The Cultural Gutter

unashamed geekery

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

Emily Dickinson’s Holiday Advice

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Poet Emily Dickinson shares her advice for spending the holidays alone.

“A Christmas Carol,” with Illustrations by John Leech

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Project Gutenberg has a copy of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” complete with scans of the cover and John Leech’s illustrations from the first edition.

Art History, Digitized

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The Princeton University Digital Library has digitized three Seventeenth Century Japanese illustrated scrolls and you can view them here. Meanwhile, 100,000 images from Getty Research Institute are now available at the Digital Library of America. (via @BibliOdyssey)

“Leave No Black Plume As A Token: Tracing Poe’s Raven”

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At Atlas Obscura, J.W. Ocker writes about Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” in monuments, memorials, artifacts and ephemera. “I spent more than a year visiting memorials, mementos, monuments, and more dedicated or connected to Edgar Allan Poe in the places he lived and visited. That meant traveling from Massachusetts all the way down to an […]

Heart of Darkness, A Drawing For Every Page

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Tin House has published an edition of Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness illustrated by Matt Kish, an interesting follow-up to Kish’s project, Moby-Dick In Pictures; One Drawing For Every Page. See more of Kish’s work here.

Black Victoriana

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A gallery of photographs of people of African descent from the Victorian era. (Via Kit Marlowe)

Frozen: Jane Austen Meets The Snow Queen

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My mom raised me with three things: Feminism; “You don’t have to like your sister, but you can’t hit her”; and a dislike of Disney. Writing them down now, I realize that all three are more applicable to Frozen, than I thought when I decided I should state my bias. I respect Disney’s progress in […]

Linda Bronte’s Terrifying Vision of Things To Come

There were not three Brontë Sisters, but four. Only Linda knew the future we all face.

“It is the Beating of His Hideous Heart.”

On the anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s death, here are some adaptations of The Tell-Tale Heart: a performance by Vincent Price,  an animated short, a reading for Massachusetts cable access and a short film.

Jane Eyre in Bollywood

There have been many, many adaptations of Jane Eyre–from the first talkie in which Jane sings Schubert to an all out musical in the 1990s/2000s.  So, of course, there is a Bollywood adaptation of Jane Eyre called, Sangdil in which “Rochester (here Shankar) and Jane (Kamla) were childhood friends[.]”

Bootstrap Theory and Superheroes

‘It seems to me,’ said Booker T.– ‘I don’t agree,’ Said W.E.B. —Dudley Randall In February, I wrote a piece about how much I like Dwayne McDuffie’s writing. Sadly, a few days later, he died. I’m still stunned .  I feel like I’ve just begun exploring his work, so I decided to look for his […]

A Case of Mesmerism

Mesmerism, the mystery beyond the veil and bodily decay are all rendered in delightfully cartoony style in Bahij Jaroudi’s “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.”  Cartoon Brew has an interview as well as the short.

The Raven

James Earl Jones and Christopher Walken read Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.”

Kirkbride, Castles of the Midwest.

Kirkbride Buildings are the castles of the American Midwest. They’re also 19th century State Hospitals.

“Book’em, Brontës!”

Brontë Sisters Power Dolls. They’re not action figures, they’re Power Dolls! “Book’em, Brontës!” (thanks, Denis!)

More Utagawa Kuniyoshi

A Doppelganger. A Giant Carp. A Tengu. The Curated Object has more images from “Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters: Japanese Prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.”

Pretty Puppet Poe

Lo tech makes hi tech better! Puppets illustrate this ebook version of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. (Also, check out the link to Two-Fisted Poe).

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Graveyard Shift Sisters, Ashlee Blackwell considers love in Ganja & Hess. ” It is up to the viewer to map a path that suits their understanding. What writer/director Bill Gunn (who plays Dr. Hess’ assistant) wanted was a disruption of mainstream fare. Gunn didn’t seem too interested in what Hollywood desired, and like many writers, wrote a screenplay that felt personal and needed to be written. It tackles so many themes, it’s almost difficult to begin. While most rely on it being vampiric and about addiction, it’s important to note the journey that Hess and Ganja embark on together. Their romantic entanglement may by one of the most fascinating aspects of the film that is commonly overlooked because it is challenging to simplify.”

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    Friend of the Gutter Less Lee Moore interviews friend of the Gutter Colin Geddes about his work on the new horror streaming service, Shudder.

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    The Bowery Boys Podcast dedicates an episode to New York City in the history of comic books. “In the 1890s a newspaper rivalry between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer helped bring about the birth of the comic strip and, a few decades later, the comic book.  Today, comic book superheroes are bigger than ever — in blockbuster summer movies and television shows — and most of them still have an inseparable bond with New York City.”

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    Pornokitsch’s One Comic Podcast looks at Red Sonja #10: “To everyone’s surprise, despite some of the covers and the character’s reputation, this isn’t the exploitative boobs’n’swordplay production it could have been. How did it achieve that? Listen and find out.”

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    Los Angeles Magazine has a gallery of self-portraits of Bunny Yeager and a bit about the career of a model and photographer most famous for her pin-up photographs of Bettie Page. “Having dedicated her life to photography and modeling, not to mention publishing 30 books on the subject (one of which shares a name with the Gavlak exhibition), Yeager had an influence on a generation of artist-photographers including Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman. Arbus even went as far to call her ‘The world’s greatest pin-up photographer.'” (Thanks, Stephanie!)

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    Arch Daily has a gallery of images of remarkable sandcastles built by Calvin Seibert. Smithsonian Magazine has more, including a 2012 interview with Seibert about his work. (via @lordwoolamaloo)

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