The Cultural Gutter

going through pop culture's trash since 2003

"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).

  • Support Gutterthon 2015!

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At The Alcohol Professor, The Gutter’s own Keith writes about Billie Holiday in a fantastic two-part piece. Part one traces “the history of Billie Holiday and NYC nightlife through the Harlem Renaissance to Café Society.” Part two covers “Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and the jazz scene in New York City clubs of a bygone era.”

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    The New Yorker has a profile of author Gene Wolfe. “His narrators may be prophets, or liars, or merely crazy, but somewhere in their stories they help to reveal what Wolfe most wants his readers to know: that compassion can withstand the most brutal of futures and exist on the most distant planets, and it has been part of us since ages long past.”

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    Remezcla has a gallery of Lourdes Grobet’s portraits of luchadores with their families and a bit of an interview with her. (Yes, the luchadores are in their masks and often wearing suits or casual wear, which is the best thing). (Thanks, Matt!) “Father and warrior, the masked wrestler is the perfect metaphor for the duality that Grobet’s photography wants to depict. Her work is resonant because she doesn’t try to demolish the myths that envelop lucha libre – she simply nurtures and expands them in an offbeat way.”

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    At Autostraddle, Heather Hogan has “a Recap of Jem and the Holograms’ Truly Outrageous Lesbianism.” (Thanks, Sara Century!) “If you are a woman over the age of 30, I have some information that is going to send you cartwheeling back to 1987 to high five your young self and shout “We knew it! We knew it!” right in your own tiny gay face: Stormer and Kimber from Jem are truly, outrageously, canonically queer….This is good news. Great news. But it’s not really news news. Of course Stormer and Kimber are gay. They’ve been in love since 1987!”

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    “Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been binge-watching one of the most innovative series on television. Like many of the gems of the current TV renaissance, it features extended narratives with complex plots, intricate backstories, and layered characters. Its approach to storytelling is remarkably adventurous, shattering television, and even cinematic conventions.

     I’m speaking, of course, of General Hospital.” Noah Berlatsky writes about the influence of soap operas on “prestige television” at Quartz. (And make sure to click through to Akash Nikolas’ “Yes, Mad Men is a Soap Opera and that Shouldn’t be an Insult”).
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    Here’s the first Gutterthon 2015 Geektastic Song–“Fortune Cookie” by Chica Non Grata. Chica Non Grata kindly offered to write 3 songs based on topics offered by 3 lucky backers. So listen up and get down. “A song about pop-up ads and how creepy they are and how they seem to be reading your mind and maybe there is actually an artificial intelligence who is stalking you.”

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