounds upon the history of France, architecture of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, law, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love.

Les Misérables is known to many through its numerous stage and screen adaptations, of which the most famous is the stage musical of the same name, commonly known as "Les Miz (pronounced 'Lay-Miz')." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Mis%C3%A9rables [Jan 2006]

Gargoyle on the Cathedral de Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (in French, Notre-Dame de Paris) is a novel first published in 1831 by the French literary giant Victor Hugo.

The enormous popularity of the novel in France spurred the nascent historical preservation movement in that country and strongly encouraged Gothic revival architecture. Ultimately it helped to preserve Notre Dame Cathedral, where much of the story is based, in its original state. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hunchback_of_Notre Dame [Jan 2006]

Many film adaptations of the novel have simplified the thematic and historical concerns greatly, leading to the most important theme being the mistreatment of Quasimodo for his ugliness, and the moral that one shouldn't judge people by their looks. However, this is a very small part of Hugo's novel (especially as Quasimodo is much less sympathetic than he is in many film adaptations). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hunchback_of_Notre Dame [Jan 2006]

Esmeralda (damsel in distress) is sentenced to die, but is rescued by Quasimodo and escapes to the Cathedral, where she takes refuge. Quasimodo gives his life in saving Esmeralda. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hunchback_of_Notre_Dame_%281923_film%29 [Jan 2006]

Some of his novels were banned by the Index Librorum Prohibitorum

See also: 1800s literature - French literature - Romanticism - 1830s - 1862

2006, Jan 07; 20:07 ::: Letter from an Unknown Woman () - Stefan Zweig

Letter from an Unknown Woman () - Stefan Zweig [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Elvis Presley
Priscilla [Presley] recounts (p.158) Elvis liked old movie classics revolving around family or struggles to survive in the world such as Les Miserables, Wuthering Heights, It's a Wonderful Life, Mr. Skeffington, Miracle on 34th Street, Letter from an Unknown Woman and his favorite, The Way of All Flesh the story of a self-sacrificing father, his wife and children. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_and_Me [Jan 2006]

See also: Stefan Zweig - Vienna - Austria - 1948 - Max Ophuls

2006, Jan 07; 20:07 ::: Angst

La Paura (1954) - Roberto Rossellini
Image sourced here.

Stefan Zweig (November 28, 1881 – February 22, 1942) was an Austrian writer. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan_Zweig [Jan 2006]

Based on a German 1920 novel by Stefan Zweig entitled Angst, no English translation available. It is the story of Irene, and her fears and anxieties caused by her adulterous relationship. Many of Zweig's novels have been the basis of films, Letter from an Unknown Woman three times. The Confusion: The Private Papers of Privy Councillor R. Von D was also about adultery.

What motivates a horror writer to write horror stories. Does he want to scare an imagined audience or does he try to scare himself?

See also: Stefan Zweig - adultery - Austria - angst - feeling - emotion - 1920 - 1954 - Roberto Rossellini

2006, Jan 07; 19:07 ::: Gothic art

Gothic art was a Medieval art movement that lasted about 300 years. It began in France out of the Romanesque period in the mid-12th century concurrent with Gothic architecture in Cathedrals; by the late 14th century it had evolved towards a more secular and natural style known as International Gothic, which continued until the late 15th century evolving into the Renaissance. The primary Gothic art mediums were sculpture, panel painting, stained glass, frescos and illuminated manuscripts.

Gothic art told a narrative story through pictures, both Christian and secular.

Painting in a style that can be called "Gothic" did not appear until about 1200, or nearly 50 years after the start of Gothic architecture and sculpture. The transition from Romanesque to Gothic is very imprecise and not at all a clear break, but we can see the beginnings of a style that is more somber, dark and emotional than the previous period. This transition occurs first in England and France around 1200, in Germany around 1220 and Italy around 1300.

Painting (the representation of images on a surface) during the Gothic period was practiced in 4 primary crafts: frescos, panel paintings, manuscript illumination and stained glass. Frescoes continued to be used as the main pictorial narrative craft on church walls in southern Europe as a continuation of early Christian and Romanesque traditions. In the north stained glass was the art of choice until the 15th century. Panel paintings began in Italy in the 13th century and spread throughout Europe, so by the 15th century they had become the dominate form supplanting even stained glass. Illuminated manuscripts represent the most complete record of Gothic painting, providing a record of styles in places where no monumental works have otherwise survived. Painting with oil on canvas does not become popular until the 15th and 16th centuries and was a hallmark of Renaissance art. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_art [Jan 2006]

See also: Middle Ages - Gothic - 1100s - 1200s - 1300s - 1400s - art

2006, Jan 07; 18:07 ::: Triptych of Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation (c.1485) - Hans Memling

Triptych of Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation (front) (c.1485) Oil on oak panel, 22 x 15 cm (each wing) Musée des Beaux-Arts, Strasbourg

same, detail of right wing

This triptych contrasts earthly beauty and luxury with the prospect of death and hell. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memento_mori [Jan 2006]

Hans Memling (Memlinc) (c. 1430 - 1494) was a Flemish painter, whose art gave lustre to Bruges in the period of its political and commercial decline. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memling [Jan 2006]

See also: Gothic - Hans Memling - 1400s - art - fantastic art - Northern Renaissance - art horror

2006, Jan 07; 14:07 ::: Golden State News (GSN)

Eyeful, a GSN publication
Image sourced here.

According to writer, historian and antiquarian bookdealer Stephen J. Gertz, Classic Publications was owned by "Jules Griffon" (a pseudonym of Edward S. Sullivan) and their mags were distributed by Joel Warner's Golden State News (GSN). Classic Publications seems to have started in late 1968 when they picked up all of the sexploitation titles from other publishers who were also distributed by GSN, publishers such as Orbit, Utopia, New Link, Spectrum, Cine-Arts, and others sharing the same addresses at overlapping, and different, times.

Classic Publications was an illustrious and prolific publisher of some truly classic adult slicks, as well as the vast majority of the sexploitation film mags from 1969 on. On occasion they tended to lapse into unbridled sexual psychedelia and just plain layout wackiness and they usually utilized cartoony line artwork on the covers around the photos.

Trippy poetry and stories were also included in a lot of their many titles from 1969 and ‘70 and they seemed to be trying to emulate the underground hippie sex tabloids that sprung up in 1969. Ed Wood had worked for GSN in the late ‘60s with Bernie Bloom and went with him when Bloom started to package mags for Michael Thevis's Pendulum. Some of the short stories in these Classic Publication mags, which for the most part went uncredited or were pseudonymous, could have been Wood. Whether or not they were Wood’s writing though is almost a moot point as they were strange in-and-of themselves no matter who wrote them. --Tom Brinkmann via http://www.badmags.com/bmgsnclassic.html [Jan 2006]

Headpress is scheduled to release the badmags.com website as a book early 2006.

See also: sexploitation - magazine - paperback - The Roth Case (1957) - American erotica - American censorship

2006, Jan 06; 11:07 ::: Blonde Woman with Bare Breasts (1878) - Edouard Manet

Blonde Woman with Bare Breasts (1878) - Edouard Manet

See also: 1878 - nude - Manet - breast

2006, Jan 06; 12:07 ::: Venus effect

The Toilet of Venus ('The Rokeby Venus') (1647-51) - Diego Velázquez

The Venus effect is a phenomenon in the psychology of perception. As shown in the illustration the natural assumption is that Venus is admiring her own reflection in the mirror. In fact if the viewer can see her face, then Venus would actually be looking at the viewer's face.

This psychological "trick" is often used in the cinema, where an actor will be shown apparently looking at himself in the mirror, with the camera just out of shot. In fact, the actor will be looking at the camera and just be pretending to see himself in the mirror. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_effect [Jan 2006]

See also: nude - Italian art - bottom

2006, Jan 06; 11:07 ::: Everywhere a teen turns

Everywhere a teen turns, he is assaulted by an avalanche of filth that lurks in many forms --- pornographic movies, obscene novels, indecent plays, lurid magazines, prurient snapshots, seductive television commercials, suggestive song lyrics, immodest dances, salacious paintings, lewd advertisements, coarse poems, smutty radio shows, depraved newspapers, indelicate lithographs, perverse sculptures, shady stories, gross cookbooks, tawdry cocktail napkins, ribald postcards, libertine bumper stickers, provocative buttons, meretricious gestures, licentious operas, pandering food labels, and shameless zoos. --http://www.nationallampoon.com/flashbacks/nancy/nancy.html [Jan 2006]

National Lampoon
National Lampoon is a humor magazine that began in 1970 as an offshoot of the Harvard Lampoon. Harvard graduates and Lampoon alumni Douglas Kenney, Henry Beard, and Rob Hoffman licensed the "Lampoon" name for a national publication.

After a shaky start, the magazine quickly grew in popularity during the 1970s, when it regularly skewered pop culture, the counterculture and politics with recklessness and gleeful bad taste. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Lampoon [Jan 2006]

See also: bad taste - USA

2006, Jan 05; 18:07 ::: The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1878) - Félicien Rops

The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1878) - Félicien Rops

See also: Saint Anthony - Belgium - Félicien Rops - 1878 - art - decadents

2006, Jan 05; 18:07 ::: Fly (1970) - Yoko Ono

Fly (1970) - Yoko Ono

The films of Yoko Ono occupy a unique position in the history of experimental film. Deeply rooted in the radical intermedia practices of the early 1960s American avant-garde, they emerged from the world of art rather than film at a moment when the definitions of both were being strongly called into question. Ono's films are an anomaly. Within the context of art, their firm grounding in the philosophical and aesthetic tenets of Fluxus sets them apart from film produced at the end of the sixties and beginning of the seventies.


  • Bottoms, 1966
  • Smile, 1968
  • Rape, 1969
  • Fly, 1970
  • Erection, 1971
    --http://www.likeyou.com/archives/yoko_ono_sergeziegler_03.htm [Jan 2006]

    See also: Yoko Ono - 1970 - experimental film - USA

    2006, Jan 05; 15:07 ::: The Unknown Masterpiece (1831) - Honoré De Balzac

    The Unknown Masterpiece (1831) - Honoré De Balzac [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Book Description
    One of Honore de Balzac’s most celebrated tales, “The Unknown Masterpiece” is the story of a painter who, depending on one’s perspective, is either an abject failure or a transcendental genius — or both. The story, which has served as an inspiration to artists as various as Cezanne, Henry James, Picasso, and New Wave director Jacques Rivette, is, in critic Dore Ashton’s words, a “fable of modern art.” Published here in a new translation by poet Richard Howard, “The Unknown Masterpiece” appears, as Balzac intended, with “Gambara,” a grotesque and tragic novella about a musician undone by his dreams. "The greatest novelist of the nineteenth century and perhaps of all time." -- The New York Times

    Le Chef d'œuvre inconnu est une nouvelle d'Honoré de Balzac publié en 1831. Il a inspiré au cinéma le film La Belle Noiseuse de Jacques Rivette.

    Incipit : « Vers la fin de l'année 1612, par une froide matinée de décembre, un jeune homme dont le vêtement était de très mince apparence, se promenait devant la porte d'une maison située rue des Grands-Augustins, à Paris. » --http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Chef_d%27%C5%93uvre_inconnu [Jan 2006]

    Honoré de Balzac (May 20, 1799 – August 18, 1850) was a French novelist. Along with Flaubert, he is generally regarded as a founding father of realism in European literature. His large output of novels and stories, collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, is a broad panorama of French society in the first half of the 19th century. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balzac [Jan 2006]

    See also: realism - 1830s - 1800s literature - Honoré de Balzac - French literature

    2006, Jan 05; 14:07 ::: Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972) - Sergio Martino

    Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972) - Sergio Martino [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Sergio Martino (19 July 1938 Rome, Italy) is an Italian film director, notable for his contributions to the giallo genre. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergio_Martino [Jan 2006]

    Product Description:
    Director Sergio Martino and screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi are at it again with YOUR VICE IS A CLOSED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY, a gore-soaked psycho-thriller in the severed vein of their classic gialli STRANGE VICE OF MRS. WARDH, THE CASE OF THE SCORIPION’S TALE, TORSO and ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK.

    Luigi Pistilli (THE GREAT SILENCE, BAY OF BLOOD) is a burned out novelist haunted by the memory of his dead mother and making life miserable for wife Anita Strindberg (THE CASE OF THE SCORPION’S TAIL, A LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN). When the failed writer’s mistress is found slashed to death, the crime initiates a series of bloody slayings that drive the protagonists to the brink of insanity… and murder.

    Edwige Fenech (STRANGE VICE OF MRS. WARDH, SECRETS OF A CALL GIRL) and Ivan Rassimov (DEEP RIVER SAVAGES, EATEN ALIVE) co-star in this atypical country-set giallo, which owes more than a passing debt to Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Black Cat" and anticipates the hyper-stylized madness of Dario Argento’s PROFONDO ROSSO and Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING.

    Photographed in lush widescreen by Giancarlo Ferrando and blessed with a trippy score from Ennio Morricone conductor Bruno Nicolai, YOUR VICE IS A CLOSED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY is rife with essential 70s cinema elements: substance abuse, gratuitous sex, infidelity, incest, hippie love communes, dirtbike racing… and homicidal murder, Italian-style.

    Throw away those grainy, incomplete bootlegs and substandard import DVDs. NoShame Films presents YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED DOOR AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY uncut in a pristine, widescreen, 16x9 presentation re-mastered from the original negative for the first time in America. --via Amazon.com

    Bruno Nicolai
    Bruno Nicolai (1926 - 1991) was an Italian composer of soundtracks for alternative cinema, theatre and TV, formed at Santa Cecilia Conservatory.

    He also conducted many of Ennio Morricone's works along with Nino Rota and Luis Bacalov ones. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_Nicolai [Jan 2006]

    See also: giallo film - Italian cinema - 1972 - Ernesto Gastaldi - Edwige Fenech

    2006, Jan 05; 14:07 ::: Eugene Onegin : A Novel in Verse (1823-1831) - Alexander Pushkin

    Eugene Onegin : A Novel in Verse (1823-1831) - Alexander Pushkin [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Eugene Onegin (Yevgeny Onegin) is a novel in verse written by Aleksandr Pushkin. It is one of the classics of Russian literature and its hero served as the model for a number of Russian literary heroes. It was published in serial form between 1823 and 1831. The first complete edition was published in 1833, and the edition the current accepted version is based on was published in 1837.

    Composition and publication
    As with many other 19th century novels it was written and published serially, with parts of each chapter often appearing published in magazines before the first separate edition of each chapter was first printed. Many changes, some small and some large, were made from the first appearance to the very final edition made in Pushkin's lifetime. The following dates mostly come from Nabokov's study of the photographs of Pushkin's drafts that were then available and his study of other people's work on the subject.

    The first complete edition of the book was published in 1833. Slight corrections were made by Pushkin for the 1837 edition. The standard accepted text is based on the 1837 edition with a few changes due to the Tsar's censorship restored.

    Eugene Onegin, a Russian dandy who is bored with life, inherits a country mansion from his his uncle. When he moves to the country he strikes up an unlikely friendship with the minor poet Vladimir Lensky. One day Lensky takes Onegin to dine with the family of his fiance Olga Larin. At this meeting Olga's bookish and countrified sister, Tanya, falls in love with Onegin. During the night Tanya writes a letter to Onegin professing her love and has it sent to Onegin. While this is something a heroine in one of Tanya's French novels would have done, Russian society would consider it inappropriate for a young, unmarried girl to take the initiative. Contrary to her expectations, Onegin does not reply by letter. The two next meet on his next visit where he rejects her advances in a speech that has been described as reasonable and tactful honesty, and alternately as pompous and blinkered condescension.

    The story is told by an idealised version of Pushkin, who often digresses from the story and while the plot of the novel is quite scant the book is more loved for the telling than what is told. It is partly because of this garrulous narrator that the book has been compared to Tristram Shandy.

    The six main characters are Eugene Onegin, Vladimir Lenski, an idealised Pushkin, Tanya Larina, Olga Larina and Pushkin's Muse.

    One of the main themes of Eugene Onegin is the relation between fiction and real life. As art often imitates life, people too are often shaped by art. The work is hugely allusive to other literary works and most of the main characters have been influenced and had their personalities shaped by (or modelled on) different works of literature. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Onegin [Jan 2006]

    Boredom has been a subject of many classical pieces of Russian literature. For example, Pushkin's Eugene Onegin suffered from boredom.

    Superfluous man
    The Superfluous Man is an 19th Century Russian literary concept. It relates to an individual, possibly of talent and capability, who does not fit into the state-centered pattern of employment. The consequence may be a man who apparently is lazy and ineffectual.

    It was popularized in the books of Ivan Turgenev and books like Ivan Goncharov's Oblomov and Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground. Other, earlier examples of the superfluous man in Russian literature include Alexandr Griboyedov's character Chatsky in the play "Woe from Wit," and the titular character in Alexandr Pushkin's novel in verse Eugene Onegin. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfluous_man [Jan 2006]

    See also: 1800s literature - 1820s - 1830s - poetry - Russian literature

    2006, Jan 05; 13:07 ::: The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy, Gentleman (1760-1770) - Laurence Sterne

    The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy, Gentleman (1760-1770) - Laurence Sterne [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (or, more briefly, Tristram Shandy) is a novel by Laurence Sterne. It was published in nine volumes, the first two appearing in 1760, and seven others following over the next ten years. It was not always highly thought of by other writers (Samuel Johnson responded that, "Nothing odd will do long"), but its bawdy humour was popular with London society. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Life_and_Opinions_of_Tristram_Shandy%2C_Gentleman [Jan 2006]

    A Cock and Bull Story is a 2006 British film directed by Michael Winterbottom. It is an adaptation of the novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne.

    In the United States, the film is being released as Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Cock_and_Bull_Story [Jan 2006]

    See also: 1700s literature - 1760s - metafiction - literature - British literature

    2006, Jan 05; 12:07 ::: On seriousness

    In a culture context, serious means and I quote AHD: Designed for and addressing grave and earnest tastes: serious art; serious music. Most of the time the term is used as a synonym for high art or museum art in the case of the visual arts, and classical music in the context of music.

    Dada - which has been labelled anti-art - was the first cultural movement to challenge the hegemony of serious art. This subversive tradition was continued by surrealism, pop art and postmodernism.

    To illustrate the extent with which serious art has become an accepted term. Do a search for "unserious art" on Google and count the results. I found 34. [Jan 2006]

    See also: serious

    2006, Jan 05; 11:07 ::: LateNightTales: Air (2005) - Various Artists

    What was literature?: Class culture and mass society (1982) - Leslie A Fiedler [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    1. Way To Blue - Nick Drake 2. Out Of Time - Blur 3. Run Run Run - Phoenix 4. California Soul - Marlena Shaw 5. Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell 6. Old Man's Back Again, The - Scott Walker 7. Mongoloid - Devo 8. Tattoo - The Who 9. My Autumns Done Come - Lee Hazlewood 10. It's Different For Girls - Joe Jackson 11. My Women, My Guitars - Cody ChesnuTT 12. A Song For You - Dusty Springfield 13. Pusherman - Curtis Mayfield 14. La Ritournelle - Sébastien Tellier 15. Brass Buttons - Gram Parsons 16. P.L.A. - Robert Wyatt 17. Cousin Jane - The Troggs 18. Pavane Pour Une Infante Défunte - composed by Maurice Ravel, performed by The Cleveland Symphony Orchestra 19. Perfect Day - Lou Reed 20. Maggot Brain (Funkadelic cover) - Air 21. Spoken Word - read by David Shrigley

    Late Night Tales and its predecessor Another Late Night are the names of two related series' of DJ mix albums released on Azuli Records independent record label.

    The tracks on the albums are selected and mixed by a diverse selection of DJs, recording artists, and bands.

    Many of the albums end with a story track, read by famous Brits Brian Blessed, Patrick Moore or David Shrigley.

    14 albums have been released in the series so far, the 15th by Belle & Sebastian due for release in February 2006. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Night_Tales [Jan 2006]

    Azuli Records
    Azuli Records is an independent record label, focussing mainly on House music and other forms of electronic dance music. The label was founded by DJ Dave Piccioni in London, UK in the early 90s.

    Releases include the Late Night Tales / Another Late Night DJ mix albums, and the Choice series. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azuli_Records [Jan 2006]

    See also: DJs - compilation - CDs - Azuli - eclecticism - UK music

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