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Tony Grist

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Too Much [Mar. 21st, 2016|10:41 am]
Tony Grist
Victorian art is copious. Victorian novels are huge, Victorian poems go on and on, Matthew Arnold feels the compulsion to stuff  the Scholar Gypsy (which has enough matter in it for a slim and delicate lyric) with every flower that ever grew in the English countryside, Victorian architecture is covered in ornament, Victorian painting is about defining every hair of a model's head, every thread in a garment, and Victorian stained glass is so full of carefully drawn detail it darkens the buildings it's supposed to light...
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2016-03-21 11:07 am (UTC)
Curiously, though I agree with everything here, I have a weakness for Victorian prose. Not only do I not mind it, I have to guard against the influence of scholars like A E Waite in my own writing. Terrible thing to admit.

I should also be tempted to except the Pre-Raphaelites. Yes, I know the style is terribly overwrought and oh so full of itself, but still.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-03-21 02:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, this. Too much of a good thing can be wonderful (says Mae West).
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-03-21 03:21 pm (UTC)
I agree about the prose. Copious doesn't necessarily mean bad. Carlyle- one of the most extreme and eccentric stylists of the age can be exhilarating. And I love it when Dickens really cuts loose.

I waver on the Pre-Raphaelites. My admiration for Ford Madox Brown is unequivocal, I like some of Millais, some of Rossetti. Hunt can be frightful, but there's no denying the power of "The Scapegoat".
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2016-03-22 09:52 am (UTC)
Good lord, I'd forgotten Hunt. Normally, I like a saturated palette, but there are limits of good taste, and even decency, that are probably best observed.
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[User Picture]From: resonant
2016-03-21 11:15 am (UTC)
Victorian manufactured goods are covered with fake acanthus leaves and ivy, until the decoration weighs more than the actual product.
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[User Picture]From: resonant
2016-03-21 11:16 am (UTC)
... although that was partially to hide seams, gaps, and imperfections from the manufacturing process. If you can't get two pieces of wood to line up, just cover it with carved flowers.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-03-21 03:26 pm (UTC)
Victorian furniture can be fun. I like some of it. The more eccentric the better.
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[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2016-03-21 12:38 pm (UTC)
I quite like the sound of the Scholar Gypsy!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-03-21 03:29 pm (UTC)
It's a lovely poem- on a very attractive theme- but it's much too long.
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