Monthly Archives: April 2013

Münchhausen, Nietzsche and the swamp of nothingness

Gustave Doré‘s caricature of Münchhausen [1] is one of the illustrations from  Les Aventures du Baron de Münchausen (1862), translated by  Théophile Gautier, fils.

It depicts the baron with a periwig, the socle of the bust bears the words “Mendace veritas,” Latin for “in falsehood, truth.”

It served as an inspiration to Terry Gilliam‘s film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen to style John Neville as the baron [2].

To my surprise, the heroic feat in yesterday’s Tumblr post[3]Baron Münchhausen pulls himself out of a mire by his own hair, is mentioned in Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil:

“The desire for “freedom of will,” […] the desire to bear the entire and ultimate responsibility for one’s actions oneself, […] involves nothing less than […] to pull oneself up into existence by the hair, out of the slough of nothingness. (sich selbst aus dem Sumpf des Nichts an den Haaren ins Dasein zu ziehn).”

See also Bust (sculpture)PeriwigFriedrich Nietzsche and free will.

An encapsulation of queerness and otherness

For years I mistakenly thought that one of my fave visuals, Toulouse-Lautrec Wearing Jane Avril’s Feathered Hat and Boa (ca. 1892, above) was by Nadar.

Today, I learnt that it is in fact by Maurice Guibert.

In the process of finding that out, I discovered two fine blogs. The first The Esoteric Curiosa, the second the enigmatic ACravan.

Lautrec dressed in drag encapsulates queerness and otherness, better than any other photograph.

I’ve previously posted a photo of Lautrec, the delightfully scatological Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec at the beach at Le Crotoy, Picardie in 1898[1].

Stolen kisses

Stolen kisses from Cinema Paradiso

Stolen kisses from Cinema Paradiso

The enigmatic and highly original blogger “Ombres Blanches” is back with a series of posts on surrealist cinemaFrench surrealism and all the things “Ombres Blanches” is into.

Illustration:  deleted kiss scenes from the film Cinema Paradiso (click to see a partial list of indentified fragments) mentioned by Ombres Blanches. The collage gives a whole new meaning to the concept of the stolen kiss.

You can see it as a film scene here.