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Vulgar in Velvet

It’s World Book Day! We did a roaring trade in the bookshop this morning - there never seems to be any rhyme or reason behind foot traffic/sales in there, but maybe people were aware of the occasion and had book-buying in mind.

I even bought a book myself. I’ve never actually read ‘Dracula’ (yes, as I keep having to explain, I am really truly not well-read) and have been waiting for a copy to come in for ages (I even tried the library, but they don’t have it! You can order it in from elsewhere in the county, but I knew it would turn up in the shop sooner or later, and Every Home Should Have One, hence purchase).

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Someone donated a pile of books on John Singer Sargent - prominently featured was the famous portrait of ‘Dr Pozzi at Home’, depicting the society gynaecologist attired in a striking red dressing-gown and frilled nightshirt.

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By sheer accident, I matched, in red velvet over a frilled shirt. I of course lack a beard, but depending on your personal feeling that may be a good thing. ;-)

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I am currently reading about the Comte de Montesquiou, who apparently had little love for this popular portraitist: “Taste is a very special thing… Mr Sargent, who is a great painter, does not have any.” There is something a trifle flashy about a lot of his paintings. But I do quite like the complete and total OTT-ness of Dr Pozzi. From his frilled collar to his embroidered slipper he’s all confidence and prosperity - the successful society doctor. (Apparently Dr P. was at one time a lover of Sarah Bernhardt, and later performed surgery on her. Drastic intimacy!)

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Doubtless Montesquiou might find my own attire too redly vulgar to be borne, but Good Taste is all too often an apology for having failed to be interesting. Better an attempt at charm (however unavailing), and no apology! (I think I am actually against Good Taste, unless you can be the one who defines it. If you can’t do that - defy it, I say!)

Comments

( 6 confidences — Confide in me... )
breakon87
Mar. 3rd, 2016 08:50 pm (UTC)
I remember reading Dracula when I was a teenager. It's an interesting book, because it's all written as if from diaries, letters, newspaper clippings and so forth.
song_of_copper
Mar. 7th, 2016 09:56 am (UTC)
I'm looking forward to reading it! :-)
shake_the_stars
Mar. 4th, 2016 12:33 am (UTC)
I disliked horror, but even I liked Dracula :D Also, Dr Pozzi is magnificently outré.

Good Taste is one of those things that, like beauty, is entirely in the eye of the beholder. This has not stopped anyone, though. Petronius may have been the first to be called an arbiter elegantiae, but he probably wasn't the first to fill the role ;D
song_of_copper
Mar. 7th, 2016 10:07 am (UTC)
Dr P. puts some of our modern-day selfie-peddlers to shame!

Ah, good ol' Petronius. I suppose the Satyricon is 'What Not To Do' on the good taste front.
in_thy_bounty
Mar. 13th, 2016 08:12 pm (UTC)
Vampires, velvet and vulgarity - three of my favourite things!

I think you will enjoy the homo-erotic undertones of Dracula, all thoroughly damn fine Victorian gentlemen patting each other on the back and vowing to die for each other.

Dr Pozzi appears to have erred by wearing 'sneakers' under his garments. I'm somewhat fascinated by his beard though. It's a very mighty (and mightily straight) moustache, very thick beard right up to the hair, yet he appears to be shaving directly beneath his bottom lip, like leaving a convenient eating hole, though still decorated with a stalk.
song_of_copper
Mar. 31st, 2016 06:50 pm (UTC)
The Three Vs: tick, tick, tick. Bonus point (tick!) if yer Vampire's a Voivode!

I'm about halfway through the book at present. I read a little each morning in bed with breakfast, and when the David emerges from the shower he always checks in to ask, "What's Dracula up to now?" or "How's Dracula getting on?" - in twinkling solicitous tones. Just now, our parasitic friend is bothering wolves and frightening former victims in the street. I was glad to realise that the description of 'imself accords quite well with Max Schreck's 'Nosferatu' screen persona!

...One can only guess that Dr Pozzi could not bear the thought of catching particles of food in his face-furniture. Food, or... anything else that might besmirch his barbe. Gynaecologists are hygienic creatures... we hope.
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