Getting Back Into the “King” of Things

I’m not into Harry Potter (all gasp!) or Twilight (tweenage gasp!)

“Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.” –Stephen King

I am watching –not reading– the True Blood series (southern gasp!)
And I’m listening to the audiobook series of Game of Thrones (LOVING it).
I just finished The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson and thoroughly enjoyed it, though I thought the ending/resolution could have been stronger for me.

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But recently I recommitted myself to reading Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series because I’ve grown up with and have read LOTS of King, liking most of his novels (but not Insomnia) and loving his short stories the best. I’ve read the short story in Everything’s EventualThe Little Sisters of Eluria which is a snippet of the D.T. series and was engrossed in it. And I have read the first book in the series, The Gunslinger, years ago and am re-reading it now with the intent to finally charge through all 7 books. The horror genre as purveyed by King has always appealed to me and I’ll give his western-fantasy-apocalypticae a chance. Yep. I guess that’s all I have to say (*crickets chirping*). I missed my Haiku Wednesday posting this week = ( as life got in the way. *shrugs* Ah well, keep on, keepin’ on.

Any other S.K. fans out there? If so, what was your favorite book or story? And why? Talk to me.

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Haiku Wednesday Part I

Haikus are pretty interesting forms of word art. A refresher of the rules: Haiku is one of the most important form of traditinal Japanese poetry. Haiku is a 17-syllable verse form consisting of three metrical units of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. They can be created around anything…and to prove my point I have written the following haikus around a few random images for your viewing pleasure on this beautiful Wednesday.

I'd rather stab my eyes out.

Oh redneckery
Left turns for eight hours
Someone kill me now
—————–

A scene from the last act of Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye movie.

Mob husband gets mad
Table turner skyscraper
Ledge walks to the end
—————–

 

Johann Heinrich Füssli's 1802 oil painting "Nachtmahr"

 Monkey nightmare fuel
That jerk horse stands idly by
Please get off my chest
—————–

 

I can’t even look at this photograph for very long.

Teeth to eat my soul
Stop looking at me right now
Nuke it from orbit
—————–

I encourage you to join in on the fun. Please comment your own haiku on this post along with a link to the related image if applicable. 

Want more haikus? Check out these resources:

A Haiku Poem Blog

Morden Haiku Poetry

Haiku Pause

Illustrator Aubrey Beardsley: Victorian Ink Lord

When I was a freshmen undergrad at Columbia College Chicago one of the first reports I gave was on the Victorian illustrator Aubrey Beardsley. I remember spending hours thumbing through his works and admiring his editorial-like style, with sweeping curves and masterful line control. His use of standard black and white mixed with provocative and sexually erotic subjects juxtaposed biting social commentary – he pulled culturally profound statements out of bottles of India ink. This I have a huge respect for. While Aubrey’s frustrations with Victorian society were apparent his scandalous drawings were consumed almost as a precursor to Playboy magazine.

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Per Wikipedia, Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (21 August 1872 – 16 March 1898) was an English illustrator and author. His drawings, executed in black ink and influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts, emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic. He was a leading figure in the Aesthetic movement which also included Oscar Wilde and James A. McNeill Whistler. Beardsley’s contribution to the development of the Art Nouveau style and the poster movement was significant, despite the brevity of his career before his early death from tuberculosis.

Bursting with talent from an early age, Aubrey began illustrating literature that he owned at age 15 (Madam Bovary and the like). A mix of the industrial age in which he lived and Greek art which one would find on a classical urn, his style was often described as “grotesque” and “naughty”. A homosexual who carved his name into art history with subjects including the evil female power figure Salome holding the severed head of John the Baptist, there is no question that a Victorian sensibility could be so easily offended. Amongst his famous works are illustrations for Le Morte D’arthur.

According to Erin Smith, he was fully aware that challenges to Victorian values came not only from the avant-garde, but from the Women’s Movement, which by the 1880’s, had made some gains in the areas of education and economic rights. Through his bizarre and symbolic style, Beardsley’s drawings blur gender lines and mock male superiority. They also play on Victorian anxieties about sexual expression and men’s fear of female superiority.

As a feminist, I am truly drawn (forgive the pun) to his fantastical and masterful ink drawings.

Further Resources:

The Savoy: The Art of Aubrey Beardsley

Ragnarokpress.com

VictorianWeb.org