fiction files redux discussion

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Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" - Fitzgerald! Hemingway! Stein! Oh my!

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message 1: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
I saw Woody Allen's new film Midnight in Paris over the weekend and found it utterly delightful! The following literary figures make appearances in the film: F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein (played perfectly by Kathy Bates!), and in even smaller cameo appearances Djuna Barnes and T.S. Eliot. Besides the literary figures there are appearances by other artists like Picasso, Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel. The film is a lovely meditation on how some people romaticize the past and always wish they could live in the time they consider to be "The Golden Age." The main character in Midnight in Paris believes Paris in the 20s to be The Golden Age, while one of the characters who lived during the 20s believes Belle Epoque Paris to be the Golden Age...

So my question is, what would your "Golden Age" of literature, art, and culture be??


message 2: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
Oh, maybe I should answer my own question. If I were to visit a Golden Age of culture, I may choose NYC in the 20s, the Algonquin Round Table and all. Or maybe Bloomsbury Group era London? Or maybe Beat era San Francisco or the 1960s music scene in Southern California??

It's so hard to choose!


message 3: by Maureen, mo-nemclature (new)

Maureen (modusa) | 683 comments Mod
in high school i really wanted to live in paris in the 20s. i thought it would be wonderful to hang out with joyce, and hemingway, and drink absinthe over sugar cubes: meanwhile i bought a couple of airplane bottles of absinthe in mexico at least six years ago i've never bothered to crack. :P

i've always wanted to live in republican or imperial rome, so i could lie around at the bath, get in subway-delay shipwrecks, and drink pearls and gold. then ovid would hit on me with his ars amatoria, and i would tell him he'd better watch himself or he'd be getting run outta roma. :P

what i'm getting at is in most of my time-travel fantasies i'd also have to be fabulously wealthy or well-connected or just as talented as the people in question to do any of the things i'd want to do but since they are fantasies, what the hell, right? but... that said, it does strike me that your california music scene one might be one that would be the most egalitarian, and easiest to access without money or connections or a talent on that scale.

the other day my comic book boys were talking about the same question, and my friend michael said he'd like to live in the permissive weimar republic because he could wear a funny moustache and offer to draw pictures of fancy boys, and he would be able make lots of dough, and be left alone to enjoy it. :)


message 4: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
It's absolutely a fantasy Mo! So imagine what you will!

I also thought about Concord, Massachusetts in the mid-1800s. I'd love to be around the group that included Margaret Fuller, The Peabody Sisters, Louis May Alcott, Nathanial Hawthorne, Emerson, and Thoreau. But then you'd have to deal with things like Mercury poisoning! Eek!


message 5: by Martyn (last edited Jul 11, 2011 04:05PM) (new)

Martyn | 299 comments I'd join you for a stroll down the Champs Elysees, Maureen! We'd go to lunch with Joyce and listen to him complain about his eye sight, then get drunk and sing Irish folk songs. Joyce had a lovely tenor voice, apparently. I'll accompany him on guitar (I totally haven't fantasised about this a million times, honestly).

Then after spending the day being a flaneur (which is what I was put on this earth to be, really) I'd retreat to my little room and write stuff into the small hours. Then go to bed, wake up and go and do it all again. I'd make some time to hang out with T.S. Eliot too if he was knocking around. We'd go to dinner and we could start the 26th September Club, because we share the same birthday. If Will Self wants to travel back in time with me too, he could join my and T.S.'s club.

I'd also want to have dinner with Louis Aragon and some of the Surrealists, but not Breton. He was a douche. I'd track down Antonin Artaud and see if he was up for some larks.

Okay, daydreaming over. Nice topic, Kerry! Although, don't hang out with the Bloomsbury group, they were horrendous snobs. Although, mad Virginia might have been nice to visit for tea on one of her better days at her gaff in Richmond. Leonard seemed an alright chap too.



M.


message 6: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
I love this Martyn! And have you seen the film yet??? Joyce isn't in it but he's mentioned...and I think you'd enjoy it!


message 7: by Martyn (last edited Jul 11, 2011 04:37PM) (new)

Martyn | 299 comments Kerry wrote: "I love this Martyn! And have you seen the film yet??? Joyce isn't in it but he's mentioned...and I think you'd enjoy it!"

it's not been scheduled for release in the UK yet. His films have tended to bomb over here the past few years, so it might get a limited release or straight to DVD. mon dieu!

p.s.

remember that book you were reading on the way to the dorka at Port Townsend that time? It had Joyce stood in a doorway with his cane. Think it's Sylvia Beach stood next to him.

My 1920s self would, like Joyce, be sporting a bow tie (bow ties are cool), green jacket, dark trousers, tennis shoes and a maybe a trilby hat, although, I reckon I could rock it in a straw boater. I fancy sporting a cravat at the dinner table, and maybe a monocle too.


message 8: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell (the_red_shoes) | 24 comments Maureen wrote: "then ovid would hit on me with his ars amatoria, and i would tell him he'd better watch himself or he'd be getting run outta roma"

Then he could hit on me! <3


message 9: by Maureen, mo-nemclature (new)

Maureen (modusa) | 683 comments Mod
Moira wrote: "Maureen wrote: "then ovid would hit on me with his ars amatoria, and i would tell him he'd better watch himself or he'd be getting run outta roma"

Then he could hit on me! <3"


you'd be the carmen, and i'd be the error. :) hi lovely moira! i bet you would also have been the only in my high school that margaret atwood could stand (i've never read cat's eye but apparently it includes her time at leaside. i did just go to my high school reunion so i sort of empathize with her now. :)

do you have an era, or time?

i have to say, that thinking about it, for the modern era, i think the twenties might be it, for me (as much as i like the idea of all the casual sex of the sixties :P)

but then truly, before that? nope. because i would still want to be a girl, even in a fantasy. :)


message 10: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell (the_red_shoes) | 24 comments Maureen wrote: "you'd be the carmen, and i'd be the error. :)

//DIES

hi lovely moira!

Ciao bella!

i bet you would also have been the only in my high school that margaret atwood could stand (i've never read cat's eye but apparently it includes her time at leaside. i did just go to my high school reunion so i sort of empathize with her now. :)

ahaha, I did not go to high school. I ESCAPED (well I did go to an artsy boarding school for about a quarter and a half. It went....poorly. They wanted me to wear a UNIFORM).

do you have an era, or time?

Heh, v predictably for people who know me, maybe ancient Rome, or Rome in the fifties or sixties, Victorian London....altho yeah, little things like contraception and antibiotics &c are nice. Shakespearean England!....maybe not, I'd wind up Woolf's Judith Shakespeare. Paris in the twenties would be FAB.


message 11: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
Martyn wrote: remember that book you were reading on the way to the dorka at Port Townsend that time? It had Joyce stood in a doorway with his cane. Think it's Sylvia Beach stood next to him.

Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation: A History of Literary Paris in the Twenties and Thirties was the book! It REALLY makes you want to live in Paris in the 20s! Sylvia Beach founded the original Shakespeare and Company bookstore and she published Joyce's Ulysses when no one else would touch it. Boy, was he a needy bastard.

Anyway, I hope you get the Woody film. It's on track to be his highest grossing film EVER here in the States! I want to see it again!


message 12: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
i'll just go ahead and be sappy/honest, and say the 2000's Fiction Files era is the one for me, and i wouldn't trade it for all the cute flapper dresses in the world (although i might be willing to go back in time to see Martyn in a bow tie and monocle).


message 13: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
Oh Patty! I love you...


message 14: by Maureen, mo-nemclature (new)

Maureen (modusa) | 683 comments Mod
i second that emotion. i love you too, patty! and kerry, and moira, and martyn. :) oh it's a big love-in here at the fiction files.

moira: i sort of did high school my own way -- i mean i went part of the time and pretended i was on "independent" study the other half. but even when i was there, i had trouble following rules that didn't make sense to me. one teacher once mentioned that they talked about my stubborn streak in the staff room which i thought was a little indiscreet, to say the least.

so, back to Rome: i don't know that i realized we had this interest in common. when you say ancient, are we talking prior to Tarquinius Superbus? are you a big fan of Boudicca? I would love to be the gal that picked the lint from Sulla's toga -- one of my very favourite details... and one of my favourite books ever is suetonius' twelve caesars. :)


message 15: by Maureen, mo-nemclature (last edited Jul 13, 2011 08:25PM) (new)

Maureen (modusa) | 683 comments Mod
ha! well, mike, as it happens, disappointed in my viewings of satyricon, and caligula in terms of roman-themed erotica, i bought that book the year after it came out, but had read the primary sources already so it was a bit of a disappointment because there was nothing nude -- er new. happily, at the same time, i purchased Games of Venus: An Anthology of Greek and Roman Erotic Verse from Sappho to Ovid which introduced me to some great translations (that still weren't precisely sexy, but still) including my favourite translation of Sappho 31! here's a sampling (mostly Greek actually):


Once more, like a blacksmith, Eros battered me with his huge
axe, and doused me in an icy torrent.

***

Thracian filly, why do you eye me with mistrust
and stubbornly run away, and think that I'm unskilled?
Rest assured, I could fit you deftly with a bridle
and, holding the reins, could steer you past the end posts of our course...

***

Boy with the girlish glance
I pursue you, but you won't listen,
you don't know you hold the reins of my soul

- Anacreon (i'll note here there's a lot of horse-back riding metaphor and imagery in ancient erotic poetry)

Boy, your slutting around has wrecked my affection,
you've become a disgrace to our friends.
You dried my hull for a while. But I've slipped out of the squall
and found a port as night came on.

***

A young woman isn't right for an old man,
she won't respond to the the rudder like a boat,
anchors won't hold her, she'll often break
the ropes, find another harbour in the night.

***

No you didn't fool me -- wandering down the road
where you used to ride, defrauding our love.
Get out! The gods hate you, men can't trust you.
That snake in your lap turned out to be shifty and cold.

- Theognis (also boats)

I wish I were the wind, and you walking along the shore,
would bare your breasts and take me as I blew.

(Anonymous Epigram)


As on a straw a Thracian man or Phrygian
sucks his brew, forward she stooped, working away.

***

His cock, like that
of a crop-gobbling dokey from Priene, overflowed.

- Archilochus

and finally, a short fragment that's beautiful -- another favourite discovered here, there are actually many such but i was focussing on the dirtier ones. :)

Eros, that slackener of limbs, twirls me again --
bittersweet, untameable, crawling thing.

- Sappho


message 16: by Christopher, Swanny (new)

Christopher Swann (christopherswann) | 189 comments Mod
One day I may have to use one of these as an epigraph.


message 17: by Maureen, mo-nemclature (new)

Maureen (modusa) | 683 comments Mod
Chris wrote: "One day I may have to use one of these as an epigraph."

ha! i am not going to say which one i've pegged as one you might have chosen. :P


message 18: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
His cock, like that
of a crop-gobbling dokey from Priene, overflowed.

- Archilochus


THAT is freaking AWESOME.

Eros, that slackener of limbs, twirls me again --
bittersweet, untameable, crawling thing.

- Sappho



That's awesome too. :)


message 19: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (last edited Jul 14, 2011 04:13PM) (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
Boy, your slutting around has wrecked my affection,
you've become a disgrace to our friends.
You dried my hull for a while. But I've slipped out of the squall
and found a port as night came on.


This one is by far my favorite of what you posted here! Silly boy slut!


message 20: by Christopher, Swanny (new)

Christopher Swann (christopherswann) | 189 comments Mod
Kerry wrote: "Boy, your slutting around has wrecked my affection,
you've become a disgrace to our friends.
You dried my hull for a while. But I've slipped out of the squall
and found a port as night came on.
..."


That one and the blacksmith one are also awesome.


message 21: by Micha (new)

Micha (selective_narcoleptic) | 92 comments I just saw Midnight in Paris today and it was FANTASTIC! I love Hemingway, he totally stole the show for me!

Having said that, I would say my Golden Ages tend to be pretty far apart, in terms of Art verses Literature vs. Film.

My Golden Age of Art, for example, would have been between 1870 and 1924 (how many years consist of an "Age"???). I think of every artistic movement I have ever studied my favourites all stemmed from this era, from Impressionism and Le Nabis to Georges Méliès and the Belle Epoque. This is pretty spread out for an Age, so perhaps I would choose Impressionism first, although being without real film would be so difficult.

For film, my Golden Age is 1955-1965. Most of the film makers which have had the greatest impact on me were making their major films in this era (Kurosawa Akira, Ingmar Bergman, Alain Resnais), however that would erase every film I love from now.

Literature is the same way. While I could think of nothing more impressive than to live in the an Age were I could have known Shakespeare, to actually LIVE there would have probably been a nightmare!

Which is why I love Dr. Who actually. I love the idea of someone who would take me to any time period on earth (or anywhere else) and allow me access to anyone I admired. That's a pretty freakin' sweet superpower if you ask me...

Apart from those, I would have loved to have been a tea proprietress in Japan's Meiji period/Era. Or a Dutch seafaring trader of pirate era! But all of those are exactly as Mo said, I'd need money and connections.

I am pretty happy with this era actually, because I have access to all those things and am comfortable here.


message 22: by Micha (new)

Micha (selective_narcoleptic) | 92 comments This is my favourite line Hemingway says in the movie:
"All men fear death. It's a natural fear that consumes us all. We fear death because we feel that we haven't loved well enough or loved at all, which ultimately are one and the same. However, when you make love with a truly great woman, one that deserves the utmost respect in this world and one that makes you feel truly powerful, that fear of death completely disappears. Because when you are sharing your body and heart with a great woman the world fades away. You two are the only ones in the entire universe. You conquer what most lesser men have never conquered before, you have conquered a great woman's heart, the most vulnerable thing she can offer to another. Death no longer lingers in the mind. Fear no longer clouds your heart. Only passion for living, and for loving, become your sole reality. This is no easy task for it takes insurmountable courage. But remember this, for that moment when you are making love with a woman of true greatness you will feel immortal."


message 23: by Micha (new)

Micha (selective_narcoleptic) | 92 comments Once more, like a blacksmith, Eros battered me with his huge axe, and doused me in an icy torrent.

- Anacreon

Oh yea - nothing like a huge axe in the morning with coffee to wake a girl up. This sent shivers down my ... arms. >_>


message 24: by Micha (new)

Micha (selective_narcoleptic) | 92 comments @Kerry,

I didn't know that slut was a Greek word. I learn something new every day here! ;p


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