The Brothers Grimm & their dark early fairytales.

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A postcard from the 1800s shows the seven dwarfs finding Snow White asleep in their bedroom. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The Original Folk & Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
by Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, Jack Zipes and Andrea Dezso
It’s well-known that our favorite fairy tales started out darker than the ones Disney animators brought to life. But you might be surprised by how much darker the originals were.
For the first time, a new translation of the Brothers Grimm’s tales reveals exactly how unsanitized and murderous the bedtime stories really were.
Jack Zipes, author of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, is the only person who has ever translated the first edition of their tales into English.
“Some of them are extremely dark and harrowing,” Zipes tells NPR’s Rachel Martin. “Many are somewhat erotic and deal with incest. Most of them are not what we call fairy tales; they tend to be animal tales or warning tales.”
Take, for example, Snow White. In the modern version of the tale, the Evil Queen is Snow White’s stepmother.

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But in the first edition, Snow White is only 7 years old, and it’s her biological mother who wants to murder her for her beauty.
The stories are hardly appropriate for children by today’s standards, and at the outset, they weren’t intended to be.
The Grimms “collected these tales to show what life was like,” says Zipes. “And they wanted to reveal what they considered the divine truths of the tales.”
And the tales endure. Zipes says that’s because they resonate in every era. “I think they speak to the human condition. …
They also provide hope. For the most part, there is social justice in these tales and … we need that. We need the hope that these tales provide.”
Read on via Today’s Fairy Tales Started Out (Even More) Dark And Harrowing : NPR.

‘The Weeping Devil’ by McNair.

American illustrator and artist Jon MacNair has a unique style that is grounded in surrealism and Gothic whimsy.
Sticking with a mostly black and white palette, his creations are crammed with so many ghoulish delights: woodland spirits resurrecting the dead, battles with mythical monsters, and trees growing out of the back of mysterious animals.
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See more of Jon MacNair’s art via Beware the Weeping Devil › Illusion.

Illustrations from ‘Dante’s Divine Comedy’ by Martini.

In 1901, Vittorio Alinari, head of Fratelli Alinari, the world’s oldest photographic firm, decided to publish a new illustrated edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
To do so, Alinari announced a competition for Italian artists: each competitor had to send illustrations of at least two cantos of the epic poem, which would result in one winner and a public exhibition of the drawings.
Among the competitors were Alberto Zardo, Armando Spadini, Ernesto Bellandi, and Alberto Martini.

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While Martini did not win the competition, he, as Vittorio Sgarbi wrote in his foreword to Martini’s La Divina Commedia, “seemed born to illustrate the Divine Comedy.”
The 1901 contest was followed by two more sets of illustrations between 1922 and 1944, which produced altogether almost 300 works in a wide range of styles, including pencil and ink to the watercolor tables painted between 1943 and 1944.
While repeatedly rejected publication during his lifetime, a comprehensive edition of Martini’s La Divinia Commedia is available today.
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Read more via Alberto Martini’s Haunting Illustrations of Dante’s Divine Comedy (1901-1944) | Open Culture.

Sydney’s Mortuary Station, end of the Line 1869-1938.

When ­Sydney’s cemetery reached capacity in the late 1860s, Mortuary Station was built to provide access to a new site. Image Credit: courtesy of the Australian Railway Heritage Society
Funeral trains no longer steam through Sydney, but Mortuary Station remains a haunting reminder of times past.
19th century, mourners would congregate at Mortuary Station, in central Sydney. Twice a day, the city’s funeral train would rumble in towards the platform, through a series of ornate sandstone arches.
Coffins would be loaded into special hearse carriages, while suit-clad men, and women dressed in dark-coloured clothing boarded the passenger carriages.
The station’s departure bells would sound and steam would begin to billow across the Sydney skyline as the locomotive chugged into action, slowly moving over the track’s hardwood sleepers.
The train’s whistle would shriek as the funeral procession departed, bound for the Rookwood Necropolis, Sydney’s largest cemetery, 17km to the west.
Funeral trains carried mourners from Mortuary to Rookwood for nearly 70 years, from 1869 until 1938.
Today, the ghostly whistle of the locos no longer sounds and the platform at ­Mortuary remains quiet.
Situated on Regent Street, at the southern end of the Sydney CBD, the now-disused ­station is a sombre relic of a long-past era.
The elaborate Gothic-inspired building, which appears today much as it would have when it opened 145 years ago, provides a rare architectural glimpse into Sydney’s past.
Office blocks and apartment buildings have sprouted in nearby streets, but the church-like station house remains, recalling a time when Sydney’s funeral processions were public events.
The architects and artists “spared nothing” during the build of the station, says historian Bill Phippen.
Funeral trains passed through Mortuary for more than 60 years, but today it is only used for the occasional function. (Image: John Pickrell)
Source: End of the line – Australian Geographic

The Story of the Universal Classic Monsters.

The Inner Sanctum Mysteries of radio were adapted to film in the 1940s

The Inner Sanctum was a popular radio program which portrayed mysteries, often in a camp production, and was often hosted by a horror movie star.

Many of the actors famous for portraying Universal’s Classic Monsters appeared on the program, as hosts and as stars in the production. Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney and others joined stars like Frank Sinatra, Richard Widmark, Orson Welles, and Burgess Meredith.

Over 500 episodes were broadcast, each announced by the signature sound of a creaking door slowly opening before the voice over began.

In the 1940s six films were produced by Universal Studios under the Inner Sanctum series, all of which featured Lon Chaney.

The first of the series, Calling Doctor Death, was filmed in just three weeks on the Universal lot, and all six of the series were low-budget attempts to cash in on Chaney’s popularity as the ‘Wolf Man’, as well as the popularity of the radio series and the books on which the former was based.

Marketed as “An Inner Sanctum Mystery” the six films were made in just under two years, with the result of further damaging Lon Chaney’s career as suited for only the types of horror films being made on the Universal lot.

Although the title was E. A. Poe’s and his name figured prominently in the publicity, there was little of his story in the script.

Source: The Story of the Universal Classic Monsters

Halloween in Australia 2019.

Do Australians celebrate Halloween?
Yes and no.
Halloween is a subject that Australians are divided over. Some Australians believe it is another great excuse to celebrate and have fun – not like we need an excuse or anything.
Others may feel that it isn’t an Australian celebration.
As a result, when Halloween comes around, you’ll see some brilliantly decorated homes as well as many that are not.
You may see a few trick-or-treaters out and about, but many people will choose to stay home.
Many neighbourhoods with small children will often participate in Halloween celebrations.
But other areas with older demographics may ignore this day all together.
Why don’t some Australians want to celebrate Halloween?
Some Australians seem to be very against celebrating this day in Australia. This is because some view Halloween as a British or American tradition, and thus celebrating this day is accepting overseas culture over our own.
Rejecting Halloween could be seen as protecting our own unique Australian culture.
Some have suggested that Australia’s rejection of Halloween stems back to the Victorian era and the forsaking of indulgence.
But when you talk to many Aussies, most just plainly say that it’s just another rort manufactured by some smart arse and greedy retailers and it’s not for us.
Source: Halloween in Australia 2019 | finder.com.au