grey Monday

Got my Lulu books back. I think I have gotten the whole pdf, bleed, live and inactive space thing figured out. The 7.5"x 7.5" square book does have the cream paper with the matte black, dense ink. Looking good. I ordered another 20 Memento Mori #1 with perfect bleeds etc. and need to get the belly bands readied for my ready hands that come on Thursday (that is, my dear high school helper). Christmas is coming. My mother wants five books albeit before her friends started raving about the piece thought the book was wierd and pretty much untouchable. Now, they are holiday gifts. My mother-in-law has piped up about more that she wants to buy. Imagine. A little ho ho ho, whoa.

Also have all the holiday cards coming in--samples from one client, proofs from the printer for the other.

Was trolling the web to look at victorian death photography which I used to think was fascinating. Now, I don't know what to think. The whole maudlin focus on the physical--victorian window dressing with the corpse posed in some "natural" position, dressed in their finery with candles and a flowery bower just seems strange and separate from that of the Puritans who viewed death as a marriage with God the spiritual union from which a marriage in life is a mirror of. The physical was left behind with the Puritians--and a celebration of this spiritual marriage transcended the body. The victorians seemed to dwell with the physical--pure and never decaying. Seeing these little children in their buttoned shoes with little plaid dresses with big white collars posed with their toys or propped against a pile of pillows framed by flowers and fabric.

... All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.--Take the wings
Of morning--and the Barcan desert pierce,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregan, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings--yet--the dead are there;
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep--the dead reign there alone.
So shalt thou rest--and what if thou withdraw
Unheeded by the living--and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny....

Thanatopsis by William Cullen Bryant, published in 1817, and the progenitor for countless later examples of gloomy verse

What a comfort it is to possess the image of those who are removed from our sight. We may raise an image of them in our minds but that has not the tangibility of one we can see with our bodily eyes.”
Flora A. Windeyer, in a letter to Rev. John Blomfield, November 1870

Here are some images from a show: Haunted when it Rains>>
From the Kircher Society website>
During the 19th century, the newly invented technology of photography allowed people to permanently capture images of their recently deceased loved ones. From the Australian Museum:

Photographs of a deceased loved one served as substitutes and reminders of the loss. Families who could not afford to commission painted portraits could arrange for a photograph to be taken cheaply and quickly after a death. This was especially important where no photograph already existed. The invention of the Carte de Visite, which enabled multiple prints to be made from a single negative, meant that images could be sent to distant relatives. The deceased was commonly represented as though they were peacefully sleeping rather than dead, although at other times the body was posed to look alive.