Category Archives: Excess

How to Win against History

A chamber spectacular about the wondrous Henry Cyril Paget

How to Win against History

A chamber spectacular about the wondrous Henry Cyril Paget

Not as other men

The dancing marquess: Henry Cyril Paget

Not as other men

The dancing marquess: Henry Cyril Paget

Royally buzzed

“Even the mummies stand up and walk when they drink Vin Mariani!”

Royally buzzed

“Even the mummies stand up and walk when they drink Vin Mariani!”

Pearls: Fitz Hugh Ludlow

“Who shall say that at that season of exaltation I did not know things as they are more truly than ever in the ordinary state?”

Pearls: Fitz Hugh Ludlow

“Who shall say that at that season of exaltation I did not know things as they are more truly than ever in the ordinary state?”

Alfred Jarry, fixie pioneer

“Rather more than a simple vehicle, the writing machine was powered by human musculature and fueled by alcohols.”

Alfred Jarry, fixie pioneer

“Rather more than a simple vehicle, the writing machine was powered by human musculature and fueled by alcohols.”

Places: Grand Hotel et des Palmes

There is something weirdly moving about this meticulous list of drugs with names like Saturnian moons (“Phanodorme”, “Veronidin”, “Sonéryl”), recorded along with their effects (“slept 12¼ hours”, “euphoria all day”, “confused euphoria”).

Places: Grand Hotel et des Palmes

There is something weirdly moving about this meticulous list of drugs with names like Saturnian moons (“Phanodorme”, “Veronidin”, “Sonéryl”), recorded along with their effects (“slept 12¼ hours”, “euphoria all day”, “confused euphoria”).

Scenes from a pataphysical life

“Depending on one’s tastes, inclinations, and social situation, the 1890s were either the Belle Époque, a virile culmination of French culture promising a yet more glorious future; or the fin-de-siècle, the last gasp of an enfeebled civilization on the verge of extinction.”

Scenes from a pataphysical life

“Depending on one’s tastes, inclinations, and social situation, the 1890s were either the Belle Époque, a virile culmination of French culture promising a yet more glorious future; or the fin-de-siècle, the last gasp of an enfeebled civilization on the verge of extinction.”

Dress-down Friday: Evander Berry Wall

Although it lay claim to greater refinement, Berry Wall’s wardrobe was an expression of conspicuous consumption no less excessive than a Diamond Jim Brady brunch.

Dress-down Friday: Evander Berry Wall

Although it lay claim to greater refinement, Berry Wall’s wardrobe was an expression of conspicuous consumption no less excessive than a Diamond Jim Brady brunch.

Pearls: Herbert Huncke

“Everything sparkled and the people were suddenly happy and there was no more sorrow.”

Pearls: Herbert Huncke

“Everything sparkled and the people were suddenly happy and there was no more sorrow.”

Look back with Anger

We saw Kenneth Anger yesterday, kicking around the semi-ruin of Aleister Crowley’s Abbey of Thelema. He’s also been on my screen in Martina Kudláček’s brilliant 2006 documentary Notes on Marie Menken, which I’ve watched twice over the last few days.

Look back with Anger

We saw Kenneth Anger yesterday, kicking around the semi-ruin of Aleister Crowley’s Abbey of Thelema. He’s also been on my screen in Martina Kudláček’s brilliant 2006 documentary Notes on Marie Menken, which I’ve watched twice over the last few days.

The Marquis

Among the guests at the 18th century-themed ball were “50 princes, 35 marquesses, 95 counts, 20 dukes”, a collision of cluelessness and noblesse of a kind not seen since Louis XVI opened his Filofax on 14 July 1789 and jotted down “rien”.

The Marquis

Among the guests at the 18th century-themed ball were “50 princes, 35 marquesses, 95 counts, 20 dukes”, a collision of cluelessness and noblesse of a kind not seen since Louis XVI opened his Filofax on 14 July 1789 and jotted down “rien”.

The wrath of God

If you were asked to identify the psychological weak link of a production you would probably go with the guy who is screaming himself hoarse for a half-hour stretch because the catering had fallen short of his standards.

The wrath of God

If you were asked to identify the psychological weak link of a production you would probably go with the guy who is screaming himself hoarse for a half-hour stretch because the catering had fallen short of his standards.

Strange Flowers guide to Berlin: part 4

Else was shocked when management barred her entry one day, on the grounds that she didn’t consume enough. “Is a poet who consumes a lot even a poet?” she fumed. And so as the First World War approached, Café des Westens fell out of favour with the avant-garde.

Strange Flowers guide to Berlin: part 4

Else was shocked when management barred her entry one day, on the grounds that she didn’t consume enough. “Is a poet who consumes a lot even a poet?” she fumed. And so as the First World War approached, Café des Westens fell out of favour with the avant-garde.

Strange Flowers guide to Berlin: part 1

Germany’s cultural history generally favours the tortured genius over the wayward maverick, but the period between the First World War and the Nazis’ rise to power in 1933 represented a rare temporal oasis of experimentation, extravagance and eccentricity.

Strange Flowers guide to Berlin: part 1

Germany’s cultural history generally favours the tortured genius over the wayward maverick, but the period between the First World War and the Nazis’ rise to power in 1933 represented a rare temporal oasis of experimentation, extravagance and eccentricity.

Sodom’s ambassador to Paris

Jean Lorrain was a master of fin-de-siècle snark, using both novels and articles to take down many of the public figures of his day. He had – to quote Ann Widdecombe (four words I never thought I’d type) – “something of the night” about him.

Sodom’s ambassador to Paris

Jean Lorrain was a master of fin-de-siècle snark, using both novels and articles to take down many of the public figures of his day. He had – to quote Ann Widdecombe (four words I never thought I’d type) – “something of the night” about him.

Berber’s Berlin

The life and legend of Strange Flowers favourite Anita Berber offers inexhaustible material for academics and ahem armchair cultural historians (guilty). The dancer slash actress slash outré provocateuse, who died in 1928, can be read as an exemplar of Weimar

Berber’s Berlin

The life and legend of Strange Flowers favourite Anita Berber offers inexhaustible material for academics and ahem armchair cultural historians (guilty). The dancer slash actress slash outré provocateuse, who died in 1928, can be read as an exemplar of Weimar

Strange Flowers guide to London: part 2

Fitzrovia was a stone’s throw from Bloomsbury but a world away in temperament. According to the Times Literary Supplement, Fitzrovia was “a world of outsiders, down-and-outs, drunks, sensualists, homosexuals and eccentrics”. In short, the spiritual home of Strange Flowers.

Strange Flowers guide to London: part 2

Fitzrovia was a stone’s throw from Bloomsbury but a world away in temperament. According to the Times Literary Supplement, Fitzrovia was “a world of outsiders, down-and-outs, drunks, sensualists, homosexuals and eccentrics”. In short, the spiritual home of Strange Flowers.

Homme fatal

Denham Fouts arrives as a flat-pack of facts, fables, anecdotes, rumours and bald-faced lies to be assembled as desired. The finished product, though intriguing, won’t bear much weight nor close scrutiny.

Homme fatal

Denham Fouts arrives as a flat-pack of facts, fables, anecdotes, rumours and bald-faced lies to be assembled as desired. The finished product, though intriguing, won’t bear much weight nor close scrutiny.

Let them eat kuchen

So after I posted a couple of days ago about Ludwig II I remembered I had some photos kicking around somewhere of the palace Herrenchiemsee and its surrounds which I visited almost 10 years ago. Situated between Munich and Salzburg,

Let them eat kuchen

So after I posted a couple of days ago about Ludwig II I remembered I had some photos kicking around somewhere of the palace Herrenchiemsee and its surrounds which I visited almost 10 years ago. Situated between Munich and Salzburg,