Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ken Russell in Encyclopaedia Britannica-Old School Style

So I'm talking about OLD school Britannica, not the online edition which includes Britney Spears and ASDA. I'm going to reference a 1977 edition which was so narrow in their definition of notable subjects,  that not even The Who warrant a mention. Ages it seems before the internet, these reference guides could define or erase entire careers and recreate events. Despite an obvious imperialistic feel the EB is still great reading. Even just copying the three entries below proved oddly addictive, like my own personal "Red Headed League"!

A classic set of EBs always features two sets of books; one for ready reference and another for knowledge in-depth. Oddly enough Ken is mentioned as an author first and filmmaker second. (Ironically, his indepth mention shares the same page as Paddy Chayefsky whom went to war with  in that same era (provoked) over Altered States.)  Ken has mentions in both sets while Sir Edward Elgar only gets a mention in ready reference. Granted, it is a longer than average reference but it seems odd that his life was not given an longer appraisal and biography or that he was not at least mentioned briefly elsewhere. It is almost like he had to know his place even thus. Interestingly enough they mentioned Sea Pictures which is the only song cycle I ever seriously studied as a contralto.

Here is how Ken Russell was considered and how he was entered in the reference guide to end all guides. For contrast I've included the two Russells that he randomly falls in-between. Like Elgar, it seems that EB wants Ken in a hidden niche yet were he is situated is nonetheless quite illuminating. The holographic nature of the universe at play as Ken's wife Lisi would say.

(All print is exactly how it is published in Encyclopaedia Britannica. The asterisk takes you to Ken mention in Knowledge in-Depth)

Russell, John (b. March 29, 1745, Guildford Surrey-d April, 1806, Hull Yorkshire), pastel artist. amateur astronomer, and literary scholar whose brilliantly coloured chalk portraits were highly appreciated in 18th century England. For a decade his works were priced equal to those of  Sir Joshua Reynolds. An evangelistic Methodist, he preached at his sitters while he drew them. Although his militant religious views aroused antagonism in some quarters he was retained as a painter to George III. He also wrote several atheistic and technical treatises on literature and painting. For 50 years he kept a diary on his religious exercise and he laboured for 20 years with telescope and engraving tools on a lunar map.

Russell, Kenneth (1927-    ), British author and film director
 Biographical studies for television 18:126f

18, Page 126: Television and Radio, Arts of  In Britain, Ken Russell's idiosyncratic biographical studies of composers (Debussy, Elgar, Delius, Strauss) caused controversy with their experimental, impressionist approach, a technique Russell later developed in his feature film The Music Lovers.

 Russell, Lillian (b HELEN LOUISE LEONARD, Dec. 4, 1861, Clinton, Iowa-d. June 6, 1922, Pittsburgh Pa.), singer and actress in light comedies who represented the feminine ideal of her generation. Probably the most photographed women of her time, she was a striking beauty with a Gibson Girl figure. Though she sang in burlesque and light opera for almost four decades, she was as famous for her flamboyant personality as for her beauty and her voice. She made her début as member of the chorus in Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore. She received her stage name in 1880 from manger Tony Parsons, and she apprised frequently in his Broadway variety theatre. She achieved stardom the following year in Edmund Audran's Grand Mogul at the New York Bijou Opera House. She also won acclaim in 1890 for her role in Jacques' Offenbach's Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein. From 1889 until their partnership dissolved in 1904, she appeared in England and the United States with the burlesque company of Joe Weber and Lew Fields. After her fourth marriage, in 1912, she wrote a syndicated newspaper column on health, beauty, and love; she also lectured on these topics before vaudeville audiences.

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Blogger grace said...

funny painting of the little girl with the gun.

9:40 PM  
Blogger par.nordstrom said...

Considerin da abysmally low quality of modern lit. , I must say I prefer readin ecyclopedias . Da EB is ,of course, da Rolls Royce of encyclopedias ,but me luvs dem ALL:Can sit for hrs & hrs browsin random articles .And when I get exhausted just like a child,
can sit for hrs more just oglin pix.So next time : Give da Nobel Prize to Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Deal ! !!

11:54 AM  

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