Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll

"Jabberwocky" is a poem of nonsense verse written by Lewis Carroll, originally featured as a part of his novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1872). It is considered by many to be one of the greatest nonsense poems written in the English language. The poem is sometimes used in primary schools to teach students about the use of portmanteau and nonsense words in poetry, as well as use of nouns and verbs.

The Poem

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Origin and structure

The poem was written during Lewis Carroll's stay with relatives at Whitburn, near Sunderland, although the first stanza was written in Croft on Tees, close to nearby Darlington, where Carroll lived as a boy. The story may have been inspired by the local Sunderland area legend of the Lambton Worm, as noted in "A Town Like Alice's" by Michael Bute (1997 Heritage Publications, Sunderland) and as later adapted in "Alice in Sunderland" by Brian Talbot.

The first stanza of the poem originally appeared in Mischmasch, a periodical that Carroll wrote and illustrated for the amusement of his family. It was entitled "Stanza of Anglo-Saxon Poetry." Carroll also gave translations of some of the words which are different from Humpty Dumpty's. For example, a "rath" is described as a species of land turtle that lived on swallows and oysters. Also, "brillig" is spelled with two ys rather than with two is.

Roger Lancelyn Green, in the Times Literary Supplement (March 1, 1957), and later in The Lewis Carroll Handbook (1962), suggests that the rest of the poem may have been inspired by an old German ballad, "The Shepherd of the Giant Mountains". In this epic poem, "a young shepherd slays a monstrous Griffin." It was translated into English by Lewis Carroll's relative Menella Bute Smedley in 1846, many years before the appearance of the Alice books. English computer scientist and historian Sean B. Palmer notes a possible Shakespearean source. The inspiration for the Jabberwock allegedly came from a tree in the gardens of Christ Church, Oxford, where Carroll was a mathematician under his right name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. The tree in question is large and ancient with many sprawling, twisted branches somewhat suggestive of tentacles, or of the Hydra of Greek mythology.

Although the poem contains many nonsensical words, its structure is perfectly consistent with classic English poetry. The sentence structure is accurate (another aspect that has been challenging to reproduce in other languages), the poetic forms are observed (e.g. quatrain verse, rhymed, iambic meter), and a "story" is somewhat discernible in the flow of events. According to Alice in Through the Looking-Glass, "Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas – only I don't exactly know what they are!"

The narrative contained in the middle four verses of the poem may be considered as an example of the monomyth.


"Jabberwocky" was meant by Carroll as a parody designed to show how not to write a poem. The poem has since transcended Carroll's purpose, becoming now the subject of serious study. This transformation of perception was in a large part predicted by G. K. Chesterton. According to Chesterton and Green, among others, the original purpose of "Jabberwocky" was to satirize pretentious poetry and ignorant literary critics, but has itself been the subject of pedestrian translations and explanations as well as being incorporated into classroom learning. Chesterton wrote in 1932,

“Poor, poor, little Alice! She has not only been caught and made to do lessons; she has been forced to inflict lessons on others.”

In the following years, individuals have taken to analyzing Carroll's nonsense words and seriously interpreting his instructions on the "correct" pronunciation of these words.

"Jabberwocky" has been the source of countless parodies and tributes. In most cases the writers simply change the nonsense words into words relating to the parodied subject (e.g. Frank Jacobs's "If Lewis Carroll Were a Hollywood Press Agent in the Thirties" in Mad for Better or Verse). Other writers use the poem as a poetic form, much like a sonnet, and create their own nonsense words and glossaries (e.g. "Strunklemiss" by S. K. Azoulay).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Nursery "Alice" (1890)

The Nursery "Alice" is a shortened version of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, adapted by the author himself for children "from nought to five" with twenty of Tenniel's illustrations from the original book coloured and enlarged.

It was first published in 1890 by Macmillan, 25 years after the original Alice, and featured a new cover illustrated by E. Gertrude Thomson, who was a good friend of Dodgson.

Monday, March 29, 2010

White Queen Anne Hathaway

Anne Jacqueline Hathaway (born November 12, 1982) is an American actress who made her debut in the 1999 television series Get Real. After it was cancelled, she was cast as Mia Thermopolis in the Disney family comedy The Princess Diaries (2001), from which her career gained momentum. Over the next three years, Hathaway continued to star in family films, reprising the role for its sequel, and appearing as the titular character in Ella Enchanted (both 2004).

Interested in other projects, Hathaway began a career transition with supporting roles in Havoc and Brokeback Mountain (both 2005). She subsequently co-starred with Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and appeared in Becoming Jane (2007) as author Jane Austen. In 2008, she earned widespread critical acclaim for her lead role in the film Rachel Getting Married, for which she won numerous industry awards, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. In 2010, she starred in the box office hit Valentine's Day and as the White Queen in Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland.

Hathaway's acting style has been compared to Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn. She cites Hepburn as one of her favorite actresses and Streep as an icon. People magazine named her one of its breakthrough stars of 2001 and she first appeared on its list of the world's 50 Most Beautiful People in 2006.

The Annotated Alice (1960)

The Annotated Alice is a work by Martin Gardner incorporating the text of Lewis Carroll's major tales: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass as well as the original illustrations by John Tenniel. It has extensive annotations explaining the contemporary references (including the Victorian poems that Carroll parodies), mathematical concepts, wordplay, and Victorian traditions (such as the snap-dragons) featured in the two books.

The original book was first published in 1960. It has been reprinted several times and translated into Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Hebrew.

In 1990, a sequel, More Annotated Alice, was published. This sequel doesn't contain the original side notes and Tenniel's illustration were replaced by those of Peter Newell. It also contains the "suppressed" chapter "The Wasp in a Wig," which Carroll omitted from the text of Through the Looking-Glass on Tenniel's recommendation.

In 1999 The Definitive Edition was published. It combines the notes from both works and features Tenniel's illustration in improved quality.

Gardner also compiled a companion volume, The Annotated Snark, dedicated to Carroll's classic nonsense poem "The Hunting of the Snark."


The Annotated Alice by Martin Gardner (1960) ASIN B000H0KB0M
More Annotated Alice by Martin Gardner (1990) 0394585712
The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition by Martin Gardner (1999/1998) ISBN 0393048470

Sunday, March 28, 2010

American McGee's Alice (2000)

American McGee's Alice is a third-person action game released for PC on October 6, 2000. The game, developed by Rogue Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts, is set in the universe of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Alice was designed by American McGee and features music composed by Chris Vrenna.

The game is based on the id Tech 3 engine first used in Quake III Arena. A PlayStation 2 port was in development but was canceled. Notably, the game's box art was altered after release to show Alice holding the Icewand instead of a bloodied vorpal sword, and to reduce the skeletal character of the Cheshire Cat's anatomy. EA cited complaints from various consumer groups as its reason for altering the original art, though McGee stated the alteration was made due to internal concerns at EA. A third version of the box art has Alice holding the Cards in her hands instead of a sword or wand.


Set years after Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, the game features an older, more cynical and macabre incarnation of Alice.

Shortly after her second adventure, Alice's house is burned down by an accidental fire, killing her family, and leaving her as the only survivor. Due to her survivor's guilt, she tries to commit suicide (bandages can be seen on her wrists), and becomes catatonic. She is institutionalized in Rutledge Asylum, where she remains insane and is consistently mistreated by the workers. Ten years later, the White Rabbit summons Alice to aid a radically altered Wonderland, which became a twisted version of itself as it came under the despotic rule of the Queen of Hearts. The Cheshire Cat serves as Alice's companion throughout the game, frequently appearing to guide her with cryptic comments.


The game's setting presents a considerably more macabre rendition of Wonderland than seen in Lewis Carroll's original portrayal. Wonderland, being a creation of Alice's mind, has been corrupted by her insanity, which becomes the prevailing theme of the game; if Alice manages to save Wonderland, she will restore her own sanity as well.

The new Wonderland is composed of nine provinces. When Alice falls down the rabbit hole, she finds herself in the Village of the Doomed, the home of the Torch Gnomes. The Village of the Doomed is composed of a network of tunnels and caves, patrolled by the Queen of Hearts' card guards. Beyond the subterranean village is the Fortress of Doors, where the main attraction is a school of insane but harmless children. Within the school lies an ancient book of recipes for magic potions, as well as the ingredients for one concoction in particular which will be useful to Alice.

Beyond the fortress and across a rough, uncharted landscape lies the Vale of Tears, where Alice's friends Bill McGill and the Mock Turtle reside, along with the cannibalistic Duchess. A giant river runs throughout the gloomy, mist-shrouded landscape, and another aquatic location is accessible through a well inside Bill McGill's house. The well is sealed until the Duchess is slain.

On the other side of the Vale of Tears lies Wonderland Woods, one of the largest regions in the game. The woods are initially filled by ponds, cliffs and jump mushrooms, but much deeper into the woods is a region of rock and magma. This section leads to several new regions including the Cave of the Oracle, the Pale Realm, the Jabberwock's Lair, and the Majestic Maze. The Cave of the Oracle is home to a wise entity that is revealed later to be the Caterpillar.

The Pale Realm makes a transition to the surface of a chessboard, as delving further into this area leads to the White Castle of Looking Glass Land, which is home to life-size chess pieces; the White pieces join Alice in the fight against the Red pieces, a deviation from her normally unhelpful "allies" from earlier portions of the game. Alice is twice transformed into a chess piece herself to pass certain obstacles.

Following this is a distorted version of Rutledge Asylum (where Alice has been incarcerated since her parents' tragic deaths). It is run by Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and also houses the Mad Hatter's laboratory.

The path to the Jabberwock's Lair leads into the Land of Fire and Brimstone, a volcanic region of Wonderland and a reminder of the fire in which her family died. It is here that the terrible Jabberwock—a semi-mechanized servant of the Queen of Hearts and the incarnation of Alice's guilt—resides, in the remains of Alice's old home.

The Majestic Maze ends on the road to Queen of Hearts Land, a region heavily guarded by card guards, boojums, and other members of the Queen of Hearts' personal army.

Queensland is the final province of Wonderland. In it lies the Heart Palace from which the Queen of Hearts commands. Tentacles and other repulsive appendages are seen protruding from every organic wall in this area, and numerous areas even resemble body parts, giving the impression that Alice is travelling through her own body.


The game's characters are generally based on the inhabitants of Lewis Carroll's original novels, but they do not demonstrate the same identities. Many of them are warped incarnations of their conventional selves. The casebook of Q. Wilson (a supplement included with the game and written from the point of view of Alice's doctor) suggests that many of the characters Alice encounters in Wonderland are symbolic of real life people who get through to the catatonic Alice in some way. Other characters within the game are metaphors for Alice's own feelings, and because she is unhappy, they have become twisted. Some people (Cheshire Cat, White Rabbit) help her; others (Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts) try to cause pain, first by taking away those she loves and then by taking her down with them.


Electronic Arts licensed Ritual Entertainment's Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.² engine, which is in turn a modified Quake III Arena engine. The most notable changes in the engine include the use of the Tiki model system, which enables the engine to use skeletal animation among other things, the Babble dialog system which enables lip synching of audio with character animations, dynamic music system, scriptable camera, particle system and extended shader support. The changes implemented to the engine for Alice remained minimal however. The game's .bsp files even retain F.A.K.K.²'s headers, albeit sporting a different version number.

An early version of the game featured the ability to summon the Cheshire Cat to aid the player in battle. Though this feature was removed from the final product, beta screenshots of this version do exist online. An Alice port for the then-unreleased PlayStation 2 was also in development but was later cancelled, which caused Rogue Entertainment to shut down, another decision which angered American McGee. The game's retail release was also noticeably less gory than the demo that had been released earlier.

The game was ultimately released on October 6, 2000, receiving praise for its visuals; the graphics were very elaborate for its time. Many levels depict a world of chaos and wonder, some reminiscent of the inside of an asylum or a madhouse, visually linking Wonderland to Alice's reality. The exterior views of Wonderland show the Queen of Hearts' tentacles dipping out of buildings and mountain sides, especially in Queensland.


All of the music created for the fittingly twisted official American McGee's Alice soundtrack was written and performed by Chris Vrenna with the help of guitarist Mark Blasquez and singer Jessicka. Most of the sounds he used were created using toy instruments and percussion, music boxes (in a short documentary about the making of the game that appeared on TechTV, the music box used appears to be an antique Fisher-Price music box pocket radio), clocks, doors, and sampled female voices were manipulated into nightmarish soundscapes, including instances of them laughing maniacly, screaming, crying, and singing in an eerie, child-like way.

The music lends an eerie and horrifying feeling to the world Alice is in. The Pale Realm theme, as well as the track "I'm Not Edible", features the melody of the chorus of a popular children's song, "My Grandfather's Clock". In addition, there are many instances of the ticking and chiming of clocks being used as a musical accompaniment.

Marilyn Manson was originally involved scoring the music for the game. His composition has been described by American McGee as "very cool" and having "a very beautiful Beatles-in-their-harpsichord-and-Hookah-pipe-days-sound to it." Manson's contributions persisted into the final product, notably the influence of alchemy and the character of the Mad Hatter whose adaptation was somewhat influenced by him; for a time Manson was considered for the voice of the Hatter. Manson has indicated that the same music may be used in his forthcoming film Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll.

American McGee's Alice Original Music Score was released on October 16, 2001 by Six Degrees Records. It features all twenty original compositions by former Nine Inch Nails live drummer and studio collaborator Chris Vrenna. It spans a 2-disc set, and includes a previously unreleased theme as well as a remix of "Flying on the Wings of Steam."

American McGee's Alice Original Music Score (74:02)

1. "Falling Down the Rabbit Hole" 1:20
2. "Village of the Doomed" 3:35
3. "Fortress of Doors" 3:51
4. "Fire and Brimstone" 3:46
5. "Wonderland Woods" 3:59
6. "The Funhouse" 3:38
7. "Skool Daze" 4:10
8. "Time to Die" 3:55
9. "I'm Not Edible" 3:09
10. "Taking Tea in Dreamland" 3:44
11. "Fungiferous Flora" 3:35
12. "Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum" 3:46
13. "The Centipede" 3:31
14. "Pandemonium" 3:55
15. "Flying on the Wings of Steam" 4:35
16. "Late to the Jabberwocky" 3:17
17. "Battle with the Red Queen" 4:11
18. "A Happy Ending" 3:44
19. "Pool of Tears" 4:08
20. "Flying on the Wings of Steam (Remix)" 4:03


Film adaptation

In December 2000, director Wes Craven signed on to develop a film adaptation of the game, with screenwriter John August hired to adapt the game for the big screen. American McGee had begun negotiations with Dimension Films 10 months before, with the studio committing to the project before Craven's signing. In September 2001, August explained that he had turned in a script treatment for Alice and was not attached to develop fuller drafts for the film adaptation. In February 2002, Dimension Films signed brother screenwriters Jon and Erich Hoeber to write the screenplay for Alice. In July 2003, the brothers announced that they had completed the script for the film adaptation.

In 2004 the project moved from Dimension Films to 20th Century Fox, but in 2005 Universal Pictures acquired the rights. As of June 2008[update], producer Scott Faye indicated the film was in "turnaround" from Universal. He admitted that the script needed development, but would be used to attract the attention of a new studio.

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland is based on a similar premise of an older Alice returning to wonderland to free it from the Red Queen and kill the Jabberwock.


With a movie adaptation of American McGee's Alice in the making, Electronic Arts had also expressed interest in releasing a remake of the game, although initially it was unclear whether it would be a remake, an update, or a sequel.

On 19 February 2009, EA CEO John Riccitiello announced at D.I.C.E. 2009 that a new installment to the series is in the works for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. It is being developed by Spicy Horse, who recently worked on American McGee's Grimm. Two pieces of concept art were also released, depicting Alice and large allied birds fighting an oversized, semi-mechanized snail and its children on top of a lighthouse, and Alice swimming in a pond, with the Cheshire Cat's face in the background. Although no official date has been announced, it is planned for release early 2011.

In November 2009, a fan-made video based on the Alice 2 announcement was mistaken by gaming websites as a teaser trailer for the game. In it, Alice is in therapy after a relapse nine months after the events of the first game, and appears to hallucinate an image of the Cheshire Cat in place of her doctor.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Deathday: Billy Wilder 1906-2002 RIP

Billy Wilder (22 June 1906 – 27 March 2002) was an Austrian-American journalist, filmmaker, screenwriter and producer, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood's golden age. Wilder is one of only five people who have won three Academy Awards for producing, directing and writing the same film (The Apartment).


He first became a screenwriter in the late 1920s while living in Berlin. After the rise of Adolf Hitler, Wilder, who was Jewish, left for Paris, where he made his directorial debut. He relocated to Hollywood in 1933, and in 1939 he had a hit with the screwball comedy Ninotchka. Wilder established his directorial reputation after helming Double Indemnity (1944), a film noir he co-wrote with mystery novelist Raymond Chandler. Wilder earned the Best Director and Best Screenplay Academy Awards for the adaptation of a Charles R. Jackson story The Lost Weekend, about alcoholism. In 1950, Wilder co-wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Sunset Boulevard.


From the mid-1950s on, Wilder made mostly comedies. Among the classics Wilder created in this period are the farces The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like It Hot (1959), satires such as The Apartment (1960), and the romantic comedy Sabrina (1954). He directed fourteen different actors in Oscar-nominated performances. Wilder was recognized with the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1986. In 1988, Wilder was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. In 1993, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. Wilder holds a significant place in the history of Hollywood censorship for expanding the range of acceptable subject matter.

Billy Wilder - Westwood Cemetery

Wilder died in 2002 of pneumonia at the age of 95 after battling health problems, including cancer, in Los Angeles, California and was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, Los Angeles, California next to Jack Lemmon. Walter Matthau is mere steps away. Marilyn Monroe's crypt is located nearby. Wilder died the same day as two other comedy legends: Milton Berle and Dudley Moore. The next day, French top-ranking newspaper Le Monde titled its first-page obituary, "Billy Wilder is dead. Nobody is perfect." This was a reference to the famous closing line of his film Some Like it Hot spoken by Joe E. Brown after Jack Lemmon reveals he is not female.

Jack Lemmon - Westwood Cemetery
Walter Matthau - Westwood Cemetery

Friday, March 26, 2010

Deathday: Raymond Chandler 1888-1959 RIP

Raymond Thornton Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959) was an Anglo-American novelist and screenwriter who had an immense stylistic influence upon the modern private detective story, especially in the style of the writing and the attitudes now characteristic of the genre. His protagonist, Philip Marlowe, is, along with Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade, considered synonymous with "private detective."

Early life

Chandler was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1888, but moved to the United Kingdom in 1900[1] with his Irish-born mother after they were abandoned by his father, an alcoholic civil engineer who worked for a North American railway company. His uncle, a successful lawyer, supported them.[2] In 1900, after attending a local school in Upper Norwood, Chandler was classically educated at Dulwich College, London (the public school that also taught P.G. Wodehouse to write prose[2] and which also taught C. S. Forester). He did not attend university, instead spending time in Paris and Munich. In 1907, he was naturalised as a British subject in order to take the Civil Service examination, which he passed with the third-highest score. He then took an Admiralty job lasting just over a year. His first poem was published during that time.[3]

Chandler disliked the servility of the civil service and resigned, to the consternation of his family, becoming a reporter for the Daily Express and the Bristol Western Gazette newspapers. He was an unsuccessful journalist, published reviews and continued writing romantic poetry. Accounting for that time he said, "Of course in those days as now there were...clever young men who made a decent living as freelances for the numerous literary weeklies..." but "...I was distinctly not a clever young man. Nor was I at all a happy young man." [4]

In 1912, he borrowed money from his uncle (who expected it repaid with interest), and returned to North America, eventually settling in Los Angeles with his mother in 1913[5]. He strung tennis rackets, picked fruit and endured a lonely time of scrimping and saving. Finally, he took a correspondence bookkeeping course, finished ahead of schedule, and found steady employment. In 1917, when the US entered World War I, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, saw combat in the trenches in France with the Gordon Highlanders, and was undergoing flight training in the fledgling Royal Air Force (RAF) in the United Kingdom at war’s end.[2]

After the armistice, he returned to Los Angeles, California. He soon began a love affair with Cissy Pascal, a married woman eighteen years his senior.[2] Cissy divorced her husband, Julian, in 1920 in what was an amicable separation but Chandler's mother disapproved of the relationship and refused to sanction marriage. For four years Chandler had to support both his mother and Cissy. But when Florence Chandler died on 26 September 1923, Raymond was free to marry Cissy on February 6, 1924.[6][2] By 1932, during his bookkeeping career, he became a highly-paid vice-president of the Dabney Oil syndicate, but a year later, his alcoholism, absenteeism, and threatened suicide[2] contributed to his firing.

Pulp writer

To earn a living with his creative talent, he taught himself to write pulp fiction; his first story, “Blackmailers Don't Shoot”, was published in Black Mask magazine in 1933; his first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939. Literary success led to work as a Hollywood screenwriter: he and Billy Wilder co-wrote Double Indemnity (1944), based upon James M. Cain's novel of the same name. His only original screenplay was The Blue Dahlia (1946). Chandler collaborated on the screenplay of Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951) - a story he thought implausible - based on Patricia Highsmith's novel. By then, the Chandlers had moved to La Jolla, California, an affluent coastal neighborhood of San Diego.

Later life and death

In 1954, Cissy Chandler died after a long illness, during which time Raymond Chandler wrote The Long Goodbye. His subsequent loneliness worsened his natural propensity for clinical depression, he returned to drink, never quitting it for long, and the quality and quantity of his writing suffered.[2] In 1955, he attempted suicide; literary scholars documented that suicide attempt. In The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved, Judith Freeman says it was “a cry for help”, given that he called the police beforehand, saying he planned to kill himself. Chandler’s personal and professional life were both helped and complicated by the women to whom he was attracted — notably Helga Greene (his literary agent); Jean Fracasse (his secretary); Sonia Orwell (George Orwell's widow); and Natasha Spender (Stephen Spender's wife), the latter two of whom assumed Chandler to be a repressed homosexual.[7] (Unfortunately, Judith Freeman's book perpetuates errors dating back to the Frank MacShane biography relating to the death of Florence Chandler and a number of residences.[6])

After a respite in England (Chandler regained US citizenship in 1956.[3]), he returned to La Jolla, where he died (according to the death certificate) of pneumonial peripheral vascular shock and prerenal uremia in the Scripps Memorial Hospital. Greene inherited the Chandler estate, after prevailing in a lawsuit vs. Fracasse.

Raymond Chandler is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery, San Diego, California, as per Frank MacShane's, "The Life of Raymond Chandler" Chandler wished to be cremated and placed next to Cissy in Cypress View Mausoleum, but was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, by the County of San Diego, Public Administrator's Office because he left an estate of $60,000 with no will (intestate) apparently found. The lawsuit over his estate complicated life for Helga Greene, but didn't take place until 1960.

Critical reception

Critics and writers from W. H. Auden to Evelyn Waugh to Ian Fleming, greatly admired Chandler's prose.[2] In a radio discussion with Chandler, Fleming said that the former offered “some of the finest dialogue written in any prose today.” [8] Although his swift-moving, hardboiled style was inspired mostly by Dashiell Hammett, his sharp and lyrical similes are original: "The muzzle of the Luger looked like the mouth of the Second Street tunnel"; "The minutes went by on tiptoe, with their fingers to their lips", defining private eye fiction genre, and leading to the coining of the adjective 'Chandleresque', which is subject and object of parody and pastiche. Yet, Philip Marlowe is not a stereotypical tough guy, but a complex, sometimes sentimental man of few friends, who attended university, speaks some Spanish and, at times, admires Mexicans, is a student of classical chess games and classical music. He will refuse a prospective client’s money if he is ethically unsatisfied by the job.

The high critical regard in which Chandler is generally held today is in contrast to the critical pans that stung Chandler in his lifetime. In a March 1942 letter to Mrs. Blanche Knopf, published in Selected Letters of Raymond Chandler, Chandler complained: "The thing that rather gets me down is that when I write something that is tough and fast and full of mayhem and murder, I get panned for being tough and fast and full of mayhem and murder, and then when I try to tone down a bit and develop the mental and emotional side of a situation, I get panned for leaving out what I was panned for putting in the first time."

Although his work enjoys general acclaim today, Chandler has still received criticism for certain aspects of his stories; in one interview, Washington Post reviewer Patrick Anderson described his plots as "rambling at best and incoherent at worst", and chastised his treatment of black, female and homosexual characters, calling him a "rather nasty man". Anderson did, however, acknowledge Chandler's importance as a lyrical writer, and said that, despite his flaws, "he often wrote truly beautiful scenes and descriptions".

Chandler’s short stories and novels are evocatively written, conveying the time, place and ambience of Los Angeles and environs in the 1930s and 1940s.[2] The places are real, if pseudonymous: Bay City is Santa Monica, Gray Lake is Silver Lake, and Idle Valley a synthesis of rich San Fernando Valley communities.

Raymond Chandler also was a perceptive critic of pulp fiction; his essay "The Simple Art of Murder" is the standard reference work in the field.

All but one of his novels have been cinematically adapted. Most notable was The Big Sleep (1946), by Howard Hawks, with Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe. William Faulkner was a co-writer on the screenplay. Raymond Chandler's few screen writing efforts and the cinematic adaptation of his novels proved stylistically and thematically influential upon the American film noir genre.



1.^ 1900 U.S. Census, Plattsmouth, NB
2.^ Iyer, Pico (December 6, 2007). "The Knight of Sunset Boulevard". The New York Review of Books: pp. 31–33.
3.^ [1]
4.^ Raymond Chandler: Raymond Chandler Speaking (Dorothy Gardiner and Kathrine Sorley Wakker, ed.) p.24 (Houghton Mifflin Company (1962) ISBN 978-0520208353.
5.^ Florence arrives 12/1912 - Passenger Manifest S.S. Merion
6.^ Raymond Chandler's Shamus Town Timeline and Residences pages using official government sources (death certificate, census, military & civil - city & phone directories)
8.^ Chandler/Fleming discussion, BBC Home Service, 10th July 1958

Further reading

Dorothy Gardiner and Katherine Sorley Walker (eds.; 1962), Raymond Chandler Speaking. Boston: Houghton Miflin.
Bruccoli, Matthew J. (ed.; 1973). Chandler Before Marlowe: Raymond Chandler's Early Prose and Poetry, 1908-1912. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.
MacShane, Frank (1976). The Life of Raymond Chandler. N.Y.: E.P. Dutton.
MacShane, Frank (1976). The Notebooks of Raymond Chandler & English Summer: A Gothic Romance. N.Y.: The Ecco Press.
Chandler, Raymond (1976). The Blue Dahlia (screenplay). Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.
Gross, Mirian (1977). The World of Raymond Chandler. N.Y.: A & W Publsihers.
MacShane, Frank (ed.) (1981). Selected Letters of Raymond Chandler. N.Y.: Columbia University Press.
Chandler, Raymond (1985). Raymond Chandler's Unknown Thriller (unfilmed screenplay for Playback). N.Y.: The Mysterious Press.
Hiney, Tom (1999). Raymond Chandler. N.Y.: Grove Press. ISBN 0-80213-637-0
Hiney, Tom and MacShane, Frank (eds.; 2000). The Raymond Chandler Papers: Selected Letters and Nonfiction, 1909-1959. N.Y.: Atlantic Monthly Press.
Ward, Elizabeth and Alain Silver (1987). Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles. Woodstock, N.Y.: Overlook Press. ISBN 0-87951-351-9
Howe, Alexander N. "The Detective and the Analyst: Truth, Knowledge, and Psychoanalysis in the Hard-Boiled Fiction of Raymond Chandler." CLUES: A Journal of Detection 24.4 (Summer 2006): 15-29.
Howe, Alexander N. (2008). "It Didn't Mean Anything: A Psychoanalytic Reading of American Detective Fiction". North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 0786434546
Moss, Robert (2002) "Raymond Chandler A Literary Reference" New York Carrol & Graf
Freeman, Judith (2007). The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved. N.Y.:Pantheon. ISBN 978-0-375-42351-2 (0-375-42351-6)


Red Queen Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter (born 26 May 1966) is an English actress. Bonham Carter made her film debut in the K. M. Peyton film, A Pattern of Roses, before appearing in her first leading role in Lady Jane. She is best known for her portrayals of Lucy Honeychurch in the film A Room with a View, Marla Singer in the film Fight Club, Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter film series, her Oscar-nominated performance as Kate Croy in The Wings of the Dove, her Golden Globe-nominated performance as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, as well as her other collaborations with Tim Burton, her domestic partner since 2001. Bonham Carter played the villainous Red Queen, alongside notable actors such as Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman, Anne Hathaway, and Christopher Lee, in Burton's 2010 film, Alice in Wonderland, and Enid Blyton in an adaptation of her life entitled Enid.

Alice in Wonderland (1999 film)

Alice in Wonderland was a television movie first broadcast in 1999 on NBC and then shown on British television on Channel 4 . It is the 14th film based upon Lewis Carroll's books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

Tina Majorino played the lead role of Alice, and a number of well-known performers portrayed the eccentric characters whom Alice meets during the course of the story, including Ben Kingsley, Martin Short, Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Ustinov, Christopher Lloyd, Gene Wilder, and Miranda Richardson.

The film won four Emmy Awards in the categories of costume design, makeup, music composition, and visual effects.

The movie will be re-released on a special edition DVD on March 2, 2010 featuring an additional five minutes of footage.


The film follows the storyline of the book closely, save for adding some scenes from Through the Looking Glass. It also changes the opening real world scene from Alice and her sister sitting at a riverbank to Alice in her bedroom, reluctantly practicing the song "Cherry Ripe", which she is expected to perform at a garden party. (The party guests are played by the same actors as the Wonderland characters, and are shown as resembling them in appearance and personality, in a similar manner to the MGM version of The Wizard of Oz. The toys in Alice's room also reflect the residents of Wonderland). Thanks to stage fright, and constant nagging from her confident music teacher, Alice runs out of the house and hides herself in the woods nearby until the party has ended. However, an apple floats down from the tree and seems to hover in Alice's face. She is suddenly distracted by a human-sized White Rabbit (voiced by Richard Coombs) rushing by. Curious, Alice follows the White Rabbit, falling down his rabbit hole and ending up in Wonderland.

Alice travels throughout Wonderland, meeting a large number of bizarre people and challenges. Alice first has problems keeping her size the same while attempting to go through a small door leading to a beautiful garden, eventually she grows massively tall and floods the room she is in with her tears before shrinking to the size of a mouse. She then meets a Mr. Mouse (Ken Dodd) and his avian friends who participate in a Caucus Race, where everyone wins. Alice encounters the White Rabbit again who directs her to his house. There, Alice comes across a bottle of liquid that makes her enormous and trapped in the house. The White Rabbit and his gardeners Pat and Bill attempt to remove Alice by going down the chimney, but Alice shrinks again. Wandering in a forest, she encounters Major Caterpillar (Ben Kingsley) who advices her to not be afraid before transforming into a butterfly. Alice grows back to normal size by eating part of a mushroom. She ventures to a nearby manorhouse where she meets the musical Duchess (Elizabeth Spriggs), her pig-like baby, her pepper-obsessed plate-throwing cook, and the Cheshire Cat (Whoopi Goldberg). The baby is left in Alice's care but it turns into a pig and is released. The Cheshire Cat advices Alice to visit the Mad Hatter and his friends the March Hare and the Dormouse.

Meeting the trio at a tea party, Alice is given rather odd advice on how to avoid stagefright, the Mad Hatter leaping onto the table to do his performance he previously did at a concert of the Queen of Hearts. Alice eventually leaves when the Mad Hatter and March Hare begins smashing cups and plates. They also try stuffing the Dormouse into a teapot. She comes across the small door and using her intelligence, succeeds in getting through it into the garden which is actually the labyrinth maze belonging to the Queen. The Queen of Hearts (Miranda Richardson) invites her to a bizarre game of croquet, but her love for decapitating people annoys Alice. The Cheshire Cat's head appears in the sky and is ordered to be executed, but reasoning from Alice stops the Queen. The Duchess arrives to answer the King's question of who the Cat's owner is, but the Cat has vanished. Alice leaves the croquet game, meeting the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle (Gene Wilder). The two sing with Alice, teaching her the Lobster Quadrille and encouraging her. Alice then wanders into a darker area of Wonderland, meeting a White Knight (Christopher Lloyd) who encourages her to be brave and also shows her his newest invention.

Alice meets some flowers: a Tiger-Lilly who is the most sensible out of all of them, some Roses which aren't too bothered about Alice being lost, and some Daisies who are rascals. Having the flowers helping her, Alice walks off. Alice then meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee who have some antics with her before getting into a fight over a dropped rattle. Alice is then taken to the royal court where the Knave of Hearts is put on trial for apparently stealing the Queen's jam tarts. The Mad Hatter and his companions appear as witnesses but he is accused of stealing someone else's hat and is recognized by the Queen for singing at her concert, prompting him to sing his Twinkle Song. Alice is then called to the stand but she uses some mushroom pieces to grow to great heights. She sees the jam tarts have been untouched and the trial is pointless. She openly criticizes the Queen, the King and Wonderland. The White Rabbit, who is present at the court, reveals he deliberately lured Alice into Wonderland to conquer her fears. He does so by first asking her if she's self-confident. Upon answering yes, he simply states, "then you don't need us anymore." He then sends her back home using the same hovering apple that brought her there in the first place.

Awakening back home, Alice courageously sings in front of her parents and their guests, but instead of singing Cherry Ripe, she sings the Lobster Quadrille. The audience enjoy her performance and applaud. Alice spots the Cheshire Cat in the audience who smiles at her in a term of congratulations.

Cast and Characters

Alice (Tina Majorino) - A kind and curious young girl who is very nervous about performing the song Cherry Ripe at her parents' party in the beginning of the film. After her adventures in Wonderland, she finally gets the confidence to sing. However, she sings the Lobster Quadrille (a song that the Mock Turtle taught her) instead. Everyone loves her performance and she even spots the Cheshire Cat in the audience who grins at her in a term of congratulations.

The Queen of Hearts (Miranda Richardson) - A spoiled and unkind childish queen whose catchphrase is "Off with their heads!" She occasionally screams very loud to get her way, causing some people's ears to hurt. She was the one who started the croquet game and the Knave's trial in the first place. The trial turned out to be completely worthless of beginning.

The Mad Hatter (Martin Short) - An insane hat salesman who was first seen having a tea party with his best friends the March Hare and the Dormouse. He once sung at the Queen's concert, but was sentenced away because of his horrible performance. He was also called as a witness to the Knave's trial, but was soon recognized by the Queen and quickly ran away.

Cheshire Cat (Whoopi Goldberg) - A grinning cat who teaches Alice "the rules" of Wonderland. He was also one of the few characters who was nice to Alice. His favorite pastime is appearing and disappearing.

The King of Hearts (Simon Russell Beale) - The foolish husband of the Queen who constantly tries to be like his wife and fawns over her.

Mr. Mouse (Ken Dodd) - A very kind, funny, and wise mouse who tries to get Alice dry with a very boring lecture. When it fails, the Dodo suggests that they have a caucus race. Mr. Mouse is last seen going home for a cup of hot chocolate.

The Mock Turtle (Gene Wilder) - A weird type of turtle who often cries on remembering his moments at his school in the sea. He sings two songs to Alice: The Lobster Quadrille and Beautiful Soup. His best friend is the Gryphon.

The March Hare (Adrian Getley, Robert Tygner, Francis Wright {also voice}) - The Mad Hatter's insane tea party companion. His costume scared Tina Majorino because of the asymmetrical eyes.

Tweedledee and Tweedledum (George Wendt and Robbie Coltrane, respectively) - Two fat brothers who tell Alice the story of The Walrus and the Carpenter. After this, Tweedledum finds his new rattle spoiled, which he thinks was spoiled by Tweedledee. They have a brief battle which is interrupted by a monstrous crow which scares them away.

The White Rabbit (Kiran Shah and Richard Coombs {also voice}) - A human-sized rabbit who is always running late. He serves as herald to the Queen and King. Alice also got stuck in his house in the film.

The White Knight (Christopher Lloyd) - A kind knight who invented a lunchbox which he carries upside down so the sandwiches in it don't get wet. Alice points out that since it's upside down the sandwiches will fall out. He replies with, "So that's what happened to my sandwiches." He is also not very good at riding his horse.

The Duchess (Elizabeth Spriggs) - A duchess who is first seen nursing a baby which turns into a pig. Her pet is the Cheshire Cat. She was occasionally kind to Alice.

Major Caterpillar (Ben Kingsley) - A caterpillar major who is first seen smoking a hookah. He gives Alice advice on how to be brave on singing.

The Walrus and the Carpenter (Peter Ustinov and Pete Postlethwaite, respectively) - Two characters in the Tweedles' story.

The Gryphon (David Alan Barclay, Adrian Getley, Robert Tygner, Donald Sinden {voice}) - A creature (with a look of both lion and eagle) who is the Mock Turtle's best friend. He shows Alice to him and used to go to school in the sea with the Mock Turtle.

The Knave of Hearts (Jason Flemyng) - A clueless knave who is accused of stealing the Queen's tarts. The Queen constantly refers to him as an idiot.

Pat and Bill (Jason Byrne and Paddy Joyce, respectively) - The White Rabbit's two loyal gardeners. Pat is also very reluctant while Bill is a little more trustworthy.

Miss Lory, Mr. Duck, Mr. Eaglet, and Mr. Dodo (Liz Smith, Ken Campbell, Heathcote Williams and Peter Bayliss, respectively) - The Mouse's group of friends who are in the caucus race.

Tiger Lily (Joanna Lumley {voice}) - A very talkative flower who gives Alice directions.

The Cook (Sheila Hancock) - The Duchess's crazy cook who enjoys putting pepper in her meals. She also likes throwing dishes at Alice and the Duchess.

Dormouse (Nigel Plaskitt {also voice} and David Alan Barclay) - The Mad Hatter and March Hare's tea party companion who is asleep through most of the tea party scene. He seems to have a fondness for treacle and was later stuffed into a teapot by his companions.

The Pig Baby (voice of Nigel Plaskitt) - A rather creepy and ugly baby who is first seen being nursed by the Duchess. He soon turns into a pig.

The Frog and Fish Footmen (Peter Eyre and Hugh Lloyd) - Two footmen who were first seen standing in front of the Duchess's house. The Fishface handed the Frogface an invitation for the Duchess to play croquet, then walked away. The Frogface was also rather stupid.

The Rose Painting Cards (Matthew Sim, Jonathan Broadbent, and Christopher Sim) - The three cards were first seen painting white roses red because they accidentally planted them white, and if the Queen found out she would behead them. The Queen soon found out and Alice saved them by hiding them in her pocket.

The Red Knight (Gerard Naprous) - A knight who challenges the White Knight to a fight. In the end, they decided not to fight anymore. The Red Knight then leaves on his horse.

Mother (Janine Eser) - Alice's mother.

Father (Jeremy Brudenell) - Alice's father.

Nanny (Mary Healey)

Governess (Dilys Laye)

Special Effects

This movie was a mix of puppetry and live-action. The puppet designs were created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. They are the Cheshire Cat, the Gryphon, the March Hare, the Dormouse, the pig baby, the flamingos, and the White Rabbit.

In all, 875 special digital effects were created for the film. An example is Martin Short's head; it was enlarged to three times its size to resemble the Hatter in Tenniel's illustrations. Another one is the large books. Both of these examples were done by computer effects and Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Longing for Death" by Novalis

"Longing for Death"

Into the bosom of the earth,
Out of the Light's dominion,
Death's pains are but a bursting forth,
Sign of glad departure.
Swift in the narrow little boat,
Swift to the heavenly shore we float.

Blessed be the everlasting Night,
And blessed the endless slumber.
We are heated by the day too bright,
And withered up with care.
We're weary of a life abroad,
And we now want our Father's home.

What in this world should we all
Do with love and with faith?
That which is old is set aside,
And the new may perish also.
Alone he stands and sore downcast
Who loves with pious warmth the Past.

The Past where the light of the senses
In lofty flames did rise;
Where the Father's face and hand
All men did recognize;
And, with high sense, in simplicity
Many still fit the original pattern.

The Past wherein, still rich in bloom,
Man's strain did burgeon glorious,
And children, for the world to come,
Sought pain and death victorious,
And, through both life and pleasure spake,
Yet many a heart for love did break.

The Past, where to the flow of youth
God still showed himself,
And truly to an early death
Did commit his sweet life.
Fear and torture patiently he bore
So that he would be loved forever.

With anxious yearning now we see
That Past in darkness drenched,
With this world's water never we
Shall find our hot thirst quenched.
To our old home we have to go
That blessed time again to know.

What yet doth hinder our return
To loved ones long reposed?
Their grave limits our lives.
We are all sad and afraid.
We can search for nothing more --
The heart is full, the world is void.

Infinite and mysterious,
Thrills through us a sweet trembling --
As if from far there echoed thus
A sigh, our grief resembling.
Our loved ones yearn as well as we,
And sent to us this longing breeze.

Down to the sweet bride, and away
To the beloved Jesus.
Have courage, evening shades grow gray
To those who love and grieve.
A dream will dash our chains apart,
And lay us in the Father's lap.

Deathday: Novalis 1772-1801 RIP

"There are ideal series of events which run parallel with the real ones. They rarely coincide. Men and circumstances generally modify the ideal train of events, so that it seems imperfect, and its consequences are equally imperfect. Thus with the Reformation; instead of Protestantism came Lutheranism."

-- As quoted in "The Mystery Of Marie Rogêt" (1842) by Edgar Allan Poe, adapted from Fragments from German Prose Writers (1841) by Sarah Austin

"When Poe began his career as a critic in the latter part of 1835, a knowledge of the German writers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries was becoming fairly widespread in educated American circles. In the early decades of the 19th century there had been a steadily increasing interest in the literature of the German Romantische Schule in both England and America, and, as was then to be expected, the mother country had led the way. Coleridge, Scott, Carlyle -- to mention only a few big names -- were then doing yeoman service in popularizing German literary and philosophical ideas for the British public. Magazines such as the Foreign Quarterly Review, Fraser's, and Blackwood's were publishing numerous articles on German writers, and translations of the works of these writers were appearing in ever larger numbers. American was soon not far behind England both in the number of critical articles on German writers and in the mounting number of published translations of their works."

-- Albert J. Lubell
Poe and A.W. Shlegel
The Journal of English and Germanic Philology,
Vol. 52, No. 1 (Jan.,1953), pp.1-12
University of Illinois Press

Novalis (German pronunciation: [noˈvaːlɪs]) was the pseudonym of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg (May 2, 1772 – March 25, 1801), an author and philosopher of early German Romanticism.


Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg was born in 1772 at Oberwiederstedt manor, in the Harz mountains (in present-day Saxony-Anhalt). The family seat was a manorial estate, not simply a stately home. Novalis descended from ancient, Low German nobility. Different lines of the family include such important, influential magistrates and ministry officials as the Prussian chancellor Karl August von Hardenberg (1750–1822). An oil painting and a christening cap commonly assigned to Novalis are his only possessions now extant. In the church in Wiederstedt, he was christened Georg Philipp Friedrich. He spent his childhood on the family estate and used it as the starting point for his travels into the Harz mountains.

Novalis’s father, the estate owner and salt-mine manager Heinrich Ulrich Erasmus Freiherr von Hardenberg (1738–1814), was a strictly pietistic man who had become a member of the Moravian (Herrnhuter) Church. His second marriage was to Auguste Bernhardine von Hardenberg, née Bölzig (1749–1818), who gave birth to eleven children: their second child was Georg Philipp Friedrich, who later named himself Novalis.

At first, Novalis was taught by private tutors. He attended the Lutheran grammar school in Eisleben, where he acquired skills in rhetoric and ancient literature, common parts of the education of this time. From his twelfth year, he was in the charge of his uncle Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Hardenberg at his stately home in Lucklum.

Novalis studied law from 1790 to 1794 at Jena, Leipzig, and Wittenberg. He passed his exams with distinction. During his studies, he attended Schiller’s lectures on history and befriended Schiller during his illness. Novalis also met Goethe, Herder, and Jean Paul and befriended Ludwig Tieck, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, and the brothers Friedrich and August Wilhelm Schlegel.

In October of 1794, Novalis worked as actuary for August Coelestin Just, who was not only his superior but also his friend and, later, his biographer. During this time, Novalis met the 12-year-old Sophie von Kühn (1782–1797). On March 15, 1795, when Sophie was 13 years old, the two became engaged to marry. The following January, Novalis was appointed auditor to the salt works at Weißenfels.

In the period 1795–1796, Novalis concerned himself with the scientific doctrine of Johann Gottlieb Fichte, which greatly influenced his world view. He not only read Fichte’s philosophies but also developed Fichte's concepts further, transforming Fichte’s Nicht-Ich (German "not I") to a Du ("you"), an equal subject to the Ich ("I"). This was the starting point for Novalis's Liebesreligion ("religion of love").

The cruelly early death of Sophie in March, 1797, affected Novalis deeply. She was only 15 years old, and the two had not married yet. Novalis was in a state of mourning and suffering for a period of time after her death.

"In this season, Novalis lived only to his sorrow; it was natural for him to regard the visible and the invisible world as one; and to distinguish Life and Death only by his longing for the latter. At the same time too, Life became for him a glorified Life; and his whole being melted away as into a bright, conscious vision of a higher Existence. ... He remained many weeks in Thuringia; and came back comforted and truly purified, to his engagements; which he pursued more zealously than ever, though he now regarded himself as a stranger on the earth. "

-- Ludwig Tieck,
on the moods of Novalis after the death of his fiancée Sophie von Kühn.

That same year, Novalis entered the Mining Academy of Freiberg in Saxony, a leading academy of science, to study geology under Professor Abraham Gottlob Werner (1750–1817), who befriended him. During Novalis's studies in Freiberg, he immersed himself in a wide range of studies, including mining, mathematics, chemistry, biology, history, and, not least, philosophy. It was here that he collected materials for his famous encyclopaedia project.

Novalis's first fragments were published in 1798 in the Athenäum, a magazine edited by the brothers Schlegel, who were also part of the early Romantic movement. Novalis’s first publication was entitled Blüthenstaub (Pollen) and saw the first appearance of his pseudonym, "Novalis". In July of 1799, he became acquainted with Ludwig Tieck, and that autumn he met other authors of so-called "Jena Romanticism."

Novalis became engaged for the second time in December of 1798. His fiancée was Julie von Charpentier (1776–1811), a daughter of Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Toussaint von Charpentier, a professor in Freiberg.

From Pentecost 1799, Novalis again worked in the management of salt mines. That December, he became an assessor of the salt mines and a director. On the December 6, 1800, the twenty-eight-year-old Hardenberg was appointed "Supernumerar-Amtshauptmann" for the district of Thuringia, a position comparable to that of a present-day magistrate. But from August onward, Hardenberg suffered from tuberculosis, and on March 25, 1801, he died in Weißenfels. His body was buried in the old cemetery there.

Novalis lived long enough to see the publication only of Pollen, Faith and Love or the King and the Queen, and Hymns to the Night. His unfinished novels Heinrich von Ofterdingen and The Novices at Sais, his political speech Christendom or Europa, and numerous other notes and fragments were published posthumously by his friends Ludwig Tieck and Friedrich Schlegel.


Novalis, who had great knowledge in science, law, philosophy, politics and political economy, started writing quite early. He left an astonishing abundance of notes on these fields of knowledge and his early work shows that he was very educated and well read. His later works are closely connected to his studies and his profession. Novalis collected everything that he had learned, reflected upon it and drew connections in the sense of an encyclopaedic overview on art, religion and science. These notes from the years 1798 and 1799 are called Das allgemeine Brouillon, and are now available in English under the title Notes for a Romantic Encyclopaedia.

Together with Friedrich Schlegel, Novalis developed the fragment as a literary form of art. The core of Hardenberg’s literary works is the quest for the connection of science and poetry, and the result was supposed to be a "progressive universal poesy” (fragment no. 116 of the Athenaum journal). Novalis was convinced that philosophy and the higher-ranking poetry have to be continually related to each other.

The fact that the romantic fragment is an appropriate form for a depiction of "progressive universal poesy”, can be seen especially from the success of this new genre in its later reception.

Novalis’ whole works are based upon an idea of education: "We are on a mission: we are called upon to educate the earth." It has to be made clear that everything is in a continual process. It is the same with humanity, which forever strives towards and tries to recreate a new Golden Age – a paradisical Age of harmony between man and nature that was assumed to have existed in earlier times. This Age was recounted by Plato, Plotinus, and Franz Hemsterhuis – the latter being an extremely important figure for the German Romantics.

This idea of a romantic universal poesy can be seen clearly in the romantic triad. This theoretical structure always shows its recipient that the described moment is exactly the moment (kairos) in which the future is decided. These frequently mentioned critical points correspond with the artist’s feeling for the present, which Novalis shares with many other contemporaries of his time. Thus a triadic structure can be found in most of his works. This means that there are three corresponding structural elements which are written differently concerning the content and the form.

Hardenberg’s intensive study of the works of Jakob Böhme, since 1800, had a clear influence on his own writing.

A mystical world view, a high standard of education, and the frequently perceptible pietistic influences are combined in Novalis' attempt to reach a new concept of Christianity, faith, and God. He forever endeavours to align these with his own view of transcendental philosophy, which acquired the mysterious name "Magical idealism". Magical idealism draws heavily from the critical or transcendental idealism of Kant and Fichte, and incorporates the artistic element central to Early German Romanticism. The subject must strive to conform the external, natural world to its own will and genius; hence the term "magical".[1] David Krell calls magical idealism "thaumaturgic idealism."[2] This view can even be discerned in more religious works such as the Spiritual Songs (published 1802), which soon became incorporated into Lutheran hymn-books.

Novalis influenced, among others, the novelist and theologian George MacDonald, who translated his Hymns to the Night in 1897. More recently, Novalis, as well as the Early Romantic (Frühromantik) movement as a whole, has been recognized as constituting a separate philosophical school, as opposed to simply a literary movement. Recognition of the distinctness of Fruhromantik philosophy is owed in large part, in the English speaking world at least, to the writer Frederick Beiser.


In August 1800, eight months after completion, the revised edition of the Hymnen an die Nacht was published in the Athenaeum. They are often considered to be the climax of Novalis’ lyrical works and the most important poetry of the German early Romanticism.

The six hymns contain many elements which can be understood as autobiographical. Even though a lyrical "I", rather than Novalis himself, is the speaker, there are many relationships between the hymns and Hardenberg’s experiences from 1797 to 1800.

The topic is the romantic interpretation of life and death, the threshold of which is symbolised by the night. Life and death are – according to Novalis – developed into entwined concepts. So in the end, death is the romantic principle of life.

Influences from the literature of that time can be seen. The metaphors of the hymns are closely connected to the books Novalis had read at about the time of his writing of the hymns. These are prominently Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (in the translation by A.W. Schlegel, 1797) and Jean Paul’s Unsichtbare Loge (1793).

The Hymns to the Night display a universal religion with an intermediary. This concept is based on the idea that there is always a third party between a human and God. This intermediary can either be Jesus – as in Christian lore – or the dead beloved as in the hymns. These works consist of three times two hymns. These three components are each structured in this way: the first hymn shows, with the help of the Romantic triad, the development from an assumed happy life on earth through a painful era of alienation to salvation in the eternal night; the following hymn tells of the awakening from this vision and the longing for a return to it. With each pair of hymns, a higher level of experience and knowledge is shown.


The novel fragments Heinrich von Ofterdingen and Die Lehrlinge zu Sais (The Novices of Sais) reflect the idea of describing a universal world harmony with the help of poetry. The novel 'Heinrich von Ofterdingen' contains the "blue flower", a symbol that became an emblem for the whole of German Romanticism. Originally the novel was supposed to be an answer to Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister, a work that Novalis had read with enthusiasm but later on judged as being highly unpoetical. He disliked the victory of the economical over the poetic.

The speech called Die Christenheit oder Europa was written in 1799, but was first published in 1826. It is a poetical, cultural-historical speech with a focus on a political utopia with regard to the Middle Ages. In this text Novalis tries to develop a new Europe which is based on a new poetical Christendom which shall lead to unity and freedom. He got the inspiration for this text from Schleiermacher’s Über die Religion (1799). The work was also a response to the French Enlightenment and Revolution, both of which Novalis saw as catastrophic and irreligious. It anticipated, then, the growing German and Romantic theme of anti-Enlightenment visions of European spirituality and order.


Walter Pater includes Novalis's quote, "Philosophirn ist delphlegmatisiren, vivificiren" (to philosophize is to throw off apathy, to become revived)[3] in his conclusion to Studies in the History of the Renaissance. Novalis' poetry and writings were also an influence on Hermann Hesse.

Novalis was also a huge influence on Mihai Eminescu, on George MacDonald, and so indirectly on C. S. Lewis, the Inklings, and the whole modern fantasy genre. Borges refers often to Novalis in his work.

Novelist Penelope Fitzgerald's last work, "The Blue Flower," is an historical fiction about Novalis, his education, his philosophical and poetic development, and his romance with Sophie.


Alice (1988 film) by Jan Svankmajer

Alice (Czech: Něco z Alenky) is a 1988 Czech surrealist fantasy film by Jan Švankmajer. It retells Lewis Carroll's first 'Alice' book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in Švankmajer's unique style. The film combines live action with stop motion animation. Alice is played by Kristýna Kohoutová, and the English dubbed version features the voice of Camilla Power.

The movie is considered a cult movie.


This retelling of the "Alice" story is continually ambiguous about whether or not Alice is in her real world, or when exactly she crosses over to the "Wonderland". Early in the film, Alice appears to be in her bedroom, when a stuffed rabbit display comes to life and breaks out of its cage. Alice follows it up a large, rocky hill and into the drawer of a writing desk. This leads to a cavern where soon after spying the White Rabbit eating sawdust from a bowl with a spoon, she trips and falls through a bucket and seemingly down an elevator. "Wonderland" itself is a strange mix of a household-like areas with very little concern for logical space or size. Its inhabitants tend to be strange mixtures of rubbish and dead animals, such as a bed with bird legs, or a stuffed lizard with glass eyes.

Some characters from the original Alice's Adventures in Wonderland appear in similar, but Švankmajerian, forms, such as a wind-up toy rabbit for the March Hare, or a sock with glass eyes for the Caterpillar. Similarly, several sequences from the original story, such as Alice's growing and shrinking via the consumption of unusual food and drink, or the scene in which a crying baby changes into a pig, are portrayed in original forms. For example, when Alice shrinks, she is transformed into a doll which looks fairly similar to her regular self.

The movie also contains a number of original sequences not related to the original novel. In one such sequence, Alice is trapped inside a doll-like shell, after being made to walk into a bowl of milk while in her shrunken form, and is locked in a food closet. The Queen's character is also changed somewhat, in that her execution sentences are carried out by the White Rabbit with a pair of scissors.

When the movie ends, it is ambiguous whether everything that happened to Alice was indeed real, or if she is still dreaming. She wakes in her room, but then finds that the white rabbit is still missing from his cage, and finds a secret compartment where he keeps his scissors. She ponders whether or not she will cut his head off.

The visuals are often described as grotesque, perverse, or disturbing, but overall not repulsive. Prominent is the stuffed white rabbit, whose chest is constantly leaking so that he has to keep eating sawdust, various living animal skulls, and a moving slab of meat. There are a number of visual puns. Scissors and knives are also recurring themes. Alice herself narrates the dialogue of all the other characters in the film.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Deathday: Jules Verne 1828-1905 RIP


Jules Gabriel Verne (8 February 1828 – 24 March 1905) was a French author who helped pioneer the science-fiction genre. He is best known for his novels A Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864), From the Earth to the Moon (1865), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1869–1870), Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) and The Mysterious Island (1875). Verne wrote about space, air, and underwater travel before navigable aircraft and practical submarines were invented, and before any means of space travel had been devised. Consequently he is often referred to as the "Father of science fiction," along with H. G. Wells. Verne is the second most translated author of all time, only behind Agatha Christie, with 4223 translations, according to Index Translationum. Some of his works have been made into films.


In 1864, Verne wrote an admiring study of the works of Edgar Allan Poe (Edgar Poe et ses oeuvres, 1864) and it is not difficult to see Poe's works, published in France as Histoires extraordinaires (Extraordinary Stories), as a source of inspiration for Verne. In fact, Verne was so intrigued by Poe's "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket" that he penned a sequel to the work entitled "An Antarctic Mystery." Verne set his story eleven years after the disappearance of Pym and recounts through the persona of Jeorling, a man of science, the adventures encountered during an expedition tracing Pym's travels.


In 1905, ill with diabetes, Verne died at his home, 44 Boulevard Longueville (now Boulevard Jules-Verne) on 24 March 1905 and was buried in the Madeleine Cemetery in Amiens.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Alice in Wonderland Mia Wasikowska

Mia Wasikowska, born October 14, 1989) is an Australian actress. She became known for her critically acclaimed work on the HBO television series In Treatment, after which she ventured into American film. A series of smaller parts led to starring roles in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010), Gus Van Sant's film Restless (2011), and Cary Joji Fukunaga's adaptation of Jane Eyre (2011).


Deathday: Pornstar Shauna Grant 1963-1984 RIP


Shauna Grant (May 30, 1963 – March 23, 1984) was an American nude model and pornographic performer. Born Colleen Marie Applegate, she was sometimes credited as Callie Aimes, Callie Aims, or Colleen Applegate.


Early life

Born in Bellflower, California, Colleen Applegate grew up in the small town of Farmington, Minnesota. Her family moved there in 1973, when her father took a managerial position with Central Telephone Company of Minnesota. Colleen was a cheerleader in high school and graduated from Farmington High in 1981. She stayed in the small town, working first as a cashier and then as a repair clerk with the phone company. There, one night in December, she consumed a handful of prescription sinus pills in a suicide gesture.

In PBS's Frontline: Death of a Porn Queen profile (US air date 6/8/87), her father, Phil Applegate, admitted that he never discussed the suicide attempt with his daughter -- he and his wife at the time (Colleen's mother, Karen Applegate) believed that their daughter was merely seeking attention.

According to the Frontline piece, the entire family had at least one group session at a counseling center during which no one really talked about the situation.

When the news spread about her overdose, Colleen ran away from home and moved to California in March 1982, with her high school sweetheart, Mike Marcell. Applegate left behind her parents, a brother, and three sisters.

Adult film career

The couple arrived in Los Angeles, California. Applegate and Marcell unsuccessfully pursued several employment leads in the first month. Then Marcell saw an ad for the World Modeling Agency in Van Nuys, which diligently sought attractive new recruits for "figure modeling." Accompanied by Marcell, Applegate visited the agency's owner, Jim South, who set up a photo session with legendary soft-core photographer J. Stephen Hicks, whose work was frequently featured in Penthouse.

Her first pictorials' theme featured a mock camping set and was to be published by Club. Hicks reflected on Applegate's appearance and personality, saying "I deal with a lot of girls who are new in the business, a lot of young girls and a lot of girls from out of town. Colleen was so incredibly young and naive. She was completely un-hip and non-L.A."

Her wholesome, "girl next door" looks soon landed her work posing for other magazines such as Hustler and Penthouse. But Hicks advised Colleen to get out of nude modeling quickly, because when all of the magazines had used her, the only thing left for her would be hardcore movies. "You know, you take a typical girl that's used to working at McDonald's or at a shoe store, where she's used to making a minimum wage, and suddenly she's given the opportunity to get made up, and be in front of people who tell her she's beautiful, and make as much money in a day as she was making in three weeks and, um, they change. They change. And that's sad."

Almost immediately, Applegate progressed to filming hardcore photo sessions for Suze Randall.

Applegate's relationship with her boyfriend did not endure their first two months in California, as Marcell joined the U.S. Army. Before his induction, he informed her small town that Colleen was involved with pornography. Her family suffered much embarrassment.

Ignoring Hicks' advice, Colleen continued working with World Modeling Agency, where she met veteran porn producer Bobby Hollander. Hollander launched her adult film career, suggesting what he felt was a "classy" stage name, Shauna Grant.

As a fast-rising adult-entertainment personality, she was featured in Virginia, Suzie Superstar and Flesh and Laces 1 & 2, among many others. Her pay rose from $300 a day to nearly $1,500. As Shauna Grant, she made dozens of popular adult movies, more often plot-oriented. In Suzie Superstar, she played the lead singer of a rock band. By industry standards, Grant was early in her career when it suddenly came to an end. In a filmed interview, she said that she "wasn't ready" to try anal sex, an attitude that usually marks a starlet rather than a star. She also did only heterosexual scenes; most female porn performers also do lesbian scenes.

Off-screen she traveled in limousines and stayed in first-class hotels. Grant was provided with her own make-up artist, 27-year-old Laurie Smith (who was also an adult star). Smith, who co-starred with Grant in several movies (including the aforementioned Suzie Superstar as well as The Young Like It Hot and Bad Girls IV), also became Shauna's best friend -- and fellow cocaine partier -- during that period. She quit the adult film business for a short time following Grant's suicide.

Shauna's popularity earned her three acting nominations at the March 1984 Erotic Film Awards. Despite her beauty, she had some difficulty getting work due to her cocaine addiction and lack of "enthusiasm" during sex scenes. In some circles she acquired the nickname "Applecoke," and gained a reputation for being flaky.



In 1983, Grant retired from the adult film industry after less than a year and just over 30 movies. She disliked the industry, although she regarded Joey Silvera well. Through Hollander she found a new boyfriend, cocaine dealer Jack "Jake" Ehrlich, age 44. Ehrlich eased her out of adult films, and the two settled in Palm Springs, California. According to Palm Springs Police, Ehrlich made his living supplying cocaine to tenants of an upscale condominium park close to his house. He had compiled an extensive record of arrests in California, which included such offenses as selling narcotics and possession of stolen property. He also owned a leather goods store, Pelle, in downtown Palm Springs, which Grant began to manage.

According to the Frontline piece, while Grant was still living with Ehrlich, she began a relationship with a Minnesota college student (who appears in the Frontline story) during a trip back to Farmington, telling her high school friends that she planned to marry him.

In February 1984, Ehrlich was arrested and later sentenced to a five-year prison sentence, which he began serving in the State Institution for Men in Chino, California. The charges related to Ehrlich's 1981 arrest for possession of what detectives described as "several" pounds of cocaine. Grant was ambivalent about her circumstances following her boyfriend's conviction, which cut off her drug supply.

The night of the 8th Annual Adult Film Association Awards show, at the Cocoanut Grove Ambassador Hotel, she was a multiple nominee and presenter (with John Leslie). While her desire for work in mainstream films was not working out, she was so prestigious at the time that famed director Francis Ford Coppola was seated at her table.

That night she agreed to work on her first adult film in ten months. Matinee Idol was due to begin filming in eight days in San Francisco, California. A few days after the awards show, her Minnesota boyfriend flew to Los Angeles to see her, but Grant and Smith had partied for two days, and Grant literally forgot about it until the last minute. The beau was stranded at the airport, as neither Shauna nor Laurie had a car. This was the same day that Ehrlich telephoned from jail, saying that their relationship was over and that Shauna would have to move out.

Grant persuaded her friend and veteran porn actress, Kelly Nichols, to take the role which was intended for her. Shauna also had the option of returning to Minnesota. Her parents offered to pay for her college expenses, but she believed she would no longer be comfortable at home in Minnesota.


On March 23, 1984, Grant committed suicide in Palm Springs by shooting herself with a .22 Long Rifle. Shortly after 7 p.m. she lay down, placed the gun horizontally against her head, and pulled the trigger. The shot passed through her right temple, out the left and into the bedroom wall, according to police reports. The gun was discharged from such close range that the bullet left virtually star-shaped holes. Brain dead, Shauna was rushed to Desert Hospital, where life support systems were disconnected after two days.

Grant's funeral was held March 28, 1984, at St. Michael's Church, a Catholic parish near the center of Farmington. Members of the adult industry were absent from the ceremony, believing their presence would only exacerbate the family's anguish. Instead they contributed both flowers and letters. Grant was buried in her favorite color, pink.

Preliminary investigations by Palm Springs police posed questions regarding the circumstances surrounding Grant's death. Weeks after the event, police were still awaiting results of toxicological and gun-residue tests. The possibility of a foul play investigation hung in the balance. It is known that Grant had received threatening phone calls that related to her boyfriend's business affairs. Also, detectives noted Ehrlich avoided jail for a time by providing authorities with information. At the time of Grant's death, there were two people playing pool in Ehrlich's house--Brenda Rosenow, a friend of Colleen's, and Cal Ardigo, a friend of Ehrlich's. Shortly before Grant's shooting, two unidentified visitors showed up outside the home. The back door of Ehrlich's house was a possible means of access to the bedroom and to Grant.


Depiction in popular culture

Grant's career and death were fictionalized as the basis for a television movie called Shattered Innocence, a film that bears little resemblance to her actual life. Her parents used their proceeds from selling the rights to the movie to fund Grant's tombstone.

The musician Klaus Flouride honored Grant in the song "Dancing with Shauna Grant" from his 1991 album The Light Is Flickering. The song also mentions Virginia and Suzie Superstar, films which Grant starred in.

Death metal band Ripping Corpse wrote a song for their 1991 album Dreaming with the Dead about Grant, entitled "Deeper Demons." Not disrespectful, the lyrics wonder why such a tragic fate befell "little Colleen."

Christian metal band Mastedon wrote a song 'Innocent Girl' in memory of Shauna Grant on their debut album It's a Jungle Out There!. The lyrics were written by John Elefante (ex Kansas lead) & brother Dino.

Notable television appearances

Hard Copy playing "Herself" (archive footage) in episode: "Shauna Grant" 18 June 1990

Frontline playing "Herself" (archive footage) in episode: "Death of a Porn Queen" 1987 (originally produced as a local special report for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul)


Johnson, Thomas S. "Feeding on Shauna Grant: Ritual Cannibalism in Two Documentary Retrospectives ." Journal of Popular Culture. Vol. 36, Issue 1, pp. 25-43.

Los Angeles Times, The Death of Colleen by Michael London, May 6, 1984, Pg. R3-Pg. R9.

McNeil, Legs (with Osborne, Jennifer, and Pavia, Peter), Shattered Innocence Los Angeles/Farmington, Minnesota 1983-1984 in The Other Hollywood, The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry, Regan Books, Harper Collins, 2004, Pages 359-370.

Riley Patrick, Shauna Grant in The X-Rated Videotape Star Index II, A Guide to Your Favorite Adult Film Stars, Prometheus Books, 1997 Pages 612-613.

Syracuse Post-Standard, Small-Town Girl Meets Death in Porn World by Michael London, Saturday, May 19, 1984, Page A-9. Reprinted from The Los Angeles Times.

Syracuse Post-Standard, Porn Queen Uplifting And Sad Documentary by Howard Rosenberg, June 16, 1987, Page D-7, Reprinted from Los Angeles Times.

PBS's "Frontline: Death of a Porn Queen" (6/8/87), reported by Al Austin, produced by Andy Greenspan