Friday, August 31, 2012

The Flower Garden at the Dixon Garden


The flower garden at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens is beautiful! They have a page at their site that'll tell you what's in bloom right now, but I never check first. I just go look. There are benches, concrete walls at a good height for sitting and this sweet little red table with 2 chairs back in a corner:


There's a wide variety of colors and kinds.


I am more drawn to the yellow and orange flowers.


The bees seem more drawn to the purples.


On the day I took these pictures there was just enough of a breeze to make things tricky for the butterflies.


I couldn't ask for a prettier, calmer and more peaceful setting.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Memphis Heat

Memphis Heat is a documentary on Memphis wrestling. No, really. And it's a lot of fun.

My one quibble with it is that there's only passing attention paid to my favorite of the Saturday morning Memphis wrestling crew: Tojo Yamamoto. Say that name with feeling. I used to. He was so much fun to watch and root for. He killed himself back in 1992, so he wasn't around to do interviews like some of the others who are featured in the film. So sad. I don't know why he appealed to me so much. It's not like I was a wrestling fan otherwise.

Given that one great [to me] failing, the film is fun to watch. Listening to these guys tell their stories and watching old video of their time in the ring made for some sharing of fond memories with The Husband, who actually got to see the wrasslin' in person!

trailer:



There are some reviews quoted here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Things, by Peter Watts


The Things is an award-winning short story by science fiction author Peter Watts. It is available to be read online, but you should definitely read Who Goes There? first. Watts has made several of his works available online at his website.

SF Signal calls it "a delicious treat". Dark Scribe Magazine says the story "offers a gripping science fiction terror tale, as well as an intriguing interpretation of its source material." io9 says, "...if you just love stories that successfully represent a truly alien point of view, then you need to read Peter Watts' Hugo-nominated story "The Things.""

The photo at the top of the page is from Wikipedia.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Marquette Park


Marquette Park has changed a lot through the years. When I was little, we used to call it "Seal Park" because there was a wading pool with a statue of a seal in the center. I seem to remember it being a fountain that splashed water into the pool. That pool is long gone, along with all the other wading pools in the city. A basketball court has also come and gone. Now there's a nice 1/2 mile walking track around the perimeter, benches, a baseball field, a pavilion, some grills and a playground for the little ones. Parks change to meet the changing needs of the community. I like to think that's a sign of a responsive government.

It is a great place to walk but is currently best known as the location for the Italian Festival, which shuts the park down for several days every summer and fills the space with food and activities.

Its full name is "Pauline "Pep" Marquette Park". Pauline Marquette seems to have been an alumna of St. Agnes Academy, maybe from 1931, but I haven't found much about her online. She coached at St. Agnes for at least 2 years.

The picture at the top of the post is from Wikipedia. The picture I took wasn't as good.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wade in the Water

Listed recently on the Mystery Train playlist on WEVL:



Wade in the Water (1970) by Willie Mitchell. The version embedded above is an instrumental. I didn't hear that part of the radio show so don't know if this is the version she played.

Mitchell was born in Mississippi in 1928 and grew up there but moved to Memphis in high school. Wikipedia describes him as "an American soul, R&B, rock and roll, pop and funk record producer and arranger." His website has an informative obituary and says,
Constructed as a theater in 1915 and converted into Royal Studios in 1957, Royal Studios, home of Hi Records and the Hi Rhythm Section, grew from a minor rockabilly studio into one of the most successful producers of soul music worldwide.

Willie Mitchell pioneered the Hi Records signature soul sound at Royal Studios...
He was 81 when he died in Memphis in 2010.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Expendables

I had been seeing the fun trailers for The Expendables 2, but I had never seen the first one. The Younger Son remedied that recently. The Expendables (2010) stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke. Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger have small uncredited roles. We enjoyed the wink at old action movies and all the explosions. I'm looking forward to the sequel.

trailer:



Slant Magazine calls it "the most boring action flick of the summer." Rotten Tomatoes critics give it a score of 41%.

Crape Myrtles


There were a lot of Crape Myrtles on my street when I was growing up. When I asked my mother why there were so many houses with these trees planted, she told me they were the official city shrub and folks had been encouraged to plant them. When I asked why we didn't have any in our yard, she said she thought there were enough on our street already.

They are planted all over the city, though I haven't noticed as many in areas east of the I-240 Loop. There are pictures of some in the Cooper-Young area here, a picture of a crape myrtle canopy at Overton Park here, a photo taken at Elmwood Cemetery....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The 10 Most Diabolical Dystopias in Cinema

Pop Matters offers a list of The 10 Most Diabolical Dystopias in Cinema, annotated at that link. Here's the raw list:
#1: The Matrix
#2: Blade Runner
#3: Gattaca
#4: Children of Men
#5: Brazil
#6: Logan’s Run
#7: Dark City
#8: The Hunger Games
#9: Soylent Green
#10: Repo - The Genetic Opera
I've seen the ones in bold print. I haven't been much interested in The Hunger Games and haven't read the books or seen the movie.

HT: SF Signal

Who Goes There?


Who Goes There? is a 1938 science fiction novella written by John W. Campbell, Jr. under a pen name. It is available to be read online. This story is the inspiration for The Thing From Another World (1951), The Thing (1982) and The Thing (2011).

SF Signal has a review that says,
It successfully relays the closed-in feeling of the Antarctic camp, the dwindling hope as the situation progresses from unknown to hopeless, and the futility of trying to escape.
SFF World says, "over seventy years on, it is still creepy." Horrorphilia says, "I would recommend this novella to sci fi movie and book fans so they can appreciate how influential this story is for themselves."

The photo of John W. Campbell, Jr., at the top of the post, comes from Classic-SF.com.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Nude Garden Sculpture


This little one is waiting to greet you just as you approach the ticket booth at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens. The Dixon site says she is "Youthful Nude" or "Lead Figure of a Girl" and is by Geraldine Lewis Amendola, and they say that "This work was acquired in 1971 and is purportedly one of a limited edition of 24".

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Famous Ghost Stories


Famous Ghost Stories is a collection edited by Bennett Cerf. Here are the contents:
Introductory Note by Bennett Cerf
The Haunted and the Haunters by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
The Damned Thing by Ambrose Bierce
The Monkey's Paw by W. W. Jacobs
The Phantom 'Rickshaw by Rudyard Kipling
The Willows by Algernon Blackwood
The Rival Ghosts by Brander Matthews
The Man Who Went too Far by E. F. Benson
The Mezzotint by M. R. James
The Open Window by "Saki"
The Beckoning Fair One by Oliver Onions
On the Brighton Road by Richard Middleton
The Considerate Hosts by Thorp McClusky
August Heat by W. F. Harvey
The Return of Andrew Bentley by A. W. Derleth and Mark Schorer
The Supper at Elsinore by Isak Dinesen
The Current Crop of Ghost Stories by Bennett Cerf
It includes a great selection, and though I imagine these are probably all online somewhere, this book is worth having. Thumbing through it brought back fond memories, as I found a receipt for my college sorority dues marking the story The Man Who Went Too Far by E.F. Benson.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A flashing light does not mean you have to stay stopped, you idiots!

I was driving south on Highland approaching the Greenline when the light turned yellow. I slowed down. And then red. I stopped, first in line. There was a lot of traffic, so there were lines of cars stopped in each lane. 2 bicyclists rode past on the Greenline, which is why the light had turned red. A short time later, the light began flashing red. I looked both ways, and there was nary a pedestrian or bicyclist in sight, so I proceeded to move on down the street.

You'd think I had committed some heinous crime. Much honking and waving and thrusting upwards of obscene gestures and the making of angry faces ensued. And as I kept an eye on the traffic behind me I noticed that not a single one of those cars moved until the flashing red light went off.

Just a little info for the idiots who apparently missed that lesson in drivers' ed: A FLASHING RED LIGHT IS TREATED AS A STOP SIGN! The flashing red light is specifically intended to allow drivers to proceed after stopping.

Here's a video that explains this:



I swear, I'd vote for annual re-testing of all drivers.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Flying Up


I have fond memories of Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts, and I guess I've had them freshly brought to mind by the Boy Scouts' recent reaffirmation of their long-standing ban on gay scouts. The Girl Scouts have no such ban.

My Flying Up ceremony from Brownies to Juniors took place at Audubon Park. We Flew Up over a real bridge -the one in the photo above- which I thought was cool at the time and still do. I was so impressed by it that when I was a scout leader, I found a park that had a little bridge to do my troop's ceremony.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dixon's Edible Garden



I used my e-membership to go to the Dixon Gallery and Gardens and get a few pictures of their Edible Garden. The photo of the sunflowers above was taken back in June, but the pictures below were taken earlier this month.



It wasn't as hot that day as it had been. The sun was shining, and I could feel a pleasant stir of air.



There were a few other people enjoying the gardens the morning I went -you can see someone in the photo below, but it's rarely crowded on weekdays.



There are a lot of flowers to enjoy. The sunflowers are my favorites.

This is #198 on the I Love Memphis blog list of 365 things to do in Memphis.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Colour Out of Space


The Colour Out of Space is a 1927 short story by H.P. Lovecraft. It was first published in the September, 1927, issue of Amazing Stories magazine, pictured above. It can be read online. I remember how creepy I thought it was while reading it for the first time in high school. Lovecraft has aged well, and his writing maintains its ability to affect readers.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

Transsiberian

Transsiberian is a 2008 film thriller directed by Brad Anderson and starring Ben Kingsley and Woody Harrelson. The Younger Son and I found this fascinating. It kept up a good sense of dread but wasn't so intense I couldn't enjoy watching it.

trailer:


EW gives it a B- and thinks it needs "more spice". Slant Magazine says, "Overall: Kind of like a roller coaster ride on a Transsiberian cross-country train without any of the amenities." Roger Ebert says it's " one hell of a thriller." Rotten Tomatoes gives it 91%.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summertime Lemonade

Everyone seems to hate Memphis summers. I actually enjoy the hot muggy summers. It's icy cold winters I don't like.


Yesterday afternoon I sat out on our patio, reading a book and drinking lemonade. Having a drink on a patio is #226 on the I Love Memphis blog list of 365 things to do in Memphis. Maybe soon I'll have a drink on somebody else's patio.

Elvis Tiger

In honor of the annual Elvis Death Week Pilgrimage, I offer this:


The Elvis Tiger!

My pet theory is that Elvis faked his own death and is enjoying a pleasant, laid-back retirement at Graceland.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Elvis Week Candlelight Vigil

I'm not able to physically attend the vigil, although I probably wouldn't go even if I could. I've never been before, so what are the odds I'll start now? Besides, Elvis lives, and is probably watching the vigil from a window at Graceland.

The vigil can be viewed live online here. Here's video of some of last year's vigil:



This is #224 on the I Love Memphis Blog list of 365 things to do in Memphis.

More Squirrels With Red Balloons

I haven't been able to get a picture of the one under the underpass on Poplar (the 2nd one I saw), but I'm still planning to.

I was pointed to these next 2 by Sarah on a previous post. This one is the 3rd one I've seen:


and this one is the 4th:


#5 is pictured with Bubble-Blowin' Raccoon.

#6 was suggested by an anonymous commenter, and i found it just like they said under the underpass at Germantown Parkway and Walnut Grove. There was too much traffic and no place to pull over, so I didn't get a photo of it.

#7 is the one Coral suggested:


I'm not good at discovering them, but I love going out and getting photos of the ones I'm told about. Thanks! These little day-brighteners are great spots of cheer in the city.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Low Water

The Mississippi River is approaching record lows, so The Husband and I went down to look. The Younger Son had planned to come but injured his knee the night before and decided to pass.

The Mighty Mississippi, which just a little over a year ago reached record flood levels, looks a lot different now. The foot of Beale Street at Riverside Drive was completely flooded last year, with catfish swimming where these cars are driving now:


The American Queen can't continue its scheduled trip, because the River is too low. It's stayed here rather than complete its trip to Vicksburg. Last year, the boats were sometimes having trouble clearing the bridges. Now, they're having trouble clearing the river bottom. At some points the river is only 9' deep:


Last year the steps pictured below were under water, and the boats were floating level with where I stood to take this picture:



The monument in Tom Lee Park was standing in water last year. This year? Well, you can see the river from there, but you'd have to walk a bit down a steep river bank to get to any water:


CNN had a truck at Riverside Park and a camera set up pointed towards the bridge. They made a report from one of the barges:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Showdown in Little Tokyo

Showdown in Little Tokyo is a 1991 action film starring Dolph Lundgren and Brandon Lee.

This movie contains every stereotype you can think of through 1500 years of Japanese culture. It is one of the most sexist films I've ever seen and has a scene in which the female lead cozies up to the Dolph Lundgrun character, takes the initiative and makes mad passionate love to him (including light playful banter afterwards) on the same day she had been kidnapped and shown video of her best friend being beheaded by her kidnapper and then was brutally raped by that same kidnapper.

My favorite quote was one cop saying to his partner,
You have the biggest dick I've ever seen on a man.
So now I'm left wondering where else he has looked.

trailer:



I'm not sure how I ended up posting about this after I'd posted on The Crow, but there ya go.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bubble-Blowin' Raccoon

Thanks to Alfie's comment, I found this little Bubble-Blowin' Raccoon, seen in company with Squirrel with [Red] Balloon:


I'm enjoying the increasing number of urban art offerings.

The Squirrel pictures get love in the comments on this post from the I Love Memphis blog, where several other "tiny" artworks are pictured. I haven't seen any of the ones from the I Love Memphis blog yet, but there's something delightful about knowing they're out there. What fun these artists make for us!

The Crow

The Crow is a 1994 film, directed by Alex Proyas and starring Brandon Lee (whom we saw recently in Showdown in Little Tokyo). Lee was killed during filming because of a mistake with the ammunition used in the guns. He was 28. The Younger Son and I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. We are shelving it with our horror films and will surely be getting back to it.

trailer:




Moria calls it a "superb film and fine testament to his [Lee's] abilities as an actor". Roger Ebert says,
It is a stunning work of visual style - the best version of a comic book universe I've seen - and Brandon Lee clearly demonstrates in it that he might have become an action star, had he lived.
Rotten Tomatoes gives it a score of 83%.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Wine-Dark Sea


The Wine-Dark Sea is a book of short stories by Robert Aickman. The Younger Son suggested this and loaned me his prized copy. I will be on the look-out for more by this author. The stories have stayed with me. I keep finding my mind turning back to certain images from the stories and returning to feelings I experienced while reading them. This isn't "horror" as I usually think of the word. Disquieting, though.

from the back of the book:
Robert Aickman's strange stories - his preferred term for them - are the subtle and leisurely explorations of psychological displacement and paranoia. Having none of the shock effects and conventional imagery of horror, they are meticulous, quiet, and thoroughly disturbing. His characters are ordinary but gradually touched with dread until they are drawn into the deeper, darker and infinitely more dismaying world of the terrors within.

Whether you enter The Inner Room, a doll's house with a secret, The Wine-Dark Sea, where a man's thoughts are trapped in Hellenic Greece, or Into the Wood, a sanatorium for the sleepless, you do so at your peril. Robert Aickman will bring you mounting panic and lasting disquiet.

Winner of the World fantasy Award, Robert Aickman has an exalted reputation among the most widely published writers of the genre. In the classic mould of Henry and M R James, his is perhaps the most important body of work since Edgar Allan Poe.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Clash of the Titans (2010)

Clash of the Titans is a 2010 fantasy film remake of the 1981 film by the same name. It's directed by Louis Leterrier and stars Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes. This was great fun. I liked the brief appearance of the mechanical owl as an homage to the previous film.

trailer:



Moria says, "If the sole reason to conduct a remake is to improve the special effects then it surely seems to miss the point of a film." Stomp Tokyo closes with this:
Is this a terrible movie? Far from it. In fact, in some ways, it's an improvement on the original. (Not saying much, I know.) But at the same time, this should have been a lot more fun than it is.
Slant Magazine opens by saying,
Louis Leterrier's update of Desmond Davis's Clash of the Titans is catnip for boys who worship Michael Bay, James Cameron, George Lucas, and Roland Emmerich as gods.
Roger Ebert says, "So do I recommend the movie? Yes, if you intuit that this review is affectionate and have the same tolerance for goofy Greek gods as I do." It has a score of 28% at Rotten Tomatoes, but surely they're just not considering the fun factor.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

The Highland Branch of the Memphis Public Library


(photo above from Memphis Reads)



Closed. Alas. I thought I'd better get some pictures while the building is still there, as I expect it'll be demolished to make room for... what? who knows? I haven't been able to find out.


Some of my early memories are of this place. I got my first library card here, back in the days when children didn't even have social security numbers much less have to provide them on library card application forms. I went to my first puppet show here. Parents weren't allowed, and I remember climbing in those single-file lines up the narrow stairway in the back of the building and finding a place to sit on the cold tile floor and watching with fascination the wonderful stories that would unfold. I remember taking my own children here.


No more. Closed. Not to be re-opened or replaced. The closest library to that location is either the White Station branch on Poplar or the Main library between Poplar and Walnut Grove.

I will miss it. I hope something fun will go into that spot.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

84 Charing Cross Road

84 Charing Cross Road is a 1987 film based on the 1970 memoir by the same name. It stars Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins. Also starring are Judi Dench and Ian McNeice (who was Fezziwig in the Patrick Stewart Christmas Carol, and was in one of the Cadfael mysteries). I saw this on tv many years ago and admit I cried during part of it, but it is such a sweet story I've wanted to show it to The Husband ever since. It's funny and has no gore, no blood running freely from wounds savagely inflicted, no dead come back and then proceed to drop pieces of themselves all over the place, no one gets tortured, it has not a single serial killer. In short, I've been sure he would like it. And he did.

trailer:



Roger Ebert finds it a bit slow, "And yet there are people who are pushovers for this material." Rotten Tomatoes gives it a score of 86%.

The Willows



The Willows is a horror tale by Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951). It was first published in 1907 and is available to be read online. After having read it, I'm certainly glad there are no willows near my house.

H.P. Lovecraft said of this story,
Here art and restraint in narrative reach their very highest development, and an impression of lasting poignancy is produced without a, single strained passage or a single false note.

The photo at the top of the post is from Wikipedia.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Jet Li's Fearless

Jet Li's Fearless is a 2006 film based on the life of Chinese martial arts hero Huo Yuanjia (1868-1910). The Younger Son picked this. He had seen it before, but neither The Husband nor I had. We all enjoyed it. Good story, beautiful to watch.

trailer:



Slant Magazine closes by saying,
Beginning as a polished, visually ravishing capper to Li's illustrious action career, it ultimately sermonizes itself into something of a bloodlust-denigrating wet blanket.
Salon.com says, "This martial-arts epic is one of the most beautifully made pictures of the year." It gets a score of 73% at Rotten Tomatoes. Metacritic gives it 70 out of 100.

Monday, August 06, 2012

The Captain's Paradise

The Captain's Paradise (beware the spoilers at that link) is an Alec Guinness film about a man who has found a way to have a perfect life -or has he?- with 2 wives meeting different needs. The Husband and I watched this one night when we were the only ones at home. We both liked it, though I laughed a lot more than he did.

trailer:



DVD Talk likes it.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

More Animal Art


I saw this on my way home this morning.

The Coffin

The Coffin is a 2008 horror film starring Karen Mok and Ananda Everingham. It's supposed to be good luck, according to Thai tradition, to spend a night in a coffin. News to me.

You can watch it on hulu with "limited commercial interruption":



DVD Talk says, "In all ways, this is an engaging film. Highly recommended." From Horrorphilia:
Wrap up
Overall there is enough good stuff that happens that I can recommend it to Asian horror fans, but I think the average Jo Blo horror guy won’t like it much. With a little bit more emphasis on the dramatic side and less horror, I think this movie could have been really special. As it stands now it’s just pretty good.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

The Illusionist

The Younger Son and I had been looking forward to The Illusionist (2010), because it's from Sylvain Chomet. It's based on a story by Jacques Tati. I loved it, both the story and the animation, because I love both artists, but The Younger Son doesn't care for Tati. The film was a disappointment for him.

trailer:



Slant Magazine calls it a "tender but bravely downbeat film". Time Out discusses the controversy over the making of this film -it involves an illegitimate daughter never acknowledged and what exactly Tati's purpose was in writing the story. NPR says,
Though lovely to the core, The Illusionist misses some of the exuberance that enlivened The Triplets of Belleville
DVD Talk opens with this:
If there is such a thing as a match made in heaven, the animated movie The Illusionist just may be the most convincing evidence of it we'll find here on Earth. This delightful movie is the latest effort by Sylvain Chomet, the gifted director responsible for The Triplets of Belleville.
Roger Ebert closes by calling it "an extension of the mysterious whimsy of Tati". Rotten Tomatoes gives it a score of 90%.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Three Outlaw Samurai

Not long ago, Barnes and Noble marked their Criterion films down to 50%, and Three Outlaw Samurai was one that The Younger Son bought. We watched it one afternoon not long after. It is a 1964 Japanese film directed by Hideo Gosha (1929–1992) in his first film. It's meant to provide an origin story for characters in an earlier Japanese tv series. We thoroughly enjoyed this. The story is engrossing, all the characters are easily distinguishable, the action moves right along but never feels rushed, there is a good mix of plot and character development... I'd watch this again any time.

trailer:



Slant Magazine gives it 4 out of 5 stars and says,
On the whole, Gosha's approach, which might be described as meticulous moderation, works to give the viewer a kind of catch-as-catch-can experience with regard to following the unfolding drama, but not to the degree that it's been abstracted into Suzuki-esque shards, void of classical meaning.
JapanCinema.net gives it an A- and praises the "excellent cinematography and composition, effective story-telling and music". SF Gate concludes, "Gosha handles all of these plot strands and the dozen or so main characters effortlessly in an economical 93 minutes. Cool stuff." DVD Talk opens by saying the film "is a simple story told on a small scale, but it packs plenty of drama, suspense and intrigue into just 93 minutes" and closes with this:
Three Outlaw Samurai is an accessible, engaging import that genre fans should enjoy. A potent blend of drama and action moves this character-driven film quickly, while memorable sights and sounds also hold our interest along the way. Criterion's one-disc package is slim, pairing a strong technical presentation with only one minor bonus feature. Any way you slice it, though, the low-priced Three Outlaw Samurai is a true exercise in quality over quantity. Recommended.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Gay Day at Chick-fil-A


So, The Dauther and I had this exchange:

Newscaster on television says, "Gay rights support groups are planning a Same-Sex Kiss-In at Chick-fil-A on Friday."

I say to The Daughter, "Hey, girl, what are you doin' on Friday?"

She replies, "Don't even think about it."

ROFLOL

I thought we might have a nice little Mother-Daughter lunch. I guess not, huh.

The picture at the top of the post is from the Memphis Flyer.

8 1/2

I've had 8 1/2 (1963) for quite a while and am just now getting around to watching it. It's a comedy drama directed by Federico Fellini and stars Marcello Mastroianni. The Husband is unimpressed. The Younger Son and I got a kick out of it but won't be watching it again any time soon. I especially like the space ship.

trailer:




It's on the newly released Sight and Sound greatest films list at #10. It's in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, which says "it is one of the most brilliant, imaginative, and funny movies of its time" and this: "The film represents a major step forward in cinema's march to modernity..." Slant Magazine gives it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars, calls it "one of the few personal statements in film utterly unhindered by stretches for social or cosmic relevance" and says it "works best as a self-deprecating comedy". Roger Ebert includes it on his list of great films and calls it "the best film ever made about filmmaking." Rotten Tomatoes gives it a score of 97%.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Seaton's Aunt

Seaton's Aunt is a psychological horror short story by Walter de la Mare (1873-1956). It was published in 1923 in the short story collection The Riddle and Other Stories. This story is available to be read online at LitGothic.com.

I had always thought of Walter de la Mare as being a children's author, but he also wrote powerful horror stories. The Kind of Face You Hate has a review of this story and notes de la Mare's influence on Robert Aickman, saying, "if Aickman was influenced by De la Mare, and I've gathered that he was, all the evidence you could possibly need to support that case can be found in "Seaton's Aunt."

It was adapted for tv and shown on Granada'a Shades of Darkness series, though this story isn't included in the DVD set. This episode can be viewed online via youtube:



The adaptation differs quite a bit from the written text. In some ways it tells the same basic story, but in other ways the story it tells is completely different.