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Posts Tagged ‘French literature

“Everything you can imagine is real”*…

 

Gregory Frank Harris, Tea in the Garden, c. 1953

A mash-up of fine art and current SMS messages…

From the sacred…

Diego Velazquez, Christ Crucified, 1632

…to the profane…

Jacques-Louis David, Male Nude Known as Hector, 1778

… readers will find oh so many more at If Paintings Could Text

Rosa Bonheur, Portrait de Col. William F. Cody, 1889

[TotH to @mattiekahn]

* Pablo Picasso (whose paintings-with-texts are here)

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As we just hit “send,” we might recall that it was on this date in 1545 that François Rabelais received the permission of King François I to publish the Gargantua series– Gargantua and Pantagruel as we know it.  In fact, Rabelais’ wild mix of fantasy, satire, the grotesque, bawdy jokes, and songs had been circulating pseudonymously for years.

Rabelais wrote at a time of great ferment in the French language, and contributed mightily to it– both in coinage and in usage.  But his influence was even broader (Tristram Shandy, e.g., is full of quotes from Rabelais) and continues to this day via writers including Milan Kundera, Robertson Davies, and Kenzaburō Ōe.

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Written by LW

September 19, 2014 at 1:01 am

Imagining a new New Deal…

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It was almost 80 years ago that Franklin Roosevelt’s administration initiated the New Deal.  Recognizing that those days have a poignant resonance with our own, Ready Made asked a number of contemporary artists to “reimagine the populist poster art of the first Great Depression”…

Christoph Niemann

See the others at Ready Made.

[TotH to VSL]

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As we recall our roots, we might send heartfelt birthday wishes to Alexandre Dumas fils; he was born– the illegitimate child of Marie-Laure-Catherine Labay, a dressmaker, and novelist Alexandre Dumas on this date in 1824.  A novelist and playwright, Dumas fils is probably best remembered for his romantic novel The Lady of the Camellias (La Dame aux camélias); adapted into a play, Camile, which became the basis for Verdi’s 1853 opera, La Traviata… and then for any number of plays and movies, including Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge.

Business? Why, it’s very simple: business is other people’s money.

– La Question d’argent (1857), Act II, sc. vii

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I may not know art, but…

The good folks at Metaphilm (“enjoying the late-night conversation about—you know—what the movie ‘really’ means”) invoke the spirit of their patron saint Robert Bresson to serve up an on-going series of essays that decode (“we don’t review, we interpret”).

Your correspondent has enjoyed entries ranging from…

Sympathy for the Devil
Dorothy Sayers and the American Faust Film
How a British Detective Novelist Can Help Us Understand an American Film Obsession

to…

Knight and Day vs. Inception
More Than This
Knight and Day delivers all the profundity that Inception only promises

But perhaps no one entry has been as impactful as Galvin P. Chow’s (in)famous reinterpretation of David Fincher’s martial masterpiece…

Fight Club
The Return of Hobbes
Hobbes is reborn as Tyler to save “Jack” (a grown-up Calvin) from the slough of un-comic despair

And lest readers think that criticism is an empty exercise, with no meaningful influence on the field that it surveys, consider GorillaMask’s illustration of Chow’s thesis:  I am Jack’s Calvin and Hobbes

(Special Calvin and Hobbes bonus:  Michael “Bing” Yingling’s Calvin and Hobbes, the Search Engine… tres cool!)

As we renew our subscriptions to Cahiers du Cinéma, we might recall that it was on this date in 1536 that monk, physician, humanist scholar, and writer Francois Rabelais  was absolved  by Pope Paul III of apostasy and allowed to get on with his work, both medical and literary.  Rabelais’ influential (and oft-imitated) satiric masterpiece, Gargantua and Pantagruel (five books, 1532-52) is a mock-quest… with the emphasis decidedly on the “mock”: the “prize” sought being at times the ideal toilet paper, at times the wisdom of the Holy Bottle.

Rabelais

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