I was watching The Prestige again, by Christopher Nolan, when a character’s name caught my attention: Chung Ling Soo. But why did it sound so familiar? That’s because this character, or similar avatars, appears in other movies or books I read or watched recently. I searched on the internet for more information and found they were all based on a real illusionist, Chung Ling Soo, “the Marvellous Chinese Conjurer”.
J’étais en train de regarder Le Prestige par Christopher Nolan à nouveau, quand le nom d’un personnage attira mon attention : Chung Ling Soo. Pourquoi ce nom m’était-il si familier ? Parce que ce personnage, ou ses avatars, apparait dans d’autres livres ou films que j’ai vus ou lus récemment. J’ai donc cherché des informations. Ces personnages sont inspirés par un illusionniste réel, Chung Ling Soo, “Le merveilleux prestidigitateur chinois”.
Forgive my pun on W. B. Yeats’s famous poem, He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven, but I’ll write about William Butler Yeats, one of my favorite poets, through the lens of his Muses and inspirations and how he inspires other artists and media.
John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836 – 1893) is a great Victorian painter, nearly unknown in France – except in some book covers – but thankefully better known in the UK. A few years ago I was thrilled to see a lot of his paintings in an exhibition in London.
Grimshaw is famous for his moonlit, gaslit landscapes and cityscapes. I like his way to show those big Victorian industrial cities in a dreamy, nearly magical way.
Some of his paintings are wonderful fantasylike portraits of ships, docks, quays and bridges, forests of masts fit for a modern industrial Merlin.