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Posts Tagged ‘Marquis de Sade

“An aphorism ought to be entirely isolated from the surrounding world like a little work of art and complete in itself like a hedgehog”*…

 

Twitter

Digital media are often (fairly) derided for playing to short attention spans. But brevity need not be synonymous with simplicity. New technologies also offer a canvas for creativity—even if the palette is confined to 140 characters. Many an artist or author is adept at using online channels to promote their work, and projects like the Los Angeles Review of Books have embraced an internet-first ethos. But there are also writers producing work with a distinctively online mindset. Though the medium is not quite the message, the limitations imposed by Twitter make for particularly fertile ground, giving rise to what has been called “Twitterature”…

More on aphorisms in the internet age at “The charms of Twitterature

* Friedrich von Schlegel

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As we concentrate on concision, we might send bawdy birthday greetings to Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade; he was born on this date in 1740. The French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, philosopher, author, and libertine spent much of his adult life in prison.  In 1778, de Sade was imprisoned by order of the king; ostensibly his offense was licentious behavior, but historians note that his mother-in-law, at whose urging the king acted, believed that the young Marquis was spending her daughter’s money too quickly. (There were also accusations of an affair with his wife’s sister… and it may have further motivated the mother-in-law that her daughter was rumored to be complicit in de Sade’s sexual escapades.)  While in the Bastille, he battled boredom by writing– among other things, The 120 Days of Sodom.  He was freed from prison in 1790, and ingratiated himself with the new Republic (calling himself “Citizen Sade”).  de Sade began writing again, anonymously publishing works including Justine and Juliette… until, in 1801, Napoleon ordered his arrest (again for indecency and blasphemy).  de Sade spent two years in prison, until his family had him declared insane, and moved him to the asylum at Charenton (the scene of Peter Weiss’s remarkable play Marat/Sade), where he died in 1814.

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Written by LW

June 2, 2016 at 1:01 am

Taking it to the streets…

Hanksy is a street artist who puts Tom Hanks’ face on copies of Banksy’s art. His first show, which just closed at the Krause Gallery on the Lower East Side, and where the menu offered boxes of chocolates and Dr. Pepper, nearly sold out completely, according to the dealer. “I think what made it such a success is the genuine honesty in it,” gallery owner Ben Krause told me. “Hanksy really is a huge Tom Hanks fan and a huge Banksy fan.”

Read an interview with Hansky at The Awl.  (And for readers interested in revisiting Banksy’s appearance here, try “The Quest for Verisimilitude,” “Bank(sy) Shot,” “There’s a reason it’s ‘a cliche”,” and/or “Prometheus Unmasked.”

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As we strip our stencils, we might send bawdy birthday greetings to Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade; he was born on this date in 1740.  The French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, philosopher, author, and libertine spent much of his adult life in prison.  In 1778, de Sade was imprisoned by order of the king; ostensibly his offense was licentious behavior, but historians note that his mother-in-law, at whose urging the king acted, believed that the young Marquis was spending her daughter’s money too quickly. (There were also accusations of an affair with his wife’s sister… and it may have further motivated the mother-in-law that her daughter was rumored to be complicit in de Sade’s sexual escapades.)  While in the Bastille, he battled boredom by writing– among other things, The 120 Days of Sodom.  He was freed from prison in 1790, and ingratiated himself with the new Republic (calling himself “Citizen Sade”).  de Sade began writing again, anonymously publishing works including Justine and Juliette… until, in 1801, Napoleon ordered his arrest (again for indecency and blasphemy).  de Sade spent two years in prison, until his family had him declared insane, and moved him to the asylum at Charenton (the scene of Peter Weiss’s remarkable play Marat/Sade), where he died in 1814.

 source

Written by LW

June 2, 2012 at 1:01 am

Synaesthesia…

The grand old man of pit-diving, Iggy Pop, has gotten in touch with his inner chanteur.  His new album, Préliminaires (officially released in the U.S. today), is ballad after ballad.

But perhaps as interestingly, The Shirtless One’s newest has lyrics based on French author Michel Houellebecq’s apocalyptic clone saga The Possibility of an Island… and so takes its place as the latest in a distinguished line (Dylan, Bowie, Pink Floyd, et al.) of rock albums based on important works of literature.

As we hum along, we might tip the birthday beret to Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, born on this date in 1744.  In one popular version of his life, he was he was a nobleman and great magus; in the other, a scheming fraud. The latter holds that Cagliostro was born Giuseppe Balsamo to a poor family in Palermo, Sicily, and that, when his father died, he was educated at the expense of some of his mother’s relatives. It has been said that he robbed his uncle, forged a will, and spent time in Palermo’s prisons more than once.  (Indeed, his reputation as a charlatan is so great that he shows up as a crooked character in Marvel’s Dr. Strange) In any case, it does seem that he was a “man of the era”– he knew and mixed with illustrious contemporaries like Mozart, Goethe, Casanova, and Catherine the Great…  but apparently not his fellow noble and birthday buddy, the Marquis de Sade (who was born on this date four years earlier, in 1740).

Alessandro di Cagliostro

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