Wednesday, January 07, 2004

The invention of 'Goth' style?

From David Clay Large's Where Ghosts Walked: Munich's Road to the Third Reich, a cultural and political history of the city from the late 1800s through the rise of the Nazi party, comes this description of an avant-garde cabaret, The Eleven Executioners:

"After the opening song came an appearance by the resident femme fatale, Marya Delvard, an extremely thin woman with flaming red hair, black-rimmed eyes, and luminescent skin. Dressed in a long black gown and bathed in violet light, she looked as though she had just crawled out of a coffin. Hardly moving or changing her pitch, she moaned songs about dawning sexuality, suicide, and murder. 'She was frightfully pale,' recalled the writer Hans Carossa. 'One thought involuntarily of sin, vampirically parasitical cruelty, and death . . . She sang everything with languid monotony which she only occasionally interrupted with a wild outcry of greedy passion.'"

The year was 1901.


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