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Gang Roundup – July 2020

Looks like I’m in an artistic mood this month. LOL!
But I do think the art scene of the interwar years was particularly unconventional and therefore so very thought-provoking and inspiring. The artists of that time produced some mindblowing art, the likes of which has been hardly seen afterwords. Expressionism and all the other Avant Gardes have a lot to say to us still today.
I am quite intrigued by this artistic environment.

It’s Murder on the Dancefloor: Incredible Expressionist Dance Costumes from the 1920s

Expressionist Dada Actor

This is not the first time that I see German Expressionist theatre costumes, but I’m always impressed by them.
There’s nothing natural about this form of expression and the theatre costumes, so wildly extravagant, maybe expressed this more than any other form of Expressionism I’ve seen. But the point was exactly this. Offer a form of theatre so mind-blowingly abstract and so seemingly removed from reality that would, by contrast, produce some form of reaction.
The reaction was always the primary aim of Expressionism. The movement that comes from within the viewer. What was important for these actors wasn’t the play they were acting in, but was the fact that any element of that play could move something – hopefully strong enough to cause a thinking process – inside the viewers.
This kind of costumes surely gets you thinking.

Die Nibelungen (Fritz Lang) 1924
Die Nibelungen (Fritz Lang) 1924

Sirens & Sinners: Weimar Cinema – in pictures

Although with poorer budgets and more improvised means than the concurrent films from Hollywood, the cinema industry of Weimar Germany produced some of the most cutting-edge films of the 1920s and 1930s, some of which influence filmmaking still today.
The expressionist soul of most of these films makes them instantly recognizable, but also deeply moving. Like all Expressionist art, these films didn’t shy away from the darkest aspect of life and of the human soul, and this, more than the spectacular scenes, was their goal.

Interwar years German art

The Bohemian King of 1920s Paris You’ve Never Heard Of

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita (1886 –1968) was a Japanese–French painter and printmaker born in Tokyo, Japan, who applied Japanese ink techniques to Western style paintings.

Tsuguharu Foujita was a Japanese espat in Paris. An artist of incredible talent and visionary expression, he was a part of the higest artistic scene in Paris only 13 days after reaching the city.
His extravagant personality made him the centre of the artistic life, but in spite of his apparent integration, he alwasy rmained too foreign to be a true Frenchment. And yet, as often happenes, he was considered to foreign also for his countrimen, when he finally went back to Japan.

When I Come Home Again by Caroline Scott

WHEN I COME HOME AGAIN (Caroline Scott) November 1918. On the cusp of the end of the First World War, a uniformed soldier is arrested in Durham Cathedral. It quickly becomes clear that he has no memory of who he is or how he came to be there.

How can you know who you are, when you choose to forget who you’ve been?

November 1918. On the cusp of the end of the First World War, a uniformed soldier is arrested in Durham Cathedral. It quickly becomes clear that he has no memory of who he is or how he came to be there.

The soldier is given the name Adam and transferred to a rehabilitation home where his doctor James tries everything he can to help Adam remember who he once was. There’s just one problem. Adam doesn’t want to remember.

Unwilling to relive the trauma of war, Adam has locked his mind away, seemingly for good. But when a newspaper publishes Adam’s photograph, three women come forward, each just as certain that Adam is their relative and that he should go home with them.

But does Adam really belong with any of these women? Or is there another family waiting for him to come home?

Based on true events, When I Come Home Again is a deeply moving and powerful story of a nation’s outpouring of grief, and the search for hope in the aftermath of the First World War.

IN THE FULL LIGHT OF THE SUN (Clare Clark) Based on a true story, this gorgeous new novel follows the fortunes of three Berliners caught up in an art scandal—involving newly discovered van Goghs—that rocks Germany amidst the Nazis’ rise to power.

In the Full Light of the Sun by Clare Clark

Based on a true story, this gorgeous new novel follows the fortunes of three Berliners caught up in an art scandal—involving newly discovered van Goghs—that rocks Germany amidst the Nazis’ rise to power.

Hedonistic and politically turbulent, Berlin in the 1920s is a city of seedy night clubs and sumptuous art galleries. It is home to millionaires and mobs storming bakeries for rationed bread. These disparate Berlins collide when Emmeline, a young art student; Julius, an art expert; and a mysterious dealer named Rachmann all find themselves caught up in the astonishing discovery of thirty-two previously unknown paintings by Vincent van Gogh.

In the Full Light of the Sun explores the trio’s complex relationships and motivations, their hopes, their vanities, and their self-delusions—for the paintings are fakes and they are in their own ways complicit. Theirs is a cautionary tale about of the aspirations of the new Germany and a generation determined to put the humiliations of the past behind them.

With her signature impeccable and evocative historical detail, Clare Clark has written a gripping novel about beauty and justice, and the truth that may be found when our most treasured beliefs are revealed as illusions.

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse KBE (1881 –1975) was an English author and one of the most widely read humorists of the 20th century. Author of the Jeeves stories.

The man who wrote the most perfect sentences ever written

I’ve heard about P.G. Wodehouse’s stories, particularly those about Jeeves, for a long time, but it’s only recently that I read one (or rather, I’ve listened to it). It is absolutely as brilliant as everyone says.
Wodehouse wrote the kind of humourous literature that he did because he was a jovial man. That was his true temperament, which he kept in spite of the hard work (not always acknowledge) and personal hardship.
I’m going to read soon more of his stories.

Sarah Plugs Her Stuff

It’s a bit depressing, you know? I feel like I’m working a lot, on all sides (the blog, Medium, my stories, a couple of other projects) and still, I have very little to show for it. 

But I wanted to at least let you know that my novella, Ghost Through the Cracks, is half the price for the entire month of July. That’s just a cup of coffee. Might you switch a coffee for a novella today? (grins).
It’s part of the Smashword Summer/Winter Sale, which is a great thing because Smashword offers all kind of ebook formats. That’s why I like that store!

Also, I finally decided to split my writing on Medium. I’ve been publishing articles about creative writing and about Tolkien on the same publication, The Cogs and Gears Storyteller, but it felt awkward. I never felt happy sending out news about the new articles, not knowing what my reader had signed up for. 

So I finally decide to give their own home to my Tolkien stories. 
Here’s the new publication, Middle-earth Literary Gazette. It’s still young and skinny, but I’m planning on fatting it up soon.

MIDDLE-EARTH LITERARY GAZETTE (A Medium Publication) Exploring Tolkien's legendarium from every engle.

And that’s it for the moment. 

Have a great summer or a great winter, and wherever you are, keep safe!

1 Comment

  • Birgit
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 18:50

    Leave it to the Germans to create very weird costumes. I wonder what this costume was for? I love Die Niebelung and actually read the saga. The books sound quite god especially the one where the man does not want to remember.

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