Comptines d'un autre été  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons. YouTumentary set to the score of Amelie Poulain.

Comptines d'un autre été The Pian (Life is a song) and

French film producer Christian Fechner died today. He was 64. He produced a great number of films but is best-remembered for L'Aile ou la Cuisse, Camille Claudel, Les Amants du Pont-Neuf, Élisa, and La Fille sur le pont.

That last film, with its English title Girl on a Bridge was directed by Patrice Leconte and was featured on this blog two years ago[1]. The film is superb, it is now World Cinema Classic #72.

Bertalda, Assailed by Spirits by Theodore Von Holst

"Bertalda then showed the piece of gold she was given to the goblins below, and they laughed themselves half-dead over it and hissed at her. At last they all pointed at me with their metal-stained fingers, and more and more wildly, and more and more densely, and more and more madly, the swarm of spirits came clambering up to her." --remix of Undine

Damsel in distress trope in Undine, actually a take on tentacle eroticism of which I am so fond.

Structuralist Theory of Mythology, Motif-Index of Folk-Literature, morphology (folkloristics)

Claude Lévi-Strauss (born November 28, 1908) will be a hundred coming Friday. I'm trying to find a good angle to approach his work. So far it is structure, anthropologica and taboo.


The stucture angle leads to structuralism, a French intellectual movement of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, based on Russian Formalism and the Prague school of structuralism.

That Claude Lévi-Strauss sought to investigate structures became apparent with the publication of his debut work The Elementary Structures of Kinship (1949). The word structure in its title betrays its conceptual affiliations to what was later to be called structuralism.

In a way, this is a bit facile since structure is a fundamental notion covering the whole of science; from a child's verbal description of a snowflake, to the detailed scientific analysis of the properties of botany, the concept of structure is an essential foundation of nearly every mode of inquiry and discovery in science, philosophy, and art.

I think the new approach heralded by structuralism was the move a way from dogmatism, great man theory and other subjective "methods" to a more genre theoretic approach in the social sciences.

anthropologica and taboo

Our next angle is the angle of anthropologica and taboo. The interest in anthropologica, my neoglogism for sexual anthropology started with Margaret Mead also deserve mention here as well as The Sexual Life of Savages in North-Western Melanesia. Strauss's work The Elementary Structures of Kinship dealt with such notions as alliance theory, the incest taboo and yes, the exchange of women, what we would call swinging in contemporary society. These subjects gave Strauss his place in the awakening sexual revolution.

The Raw and the Cooked (1964) and his memoirs Tristes Tropiques (1955).

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