Archive for April 3rd, 2008

Neil Gaiman’s cool stuff

Is it wrong to be in love with Neil Gaiman?

A Goat Rope around Dracula

Fellow West Virginia blogger el cabrero, normally a more philosophical blogger, spends the week on fictional and historical Dracula. Here’s some excerpts.

Children of the Night:

When El Cabrero was a little kid, as yet innocent in the ways of goats or the larger world, Channel 8 used to show 1930s horror movies on Fridays at 5:00. I thought this was The Coolest Thing Ever.

I may have been predisposed to this since my old man read me Edgar Allen Poe at a very early age.

Birth of a pop-culture icon:

The thing that’s kind of amusing about the novel is how “modern” it is. The characters use the telegraph, take pictures with a Kodak, practice hypnosis,give blood transfusions, and one character, Dr. Seward, records his diaries on a phonograph. Not to mention the Freudian symbolism.

The vampire slayers could learn a thing or two from Buffy. On one occasion, they leave Mina alone at night in Dr. Seward’s asylum to go hunt for Dracula next door. Although they just lost Lucy to Dracula, it never occurred to them that this might not be a terribly good idea.

My favorite character, has got to be the fly- and spider-eating mental patient Renfield, a true gentleman, aside from his dietary irregularities and a penchant to fall under the sway of the Undead.

A Renaissance Man:

Any self respecting ruler of the time sought to build an absolute monarchy, limit the powers of the aristocracy, create a loyal state apparatus, enforce religious conformity, and come to terms with the merchant class, and play the ruthless games of war and diplomacy among contending powers.

It’s just that most of the others managed to do it without impaling as many people or enjoying it so much…

Vlad, or That’s “Mister the Impaler” to You:

In a way, he shared many traits with other rulers of the time, particularly a ruthless drive to gain and retain power. But his methods were so brutal and sadistic that he makes many contemporaries seem like humanitarians.

After all, one does not acquire the title “the Impaler” by acts of charity.

Life Before Death

That’s the name of a photo-essay currently running in The Guardian about a photography exhibition of the same name:

This sombre series of portraits taken of people before and after they had died is a challenging and poignant study. The work by German photographer Walter Schels and his partner Beate Lakotta, who recorded interviews with the subjects in their final days, reveals much about dying – and living. Life Before Death is at the Wellcome Collection from April 9-May 18

Peter Kelling, 64. First portrait taken: November 29 2003; second portrait taken: December 22 2003

The accompanying article is here, and is well worth the read.

[via Towleroad]

Posted in Art, Death | 1 Comment »

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