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  •  Wisconsin Death Trip (4+ / 0-)
    It emphasizes the harsh aspects of Midwestern rural life under the pressures of crime, disease, mental illness, and urbanization.
    In 1973, Michael Lesy published an artful arrangement of late-19th century newspaper clippings and otherworldly photographs from a small town in Wisconsin. He called it Wisconsin Death Trip. Photos of children in coffins–along with text chronicling murder, insanity, disease, and suicide–can be shocking to a 21st century audience. But what was it like for the people who lived through it? This audio slide show includes an interview with Lesy and images from the book, in addition to other images of Victorian post-mortem photography.

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 12:55:20 PM PDT

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    •  This was the most wonderful book, a favorite (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, senex, Larsstephens

      of mine since the 1970s; now out of print, my copy is so tattered that the pages fall out..  The work of Edgar Lee Masters, although his poems took place in Illinois, fit perfectly with the haunting images in the book of lost souls with hollow cheeks and blank eyes.

      Here, for example, is Nancy Knapp from "Spoon River Anthology":

      Nancy Knapp

      WELL, don’t you see this was the way of it:     
      We bought the farm with what he inherited,     
      And his brothers and sisters accused him of poisoning     
      His father’s mind against the rest of them.     
      And we never had any peace with our treasure.             
      The murrain took the cattle, and the crops failed.     
      And lightning struck the granary.     
      So we mortgaged the farm to keep going.     
      And he grew silent and was worried all the time.     
      Then some of the neighbors refused to speak to us,     
      And took sides with his brothers and sisters.     
      And I had no place to turn, as one may say to himself,     
      At an earlier time in life; “No matter,     
      So and so is my friend, or I can shake this off     
      With a little trip to Decatur.”     
      Then the dreadfulest smells infested the rooms.     
      So I set fire to the beds and the old witch-house     
      Went up in a roar of flame,     
      As I danced in the yard with waving arms,     
      While he wept like a freezing steer.

      Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --attributed to Mark Twain

      by SottoVoce on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 01:16:52 PM PDT

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      •  Chilling, and somehow wonderful. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SottoVoce, Larsstephens

        What exactly is a google problem?

        by senex on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 01:48:38 PM PDT

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        •  It is both chilling and wonderful. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens

          For my masters degree project in theater, I created and directed an adaptation of "Spoon River Anthology" which was in part inspired by the photographs in Wisconsin Death Trip.  Here is a link to photographs from that chilling book.   If you haven't read Masters' work, you should.  If you have, but it's been a long time, revisit these poems.  Keep these images in mind when you do.

          To me, the poems, all spoken from the grave, express the singular obsessions of the individual people, frustrated that they can no longer act on them.  Marvelous.

          Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --attributed to Mark Twain

          by SottoVoce on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 03:05:48 PM PDT

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