Saturday, August 2, 2008

Life Less Lived

Goth culture gives us a dark, melancholy alternative to everyday norms. Goths push the boundaries of "acceptable" appearance, by gracing otherwise mundane spaces with metallic piercings, often coal-black hair and kohl-black eyes, often giving us the appearance of banished denizens from a netherworld suffering the normal, tacky ever day. In this post, I honor the one year anniversary of S.O.P.H.I.E, and I encourage you to pour yourself some absinthe and lock yourself in for the weekend with the following materials from the Urbana Free.

1. The Sound of Goth

Life Less Lived: The Goth Box
found in the ROCK section of the CD collection CDRO/LIF/Q886

With 4 CDs and accompanying reading material, this will rock the decorative stitches off your onyx lips. The Goth Box will teach you Goth dance movies, like "Stuck in My Coffin", as well as expose you to great bands like: Misfits, Skinny Puppy, The Cure, Nick Cave and The Birthday Party, Alien Sex Fiend, The Mission UK, The Creatures, The Cranes, Fields of the Nephilim, and Echo and the Bunnymen.

By the way, I met Ian Mcculloch (of Echo and the Bunnymen) in my late teens, at his show in The Metro studio theater, and we made a trade, for which I received an apple. I wrapped the bright red fruit in golden tissue paper and tied it with a maroon-colored silk ribbon, and hid my treasure in the refrigerator's fruit and vegetable crisper; I issued a verbal warning to my Mom, letting her know that eating that apple would cause me to fall deathly ill. My mother later ate that apple. Some people don't need Goth to be irreverent, among these people was my mother. Long live the Irreverent Mother who needles her oh-so-delicate teenage daughter! Now, back to Goths...

2. Goth-Lit
  • Darkmans by Nicola Barker A book I enjoyed reading, you'll need to lock yourself in for a week to finish this one since it's long. Shelved in our General Fiction section, call number is F/Barker
  • Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, translated by Ebba Segerberg Shelved in our Horror & Occult section, call number is H/Lindqvist
  • Star Crossed by Marc Schreiber Shelved in our Young Adult section, call number is Y/Schreiber
  • Gothic Classics, a collection of five classic goth tales: I've a pain in my head / Jane Austen -- Carmilla / Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu -- Mysteries of Udolpho / Ann Radcliffe -- Oval portrait / Edgar Allan Poe -- Northanger Abbey / Jane Austen -- At the gate / Myla Jo Closser Shelved in our second floor non-fiction collection, because that's where we keep all the graphic novels, call number is 741.504/GOT
  • Life Sucks, written by Jessica Abel and Gabriel Soria ; art by Warren Pleece ; color by Hilary Sycamore Shelved in our New Books section for 6 months, when it will be moved upstairs to non-fiction, where it will join the other graphic novels, call number is 741.504/ABE
  • Any thing Neil Gaiman or Dave McKean
  • H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and anything else conveniently located in the Horror and Occult section of our Fiction collection, for your browsing terrors.

3. Goth Film Aesthetic

Brothers Quay
"The Brothers Quay create puppet animation, where decaying dolls, primitive machinery, and other found objects interact in an expressionist world of ultra-reality." A collection of their shorts can be found in DVD/BRO/4723; and their film Institute Benjamenta is DVD/INS/296

The Hunger

David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve are vampires, and Susan Sarandon is their doctor. Currently only available as a VHS, call number is VCV/HUN

"A fascinating fable about a mysterious school for girls, where one of the girls arrives by coffin to a self-enclosed, highly regimented universe of botany classes, ballet, and playtime.
Lost Highway (most anything David Lynch)" call number is DVD/INN/1224

"On the night before her mother is to have surgery, Helena has a dream that she is in a fantasy world. Once the White Queen becomes sick, only the MirrorMask can save her, and Helena must find it. Soon she wonders if it is really all a dream." call number is DVD/MIR/2350

"A young bride is brought by her new husband to his manor house in England. There she finds that the memory of her husband's first wife haunts her, and she tries to discover the secret of that mysterious woman's death." call number is DVD/REB/528

Anything David Lynch
There are many more Goth items to be found, feel free to ask your friendly Urbana Librarian for some more Goth picks.

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