Title page from the Carlos Schwabe illustrations for Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal.
I have no clue what plant (illustration: right) this is (a flesh-eating plant
perhaps?), nor if it is real or imaginary
, but I’m pretty sure it fits in the horticultural horror
Additionally, as far as I know, this illustration is the only literal interpretation of the flowers of evil.
One thing inevitably leads to another:
On opening my copy of The Romantic Agony for the nth time brought up this passage:
“That poetry is like the arts of painting, cooking, and cosmetics in its ability to express every sensation of sweetness or bitterness, of beatitude or horror, by coupling a certain noun with a certain adjective, in analogy or contrast” writes Baudelaire in an unpublished preface to a 2nd preface of The Flowers of Evil (translation by Marthiel and Jackson Mathews).
Beautiful isn’t it, this trying to connect poetry to cuisine and cosmetics via adjectives and nouns in logical combinations, evoking diverse sentiments?
See also: literature and olfaction, synesthesia and literature, paragone and ekphrasis.
Les Paul (1915 – 2009)
RIP Les Paul, 94, American guitarist and inventor. In 1954, Les Paul commissions Ampex to build the first eight track tape recorder, at his own expense.
“Country Living” recording above related to Les Paul via an “Ampex + Jahsonic” Google search.
Jahsonic is interested in the “recording studio as a musical instrument.”
Never mind the bollocks, here’s Rabelais
As I noted in a previous post on satirical pornography or pornographic satire, Rabelais‘s masterpiece Gargantua and Pantagruel is more emetic than erotic.
There is however a strain of eroticism to be found in Rabelais, a strain of the bawdy, ribald and burlesque variety, which dates back at its earliest to the Ancient Greek Milesian tale.
The Milesian tales are the earliest instances of erotic literature in the Western world. They directly influenced Apuleius‘ The Golden Ass, Petronius‘ Satyricon in antiquity. They were mentioned in Traitté de l’origine des romans. Aristidean saucy and disreputable heroes and spicy, fast-paced anecdote resurfaced in the medieval fabliaux. Chaucer‘s The Miller’s Tale is in Aristides’ tradition, as are some of the saltier tales in Boccaccio‘s Decameron or the Heptameron of Marguerite of Navarre and the later genre of the picaresque novel.
Googling for “buttocks” in Gargantua and Pantagruel five-book series. I came across the tale of Han Carvel’s ring and the blazon and counterblazon of the bollocks in the Third Book. I first mentioned the poetic genre blason here when I posted the Blazon of the Ugly Tit (1535) by Clément Marot.
Rabelais‘s blason and contreblason du couillon (Eng blason and counterblason of the bollock(s)) respectively sing the praise and disparagement of the male testicles. First, there is Panurge‘s blason in “How Panurge consulteth with Friar John of the Funnels“, then Frère Jean‘s contreblason in “How Friar John comforteth Panurge in the doubtful matter of cuckoldry“.
These rhapsodic lists and enumerations of adjectives are extremely poetic juxtapositions and show how the novel, which was a genre in its nascent state was allowed a maximum of formal and content-wise liberties. In this sense, 16th century literature is quite amazing.
The c. is short for couillons (bollocks).
Panurge‘s praise of the bollocks (275 adjectives):
- Mellow C. Varnished C. Resolute C.
- Lead-coloured C. Renowned C. Cabbage-like C.
- Knurled C. Matted C. Courteous C.
- Suborned C. Genitive C. Fertile C.
- Desired C. Gigantal C. Whizzing C.
- Stuffed C. Oval C. Neat C.
- Speckled C. Claustral C. Common C.
- Finely metalled C. Virile C. Brisk C.
- Arabian-like C. Stayed C. Quick C.
- Trussed-up Greyhound-like C. Massive C. Bearlike C.
- Manual C. Partitional C.
- Mounted C. Absolute C. Patronymic C.
- Sleeked C. Well-set C. Cockney C.
- Diapered C. Gemel C. Auromercuriated C.
- Spotted C. Turkish C. Robust C.
- Master C. Burning C. Appetizing C.
- Seeded C. Thwacking C. Succourable C.
- Lusty C. Urgent C. Redoubtable C.
- Jupped C. Handsome C. Affable C.
- Milked C. Prompt C. Memorable C.
- Calfeted C. Fortunate C. Palpable C.
- Raised C. Boxwood C. Barbable C.
- Odd C. Latten C. Tragical C.
- Steeled C. Unbridled C. Transpontine C.
- Stale C. Hooked C. Digestive C.
- full blason here
Frère Jean‘s disparagement of the bollocks (440 adjectives):
- Faded C. Louting C. Appellant C.
- Mouldy C. Discouraged C. Swagging C.
- Musty C. Surfeited C. Withered C.
- Paltry C. Peevish C. Broken-reined C.
- Senseless C. Translated C. Defective C.
- Foundered C. Forlorn C. Crestfallen C.
- Distempered C. Unsavoury C. Felled C.
- Bewrayed C. Worm-eaten C. Fleeted C.
- Inveigled C. Overtoiled C. Cloyed C.
- Dangling C. Miserable C. Squeezed C.
- Stupid C. Steeped C. Resty C.
- Seedless C. Kneaded-with-cold- Pounded C.
- Soaked C. water C. Loose C.
- Coldish C. Hacked C. Fruitless C.
- Pickled C. Flaggy C. Riven C.
- Churned C. Scrubby C. Pursy C.
- Filliped C. Drained C. Fusty C.
- Singlefied C. Haled C. Jadish C.
- Begrimed C. Lolling C. Fistulous C.
- Wrinkled C. Drenched C. Languishing C.
- Fainted C. Burst C. Maleficiated C.
- Extenuated C. Stirred up C. Hectic C.
- Grim C. Mitred C. Worn out C.
- Wasted C. Peddlingly furnished Ill-favoured C.
- Inflamed C. C. Duncified C.
- full counterblason here
Posted in 1001 things to do before you die, absurd, comedy, cult fiction, European culture, experimental, fantastique, fiction, French culture, genre, grotesque, humor, irrationalism, juxtapoetry, literature, poetry, subversion, surrealism, theory, transgression
a juxtapoetic illustration of sweat
There is a charming Italian restaurant and traiteur right next to my door, called Il Particolare.
In their tiny dining room hangs a quote of the preface to Casanova’s Histoire de ma vie. Its most intriguing bit reads:
- “Wat de vrouwen betreft, vond ik altijd dat het liefje, dat ik begeerde lekker rook en hoe meer ze zweette, des te heerlijker ik haar vond.”
Like so many translations of Histoire de ma vie, it was previously bowdlerized.
The original French text reads:
- “J’ai toujours trouvé que celle que j’aimais sentait bon et plus sa transpiration était forte, plus elle me semblait suave.”
Jean Laforgue, who translated from the German Brockhaus edition “rectified”: “Quant aux femmes, j’ai toujours trouvé suave l’odeur de celles que j’ai aimées”.
Arthur Symons repeats the bowdlerized version (as he had no access to the original edition): “As for women, I have always found the odour of my beloved ones exceeding pleasant.” It should actually read: “I have always found the odour of my beloved ones exceeding pleasant, and the stronger their transpiration, the more they seemed sweet to me.“
RIP James Kirkup
James Kirkup, FRSL (23 April 1918 – 10 May 2009) was a prolific English poet, translator and travel writer, best-known for his controversial poem The Love that Dares to Speak its Name, which describes a sexual fantasy of a homosexual soldier for the dead Christ.
The Dead Christ (1582) by Annibale Carracci
The Love that Dares to Speak its Name is written from the viewpoint of a Roman centurion who is graphically described having sex with Jesus after his crucifixion, and also claims that Jesus had had sex with numerous disciples, guards, and even Pontius Pilate. Its title The Love that Dares to Speak its Name was taken from a line in the poem “Two Loves” by Lord Alfred Douglas.
Lamentation over the Dead Christ (c. 1480) by Andrea Mantegna
- Dead Christ
In Western art, the death of Christ and its depiction is usually known by the term lamentation of Christ and it is a very common subject in Christian art from the High Middle Ages to the Baroque. After Jesus was crucified, his body was removed from the cross and his friends and family mourned over his body. This event has been depicted by many different artists.
Introducing Mr.Fox: Darker Deeper
Mr.Fox: Darker Deeper is an Anglophone visual culture blog with a focus on transgressive black and white photographs founded in May 2008.
As of May 2009, its most recent entries included Deus Irae Psychedelico, Robert Gregory Griffeth , Rik Garrett , Laurie Lipton , Simon Marsden , Sanne Sannes , Jeffrey Silverthorne , Edward Donato
As of May 2009, the blog was connected with Blind Pony, EDK, Fetishart, Indie Nudes, Medieval Art, Morbid Anatomy, Ofellabuta, SensOtheque, With the ghost and Woolgathersome.
Posted in aesthetics, blogroll, eroticism, European culture, exploitation, eye candy, fantastique, horror, Internet, irrationalism, juxtapoetry, miscellaneity, photography, sensibility, surrealism, taste, transgression, uncanny, visual culture, voyeurism
Harvest Moon by George Inness
Einsamkeit ist wie ein Regen.
Sie steigt vom Meer den Abenden entgegen;
von Ebenen, die fern sind und entlegen,
geht sie zum Himmel,
der sie immer hat.
Und erst vom Himmel fällt sie auf die Stadt.
–from Rilke‘s “Einsamkeit,” 1902
Prayer of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane by Giovanni Bellini
Surely Salvador Dalí must have known about Giovanni Bellini‘s Prayer of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane when he painted the epitome of dripping surrealism The Persistence of Memory by 
See works of art in the collective unconscious, cryptomnesia, rediscovery, déjà vu, memory failure, false memory syndrome, confabulation, automatic writing, memory bias, memoir, collective unconscious.