The Romance of Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre
University College Dublin, Ireland
The period from roughly 1910 to 1930 was, in the UK, a highpoint for fairy belief and for widespread use of fairies in art and literature. There are the Cottingley Fairies; the finest works by Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac and other illustrators; thre development of Elvish by J.R.R. Tolkien; and so on. Much less well known are the superlative creations of the Wedgwood Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent in the series known as Fairyland Lustreware. They were designed by Daisy Makeig-Jones, and produced between 1916 and 1930. They are well known to collectors (pieces sell for €5000 or more), but barely recognised by students of the fantastic. This paper will examine the context and inspiration of Makeig-Jones’s work.
Greater than Gods. Man as Artist.
University "1 Decembrie 1918" from Alba Iulia
When critics refer to the influence exerted by John Milton on the romantics, they tend to emphasize the character of the one time opponent of monarchic absolutism which fed into the portrait of rebellious and self-righteous Satan in Paradise Lost. In our opinion, the aesthetic idea underlining the building of Pandemonium by the fallen angels has not been sufficiently explored. Milton had actually shifted the scales of value, had put something in place of the discredited religious myth, and that something was the creation of the cultural order.The post-romantic movements, impressionism and expressionism, and especially the aesthetic decadence set art above all the other values.Another case point is Romanian expressionist poet, playwright, philosopher Lucian Blaga , who refurbished the legendary master mason of the most famous Romanian church on the River Arges as an artist of genius whose nisus formativus makes him sacrifice everything, including his wife and unborn child.Creation, liberty and inferno seem to be interrelated, somehow. This is the triplet “star of the show”. Man was characterized as being more than a god when undertaking the act of creation. Touching on the Romantic universal poetry and the worldmaking of poets such as P.B. Shelly and Keats, this paper seeks to observe the artist who perishes at the expense of his own creation, a utopia turned into a tragedy, as a link to the romantic topos. Borrowing the notion from D.Sipe’s, Text, Image, and the Problem with Perfection in Nineteenth- Century France: Utopia and Its Afterlife (2016), the “afterlife” of utopia is defining for Manole’s story.This notion characterizes a transitional state from romanticism towards modernity. Man’s relationship with God is the predominant theme, but modulated into a poetic art. This study will focus on the notions creation-sufferance-inferno through links to the Biblical teachings, yet commuted to what Baudelaire brought to full bloom in the aesthetics of Evil.
Digital Making with Patchers, Bridge People, and ‘Funny’ Fabbers
Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark
The field of architectural design has, in the last years, shown an increasing interest in SF. This interest can be as simple as adopting the imaginative freedom that SF inspires, or it may be directed towards SF as a conceptual space to create, test, and critique the utopian speculations of architectural practice or the impact of emerging technology on design. This paper discusses the relationship between 3D printing technologies, non-alienated labour, and urban cultures in William Gibson’s The Peripheral, with additional reference to Virtual Light and All Tomorrow’s Parties from the Bridge trilogy. Each of these novels shows additive manufacturing technology as crucial for the contestation of ownership and belonging in urban futures.
In an overly literal interpretation of world-building, the paper describes how this reading of 3D printing technology becomes becomes a vehicle for experimentation in architectural design. Such experimentation appropriates the estrangement of Gibson’s text as a “site” to re-situate making cultures in relation to new material and technological constraints and opportunities. This interpretation is not only descriptive, but also projective, and the paper showcases built speculations in digital fabrication, with new implications for sustainable, ethical, and aesthetic practices in architectural design.
Romantic Healers in Old and in New Worlds
University of Alba Iulia, Doctoral School, Romania, Romania
The revision of Romanticism in the last two or three decades went deeper than any other revolution in the canonization of western literature demystifying the uncritical association of this literary trend with the revolutionary political ethos in 1789 France, casting light on the conservative, past-oriented yearnings of the major representatives.
Such considerations, however, do not apply to the American scene: whereas Europe turned conservative, with the Great Powers forming suprastatal networks of influence (The Holy Alliance at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 bonding the Kingdom of Prussia, the Austrian and Russian empires, joined a few years later by France and the United Kingdom), America built a political system grounded in the rights of the individual and pursued ”dreams” of self-assertiveness (the ”city on the hill”) in opposition to the European ”concert of nations” model. The fantastic genre, especially the gothic subgenre, was naturally fit for revealing the fear of evil in the collective unconscious. Whereas the high-minded healers or saviours in European romantic fantasy are of noble stock and restored by the social redress plot to their rights usurped by upstarts (The Castle of Otranto, Last Man, The Private Memoirs ...), in America, ancestry is associated with decay and sin (The Fall of the House of Usher, The Purloind Letter, The Passionate Pilgrim, Legends of the Province House, Wieland), while those who remain loyal to the English king (The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow, Peter Rugg, the Missing Man) are imagined to have gone adrift in a loop of time. Our paper is pointing to a necessary dissociation in the romantic canon on either part of the Atlantic instead of subsuming romantic fantasy in English under a common poetics/politics heading.