SHRI KRISHAN PURI ASHRAM
Creative multicultural possibility to use !
I have a party basement in Muttenz – CH, in a town house. The basement is decorated in UV stile, with UV objects, carpets and cushions. Well equipped and very comfortable and cosy. The house can hold about 30-40 people and there is a high class professional fix mounted Soundsystem with all the Dj stuff, CD Player Pioneer, Mixer and MIDI controller for digital DJs, all professional and finest stuff. It can be used every Friday from 19 o’clock to Open-End. Silent coming and going is required because of the neighbours!!! The whole area is NO – SHOES – ZONE. It can be cooked vegetarian food only; because we do not eat our friends (I do this mostly for the good of our body and mind). The whole facilities can be used only in a private sector; it is not possible to organize officially open events. So it is only possible with friends and invited guests. Who wants to present himself and his performance is welcome; it is possible to contact me on phone: +41797918202 to discuss about the subject matter and to make confirmation and arrangement. I am open towards creative ideas, usually the music style played here is Electronic music, Psychedelic, Progressive, Trance, Chill, Ambient. The only option is that commercial music is not desired here, because it is not fitting with the ambient around. The private events can happen in a very friendly, familial atmosphere. This is My Creative Contribution to the Community. There is also a collection of spoons, glasses, brouilleur and 60 varieties of traditional Absinthe from the region and the neighbouring countries. Here in the Baumgarten Ashram I also can offer a PC Sound Studio, Meditation Courses in the old Indian Vedanta tradition.
You can find me on various links
The Baumgarten Ashram Homepage where you can find more information about me and the whole place.
The Psychedelic Fairy (group)
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=373095899915&v=info Facebook Profile
The Psychedelic Fairy – Absinthe Culture Page
Alandia Absinthe community
I grow up here, in the Absinthe Region of Switzerland, I was following continually the history, the culture and the rituals of the Absinthe, during the underground times of the Absinthe culture, with a big interest. So I have seen the inner value, the spiritual question and the search for the source and it brings me all the time back, to one matter, the Absinthe. Because of this Absinthe culture in the region, many artists, thinkers, philosophers, writers have made their quantum leap and get spiritually richer from it. He/She could Turn on, Tune in and Drop out and detach in the psychonautic world, experiencing the deeper reason of the source, the existence of the source. Absinthe has been always a “Flying Drink” on a high cultural level. For my personal use I macerate my own varieties of Absinthe with saffron, domination of peppermint and lemon balm, rose, hibiscus and liquorice in high quality.
This was the reason to create the name: “The Psychedelic Fairy”
Psychonautics (from the Greek ψυχή (psychē “soul/spirit/mind”) and ναύτης (naútēs “sailor/navigator”) – a sailor of the mind/soul) refers both to a methodology for describing and explaining the subjective effects of altered states of consciousness, including those induced by mind altering substances and to a research paradigm in which the researcher voluntarily immerses him/herself into an altered state by means of such techniques, as a means to explore human experience and existence.The term has been applied diversely, to cover all activities by which altered states are induced and utilized for spiritual purposes or the exploration of the human condition, including shamanism, Sadhus from the Hindu tradition, Tibetan Lamas of the Tantric tradition sensory deprivation, and archaic/modern substance users who use entheogenic substances in order to gain deeper insights and spiritual experiences.
A person who uses altered states for such exploration is known as Psychonaut, according to that Absinthe consumers are Psychonauts.
Note: Pictures from The Psychedelic Fairy can be seen in my Group Admin Album http://www.alandia.de/absinthe-community/members/krishanpuri/album/
Love and Light
Shri Krishan Puri
TO All MEMBERS OF ”THE ALANDIA ABSINTE COMMUNITY”
This is my referring to the Absinthe community. We do and suppose to represent actually a high class culture, since I am in the community I have only read things there, like: how do I color ice cube; how stoned I was or some mystery nonsense about tujone. I would like to say that is not the way to represent the high Absinthe culture, because there is much more behind. Think about what other people who visit the page,will think and be impressed from it. Absinthe has still his mythological bad reputation, and some of them get fascinated because has the illegal background from the past,but that is all over, now a new era has started. All the Absinthers have to follow a proper cultural way, the point of it is to lift up the Absinthe culture in the proper way, and not with nonsense. Think, it is also our responsibility, to give to the Absinthe the high class quality back into the society. I have bomb you with a lot of proper knowledge about the Absinthe Culture, because I feel really responsible, to lift it up again and not to continue the same old story. All of you have a chance to do the right representation, to uncover the beauty of the Absinthe culture. Please sit seriously and try to discover real and deep,with scientific and intellectual values. For the Absinthe culture it is very important and those values are worth to be share with people. Please be serious and try to give nice intellectual contribution to the Absinthe culture, and not some nonsense stories around the Absinthe, because for people with knowledge all that look very childish, and also give a bad reputation to the Absinthe community, to the Alandia page and to all Absinthe producers and web sites. The factor fun, should for sure not be lost, but most important is that for people who have no idea about Absinthe, it needs to be given proper knowledge to them and right introduction to the Absinthe Culture.
I hope I will not be misunderstood, because for me this Absinthe Culture has a big value. In Swiss, Germany and all over EU community it start already some strict control movement against alcohol, especially for high volumes alcohol, where Absinthe belong. They want to ban alcohol all over like they have done for tobacco already ! because it is not right represented and consumed with out some individual control.Those are the arguments of the governments. I believe Absinthe is to alter you self in to an higher staid of mind.I believe Absinthe or other substances, have a medical and therapeutic purpose and they can also alter yourself into a higher state of mind. This makes them very precious.
Love and Light
Shri Krishan Puri
Krishan, this is very good advice and I agree with you 100%. Keep up the good work!
You do raise some very valid points, Krishan. However, even though I definitely feel that the traditional method is, by far, the best, & seldom try the other ways, I do feel that absinthe is a very versatile drink. So, while it may not be favoured by us, coloured ice cubes, the bohemian method, huffing, flaming shots, etc. all add to the versatility. It is, ideed, as much of a party drink as any other alcohol. But also a relaxation drink, a sophisticated drink, a medicinal drink, a spiritual drink & more.
The non-traditional methods can be viewed as:
1: Ways to introduce the un-initiated to the Green Fairy, and those among them who take interest in it will be later rewarded with knowledge of the other methods, especially the tradtional.
2: Ways for the traditionalists’ to break from the norm from time to time.
The main thing we should be concerned with is spreading the word to popularise it again, the rest will follow in turn & everyone will be able partake of it in their own perferred fashion.
Absinthe and Art
There are many albums with art collection, presented through various artists, during the 19 and beginning of the 20 century and later also. There are represented also compositors, writers, and many other intellectuals, who were Absinthe drinkers
Link 1: Poster- Art: Pro & Con, posters, placards
Link 2: Picasso and his Blue Absinthe Period
Link 3: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Link 4: Jean Béraud
Link 5: Various Artists
Link 6: Historical Absinthe Photos and Postcards
Link7: Historical Absinthe Labels (étiquette)
Link to The Psychedelic Fairy Absinthe culture page for many notes and other contributions
Absinthia Taetra by Ernest Dowson 1897
Green changed to white, emerald to
opal: nothing was changed.
The man let the water trickle gently
into his glass, and as the green clouded,
a mist fell from his mind.
Then he drank opaline.
Memories and terrors beset him. The
past tore after him like a panther and
through the blackness of the present he
saw the luminous tiger eyes of the things
But he drank opaline.
And that obscure night of the soul,
and the valley of humiliation, through
which he stumbled, were forgotten. He
saw blue vistas of undiscovered countries,
high prospects and a quiet, caressing
sea. The past shed its perfume over
him to-day held his hand as if it were a
little child, and to-morrow shone like a
white star: nothing was changed.
He drank opaline.
The man had known the obscure
night of the soul, and lay even now in
the valley of humiliation; and the tiger
menace of the things to be was red in
the skies. But for a little while he had
Green changed to white, emerald to
opal: nothing was changed.
Lautrec Hollow Cane
Lautrec Hollow Cane filled with Absinthe.Lautrec was a serious inebriate. According to biographer Julia Frey, his daily routine centered on drinking. Having woken up with a hangover, he would start his day in a neighboring bistro with ‘substantial quantity of wine’ . Then after his work in the studio, he would go for an aperitif in a bar before dinner, and linger in his favorite taverns and cabarets in Montmartre until dawn. He also had two café tables in his studio, where he concocted his own versions of ‘American cocktails’ to share with visitors. Rumor even had it that he carried a hollow cane filled with absinthe, in case he wanted a sip between bistros and he was occasionally accompanied by a pet cormorant that he had trained to drink it. He liked to experiment by adding ingredients. One concoction was the Maiden Blush, a composition of absinthe, bitters, red wine and champagne. Another, created for the legendary dancer Yvette Guilbert, was the tremblement de terre, made from absinthe and cognac. His lifestyle inevitably influenced his work. The symbolist painter Gustave Moreau commented that Lautrec’s paintings ”are entirely painted in absinthe”. Even the colour of the drink may have had an effect on Lautrec, who commented that he felt haunted by colours: ”To me, in the colour green, there is something like the temptation of the devil.”
Medicinal Properties of Ingredients in Absinthe
Medical – Although it was originally believed to be similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), that has since been disproven. Most likely thujone antagonizes inhibition in the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor system. Drugs that act as agonists of GABA receptors (known as GABA analogues or GABAergics) or increase the available amount of GABA typically have relaxing, anti-anxiety and anti-convulsive effects.
In mice the median lethal dose, or LD50, is around 45 mg/kg, 0% mortality rate at 30 mg/kg and 100% at 60 mg/kg. Those exposed to the higher dose had convulsions that led to death in 1 minute. From 30 to 45 mg/kg the mice would experience muscle spasms in the legs which progressed to general convulsions until death or recovery. Pretreatment of diazepam, phenobarbital or 1 g/kg of ethanol protected against a lethal 100 mg/kg dose.
There are few studies on humans and the LD50 isn’t known. One study in the Journal of Studies of Alcohol administered 0.28 mg/kg thujone in alcohol, 0.028 mg/kg in alcohol and just alcohol to subjects. The high dose had a negative effect on attention performance. The lower dose showed no noticeable effect. There is no evidence that any dose will cause hallucinations.
Legal – In the EU, alcoholic beverages above 50 proof are limited to 10 mg/kg thujone. In the United States, the sale of beverages containing thujone is prohibitted (but conumption and possession of thujone-containing beverages is not punishable by law.)
Medical – Hyssop has medicinal properties which are listed as including expectorant, carminative, relaxes peripheral blood vessels, promotes sweating, anti-inflammatory, anti-catarrhal, antispasmodic. Its active constituents are volatile oil, flavonoids, tannins and bitter substance (marrubin). A strong tea made from the leaves and flowering tops is used in lung, nose and throat congestion and catarrhal complaints, and externally it can be applied to bruises to reduce the swelling and discolouration. An old English country remedy for cuts and wounds suffered working in the fields was to apply a poultice of bruised hyssop leaves and sugar in order to reduce the risk of tetanus infection. An essential oil made from hyssop increases alertness and is a gently relaxing nerve tonic suitable for treating nervous exhaustion, overwork, anxiety and depression. The Herb Society’s ”Complete Medicinal Herbal” cautions however that ”the essential oil contains the ketone pino-camphone which in high doses can cause convulsions. Do not take more than the recommended dose.”.
Medical – Calamus has been an item of trade in many cultures for thousands of years. Calamus has been used medicinally for a wide variety of ailments. In antiquity in the Orient and Egypt, the rhizome was thought to be a powerful aphrodisiac. Dried calamus rhizome (root) can be used to treat stomach cramps, gas, gastric ulcers, and lack of appetite. In Europe Acorus calamus was often added to wine, and the root is also one of the possible ingredients of absinthe. Among the northern Native Americans, it is used both
medicinally and as a stimulant; in addition, the root is thought to have been used as an entheogen among the northern Native Americans. In high doses, it is hallucinogenic. Legal – Calamus and products derived from calamus (such as its oil) were banned in 1968 as food additives and medicines by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
Flavour – Fennel is widely cultivated both in its native range and elsewhere of for its edible, strongly flavoured leaves and seeds. The flavour is similar to that of anise and star anise, though usually not so strong.
Medical – Essential oil of Fennel is included in some pharmacopoeias. It is traditionally used in drugs to treat chills and stomach problems. In medieval times fennel was used in conjunction with St John’s wort to keep away witchcraft and other evil things. This might have originated because fennel can be used as an insect repellent.
Flavour – Cloves can be used in cooking either whole or in a ground form, but as they are extremely strong they are used sparingly.
Medical – The compound responsible for the cloves’ aroma is eugenol. It is the main component in the essential oil extracted from cloves, comprising 72-90%. Eugenol has pronounced antiseptic and anaesthetic properties.
Flavour – The dry fruit are known as coriander seeds or simply as coriander. They have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed, due to the presence of the terpenes linalool and pinene. It is also described as warm, nutty, spicy, and orange-flavoured.
Medical – Researchers have found that coriander can assist with clearing the body of lead, aluminium and mercury. Cilantro has been used as a folk medicine for the relief of anxiety and insomnia in Iranian folk medicine. Experiments in mice support its use as an anxiolytic. Cilantro essential oil has been demonstrated to exhibit antibacterial action against E. Coli.
Flavour – The fruit consists of two united carpels, called a cremocarp, and has a strong licorice-like taste and a powerful odor. However, the anise plant is not related to the European plant whose roots are the source of true licorice.
Medical – By distillation the fruit yields the volatile oil of anise, which is useful in the treatment of flatulence and colic in children. It may be given as Aqua Anisi, in doses of one or more ounces, or as the Spiritus Anisi, in doses of 5â€“20 minims. It has also been used to treat canker sores.
Flavor – Star anise, or Chinese star anise, is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavor, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a small native evergreen tree of southwest China. Star anise contains anethole, the same ingredient which gives the unrelated anise its flavour.
Medical – Star anise has been used in a tea as a remedy for colic and rheumatism, and the seeds are sometimes chewed after meals to aid digestion. Although it is produced in most autotrophic organisms, star anise is the industrial source of shikimic acid, a primary ingredient used to create the anti-flu drug Tamiflu. Tamiflu is regarded as the most promising drug to mitigate the severity of bird flu (H5N1); however, reports indicate that some forms of the virus have already adapted to Tamiflu.
Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum), a similar tree, is not edible because it is highly toxic.
All this herbs and ingredients can be seen in the album:
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marquis of Dalí de Púbol
(May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), commonly known as Salvador Dalí, was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres.
Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931. Dalí’s expansive artistic repertoire includes film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.
Dalí attributed his ”love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes” to a self-styled ”Arab lineage,” claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors.
Dalí was highly imaginative, and also had an affinity for partaking in unusual and grandiose behavior. His eccentric manner and attention-grabbing public actions sometimes drew more attention than his artwork to the dismay of those who held his work in high esteem and to the irritation of his critics
Salvador Dali claims that he never use drugs and alcohol, he will say once: ”I don’t take drugs I am drugs” but apart his states about this, there is some opinion that he use Hashish and drink Absinthe. Also when we look his friends and his surroundings and also the subject of his paintings, is quiet unbelievable to this that he really didn’t use stimulants.
There is a state in his book the The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí which is an autobiography published in 1942 Dali will say: ”There was a French family that was very intimate with my parents and whose members were confirmed gourmets; hence a woodcock, served ”high” with brandy burned over it, had no secrets for me, and I knew by heart the whole ritual for drinking a good Pernod out in the sun with a sugar-lump dipped into it.” obviously here he is referring to an Absinthe drink.
Dali (b. 1904) was a child during the decade before the French ban. He would have been in his early teens when Pernod opened its post-ban distillery in Tarragona in 1918, so is very possible he to have try it and also consume it.
A photographer, Rosenfelder first tasted absinthe as a teenager at the Spanish home of Salvador Dali, and he dismisses the idea that absinthe caused the downfall of any Bohemian artists, states Rosenfelder.
Apart with the consuming of Absinthe, Dali is know as a Hashish smoker, once he will say: ”Everyone should eat hashish, but only once.”
Alexander Dumas’ ”Dictionary of Cuisine”
Member of the Parisian Club des Hashischins. The Club des Hashischins (sometimes also spelled Club des Hashishins or Club des Hachichins), was a Parisian group dedicated to the exploration of drug-induced experiences, notably with hashish.
It was active from about 1844 to 1849 and counted the literary and intellectual elite of Paris among its members, including Dr. Jacques-Joseph Moreau, Théophile Gautier, Charles Baudelaire, Gérard de Nerval, Eugène Delacroix and Alexandre Dumas, père. Monthly ”séances” were held at the Hôtel de Lauzun (at that time: Hôtel Pimodan) on the Île Saint-Louis.
Gautier wrote about the club in an article entitled ”Le Club des Hachichin” published in the Revue des Deux Mondes in February 1846, recounting his recent visit. While he is often cited as the founder of the club, in the article he says he was attending their séances for the first time that evening and made clear that others were sharing a familiar experience with him.
Alexander Dumas’ ”Dictionary of Cuisine”, 1802-1870
(Wormwood) is a perennial plant with bitter leaves,
found everywhere in Europe. In the North, a wine called
vermouth is made from it.
There are two varieties, the Roman and the Pontic, also
known as marine wormwood. Wormwood that grows
along the shore or high in the mountains is fine to eat.
To the latter we owe the special flavor of animals that
have fed upon it, highly esteemed by gourmands and
known as pré-salé (salt-meadow).
Though the dispensers boast that the beverage called
absinthe will strengthen the stomach and aid digestion,
and though the Salerno school recommends absinthe
for seasickness, it is impossible not to deplore its
ravages among our soldiers and poets over the past
forty years. There is not a regimental surgeon who will
not tell you that absinthe has killed more Frenchman in
Africa than the flittá, the yataghan, and the guns of the
Arabs put together.
Among our Bohemian poets absinthe has been called
”the green muse.” Several, and unfortunately not the
poorest, have died from its poisoned embraces.
Hégésippe Moreau, Amédée Roland, Alfred de Musset,
our greatest poet after Hugo and Lamartine–all
succumbed to its disastrous effects.
De Musset’s fatal passion for absinthe, which may have
given some of his verses their bitter flavor, caused the
dignified Academy to descend to punning. It seems
that de Musset frequently found himself in no condition
to attend the academic sessions. Which prompted one
of the forty Immortals to say that ”he absinthes himself
a bit too much.”
”Even When She Walks…” – Charles-Pierre Baudelaire
Even when she walks she seems to dance!
Her garments writhe and glisten like long snakes
obedient to the rhythm of the wands
by which a fakir wakens them to grace.
Like both the desert and the desert sky
insensible to human suffering,
and like the ocean’s endless labyrinth
she shows her body with indifference.
Precious minerals are her polished eyes,
and in her strange symbolic nature
angel and sphinx unite,
where diamonds, gold, and steel dissolve into one light,
shining forever, useless as a star,
the sterile woman’s icy majesty. Charles-Pierre Baudelaire
”Sunset on the ocean” and ”Indian summer” poems by Johan August Strindberg
The poem below is an excerpt from the collected works of August Strindberg. Originally found in his work ”Från Havet – Här och där”, written 1873-1876. Then released again as part of ”I Vårbrytningen” in the extensive ”Collected works”, printed as part three of the collection in 1912.
Sunset on the ocean
I’m lying on the boatswain’s locker
smoking ”Fem Blå Bröder”
thinking of nothing
The sea is green
dark absinthe green
it is bitter like magnesium chloride
and saltier than sodium chloride
it is chaste like potassium iodide
and oblivion, oblivion
from large sins and large sorrows
you find only in the ocean,
O green absinthe sea,
o calm absinthe oblivion,
numb my senses
and let me fall asleep in peace,
as I fell asleep before
over an article in
Revues des deux Mondes!
Sweden lies like smoke
like the smoke from a Maduro Havanna
and the sun is sitting above
like an almost extinguished cigar,
but around the horizon
the quarries stand red
like bengal fires
shedding light on the misery.
- Translated by Markus Hartsmar, 2004
The poem below was written for one of the few books Strindberg wrote entirely comprised of prose and poems. Written in 1883 the book ”Dikter på vers och prosa” included this poem originally titled ”Indiansommar”. This was later on republished in 1911 and again in 1912-1913 as part 13 in the collected works of Strindberg along with ”Sömngångarnätter”.
From the sickroom’s chloral smelling pillows,
darkened by suffocated sighs
and hitherto unheard blasphemes;
from the bedside table,
encumbered with medicinal bottles,
prayer books and Heine,
I stumbled out on the balcony
to look at the sea.
Shrouded in my flowered blanket
I let the October sun shine
on my yellow cheeks
and onto a bottle of absinthe,
green as the sea,
green as the spruce twigs
on a snowy street
where a funeral cortège had gone ahead.
The sea was dead calm
and the wind slept –
as if nothing had passed!
Then came a butterfly,
a brown awful butterfly,
which once was a caterpillar
but now crawled its way up
out of a newly set heap of leaves,
fooled by the sunshine
Trembling from cold
he sat down
on my flowered blanket.
And he chose among the roses
and the anilin lilacs
the smallest and the ugliest one –
how can one be so stupid!
When the hour had passed
and I got up
to go and get inside,
he still sat there,
the stupid butterfly.
He had fulfilled his destiny
and was dead,
the stupid bastard!
Edouard Manet ”The Absinthe Drinker”
From his studio in the Rue Lavoisier, Edouard Manet ventured into the famous Tortoni’s Cafe, drinking absinthe with Gustave Courbet, Charles Baudelaire, and other members of the avant guard. Like Baudelaire, Manet became known for his extravagant dress and the two became fast friends. More then a kindred spirit, Baudelaire would become a mentor and subject of some of the painter’s work.
Manet painted what he saw in contemporary life. Despite the excellence of his work, Manet’s portrait, The Absinthe Drinker, was excluded from the prestigious Salon of Paris in 1859. The salon was the definitive show for Paris’ crème de la crème of artists, intellectuals, and socialites. Baudelaire, who was present when news of the rejection came, believed there was nothing the artist could do other then remain true to his vision.
Manet had, indeed, painted what he saw and become pivotal in the emergence of the modern painting. The image depicted a seedy, unkempt man standing stridently beside his last glass of absinthe, the spent bottle at his feet. Strikingly rendered, it was a stark portrayal of a local drunkard named Collardet, whom Manet encountered near the Louvre, where he had been studying Velasquez. It is a stark painting with a limited palette of browns and blacks, painted directly from the model with a fierce immediacy. Collardet is not ashamed of his condition, he simply exists as a literal truth with no intervening moral gloss, he is not asking for pity, he has indeed, a somewhat arrogant dignity with his tall hat and his blanket wrapped around him like a cloak. Indeed, Collardet was so unapologetic about his condition that once Manet had made his acquaintance the rag picker took to calling round and making a nuisance of himself in the studio. While the painting seems always to have been known as The Absinthe Drinker, the item which visually identifies it as unequivocally connected to the drink – the rather incongruous glass on the brick wall – was added later, between 1867 and 1872. Manet first painted the full-length figure, with the bottle at his feet. He later cut the picture down, removing the bottle and the feet, and it was exhibited thus for a retrospective exhibition in 1867 at the Paris Universal Exposition, an exhibition which was put on at his own expense. He then added 16 inches of canvas, with the intention of making a three-quarter length portrait into a full-length image to from part of a series of full-length images of beggars. The glass of absinthe was now added, so that in 1872 the picture was as it is currently depicted, when it was sold to the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel.
If Manet hoped to win over Couture with his combination of the techniques of Velasquez with the themes of everyday life, he was disappointed. Couture was disgusted: ‘An absinthe drinker! And they paint abominations like that! My poor friend, you are the absinthe drinker. It is you who have lost your moral sense,’ he said, clearly indicating the link between absinthe, the new art and the immorality. Paris’ establishment was not yet prepared to unveil quite such a truthful image of the city’s underbelly. Even fellow artists were taken aback by Manet’s lack of sentimentality and social value.
Moulin Rouge and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec
We know that the Belle Époque was not all beautiful. It did have its seamy side. Opening in October 1899, the Moulin Rouge was an extravagant experiment, designed to dazzle anyone and invite everyone. In addition to a seedy underclass, Paris burgeoned with a bourgeois class and the industrial workers to support it. From nobles to pickpockets, please seekers flocked to the ”Palace of Women.” Artist Adolphe Willette orchestrated the exotic theme and richly colored the décor of the Moulin Rouge. Parisians turned out en masse to celebrate the opening of the pleasure dome, and it did not disappoint. In addition to the stage performers, there were stand-up comics, roving performers, and carnival freaks. Most famous among the diversions was the risqué can-can.
All under one roof, one could find a main stage with an orchestra pit above; a dance floor; courtesans and in-house prostitutes; sexual voyeur opportunities; galleries; a garden café, complete with monkeys in costume; a huge, stuffed carcass of elephant in the garden areas, which also housed a nightclub with an Arabian theme complete with belly dancers; and an opium den. And throughout the entire scene, the Green Fairy played her pivotal role.
Henri de Toulouse Lautrec
Henri de Toulouse Lautrec was a direct descendant of the Counts of Toulouse. The eccentric Count married his first cousin, Countess Adele Tapie de Celeyarn, who gave birth to Henri de Toulouse‚ Lautrec. Never healthy, Toulouse – Lautrec suffered a congenital bone condition. In his early teens, he broke both legs in separate incidents. The bone tissue did not heal properly and the boy stopped growing at four feet, eleven inches. As the Count distanced him self from his only child, the Countess become overly solicitous, and art become her son’s escape and his promise. It was acceptable for Toulouse – Lautrec to become an accomplished painter a tradition among the men of his family. For him to become working artist, however, would be unthinkable. Still, his father sent him to study with French masters. Toulouse – Lautrec was a serious student, who went on to study in prestigious ateliers. Soon he abandoned classical painting- he preferred the work of the Impressionists.
In 1887, Toulouse- Lautrec inhaled life in Paris. It was the end of the century, and the city was the epicenter of change. Plans were underway for Paris to host the Worlds Fair; the Eiffel Tower was in the design stage. The Worlds Fair would speak the interest in Eastern cultures, and ‘Japanisme’ became an ardent admirer and collector of Japanese woodblock prints. A fascination with the work of Utamaro and with prints making heavily influenced Toulouse- Lautrec’s work. In a radical departure from even the avant-garde, Toulouse – Lautrec sold his work on the street. His work some times appeared on the walls of the cafes and restaurants of Montmartre, places he frequented. He exhibited in galleries, but, as his reputation grew, commissions for his work kept him working feverishly. Toulouse- Lautrec’s denizens of the night were the residents of and visitors to Montmartre. He lived in Montmartre, embracing the bohemian lifestyle. He frequented the dance halls, brothels, and bars; his legacy is detailed chronicle of place and time. During his life in Montmartre, the artist produced 351 lithographs and nine dry points. He would create sketches at night, working during the day to turn the drawings into paintings or to work with printers to produce lithographs. Many of his celebrity subjects were also friends. He counted among his acquaintances, Jean Avril, Yvette Guilbert, May Belfort, and Aristide Bruant. Montmartre was a place of excess, and Toulouse-Lautrec developed a taste for it all, primary among them, prostitutes and liquor. His favorite drink was absinthe, which he sometimes drank with cognac, a drink called an ”Earthquake.” He carried a hollow walking stick, filled with absinthe, and his motto was, ”Drink little, but drink often.” Sadly, by his mid-thirties, Toulouse – Lautrec was drinking more then he was working – absinthe louched with water, absinthe with white or red wine, absinthe in artfully layered cocktails called ”Rainbow Cups.” Word of his drinking and ill health (he was also plagued with syphilis) reached his parents at his country estate. Friends and a relative reported seeing him drunk. Late in February of 1899, Toulouse – Lautrec’s doctor and relative of the Countess convinced the distraught parents to take action. After drinking himself into a near stupor one March night, Toulouse – Lautrec awoke the next day morning in an asylum. He had been kidnapped and was kept in the asylum by force. Henri was terrified of being kept prisoner. He begged his father for his release but to no avail. He remained there until May. Upon release, Toulouse – Lautrec returned to his work, and avoided alcohol for a time. But in 1902, Henri de Toulouse – Lautrec died, wrapped in his mother’s arms.
Honore Daumier, The first glass… the sixth glass…
The first glass… the sixth glass…
A lithograph by Honore Daumier of 1863, The first glass… the sixth glass… shows a scene in such a café. An obviously bourgeois man is in an animated state with his first glass, while his companion is in an open-mouthed, open-eyes reverie after the sixth. Daumier, born in 1808, made his living principally as a cartoonist, producing lithographs of bitter political and social satire- one of his cartoons of King Louis Phillipe had him imprisoned in 1832. His unflinching realism and disregard for any concepts of picturesque poverty made him a favorite of early impressionists, including Degas who owned 1800 Daumier lithographs. One of his lithographs shows a haggard wretch in front of a glass saying, ‘There is nothing like absinthe to set a man up’. Daumier frequented The Hashish Club in the Hotel de Pimodan de l’ile Saint-Louis, also used by Charles Baudelaire, Eugene Delacroix and Gerard de Nerval.
Class depiction of absinthe surly reached the masses including the prohibitionists and social conservatives of the time. These conservatives wished to turn their heads from the social divisions of the time and the menace absinthe that had become commonly associated with this lower wished to capture the commonality of absinthe abuse among these bar attendees..” While the man on the left is pouring his first glass, the same man on the left looks completely inebriated.“unflinching realism and disregard for any concepts of picturesque poverty made him a favorite among early . … for the magazine illustrated the work , in 1863. In 1863, the same year as the first was rehired by to break his contract in 1860.” When his short-lived painting endeavors failed, movement in the public eye. His magazine and newspaper illustrations were used by a large percentage of illiterate Frenchmen as a way to learn the news. He frequently chose to depict socially and politically charged material in which many times he was met with stiff government reprimand. “It was the desire to paint and the frustration of imposed censorship that seem to have led , paved the way for the , along with found success in sketching and lithographic work for newspapers and magazines beginning in the early 1830s. and the artistic depictions of absinthe in these salons lead to a firm association of the drink with rejection from the national Salon and in turn, a non-endorsement from the national government.. While absinthe use was prevalent within the counterculture of Paris, the creation of the was an important step in the downfall of the salon as an arbiter of style.” Protests over refusals of this work and other similar works resulted in the development of The rejection of
”The Green Goddess”
There is a corner of the United States which he has overlooked. It lies in New Orleans, between Canal Street and Esplanade Avenue; the Mississippi for its base. Thence it reaches northward to a most curious desert land, where is a cemetery lovely beyond dreams. Its walls low and whitewashed, within which straggles a wilderness of strange and fantastic tombs; and hard by is that great city of brothels which is so cynically mirthful a neighbor. As Felicien Rops wrote,–or was it Edmond d’Haraucourt?–”la Prostitution et la Mort sont frere et soeur–les fils de Dieu!” At least the poet of Le Legende des Sexes was right, and the psycho-analysts after him, in identifying the Mother with the Tomb. This, then, is only the beginning and end of things, this ”quartier macabre” beyond the North Rampart with the Mississippi on the other side. It is like the space between, our life which flows, and fertilizes as it flows, muddy and malarious as it may be, to empty itself into the warm bosom of the Gulf Stream, which (in our allegory) we may call the Life of God.
”But our business is with the heart of things; we must go beyond the crude phenomena of nature if we are to dwell in the spirit. Art is the soul of life and the Old Absinthe House is heart and soul of the old quarter of New Orleans.”
Georges de Feure (6 September 1868 – 26 November 1943)
His Real name Georges Joseph van Sluÿters, was a French painter, theatrical designer, and industrial art designer in the symbolism and Art Nouveau styles. De Feure was born in Paris. His father was an affluent Dutch architect, and his mother was Belgian. De Feure had two sons, Jean Corneille and Pierre Louis, in the early 1890s with his mistress Pauline Domec and a daughter with his first wife Marguerite Guibert (married 7 July 1897). In 1886, de Feure was one of the eleven students admitted at the Rijkscademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, which he did however leave very quickly for Paris since he felt that formal academic training had nothing to offer him. Being of very independent nature, de Feure never again took up formal artistic studies, and forged his own independent path. He was however influenced by Jules Chéret in his posters for the café concert but most likely was never his pupil and became the key designer of Siegfried Bing for L’Art Nouveau. He showed work in the Exposition Universelle de Paris exhibition in 1900. He designed furniture, worked for newspapers, created theater designs for Le Chat Noir cabaret and posters. In August 1901, de Feure was nominated Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur for his contribution to the decorative arts. He died in poverty at the age of 75 years in Paris.
Marie Corelli (1855 – 1924)
By Marie Corelli (1855 – 1924)
Here is a brief summary of Marie Corelli’s book, originally published in 1890 as an 800 page 3
Young Gaston Beauvais has a good job in his father’s bank, and is handsome, well-bred and
wealthy He falls in love with Pauline de Charmilles, whose father is a Count and a friend of
Gaston’s father, and he asks her father for her hand in marriage. They become engaged.
Unfortunately Pauline falls in love with Silvion Guidel, a handsome and virtuous young man
who is going to enter the priesthood. He is the nephew of Monsieur Vaudron, a much loved
and respected old priest. Silvion loves Pauline too, and she begs Gaston to break off their
engagement. Gaston is devastated.
Gaston runs into an acquaintance in park, a wretched artist named André Gessonex. It is a
meeting that is going to change his life, because Gessonex introduces Gaston to absinthe:
“Do you like that stuff?” “ Like it?” I love it! And you?” “I have never tasted it.” “Never
tasted it!” exclaimed Gessonex amazedly. “Mon Dieu! You, a born and bred Parisian,
have never tasted absinthe?”
I smiled at his excitement. “Never! I have seen others drinking it often, – but I have not
liked the look of it somehow. A repulsive colour to me,- that medicinal green!” He
laughed a trifle nervously, and his hand trembled (…) “I hope you will not compel me to
consider you a fool, Beauvais! What an idea that is of yours – ‘medicinal green!’ Think
of melted emeralds instead. There, beside you, you have the most marvelous cordial in all
the world, – drink and you will find your sorrows transmuted – yourself transformed! (…)
Life without absinthe! – I cannot imagine it.”
He raised his glass glimmering pallidly in the light, – his words, his manner, fascinated
me, and a curious thrill ran through my veins. There was something spectral in his
expression too, as though the skeleton of the man had become suddenly visible beneath its
fleshly covering, – as though Death had for a moment peered through the veil of Life. I
fixed my eyes doubtingly on the pale green liquid whose praises he thus sang – had it
indeed such a potent charm?” “Again!” he whispered eagerly, with a strange smile.“Once
again! It is like vengeance, – bitter at first, but sweet at last!”
French writer known mainly as the creator of UBU ROI, first produced by Aurélien Lugné-Poë in Paris in 1896. Jarry was a forerunner of the Theatre of Absurd (see Beckett, Ionesco, Pirandello, Genet and others), writing his works in a Surrealistic style, and inventing a pseudoscience or ”science of imaginary solutions” which he called ’pataphysique. Jarry once stated: ”Laughter is born out of the discovery of the contradictory.” Jarry’s other works include stories, novels, and poems.
De ceux qu’ont transis les espérances charnelles
Égrenant la vertèbre en les sépulcres froids
Pour celui qui honnit le dôme de nos droits
La sarcelle grise ahurit au grand soleil L’ivoire courbé pair au front bas des taureaux.
Alfred Jarry was born in Laval, Mayenne, into a well-to-do farmer and craftsman family. He was the second child of Anselme Jarry, a cloth merchant, and his wife Caroline, née Quernest. Jarry was educated in the schools of Saint-Brieuc and Rennes. At the age of 18 he moved to Paris to live on a small family inheritance, and pursue his studies at the Lycée Henri IV. In collaboration with his classmates at the Lycée of Rennes, he had written Ubu roi to ridicule a pompous and fat mathematics teacher, Monsieur Hébert; by the students he was mocked as Père Heb, Éb, Ébouille, Ébé, P.H. an so on. Originally ’Pére Heb’ was the star of plays presented with marionettes. After settling in Paris Jarry continued to polish the Ubu saga and also wrote two sequels, UBU ENCHAÎNE (1900), which was acted for the first time at the Paris Exposition of 1937, and UBU COCU (1944), in which Père Ubu flushes his conscience down the toilet. Scatalogical humor always appealed to Jarry, who dismissed the conventional use of language.
When Ubu roi was first presented on December 10, 1896 at the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre, the coarseness of the language and anarchistic tones were too much for the audience, which rose in outrage after the first word, which was ”Merdre!” The play shocked even W.B. Yeats, who attended its opening night. One reviewer said: ”Despite the late hour, I have just taken a shower. An absolutely essential preventive measure when one has been subjected to such a spectacle.” The title character, cowardly Père Ubu is egged on by his wife to murder the royal family. He becomes the king of Poland and establishes a reign of terror. (PEASANTS. Mercy, Lord Ubu, have pity on us. We are poor, simple people. PA UBU. I couldn’t care less.) Eventually he is defeated by the Tsar and forced into exile to France with Mother Ubu. The events take place in a crazy never-never land, tempo is rapid, and principal characters move through the story like some monstrous puppets on an attack on existing moral and aesthetic values. – In addition to satirizing bourgeois values, Jarry sneers at traditional drama, among others Shakespeare’s Macbeth in scene in which Mère and Père Ubu plot to assassinate the King of Poland.
After military service Jarry devoted himself to literature. He frequented the literary salons and began to write. His early works include LES MINUTES DE SABLE MÉMORIAL (1894), a collection of prose and verse. Henri Rousseau, a minor inspector in the toll service and the first of the so-called naive painters, painted Jarry’s portrait which was hung in the Salon des Indépendants. L’AMOUR ABSOLU (1899) was a novel, more obscure than anything he had written. H.G. Wells’s novel The Time Machine inspired Jarry to write the speculative essay ’How to Construct a Time Machine’ (1900). LE SURÂLE (1902, The Supermale) was Jarry’s last novel. ”The act of love is of no importance, since it can be performed indefinitely,” states Jarry in the beginning of the book. The hero of the erotic fantasy is a superman who wins a bicycle race against a six-man team, he has sex 82 times with a women, and experiences the final climax with an amorous machine.
The History of Surrealism”Yet it is high time we perceive the remarkably clear line that connects the impish figure of Alfred Jarry in 1896, calmly saying merde (shit) to bourgeois culture, with Albert Camus, the impassioned humanist who wanted to bring all the black sheep back into the fold.”
After his fortune was soon spent, and Jarry lapsed into a chaotic, Bohemian life. However, he lived and died a virgin, and although he hated christianity, he felt compelled to seek God on his deathbed. A nihilist, he declared: ”We won’t have destroyed anything unless we destroy the ruins too”. Though physically tiny, his presence in turn-of-the-century Paris was huge.
Jarry had taste for absinthe, he lived in a bizarre apartment where each store had been cut horizontally in half to make double the original number of floors. André Gide put Jarry into an episode of his novel The Counterfeiters. In 1926 Gide wrote: ”Everything in Jarry, that strange humbug, smelled of affectation – his face whited with flour, his mechanical speech without intonation, the syllables evenly spaced, and the words made up or distorted.”
Until his death at the age of thirty-four, Jarry was a familiar figure stalking the streets of Paris with his green umbrella, symbol in King Ubu of middle-class power, and wearing the cyclist’s garb and carrying two pistols. According to an anecdote, once he was asked for a light in the street and discharged a pistol shot (un feu). From Ubu he also adopted the gestures of his creation, spoke in high falsetto like Ubu, and always employed the royal ”we.” Jarry healt was undermined by poverty, tuberculosis, and alcohol. He died in Paris, on November 1, 1907. In 1911 appeared a volume of Jarry’s essays but it was not until the 1920s, when the value of his work was widely recognized.
Jarry’s writings had a profound influence on the surrealist and Dada movements. With Picasso, whom he once gave a Browning automatic, he shared interest in masks. His absurd humor appealed to André Breton (1896-1966) and Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), who stated that the Dada spirit was the ”non-conformist spirit of every century that has existed since man is man”. Jarry’s influence on modern science fiction is seen is J.G. Ballard’s The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy as a Downhill Motor Race (1967), which echoes Jarry’s themes from his essay Commentair pour servir à la construction pratique de la machine à explorer le temps.
’Pataphysics – the initial apostrophe was deliberate – mixed science, science fiction, technology and art. Jarry defined it as the science of imaginary solutions, ”which will examine the laws governing exceptions, and will explain the universe supplementary to this one.” The ’science’ was later taken up and developed by other French novelists such as Boris Vian, George Perec and Raymond Queneau. Paul McCartney paid homage to Jarry’s branch of metaphysics in his Beatles song Maxwell’s Silver Hammer from 1969. With Barry Miles, a bookseller, he had talked about the ”pataphysical society and the Chair of Applied Alcoholism, and wrote in the song: ”’Joan was quizzical, studied pataphysical science in home…’” In 1995 McCarthey made for the American network Westwood One a radio series called Oobu Joobu, which was inspired by Jarry’s character Père Ubu.
He wrote: ”Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so solvent and corrosive that out of all substances, it has been chosen for washing and scourings, and a drop of water, added to a clear liquid like absinthe, muddies it”. And so he drank his absinthe straight . . . and when he couldn’t afford that, he took ether.
He fell ill, mainly from his absinthe drinking and ether sniffing, at the age of 34, and had himself photographed as a corpse, so that he could send postcards to his friends. Eventually, he was overcome by tubercular meningitis, and lapsed into a coma, waking momentarily before death to call, not for a priest or absinthe, but for a toothpick . . .
Jarry’s use of absinthe and its relationship to his work is renowned: Jarry is said to have been one of, we can only presume, very few absinthe devotees of the time who drank the stuff straight, foregoing the traditional combination with water and sugar. Jarry’s Ubu Roi, and its foul feature, the character Pere Ubu, have long been used to solidify arguments that regular absinthe use will drive a person to insanity. Jarry saw it another way. His professed goal was to use absinthe to “fuse together the dream and reality, art and lifestyle.”
Thomas De Quincey
English essayist and critic, best-known for his autobiography CONFESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH OPIUM EATER, which appeared first in 1821 in London Magazine. De Quincey was addicted to opium from his youth for the rest of his life. His influence on such writers as Poe and Baudelaire, and a number of readers tempted to experiment with opium, has been immense and notorious.
”If opium-eating be a sensual pleasure, and if I am bound to confess that I have indulged in it to an excess, not yet recorded of any other man, it is no less true, that I have struggled against this fascinating enthralment with a religious zeal, and have, at length, accomplished what I never yet heard attributed to any other man – have untwisted, almost to its final links the accursed chain which fettered me.” (from Confessions of an English Opium Eater)
Thomas De Quincey was born in the industrial city of Manchester, Lancashire. His father, who was a wealthy linen merchant, died in 1793. De Quincey was educated at schools in Bath and Winkfield. In Confessions De Quincey says that at the age of thirteen he wrote Greek with ease, and at fifteen he composed Greek verses in lyric metres and conversed in Greek fluently. From Manchester Grammar School he ran away to Wales at the age of 17 – with the knowledge and support of his mother and uncle. Before returning back home, he lived on the streets of London in poverty and hunger. Later in life he often saw in his dreams ”Anne of Oxford Street”, a 15-year-old prostitute who showed kindness to a young runaway. To opium, in the form of laudanum, De Quincey became addicted in 1804, when he studied at Worcester College, Oxford. He used it first to relieve acute toothache. He kept a decanter of laudanum by his elbow and steadily increased the dose.
De Quincey left Oxford without taking a degree. In 1807 he became a close friends with the romantic writer Taylor Coleridge, whom he met on a visit to the fashionable town of Bath. Coleridge introduced his new friend to Robert Southey and William Wordsworth, whom De Quincey greatly admired. In 1809 De Quincey went to live with them in the Lake District village of Grasmere. Suffering a series of debilitating illnesses between 1812 and 1813, De Quincey began to take opium again. He was a daily user, although he was able to control his habit until about 1817.
In 1816, De Quincey married Margaret Simpson, a farmer’s daughter, with whom he already had a child. She was the fixed point in his life; they eventually had five sons and three daughters.
Having spent his private fortune, De Quincey started to earn living by journalism, and was appointed as an editor of a local Tory newspaper, the Westmoreland Gazette. For the next 30 years he supported his family, mainly in Edinburgh, by writing tales, articles, and reviews. Early in the 1820s De Quincey moved to London, where he contributed the London Magazine and Blackwoods. His chronicle Confessions of an English Opium Eater, which first was published in London magazine and then reprinted in book form, was a mixture of stories about his life, social comments, cultural anecdotes, and descriptions both the ecstasies and the torments of the drug. The book was an instant success and an important inspiration for other writers. Confessions – its title noteworthy referring to the Confessions of St. Augustine – also included quotes in Greek, Latin and Italian. Without considering its intellectually and physically corruptive effects, De Quincey took the drug in hope of increasing his rationality and the sense of harmony. For him opium was not a part of criminal, alienated lifestyle.
In 1826 De Quincey moved to Edinburgh. After the death of his wife in 1837, he began to use opium heavily. Between the years 1841 and 1843 he hide the creditors in Glasgow, and published then THE LOGIC OF THE POLITICAL ECONOMY (1844), a dissertation on David Ricardo’s economic theory, and SUSPIRIA DE PROFUNDIS (1845), the sequel to his Confessions, in which De Quincey documented his childhood, dreams, and fantasies. From 1853 until his death De Quincey worked with his SELECTIONS GRAVE AND GAY, FROM THE WRITINGS, PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED, BY THOMAS DE QUINCEY. Althhough De Quincey wrote much, he published only few books and had constant financial difficulties. Most of his works were written for periodicals. He also examined such German philosophers as Immanuel Kant, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Jean Paul Richer, and Friedrich von Schiller, and translated their writings. De Quincey’s strong points were his imagination and his understanding of altered states of consciousness, of which he had his own doubts: ”The mere understanding, however useful and indispensable, is the meanest faculty in the human mind, the most to be distrusted; and yet the great majority of people trust to nothing else, – which may do for ordinary life, but not for philosophical purposes.”The Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth )
De Quincey’s influence has been later seen in the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire, Aldous Huxley, and William Burroughs. Like Poe, he was interested in the criminal mind, although he was not always deadly serious with the subject: ”If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.” , 1827) (from It has been suggested, that De Quincey prefigurated modern Outsider-writers such as Alexander Trocchi, for whom drugs served as confirmation of their alienation from mainstream society.
Apart the use of the opium, Thomas De Quincey was also an Absinthe drinker.
Animated Masterpiece – The Hasher’s Delirium – Emile Cohl 1910
The most surprising aspect of early animation is how wildly inventive and playful it can be; both qualities can be found in abundance in the pioneering work of Emile Cohl. As with his first film Fantasmagorie, the main image in The Hasher’s Delirium undertakes a series of transformations.
Unlike his first film, however, there is an image onscreen which remains constant for the majority of the film: an inebriated man. The large white bubble in the middle of the screen represents his drunken thought dreams. As the images within the bubble become more disturbing, the bubble disappears and the man’s body takes centre stage as his body bends like Mr. Fantastic and he kicks himself on his own behind.
By focusing on the inebriated man’s ‘delirium’, Cohl is able to focus his transformations on a specific but broad theme. Furthermore, by experimenting with the effects of alcohol (the words ‘wine’ and ‘absinthe’ both appear within the white bubble) and showing the audience several images which are meant to provoke fear within the inebriated man, Cohl is touching on certain elemental fears which will be exploited routinely in the great horror films of the forthcoming decade. And by having an ‘everyman’ onscreen, Cohl is ensuring that this figure serves as a symbol for our own drunken fears.
The Hasher’s Delirium is not the first film to deal with issues of chemical excess; similar issues were dealt with in the 1906 live action film Dream of a Rarebit Fiend. Film’s interest in exploring this subject matter is unsurprising.
The hallucinatory effects of such activities is a strange blend of what we visualise, think and dream. In Dream of a Rarebit Fiend, this allows Edwin S. Porter to apply Méliès- esque visual trickery to a ‘normal’ scenario (i.e. a man walking home after eating and drinking too much). However, even with modern day films, there are limitations to the rapidity of this particular thought process being examined in a live action film.
In an animated film like The Hasher’s Delirium there is no such problem, and the constant shape-shifting of a man’s ‘delirium’ can be explored with more accuracy. And when the bubble disappears and the inebriated man’s body starts to bend, Cohl manages to capture the moment at which the man’s drunken imagination consumes any semblance of his rational mind and takes complete control of his senses.
The film has a hypnotic effect on its viewer, as each image transforms seamlessly and at breathtaking pace. As with Fantasmagorie, I found myself watching the film several times to fully digest the range of images that the film presents in less than ninety seconds.
The film has also aged remarkably well, it is the perfect film to introduce your friends to this period of film. Its breadth of imagination and dark humour make it a remarkably modern film.
Green Fairy: The symbol of liberté and transformation
Green Fairy: The symbol of liberté
The Green Fairy is the English translation of La Fee Verte, the affectionate French nickname given to the celebrated absinthe drink in the nineteenth century. The nickname stuck, and over a century later, “absinthe” and “Green Fairy” continue to be used interchangeably by devotees of the potent green alcohol. Mind you, absinthe earned other nicknames, too: poets and artists were inspired by the “Green Muse”; Aleister Crowley, the British occultist, worshiped the “Green Goddess”. But no other nickname stuck as well as the original, and many drinkers of absinthe refer to the green liquor simply as La Fee – the Fairy.
The symbol of transformation
But Green Fairy isn’t just another name for absinthe: she is a metaphorical concept of artistic enlightenment and exploration, of poetic inspiration, of a freer state of mind, of new ideas, of a changing social order. To the ignorant drunk, absinthe will forever remain but potent alcohol, perhaps with a bit of thujone “high” thrown in. To the original bohemians of 1890s Paris, the Fairy was a welcomed symbol of transformation. She was the trusted guide en-route to artistic innovation; she was the symbol of thirst (for life) to Arthur Rimbaud, the first “punk poet”: it was the Fairy who guided him—and his fellow poet and partner Paul Verlaine—on their quest to escape the conventional reality of their time into the sanctuary of the surreal.
- Load More