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Elizabeth Siddal's Birthday Party

Elizabeth Siddal

Kim Morrissey's play about Elizabeth Siddal, 'Clever As Paint', was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1998. The Cornish Theatre Collective toured a stage production in the UK in July 1999, directed by Rosie Hughes and with original music by Elizabeth Parker. Kim's play includes texts of complete poems by Elizabeth Siddal.

Clever As Paint: the Rossettis in Love by Kim Morrissey with original music by Elizabeth Parker and an Introduction by Beth Chatten is published by Playwrights Canada Press and distributed by Nick Hern Books
ISBN 0-88754-552-1

Related links:

Kim Morrissey's homepage
Poems by Elizabeth Siddal
Portrait of Siddal by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Log of Elizabeth Siddal's 170th Birthday Party
LinguaMOO Sunday 25th July 1999

trAce members were invited to drop by the trAce meeting room at LinguaMOO to join poet and playwright Kim Morrissey in celebrating the birthday of Elizabeth Siddal, Pre-Raphaelite poet, artist, model and wife of D.G. Rossetti. After cutting the birthday cake, Kim, author of 'Clever As Paint' (a re-examination of the life of Elizabeth Siddal) led a discussion of issues around Women and Poetry. As the guests logged on one by one, they found Kim reading aloud from Siddal's work:

Kim says, "One face looks out from all his canvasses,"
Kim says, "One self-same face sits or walks or leans:"
Kim says, "We find her hidden just behind those screens,"
Leona arrives.
Kim says, "The mirror gave back all her loveliness."
Sue arrives.
Kim says, ""A queen in opal or in ruby dress"
Sue smiles.
Kim says, "A nameless girl in freshest summer greens."
Saada arrives.
Kim says, "A saint, an angel - every canvas means"
Kim says, "The same one meaning, neither more nor less."
Saada says, "happy birthday to lizzy"
Kim says, ""He feeds upon her face by day and night,"
Kim says, "And she with true kind eyes looks back on him,"
Kim says, "Fair as the noon and joyful as the light."
Kim says, "Not wan with waiting, nor with sorrow dim;"
Kim says, "Not as she was, but was when hope shone bright;"
Kim says, "Not as she was, but when she fills his dream."
Kim says, "That poem was written by Christina Rossetti- thought to be about Elizabeth Siddal and D.G. Rossetti"
MazThing arrives.
Elizabeth arrives.
Kim says, "Elizabeth should be here soon - we have some people who have agreed to lead the discussion"
Elizabeth says, "j'arrive"
Kim says, "With champagne?"
Marvella arrives.
Sue says, "hi Elizabeth! so you are the chair.. right?"
Elizabeth says, "with a glass of white wine actually Kim"
Kim says, "Hello, Marvella, I'm so pleased you came!"
Marvella says, "Hi, Kim."
Elizabeth says, "Hi all, yes I will try to chair"
Sue says, "I have made a cake but was only able to make 6 slices before I ran out of quota!"
MazThing smiles.
Sue says, "so you will have to decide who gets them! and when do you want to cut it?"
Marvella says, "Chocolate ice box cake?"
Sue says, "no, type look cake"
Kim says, "And cookies!"
Leona says, "Lucky me, the cake is wheat-free!"
Elizabeth says, "Kim, have you got another cake coming? Shall we have the cake at ten past"
Sue says, "I am so glad, Leona!"
Kim says, "Fat-free, as well!"
Elizabeth says, "Bo-ring!"
Sue says, "fatfree? hardly - look at all that cream"
Kim says, "Colin has made a Post-Pre-Raphaelite cake - if he comes, he'll bring it"
Elizabeth [to Leona]: Hi L
Leona [to Elizabeth]: Hi, yourself
Marvella says, "Did you whip the cream yourself?"
Kim says, "Leona is a poet, and a bookbinder (and a computer programmer!"
Elizabeth [to Marvella]: That sounds rather rude
MazThing drops vege sausage rolls.
Sue says, "of course I whipped the cream myself!"
Marvella says, "Ha, ha!"
Leona says, "Not a programmer! A systems analyst and interface designer!"
Waleed arrives.
Elizabeth says, "Oh MazThing thank you"
Sue says, "great mazthing thanks!"
Julenisse Guest arrives.
Natman arrives.
Kim says, "Did I say Leona was a poet? easier to type!"
Marvella says, "It is a real party!"
Sue smiles.
Kim says, "Siddal's 170 today!"
Elizabeth [to Kim]: It's great to see all these people. Shall we make a start?
MazThing says, "You're welcome""
Saada fetches cake with 170 candles
Kim says, "We may have to wait for cake .."
MazThing says, "Sorry about just dropping them on the floor though'""
Kim says, "But thank you all for coming"
Marvella says, "Yes, wait until it multiplies."
Elizabeth says, "OK everyone; shall we formalise the proceedings just a little?"
Kim says, "I'm hoping we'll be joined by some artists, later in the hour"
Marvella says, "I'm an artist."
Kim says, "immediate gratification!"
Sue laughs.
Marvella says, "Yes!"
Waleed smiles at Kim.
Kim says, "Right, Elizabeth ..."
Elizabeth says, "I think there are lots of artists of various kinds here now."
Elizabeth says, "Shall we each say a brief word about ourselves? Kim, will you start?"
Leona taps her toes with impatience
Kim says, "I'm a poet and a playwright"
Kim says, "And a very slow typer!"
Kim says, "And my play about Lizzie Siddal has just closed at the finborough theatre in London -- today"
Elizabeth says, "I've been reminded to point out that we can all type our self-intros at once, not wait for each other."
MazThing laughs.
Sue smiles.
Marvella says, "How did you feel, Kim, was it a good experience?"
Kim says, "It was very moving"
Waleed says, "wow, startling"
Saada says, "I've been reading your play, Kim."
Kim says, "The play is all about birthdays"
Leona says, "I write poems and other fictions."
MazThing says, "Mazzy - short fiction writer, interested to learn more about Lizzie Siddal""
Elizabeth says, "I am a poet, on virtual attachment to trAce at present"
Julenisse_Guest says, "My name is Nubs and I'm a poet."
Marvella says, "I am a web-specific artist-writer known as Christy Sheffield Sanford, but in here in Moo, I am a mermaid from Martinique."
Saada says, "I'm a non-poet but I used to wear a uniform designed by William Morris when I was at school"
ASondheim says, "Alan Sondheim, writer, video, upcoming writer-in-residence for trace"
Lydia arrives.
Sue says, "Sue, Director of trAce and delighted to welcome Kim and the ghost of Lizzie to our meeting room. I am really looking forward to this."
Elizabeth [to Saada]: Wow!
Waleed says, "I'm a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas (where this Moo resides) where I was a Computer Science major, and I'm a veteran of multi-user virtual environments. (since 1992)."
Marvella says, "Hi, Alan."
ASondheim says, "Hi Marvella! Mermaid!"
wilma2 arrives from ComMOOnity
Waleed says, "my backspace key is also not working..."
Saada says, "Hi Alan. Long time no see"
Natman says, "I am best known as Natman (As it says). Not much of either poet or artist, but I do have a love for both, and am more of a student of Computer Science, and have been for some number of years."
Kim says, "Hi, wilma2"
Lydia says, "Hello""
Kim says, "Lydia! I'm so pleased!"
Elizabeth says, "Welcome to everybody. "
wilma2 says, "hi""
ASondheim says, "Hi Saada"
Kim says, "Lydia composed the Virtual Cake with Colin which included cookies last Christmas"
Iver arrives from Tower of Babble
Elizabeth says, "Lydia, may we view the cake now?"
Lydia says, "sorry I'm late...trouble getting the hang of the rooms""
wilma2 says, "Just figured this out""
Kim says, "Lydia, do you know the URL of your virtual cake?"
Sue congratulates everyone on making it this far!
Elizabeth says, "Well done especially to all first time guests"
Kim says, "Let's have another drink!"
Lydia says, "crikey--you can get there through my webpage, I suppose""
Elizabeth says, "We should be able to view the cake together..."
Kim says, "Where's Colin, though?"
Elizabeth says, "Type @ URL and the URL"
MazThing says, "Cheers""
wilma2 says, "well I want a virtual piece of cake," "
MazThing waves glass
Marvella says, "What attracted you to Lizzie Siddal, Kim?"
Elizabeth [to MazThing]: Behave!
Sue [to wilma2]: there are only 6 slices of cake - I ran out of building quota :(
wilma2 says, "It's wilma2 Wilma 1 didn't work out""
Waleed sips a virtual glass of champagne.
MazThing lowers self unsteadily to the floor to sit comfortably
Kim says, "I found that the way her work was passed off as her husband's work was very sad"
Natman virtually sips on real champagne.
Elizabeth says, "Kim to what extent is it possible to say that was the case?"
MazThing [to Kim]: "How did that come about?"
Marvella says, "Every piece was attributed to her husband?"
Kim says, "And it seemed to be typical of what happens to women "
wilma2 says, "there are many female scientists in same position, Wilma says""
Lydia says, "I understand Collette had the same problem""
Kim says, "the simple truth was his work sold for more money -- when she's more popular, they'll be passing his work off as hers"
Elizabeth [to ]: Wilma
Elizabeth [to wilma2]: perhaps it's even worse in science, given gender stereotypes
wilma2 says, "yes for awhile her husband Willie kept her a virtual prisoner and passed her work off as his own""
Saada says, "How did you find that out. Has it been common knowledge?"
Waleed says, "for reference, could someone tell me the year of Elizabeth Siddal's birth?"
PKim says, "Siddal's stillborn child, as well must have added to her despair - post-natal depression"
Leona Is it not possible that some of Lizzie's best work was her editing of D.G.'s poems?
MazThing tries unsuccessfully to imagine what that sort of betrayal would be like
Kim says, "Siddal was born in 1829"
ASondheim says, "What sort of editing was carried out?"
wilma2 says, "Yes, It has been known for some time, I am a very ancient reader of Collette's work and life""
Waleed [to Kim]: thanks
Sue says, "me too - I used to read Collette - not recently though"
Lizbeth arrives.
Kim says, "We don't know if the poems of Siddal's we have are first drafts or not -- or they may have been songs"
Sue says, "saw her grave in Pere lachaise cemetery in Paris"
Marvella says, "Was Siddal a contemporary of George Sand?"
Kim says, "1829-1862"
Marvella says, "And Margie Taglioni (prima ballerina) in Paris."
Marvella says, "Marie"
Sue [to Kim]: songs? I am always interested in trying to imagine peoples' voices - what kind of voice do you think she had? speaking voice?
MazThing says, "How much did she actually manage to get published in her own name?""
Kim says, "Sorry if I lag behind, I'm a very slow reader, as well"
Kim says, "I was hoping Jan Marsh would be here tonight - she's the proper expert on Siddal"
Leona says: "Didn't Ruskin promote her work?
Waleed [to Marvella]: George sand was born in 1804 and died in 1876
Kim says, "I don't think her poems were published in her lifetime"
Lizbeth says, ""Stephen Regan and Lizbeth Goodman here. . .Stephen must run so wants to hello to all, "hello all, Lizbeth here. Stephen too. Happy birthday to Lizzie!""
Kim says, "She certainly didn't give them titles - they were added by Rossetti"
MazThing says, "That is even sadder - how much is available today?""
Lydia says, "aha! found it!"
Kim says, "Hi, Lizbeth"
wilma2 says, "Wilma says, I looked everywhere through my literature books without finding any of her poems""
Lizbeth says, "hey there woman! Great production of Clever as Paint! A fantastic contribution to women"
Lydia says, "oops, sorry. was looking for the wretched virtualcake thing and slipped a key""
Kim says, "Lizbeth, could you tell us about 19 century women"
Lizbeth says, "Well, I can say that your play does a brilliant job of bringing one of those women to life!""
Iver leaves for Tower of Babble
Kim says, "What does being Pre-Raphaelite do to your back? "
Lydia says, "OK, if anyone wants to try the virtual cake, get page
Kim says, "Thanks, shall we go there in ten minutes?"
Lizbeth says, "I think give up: what DOES being pre-Raphaelite do to your back?""
Kim says, "Lizbeth can only stay a little while"
Natman shares a URL... <>.
Natman says, "oops"
Lydia says, "but I notice that the little wiggly thing that's supposed to come in front of the
l.rivlin is coming out as something else in this display...sorry""
Kim says, "You've been working on a book on Women's humour ..."
Saada shares a URL... <>.
Elizabeth shares a URL... <>.
wilma2 says, "You know this sort of thing happens in all fields. Mozart's sister was also ver gifted but Papa Mozart didn't help her and nobody else did either.""
Leona has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to remove Leona.
Natman says, "I'm also new to MOOs."
Sue has disconnected.
Saada has disconnected.
Kim says, "I think everyone's gone to look at a cake"
Kim says, "Lizbeth?"
Lizbeth says, "That's right. A book on cross-cultural Perspectives on women's humour. That's why I find your play so interesting. . such a complex mix of comedy and serious commentary. . ""
MazThing [to Kim]: "It seems that way. Most unusually I don't fancy cake right now"
ASondheim says, "I can't do that - I'm already using too many computer resources (on another discussion on the Web - I'm here through telnet)"
Elizabeth says, "If possible, could you put the URL again, preceded by @URL?"
Lydia says, "why is there so much moaning about the way women are continually ripped off by the men in their lives. we might as well moan that women also did all the washing up""
Marvella says, "this address doesn't work"
Kim says, "of course, rich women didn't"
Lizbeth says, ""Rich women didn't wash up? Or didn't moan?""
Kim says, "Wash up ... of course"
Unix Guest arrives.
Lizbeth says, "Ah, I'm with you. . . ""
Leona arrives.
Kim says, "hello, Leona"
Sue has connected.
Lydia says, "sorry, you have to find that little symbol that the Spanish put over the 'n' in manana. it comes out as a U on this page and so you're using the wrong symbol.""
MazThing [to Lydia]: "Maybe the difference is that no one remembers you after your dead for your washing up skills. But poetry is different..."
Elizabeth says, "Did anyone get the cake? I think the URL was out..."
You say, "for our American members - wash up = wash the dishes, not your body!"
Kim says, "Is humour different now than in the 19th century in women's writing, Lizbeth?"
Unix_Guest says, "They had removed the cake
"Elizabeth [to Lydia]: you can share the cake with us all at once if you type it preceded by @URL
Lydia says, "you're quite right. but women only got ripped off because they let men rip them off. either that, or they refused to read women's work, regarding it as 'inferior'. it's the women's fault, too.""
You share a URL... <>.
Elizabeth says, "Everyone Lizbeth is doing a book now about humour & gender"
Lizbeth says, "Here's what I'd like to ponder here. . "Kim-here's what I'd like to ponder. Yes, I'd say that most obviously there's a very immediate edge to comedy today, and a direct cross-cultural mix that may be complicated by differences in the use of phrases, but that still communicates quickly via tv, film, the internet, etc. So women's uses of comedy (like men's) are now much more culturally mixed.""
MazThing [to Lydia]: "If we were talking that kind of theft today then I'd say yes...women would be to blame too..."
MazThing says, "but surely power relationships socially were different then""
Kim says, "How?"
Natman says, "Which symbol? Is it an 'N' with a over it, or a 'U' with a / \ or ..?"
Lizbeth says, "At the same time, though, women's comic forms and styles tend to differ in some ways of course. On all levels. It's incredibly difficult (and rather pointless) to generalise. . but then in this format we have to write quickly. . . ""
MazThing says, "At last the cake!""
Sue says, "I love the cartoon Lydia!"
Kim says, "Is it possible to tell the maker of the joke's gender, just from the text?"
Sue says, "for those with encore xpress it should appear in your right hand window"
Lydia says, "[to Natman] it's the symbol that comes over the 'n'. keep the letter 'n' out of it.""
Elizabeth [to Lydia]: Thanks to you & Colin for the comic cake!
Natman says, "That was an N with a tilde"
Marvella says, "Yes, quite wonderful"
Natman nods.
Sue says, "use this URL"
Natman says, "I'll get this in a second."
Lydia says, "[to Sue] I just did the words. Colin did the pix.""
Lizbeth says, "What's unique about Kim's use of comedy in Clever as Paint is the way in which Lizzie's character communicates her serious points via a humorous format, and also via body language, and from an empowered silence in part 2. It's a rich mix.""
Kim says, "JUST the words ...JUST!"
MazThing has disconnected.
Lizbeth says, "Oops-I meant to write 'a rich mix'. . .""
Lydia says, "the seance scene is a real hoot""
wilma2 says, "It's very easy to blame women but they were and are operating in a patriarchal society where women and their work are demeaned, We live within the propaganda and that makes it difficult to sort out.""
Waleed says, "not all women writer's at that time met with negative review "
Waleed says, "Mrs. Bailey's plays were well received."
Elizabeth says, "Elizabeth Browning!"
Elizabeth says, "nee Barrett"
Marvella says, "By the way, here"
Marvella says, "Here is a URL for women writers in the 1800s"
Lizbeth says, ""Yes, it is. That seance scene shows a sense of humour underlying a real sense of frustration-it's very funny in performance!""
Lydia says, "men have often bullied women. but it takes a bully-ee to make a bully. doesn't it?""
Julenisse_Guest has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to remove Julenisse_Guest.
wilma2 says, "It's sad but I think true that if these women were not married to already famous writers we might not have seen their work at all.""
Kim says, "I started from the premise that very few wives - living or dead - would give their husbands the words to a love poem written to his mistress"
Elizabeth [to wilma2]: I though that was an interesting point; was Siddal writing before she met Rossetti?
Kim says, "Sylvia Plath is probably the 20th century equivalent"
Unix_Guest says, "and if they had been born working class we would not have seen their husbands"
wilma2 says, "I know I wouldn't, unless I wrapped it around his head""
Lizbeth says, "I think you're giths, Marvella, that we might not have encountered some women writers' works if not for the public awareness of their husbands, but thankfully that's not true for all. . .""
Lizbeth says, "Oops-this typing thing drives me mad. for 'giths' about, I meant to type 'right'""
Sue smiles at Lizbeth.
Elizabeth [to Lizbeth]: I think we could guess. You don't need to worry too much
Kim says, "giths sounds better"
Lizbeth says, "thanks-and sorry for dyslexic typing!""
Unix_Guest says, "the school/university even gambling connections helped"
Marvella says, "I worry about young women identifying with victims."
Kim says, "yes, so do I"
Kim says, "I don't want young women to think they have to kill themselves to be great poets"
Elizabeth [to Marvella]: Yes -- and there are many suicides to think about: Siddal, Plath, also Woolf (different kind of case)
Leona And young men, come to that - all that martyresque body piercing
The housekeeper arrives to cart MazThing off to bed.
Sue agrees with Kim - but in fact many young men think that too - maybe it is part of the romance of being a poet
Lydia says, "men kill themselves more frequently""
Natman says, "I'm sorry I can't stay longer, but my daughter is home from "Mimi" and "papa's house. We have a few errands to run."
Kim says, "Especially with biographical criticism - it's as if the suicide is more important than the work"
Elizabeth says, "Kurt Cobain of blessed memory e.g. ..."
Sue [to Natman]: thanks for coming!
ASondheim says, "Do you think it may be different in the Stets? Most of the younger brilliant poets I know here are women - and hardly suicidal..."
Kim says, "It's difficult for any poet to be recognised"
Natman hmms.
Marvella says, "Well we had our Anne Sexton, although she was quite happy many times."
Sue [to ASondheim]: it may well be that in the UK , art and survival don't go well together!
Natman blushes.
Lizbeth has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to remove Lizbeth.
Unix_Guest says, "Is it important for a poet to be recognised?"
Natman has disconnected
he housekeeper arrives to remove Natman.
Sue says, "sounds as if the conversation is turning towards the heroic poet once more :)"
Leona says I'm American, and the suicidal US women poets (and men) I know of were of the generation before mine.
Elizabeth [to Unix_Guest]: Good question...
Lydia says, "especially today, poetry isn't something people sit down and read. I doubt if they ever did in great quantities."
Kim says, "I don't know. It's a bit of a Berkeley's tree, isn't it - if you write, but you're not published, so only you know the poem exists"
wilma2 says, "Unfortunately, this leads to a kind of exhibitionism and self mutilating behaviour because we live in a world where people like to look with pity and disdain on those who are different.'"
Elizabeth says, "I think it is vital for a poet to communicate"
Unix_Guest says, "Communication and recognition - the same thing?"
Sue says, "do you know the poem by WH Davies about walking in the street and knowing he looks ordinary to everyone else but that as a poet he is wearing an invisible burning crown? I love that image"
Kim says, "In that Rossetti was a model husband - he kept all Lizzie's work, and insisted it be published"
ASondheim says, "Today poetry is something you might listen to, though, or go and see - there are so many readings, a lot are fairly well attended..."
Elizabeth says, "to feel they have communicated to someone; needn't be many"
Lydia [to Sue]: "I'm afraid I think that sounds more like paranoia than beauty.
Elizabeth says, "Shall we move on a little..."
Sue [to Lydia]: say more
Elizabeth [to Lydia]: Do continue if you like
Lizbeth arrives.
Lydia [to ASondheim]: "you're quite right. poetry is a performance art really and should be. but I could never come to grips with reading epic poems, however 'great' they were supposed to be.
Lizbeth says, "Hi again. Computer crash, I'm afraid. Macs aren't what they used to be, but I s"
Lizbeth says, "Kim and all: I'm not receiving your responses. System error or some such. . .SO"
Kim says, "Hi, Lizbeth"
Sue picks up Lizzie Siddal's Birthday Cake.
Elizabeth says, "Everyone -- Sue would like to present her cake"
Kim says, "A toast!"
Sue says, "I would like to hand out some pieces of cake"
Elizabeth says, "Form an orderly queue please"
Kim says, "To Lizzie - every one!"
Unix_Guest says, "Sue but everyone, not just poets walk down the street knowing they look ordinary but really have something special about them"
Lizbeth [to Kim]: on a great play! Love, Lizbeth"""Hey there! Crashed computers. . and virtual cake. Happy birthday to Lizzie, congrats to Kim, and happy trails to all!!!!!"
Sue says, "but I only have 6 pieces due to having very little quota left!"
Lydia says, "hic! cheers"
Lizbeth says, "night night. Love, Lizbeth""
Elizabeth says, "First time MOOers get first slice"
Waleed lines up behind Sue.
Leona says, "To Lizzie"
Elizabeth says, "To Lizzie"
Lizbeth has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to remove Lizbeth.
Kim says, "To Lizzie"
ASondheim says, "Happy birthday to Lizzie and everyone as well, I'm on a diet!"
Lydia says, "to Lizzie"
Waleed says, "to Lizzie"
Sue says, "to Lizzie!"
wilma2 says, " could I pleas have chocolate? and a large slice?""
Leona says, "I'll share with someone"
Elizabeth holds back from cake -- but hopes she gets a crumb from someone
Elizabeth [to Leona]: Me???
Unix_Guest says, "Happy birthday once again, Lizzie"
Kim says, "Leona! you're getting crumbs on the books!"
Sue says, "just a minute - technical hitch!"
Leona [to Elizabeth]: Sure!
Kim says, "technical hitch!"
Sue removes A delicious slice of Lizzie Siddal's Birthday Cake from Lizzie Siddal's Birthday Cake.
Elizabeth says, "Kim's getting drunk again -- this pre-Raphaelite behaviour!"
Sue removes A delicious slice of Lizzie Siddal's Birthday Cake from Lizzie Siddal's Birthday Cake.
Sue says, "who next?"
Elizabeth [to Sue]: Thank you Sue!!
Kim says, "Just one drink before the last poem is read, Elizabeth"
Sue removes A delicious slice of Lizzie Siddal's Birthday Cake from Lizzie Siddal's Birthday Cake.
Waleed 's tummy rumbles with delight.
Leona [to Kim]: Don't get precious about the physical manifestations of things of the spirit, Kim
Elizabeth [to Kim]: Ho ho!
Sue removes A delicious slice of Lizzie Siddal's Birthday Cake from Lizzie Siddal's Birthday Cake.
Waleed thanks Sue heartily.
Sue removes A delicious slice of Lizzie Siddal's Birthday Cake from Lizzie Siddal's Birthday Cake.
Elizabeth says, "Can I draw everyone's attention to the vege sausage rolls Mazthing has kindly brought?"
Leona Licks her lips, still dropping crumbs everywhere as she passes what left of her piece to Elizabeth
Elizabeth [to Leona]: Wow now I've got 2.
Marvella says, "Have you a poem to put up in the column at the right?"
Sue removes A delicious slice of Lizzie Siddal's Birthday Cake from Lizzie Siddal's Birthday Cake.
Waleed [to Marvella]: that's so considerate. I'm a vegetarian.
Sue says, "last piece - who shall I give it to?"
Kim says, "Sue, you're a wonderful cook!"
Elizabeth says, "Everyone, shall we call a little order, and consider the relevance of some of William Morris's ideas to us today?"
Sue bows gracefully.
Lydia says, "I like his wallpaper"
Elizabeth says, "Leona here is an ex-bookbinder, and has some thought s about the connections between crafts and computing!"
Kim says, "Leona, what sort of effect did William Morris have on the way we make books?"
Sue says, "Alan! all gone"
ASondheim says, "Thank you, Sue..."
Sue smiles at ASondheim.
Unix_Guest says, "his school uniform"
Lydia says, "I think Morris was fighting a last-ditch battle against soulless mass production. He lost""
Sue says, "you're all very welcome - pray do continue to talk once your mouths are empty"
Elizabeth [to Waleed]: perhaps you might have some thoughts on this in a moment
Sue says, "I have a theory about William Morris"
Kim says, "Would he like computers?"
Sue says, "a pet theory"
Sue says, "that webdesign is a morrisian thing"
Elizabeth says, "Sue, what is it?"
Marvella says, "Kim, did you include some of Lizzie s poems in your play?"
Sue says, "craft... skill... and sharing of ideas"
ASondheim says, "He definitely lost, but he still has a great influence on private / art / bookmakers "
Leona says Morris started a fashion for print that was beautiful visually but almost unreadable
Kim says, "Yes, I think the generosity of the internet would have appealed to him"
wilma2 says, ""Morris paid attention to the terrible poverty and mass degradation of his day, when people lived in the open Just like now. I admire him for that""
ASondheim says, "Sue, I think you're right - but don't forget he threw out the type after printing the Chaucer - he was a bit of an elitist as well - "
Sue [to ASondheim]: I didn't know that. what happened?
Elizabeth says, "Morris loved narrative"
Unix_Guest says, "No Morris is elaborate. Almost oriental Web design should be sparse and simple"
Kim says, "I don't find some of the print-faces Morris used beautiful at all"
Lydia says, "I don't see anything wrong with 'elitist'. I just see something wrong with romancing things out of existence."
Waleed [to Elizabeth]: I'm afraid I don't know much about Morris.
Kim says, "Books are about reading. If you can't read them, they become something else."
ASondheim says, "He apparently dumped the type in the Thames... and re:
Unix_Guest - Web design shouldn't be anything in particular, and with dhtml, it's becoming more complex by the way -"
Leona says, "Web design should be appropriate to the conceptual content of the particular site..."
ASondheim says, "by the day I mean"
Elizabeth says, "What about the similar conflicts between elitism (tech & fiscal) & democracy, in computing?"
Lydia [to Kim]: "I think that Penguin books did more for bookreading than Morris ever did.
Sue finds this discussion very interesting
Kim says, "And yet, his theory is right - that things should be useful AND beautiful"
Leona [to Lydia]: I agree
Sue [to Kim]: agreed
ASondheim says, "Lydia, did Morris _want_ to do anything for book _reading_ however?"
Elizabeth [to Waleed]: Do you think computers are basically democratising or basically elitist?
Unix_Guest says, "I agree with Kim"
Leona says, "At some level, usefulness is beautiful."
Lydia [to wilma2]: "Wilma--Morris' stuff was beautiful. But it couldn't be sustained for mass consumption. In that respect, Arts and Crafts and later on the Utility of the late forties was really good design.
Lydia says, "and I do wish people wouldn't use the word 'elitist' as if it were some terrible sin. Morris wasn't wrong to aim for just The Few. There has to be a place for that, as well."
Waleed [to Elizabeth]: there are aspects of both. Universities have typically been very open with their computer facilities and maintain some of the most technically advanced equipment.
wilma2 says, "Actually Art Noveau, some aspects could be mass produced - posters, wallpaper, metal objects even jewellery as well as fabric designs""
Waleed [to Elizabeth]: but Universities could be considered elitist
Marvella says, "@"
ASondheim says, "I think in the long run computers are deeply democratising ... they're becoming more and more prevalent, even small towns have cybercafes with T1 lines now"
Lydia [to wilma2]: "yes, but Art Nouveau wasn't what Morris was about--although he used the Art Nouveau vernacular to express his design.
Leona [to Waleed]: But whole countries and peoples don't have access in any meaningful way
Waleed [to Elizabeth]: in the US, the trend is toward very inexpensive computers and inexpensive access to the Internet.
Waleed [to Elizabeth,]: but it is not necessarily so in other parts
Kim says, "Yes, but in the UK, because local phone calls cost money ..."
Marvella says, "@URL"
Elizabeth [to Waleed]: Yes we are still longing for cheap/free online in U.K. for instance
ASondheim [to Leona]: but they are coming more and more online - the situation has changed RADICALLY in the past few years...
wilma2 says, " true but he was a pioneer, I think in a movement that tried to put beauty back into ordinary objects'"
ASondheim says, "There are sites that track this..."
Leona says, "There are still small towns in the US where there is no point of presence, so you pay extra, say $20 a month"
Unix_Guest says, "I managed to get on tonight with I hope it is free"
Waleed [to Leona]: that maybe, but the US government subsidised projects to bring internet access to small towns.
Unix_Guest says, "I managed to get on tonight with I hope it is free"
wilma2 says, "I love the internet. so far it is quite democratic and still relatively unfettered. communicating with the world is wonderful. I got the greatest site for a discussion of Romanian literature, for example where they are basically dismissing the post-modernism as meaningless to them.""
ASondheim [to Waleed]: but there are places here where it's not being done that way, but through enterprise - in Canada, it's a different story (I'm in Pennsylvania at the moment)
Leona [to wilma2]: Good for them!
Lydia says, "Well, g'bye everyone. I have to go now. It's been great talking to you--the internet really /is/ wonderful."
Elizabeth says, "Thanks v much for coming Lydia"
Sue [to Lydia]: thanks for coming!
Lydia says, "thanks for having me!"
Sue says, "I do hope everyone will come back next week for Christy's farewell party"
Marvella waves to Lydia
Waleed [to wilma2]: one unfortunate repercussion I've recently notices d it that local computer networks are less used and less prolific. I n the us it was once, or rather I should say, Once, local bulletin board services served the role played now by the internet.
Kim says, "Thank you for the cake, Lydia!"
Leona says, "Bye, Lydia"
Waleed waves at Lydia.
Elizabeth says, "If there had been more outward communication in the 19th cent, artists like Siddal, stuck in their domestic predicament, would have been freer and more possibly fulfilled?"
ASondheim says, "And probably involved in cyber-relationships, which is what the other chat is about..."
Waleed chuckles.
Elizabeth [to ASondheim]: Ah now you're talking...
Elizabeth says, "Aha"
Unix_Guest says, "No their husbands would have blocked the communications. You must not deny physical strength"
Elizabeth [to Unix_Guest]: Fair point
Sue says, "yes, Alan is multitasking! want to tell them where else you are Alan?"
Elizabeth says, "But Siddal could have got online while Rossetti was out with Fanny"
ASondheim [to Elizabeth]: and beyond this, there are all sorts of empowerment/support groups - but I've never heard of one partner, anywhere today, blocking another - the Net is very different...
Waleed [to Unix_Guest]: what if there were a kind of underground salon with internet connected machines.?
ASondheim says, "I'm in a discussion about online relationships which is drawing (I think) to a close - with John Suler, Cleo Odzer, Robin Hamman..."
Entropio arrives from entropio's attic.
Leona says, "Without your own room, your own money, not much changes"
Marvella says, "Does anyone know how to change the image in the right hand column to another address?"
Kim says, "I don't think Siddal would have been keen on chat-rooms -- e-mail is more intimate"
Sue says, "hi entropio bernard!!!"
Elizabeth says, "This is interesting Alan -- is it documented (your discussion?"
entropio says, "hi, sorry I'm late (fashionably???)"
Sue [to Kim]: do you think she would have liked mooing?
ASondheim [to Kim]: but chat-rooms between two like talk or ICQ can be very intimate...
Sue [to bernard]: sorry - cakes all gone
Sue drops Lizzie Siddal's Birthday Cake.
Kim says, "She wasn't very sociable ..."
Sue [to Kim]: but she could have made things in a moo
Kim says, "Partly because she was so ill most of the time ..."
entropio [to Sue]: late cos eating, I'm afraid
Kim says, "And addicted to laudanum"
Sue [to entropio]: eating? you could have eaten here!
Unix_Guest says, "remember women had not the financial freedom, Would not have been able to pay for the use of the underground salon. You don't hear of famous women gamblers in the 19 century"
Elizabeth says, "The drugs in your play are very modern, Kim"
Waleed says, "when you use the worked "democratising", do you mean a kind of peer review or collaboration?"
Kim says, "I think she would have liked the internet capacity for graphic design ..."
Marvella says, "Was laudanum for pain?"
Unix_Guest says, "Were there such things as joint bank accounts then?"
Elizabeth [to Unix_Guest]: A woman's property belonged to her husband till -- can anyone tell me when?
Elizabeth says, "into the 20th cent I think?"
Unix_Guest says, "Precisely. That plus the physical strength. "
Waleed [to Unix_Guest]: there were still some venues which were controlled by women.
Leona says, "no, but UK tax authorities only communicated with husbands about wives income until just a few years ago"
Waleed [to Unix_Guest]: what of the salon's of France in the 18th siecle hosted by wealthy women.
Elizabeth says, "Some people will have to leave soon. Kim, would you like to draw formal proceedings to a close, & those can carry on if we are able to stay?"
Elizabeth says, "(sorry --- drunk on champers now -- & laudanum)"
Kim says, "Yes, I'd like to read one of Lizzie's poems"
Unix_Guest says, "They had to get to those venues. Spare time was not a luxury enjoyed by most women"
wilma2 says, "technically, her dowry was supposed to be hers forever. In practice it was often used as part of the family estate even before her death. Property went from father to son, as well sometimes leaving the wife in dire straits. Of course in the working class, there was no such thing and a woman could be independent with a little luck but most were desperately poor and had no claim on their husband's money""
Waleed nods at Unix_Guest.
Unix_Guest says, "motherhood was not a choice"
Kim says, "ope not thy lips, thou foolish one"
Kim says, "Nor turn to me thy face;"
Lydia has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to remove Lydia.
Elizabeth listens with a suitable expression...
Kim says, "The blasts of heaven shall strike thee down"
Kim says, "'Ere I will give you grace."
Kim says, "Take thou thy shadow from my path"
Kim says, "Nor turn to me and pray"
Kim says, "The wild wild winds thy dirge shall sing"
Kim says, "'Ere I will bid thee stay."
Kim says, "Turn thou away thy false dark eyes"
Kim says, "Nor gaze upon my face"
Kim says, "Great love I bore thee, now great hate"
Kim says, "All changes pass me like a dream"
Kim says, ""I neither sing nor pray"
Kim says, "And though art like the poisonous tree"
Kim says, "That stole my life away."
Unix_Guest claps
Kim says, "ROSSETTI: Mmmm. It's lovely. I don't think 'ope' works entirely"
Sue says, "hmm"
Elizabeth claps
Unix_Guest laughs
Sue says, "and she wrote this to him?"
Kim says, "ROSSETTI: And I don't like 'Great love I bore thee ... never invite the reader to be bored with anything."
Leona Nods
Elizabeth chuckles
Waleed laughs.
Sue laughs at Kim.
entropio whoo-hoos
wilma2 says, "!""
Elizabeth says, "the cruelty is one of the good things in Kim's play -- no punches pulled. Just like life..."
Marvella says, "Why did she start taking laudanum, was it for an illness?"
Leona says, "Yes, very true to life"
Kim says, "Well, I have to go to bed, now ... too much wine and cake. Thanks for helping to make Lizzie's birthday a day people continue to remember."
Waleed [to Unix_Guest]: I understand. It was not democratising.
Elizabeth [to Marvella]: I always assume it was basically recreational
Sue says, "thank you Kim for coming!"
Sue [to Kim]: we hope we will see you again
Waleed [to Kim]: goodnight :)
Kim says, "It was great fun!"
wilma2 says, "I find the whole play very strong and moving""
ASondheim says, "I have to go as well, I'm closing down here, and thank you for everything..."
Leona [to Kim]: Goodnight, Kim!
entropio says, "Goodnight. Thanks for the reading. I love "Kim says" as a linebreak"
ASondheim says, "Yes, we'll be there!"

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