Category Archives: juxtapoetry

Normal love

Normal love

Click for credits

My dear friend Walter gave me Cinema of Obsession[1] as a present.

Cinema of Obsession traces the history of obsessive love and erotic fixation. Seminal works of obsession, The Blue Angel, Peter Ibbetson, and Phantom of the Opera are seen as setting the groundwork for films that follow. The book defines and surveys examples of the explosive nature of amour fou, issues of male control (no matter how tenuous), and the fugitive couple – love on the run – in such films as Romeo and Juliet, Last Tango in Paris, Vertigo, Basic Instinct, and Wild at Heart. Male masochism is explored through film noirs, including Criss Cross, The Killers, Gilda, and The Postman Always Rings Twice. The book shifts gears in its finale and concentrates on the female gaze, films of female obsession: Jane Eyre, The Piano, The Lover, Fatal Attraction, and Vanilla Sky.

The introduction to the book mentions new (to me) theoretical work on love and fetishism. First there is Max Dessoir (pseudonym Ludwig Brunn) and a 1888 essay entitled “The Fetichism of Love,” from which comes this clever quote:

Normal love appears to us as a symphony of tones of all kinds. It is roused by the most varied agencies. It is, so to speak, polytheistic. Fetichism recognises only the tone-colour of a single instrument; it issues forth from a single motive; it is monotheistic.”

“Fetichism of Love” reprises the final two chapters of Alfred Binet‘s “Du Fétichisme dans l’amour” published the previous year, which is generally regarded as the first work on sexual fetishism.

The book also references Denis de Rougemont‘s L’Amour et l’Occident (1939, revised 1972), translated as Love in the Western World as well as the standard work in this category, Georges Bataille‘s Erotism.

From that last book.

eroticism differs from animal sexuality in that human sexuality is limited by taboos and the domain of eroticism is that of the transgression of these taboos.”

The phrase that inspired this post and above all the photo above is “normal love“.

Cryptomnesia, or, concealed recollection

I stumbled upon the very interesting concept of cryptomnesia.

Cryptomnesia, or inadvertent plagiarism, is a memory bias whereby a person falsely recalls generating a thought, an idea, a song, or a joke, when the thought was actually generated by someone else. In these cases, the person is not deliberately engaging in plagiarism, but is rather experiencing a memory as if it were a new inspiration.

Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung

Man and His Symbols (1964) by Carl Jung

The term cryptomnesia was first put forward by Carl Jung as concealed recollection in Man and His Symbols.

As explained expertly by Carl Jung, in Man and His Symbols,

“An author may be writing steadily to a preconceived plan, working out an argument or developing the line of a story, when he suddenly runs off at a tangent. Perhaps a fresh idea has occurred to him, or a different image, or a whole new sub-plot. If you ask him what prompted the digression, he will not be able to tell you. He may not even have noticed the change, though he has now produced material that is entirely fresh and apparently unknown to him before. Yet it can sometimes be shown convincingly that what he has written bears a striking similarity to the work of another author–a work that he believes he has never seen.”

Blind Pew by N.C. Wyeth

Blind Pew by N. C. Wyeth

Robert Louis Stevenson refers to an incident of cryptomnesia that took place during the writing of Treasure Island, and that he discovered to his embarrassment several years afterward:

I am now upon a painful chapter. No doubt the parrot once belonged to Robinson Crusoe. No doubt the skeleton is conveyed from Poe. I think little of these, they are trifles and details; and no man can hope to have a monopoly of skeletons or make a corner in talking birds. The stockade, I am told, is from Masterman Ready. It may be, I care not a jot. These useful writers had fulfilled the poet’s saying: departing, they had left behind them Footprints on the sands of time, Footprints which perhaps another — and I was the other! It is my debt to Washington Irving that exercises my conscience, and justly so, for I believe plagiarism was rarely carried farther. I chanced to pick up the Tales of a Traveller some years ago with a view to an anthology of prose narrative, and the book flew up and struck me: Billy Bones, his chest, the company in the parlour, the whole inner spirit, and a good deal of the material detail of my first chapters — all were there, all were the property of Washington Irving. But I had no guess of it then as I sat writing by the fireside, in what seemed the spring-tides of a somewhat pedestrian inspiration; nor yet day by day, after lunch, as I read aloud my morning’s work to the family. It seemed to me original as sin; it seemed to belong to me like my right eye.The Art of Writing

See also rediscovery, déjà vu, memory failure, false memory syndrome, confabulation, automatic writing, memory bias, memoir

A cemetery in Hoboken, Belgium

Cemetery of Montjuic

Montjuic cemetery in Barcelona (photo by  Stefan Cermak)

My first conscious experience of liking cemetries comes from climbing Mont Juic in Barcelona and seeing what appeared from a distance as a high-rise city. In reality that high-rise city was a multi story cemetery.

Last week I visited the neighbouring cemetry from where I teach.

It looks something like this:


… and is rather smallish compared to the huge and worldwide known (to cemetry enthousiasts) Schoonselhof cemetry, the artist’s cemetry of Antwerp.

The pictures are of photos mounted on the graves, usually aureoled by oval frames. I like the washed-out spooky ones. One of the joys of photographing is photographing photographs. After Sherrie Levine: After After Edward Weston.

Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008

Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008

Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008

Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008Cemetery Hoboken Early 2008

A cemetery in Hoboken, Belgium


Scatole d’amore in conserva by you.

Scatole d’Amore in Conserva

Maybe Marinetti‘s 1927 book Scatole d’Amore in Conserva (boxes of love conserved) later inspired Piero Manzoni so famously to can his own excrement. “Conjecture, your honor!”

Merda d'Artista by Piero Manzoni by [AMC]

Merda d’Artista” by Piero Manzoni by Flickr user  [AMC]

Art’s birthday, or, when someone dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water

One Million Years B.C. (1967) – Don Chaffey [] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Tomorrow is art’s birthday.

Filliou first proposed “Art’s Birthday” in 1963. He suggested that 1,000,000 years ago, there was no art. But one day, on January 17th to be precise, Art was born. Filliou says it happened when someone dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water.


Robert Filliou

For the origins of art see Georges Bataille‘s Prehistoric Painting: Lascaux or the Birth of Art, One Million Years BC, cave painting and primitive art.

Introducing the late Tina Aumont

Tina Aumont in Frédéric Pardo‘s Home Movie

Male viewers pressed for time may want to scrub to 2.37

Tina Aumont (14 February 1946 – 28 October 2006) was an American actress of French, and Dominican descent.

Her parents

She was born in Hollywood, California, the daughter of actors Jean-Pierre Aumont and Maria Montez who he had met in Hollywood. Maria Montez was known as the Queen of Technicolor, an early camp icon and idol to American experimental filmmaker Jack Smith, whose Flaming Creatures (1963) is basically a travesty on Hollywood B movies and tribute to actress Maria Montez.

Back to Tina

Tina married actor and film director Christian Marquand in 1963, at the age of 17.

She made her debut as Tina Marquand in Joseph Losey‘s 1966 movie Modesty Blaise. She worked in Italian cinema with, among others, Alberto Sordi (Scusi, lei è favorevole o contrario?, 1966), Tinto Brass (L’urlo, 1968 and Salon Kitty, 1975), Mauro Bolognini (Fatti di gente perbene, 1974), Francesco Rosi (Cadaveri eccellenti, 1975), and Federico Fellini (Fellini’s Casanova, 1976).

In 2000 she retired from film work and died in France at age 60.

PS: Tina Aumont was brought to my attention via a Dutch blog. Moon in the Gutter was there[2] before me. Here[3] is a Tina Aumont photo taken by Frédéric Pardo from the site dedicated to French counterculture of the fashionable variety (as contrasted to the political variety). I discover Philippe Bone.

What the Butler Saw in Düsseldorf

The butler visited Diana und Actaeon – Der verbotene Blick auf die Nacktheit with a fellow butler and a maid.

He was thrilled to see Étant donnés[1] by Marcel Duchamp. And he did not realize it also looked like this[2]. He saw the famous metal doll sculpture[3] by Hans Bellmer and Bad Boy by Eric Fischl. He saw the most beautiful penis in post-war photography, yes he meant the Robert Mapplethorpe one[4].

He saw and liked photographs[5] of the Linley Sambourne collection, paintings by French figuratist Jean Rustin[6], paintings by Michael Kirkham[7], his first viewing of the fauvist Erich Heckel[8], Phryne[9] by French academic cult painter Jean-Léon Gérôme, waxworks by Belgian sculptor Berlinde De Bruyckere[10], and paintings by Roland Delcol[11].

The butler was also very much taken by Johannes Hüppi[12]; his first viewing of his fave John Currin[13]; his first real Félix Vallotton; and a Lisa Yuskavage[14]. But not that one.

Butler wants you to know that the works he pointed to are for reference only and may not correspond to the works at the exhibition. He also wants you to know that some of the links may be NSFW.