Whew, I’m nearing the end of the semester! Come on Christmas!
So I’ve become a big fan of this guy – travel lecturer, early film pioneer, and all around a likeable guy – based off of his autobiography The World is Mine. Now, with a title like that you’d think he was completely full of himself, and perhaps he was, but it doesn’t come off that way in his writing. He was born in 1870, began giving travel lectures accompanied by magic lantern slides in the late 19th century, and then went into travel film making.
He comes out of the Victorian era, though his perspective on religion when he was close to death in the 1950s is so enlightened and modern, even for the 1950s. He discusses his thoughts on existence, his desire to believe in reincarnation, his unsureness in everything, yet his faith in the general universe. A refreshing surprise and a welcome perspective.
His travel work is fascinating as well – he really traveled everywhere! I’ve only looked at his work in England to this point (for my class paper), but I’ll definitely be having a look-see at his other travel work.
More wonderful tidbits on this under-talked-about travel icon can be found at this great site: Burton Holmes, Extraordinary Traveler.
Next on the plate: The representation of Dolores Del Rio and Lupe Velez in Photoplay magazine in the early 1930s. I’ve got a mini presentation to give on the topic tomorrow – details to follow once I figure them out, eep.
Kitchen with upgraded table and tablecloth
I’ve always felt a bit awkward posting some information about work on a personal blog. I’m not one to get my panties in a twist about little things, and the big things are often of the type that are probably best left off of an internet forum. I’d like to keep this blog updated with general information on my academic and professional life, but perhaps leave the critique of my experiences for a more personal blogging sphere. That being said, on to something else!
My new favorite quote of recent times comes from 19th century travel lecturer John L. Stoddard. I am still ironing out details of his life, but I’m crashing my way through his printed lectures on the British Isles. His chapter on England initially got me a little nervous about committing to this topic – he was rocking the antiquated British writing style a little too heavily! Eventually his charm and wit won me over. I’m particularly enamoured of this gem, which he claims belongs to the French (generally):
“Flirtation is merely love in water colors.”
Took me a minute to get it, but once it sunk in my brain gave a little appreciative sigh because of the visual image this conjures up. Love in pastels. Pretty, but lacking permanence. (Not to knock water colors at all, of course!)
The Travelogues of Stoddard and his successor Burton Holmes (who upgraded to film, sound, and color) are my new replacement topic for paper (b) from the last post. My original topic turned out (two months into class) to not sit well with the professor anymore, so I jumped ship just in time to leap into a Stoddard and Holmes lifeboat. So far the lifeboat floats pretty well.
How my roommate opens champagne bottles! Okay, not really.