Category Archives: books

Shockheaded Peter Revisited

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zqx9SXIsF5I&feature=share&list=PLwULBaitLs__Qi4dQ5dZV6mnc_DeSX0Jw

As a holiday gift to our fans, The Art of Bleeding has just released some excerpts from the rarely seen 1955 German movie, “Der Struwwelpeter” ( or “Shockheaded Peter” as it is perhaps best known here via The Tiger Lillies’ marvelous theatrical and musical adaptation.)

Above we present “The Dreadful Story of Pauline and the Matches,”  but several more episodes can be found in our Struwwelpeter playlist on our Youtube Channel.

Previously unavailable with English subtitles, we have taken the liberty of adding our own somewhat creative translations, frequently embroidering satirically on the original.  Literalists beware!

The book on which it is based is a sort of 19th-century antecedent to The Art of Bleeding’s program of health-and-safety pedagogy — with a similarly grisly twists.   The original 1845 publication was one of the first works of children’s literature, created as a Christmas gift by its author for his own children, so it seemed an appropriate holiday offering.

William Burroughs: Dr Benway Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgpfmehW7iE

Thanks, Skary Nurse, for reminding us about this video….

(From Wikipedia)

Benway is the name of a character in many of William S. Burroughs’ novels, including Naked Lunch. Usually referred to as “Dr. Benway” or “Doc Benway,” (his first name is not revealed), he was used by the author to parody the medical profession and, perhaps, the misuses of science in general. More of a maverick surgical artist than a doctor, Benway lacks a conscience and is more interested in his performance (and his next fix) than his patients’ well-being. Benway is a manipulator and coordinator of symbolic systems, an expert on all phases of interrogation, brainwashing and control. He is also a master of disguise and gender ambiguity, playing the role of ‘mild mannered doctor’ stateside, whilst simultaneously maintaining the persona of ‘fadela- the bitch queen’, leading a carde of lesbian lovers in the medina and puppeteering a drug network.

Reserve Your Copy: Empire of Death

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(photos from Empire de la Mort.)

Usually we try to reign in our morbid interests right at the point where life ends and death begins, but in this case, we make an exception for  our friend artist, photographer, writer Paul Koudounaris. After years of travel and photography, Koudounaris has produced the exquisitely illustrated and painstakingly researched The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses now available  for pre-order from Amazon.   Here is the description from the site:

From bone fetishism in the ancient world to the painted skulls of Salzburg: an unusual and compelling work of cultural history.

It is sometimes said that death is the last taboo, but it was not always so. For centuries, religious establishments constructed decorated ossuaries and charnel houses that stand as masterpieces of art created from human bone. These unique structures have been pushed into the footnotes of history; they were part of a dialogue with death that is now silent.

The sites in this specially photographed and brilliantly original study range from the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Palermo, where the living would visit mummified or skeletal remains and lovingly dress them; to the Paris catacombs; to fantastic bone-encrusted creations in Austria, Cambodia, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Italy, Peru, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and elsewhere.

Paul Koudounaris photographed more than seventy sites for this book. He analyzes the role of these remarkable memorials within the cultures that created them, as well as the mythology and folklore that developed around them, and skillfully traces a remarkable human endeavor. 250 full-color and 50 black-and-white photographs.

Koudounaris has also launched the supplemental site Empire de la Mort where a rich foretaste of the publication’s wonders are available.

More Trashy Nurse Books

Time for another shameful glimpse into the vanished world of tawdry nurse novels. In this installment, we move from the stereotypical hospital courtship romances toward the seamier world of male fantasy.  Thanks to Curt Purcell’s fabulous Flickr set for these examples.

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Not exactly a sensitive portrayal of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  And who knew PTSS could produce glowing yellow eyes!

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Join the sexual revolution and get it on with these nurses who can both share and treat STDs!

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TWO daring novels in ONE book.  Breaking all the rules here!  Including the rule that fantasy nurses are required to wear nurse caps regardless of their state of undress.

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Got it right this time!  The cap stays on!

Caution: Children on Fire

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Pictures of burning children always catch our attention. Particularly old-timey pictures of burning kids like this one from She Walks Softly. Turns out, this one is a little too good to be true, as it’s not the vintage advertisement for some the kooky product it purports to be, but the work of contemporary designer and illustrator Christian Northeast.

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Even though I’d seen this marshmallow roast gone terribly wrong before, I’d assumed it was mere Photoshop trickery, so was surprised to learn these are genuine flesh-and-blood children staging a pyrotechnic stunt for reality TV show pilot. The kids are part of a family of stunt professionals headed by TK TK Dunn, and have performed in many movies including Catwoman, X-Men II, and Scary Movie, and others. No word was to whether the pilot ever sold

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Cigarette cards were the bubblegum cards of their Edwardian day.  It seems fitting that a cigarette manufacture should produce instructional material on fire safety, though this was only one in a series of hundreds of unrelated to the dangers or ill-effects of smoking, so it would be a bit of a presumptuous to conclude this was offered as a sort of product warning.

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The final word in burning children art would have to come from the pen of early German psychiatric pioneer Heinrich Hoffman, who in 1845 created both verse and illustration for his collection of cautionary tales for children Der Struwwelpeter, translated for American audiences by Mark Twain as Slovenly Peter.  Peter, a child whose grooming habits were wildly out of control, was one of a host counter-exemplary children, which also included the tale of naughty Pauline (pictured here) whose fascination with matches ends badly despite the best advice of her cats.

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Hoffman’s “The Dreadful Story About Matches” was later republished in many editions, sometimes with different illustrations such as this one featuring an older Pauline no longer toting doll and perhaps already on the verge of puberty, a state some scholars have associated with the graphic decision to move the fire from its original location on the child’s back to the more suggestive position shown here.

British cabaret band, The Tiger Lillies retells “The Dreadful Story of Pauline and the Matches” in their Struwelpeter-inspired album Shockheaded Peter,  which provided the soundtrack for an off-Broadway stage production of the same name.

The poem has even inspired Rammstein in their song “Hilf mir,” which loosely retells this story well known to their native German audiences.

More Bizarre Nurse Romance Novels

More nurse romance cover art today. These gems come from among the 307 volumes in the collection of Tiny Pineapple. Check them out!

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“She had not expected to find romance on this assignment–but then, almost everything at the Indian Service Hospital had come as a surprise,” says the back cover.

With a waist cinched like that, can’t we assume her brain is probably in a perpetual state of circulatory distress easily confused for surprise?  She seems to be putting a good (if slightly manic) face on it though.  We hope her relationship with that Kachina is all she dreamed it would be.

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“Then there was Chad and the promise of love and fame he offered Julie, sharing his roaming, exciting life as a folksinger.”

Folksinger and inveterate womanizer maybe?  Yes, glamor waits in the wings.  Some day she’ll surely join in on stage — when he barks for a replacement for his broken string.

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“But could the quiet, competent nurse hope to win her man when Tina whirled, glittering, out of the spotlight and into his arms?”

Ice skating rivalry?  Sounds like someone’s in for the “Tonya Harding” treatment.

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“Fascinating Clyde McLaren, a strong candidate for the moon shot, was brilliant and quite friendly. Or did he want more than friendship?”

Sounds like that uniform of hers is primed for a lift-off.

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This is can’t be as bad as the cover, can it?  Is that possible?