photo from superbomba on Flickr
Sorry about the silence here. I just started a new job last week after not working for a long time and it’s taking some getting used to. Hoping to resume posting regularly this week.
My friend Thaddeus recently sent me a Wicker Man comic book starring the Muppets. Kermit is Sergeant Howie, Gonzo is Lord Summerisle, and of course Miss Piggy takes up the role of the ass-shaking innkeeper’s daughter played by Britt Ekland (and her ass-double) in the 1973 film.
It’s clever and funny and well-executed but naturally the creators of it couldn’t include every scene from the movie, and my favorite one of all is missing: May Morrison’s sweet shop. It’s such a brief scene but it made a big impression on me. Ever since I first saw the film I’ve longed to walk into a sweet shop stocked with chocolate hares and turtles and creepy baby-shaped cakes.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s in the shop, starting with the big chocobaby in the window:
more after the jump, along with the beginnings of an inquiry as to how to recreate these goodies . . .
Here’s a scene from Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Quai des Orfèvres. Suzy Delair is fun to watch but what I really love about this scene is its Balzacian sweep through 1940s Parisian music hall culture. It begins in a music publisher’s shop and continues with rehearsal at home and in the venue before closing with Suzy on stage, but we don’t see just her, we see the audience and the other performers. We also briefly see her friend and neighbor Dora the photographer, whose sweater makes me jealous. Should I make myself one that says “MADELEINE’S SWEATER”?
I bought these three Florentine marble landscape stones years ago at a shop in Paris that sold nothing else: Claude Boullé Galerie at 28 rue Jacob (not far from St Germain des Prés).
As the accompanying note explains, the patterns in the marble are formed by oxidization. I’ve had these stones sitting on my bookshelves for so long that my eyes have a bad habit of skipping over them, but I was moved to scan them and show them to you because of a strange little coincidence. I was reading A Journey Round My Skull this morning and got into a brief comments-section discussion with its author and curator Will about Herbert Read’s The Green Child. Will pointed me towards his June, 2008 post about it, which in turn links back to a December, 2007 post of his about Roger Caillois’s The Writing of Stones. The latter post is accompanied by a photo of moody earth-tone landscape stones from the book’s dustjacket. While reading both (blog posts, not books!) I went to my bookshelves to check the date on my copy of The Green Child and it was sitting on top of a low bookcase — voilà — right next to my grey-blue landscape stones. I love when the internet feels like a museum, even more so when it feels like a museum whose collection has been arranged just for me.
A brief quote from The Writing of Stones, which I had no idea I needed:
“Like mists or dews, brief yet patient jellies come forth momentarily and with difficulty from a substance lately imperturbable: they are evanescent pharmacies, doomed victims of the elements, about to melt or dry up, leaving behind only a savor or a stain.”
More landscape stones here and here — including some nice specimens from the same shop as mine — and a few more here, along with some interesting background information. There are some really beautiful ones from Oregon here.
Update: I inadvertently published an earlier draft of this post that lacked a few finishing touches. Sorry if you read that version and scratched your head.
The first in a series which may vary with mood, season, inspiration, materials found.
bronze winged phallus from the 1st century AD via the Guardian
The rich ores of that barely conscious cry
Forge instantly, spear-sharp, to accuracy:
Not love, or not yet love, the sacred act
Speaks to that ‘worship’, passionate, exact.
The truly human action which of all
Seems most material, most animal,
This rite of adoration, thigh to thigh,
Creates the star-strewn goddess, the deep sky:
What all those churches shoddily declare
When the theologians smoulder, mystics flare,
The long-limbed, clear-eyed Stranger, worshipped in
Incense of breath or transubstantial skin
– excerpt from Statement by Robert Conquest. Read the rest here, and interesting profiles of him — card-carrying communist at Oxford, Thatcher speechwriter, historian, friend of Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin, editor of science fiction anthologies, composer of limericks — here and here.
I found this photo on the sidewalk this morning a few doors down from my building. It was with a bunch of not-very-interesting party shots and Trivial Pursuit cards. Did these horses wrong you somehow, neighbor?