Cold Wind April 16, 2014 Cold Wind Nicola Griffith Old ways can outlast their usefulness. What Mario Scietto Says April 15, 2014 What Mario Scietto Says Emmy Laybourne An original Monument 14 story. Something Going Around April 9, 2014 Something Going Around Harry Turtledove A tale of love and parasites. The Devil in America April 2, 2014 The Devil in America Kai Ashante Wilson The gold in her pockets is burning a hole.
From The Blog
April 19, 2014
Announcing the 2014 Hugo Award Nominees
Tor.com
April 18, 2014
Wings Gleaming Like Beaten Bronze: Elizabeth Bear’s Eternal Sky Trilogy
Liz Bourke
April 17, 2014
Gaming Roundup: PAX East Edition
Pritpaul Bains and Theresa DeLucci
April 16, 2014
Victorian-era Magical Societies, Telepathy, and Interplanetary Space Travel
Felix Gilman
April 13, 2014
Game of Thrones, Season 4, Episode 2: “The Lion and the Rose”
Theresa DeLucci
Showing posts by: Patrick Garson click to see Patrick Garson's profile
Mon
Aug 23 2010 3:27pm

I have always found writing about Orientalism in illustration hard. It’s hard, because every picture becomes its own Arabian Nights; threatening to whisk you off into a different realm. Self-contained themes lead you away into another idea—and another, and another. Before you know it, you have leapt so far into a single image, clambering after ethereal motifs, that you cannot see your original starting point and—like a magic carpet that flies only so long as you believe in it—you start to sink.

[Warning—painted Victorian bosom below]

Wed
Mar 24 2010 12:02pm

So much more below the fold!In writing on fairy tales, there’s often a functionalist bent to the analysis. This means that tend we view fairy tales as fulfilling societal need: they contribute to the stability of a group or culture. In this way, characters and predicaments become allegories: practice for situations we may face ourselves in real life, or a form of ‘safe’ role play. Red Riding Hood is not about hiking in the forest; it’s a warning about wolves, about prostitution, a tale of sexual awakening, and so on, and so on.

I like this kind of analysis. It’s important because it dives under the smooth-looking surface of fairy tales, and stirs up a surprising turbidity. It makes us question unspoken assumptions (why is the youngest child always the special one?), and highlights the significance of story-telling in learning.  However, I don’t think it’s always perfect. By our very framing of fairy tales in this way–somewhat didactic way, orientated around adherence and cohesion—I think we sometimes lend them a static quality that they don’t always deserve.

[Read more...]

Tue
Feb 9 2010 2:05pm

Hi, everyone! Irene kindly asked me if I would like writing about some of the older fantasy-based art out there, an offer I’ve gratefully accepted. So I’ll be focusing on some of the great illustration that has inspired and shaped modern artists we admire.

Irene’s recent trip to the Waterhouse exhibition in Montreal sparked some interesting thoughts for me. Waterhouse’s work is undeniably beautiful—and evocative—but, despite the obvious love of women in his paintings, you can’t help wondering if they’re the subjects of his pictures, or perhaps in fact the objects. The femininity we see in his images is draped with Victorian concerns, and those concerns can be quite sexist.

Waterhouse (and his spiritual brethren in the pre-Raphaelite movement) has been tremendously influential in illustrating the fantastic, but what I’m going to do is look at some of the other artists working around this time. We’ll see how the same stylistic tics and influences emerge, but there’s a sense of interplay—of experimentation and even perhaps levity—that I think makes for more ambiguous, interesting images. Images that have, in my opinion, ultimately shaped just as much contemporary illustration.

[read some more]