My Muses: Erato and Anais Nin

Erato. The muse of love poetry. If I were to assign a mortal woman to Erato’s position, I can’t think of any gal more suited to inspire romance than Anais Nin—writer of erotica, memoirist of passion. Born in France to Cuban parents in 1903, Anais began her life amid the peaceful haze of the Belle… Continue reading My Muses: Erato and Anais Nin

My Muses: Clio and Anna Comnena

I’ve already mentioned that my ability to enjoy relaxation is limited. So, in an attempt to dampen the sunny fun of my vacation, I’ve created a small project for myself. For the nine days that I’m on holiday, I will assign a real-life, honest-to-goodness lady to an appropriate Greek Muse. So far, I’ve managed to… Continue reading My Muses: Clio and Anna Comnena

My Muses: Calliope and Bessie Stringfield

I’m sitting in a beach-house in Lauderdale by the Sea. It’s my break from school, and I’m having a difficult time slathering sunscreen (SPF 30) and joining my merry holiday party on the beach. Too much relaxation generally scares me, and on this trip I’m terrified. With no papers due or readings to debate, I… Continue reading My Muses: Calliope and Bessie Stringfield

Leaving the Cult of Womanhood: Nora’s departure from Patriarchal Convention in Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”

The Cult of Domesticity was the invention of late nineteenth-century traditionalists who had become alarmed by the arrival of the “New Woman:” the female who was both financially and intellectually autonomous, and independent from males. As a sort of patriarchal societal back-lash, the Cult of Domesticity was employed and the personality of the “True Woman”… Continue reading Leaving the Cult of Womanhood: Nora’s departure from Patriarchal Convention in Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”

The Public Enemy: Disenchantment With the American Dream

The Public Enemy was a terrific example of the gangster genre, which emerged in full force during the early 1930’s. As the film came out in in 1931, and was unhampered by the restrictive measures of the Hollywood Production Code, enforced in 1934, The Public Enemy retains its punchy lines, seedy settings and bawdy women:… Continue reading The Public Enemy: Disenchantment With the American Dream

The Historic Crescendo of Indian Cotton Muslin in the West (1770-1820)

Muslin fabric was the textile of emperors.  While the Indian continent historically boasts many different varieties of textiles—from calico to ikat— it was the remarkably translucent, wonderfully white characteristics of cotton muslin that the Indian Mughal court revered. When The British East India Company received a royal charter from Queen Elizabeth I of England, in 1600,… Continue reading The Historic Crescendo of Indian Cotton Muslin in the West (1770-1820)

Les Daoboliques: Synergistic Celluloid

There are a plethora of articles, essays and books devoted to uncovering the devices which make Henri-Georges Clouzot’s film, Les Diaboliques, the model of suspense-thriller perfection. But, I cannot determine that it is any one thing which makes Clouzot’s masterpiece run like clockwork. Rather, it is the collective result of expertly fused elements which wind the viewer’s mind… Continue reading Les Daoboliques: Synergistic Celluloid

The Portrait of Elizabeth Farren, Painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1789)

  I just adore this portrait of Elizabeth Farren! As soon as I enter the gallery where she is housed (in the European wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art), I swoon. I hardly notice any other portraits around me. It’s just Elizabeth Farren and I in that room. I’m infatuated. In love. But what… Continue reading The Portrait of Elizabeth Farren, Painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1789)