Friday, November 30, 2012
I love knowing what goes on beyond things, behind things, where no one sees. I love the details in the tapestries of our lives, just to know - I rarely feel inclined to pass on what I discover, I just like to discover it. I love the stories of people, the little details which make up a coherent perspective. I spend hours watching Inside the Actor's Studio and listening to director commentaries, and when I return to the movies and television shows in question they are richer and have more depth because of my knowledge about all of the weave behind the polished surface of the screen.
Earlier on the radio, I listened to someone wax lyrical on how we could never know the self, that we schlep ourselves around mistaking our shoes and clothes and jobs for who we are. Earlier, another person decried irony, claimed it withered the soul and denied connection, claimed sincerity and integrity was fading and only found in the "suffering" class who don't have the time or energy for humor. There is a profound disconnect between me and them, and the shape of it is odd but it weighs on my mind. I love the things I own, to some extent, both for their intrinsic value as beautiful, functional objects and often also for what they represent, be that an idea, a relationship, or even a means to pleasure, however I don't see myself in them except so far as what I value reflected in where I put my money. I adore irony and owuld be grieved to lose it from my reading; two of my favorite authors are Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde, both known for their deep, moving, and penetrating irony which reveals far more than it conceals.
My favorite Austen is Pride and Prejudice, the first I read, but my second favorite is the far less mentioned Northanger Abbey, which was a satire both of the sorts of horror romances which were popular at the time and of cultural tropes of femininity, maturation, and courtship. One of my favorite lines comes at the end, when the drama has all been explained and when the lovers are finally united: "I leave it to be settled, by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience." This is characteristic of Austen's sweeping ironic statements and the delicate way she crafted even relatively shallow works like Northanger Abbey - there are always deeper considerations to the ethics and morality underpinning her own work, which is part of the satire itself. It could easily be argued that the pause before Catherine and Mr. Tilney (by far my favorite Austen groom) are finally wed was valuable in slowing their headstrong fling into marriage based on only a couple months' acquaintanceship even though the cause was pure calculation on the part of his father, but it is also not to be denied that the final happiness requires Tilney to defy his father without reservation; both things are true within this story, but usually not to be encouraged in wider society, and hence the irony of the book.
My favorite Wilde is An Ideal Husband, largely for the character of Lord Goring and his ironic courtship of Mabel Chiltern (which I always felt should be played more archly and less poutily than the 1999 movie). Here is an example of two layers of irony - Goring does use ironic statements within the play in order to keep both his father and Mabel at a distance, in a manner which reflects the style of detachment and cleverness which was expected during that era. It is an arch and trivial play about an arch and trivial man where the moments of sincerity are all the stronger because their setting is so sly and reserved. The entire focus is on appearance as opposed to substance, even while the proclaimed substantive pair have the clay feet which drive the action - while Goring is central to the action, his own story is sidelined for that of the friends he admires and wants to help. My favorite lines and the ones I think sum up the serious implications of this charmingly trivial play are spoken by Mabel, my second favorite character: "An ideal husband! Oh, I don't think I should like that. It sounds like something in the next world... He can be what he chooses."
( More pictures here. )
Skin: De la Soul, Aestali - Cream Rose
Eyes: De La Soul, RooMee Eyes - Rainbow
Eyelashes: SLink, Eyelashes
Eyeshadow: Boom, Eye Paint - watermelon
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Lipstick: Schadefreude, Sealed With a Kiss
Hair: Alice Project, Demonia
Wings: Fancy Fairy, Azarelle
Outfit: Curious Kitties, Tragic Springtime (The Perfect Fit Gift)
Location: Split Screen: Danse Macabre (through December)
Light Settings: Places
Water Settings: Mirror Water
Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only