I think I’m beginning to realize that I enjoy the idea of Neo-victorian wear far more than I actually enjoy wearing it. It looks fantastic, and those who pull it off do so gorgeously!
However, much like make-up [however well-done], I can’t seem to feel comfortable actually wearing it. I like being able to move with ease, and to more blend in to a crowd than stand out from it. I want to be invisible…like a ninja…not noticeable like a gorgeous super-model.
I have always wished that I -did- have the flair and obsession for certain styles that would be so intense it would overcome my deep-seeded invisibility need…but as I get older, I find myself increasingly tired of fighting the things that come so naturally to me.
I am not comfortable wearing make-up. I have several guesses as to why this is, but none of them really matter. The fact is, it simply isn’t something I want to fit in to my morning schedule. There are other things much more interesting to me than make-up that I would rather spend my time doing in the morning. And that’s okay.
Just as it’s okay that I don’t have a closet full of uncomfortable corsets, “skinny” jeans, and other chafing or binding clothing. [These days, I can barely even bring myself to wear a proper upper ladies’ undergarment.]
Why I’m writing this, I don’t know; it’s just something that struck me when I saw the victorian cape I blogged only a few moment’s before I started writing this post.
Perhaps it’s practice for the future. Only the Lord of All knows.
I am thrilled to present the following interview with Professors Kooistra and Denisoff, who head up The 1890’s Online — a new resource for 1890’s periodicals. The remainder of the week here at The Fin de Siècle will be devoted to 1890’s periodicals in their honor. Enjoy!
1. Why are magazines so important to our understanding of the cultural landscape of the 1890s?
The 1890s marks the decade in which diverse cultural and technological changes — such as the cult of the personality and the rise of photo-mechanical mass reproduction — came together to change the format, content, and potential audience for periodicals. The avant-garde magazines of the fin de siècle, in particular, initiated the experimentation and innovation that has come to be associated with the modernists of the early twentieth century.
2. Why did you choose The Yellow Book and The Pagan Review as the first magazines to be included on the database? Was it a practical decision (they were readily available) or a scholarly decision?
We have chosen the thirteen-volume Yellow Book (1894-1897) as our initial facsimile edition because it is a defining cultural document, colouring the period known as “the yellow nineties.” Its editors, Henry Harland and Aubrey Beardsley, set out to make a “modern magazine” by publishing no serials, separating pictures and letterpress as distinct individual texts, avoiding advertisements, and producing each volume as a piece of beautiful bookmaking. The Yellow Book was a publishing event and a cultural sensation from its first appearance, and remains central to fin-de-siècle studies today.
We have included the single-volume Pagan Review (1892) in this initial phase of development partly because of its many connections to The Yellow Book, including the links it forges between the aesthetic/decadent movement and the Celtic Revival and neo-paganism. In addition, its extreme rarity (only two copies are known to us) motivated us to make this work accessible electronically in a facsimile edition. Finally, including The Pagan Review allowed us to expand our interest in the fin-de-siècle periodical publishing context from urban London to rural Sussex.
In the first stage of development, our digital archive of primary documents such as advertising materials and reviews focuses on The Yellow Book as the site’s central periodical. Because The Yellow Book was published in both England and the United States, we have included reviews from the press in both countries. We have included similar material for The Pagan Review.