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2006, Mar 06; 09:05 ::: The Bloody Chamber (1979) - Angela Carter

In search of Paul Poiret.

The Bloody Chamber (1979) - Angela Carter [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The Bloody Chamber is an anthology of short fiction by Angela Carter. It was first published in the United Kingdom in 1979.

Many of the stories in this book are reprints from other sources, such as magazines, radio and newspapers and other books.

The 1984 film, The Company of Wolves was based upon the final two short stories of this collection.

Angela Carter's short stories challenge the way that women are represented in fairy tales, yet retain an air of tradition and convention through her voluptuously descriptive prose. For example, in the opening tale "The Bloody Chamber" which is a retelling of Bluebeard, Carter plays with the conventions of canonical fairy tales; instead of the heroine being rescued by the stereotypical male hero, she is rescued by her mother.

The stories are updated to more modern settings. The exact time periods remains vague, but they are clearly anchored rather intentionally. For example, in "The Bloody Chamber" the existence of transatlantic telephone implies a date 1930 or later. On the other hand, the mention of painters such as Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon, and of fashion designer Paul Poiret (who designs one of the heroine's gowns) all suggest a date before 1945. "The Lady of the House of Love" is clearly set on the eve of the First World War, and the young man's bicycle on which he arrives at the tradition-bound vampire's house is a symbol of the encroaching modernity which fundamentally altered European society after 1914. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bloody_Chamber [Mar 2006]

Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)

See also: blood - room - Penguin - Angela Carter - non- - classic

2006, Mar 06; 09:05 ::: Black & White & Noir (2002) - Paula Rabinowitz

In search of "low modernism."

Black & White & Noir (2002) - Paula Rabinowitz [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Black & White & Noir explores America's pulp modernism through penetrating readings of the noir sensibility lurking in an eclectic array of media: Office of War Information photography, women's experimental films, and African-American novels, among others. It traces the dark edges of cultural detritus blowing across the postwar landscape, finding in pulp a political theory that helps explain America's fascination with lurid spectacles of crime.

We are accustomed to thinking of noir as a film form popularized in movies like The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, and, more recently, Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. But it is also, Paula Rabinowitz argues, an avenue of social and political expression. This book offers an unparalleled historical and theoretical overview of the noir shadows cast when the media's glare is focused on the unseen and the unseemly in our culture. Through far-ranging discussions of the Starr Report, movies such as Double Indemnity and The Big Heat, and figures as various as Barbara Stanwyck, Kenneth Fearing, and Richard Wright, Rabinowitz finds in film noir the representation of modern America's attempt to submerge and mask its violent history of racial and class anatagonisms. Black & White & Noir also explores the theory and practice of stilettos, the ways in which girls in the 1950s viewed film noir as a secret language about their mothers' pasts, the extraordinary tone-setting photographs of Esther Bubley, and the smutty aspect of social workers' case studies, among other unexpected twists and provocative turns. --from the publisher

See also: low modernism - film noir - film theory - pulp - American cinema

2006, Mar 06; 09:05 ::: Challenging Modernity: Dada Between Modern and Postmodern (1999) - Mark A. Pegrum

In search of "low modernism."

Challenging Modernity: Dada Between Modern and Postmodern (1999) - Mark A. Pegrum [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Page 212
As Jameson points out, modernism - and in particular what has traditionally been termed 'high modernism' - is born at around the same time as 'a recognizably mass culture'.
The avant-gardes [...] play a curious medial role [between high culture and mass culture] and have continued to be referred to by some critics until quite recently as 'low modernism' in opposition to the 'high modernism' of, say, an Eliot or a Valéry.

See also: low modernism - dada - modernism - postmodernism

2006, Mar 05; 22:05 ::: Traces du Magnétisme (1784)

Frontispiece of Pamphlet on Mesmerism: Traces du Magnétisme (1784)

Animal magnetism is both a synonym for mesmerism as well as the 18th century term for the supposed ethereal medium postulated by Franz Mesmer as a therapeutic agent. Its existence was examined by a French royal commission in 1784, and the commission concluded there was no evidence of its existence or efficacy of the animal magnetic fluid, and that its effects derived from either the imaginations of its subjects or charlatanry. The term is also occasionally employed in the context of Christian Science to describe unheeded mental influences, malicious or ignorant, resting on its subjects' belief in them.

The term's most common usage today is to refer (sometimes facetiously) to a person's sexual attractiveness or raw charisma.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesmerism [Mar 2006]

See also: mind - 1780s - attraction

2006, Mar 05; 22:05 ::: Hans Hofmann : Revised And Expanded (2006) - Sam Hunter

Hans Hofmann : Revised And Expanded (2006) - Sam Hunter [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Nature's purpose in relation to the visual arts is to provide stimulus-not imitation....From its ceaseless urge to create springs all Life-all movement and rhythm-time and light, color and mood-in short, all reality in Form and Thought. " -Hans Hofmann

This book is the only comprehensive treatment of one of Abstract Expressionism's most important forefathers: Hans Hofmann. Hans Hofmann attends to every stage of his prolific career. Nearly 300 gorgeous color plates reveal this modern master's extraordinary sense of color: beautifully vibrant greens, rich blues and brilliant reds organized in strikingly powerful patterns. Sam Hunter, Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, writes a substantive essay on every aspect of Hofmann's distinguished body of work. Five important essays by the artist himself are included, revealing his philosophy of art which was so influential to the generations that followed him. Frank Stella, an important painter who deeply admired his work, also contributes an essay.

About the Author
Sam Hunter is Professor Emeritus at Princeton University and an acknowledged expert on 20th century art. His recent publications include Tony Rosenthal; Isamu Noguchi; Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture; and Robert Rauschenberg.

Hans Hofmann (1880 - 1966) was a German abstract expressionist painter. He was born in Weissenburg, Bavaria on March 21, 1880 the son of Theodor and Franziska Hofmann.

Hofman believed that abstract art was a way to get at what was really important. He is quoted as saying "The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak."--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans Hofmann [Mar 2006]

See also: modern art - abstract expressionism - German art

2006, Mar 05; 21:05 ::: Leap into The Void (1960) - Yves Klein

Leap into The Void (1960) - Yves Klein
Silver gelatin print 350x270mm

See also: modern art - Yves Klein - French art

2006, Mar 05; 21:05 ::: Tassel house by Victor Horta

Tassel house (1893) - Victor Horta

Victor Horta (January 6, 1861 - September 9, 1947) was a Belgian architect. John Julius Norwich described him as "undoubtedly the key European Art Nouveau architect". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor Horta [Mar 2006]

See also: Art Nouveau - interior design - architecture - Belgium arts

2006, Mar 05; 20:05 ::: Dissonance

Dissonance has several meanings, all related to conflict or incongruity: --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissonance [Mar 2006]

See also: conflict - incongruity

2006, Mar 05; 20:05 ::: Painterly vs linear

Painterly is a literal translation of German Mälerisch, hence malerisch, one of the opposed categories popularized by the art historian Heinrich Wolfflin (1864 - 1945) in order to help focus, enrich and standardize the terms being used by art historians of his time to characterize works of art. The opposite character is linear, plastic or formal linear design.

An oil painting is "painterly" when it is obvious that it has been painted with oil paints: when there are visible brush strokes, and a rough impasto surface. Painterly characterizes the work of Pierre Bonnard, Francis Bacon (painter), Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt or Renoir. Linear characterizes the work of Vermeer or Ingres. The Impressionists and the Abstract Expressionists tended strongly to be "painterly;" movements such as Pop Art or photo-realism emphasize flatness; Roy Liechtenstein attempted to make a comment on Abstract Expressionist painterliness when he created images of brush strokes, rendered with comic book style inks and colors, complete with Benday dots and other attempts at imitating commercial reproduction processes on the flat picture plane. What Rembrandt is to light, Delacroix is to color. Colorists tend to substitute relations of tonality for relations of value and render the form and shadow and light and time through pure relations of colour.

"Painterly" art makes strong coloristic use of the many visual effects produced by paint on canvas such as chromatic progression, warm and cool tones, complementary and contrasting colors, broken tones, broad brushstrokes, impressionism, impasto and also of the artist's experience in painting. Jackson Pollack's "action paintings" are more "painterly" than Frank Stella's super-graphics.

Of course, "painterly" finally refers to paint, though some forms of sculpture make such use of surface texture and stroke that they could almost be called painterly; nevertheless, the application of the term outside painting is a little self-conscious, and may not genuinely help the reader experience the character of Auguste Rodin's surfaces or Richard Strauss's flow of chromatic harmonies. But see Wood as a medium, Green new art. Photography can also be described as painterly.

For further clarification of the meaning of malerisch read Francis Bacon: Logic of Sensation by Gilles Deleuze. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painterly [Mar 2006]

See also: Francis Bacon - Gilles Deleuze - linear - painting

2006, Mar 05; 19:05 ::: Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder, often referred to colloquially as manic depression, is a diagnosis describing low (clinically depressed) and high (manic or hypomanic) mood swings significantly broad enough to interfere with an individual's ability to function on a daily basis. Such mood problems are thought to affect millions of people. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar disorder [Mar 2006]

Many artists, musicians, and writers have experienced its mood swings, and some credit the condition with their creativity. However, this disease ruins many lives, and it is associated with a greatly increased risk of suicide. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar_disorder#Bipolar_disorder_and_creativity [Mar 2006]

List of people believed to have been affected by bipolar disorder: Vincent van Gogh - Charles Baudelaire - Byron -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_believed_to_have_been_affected_by_bipolar_disorder [Mar 2006]

See also: creativity - mood - psychiatry - medicine - depression - mania

2006, Mar 05; 19:05 ::: Seascape #17 (1968) Tom Wesselmann

Seascape #17 (1968) Tom Wesselmann

1968 AVANT GARDE MAGAZINE Cover art titled Seascape #17 by Tom Wesselmann. Contents include illustrations of the No More War Contest, the Wesselmann Pleasure Painter article with several color illustrations of Wesselman's art, photographs of child birth, and more. --nakedhippies.blogspot.com [Mar 2006]

Tom Wesselmann (February 23, 1931-December 17, 2004) was an American pop artist who specialised in found art collages.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Wesselmann was drafted into the Army for the Korean War. Afterward, he studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and later at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science, Art and architecture in New York City. Whilst at the Cooper Union Wesselmann learned to paint, his initial purpose of going into art was to become a cartoonist. His early work was heavily influenced by the abstract expressionist painters, especially Willem de Kooning. His art became more popular in the 1960s and had his first one-man exhibition in 1962 at the Tanager Gallery, New York. After that, his art made it to several other exhibitions such as the Young America exhibition in 1965, Whitney Museum, New York.

Beginning in the 1950s, he made collages from magazine clippings and found objects, often incorporating female nudes.

Wesselmann was best known for his "Great American Nudes" series.

He died of complications following heart surgery. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Wesselmann [Mar 2006]

See also: female nude - pop art - erotic art - USA - 1968 - avant-garde

2006, Mar 05; 13:05 ::: Elihu Vedder (1864 - 1923)

The Questioner of the Sphinx (Listening to the Sphinx) (1863) - Elihu Vedder

Elihu Vedder (1864, New York City - 1923) was an American symbolist painter, book illustrator, and poet.

After studying in Europe, Vedder returned to the USA, penniless, during the American Civil War, and made a small living by undertaking commercial illustrations. In the USA he sought out and became friends with Walt Whitman, Herman Melville and William Morris Hunt. Vedder became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1865.

At the end of the Civil War he left America to live in Italy. He married an American student in Italy in 1866. He had a home in Rome and - after the financial success of his 1884 Rubaiyat work - on the Isle of Capri, then a haven for gay male aesthetes. Like Oscar Wilde, he was married and fathered children; but is now widely considered to have been a gay artist.

Vedder visited England many times, and was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, and was a friend of Simeon Solomon. He was also influenced by the work of English and Irish mystics such as William Blake and William Butler Yeats. In 1890 Vedder helped establish the In Arte Libertas group in Italy.

Tiffany commissioned him to design glassware, mosaics and statuettes for the company. He decorated the hallway of the Reading Room of the Washington Library of Congress, and his mural paintings can still be seen there.

He occasionally returned to the USA, but lived only in Italy from 1906.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elihu Vedder [Mar 2006]

See also: Egypt - 1863 - Symbolist art - Orientalism - USA

2006, Mar 05; 13:05 ::: Carlos Schwabe (1877 - 1927)

Study for The Wave (1907) - Carlos Schwabe
1907. Papel, sanguina, tiza y carboncillo sobre papel. 65 x 34 cm.
Colección particular. París. Francia.
Image sourced here.

Carlos Schwabe (1877 - 1927) was a Swiss-German Symbolist painter.

Schwabe was born in Altona, Holstein, and moved to Geneva, Switzerland at an early age. After studying art in Geneva, he moved to Paris, where he began moving in Symbolist circles. His paintings typically featured mythological and allegorical figures; as an essentially literary artist, he was much in demand as a book illustrator. He illustrated Le rêve by Emile Zola, Charles Baudelaire's Les fleurs du mal, Maurice Maeterlinck's Pelléas et Mélisande, and Albert Samain's Jardin de l'infante. Schwabe lived in France for the rest of his life and died outside Paris in 1927. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Schwabe [Mar 2006]

See also: Symbolist art - Symbolist movement - allegory - mythology - illustrator

2006, Mar 05; 13:05 ::: Fleurs du Mal illustrators

Carlos Schwabe: Paris, 1900, Charles Meunier, total edition: 77.
Image sourced here.

Here is an overview of all illustrated editions to be found at smoezel.nl.

The following illustrators are featured:

Abril - Bernard - Buffet - Cartault - Chimot - Chimot - Collot - Cornelius - Delacroix - Dignimont - Drouart - Dufour - Farneti - George-Roux - Grékoff - Hallman - Hauterives - Hofer - Janserge - Labocceta - Latour - Legrand - Legrand - Lemagny - Lemengeot - Leroy - Manceaux - Marcel-Béronn - Mauplot - Monnier - Pipard - Redon - Riche - Rochegrosse - Rochgrosse - Rodin - Rodin (facs) - Rops - Roubille - Saint-André - Sala - Schwabe - Serré - Spilimbergo - Trémois - Tzolakis - van Dongen

Flowers of Evil (1857) - Charles Baudelaire (New Directions edition) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
The Flowers of Evil, which T.S. Eliot called the greatest example of modern poetry in any language, shocked the literary world of nineteenth century France with its outspoken portrayal of lesbian love, its linking of sexuality and death, its unremitting irony, and its unflinching celebration of the seamy side of urban life. Including the French texts and comprehensive explanatory notes to the poems, this extraordinary body of love poems restores the six poems originally banned in 1857, revealing the richness and variety of the collection. --from the publisher

See also: Les Fleurs du Mal (1857) - Charles Baudelaire - poetry - illustration - French literature

2006, Mar 05; 12:05 ::: Time Magazine 100 best novels

A * The Adventures of Augie March * All the King's Men * American Pastoral * An American Tragedy * Animal Farm * Appointment in Samarra * Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret * The Assistant (novel) * At Swim-Two-Birds * Atonement (novel) B * Beloved (novel) * The Berlin Stories * The Big Sleep * The Blind Assassin * Blood Meridian * Brideshead Revisited * The Bridge of San Luis Rey C * Call It Sleep * Catch-22 * The Catcher in the Rye * A Clockwork Orange * The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967) * The Corrections * The Crying of Lot 49 D * A Dance to the Music of Time * The Day of the Locust * Death Comes for the Archbishop * A Death in the Family * The Death of the Heart * Deliverance * Dog Soldiers (book) F * Falconer (novel) * The French Lieutenant's Woman G * Go Tell It on the Mountain * The Golden Notebook * Gone with the Wind * The Grapes of Wrath * Gravity's Rainbow * The Great Gatsby H * A Handful of Dust * The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter * The Heart of the Matter * Herzog (novel) * A House for Mr Biswas * Housekeeping (novel) I * I, Claudius * Infinite Jest * Invisible Man L * Light in August * The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe * Lolita * Lord of the Flies * The Lord of the Rings * Loving (novel) * Lucky Jim M * The Man Who Loved Children * Midnight's Children * Money (novel) * The Moviegoer * Mrs. Dalloway N * Naked Lunch * Native Son * Neuromancer * Never Let Me Go * Nineteen Eighty-Four O * On the Road * One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (novel) P * The Painted Bird (novel) * Pale Fire * A Passage to India * Play It As It Lays * Portnoy's Complaint * Possession: A Romance * The Power and the Glory * The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie R * Rabbit, Run * Ragtime (novel) * The Recognitions * Red Harvest * Revolutionary Road S * The Sheltering Sky * Slaughterhouse-Five * Snow Crash * The Sot-Weed Factor * The Sound and the Fury * The Sportswriter * The Spy Who Came in from the Cold * The Sun Also Rises T * Their Eyes Were Watching God * Things Fall Apart * To Kill a Mockingbird * To the Lighthouse * Tropic of Cancer (novel) U * Ubik * Under the Net * Under the Volcano W * Watchmen * White Noise (novel) * White Teeth * Wide Sargas
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Time_Magazine_100_best_novels [Mar 2006]

See also: 20th century literature - modernist literature - greatness - novel - list

2006, Mar 04; 23:05 ::: Stéphane Mallarmé

Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard ('A roll of the dice will never abolish chance') (1897) Stéphane Mallarmé
Image sourced here.

Stéphane Mallarmé (Paris, March 18, 1842 – Valvins, September 9, 1898), whose real name was Étienne Mallarmé, was a French poet and critic. He worked as an English teacher, and spent much of his life in relative poverty; but he was a major French symbolist poet and rightly famed for his salons, occasional gatherings of intellectuals at his house for discussions of poetry, art, philosophy. The group became known as les Mardistes, because they met on Tuesdays, and through it Mallarmé exerted considerable influence on the work of a generation of writers (see below).

His earlier work owes a great deal to the style established by Charles Baudelaire. His fin-de-siècle style, on the other hand, anticipates many of the fusions between poetry and the other arts that were to blossom in the Dadaist, Surrealist, and Futurist schools, where the tension between the words themselves and the way they were displayed on the page was explored. But whereas most of this latter work was concerned principally with form, Mallarmé's work was more generally concerned with the interplay of style and content. This is particularly evident in the highly innovative Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard ('A roll of the dice will never abolish chance') of 1897, his last major poem.

Some consider Mallarmé one of the French poets most difficult to translate into English. This is often said to be due to the inherently vague nature of much of his work, but this explanation is really a simplification. On a closer reading of his work in the original French, it is clear that the importance of sound relationships between the words in the poetry equals, or even surpasses, the importance of the standard meanings of the words themselves. This generates new meanings in the spoken text which are not evident on reading the work on the page. It is this aspect of the work that is impossible to render in translation (especially when attempting a more literal fidelity to the words as well), since it arises from ambiguities inextricably bound in the phonology of the spoken French language. It can also be suggested that it is this 'pure sound' aspect of his poetry that has led to its inspiring musical compositions (see below), and to its direct comparison with music.

A good example of this play of sound appears in Roger Pearson's book 'Unfolding Mallarmé', in his analysis of the Sonnet en '-yx'. The poem opens with the phrase 'ses purs ongles' ('her pure nails'), whose first syllables when spoken aloud sound very similar to the words 'c'est pur son' ('it's pure sound'). This use of homophony, along with the relationships and layers of meanings it results in, is simply impossible to capture accurately through translation.

For many years, the Tuesday night sessions in his apartment on the rue de Rome were considered the heart of Paris intellectual life, with W.B. Yeats, Rainer Maria Rilke, Paul Valéry, Stefan George, Paul Verlaine, and many more in attendance, as Mallarmé held court as judge, jester, and king.

Mallarmé's poetry has been the inspiration for several musical pieces, notably Claude Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (1894), a free interpretation of Mallarmé's poem L'après-midi d'un faune (1876), which creates powerful impressions by the use of striking but isolated phrases. Debussy also set Mallarmé's poetry to music in Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé (1913). Other composers to use his poetry in song include Maurice Ravel (Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, 1913), Darius Milhaud (Chansons bas de Stéphane Mallarmé, 1917), and Pierre Boulez (Pli selon pli, 1957-62). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St%C3%A9phane_Mallarm%C3%A9 [Mar 2006]

See also: 1897 - poetry - Symbolism - French literature

2006, Mar 04; 17:05 ::: Marius the Epicurean (1885) - Walter Pater

Marius the Epicurean (1885) - Walter Pater [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus (c. 340–c. 270 BC), founded around 307 BC. Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus. His materialism led him to a general attack on superstition and divine intervention. Following Aristippus—about whom very little is known—Epicurus believed that the greatest good was to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquility and freedom from fear through knowledge (ataraxia) as well as absence of pain (aponia). The combination of these two states is supposed to constitute happiness in its highest form. Although some equate Epicureanism with hedonism or a form of it (as "hedonism" is commonly understood), professional philosophers of Epicureanism deny that.


In modern popular usage, an epicure is a connoisseur of the arts of life and the refinements of sensual pleasures; epicureanism implies a love or knowledgeable enjoyment especially of good food and drink—see the definition of gourmet at Wiktionary.

This can largely be attributed to misunderstandings of the Epicurean doctrine. Due to the fact Epicureanism posits that pleasure is the ultimate good (telos) it is commonly misunderstood as a doctrine that advocates the partaking in fleeting pleasures such as constant partying, orgiastic sexual excess and expensive food. This is not the case. Epicurus regarded ataraxia and aponia combined to be the height of happiness Therefore Epicurus regarded prudence as an important virtue and saw things like excess drinking to be contrary to the attainment of ataraxia and aponia. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicurean [Mar 2006]

Walter Horatio Pater (August 4, 1839 - July 30, 1894) was an English essayist and critic.

But it was not his intention to sink into academic torpor. As he began his career, the sphere of his interests widened rapidly; he became acutely interested in literature, beginning to write articles and criticisms. The first of these to be printed was a brief essay upon Coleridge, contributed in 1866 to the Westminster Review. A few months later (January, 1867), his essay on Winckelmann, the first expression of his idealism, appeared in the same review.

In the following year his study of "Aesthetic Poetry" appeared in the Fortnightly Review, to be succeeded by essays on Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Pico della Mirandola, and Michelangelo. These, with other similar studies, were collected in his Studies in the History of the Renaissance in 1873. Pater, now at the centre of a small but interesting circle in Oxford, gained respect in London and elsewhere, numbering the Pre-Raphaelites among his friends.

By the time his philosophical novel Marius the Epicurean appeared, he had gathered quite a following. This, his chief contribution to literature, was published early in 1885. In it Pater displays, with fullness and elaboration, his ideal of the aesthetic life, his cult of beauty as opposed to bare asceticism, and his theory of the stimulating effect of the pursuit of beauty as an ideal of its own. The principles of what would be known as the Aesthetic movement were partly traceable to Pater; and his impact was particularly felt on one of the movement's leading proponents, Oscar Wilde, a former student of Pater at Oxford.

In 1887 he published Imaginary Portraits, a series of essays in philosophic fiction; in 1889, Appreciations, with an Essay on Style; in 1893, Plato and Platonism; and in 1894, The Child in the House. His Greek Studies and his Miscellaneous Studies were collected posthumously in 1895; his posthumous romance of Gaston de Latour in 1896; and his Essays from the "Guardian" were privately printed in 1897. A collected edition of Pater's works was issued in 1901.

Toward the end of his life, Pater exercised a growing and considerable influence. His mind, however, returned to the religious fervour of his youth. Those who knew him best believed that, had he lived longer, he would have resumed his boyish intention of taking holy orders. He died of rheumatic fever at the age of 55 and is buried at St. Giles cemetery, Oxford.

Pater wrote with difficulty, fastidiously correcting his work. His literary style, serene and contemplative, suggested, in the words of G.K. Chesterton, a "vast attempt at impartiality." The richness and depth of his language was attuned to his philosophy of life. Idealists will always find inspiration in his desire to "burn with a hard, gem-like flame" and to live in harmony with the highest. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Pater [Mar 2006]

See also: 1885 - dandy - Oscar Wilde - hedonism - pleasure - British literature - Aesthetic movement

2006, Mar 04; 17:05 ::: In Camera--Francis Bacon: Film, Photography, and the Practice of Painting (2005) - Martin Harrison

In Camera--Francis Bacon: Film, Photography, and the Practice of Painting (2005) - Martin Harrison [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
An exploration of the interplay between photography and painting in the work of Francis Bacon.

Francis Bacon famously found inspiration in photographs, film stills, and mass-media imagery. This book draws on a broad range of source images and documents, many hitherto unknown, to reveal how these media informed some of Bacon's most important paintings and helped to trigger significant turning points in his stylistic development.

Martin Harrison locates Bacon's work in a tradition of artists making use of mechanical reproductions, including Picasso and Walter Sickert. Harrison also reviews Bacon's painting in the context of key influences: film directors such as Sergei Eisenstein, photographers such as Eadweard Muybridge and John Deakin, and masters such as Velázquez, Poussin, and Rodin. In addition, Bacon's work is considered in the context of his contemporaries, including Lucian Freud, Mark Rothko, Graham Sutherland, and Patrick Heron.

Analysis of elements of Bacon's biography and psychology leads to some startling and original insights into the man and the unique iconography of his art. With the aid of over 260 superb illustrations and the advantage of privileged access to unpublished material from the artist's archives, this is a book that addresses important questions about Bacon's practice and that, in reassessing key paintings, sheds new light on his life and work. 265 illustrations in color and duotone.

About the Author
Martin Harrison is an authority on postwar photography and art whose previous books include Transition: The London Art Scene in the Fifties and Young Meteors: British Photojournalism 1957-1965.

Francis Bacon (October 28, 1909 – April 28, 1992) was an Anglo-Irish painter, atheist, gambler and bon vivant. He was a collateral descendant of the Elizabethan philosopher Francis Bacon.

His artwork was well-known for its bold, abstract, and often grotesque or nightmarish imagery. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Bacon_%28painter%29 [Mar 2006]

Bon vivant
The French bon vivant is the usage for an epicure, a person who enjoys good food. Bonne vivante is not used. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudo-Anglicism [Mar 2006]

See also: Francis Bacon - modern art - nightmare - UK - grotesque

2006, Mar 04; 18:05 ::: Paul van Ostaijen

Boem Paukenslag (1921) - Paul Van Ostaijen

Paul van Ostaijen (Antwerp, February 22, 1896 - Miavoye-Anthée, March 18, 1928) was a Flemish poet and writer.

His nickname was Mister 1830, because of his habit of walking along the streets of Antwerp clothed as a dandy from that year.

His poetry shows influences by Modernism, Expressionism, Dadaism and early Surrealism, but Van Ostaijen's style is very much his own.

Van Ostaijen was an active flamingant, a supporter of Flemish independence. Because of this, he had to flee to Berlin after World War I. In Berlin, one of the centers of Dadaism and Expressionism, he met many other artists. He also went through a severe mental crisis.

After he returned to Belgium, Van Ostaijen opened an art gallery in Brussels. He died of tuberculosis in 1928 in a sanatorium in the Ardennes. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul Van Ostaijen [Mar 2006]

Concrete poetry is poetry in which the typographical arrangement of words is as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem, such as meaning of words, rhythm, rhyme and so on. It is the self-consciously radical form of the technique of visual poetry (a term sometimes applied to concrete poetry). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete_poetry [Mar 2006]

See also: 1921 - Paul Van Ostaijen - Belgium - poetry

2006, Mar 04; 17:05 ::: 100 Masterpieces from the Vitra Design Museum Collection (1996) - Alexander Vegesack

100 Masterpieces from the Vitra Design Museum Collection (1996) - Alexander Vegesack [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Das Vitra Design Museum ist ein Museum für Design in Weil am Rhein. Rolf Fehlbaum, Inhaber des Möbelproduzenten vitra, hatte 1986 die Idee, seine private Sammlung mit Stücken von Charles und Ray Eames, George Nelson, Alvar Aalto, Verner Panton und Jean Prouvé der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich zu machen. Als Architekten des Museumshauptgebäudes konnte er Frank O. Gehry gewinnen. Das Vitra Design Museum war das erste Gebäude Gehrys in Europa. --http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitra_Design_Museum [Mar 2006]

See also: design - Frank Gehry - Germany

2006, Mar 04; 16:05 ::: 1984 (1949) - George Orwell

In search of typography.

Unidentified book cover of 1984 (1949) - George Orwell [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Nineteen Eighty-Four is an allegorical political novel written by George Orwell. The story takes place in a nightmarish dystopia where the omnipresent State enforces perfect conformity among members of a totalitarian Party through indoctrination, propaganda, fear, and ruthless punishment. The novel introduced the concepts of the ever-present, all-seeing Big Brother, Room 101, the Thought Police, and the bureaucrats' and politicians' language of control, Newspeak. The novel was successful in terms of sales, and has remained one of the most influential books of the 20th century.

Along with Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of the first and most cited works of dystopian fiction to have appeared in English literature. The book has been translated into many languages. Nineteen Eighty-Four and its terminology have become a byword in discussions of privacy issues. The term "Orwellian" has come to describe actions or organizations that are thought to be reminiscent of the society depicted in the novel. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four [Mar 2006]

A dystopia is the antithesis of a utopian society.

A dystopian society is usually characterized by an authoritarian or totalitarian form of government, or some other kind of oppressive social control.

The first use of the word has been credited to John Stuart Mill, whose knowledge of Greek would suggest that he meant it as a place where things are bad, rather than simply the opposite of Utopia. The Greek prefix 'dys'/'dis' signifies 'ill','bad' or 'abnormal', whereas 'ou' means 'not' (Utopia means 'nowhere', and is a pun on 'Eutopia' meaning 'happy place' - the prefix 'eu' means 'well'). So 'dystopia' and 'utopia' are not exact opposites in the sense that dysphoria and euphoria are opposites. [Mar 2006]

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dystopia [Mar 2006]

See also: typography - allegory - British literature - Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) - 1949 - science fiction - dystopia - voyeurism

2006, Mar 04; 16:05 ::: Eraserhead (1977) - David Lynch

Finally out on DVD in the US.

Eraserhead (1977) - David Lynch [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Studio: Absurda/ Subversive

Plot Outline: Henry Spencer's life spins out of control when conflict erupts in his strange yet simple world... --Amazon.com

Plot Synopsis: Is it a nightmare or an actual view of a post-apocalyptic world? Set in an industrial town in which giant machines are constantly working, spewing smoke, and making noise that is inescapable, Henry Spencer lives in a building that, like all the others, appears to be abandoned. The lights flicker on and off, he has bowls of water in his dresser drawers, and for his only diversion he watches and listens to the Lady in the Radiator sing about finding happiness in heaven. Henry has a girlfriend, Mary X, who has frequent spastic fits. Mary gives birth to Henry's child, a frightening looking mutant, which leads to the injection of all sorts of sexual imagery into the depressive and chaotic mix. --Amazon.com

See also: American cinema - 1970s film - 1977 - David Lynch - Eraserhead (1977)

2006, Mar 04; 15:05 ::: Les champignons considérés (1884) - Lucien-Marie Gautier

Les champignons considérés (1884) - Lucien-Marie Gautier
Image sourced here.

Lucien Gautier --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucien Gautier [Mar 2006]

See also: mushroom - food - 1884 - medicine - poison - politics

2006, Mar 04; 12:05 ::: The Politics of Obedience : The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude (1549/1576) - Etienne de la Boétie

The Politics of Obedience : The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude (1549/1576) - Etienne de la Boétie [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Étienne de La Boétie (Sarlat, November 1st, 1530 - Germignan, August 18, 1563) was a French judge and writer, friend of Montaigne, author of the Discourse of Voluntary Servitude (Discours de la servitude volontaire).

He served with Montaigne in the Bordeaux parlement and is immortalized in Montaigne’s essay on friendship. La Boétie’s writings include a few sonnets, translations from the classics, and an essay attacking absolute monarchy and tyranny in general, Discours de la servitude volontaire, in which he stated that tyrants have power because the people give it to them. Liberty has been abandoned once by society, which afterward stay corrupted and prefers the slavery of the courtisan to the freedom of one who refuses to dominate as he refuses to obey. Thus, La Boétie linked together obedience and domination, a relationship which would be later theorized by anarchist thinkers such as Proudhon. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89tienne_de_la_Bo%C3%A9tie [Mar 2006]

See also: French literature - 1500s - anarchism - obedience - authority - politics

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