A LIVING HISTORY BLOG.

18TH CENTURY LIVING HISTORY IN AUSTRALIA.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Where Do I Start 2. A Reply From Clarisse.

I found Clarisse's reply very interesting, & it has given me some insight into how other people may think about 18th century living history. As Clarisse's reply will appear in the comments section anyway, I hope she will forgive me for taking the liberty of posting her reply here for others to read & enjoy.
Thank you Clarisse, very much appreciated.
Regards, Keith.

Clariſse has left a new comment on your post "Where Do I Start?":

This was all very interesting to read. Above all I loved your question at the beginning.

My very first motivation was actually falling in love with Handel's music as a kid. When I was about fifteen, I got a book about the 17th/18th century, and my favorite item in it was the photo of an old English copperplate print, how to dance the minuet. I tried to figure out how it would go, but didn't understand the explanations. After moving to a big city 10 years ago, I really found teachers, to learn it. That was years after I had already started writing with bird-feathers and reading original books.

I had to make the experience, that the majority in this scene is more in love with clichés, than with the reality in the past. Girls are actually living their kitschy ideas of being coquette -- being attractive to boys is actually more important than history. It looks like they're living their old little-girl-dreams of being a princess. In original books of early 18th century dancing teachers, I read about a totally different moral: Being coquette was impossible behavior -- behaving naturally and reasonable was the first rule. THAT is the message of the 18th century codex -- not how to get into adventures with the opposite sex!

It looks like these experiences made me a little more boyish, as I was anyhow. I learned fencing. My trainer was very good -- once he had even trained someone for Olympia. But this class actually worked to perform. It was all what audience likes: Casanova after having been untrue is being attacked by his girlfriend via rapier, and she gets him in a most delicate position, threatening to castrate him, so he had to beg and promise not to be untrue anymore. My teacher really gave me a few tips, how defend myself with an epée, but I didn't stay longer than a year, for my motivation was different and they weren't really fond of the days when Handel was still young.

So I see, the best way really seems to be: Going out into nature and leaving all those ridiculous clichés behind, as you're doing. It seems I do the same, if I 'withdraw into' an old book of my favorite time. I live in that old German language anyhow, it's just being in another world, while writing in this style -- I even use original dictionaries. It goes even farer, twelve years ago I dated my birthday 300 years back. So I started in 1999 with 1699. The advantage is: You know exactly to which generation you belong. You know who your people are, as who are much younger or older. Handel was kinda little boy to me, but in the meantime he grew up. It actually goes farer still, but the comment would get too long...

If I had to live in rococo, I would run away from civilization anyway, because people really tended to overdo being affected at that time. So no wonder most 18th century fans love that era best. It's better to die in war, than being choked in powder.

So it's kinda relief to read your stuff now. ;)
In honour of Clarisse's post, I name this set of images: From Face Powder To Woodswoman.


Last but not least, our very own Mad Ann Bailey.

1 comment:

Clariſse said...

Thanks very much, this is really great honor! Hope you forgive my being such a slowpoke.

I see, you are really able to have me all over excited by your posting. But I am presently living in Berlin, Germany, and it's really 2:00 pm right now. :o

Pentecost I'll have to play trumpet with my trombone playing pastor, as other things have to be done and considered -- but I will find time and peace, to study your latest posts more thoroughly.

Extremely excited,
Clariſse