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February 25, 2008

Amour Dure

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Writing as Vernon Lee, lesbian bluestocking Violet Paget wrote Amour Dure: Passages from the Diary of Spiridion Trepka. Wonderful to discover yet another masterpiece of Victoriana I had never heard of let alone enjoyed.* This one is crying out for a film adaptation (with, say, Christina Ricci as Medea da Carpi).

This town is a handful of tall black houses huddled on to the top of an Alp, long narrow lanes trickling down its sides, like the slides we made on hillocks in our boyhood, and in the middle the superb red brick structure, turreted and battlemented, of Duke Ottobuono's palace, from whose windows you look down upon a sea, a kind of whirlpool, of melancholy grey mountains.

Which is a sentence and a half, I am sure you will agree. A whirlpool of mountains... magnificent. Though it has got me thinking about a clear divide along gender lines in vampire fiction. Lestat and Henry Fitzroy on the one side and Blade on the other. I have yet to check if my hypothesis stands a particular test but can anyone imagine Kate Beckinsale's Selene was written by a woman? I think not (and just as well, too).

* I gather Vernon Lee was a contributor to The Yellow Book which, by way of decadence and aestheticism, was apparently on the mind of Robert W. Chambers as he created The King in Yellow; a bit like discovering Oscar Wilde inspired the Necronomicon.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at February 25, 2008 05:04 AM

Comments

I am impressed with Christina Ricci's continued metamorphosis as her career advances. She's be a damn optimal choice.

Posted by: agent bedhead [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 25, 2008 03:51 PM