Friday, December 11, 2009

femme fatale

Postscript from email to J, 30 October 2008.

FYI, I am attaching a link, with photo, regarding my malignant narcissist vampiric nemesis former boss... Did I mention that I didn't like her?

Note from journal scrawl of early morning 10 December 2009.

It's uncanny to me how my malevolent old boss looks like the Mona Lisa , in the photo where she's standing by the window overlooking the lovely magical public building like a palace behind her. I don't want to find the image of the Mona Lisa - Da Vinci's that is - to be malevolent. Yet he saw & understood something & he captured it.


From a discussion on the comments thread of the magia posthuma blog:

"... Roger Ebert said... "To watch F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922) is to see the vampire movie before it had really seen itself. Here is the story of Dracula before it was buried alive in cliches, jokes, TV skits, cartoons and more than 30 other films. The film is in awe of its material. It seems to really believe in vampires."

Me: Apropos... Ebert's trenchant observation, I greatly enjoyed reading a scholarly and very stimulating book entitled, The Living Dead: A Study of the Vampire in Romantic Literature, by James B. Twitchell (Duke University Press)... The book centers on the influence of the vampire legend on Romantic literature, and is full of fascinating analyses and detail.

Here is but one thought-provoking example, a quote from the 19th century English critic Walter Pater, with which Prof. Twitchell begins the chapter, "The Female Vampire":

"[The Mona Lisa] is expressive of what in the ways of a thousand years men had come to desire. Hers is the head upon which all 'the ends of the world are come,' and the eyelids are a little weary. It is a beauty wrought out from within upon the flesh, the deposit, little cell by cell, of strange thoughts and fantastic reveries and exquisite passions. Set it for one moment beside one of those Greek goddesses or beautiful women of antiquity, and how would they be troubled by this beauty, into which the soul with all its maladies has passed. All the thoughts and experience of the world have etched and molded there, in that which they have of power to refine and make expressive the outward form, the animalism of Greece, the lust of Rome, the mysticism of the Middle Age with its spiritual ambition and imaginative loves, the return of the Pagan world, the sins of the Borgias. She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire, she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave."

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