Happy Birthday to an Icy Looking Elinor Glyn

Elinor Glyn, who forever changed the popular culture landscape by ballyhooing the concept of It, was born on 17 October 1864.

Elinor Glyn

Elinor Glyn

A QUOTE: “Everything that I write will be signed with my name.”

SOME WORKS: Beyond the Rocks; Three Weeks; Three Things; Love’s Blindness; ‘It’ and Other Stories


Elinor Glyn's Man and Maid Movie Still Book at Backwoods Treasure

Elinor Glyn’s Man and Maid Movie Still Book at Backwoods Treasure Antiques. $26.95

Daily Diversion #158: Wonder Woman

Although I’m feeling anything but invincible these days, I still think this Wonder Woman mural decorating a wall in the women’s restroom at the High Beck Tavern in Columbus is pretty amazing!

Wonder Woman Mural

Wonder Woman Mural

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”-Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

“You have power over your mind-not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”-Marcus Aurelius


A Year in Books/Day 218: Max Factor’s Hollywood Glamour

  • Title: Max Factor’s Hollywood Glamour
  • Author: Fred E. Basten (with Robert Salvatore & Paul A. Kaufman)
  • Year Published: 1995 (W. Quay Hays)
  • Year Purchased: 2003/2004
  • Source: Barnes & Noble clearance rack
  • About: Max Factor isn’t just a name on wands of mascara and tubes of lipstick found in the beauty aisle at your local grocery store. The Max Factor cosmetics line wasn’t invented and branded by impersonal, slick-suited admen in a glossy boardroom. He was a pioneer who not only shaped and defined the aesthetics of classic cinema (from glamour girls to tough guys and everything in between) but he brought make-up to the masses in a way that was, and is, distinctly modern. His genius for invention and marketing, as well as his humble beginnings in Central Europe, make his story a neat parallel to those of the movie moguls who were his contemporaries. Continue reading

[Links] Famous Authors Reading

I love studying photographs and paintings of people reading. Given how many times I come across these things online, I am definitely not alone. Check out the images of famous authors reading famous books, over on Flavorwire. My favourites? Patti Smith and Anton Chekhov, with Faulkner coming in a pretty close third.

A Year in Books/Day 194: The 50 Most Unforgettable Actors of the Studio Era

Lon Chaney Sr., still from The Miracle Man (1919)

Lon Chaney Sr., still from The Miracle Man (1919) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Title: The 50 Most Unforgettable Actors of the Studio Era
  • Text: Frank Miller/Foreword by Robert Osborne/Introduction by Molly Haskell
  • Year Published: 2006 (Chronicle Books)
  • Year Purchased: 2010
  • Source: Barnes & Noble clearance rack
  • About: This book is a TMC Film Guide. It is straightforward but well-done, with each actor receiving a short bio, complete with vital statistics; a breakdown of their ‘essential’ films; and behind-the-scenes trivia. It’s best for classic film neophytes or fanatics-anyone in-between will likely be bored. Among the fabulous fifty, you’ll find: Barrymore, Chaney, Colman, Garfield, Gilbert, Keaton, Kelly, Ladd, Lloyd, Muni, Poitier, Powell, Taylor, and Valentino.
  • Motivation: I’m running out of ways to say that I write about classic (especially silent) cinema and really love old movies. I even buy books that I know I am not going to learn anything from; it’s an addiction (see above).
  • Times Read: 1
  • Random Excerpt/Page 41: “What amazes audiences discovering Lon Chaney’s work for the first time, along with his impressive ability to transform his face and body, is the humanity shining through even the thickest makeup. Chaney was one of the screen’s greatest pantomime artists, a skill he developed as a child in order to communicate with his parents, both of whom were deaf.”
  • Happiness Scale: 10

A Year in Books/Day 136: Starstruck

  • Title: Starstruck
  • Author: Jib Fowles
  • Year Published: 1992 (Smithsonian Institution Press)
  • Year Purchased: 1993?
  • Source: Little Professor Book Center
  • About: Jib Folwes would like to welcome you to Star Village, a term he coined to cover the 100 celebrities who, at any given time, receive the highest concentration of interest by the public. Although early 21st century forms-such as the Internet, YouTube, and reality television-have perhaps skewed the numbers and demographics, the foundation of his theory remains strong. He dissects every aspect of stardom, starting with how modern celebrity came to be, how it is achieved, maintained, and how, for some, it dies. He uses a cross-section of actors, musicians, comedians, and athletes, including: Louis Armstrong, Clara Bow, Doris Day, Buster Keaton, Billie Jean King, John Lennon, Liberace, Steve McQueen, Marilyn Monroe, Roy Rogers, Babe Ruth, Lawrence Welk and Mae West. It is a fascinating, almost sociological, look at a hierarchy we are born into, take for granted, and rarely seriously question.
  • Motivation: I’m a sucker for old Hollywood. I also love the logic, research and data behind serious sociological studies, even when the subject is pop culture.
  • Times Read: 2
  • Random Excerpt/Page 75: “Viewed within the context of the twentieth century’s eruption of metropolitan living and machine production, the star phenomenon can be seen to have resulted from two historical imperatives. The need of uprooted city dwellers for personality models was compelling enough, but a second force-related yet distinct-was at work.”
  • Happiness Scale: 9 1/2
    Publicity photo of musician Lawrence Welk.

    Jib Fowles will tell you why, exactly, I became famous! (Photo of Lawrence Welk courtesy of Wikipedia)