Jan 31, 2010


Some random bits of wondrousness:

1. Last night I finally watched FORBIDDEN PLANET, after having had it vehemently recommended to me, and after having bought some Robby the Robot toys in Berlin not knowing what they were from, and I was blown away. Not only did I think it was one of the coolest movies of all time, BUT I think I might want to LIVE IN IT. All those 50s space age sets, including glittery pink couches and diamond-shaped metal corridors and fake looking gardens with tigers roaming through them, had my friend Barb and me a-swooning. And the clothes! Look!

2. Speaking of a-swooning, I also recently sat down for a private MARLENE DIETRICH festival with my friend Michael that involved the extremely gorgeous Song of Songs and Seven Sinners (with John Wayne!), both great, both absolute luxury to look at -- like a silky hot bubble bath, for your EYEBALLS -- and both chock-full of wardrobe concoctions that will make you lose yo breath. I mean really, look at this lady.

3. And while I am speaking of glamorous ladies, I thought it was funny and sweet that on Facebook recently, for the little who-is-my-celebrity-doppleganger game, my friend Christy said she'd describe yours truly as a mixture of JULIA CHILD and BETTIE PAGE. I wouldn't say I look like either, or any other I was compared to (Megan Fox -- ha, Genie Francis, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet) but I love the idea of that combination... Honestly, can you imagine a better duo of pure awesome mind-reeling kickass womanhood:

I know.

4. Another movie I really liked recently was An Education, set in England in the early 60s, where Peter Sarsgaard seduces a 17-year-old girl who's thirsty for culture and adventure by taking her to glamorous clubs and concerts and eventually to PAREE. And they're always hanging out with this other super-fashionable couple and smoking out of long cigarette holders and listening to French pop music and twisting up their hair like they was some AUDREY HEPBURN and wearing little leopard caps whilst driving about in snappy sports cars. It's all very swoony and made me wanna smart smoking even tho I already smoked through all my teenage years and most of my twenties, near ruining my lungs, and have been smoke free for ELEVEN YEARS now. Actually, this film is totally a bad influence and I forbid you to see it.

5. So my friend David's play The History of Invulnerability (about the creator of Superman, Jerry Siegel) is going to be opening at the CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE IN THE PARK in April, and this is a big deal, I read this play as a draft and I saw it performed in a reading as part of the Barn Series of the Labyrinth Theater Company, and now it's gonna be a PROPER PRODUCTION, and so my mama and I are driving to Cincinnati for the opening, which I am very excited about. And also, whilst there, we will hopefully see the late-in-life second husband of my late great aunt Dee Dee. They had one of those great romantic tales: they fell in love as teenagers in Ohio but were forbidden to marry by their families and so went on to marry other people. They lost touch with each other, they moved away, they raised families, lived their lives, grew old.. and eventually his wife died, and he got to thinking about his first love and spent a long time tracking her down, and found her living in Kentucky and also widowed (or else her husband died at some point after, I forget). They fell madly in love and married. My mother, sister and I visited them in Lousville a few years back, and they were very clearly madly in love, and she was sick, and he doted on her and took care of her. I think they had a handful of years together before she died, and now he is back living in Cincinnati. So I cannot wait to see him. I also understand that, way back in the day, Dee Dee's family lived in a great big Cincinnati mansion where "maids churned butter in the basement." !

6. I mentioned how one of the highlights of my time in Germany was seeing MAX RAABE & THE PALAST ORCHESTER with my friends Eric and Uli. I loved them so much that I'm seeing them again with my sister at Carnegie Hall on March 4, and also persuaded my parents to go see them in Erie, PA, on February 27 and even found said parents a lovely B&B to stay in and agreed to look after their crazy and possibly psychopathic dogs whilst they're away, as added incentive. Max Raabe is a huge deal in Germany but less known here, and he's about to do this odd sort of mini-tour of the US (from Carnegie Hall to Erie PA!) and so if he's coming to your town and you like you some OLD-TIME GLAMOUR -- that word needs a U -- then you must go see him! He and the show in general are just completely charming and elegant (in a most extreme, exaggerated way) and hilarious and heartbreaking and sweet sweet sweet.

Here, look:

So imagine: this most perfect, glossy Art Deco-lookin tiered stage, a perfect little orchestra composed of all white-tuxedo-ed men and one woman, the violinist, who sits in the midst of them in a bright red sparkly gown, and Max Raabe in front, leaning against the piano, long and lean in a black tuxedo, never smiling, wry and bored and mischievous, kinda like if Marlene Dietrich were a DOOD, moving his eyes slyly about, and then they start playing all those best best most lovely old songs, sweet and simple but always a bit melancholy and nostalgic and wistful even when all they're saying is you're the cream in my coffee. And all this is punctuated by these unexpected moments of pure magic.

LIKE, for example, after the intermission... the curtain opens, and they are all on stage, Max Raabe and the orchestra, totally quiet and still, and then, out of nowhere, this sleek silver zeppelin floats into the stage, slowly slowly, and the contrast to the gorgeous art deco-y elegance of the orchestra, this sleek gleaming space age kinda thing, is sort of shocking and lovely, and the zeppelin floats over the stage and then slowly turns, and begins to float over the audience, and -- now I'm switching into past tense! -- everyone sort of gasped as this thing floated over us, really slowly, so strange, and it kept going and going and floated right out of the back of the theater and disappeared. And once it disappeared, the show just started up again as if nothing had happened. It was so simple, but in those few moments it seemed like everything in the world had stopped, and it felt like everyone in that theater forgot to breathe... It reminded me of this moment in the Italian film Stanno Tutti Bene, where these characters suddenly get stuck in a traffic jam and the narrative just stops for a few minutes as they get out of the car and walk, everyone's walking everyone's abandoning their cars to see what's happened, and they all come upon this great beautiful elk standing in the middle of the road, and they just stand there before it, one beat two beats, before the narrative starts up again as if nothing's happened...

One of the loveliest moments in film, if you axe me.

The end.

Jan 30, 2010

I also wanted to mention that if you, dear reader, whoever you may be, would like a SIGNED BOOK PLATE with which to gorgeously festoon your copy of Godmother or Rain Village.... and/or if you would like a STACK of such book plates with which to delight your BOOK CLUB or your literary-minded BOWLING LEAGUE or what have you, then please just send an email to yours truly at carolynturgeon at gmail dot com and I will be happy to gift you appropriately. I MIGHT EVEN throw in a few glass slipper temporary tattoos, if I am feeling exceptionally generous.

Today I bought the latest issue of Faerie Magazine and saw the following lovely review of Godmother:

On its surface, Godmother is a smart, entertaining, and lovable new novel that tales a look at the Cinderella tale and then shakes it up like a snow-globe. But lurking just below that surface is a deep, dark fable, and by the time the book ends one might wonder where the light and dark met, so deft was the transition.

Meet Lil, an elderly New Yorker who works at a bookstore in the West Village. The sole employee of the handsome, wealthy, and endearingly self-deprecating owner, Lil spends her mornings walking the thirty-or-so blocks from her home to the store, sweeping, organizing books, and lovingly preparing the shop for opening. Each morning she dusts and fusses over the many rare and first edition titles, but none more so than a thick book of fairy tales. It soon comes to light by the progression of Lil's days that she is none other than the fairy godmother from the Cinderella tale, fallen from fairy grace and forced to live among the mortals. The explanation for that fall spans the length of the book, and the foreshadowing and slowly unraveling mystery are expertly done. It is a chance encounter in a diner with a man who might be from her past that forces Lil to remember the events leading up to her banishment. Told almost half in flashbacks, Godmother goes back and forth between the behind the scenes of Cinderella and the story of Lil, which takes place in modern New York and is every bit as interesting and mysterious. As the two threads intertwine and increase their momentum, it is hard not to notice that something is amiss in Lil's world. Is it simply the plight of the earth-bound fairy? Or does Lil have another secret? Carolyn Turgeon has crafted a lovely and moody piece, full of sounds and smells, rife with descriptive language, and teeming with atmosphere. -- Hattie Unglesbee

I also love this recent review from another very gorgeous fairy tale publication.

In other news, tonight my friend Barb is coming over to watch Forbidden Planet with me, but roodly suggested that she would NOT be into watching MISS AMERICA pageant.

These uppity people and their standards!

Jan 24, 2010

Also: yesterday my friend David gave me Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which has the best opening paragraph ever:

My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead.

Also, while I was at David's (whose play by the way is opening at the Cincinnati Playhouse, LOOK!), his son Morris tried out my glamorous new MONOCLE, which was gifted to me by the coolest artiste ever:


By the way, David's wondrous wife Julie is starting a children's book publishing company, and is publishing MY FIRST CHILDREN'S BOOK, about an ENCHANTED TREE and an ENCHANTED GARDEN with flowers that LOOK LIKE LADIES, next year. I am pretty sure it will change your life.
I have been awfully remiss in the journal-keeping department and now I am just TOO BEHIND. Since I last wrote here I have been to Bavaria, where I visited my old friend Lisa and her husband and crazy children and saw medieval cities and consumed magical schnitzels, and to gloomy, glamorous Dresden, where I stayed with Lisa's friend Jen in a glamorous old 19th century villa and spoke to Jen's book group in another glamorous old 19th century villa and did things like tour opera houses and have high tea in fancy hotels, and I went with my friend Rob on a whirlwind little trip to Prague, where we wandered about castles and cathedrals and hung out in cool little country bars where bearded folk gathered around long tables and sang Johnny Cash songs in Czech, and to Vienna, where we met up with Tink and Aoife and Tink's old friend Evelyne and her beau and their new baby and went to wondrous, twinkling Christmas markets in front of palaces and gorgeous, elegant lamp-filled dark-wooded restaurants and cool old writerly cafes, and I had many, many more adventures in Berlin, with Eric and with Rob and with lots of new friends, and these adventures included seeing the best show ever in this world by MAX RAABE & PALAST ORCHESTER, which I will describe later, and a gorgeous Pina Bausch performance at which Wim Wenders sat right in front of us, and then in December I came back to New York for Christmas with my family and Marlene Dietrich film festivals and to see Joi and Kryzstof for dinners in fancy Brooklyn hideaways, and then in January I went back to Pennsylvania, where I am now ensconced with MERMAID once more, making last last edits and changes -- the book is now coming out in March 2011, please do not cry -- and working out like a MOFO in an admirable effort to become more SVELTE. Tho right now, at this moment, I am in New York again, as Mr ANTON STROUT has just turned 40 and his wondrous wife Orly threw him a surprise ZOMBIE PARTY last night, some photos from which are herein: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=142155&id=812268886&l=0774493e43. Please do not be too scared. We did all die, but we did, in true zombie fashion, came back to life shortly thereafter. The end.