Sunday Salon: Phallic Frenzy, Potato Peels, Love&Rockets

My first Sunday Salon

Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week’s Salon get together–at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones–and read. And blog about their reading.

I’m keen to join in, to explore my reading a bit further. I’ll delve into what I’m reading this week and link to what I’ve blogged on the library blog.

This week I’ve finished
Phallic Frenzy: the films of Ken Russell by Joseph Lanza. I’ve long been a fan of Russell’s garish movies, especially “Gothic” with its surrealist visions and hysteria. It focuses on that infamous night when Mary Shelley created Frankenstein and Polidori spawned the Vampyre. Surely this was one of the pivotal moments of literature – and Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley were in attendance.

Ken also directed the movie “Salome’s last dance” which as an Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley fan I must track down and watch. He seems to have a particular aptitude for literary adaptations, his renderings of D.H. Lawrence into film comes in for particular attention.

This is a well written, thorough book about one of film’s most visionary mavericks.

I started on The Guernsey Potato Peel and Literary society by Mary Ann Shaffer. It’s a delight and I can see why it’s come in for such loving attention. It’s a book lovers dream, about the love of books and their transforming power. As such, it’s in the vein of 84 Charing Cross Road, a bibliophile’s novel in letters.

So far I am learning about the various characters, revolving around main character the author Juliet Ashton (nom de plume Izzy Bickerstaff) who writes to her friend, her publisher and a widening circle of Guernsey residents. It’s a beautiful depiction of World War Two and the post war world, and as yet has not fallen into the trap of twee-ness.

Perla la locaMy other book this week is Perla la loca: a love and rockets graphic novel by Jamie Hernandez. There is something so immediate and punchy about the Love and Rockets books. I picked one up on a whim and got drawn into a story – the female characters are sexy, strong and filled with power and energy. I want to explore this series more.

On the Christchurch City Libraries blog, I wrote about getting a mighty thrill to find TWO of my favourite authors have new books on the way. Oh happy day!:
Book geekdom – new books from Peter Ackroyd and Michel Faber

6 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Phallic Frenzy, Potato Peels, Love&Rockets

  1. ever so intrigued by Ken Russell book, have seen Women in Love ( but prefered the book), though nude wrestling is intriguing….Gabriel Byrne as Byron was also an alluring choice. Have seen Salome, very odd. However, actually I don’t know whether I like his films or his subject matter better – perhaps it is his process, heard him interviewed once, erudite.

  2. I was a big fan of Kenny baby in the late 80s. Gothic got me into Byron’s poetry “long long shall I rue the too deeply to tell”, Salome’s Last Dance and don’t forget Lair of the White Worm. Haven’t seen Whore but on must see list from 1991. He directed a music video for a band and I’m racking my brain trying to remember who it was – the Mission? the Cult? never saw it, just read about it in NME. Right, off to youtube to find it.

  3. Interesting book choice – nice to have a bit of non-fiction for a change! The one about Ken Russell sounds a very enticing book to me. I’ll watch out for it.

  4. Welcome to Sunday Salon!

    I’m quite interested in the Guernsey Literary Society, and have it on hold at the library. Good to hear someone else is enjoying it.

    Michael Faber is one of my favorites too.

  5. Welcome to the Salon. I hadn’t realised there was a new Faber on the way, I must go over to the library site and see if they have it on order. The new Ackroyd has had very mixed reviews in the Uk, but that isn’t going to stop me reading it – I think he’s a genius.

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