“The Canterville Ghost” by Oscar Wilde

2013/04/18 § Leave a comment

This short story about a haunted old mansion in the English countryside is not your typical ghost tale. You can even call it “reversed horror”, as the ghost is the one who is being tormented here. Or, in the words of Dr. Montague from Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House”:

“Do you recall,” he asked with a little smile, “Oscar Wilde’s lovely story, ‘The Canterville Ghost’?” “The American twins who routed the fine old English ghost,” Theodora said. “Exactly. I have always liked the notion that the American twins were actually a poltergeist phenomenon; certainly poltergeists can overshadow any more interesting manifestation. Bad ghosts drive out good.”

However, it is a typical Wilde, and I’ll never get tired of his wit.

“Poor, poor ghost…” (illustrated by Wallace Goldsmith)

“Poor, poor ghost…” (illustrated by Wallace Goldsmith)

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Jan Švankmajer: Short Films (part 2)

2013/04/16 § Leave a comment

“To me, Surrealism is a certain rebellious stance on life and the world. Its contemporary stance is critically aimed at the current state of civilization. Surrealism has taught me many things: It developed my perception of imagination, instilled in my mind that there is only one poetry, no matter which means we use to express it, and last but not least, it freed me from fear of collectivity. Surrealism is in fact a great collective adventure.”

(Jan Švankmajer, 2012)

SHORT FILMS (1977*-1992)

Dimensions of Dialogue (1982) (Možnosti dialogu)

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Jan Švankmajer: Short Films (part 1)

2013/04/14 § 2 Comments

“(I)t is dream and reality that together create a human life. This should apply all the more to art. After all, dream is one of the essential sources of imaginative creative work. And, I do not care for any other work. Creative work is a certain form of auto-therapy for me. Thus I liberate myself from the demons that moved in with me at some time during my childhood. If art has any sense at all, it lies in liberating man from domestication by civilization and for it to be able to liberate the audience, then it must, first of all, liberate its creator.”

(Jan Švankmajer, 2011)

SHORT FILMS (1964-1972)

The Last Trick (1964) (Poslední trik pana Schwarcewalldea a pana Edgara)

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“Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions” by Edwin A. Abbott

2013/04/03 § 2 Comments

“Flatland” is a mathematical satire and religious allegory, written in the shape of the memoirs of A Square, an inhabitant of a two-dimensional world, who had visited other lands – Pointland, Lineland and Spaceland – and gained invaluable insights into the structure of the Universe.

Lineland (illustrated by the author)

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