Posts Tagged ‘Indiana University’

“…and to this hour the image of Carmilla returns to memory with ambiguous alternations — sometimes the playful, languid, beautiful girl; sometimes the writhing fiend I saw in the ruined church; and often from a reverie I have started, fancying I heard the light step of Carmilla at the drawing room door.”
– From J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla

So this, the final reading on THE POETS WEAVE, on radio station WFIU, was actually broadcast Sunday, October 28.  But that was simply because that’s the Sunday closest to Halloween, while here we can greet today officially with its recording.  Two previous segments were aired on October 14 and October 21 respectively (see October 17, 21), on the “Who” and the “Where” of vampirism.  And now, to end it, are four poems on the “Attraction of Vampirism,” as produced by LuAnn Johnson and introduced by Romayne Rubinas Dorsey:  “Moonlight Swimming,” “The Aeronaut,” “When She Won the One Million Credit Galactic Lottery,” and “The Esthete.”  All poems are still from my collection VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) and may be heard by pressing here.

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“Listen to them—the children of the night. / What music they make!”
– From Bram Stoker’s Dracula

So begins the second of three readings, by me (cf. October 17), on the topic “Let Us Explore Where Vampires May Be Found,” on the Indiana University Public Broadcasting Station WTIU.  The program:  THE POETS WEAVE, produced by LuAnn Johnson and announced by Romayne Rubinas Dorsey, and which may be heard by pressing here.  Thus, to repeat the introduction:  Today, [James Dorr] will read on the subject of vampires and things vampiric from his all-poetry collection Vamps (A Retrospective), which is available from White Cat Publications or Alban Lake Publishing.  More information can also be found on James’ blog.

James reads “Why She Started Writing Poetry,” “California Vamp,” and “Chagrin du Vampire.” 

Listen Now:  Let Us Meet Some Of The Vampires

The word does not necessarily travel fast, but it comes.  Let us recall posts for August 17 and 8 (and also related, September 30, August 26) in which I spoke of recording poems for the WFIU radio feature THE POETS WEAVE.  Today, from producer LuAnn Johnson:  I’m not sure if I ever got back to you about air dates for your episodes.  . . .  The first aired this last Sunday.  The second is scheduled to air this Sunday, Oct 21 — but we’re in our fund drive week so there is a chance they will need to cut it for pitch time.  If so, I’ll reschedule for the following Sunday, and then the third will air the Sunday after that.

Thus the first of three sessions for which one may press here,* as announced by MC Romayne Rubinas Dorsey:  James Dorr writes short fiction and poetry leaning toward dark fantasy and horror, with his latest book a novel-in-stories, Tombs: A Chronicle of Latter-Day Times of Earth.

Today, he will read on the subject of vampires and things vampiric from his all-poetry collection Vamps (A Retrospective), which is available from White Cat Publications or Alban Lake Publishing).  More information can also be found on James’ blog.

James reads “Le Meduse,” “Vampire Thoughts,” “Daylight Savings,” and “Night Child.”
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*(Or for gluttons for punishment and/or lovers of King Kong, for WTIU’s TV counterpart one may also check here, cf. September 25, 18.)

Thursday followed Wednesday’s FrankenPanel (see just below) with a day of film at the County Library auditorium, FRANKENSTEIN (the “original” one, with Boris Karloff), YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, and GOTHIC, of which (other obligations intervening) I was able to see most of the first.  Well, not to worry, I have the others on DVD.  But also competing with the third was an evening lecture at Indiana University’s Lilly Library by Leslie S. Klinger, who just last year published THE NEW ANNOTATED FRANKENSTEIN*, on “The Teenager Who Became Immortal:  Mary Shelley and Frankenstein.”

So, having met Mr. Kilinger in the past, I took the opportunity to say “Hi” (he was very impressed by the Lilly Library’s FRANKENSTEIN exhibit of books before and after/influencing and influenced by/read by Frankenstein in the novel or by his creation), and enjoyed an hour of discussion of Mary Shelly’s life and companions; the genesis of FRANKENSTEIN with Byron’s challenge to Percy Shelley, not-yet-married Mary Godwin, John Polidori, and others at the Villa Diodati (the subject as well of the movie GOTHIC); the reflection of Mary Shelley’s own life in the novel with its several themes (and how, in Klinger’s opinion, a major one shifted from that of Victor as an irresponsible young man to him more as, with the monster, a victim of fate in the 1831 edition); how most movie translations concentrate more on a parallel theme that one must be careful of consequences of actions; FRANKENSTEIN (and other influences) in popular culture. . . .

Let it be said it was a full evening.

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*Editor of THE NEW ANNOTATED DRACULA, THE NEW ANNOTATED SHERLOCK HOLMES, and others as well, Klinger also chaired the 2012 Horror Writers Association/Bram Stoker Estate jury, of which I was a member, that selected Richard Matheson’s I AM LEGEND as the most important vampire novel in the 100 years since Stoker’s death (cf. June 19 2013; April 3, April 2 2012, et al.)

One gets used to visual media, reading on book pages, movies, even public readings as a sort of live play (see just below, August 5, et al.).  But what about only the words themselves, through the medium of sound?  And hence, in a sort of message tag known only to Facebook, a few weeks ago I received an invitation from LuAnn Johnson of WFIU, the Indiana University Public Broadcasting Station, dating back to about early spring.  Ms. Johnson runs a program called THE POETS WEAVE in which local poets read short groupings of their work on the air. Or more specifically:  Prepare to read one or more groups of POEMS.  Each group should be approximately 4 minutes in length.  Selections should be acceptable for broadcast, (i.e., non-sexually explicit, non-scatological, and expletive free), per FCC restrictions.  It’s best to time yourself reading aloud, and please bring a couple of shorter poems in case we have to exchange a longer one for time.

I’m not entirely new to this, actually, having done a few similar types of readings some years in the past, though the programs here are perhaps a little more complex, involving not only a host-read introduction of the poet, etc., but also from the poet one or more BRIEF QUOTES — anything relating to the poetry you’ll be reading (or poetry in general), or writing, reading, and life.  It can be your own words or from another writer/poet you admire.  You’ll read one quote for each show set, so do bring a copy of the quotes with you; the host will read your bio when she introduces the show.  And also there is that idea of more than just one performance, but perhaps several groups on successive programs.

Anyhow while it took some time (as well as some emails back and forth) to consider quotes, select and time groups of poems, and figure a structure for multiple readings, this afternoon I sent back a proposal for three groupings of poems on the overall topic of Vampires and Things Vampiric, divided loosely into “the Who” (to meet some vampires), “the Where” (on where they might hang out), and “the Attraction,” all from my collection VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE).  And graced with suitable quotations from Rudyard Kipling, Bram Stoker, and Sheridan Le Fanu respectively.

More as it develops.

Whoever thinks that the countryside is calm and peaceful is mistaken.  In it we find especially agitated animals, a Fox that thinks it’s a chicken, a Rabbit that acts like a stork, and a Duck who wants to replace Father Christmas.  If you want to take a vacation, keep driving past this place.  So says IMDb and the place is France, or at least in the 2017 cartoon, based in turn on a series of Franch graphic novels, LE GRAND MÉCHANT RENARD ET AUTRES CONTES in a U.S. sneak preview this afternoon at the Indiana University Cinema.  And the fox (le renard) no relation to those we met in the comments in the post just below (April 24), the would-be harassers of beleagured cat Arlo, but funny and just a little bit scary (violent, at least, enough to for one father to have to leave with his upset child) as he attempts, under the tutelage of the big bad wolf, to steal if not chickens, three freshly laid eggs which, when they hatch, might provide them both lunch.  The only trouble, when they do hatch, the first thing the chicks see being the fox they immediately bond with him as their “mother” — and hence, of course, he bonds back.

So which are they, prey or predators, foxes or chickens, in what unfolds as an examination of identity and the meaning of family (restored to the farmyard, the chicks get in trouble in school, e.g., for trying to bite their fellow pupils)?  Combine with this two other tales, “Baby Delivery” and “The Perfect Christmas,” under the frame of the “Honeysuckle Farm Players” (of whom our fox is a principal actor) presenting a play for our enjoyment — in French, to be sure, but with English subtitles.  Its distribution in the U.S. has been delayed for a month or two, however, according to the IU Cinema docent, to the point where they almost didn’t want us to see it this early, but it isn’t silly (despite its premises) and it is funny as well as in some places just a bit touching, a lovely Saturday matinee should you get a chance when the time comes to see it.

A lovely Sunday with a high, or so has said the Weather Channel, just hitting eighty degrees.  A precursor of summer?  But meanwhile the Indiana University Art Museum in conjunction with the IU Cinema offered “Art and a Movie,” an afternoon that began with a lecture at the museum followed by the short feature film (about 62 minutes) “Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies.”  Movies, movies.  But Picasso loved the movies, it seems, and both his and Braque’s invention of cubism, after meeting each other in Paris in 1907, were both influenced by and, in a sense, an answer to the new art form of the motion picture.

To quote the brochure:  PICASSO AND BRAQUE GO TO THE MOVIES — produced by acclaimed director and film historian Martin Scorsese and Robert Greenhut — looks at the connections between early motion pictures and the development of the revolutionary art movement known as Cubism.  Narrated by Scorsese with interviews with art and film historians and contemporary artists including Chuck Close, Julian Schnabel, Lucas Samaras, Robert Whitman, and Eric Fischl, as well as a wealth of rare film clips.  And, to continue, as a sort of bridge Demoisellesbetween lecture (including early prints in the museum’s collection) and show, [T]he documentary will be preceded by BALLET MÉCANIQUE, an early experimental art film by the Cubist artist Fernand Léger.

I have trouble describing movies like this, except I can say if you’re a lover of early cinema, this is a film you shouldn’t miss — that is, if you can find it!   (It is available on DVD with Amazon prices starting in the $12.00 range.)  The discussion in large part is on the effects of what amounted to a technological revolution, but also, of course, with the movies themselves.  While not the only ones seen by the artists a number of clips are from Georges Méliès who, with others, presented illusions much as a magician might through various editing tricks, tricks which the Cubists used in their own way in changing their, and our, perception of space and motion.  Thus a guitar is seen from a number of views at once, to imply the whole, but all in a flat plane in lieu of perspective.  Thus motion is suggested, again through multiple glances, in paintings like Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

Indeed a suggestion in the film, when viewing Cubist art, is to look at the elements in the work as if they were moving.  This even with much early Cubist work concentrating on still lifes, but again with multiple views of an object, as if one were oneself walking through the scene being depicted.  But more than that, at a time in itself being defined by change, in this case from more or less 1900 to 1914 and the advent of World War I, both art and film, as a part of this change, did their part to make the public feel it in terms of its possibility — much as science fiction, for instance, later may have done to prepare for the Space Age.

And as for the art, the change itself was a radical one not just in form, but, as one might argue, in vision itself.




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