Tuesday, July 26

The eternal brightness.

I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went--and came, and brought no day.

En été 1816 il n'y a pas eu d'été. Les cendres du volcan indonésien Tambora ont recouvert tenebreusement le ciel et n'ont pas laissé passer la chaleur du soleil. Lord Byron et son médecin John William Polidori résidaient à la Villa Diodati à Cologny, sur le bord du lac Léman, en Suisse, et ont reçu la visite de Piercy Shelley, sa maîtresse Mary et sa demi-soeur Claire Clarmont. Etant retenus à l'intérieur par la pluie incessante, Byron proposa à ses hôtes d'écrire chacun une histoire de fantôme en consonnance avec cette anée là, si sombre. Chacun s'acquitte plus ou moins de sa tâche. Pendant Byron écrit son poème Darkness, Polidori s'inspira de lui pour écrire The Vampyre, le roman qui est à l'origine du genre (oui, de Crépuscle aussi) et qui inspirera Dracula. Percy Shelley écrivit une historiette dont il se désintéressa rapidement et qui n'a pas été conservée.
Mary, quant à elle, se trouva incapable d'en inventer une. Mais quelques jours après, sous l'influence de la lecture des Fantasmagoriana, du Vathek de William Beckford, et d'una bone dose d'opium, elle fit un cauchemar où elle eut la vision de "l'étudiant pâle penché sur la chose qu'il avait animée".
Le 10 décembre 1816, Harriet, l'épouse de Shelley, enceinte, se suicida, et le 30 décembre Shelley et Mary se marièrent. Mary, sous ce nouveau nom de Shelley, termina Frankenstein au printemps 1817, et le fit publier anonymement l'année suivante, quand l'année sans été avait dejà fini.

Avant, j'aimais les contes gothiques, je m'habillais en noir, et j'écoutais une musique légèrement lugubre. Je souris encore quand je lis des choses comme "Charlotte Kemp Muhl aime l'haute couture victorienne". Il restent tourjours quelques choses en moi de ce passé gothique (non grotesque, j'étais plûtot dentelles), et je crois que l'évolution vers cet style qu'on appelle vintage et que j'ai découvert grâce à Dita von Teese, est assez logique.

J'ai longtemps pensé sur cette idée de commencer un blog. J'aime les vêtements et je les déteste aussi. Cet juillet a eté frais et j'ai eu beaucoup d'heures mortes pour contempler une bataille entre l'ange et le démon dans ma tête:

- Oui, parce que il y a beaucoup de blogs d'style, mais la plupart sont écris pour des fashions victims sans   âme.
- Non, le web est dejà saturée.

- Oui, la mode est vraiment un art.
- Non, la mode est trop frivole et te vole du temps pour tes affraires intellectuels.

- Oui, pour quoi ne pas montrer ton style a des autres bloggers?
- Non, tu est trop timide.


Le non tourjours gagnait le oui. Mais l'idée résistait dans ma tête. Maitenant je pense: pourquoi pas? 

Ces écrivans mythiques ont profité de son été sombre pour créer des histoires gothiques et je commence mon blog d'style, une intention plus prosaique et trop typique. Mais je crois que c'est un beau parallélisme.
Moi qui m'habillais tourjours en noir je convoque aujourd'hui les clartés éternelles.

1816 is known as "The year there was no summer". Mount Tambora, which is on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, erupted on April 5, 1815, and resulted in an extremely cold spring and summer in 1816. Its explosion threw so much material into the atmosphere that, as it spread around the world, it changed the climate of the entire planet.
Mary Shelley spent the greater part of the summer of 1816, when she was nineteen, at the Chapuis in Geneva, Switzerland. The entourage included her stepsister, Claire Clarmond, Shelley. Lord Byron and John Polidori, Byron's physician. Lord Byron rented the villa Diodoti on the shores of lake Léman, which John Milton, the autor of Paradise Lost, had visited in the 1600's. Rosseau and Voltaire had also resided on these shores, and Mary considered the place to be sacred to enlightment.
The weather became melodramatically tempestuous. Pouring rains and incredible lightning storms plagued the area. On this year without summer in snowed in June in the USA and in Europe.
All contributing events that summer intensified on the night of June 16th. Mary and Percy could not return to Chapuis, due to an incredible storm, and spent the night at the Villa Diodati with Byron and Polidori. The group read aloud a collection of German ghost stories, The Fantasmagoriana. In one of the stories, a group of travelers relate to one another supernatural experiences that they had experienced. This inspired Byron to challenge the group to write a ghost story.
Shelley wrote an forgettable story, Byron wrote a story fragment, and Polidori began the "The Vampyre", the first modern vampire tale. Many consider the main character, Lord Ruthven, to be based on Byron. For some time it was thought that Byron had actually written the story but over time it was realized that Dr. Polidori was the author. Unfortunately, Mary was uninspired and did not start writing anything.
The following evening the group continued their late night activities and at midnight Byron recited the poem, Christabel by Samuel T. Coleridge. Percy became overwrought during the reading and perceived Mary as the villainess of the poem. He ran out of the room and apparently created quite a scene. This incident undoubtedly affected Mary, leading to feelings of guilt that contributed to the story ideas she later developed.
For the next couple of days Mary was unable to begin her story. The poets dropped theirs but Mary persisted in her creative endeavor. She felt that her ambitions and her value were at stake and attempted to turn the pressure and frustration into creative energy.
On June 22nd, Byron and Shelley were scheduled to take a boat trip around the lake. The night before their departure the group discussed a subject from de Stael's De l'Allemagne: "whether the principle of life could be discovered and whether scientists could galvanize a corpse of manufactured humanoid". When Mary went to bed, she had a "waking" nightmare:
I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life...His success would terrify the artist; he would rush away...hope that...this thing...would subside into dead matter...he opens his eyes; behold the horrid thing stands at his bedside, opening his curtains...
The next morning Mary realized she had found her story and began writing the lines that open Chapter IV of Frankenstein - "It was on a dreary night in November"-. She completed the novel in May of 1817 and is was published January 1, 1818.

A few years ago, I used to love gothic tales, I always wore black and I used to listen dismal and tragic music. I still smiling with camaraderie when I read things like "Charlotte Kempt Muhl loves victorian haute couture". There's still something of this gothic past in me, and I think that developing to a retro/vintage style is more than logical.
I've thank a lot about this idea of starting a blog. I love clothes and hate them too. This July has been such a fresh month and I've had a lot of time to think about it. There was an angel and a devil arguing inside my head:

- Yes, you should start a blog. There are thousands of style blogs, but only a few that could interess you.

- No, there's already a big saturation on the web.

- Yes, fashion may be a genuine art.

- No, it's too flighty, you'd better use your freetime for culturize yourself.

- Why don't you share your style with the bloggers that you follow?

- No, you are too shy...

At last, I always decided: No. But the idea persisted in my head. And now I think: Why not?

Those mythic writers spent their cold summer in inventing gothic stories. I make the most of my fresh july starting my blog, a purpose pretty prosaic but I like the parallelism.

Me, that always wore black, I call today the eternal brightness.

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