The Austrian Mind: An Intellectual and Social History, 1848-1938 By William M. Johnston

By 1900 married women were smoking freely, although usually only at home.  In 1885 it was considered bad form (mauvais genre) for girls to smoke cigarettes; by 1905 they were smoking cigars in public.

http://books.google.com/books?id=oDOdeRY2MHYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22mauvais+genre%22&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0

Published in: on April 9, 2008 at 3:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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Searching for the Equiavalent of LJ Cut for WordPress

Thus far I’ve found the following plugin (although I’ve yet to load a plugin to WordPress):  http://coffee2code.com/archives/2004/07/25/plugin-hide-or-cut-post-text/

Published in: on April 9, 2008 at 2:12 am  Comments (1)  
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Mauvais Genre at Deviant Art

Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy

 Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy

 mauvaisgenre.deviantart.com

Published in: on April 8, 2008 at 9:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Poetry from Mauvais Genre

Seasons

I.

Father, where are you going?
What’s that blade you’ve polished
down to a thin crescent,
the waning moon?
The bears have all gone home.
The caves have shut their eyes.
Your hands were meant
to father more than shadows.
That lump in your throat
wants a second birth.

II.

Morning makes a room
for us, a small bed.
Little Stone, the voice calls.
Little Stone, wake up, it says.
Outside the flowers look
like badly closed wounds.
At night they open
their small white faces to the sky.

III.

Like yapping dogs our shoes complain.
Take them off, the wind says.
Unbuckle your feet, your legs.
Slide into summer’s deep water,
stare into its bright face, its wavy lens.
On the shore mourners
eat crème brulée and laugh.
Nothing’s sacred here,
not even these pale bodies of the dead
that gather like foam along the river’s edge.
Leave before you get pruney.
Enjoy the party, says the wind.

 
IV.

Father, something’s stirring
beneath that leaf:  the old black
beetle you’ve kept these years
locked in your chest.
Escaped at last with three small secrets:
this the milk, this the bread,
this the bittersweet on which we fed.
How quickly the wind nibbled your ashes
from my hand—a sort of kindness.
I tuck your breath inside me, Father,
and carry three stones.
The fourth is the place
I lay my head.

Published in: on April 8, 2008 at 9:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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Excerpt from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Gambler

When on the present occasion, I entered the gaming-rooms(for the first time in my life), it was several moments before I could even make up my mind to play. For one thing, the crowd oppressed me. Had I been playing for myself, I think I should have left at once, and never have embarked upon gambling at all, for I could feel my heart beginning to beat, and my heart was anything but cold-blooded. Also, I knew, I had long ago made up my mind, that never should I depart from Roulettenberg until some radical, some final, change had taken place in my fortunes. Thus, it must and would be. However ridiculous it may seem to you that I was expecting to win at roulette, I look upon the generally accepted opinion concerning the folly and the grossness of hoping to win at gambling as a thing even more absurd. For why is gambling a whit worse than any other method of acquiring money? How, for instance, is it worse than trade? True, out of a hundred persons, only one can win; yet what business is that of yours or of mine?

At all events, I confined myself at first simply to looking on, and decided to attempt nothing serious. Indeed, I felt that, if I began to do anything at all, I should do it in an absent-minded, haphazard sort of way–of that I felt certain. Also. it behoved me to learn the game itself; since, despite a thousand descriptions of roulette which I had read with ceaseless avidity, I knew nothing of its rules, and had never even seen it played.

In the first place, everything about it seemed to me so foul–so morally mean and foul. Yet I am not speaking of the hungry, restless folk who, by scores nay, even by hundreds–could be seen crowded around the gaming-tables. For in a desire to win quickly and to win much I can see nothing sordid; I have always applauded the opinion of a certain dead and gone, but cocksure, moralist who replied to the excuse that ” one may always gamble moderately “, by saying that to do so makes things worse, since, in that case, the profits too will always be moderate.

Insignificant profits and sumptuous profits do not stand on the same footing. No, it is all a matter of proportion. What may seem a small sum to a Rothschild may seem a large sum to me, and it is not the fault of stakes or of winnings that everywhere men can be found winning, can be found depriving their fellows of something, just as they do at roulette. As to the question whether stakes and winnings are, in themselves, immoral is another question altogether, and I wish to express no opinion upon it. Yet the very fact that I was full of a strong desire to win caused this gambling for gain, in spite of its attendant squalor, to contain, if you will, something intimate, something sympathetic, to my eyes: for it is always pleasant to see men dispensing with ceremony, and acting naturally, and in an unbuttoned mood. . . .

Yet, why should I so deceive myself? I could see that the whole thing was a vain and unreasoning pursuit; and what, at the first glance, seemed to me the ugliest feature in this mob of roulette players was their respect for their occupation–the seriousness, and even the humility, with which they stood around the gaming tables. Moreover, I had always drawn sharp distinctions between a game which is de mauvais genre and a game which is permissible to a decent man. In fact, there are two sorts of gaming–namely, the game of the gentleman and the game of the plebs–the game for gain, and the game of the herd. Herein, as said, I draw sharp distinctions. Yet how essentially base are the distinctions! For instance, a gentleman may stake, say, five or ten louis d’or–seldom more, unless he is a very rich man, when he may stake, say, a thousand francs; but, he must do this simply for the love of the game itself–simply for sport, simply in order to observe the process of winning or of losing, and, above all things, as a man who remains quite uninterested in the possibility of his issuing a winner. If he wins, he will be at liberty, perhaps, to give vent to a laugh, or to pass a remark on the circumstance to a bystander, or to stake again, or to double his stake; but, even this he must do solely out of curiosity, and for the pleasure of watching the play of chances and of calculations, and not because of any vulgar desire to win. In a word, he must look upon the gaming-table, upon roulette, and upon trente et quarante, as mere relaxations which have been arranged solely for his amusement. Of the existence of the lures and gains upon which the bank is founded and maintained he must profess to have not an inkling. Best of all, he ought to imagine his fellow-gamblers and the rest of the mob which stands trembling over a coin to be equally rich and gentlemanly with himself, and playing solely for recreation and pleasure. This complete ignorance of the realities, this innocent view of mankind, is what, in my opinion, constitutes the truly aristocratic. For instance, I have seen even fond mothers so far indulge their guileless, elegant daughters–misses of fifteen or sixteen–as to give them a few gold coins and teach them how to play; and though the young ladies may have won or have lost, they have invariably laughed, and departed as though they were well pleased. In the same way, I saw our General once approach the table in a stolid, important manner. A lacquey darted to offer him a chair, but the General did not even notice him. Slowly he took out his money bags, and slowly extracted 300 francs in gold, which he staked on the black, and won. Yet he did not take up his winnings–he left them there on the table. Again the black turned up, and again he did not gather in what he had won; and when, in the third round, the RED turned up he lost, at a stroke, 1200 francs. Yet even then he rose with a smile, and thus preserved his reputation; yet I knew that his money bags must be chafing his heart, as well as that, had the stake been twice or thrice as much again, he would still have restrained himself from venting his disappointment.

http://dostoyevsky.thefreelibrary.com/Gambler/1-2#genre

Dostoevsky

Published in: on December 25, 2006 at 4:58 am  Comments (1)  
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