Thursday, March 5, 2009

So I kind of love Christina Rossetti. We just read her in my English Literary Tradition class (I hated a lot of the reading in that class early on, but it's starting to pick up now. Anything but Wordsworth. Ugh.) and while we read her in my Victorian Sexualities class too (best class EVER - we read Victorian porn, for Chrissakes) I think I like her even better in this class. We mainly focused on "Goblin Market," and justifiably so, especially since it's about lesbian sisters. No, really. It's about sisters who save each other through their female sexuality with each other and by breaking away from the evil temptations of men. It's about other things, too, but that aspect is the most fun.

I love her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti even more (and not just because every one of his three names is made of awesome), who was mostly a painter, but he wrote poems too - among them a wonderful poem about a prostitute called "Jenny," which I wrote a paper on for Victorian Sexualities. He didn't do this painting, but he married the model for it (and she modeled for others of Rossetti's paintings, too):

I love that painting. So hard. When I was sitting on in a Smith class during April visit days, I visited Art and Death, a class I ended up taking my first semester at Smith, and students were doing presentations on their independent research projects of artworks depicting death. What I love about that painting - which has so much to do with the poetry of Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, too - is the incredible sensuality of it while also being incredibly morbid and kind of creepy. And it's of Ophelia, which makes it that much cooler. It's by John Everett Millais.

Speaking of art, my American Studies class has assigned us an art project, of which I heartily approve. When my mom was up here for the weekend a couple of weeks ago, we went to the art museum (whenever my mom is here I end up doing the kind of Smith things I always feel like I should be doing) and we were completely fascinated by this really bizarre surreal painting that we saw. Anyway, it turns out that that particular painting is one of the options for our project! I'm psyched. It's called Mourning Picture, and it's by an American painter named Edwin Romanzo Elmer:

The scan is a little muddy - the colors are actually a lot sharper - but the creepy surreal feeling, the flatness, and the strangeness of the perspective is definitely still visible. (Although the blogger scan doesn't show the entire thing - you should click on it to see the end right corner. It is worth it.) I love it. It's like the coolest thing I ever done seen.
I know, I know, my nerd is showing. /sigh Can't be helped, I guess.

Probably going to see Cuentos de Eva Luna with Lisa tonight. I'll definitely go at some point - it's a very happy thing that Lisa often forces me to get out and be social (she nearly forced me to give my phone number to some possibly underage guy on Saturday, but that's a story for another day), and Isabel Allende is one of my very favorite writers. Really, it's the only logical thing. (And I'm ALL ABOUT THE LOGIC, right?)

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