Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Baron Corvo Oddments

My colleague Robert Scoble, author of the Raven Series, has sent me recently a list of Internet 'ephemera' to do with Rolfe, I have added a few of my own and, some more serious than others, all interesting in their own way...

The rather exhaustingly upbeat website of Paddy Gormley has among his 'works in progress' a play about Rolfe called In His Own Image, taking its name from Rolfe's collection of Italian folk-tales as told to him by the young Toto. In His Own Image was actually a title to which Rolfe objected on the grounds that he found it blasphemous, but his publisher overruled his objection.

I had known for a long time, of course, that New Directions in New York published an edition of Rolfe's Desire and Pursuit of the Whole with a jacket design by Andy Warhol [above]. (It's fiendishly difficult to find in one piece and in very good condition). But the New Directions blog includes this post on Andy Warhol's design work for the company and shows four jackets they he created including one for Firbank's Three Novels, which I have to say reminds me of nothing so much as a cartoon by Ronald Searle. The post as a whole has some very interesting discussion and details about Warhol's relationship with New Directions.

Not being a big facebook user I am unable to say what benefits accrue to you, but should you wish, you can become a friend of Baron Corvo there.

Two Corvine souls appear on OKCupid listing books by Rolfe as a passion - both very sweet looking so let's hope cupid does his thing.

Please don't make the mistake of thinking that this next one has anything to do with the real Frederick Rolfe but there is a film whose directing credit is given as Baron Corvo. It is called Being Captured and if I tell you that one of it's aka-s is The Erotic Dwarf perhaps that gives you an idea. The director using the Corvine pseudonym was actually Alberto Cavallone. If you can bear it then there is a clip on Youtube.

I was rather struck by this painting on flickr by Ruben Fernandez Santos, which, although Italian is not a good language for me, appears to be a painting inspired by reading The Quest for Corvo. It stood out among the otherwise rather paltry results for a search on flickr for Baron Corvo.

The Find a Grave website has an image of Rolfe's grave on the cemetery island in the Venetian lagoon and a good number of rather sweet, and surprisingly knowledgeable tributes on their virtual flowers page. I was particularly touched by the gentleman who remembered that Hadrian VII liked yellow and white flowers best and so chose the correctly coloured clip-art.

The contemporary artist Julian Gordon Mitchell has painted a modern portrait of Rolfe. I confess, while I can see it is an acomplished painting in its own right, it doesn't portray much about Rolfe to me.

The author Brendan Connell wrote a slightly Corvine Italian clerical romp called, The Translation of Father Torturo, which I have read and enjoyed. On the author's blog he has many times expressed his devotion to all things Corvine and, in this post last year, published the whole of Rolfe's story The Armed Hands.


Self-effacing ghost said...

Callum, are you aware that several of your recent posts, including Venice, your civil partnership and the latest of the Raven series, seem to have vanished?

I realise you may have removed them on purpose, but thought it was worth alerting you just in case.

Callum said...

hi Ghost,

I feel, from your moniker, I should know who you are but I'm afraid I can't quite place you. Thanks for taking the trouble to let me know about this but I'm afraid I can't find any problem with the posts you mention so I'm a bit at a loss to explain why they appear to have disappeared from your screen. Nonetheless, thank you for caring enough to mention it - that's very sweet of you.


Self-effacing ghost said...

Puzzling, as the problem persists at this end: nothing visible between "Baron Corvo Oddments" on 13 July and "A New Use for Penguins" on 26 June. Maybe my computer is misbehaving somehow.

No, you don't know me (as far as I know); I live in Scottish obscurity. Discovered your blog last year when googling on Corvo, and have since followed it with great pleasure.

Good luck to you both.

Who links to my website?