6 items from 2013
Vidyarthy Chatterjee remembers Saadat Hasan Manto on his 101st birth anniversary
May 11, 1912-January 18, 1955
If Saadat Hasan Manto had been living, he would have been a centenarian, thirty-five years older than the Indian nation he loved deeply and which he did not wish to leave for an unknown land called Pakistan, but had to under tragic circumstances. As Ahmed Rahi, a close friend, said in April 1990 at Lahore in course of a conversation with other friends of Manto: “In my opinion, Manto began to die the day he set foot in Pakistan.”
Manto who? That would have been the reaction of even a well-read person if you had mentioned the writer’s name two decades ago. But no longer. In fact, these days it is fashionable to drop his name at least once in course of an intense literary evening brought to life by alcohol and cigarette fumes. »
- Vidyarthy Chatterjee
For Jane Austen's heroines a ball is a rare chance to mingle with the opposite sex. Now a BBC reconstruction of the Netherfield dance reveals the rigid social conventions that governed regency life
In Emma, Jane Austen concedes that it may be just possible to live without dancing. "Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successively, without being at any ball of any description, and no material injury accrue either to body or mind." But what an empty life! For anyone who still has sap in them, there is nothing like dancing – nothing to rival what Austen calls "the felicities of rapid motion". In Austen's fiction, as in many novels of the 19th century, a ball is the ultimate occasion for a heady kind of courtship – a trying out of partners that is exciting, flirtatious and downright erotic.
In Pride and Prejudice, the complicated mutual »
- John Mullan
Sloane Crosley — the author of personal essay collections I Was Told There'd Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number — has sold her first novel, to Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. The Clasp will follow a group of late-twentysomethings who attempt to rescue their friend from an obsession and wind up on a treasure hunt for the jewelry that inspired Guy De Maupassant's "The Necklace." It's out in 2015. »
- Amanda Dobbins
Above: Gustav Mezey three-sheet poster for Le Rosier de Madame Husson (Bernard Deschamps, France, 1932).
This stunning Austrian deco poster, which I came across on a Berlin antiquarian site, stands a magnificent 9 foot tall (110" x 49" to be precise) and comes in three sections. The poster is for a 1932 French film, whose German title, Der Tugendkönig, translates as “The Virtue King.” In the Us the film was titled He (or He - the Virgin Man), but the original title is Le Rosier de Madame Husson. Based on an 1887 Maupassant novella of the same name, the story concerns the titular Mme. Husson who seeks to promote chastity in her village by crowning a rosière, or a Rose Queen: a girl of unimpeachable virtue. But when none of the young women in town are equal to the title she selects the village idiot (played in the film by Fernandel) as her rosier.
Above: Roger »
- Adrian Curry
Starting this week, fans of the radio anthology series Suspense will be able to hear new versions of their favorite classics broadcast on Sirius Xm BookRadio 80 two nights a week.
The original Suspense, which ran from 1942-1962, was known as “radio’s outstanding theater of thrills” and featured a virtual 'who’s who' of Hollywood stars, including horror legends Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price, and Peter Lorre. Though many of its episodes were murder mysteries, the original Suspense made many forays into pure horror, such as its adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror and Curt Siodmak’s Donovan’s Brain.
As for the new Suspense, it goes in a somewhat different direction. »
- The Woman In Black
After numerous viewings I'm happy to call Max Ophüls's Madame de…, made in 1953 and re-released in a new print, flawless. Ophüls returned from his extended Hollywood exile (which had resulted in four postwar films) to direct four stylish French movies, all with period settings. Made between Le Plaisir, his Maupassant portmanteau picture, and his final film, Lola Montès, this penultimate masterpiece stars Danielle Darrieux as a wilful French countess in fin-de-siècle Paris who falls in love with an Italian diplomat (Vittorio De Sica). The witty plot follows a pair of earrings given her by the Count (Charles Boyer) that pass from hand to hand. It's full of characteristically graceful tracking shots, the editing is superb, and in her third consecutive Ophüls film Darrieux has never looked more entrancing.
DramaWorld cinemaPhilip French
guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this »
- Philip French
6 items from 2013
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