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Current topics by concept: fantastic - erotica - fiction - genre - history - horror - popular - postmodernism - taste - theory

2006, Jan 28; 00:07 ::: Soul Makossa (1972) - Manu Dibango

Mama-se, mama-sa, mama-coo-sa

I believe this is the cover of the original seven inch release on Fiesta.

Seven inch Fiesta release: http://www.discogs.com/release/554205

Seven inch Atlantic USA release: http://www.discogs.com/release/229577

I am pretty sure I recognized a yet unidentified acid house 303 line in the bass line of "Soul Makossa". If you know, please mail jwgeerinck at hotmail.

See also: 1972 - Soul Makossa - disco - proto-disco

2006, Jan 27; 23:07 ::: Woebot's top 100

Woebot's top 100 graphical display

Popyourfunk brought Woebot's top 100 to my attention and on number 70 is VA: Rare Groove which he calls "The best funk compilation ever. It might appear to be cheesy to have a compilation listed here, not some dusty 7", but take my word for it, this is splendid. In its own way, as a relic of pre-acid London clubbing, it's an historical curio in its own right."

Every entry on the list has a picture, so enjoy them here.

Personally, I am particularly happy with the scan below.

And while were on the subject of lists, I have a top 3 music for 2005: Andy Votel's Folk is not a Four Letter Word and Vertigo Mixed compilations. RVNG PRSNTS MX4: Crazy Rhythms (2005) - Mike Simonetti & Dan Selzer. All listings on the basis of appreciation and number of times listened to. [Jan 2006]

See also: blogging - music - links

2006, Jan 27; 23:07 ::: http://popyourfunk.blogspot.com

Recent music blog discovery is http://popyourfunk.blogspot.com/. The title of the blog is of course a reference to Arthur Russell's eponymous B-side of Loose Joints's "Is It All Over My Face" (1980) on West End Records.

This fine blog offers audio via yousendit and recently it featured machine – there but for the grace of god, a song that has been in some kind of lyrics censorship, where the lyrics "poppin pills and taking speed" are changed into "gaining weight and losing sleep" depending on the version. By the way, "There but ..." is a side project of August Darnell, who is better known as Kid Creole. A perennial favourite. Love that word ... perennial.

See also: blogging - music - links

2006, Jan 27; 23:07 ::: Circassian beauties

In 1856 The New York Daily Times reported that a consequence of the Russian conquest of the Caucasus was a glut of beautiful Circassian women on the Constantinople slave market, and that this was causing prices of slaves in general to plummet. At the time, this region was reputed by less reliable sources to be the source of the purest Caucasian stock, producing the most beautiful white women, prized in Turkish harems.

The combination of the popular issues of slavery, the Orient, and sexual titillation gave this report some notoriety at the time. Circus leader P. T. Barnum capitalized on this interest, displaying a "Circassian Beauty" at his American Museum in 1865. The trend spread, with supposedly Circassian women featured in dime museums and travelling medicine shows, sometimes known as "Moss-haired girls". Most likely these were local girls hired by the shows. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circassian_beauties [Jan 2006]

See also: 1856 - white slavery trope - beauty - orientalism

2006, Jan 27; 23:07 ::: Early beginnings of nude photography

Nude pictures prior to 1835 generally consisted of paintings and drawings. That year, Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre invented the first practical process of photography [2]. Unlike earlier photographs, his daguerreotypes had stunning quality and did not fade with time. The new technology did not go unnoticed by artists eager for new ways to depict the undraped feminine form. In Nude photography, 1840-1920, Peter Marshall notes: "In the prevailing moral climate at the time of the invention of photography, the only officially sanctioned photography of the body was for the production of artist's studies. Many of the surviving examples of Daguerreotypes are clearly not in this genre but have a sensuality that clearly implies they were designed as erotic or pornographic images"[3].

The daguerreotypes were not without drawbacks, however. The main difficulty was that they could only be reproduced by photographing the original picture. In addition, the earliest daguerreotypes had exposure times ranging from three to fifteen minutes, making them somewhat impractical for portraiture. Since one picture could cost a week's salary, the audience for nudes mostly consisted of artists and the upper echelon of society [4]. Nude stereoscopy began in 1838 and became extremely popular. In 1841, William Henry Talbot patented the Calotype process, the first negative-positive process, making possible multiple copies [5]. The technology was immediately employed to reproduce nude portraits. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photography_of_female_nudes_in_the_public_domain#Early_beginnings [Jan 2006]

See also: photography - 1830s - erotic photography

2006, Jan 27; 20:07 ::: Yard (1961) - Allan Kaprow

Yard (1961) - Allan Kaprow
View of tires in court of Martha Jackson Gallery, New York 1961.

See also: art - 1961

2006, Jan 27; 20:07 ::: The End of Art (2004) - Donald Kuspit

The End of Art (2004) - Donald Kuspit [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Donald Kuspit argues here that art is over because it has lost its aesthetic import. Art has been replaced by "postart," a term invented by Alan Kaprow, as a new visual category that elevates the banal over the enigmatic, the scatological over the sacred, cleverness over creativity. Tracing the demise of aesthetic experience to the works and theory of Marcel Duchamp and Barnett Newman, Kuspit argues that devaluation is inseparable from the entropic character of modern art, and that anti-aesthetic postmodern art is in its final state. In contrast to modern art, which expressed the universal human unconscious, postmodern art degenerates into an expression of narrow ideological interests. In reaction to the emptiness and stagnancy of postart, Kuspit signals the aesthetic and human future that lies with the old masters. The End of Art points the way to the future for the visual arts. Donald Kuspit is Professor of Art History at SUNY Stony Brook. A winner of the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism, Professor Kuspit is a Contributing Editor at Artforum, Sculpture and New Art Examiner. His most recent book is The Cult of the Avant-Garde (Cambridge, 1994). --from the publisher

About the Author
Donald Kuspit is one of America's most distinguished art critics. Winner of the prestigious Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism, given by the College Art Association, he is a Contributing Editor to Artforum, Sculpture, New Art Examiner, and Tema Celeste magazines, as well as Editor of Art Criticism. Professor of Art History and Philosophy at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, he also holds honorary degrees from Davidson College, the San Francisco Institute of Arts, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and he has been the A. D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. Dr Kuspit has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Fulbright Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is the author and editor of hundreds of articles and books, most recently The Rebirth of Painting in the Late 20th Century and Psychostrategies of Avant-Garde Art.

See also: art - post-

2006, Jan 27; 20:07 ::: Trajan baths

Unidentified picture of the Trajan Baths, Rome, Italy

Underneath this structure, lies the Nero's Domus Aurea. Quite literally filled with "underground art".

The Baths of Trajan, begun in AD 104, were a massive Roman bathing and leisure complex, built in Rome. Much like the Baths of Titus, those of Trajan covered some of ruined golden palace of Nero (Domus Aurea). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baths_of_Trajan [Jan 2006]

See also: underground - Domus Aurea

2006, Jan 27; 19:07 ::: La Découverte De La Domus Aurea Et La Formation Des Grotesques a La Renaissance (1969) - Nicole Dacos

The Rediscovery of Antiquity: The Role of the Artist (2004) - Various [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Hardcover 203 pages (December 1969)
Publisher: Warburg Institute

The history of Renaissance painters who since the 1480s descended into the buried buildings of Ancient Rome, most notably Nero's Golden House or Domus Aurea.

See also: Renaissance - Antiquity - Domus Aurea

2006, Jan 27; 18:07 ::: The Rediscovery of Antiquity: The Role of the Artist (2004) - Various

The Rediscovery of Antiquity: The Role of the Artist (2004) - Various [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Page 344
13) appear to have been rediscovered by the early 1480s. Visitors were lowered into the rooms through tunnels dug down from the surface of the hill. ...

Many of the Domus Aurea's rooms, and service corridors, were decorated with what we now call Pompeiian fourth-style wall paintings (Segala & Sciortino 1999; ...

The latest volume of "Acta Hyperborea", which appeared in the late fall of 2003, includes articles, which are the revised versions of papers presented at a conference in Copenhagen in September 2001. The participants were classical archaeologists, art historians and artists. The anthology is divided into four main themes: artists use of ancient models; forming ideas and shaping taste; artists and patrons; and, creating collections.

See also: art - Antiquity - Domus Aurea - Fabullus

2006, Jan 27; 18:07 ::: Jonson Versus Bakhtin: Carnival and the Grotesque (2003) - Rocco Coronato

Jonson Versus Bakhtin: Carnival and the Grotesque (2003) - Rocco Coronato [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Ben Jonson has often been accused of needless erudition and of a morose refusal to join in the festive spirit. Further aggravation has come from the application of Bakhtin’s theory of carnival, especially in its posthumous form as a political allegory portraying the clash of high and low cultures. In an attempt to turn the tables on this tradition, Jonson Versus Bakhtin goes back to the sources, arguing that Jonson’s theatre allows for an original interpretation of the grotesque as a formal culture of antithesis and opposition that includes carnival. A robust observer of popular myths of festive liberation by way of a uniquely compendious adaptation of his sources, Jonson’s grotesque uncannily delves deep into the Renaissance theory of the coincidence of opposites as a way of envisaging virtue and other concepts of the mind, rather than serving up a pompous application of moral precepts or offering a political arena for ritual transgression. While richly based on an appropriate repertory of underlying sources, Jonson Versus Bakhtin steers away from any tiresome reference hunting mania, appealing to a broader audience interested in re-appraising Ben Jonson’s genius for richly contrastive imagery, as well as re-considering the relevance of Bakhtin’s theory to Elizabethan and Jacobean drama and to the Renaissance culture of the grotesque. --from the publisher

See also: grotesque - Mikhail Bakhtin - carnival - grotesque literature

2006, Jan 27; 18:07 ::: The grotesque in English literature (1965) - Arthur Clayborough

The grotesque in English literature (1965) - Arthur Clayborough [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

"Grotesqueness may appear in anything which is found to be in sufficiently grave conflict with accepted standards to arouse emotion" (109). --http://www.sebsteph.com/Professional/sebsportfolio/journals/grotesque/grotesquechange.htm [Jan 2006]

See also: grotesque - English literature - grotesque literature

2006, Jan 27; 15:40 ::: Monster movies: a sexual theory

Why is it that the stories which children enjoy are so often full of horrors? . . . It is not surprising that fairy stories should be both erotic and violent, or that they should appeal so powerfully to children. For the archetypal themes with which they deal mirror the contents of the childish psyche; and the same unconscious source gives origin to both the fairy tale and the fantasy life of the child.

--Anthony Storr (quoted in "Monster Movies: A Sexual Theory" by Walter Evans) via http://groovyageofhorror.blogspot.com/2006/01/biancaneve.html [Jan 2006]

"Monster movies: a sexual theory." Journal of Popular Film and Television Vol II nr 4 (Fall 1973); p 353-365.
Explains the popularity of monster movies in terms of adolescent sexual changes.

Anthony Storr, is a psychiatrist and author. Born in 1920 and educated at Winchester, Christ's College, Cambridge, and at Westminster Hospital. He qualified as a doctor in 1944, and subsequently specialised in psychiatry. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Storr [Jan 2006]

See also Robert Darnton on little red riding hood, of which the original version is sexual and horrific, of which I am quoting a bit below. [Jan 2006]

Little Red Riding Hood, version recorded in France c.1885

There was a woman who had made some bread. She said to her daughter: "Go carry this hot load and a bottle of milk to your granny." So the little girl departed. At the crossway she met bzou, the werewolf, who said to her:

"Where are you going?"

"I’m taking this hot loaf and a bottle of milk to my granny."

"What path are you taking," said the werewolf, "the path of needles or the path of pins?" "The path of needles," the little girl said.

"All right, then I’ll take the path of pins."

The little girl entertained herself by gathering needles. Meanwhile the werewolf arrived at the grandmother’s house, killed her, put some of her meat in the cupboard and a bottle of her blood on the shelf. The little girl arrived and knocked at the door.

"Push the door," said the werewolf, "it’s barred by a piece of wet straw."

"Good day, granny, I’ve brought you a hot load of bread and a bottle of milk." "Put it in the cupboard, my child. Take some of the meat which is inside and the bottle of wine on the shelf."

After she had eaten, there was a little cat which said: "Phooey! … A slut is she who eats the flesh and drinks the blood of her granny."

"Undress yourself, my child," the werewolf said, "and come lie down beside me."

"Where should I put my apron?"

"Throw it into the fire, my child, you won’t be needing it anymore."

And each time she asked where she should put all her other clothes, the bodice, the dress, the petticoat, and the long stockings, the wolf responded: "Throw them into the fire, my child, you won’t be needing them any more." When she laid herself down in the bed, the little girl said: "Oh, Granny, how hairy you are!" [ Read the rest of the tale here.

The Story of Grandmother - a text of the story as it was passed down through the oral folk tradition: this version was recorded by Paul Delarue in Nièvre, France, c.1885. via http://www.swan.ac.uk/history/teaching/teaching%20resources/Telling%20Tales/Tales/hood.html [Jan 2006]

See also: fairy tale - monster - sexuality

2006, Jan 27; 12:07 ::: Learning from Las Vegas (1972/1977) - Robert Venturi, Steven Izenour, Denise Scott Brown

Learning from Las Vegas (1972/1977) - Robert Venturi, Steven Izenour, Denise Scott Brown [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Learning from Las Vegas created a healthy controversy on its appearance in 1972, calling for architects to be more receptive to the tastes and values of "common" people and less immodest in their erections of "heroic," self-aggrandizing monuments.

This revision includes the full texts of Part I of the original, on the Las Vegas strip, and Part II, "Ugly and Ordinary Architecture, or the Decorated Shed," a generalization from the findings of the first part on symbolism in architecture and the iconography of urban sprawl. (The final part of the first edition, on the architectural work of the firm Venturi and Rauch, is not included in the revision.) The new paperback edition has a smaller format, fewer pictures, and a considerably lower price than the original. There are an added preface by Scott Brown and a bibliography of writings by the members of Venturi and Rauch and about the firm's work. --from the publisher

Learning from Las Vegas (with D. Scott Brown and S. Izenour), Cambridge MA, 1972, revised 1977.

See also: architecture - postmodern architecture - 1972 - vernacular architecture

2006, Jan 27; 12:07 ::: Secrets of Love: The Erotic Arts Through the Ages (1997) - Nigel Cawthorne

Secrets of Love: The Erotic Arts Through the Ages (1997) - Nigel Cawthorne [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

CAWTHORNE Nigel: 'Secrets of Love. The Erotic Arts Through the Ages', Pavilion Books, London 1997.

Quite an interesting volume, but the title is deceptive in the sense that although there are a number of reproductions of visual art, the bulk of the text are quotes from erotic texts ranging from Ovid's Ars Amatoria to Henry Neville. As such it is recommended for fans of erotic fiction. [Jan 2006]

The people there will tell you I write sex books. It's true. I am certainly most famous for my Sex Lives… series which now reached its dirty dozen with Sex Lives of the Popes, Sex Lives of the US Presidents, Sex Lives of the Great Dictators, Sex Lives of the Hollywood Goddesses, Sex Lives of the Hollywood Idols, Sex Lives of the Great Artists, Sex Lives of the Great Composers, Sex Lives of the Famous Gays, Sex Lives of the Famous Lesbians and Sex Lives of the Roman Emperors. --http://www.nigel-cawthorne.com/ [Jan 2006]

See also: secret - love - erotic fiction - erotic art

2006, Jan 26; 15:07 ::: OK Chicago/Yellow Train (1974) - Resonance

Pierre Bachelet's 1974 ode to blaxploitation, complete with an opening salvo of gun shots, which I believe has been sampled in many a reggae track. The B-side "Yellow Train" is a perennial favourite of American DJs David Mancuso and Danny Krivit.

Pierre Bachelet (May 25, 1944 - February 15, 2005) was a French singer-songwriter with a gentle romantic voice. One of his hit songs was "Ecris-moi". He sang for some movies, for example Emmanuelle.

Japanese pop music dynamo Takako Minekawa is known to be a fan of Bachelet.

Bachelet died at his home after enduring a long illness. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Bachelet [Jan 2006]

Featured on: Shake Sauvage: French Soundtracks, 1968-1973 (2000) - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See also: blaxploitation - French music

2006, Jan 26; 12:07 ::: New essays by Noel O’Shea

Cinematic Moments of the Century

Magic moments meander through celluloid history,
From Melies and Griffith, to the Blair Witch mystery.
Marilyn feels the breeze in The Seven Year Itch,
Cary Grant comes a crop-er - a technical Hitch.
"I'll be back," warns Big Arnie, and we knew it was true,
Moira Shearer dances to her death in The Archers' Red Shoes.
A thrown bone becomes spacecraft in 2001's seamless match-cut,
Mr Orange lies down bleeding, shot in the gut.
Al and Bobby drink coffee and have a nice chat;
Lugosi and Karloff ham it up in The Black Cat.
James Cameron sinks that ship and says he's king of the world,
King Kong's heart stops beating, killed by guns and a girl.
Guitar versus banjo; Voight and Reynolds look on,
Newman shoots Redford - it's The Sting, it's a con.
The credits loom large in Once Upon a Time in the West,
Stan and Ollie wonder who it was created yet another fine mess.
"The Ride of the Valkryies" - it must be Apocalypse Now,
Sharon Stone crosses her legs; the reaction is "wow!"
Brynner meets McQueen, and five more join the group,
The Marx Brothers prove immortal - their best is Duck Soup.
Ethan Edwards stands alone; cinema's greatest loner,
Drew Barrymore's Screaming - some loony's trying to phone her.
While Travis stands taunting in front of the mirror,
Sissy Spacek, as Carrie, is striking ultimate terror.
From the bowels of his mansion Kane whispers "Rosebud",
And Shane rides off into the sunset, this time for good.
Freddy and Jason sharpens their hatchets,
McMurphy, the wacko, squares up to Nurse Ratched.
"By gad, sir, you're a character" - the Fat Man to Sam Spade,
Chrissie Watkins, in Jaws, picks the wrong time to bathe.
Jack wants the waitress to hold onto the chicken,
The Big One goes off, ridden by yee-hawing Slim Pickens.
"Is it safe?" enquires Laurence, of Dustin's Marathon Man,
Kathy Bates certainly isn't, as James Caan's Number One Fan.
"Would you be willin'?" to accept Mel's Scottish burr,
Or go head-to-head on a chariot with Heston's Ben Hur?
Slow-motion gunfights define The Wild Bunch,
Hannibal Lecter, the gourmet, has an old friend for lunch.
Margo Channing advises "it's gonna be a bumpy night,"
The Quiet Man and Red Danaher have one helluva fight.
Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb: two of the Twelve Angry Men,
Dirty Harry does it his way, again and again.
Ghost has some strange happenings with a pottery wheel,
Shirley MacLaine, as Miss Kubelik, shouts, "shut up and deal!”
Brad Pitt asks Morgan Freeman "what's in the box?"
Goldfinger and Oddjob plan on robbing Fort Knox.
Indy cracks his whip in some faraway land;
Lawrence of Arabia is up to his eyeteeth in acres of sand.
Lemmon and Curtis dress up in Some Like It Hot,
Chief Brody, on The Orca, attempts to master that knot.
Woody blows his ass off in The Thin Red Line,
The bourgeoisie, discreetly charming, find it impossible to dine.
Pinocchio gets swallowed by Monstro the whale,
John Houseman, in The Fog, spins his wild tale.
Harry Lime talks profoundly on Borgias and clocks;
Louise Brooks shines ethereal in Pandora's Box --read the rest in this word file

-- Noel O’Shea

Also new by Noel is Music in the Movies (2006)

Try this experiment: watch the shower scene from Psycho (1960) with the sound turned off. Hmm. A couple of goose bumps maybe? The odd hair at the back of the neck reaching skywards, perhaps. Nothing you can't handle, right?

Now replay the scene with Bernard Herrmann's jarring musical accompaniment. How are you feeling now? You feel nauseous, right? You want to rush for the nearest exit, but you cannot move: you're a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck, a mongoose trapped by the gaze of a cobra. Surrender to terror is absolute.

That is the power of music when coupled with startling visual imagery. Many films cannot be conjured up in the mind's eye without a ghostly orchestra piling notes on every image, whether it be the soothing tones of Rachmaninoff, as Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard have their Brief Encounter, or the shrieking violins of Mr Herrmann, when Marion Crane and “Mrs Bates” have their brief encounter.

We all remember Susan Blacklinie's midnight swim that kick-starts Jaws; the shock of her death from below is intensified immeasurably by John Williams' pared-to-the-bone musical score. And can you imagine Peter O'Toole's traversing of the desert landscape in Lawrence of Arabia without Maurice Jarre's stirring notes for company? Perhaps Bride of Frankenstein would still be James Whale's crowning achievement if Franz Waxman's musical supplement was left out, but I seriously doubt it. And any time I think of King Kong's first awe-inspiring appearance - quite often actually - in the 1933 classic, it is impossible for me to remember the images without Max Steiner's stunning music rumbling through my brain. -- Noel O'Shea

Read the rest of this essay in this word file

See also: Noel O'Shea - score - soundtrack - poetry

2006, Jan 26; 12:07 ::: Against Our Will : Men, Women, and Rape (1975) - Susan Brownmiller

Against Our Will : Men, Women, and Rape (1975) - Susan Brownmiller [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

"Pornography, like rape, is a male invention, designed to dehumanize women, to reduce the female to an object of sexual access [...] The staple of porn will always be the naked female body, breasts and genitals exposed, because as man devised it, her naked body is the female's 'shame', her private parts the private property of man, while his are the ancient, holy, universal, patriarchal instrument of his power, his rule by force over her. --Susan Brownmiller, 1975

Dehumanization is a process by which members of a group of people assert the "inferiority" of another group through subtle or overt acts or statements. Dehumanization may be directed by an organization (such as a state) or may be the composite of individual sentiments and actions, as with some types of de facto racism. State-organized dehumanization has been directed against perceived racial or ethnic groups, nationalities (or "foreigners" in general), religious groups, sexes, sexual minorities, disabled people as a class, economic and social classes, and many other groups. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dehumanization [Jan 2006]

Objectification refers to the way in which one person treats another person as an object and not as a human being. This is commonly used to refer to the way the mass media, in particular advertising, is perceived by some as portraying women as sex objects (although this treatment now increasingly also extends to men). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectification [Jan 2006]

See also: feminism - rape - shame - pornography - anti-pornography

2006, Jan 26; 11:07 ::: La Tentation de Saint Antoine (1874) - Gustave Flaubert

Au milieu du portique, en plein soleil, une femme nue etait attachee contre une colonne, deux soldats la fouettant avec des lanieres; a chacun des coups son corps entier se tordait. Elle s'est retournee, la bouche ouverte;--et pardessus la foule, a travers ses longs cheveux qui lui couvraient la figure, j'ai cru reconnaitre Ammonaria ...

Cependant ... celle-la etait plus grande ..., et belle ..., prodigieusement!

Il se passe les mains sur le front.

Non! non! je ne veux pas y penser! --http://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/La_Tentation_de_saint_Antoine [Jan 2006]

In the centre of the portico, under the sunlight, a naked woman was fettered to a column, and two soldiers were flogging her with thongs; at every blow her whole body writhed. She turned round, her mouth open; and over the heads of the crowd, through the long hair half hiding her face, I thought that I could recognize Ammonaria. . . .

Nevertheless . . . this one was taller . . . and beautiful . . . prodigiously beautiful!

He passes his hands over his forehead.

No! no! I must not think of it!

The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1874) - Gustave Flaubert [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Synopsis This is a fantastical rendering of one night during which the monk is besieged by carnal temptations and philosophical doubt. Translated by Lafcadio Hearn, it contains an introduction by Michel Foucault, along with commentary, notes and a reading group guide. --from the publisher

See also: 1874 - Gustave Flaubert - French literature - Saint Anthony

2006, Jan 26; 11:07 ::: La Maison Tellier (1881) - Guy de Maupassant

La Maison Tellier (1881) is a short story, one of the early works of Guy de Maupassant.

The names of the girls on the first floor were Fernande, Raphaele, and Rosa, the Jade. As the staff was limited, madame had endeavored that each member of it should be a pattern, an epitome of the feminine type, so that every customer might find as nearly as possible the realization of his ideal. Fernande represented the handsome blonde; she was very tall, rather fat, and lazy; a country girl, who could not get rid of her freckles, and whose short, light, almost colorless, tow-like hair, like combed-out hemp, barely covered her head.

Raphaele, who came from Marseilles, played the indispensable part of the handsome Jewess, and was thin, with high cheekbones, which were covered with rouge, and black hair covered with pomatum, which curled on her forehead. Her eyes would have been handsome, if the right one had not had a speck in it. Her Roman nose came down over a square jaw, where two false upper teeth contrasted strangely with the bad color of the rest.

Rosa was a little roll of fat, nearly all body, with very short legs, and from morning till night she sang songs, which were alternately risque or sentimental, in a harsh voice; told silly, interminable tales, and only stopped talking in order to eat, and left off eating in order to talk; she was never still, and was active as a squirrel, in spite of her embonpoint and her short legs; her laugh, which was a torrent of shrill cries, resounded here and there, ceaselessly, in a bedroom, in the loft, in the cafe, everywhere, and all about nothing.

The two women on the ground floor, Lodise, who was nicknamed La Cocotte, and Flora, whom they called Balancoise, because she limped a little, the former always dressed as the Goddess of Liberty, with a tri-colored sash, and the other as a Spanish woman, with a string of copper coins in her carroty hair, which jingled at every uneven step, looked like cooks dressed up for the carnival. They were like all other women of the lower orders, neither uglier nor better looking than they usually are.

Read full story here.

See also: 1881 - Guy de Maupassant - French literature - prostitution in art and fiction

2006, Jan 26; 10:07 ::: Abandoned

Abandoned building
Image sourced here.

The ultimate twentieth century parable of abandonement is Stephen King's The Stand (1978).

"abandoned" Google gallery

See also: ruin - building - streamline - art deco - USA

2006, Jan 26; 00:07 ::: Abandoned City (1908) - Fernand Khnopff

Abandoned City (1908) - Fernand Khnopff

Fernand Edmond Jean Marie Khnopff (September 12, 1858 - November 12, 1921) was a Belgian symbolist painter.

He was raised in Bruges and went to law school in Brussels. He quickly dropped out and enrolled in l'academie des beaux art; Xavier Mellery was his main tutor. During a trip to Paris in 1877 he was greatly influenced by Delacroix and the Pre-Raphaelites. In 1883 he was one of the founders of the "Groupe des XX". Although not a very open man and a rather secluded personality, he already achieved cult status during his life. Acknowledged and accepted, he received the Order of Leopold. His sister was one of his favorite subjects. His most famous painting is probably The Caress. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernand Khnopff [Jan 2006]

See also: Belgian art - 1908 - city - Symbolism/Decadents

2006, Jan 25; 23:07 ::: Rolla (1878) - Henri Gervex

Rolla considerait d'un oeil melancolique
La belle Marion dormant dans son grand lit;
Je ne sais quoi d'horrible et presque diabolique
Le faisait jusqu'aux os frissonner malgre lui
Marion coutait cher - Pour lui payer sa nuit,
Il avait depense sa derniere pistole.
Ses amis le savaient. Lui-meme, en arrivant,
Il s'etait pris la main et donne sa parole
Que personne, au grand jour, ne le verrait vivant.
Quand Rolla sur les toits vit le soleil paraitre
Il alla s'appuyer au bord de la fenetre,
Rolla se detourna pour regarder Marie.
Elle se trouvait lasse, et s'etait rendormie,
Ainsi tous deux fuyaient les cruautes du sort,
L'enfant dans le sommeil, et l'homme dans la mort !
With a melancholy eye Rolla gazed on
The beautiful Marion asleep in her wide bed;
In spite of himself, an unnameable and diabolical horror
Made him tremble to the bone.
Marion had cost dearly. - To pay for his night
He had spent his last coins.
His friends knew it. And he, on arriving,
Had taken their hand and given his word that
In the morning no one would see him alive.
When Rolla saw the sun appear on the roofs,
He went and leaned out the window.
Rolla turned to look at Marion.
She felt exhausted, and had fallen asleep.
And thus both fled the cruelties of fate,
The child in sleep, and the man in death! --Alfred de Musset, 1833

Rolla (1878) - Henri Gervex
Man about to jump out of the window, courtesan still sleeping, after a 1833 poem by Alfred de Musset.

Henri Gervex (10 December 1852 - 1929) was a French painter born in Paris, and studied painting under Cabanel, Brisset and Fromentin.

His early work belonged almost exclusively to the mythological genre, which served as an excuse for the painting of the nude not always in the best of taste; indeed, his Rolla of 1878 was rejected by the jury of the Salon pour immoralité. He afterwards devoted himself to representations of modern life and achieved signal success with his Dr Pan at the Salptrihre ("The Operation"), a modernized paraphrase, as it were, of Rembrandt's Anatomy Lesson. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Gervex [Jan 2006]

See also: 1878 - erotic art - French art

2006, Jan 25; 23:07 ::: The Loves of the Gods: Mythological Painting from Watteau to David (1992) - Various

The Loves of the Gods: Mythological Painting from Watteau to David (1992) - Various[Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Publishers Weekly
The amorous exploits of the gods and their mortal lovers provided 18th-century French painters with an opportunity to depict the female nude and please their wealthy Parisian patrons. Aside from their technical mastery and sheer beauty, the pictures reproduced in this hefty catalogue may tempt readers to dip into Homer or Ovid to better grasp the moral allegories that unfold in the works of Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard, David and 23 other artists. Bailey, senior curator at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Tex., and organizer of the traveling exhibition, focuses on the flowering of mythological art under Louis XV, stressing the erudition and inventiveness of painters often too readily dismissed as frivolous or decorative. With 100 color plates, 359 halftones and essays by six scholars, this tome brings to light an art that even today startles with its daring intensity and radiant harmonies. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal
The elaborate catalog of an exhibition held in Paris, Philadelphia, and Fort Worth, this book focuses on depictions in 18th-century French painting of the amorous activities of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses by such luminaries as Boucher, Fragonard, Watteau, and David, as well as lesser-known artists. Essays by French and American scholars consider particular myths and general questions about 18th-century taste. Catalog entries are full and detailed, with a wealth of comparative materials and illustrations. This entrancing and seductive topic, long an inspiration for painters, is here given a full, lush treatment that general audiences as well as scholars will appreciate. - Jack Perry Brown, Ryerson & Burnham Libs., Art Inst. of Chicago Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

See also: mythology - erotic art - love - Antiquity - gods

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