Category Archives: Nothingness

Nearness of Death

“O the evening, reaching into the dark hamlets of childhood…”

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Nearness of Death

“O the evening, reaching into the dark hamlets of childhood…”

Eclipse

“There was a bullet hole in his right temple, and a bullet hole in her left temple. His free arm was wrapped languidly around her neck, and their left hands were clasped. They faced each other…”

Eclipse

“There was a bullet hole in his right temple, and a bullet hole in her left temple. His free arm was wrapped languidly around her neck, and their left hands were clasped. They faced each other…”

The 12-step Sissi lifestyle plan

Looking out from official portraits with her radiant skin, torrents of chestnut hair and tiny waist, Her Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty seems to be saying “this doesn’t just happen, you know”. And it really, really didn’t: maintaining it all was a full time occupation.

The 12-step Sissi lifestyle plan

Looking out from official portraits with her radiant skin, torrents of chestnut hair and tiny waist, Her Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty seems to be saying “this doesn’t just happen, you know”. And it really, really didn’t: maintaining it all was a full time occupation.

The house of Wittgenstein

Haus Wittgenstein is a Modernist white cube of such unornamented austerity that it’s like a splash of ice cold water after the whipped-cream architectural confections that dot central Vienna.

The house of Wittgenstein

Haus Wittgenstein is a Modernist white cube of such unornamented austerity that it’s like a splash of ice cold water after the whipped-cream architectural confections that dot central Vienna.

Phantom of the empire

She haunted Europe’s pleasure spots in widow’s weeds, a gothic freak show of peek-a-boo solipsism, a fan shielding her from the gaze of the hated hoi polloi. If she was seen at all it was in silhouette, like Marlene Dietrich in Maximilian Schell’s documentary, and for the same reason – neither could bear to disturb the earlier image the public had of her.

Phantom of the empire

She haunted Europe’s pleasure spots in widow’s weeds, a gothic freak show of peek-a-boo solipsism, a fan shielding her from the gaze of the hated hoi polloi. If she was seen at all it was in silhouette, like Marlene Dietrich in Maximilian Schell’s documentary, and for the same reason – neither could bear to disturb the earlier image the public had of her.

Dress-down Friday: Sissi

From her dark hair fell a veil of black. Black were the ornaments in her hair, black her pearls, everything black, only her face was marble-white and ineffably sad…

Dress-down Friday: Sissi

From her dark hair fell a veil of black. Black were the ornaments in her hair, black her pearls, everything black, only her face was marble-white and ineffably sad…

Review: Daniel Schmid – Le chat qui pense

I can’t remember the last time I was so affected by a screen portrayal of an artist’s life and work. What a rare treat this was, and how perfectly did it illustrate the power of documentary filmmaking in opening up entire worlds.

Review: Daniel Schmid – Le chat qui pense

I can’t remember the last time I was so affected by a screen portrayal of an artist’s life and work. What a rare treat this was, and how perfectly did it illustrate the power of documentary filmmaking in opening up entire worlds.

Vaché’s epiphany

It’s unclear if death was the destination when Jacques Vaché took to a Nantes hotel room to smoke and ingest opium in 1919 with four companions (one of whom also died). Certainly Vaché’s disdainful detachment from everyone and everything made self-destruction a plausible possibility

Vaché’s epiphany

It’s unclear if death was the destination when Jacques Vaché took to a Nantes hotel room to smoke and ingest opium in 1919 with four companions (one of whom also died). Certainly Vaché’s disdainful detachment from everyone and everything made self-destruction a plausible possibility

XIIDX day 6: down and out in Paris

The life of Dadaist poet Jacques Rigaut, as well as his death (which we’ve already talked about) inspired Pierre Drieu La Rochelle’s 1931 novel Le feu follet (“The Fire Within”) which Louis Malle filmed in 1963.

XIIDX day 6: down and out in Paris

The life of Dadaist poet Jacques Rigaut, as well as his death (which we’ve already talked about) inspired Pierre Drieu La Rochelle’s 1931 novel Le feu follet (“The Fire Within”) which Louis Malle filmed in 1963.

XIIDX day 3: Merry Crispmas

This two-part documentary from 1970 finds Quentin Crisp at a curious mid-point. He’s past the trials of young adulthood which saw him literally beaten up on the street for flamboyant campery, but not yet settled into his elderly, august years as a “stately homo”.

XIIDX day 3: Merry Crispmas

This two-part documentary from 1970 finds Quentin Crisp at a curious mid-point. He’s past the trials of young adulthood which saw him literally beaten up on the street for flamboyant campery, but not yet settled into his elderly, august years as a “stately homo”.

Sissi & Romy

Above all, Sissi is associated in the German-speaking world with the trio of 1950s movies based on her life starring Romy Schneider, which appear in Christmas TV schedules with grim inevitability. The beautiful Austrian actress would come to hate the role of Empress as much as Sissi herself did.

Sissi & Romy

Above all, Sissi is associated in the German-speaking world with the trio of 1950s movies based on her life starring Romy Schneider, which appear in Christmas TV schedules with grim inevitability. The beautiful Austrian actress would come to hate the role of Empress as much as Sissi herself did.

Lapses into piety

Harry Crosby always felt he was living on borrowed time. He was obsessed with the idea of determining the end from which he had already once — against all odds — been spared.

Lapses into piety

Harry Crosby always felt he was living on borrowed time. He was obsessed with the idea of determining the end from which he had already once — against all odds — been spared.

Dress-down Friday: Isabelle Eberhardt

From conception onwards, Isabelle Eberhardt’s existence owed nothing to convention. From the shores of Lake Geneva, Eberhardt’s imagination was soon drawn to the sandy expanses of North Africa.

Dress-down Friday: Isabelle Eberhardt

From conception onwards, Isabelle Eberhardt’s existence owed nothing to convention. From the shores of Lake Geneva, Eberhardt’s imagination was soon drawn to the sandy expanses of North Africa.

Chronicle of a death foretold

Jacques Rigaut was no ragged Montparnasse Bohemian, and even at his death he was fastidiously dressed in suit and tie, as if meeting an important client.

Chronicle of a death foretold

Jacques Rigaut was no ragged Montparnasse Bohemian, and even at his death he was fastidiously dressed in suit and tie, as if meeting an important client.