G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How to Open a New Book. And a Georgian Lady!

Today April 23 2014 is World Book Day




"Here's a lovely old advisory from William Matthews Bookseller, explaining how to open a book for the first time, which was a major operation in the age of hand-sewn hardcover bindings."

courtesy: Dangerous Minds  and Boing Boing

Undressing a Georgian / Victorian lady too perhaps needed instructions like the above.

In the passage below, just ignore the passions and focus on the skills:

"...“Let’s go to bed, Tillie.”
Eyes closed, she nodded.
He removed the pins from her hair, placing them on the mantel, then took her tresses into two fists and buried his face in it, inhaling deeply.
Her knees weakened, but she remained still, allowing him all the time he wanted.
Finally, he brushed it behind her back, then dipped down to find her collar fastenings. She reached up to detach it, but he pushed her hands away.
“Tonight,” he said, “I will be your lady’s maid, and I will do for you what you have done countless times for others.” His eyes slid to half-mast. “But this will be much, much more enjoyable.”
Flushing, she stood motionless as he tenderly removed collar and cuffs, setting them next to her pins on the mantel. Kneeling before her, he untied her boots, then slipped them off.
Still on one knee, he twisted to hold his hands to the fire before slipping them blindly beneath her skirts. She jumped, bracing her fingertips against his shoulders as he whisked her garters off and rolled down her stockings.
The plank floor was cold and rough beneath her feet, giving her blessed relief from the flush overtaking her body.
Bodice, overskirt, skirt lining, skirt, petticoat, corset cover, corset, and chemise. With the removal of each layer, he whispered words of praise and awe, paid homage in the age-old way of man, and then carefully attended to the piece of clothing in his hands, shaking it out before hooking it on a peg. Finally, his breathing deep, his eyes fierce, he lifted the bed linen.
She slid beneath the covers, heart full, every nerve quivering. He made quick work of his own clothing, suspenders swinging, articles flying..."

  (from 'Maid to Match' by Deeanne Gist, 2010)


Isobel Carr, a historical re-enactor who writes Georgian romance novels, has given a dozen demonstrations for romance writers in the past six years. Her "underwear through the ages" seminar covers the Tudor, Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras. 

Typically, she comes fully dressed, then disrobes down to her undergarments. Ms. Carr says she tries to amend common misconceptions while performing her striptease—including the anachronistic use of silk underwear. All delicates were "plain white linen," she says. 

Corsets are another common stumbling block. "I try to show that corsets are back-lacing, and they have to be completely unlaced to take them off," she says. "I've seen scenes in books where they've been yanked off overhead, and you can't do that." 

Novelist Delilah Marvelle took Ms. Carr's seminar twice, at romance conventions in 2006 and 2008, because she was struggling to describe unmentionables, as 19th-century women called their underthings. The workshop helped her craft the following passage in her 2008 novel "Mistress of Pleasure."

"Maybelle undid the lacing that held her petticoats in place and let them drop from around her waist down to her slippered feet, leaving her only in her chemise, corset and stockings. She could feel him tugging and pulling as he worked to undo the long set of laces on her corset."..."



Artist: Thomas Rowlandson (1756 - 1827), 1791


"...If the British Library’s exhibition gives the reality of the age, it is Rowlandson’s work that transmits its essential flavours, the tang and boisterousness of the times and their irreverence...

...Rowlandson was highly political, although far from partisan. In 1784, he produced prints both for and against Charles James Fox (with his portly figure and bushy eyebrows, a cartoonist’s dream) and during George III’s first illness, he was paid to make prints supporting the prince of Wales’s bid for the regency while later drawing various loyalist subjects.

Royalty and politicians were merely at the sharp end of a society that fascinated him. Partly because of his spendthrift nature and unsuccessful gambling forays, he was forced to churn out great numbers of works: the mores of the age were a rich source. The preposterousness of old men wooing young women, the pretensions of the military, the nonsense of fashion, the scrum of the theatre: it all attracted his eye. What his humour tends to hide, however, is the skill of his draughtsmanship and that when he allowed himself to be gentle – while painting a riverside scene at Ferrybridge in Yorkshire, for example – he was capable of great beauty.

If the British Library show were reduced to just one object to represent the Georgian century, Rowlandson himself would be the ideal exhibit..."

(

Rowlandson...our history of late 18th century, early 19th century would have become so more interesting...in Maharashtra, he would have loved to caricature Bajirao II and his amorous pursuits...

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