Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: The Glassblower

So this is something I started a while back. Sometimes you want more Austen books after you have read all her books. There are variations on her stories, but sometimes you don’t want to read the same story. You want Austen-like works, but what to read or watch?

That’s why I started this series. I will review books that have the things we love about the Austen novels, but in something fresher than a retelling.

The Glassblower (Glassblower Saga #1) by Petra Durst-Benning

The story is set in Lauscha, Germany-glassmaking capital of the world.

Joost Steinmann’s family has been the glassmaking business for years. When his wife passed he took it on himself to raise his three daughters: Johanna, Ruth, and Marie.

One day is a day like any other, but when the girls go to try and wake him for work-he’s dead.

After they bury their father and have a wake, they find themselves unsure what to do next. How will they survive in the turn of the century as three women? Especially, in a glassmaking village in a culture where women do not make glass.

So a family of three sisters who’s father dies and they find themselves at a crossroads and not quite sure what to do-especially as they have no money. So when I read that it instantly made me think of:

The eldest daughter, Johanna, is logical, sensible, business-orientated, and good at figures. As the eldest she budgets, shops, goes to the town nearby and bargains with wholesalers and shopkeepers. Her response to their dad’s death, other than heartbreak, is to immediately look for work-reading that made me think of:

Elinor Dashwood

Unlike Elinor, Johanna is stubborn, determined, and a bit hot-headed. She starts in the Heimer foundry-but after criticizing the way the glassblowing shop is run, she loses her job. She leaves to the city working for Strobel, the wholesaler and shopkeeper. She learns a lot from him, and grows from country girl to shop assistant. She does well, but her employer is an odd man with dark passions and plans for his protege.

The second daughter Ruth, has aways longed to be in choir, or out on the town, or be with boys-but her father kept them away. She is a romantic, dreaming of a Prince to sweep her off her feet.This made me think of:

Marianne Dashwood

Ruth decides to go husband hunting, looking for a rich man to take care of her. While working at the Heimer glassblowing business, she sets her sights on the unwedded son, Thomas Heimer. Thomas is not interested in getting married, but Ruth won’t settle for anything less-she tries to play the game to get what she wants, will she win? Or lose?

The youngest girl, Marie, is a dreamer who loves to read, draw, and paint. She also is interested in a “male” oriented profession, glassblowing. This made me think of:

Margaret Dashwood

Marie loves working in the Heimer factory as she loves to paint and design the glass. With both her sisters essentially moved out, Marie begins to fool around in her father’s workshop. After some instruction from their next-door neighbor, and very close family friend, she begins creating beautiful Christmas ornaments. But will her secret stay secret and she’ll be able to continue creating, or will it be discovered that a woman is glassblowing and she’ll be shunned from her community?

Hmm…I don’t know!

So you can already see why it is a Non-Austen Read for Austen Readers as the setup has similarities to Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. however, this is not a copy of that book.

I found this incredibly well-written as it captures your attention. The characters felt very real and it was a great story, one I didn’t want to put down.

It dealt with the reality of women living in a time where they were vulnerable without men and without many options.

I liked how the story was about the three sisters trying to work together, but that they also didn’t always gets along-very real. I hate when they have these absolutely perfect families. Johanna worries about everyone, but at the same time can boss them about and not listen to what they are saying. Ruth can become self-absorbed, but she is there if they need them. Marie likes solitary and quiet, but at the same time will put herself through anything for her sisters.

The book deals with serious issues, like rape, spousal abuse, child abuse, etc.

Wow!

It also shows the culture and history of the beautiful glassblowing region.

This is actually the Christmas Tree Topper my family has.

I would strongly recommend checking it out!

For more non-Austen reads for Austen readers, Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: Suitors and Sabotage

For more stories on sisters, go to The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

For more on Sense & Sensibility, go to Austen Avengers Assemble!

Advertisements

The Arrest

durer_betrayal_smllpssn_grt

So the next artwork we are going to look at is The Betrayal of Jesus by Albrecht Dürer, a woodcut.

Now Dürer was a painter from Germany, his work becoming a part of the German Renaissance. He also did a series of woodcuts, a media made popular after the Gutenberg Press was invented as it was easy and cheap to make.

This woodcut was a part of a series Dürer did, called the Little Passion. This was before he became a part of Martin Luther’s protestant movement; and changed to doing Reformation art.

durer_betrayal_smllpssn_grt

So as we look upon Dürer’s work we see a lot of similarities to the Giotto and Duccio pieces I have reviewed in the past. We are given a window onto a world, with the background being about Christs’s arrest and the foreground on Peter’s attack.

But there are a few differences. If you look at the action in the background you see how intense the capture of Christ was. We have men with ropes, spears, and axes; reaching to pull Judas out of the way and capture Jesus. If you look clodsely at the interaction between Jesus, Judas, and the guard; you’ll notice that Caravaggio copied it for his own work almost 100 years later.

We also see a very intense scene with Peter. While most art depicts him cutting the ear off of a guard trying to attack Jesus, this one is more extreme. Not only is Peter about to slice of the man’s appendage, but he has knocked him to the ground, tossed the lantern in his face, and has completely overpowered him.

If you look at Jesus’ face, we can also see that his expression is not one of anger or sadness, but acceptance. He knows what is in store for him, willingly going ahead with the plan.

I choose this painting for the intensity along with the way it brings the text to life. I think this is a powerful woodcut, especially in its depiction of Peter.

“Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: ‘The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.’ Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him.”–Mark 14:43-46

“Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear…Jesus commanded Peter, ‘Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”– John 18: 10-11

“And he [Jesus] touched the man’s ear and healed him.” Luke 22: 51

“Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?’ In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, ‘Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.”–Matthew 26: 52-56

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more paintings on the arrest of Christ, go to The Taking of Christ

For more paintings of Christ, go to What If God Was One of Us?

In Their Proper Place: Metropolis (1927)

Metropolis

It was their hands that built this city of ours, Father. But where do the hands belong in your scheme?

In their proper place, the depths.”

So back in July I did a post on trying to start a revolution and I mentioned this film. Now this film is not mainly a horror film but a mix of a Dystopian Drama, Sci-fi and Horror, a Dystfiror. This film also reminds me A LOT of Atlas Shruggedso I chose this poster instead of the other one that has the robot on it. Robot, you may ask? But that’s getting ahead of ourselves.

So this film takes place in a future far away [2026]. In this land the people have been split into two groups, the workers and the rulers. High above is the city Metropolis with its pleasure garden, as the wealthy lounge about doing nothing and anything they want. Below the city lies the workers, who are constantly going to support the city and all of the upper-dwellers’ desires.

humandepravity

Sounds familiar? That’s because stupid Matt Damon ripped it off for his Elysium film. Go here to read why I don’t like Matt Damon (hint: you have to scroll down to #5).

Anyways, the ruler of Metropolis is Jon Frederson, who’s only compassion and love is aimed at his son, the rest of the world and people be d*****. His son Freder…Now I know what you’re thinking because I thought of it too. Really, Freder Frederson? Really now? That’s you’re name?

Harry Potter Funny name

Why yes, yes I do think so.

3qnlqc

Well I don’t care.

So there! tongue sticking out pug

So anyways I’m like that’s really all you can come up with? With all the names there are that is the only one you can think of? Freder Frederson?

No imagination

Spongebob would be disappointed in you.

spongebob-imagination-o

When I watched it I renamed him Alan, as Alan Frederson was way better than Freder Frederson.

I like it!

I like it!

Anyways, I digress so Freder is chillin’ in the pleasure garden (everytime I hear pleasure garden I think of Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights), just enjoying being rich and worry-free.

metropolis07

They got lots of pleasures, alright.

Maria brings some children to see the Garden, and Freder sees her and falls for her, completely taken with her.

Maria, leader of the Rebellion

Maria, leader of the Rebellion

He then follows her down to the workers’ realm.

stalker

Freder journeys down into the machine rooms and sees it explode, injuring and killing the workers.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

He runs to report to his father:

Sorry had to do it

Sorry had to do it

Frederson is upset at having gotten the news from Freder instead of his foreman. (Everytime I read that sentence all I can thik of Señor Senior Sr and Señor Senior Jr. from Kim Possible). Sorry! I’m moving on, I swear! So the assistant Josaphat is fired for his failure. Jo knows that now that he no longer holds such a high position, he will be sent to the worker’s underground and forced to be in the factories, getting the same harm inflicted on him that he did to others. He decides to kill himself, but is stopped by Freder. Frederson is confused by the way his son is starting to act and sends his henchman the Thin Man.

On a side note, evil, businessman and father Frederson, has some secret plans in the mix. They were found on the dead factory workers’ bodies, which angered him extremely, as he doesn’t want it revealed yet.

Upon Freder’s return, he finds a worker and takes his place as the worker is too old and sick to continue. They trade clothes, in which the worker, Georgy, is supposed to come back later for them. However, Georgy enjoys his taste of the high life and spends the night at a club, forgetting all about Freder. (You might recognize pieces of this film as parts were used in Queen‘s Music Video for “Radio Ga Ga“.)

Metropolis city

Freder on the other hand finds a map in his pocket and hears about a secret meeting. (There is also this weird scene where he hallucinates from exhaustion, but let’s skip it).

Meanwhile up above evil dad Frederson has discovered copies of the map and decides he will do something about this little insurrection. He goes to see his minion, Rotwang, in order to figure out what to do about it. [Check out the name Rotwang. It just screams evil!]

Rotwang is an inventor and he had been in love with Frederson’s wife, who died in childbirth. Rotwang has been unable to let go of her memory and created his own version of the perfect woman Maschinenmensch

metropolis-5

Its a pretty freaky scene, and totally creeps Frederson out.

Gilmore girls creep

Understandable, as it would freak me out too. It did. It still does.

Rotwang deciphers the map, and sees that it shows a system of catacombs that lie beneath Metropolis. They go down to investigate what’s going on.

Downstairs, there is a large gathering of the workers. Freder is there too, trying to find out what’s up. Maria is at the head of the group as she is the leader. She tries to rally the people to arms and to fight against their oppressors. She tells them that they must be patient until they can find a mediator between the two worlds.

Freder believes that he is the one to fill that role. He also realizes that he is in love with Maria and declares his love for her. She returns it.

The two make plans to meet up the next day, but unbeknowest to them they are being watched by Freder’s father and lackey. Freder’s father asks Rotwang to make the robot look like Maria so they can turn all the workers against her. Rotwang agrees, but has a secret agenda. He plans on killing Freder for causing the death of his mother.

you're evil

Like what a jerk! He couldn’t do anything, he was just a baby. And Rotwang is a MAJOR creepo!!!

Certified Creepo Ribbon

So Rotwang follows Maria and kidnaps her, hiding her away to complete his evil plan.

Georgy gets caught and sent back down to the worker’s area. They think that Freder’s friend Josaphat is involved, as that is where Georgy was supposed to spend the night, and Josaphat has to flee to the worker’s city. Freder goes to meet with Georgy, but can’t find him. He goes over to the Cathedral where the two were supposed to meet but can’t find Maria.He does overhear monks talking about the apocalypse, and the Whore of Babylon wrecking havoc through the world. He begs them not to harm Maria and goes searching for her.

Meanwhile Maria is trapped while the mad scientist Rotwang completes his robot’s likeness.

Victor Moritz: You're crazy!  Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We'll see whether I'm crazy or not.

I’m sure you all knew I was going to make this connection.

Rotwang complete his robot and sends it off to Father Frederson. This version of Maria is wanton and lustful. Freder goes to see his father and finds the two in an embrace.

I mean seriously, what were you thinking?

I mean seriously, what were you thinking?

Freder freaks out and drops into a delirious state of mind.

metropolis

 

Poor guy!

right in the feels broken heart

False Maria begins to unleash chaos throughout the land as she causes men to murder and fight each other.

Freder recovers and finds his friend Josaphat. Meanwhile, Maria manages to escape their grasp. Freder and Josaphat try to stop the false Maria from urging the workers to destroy the city, but everyone tries to attack him as they recognize him as Frederson’s son. He is luckily saved by Josaphat. Upstairs, Frederson wants the workers to fight, allowing him to use his army against them.

The workers are extremely riled up and rush to the machine rooms destroying the Heart Machine that powers the city.

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

Poster - Metropolis_13

The system’s below start to fail and the worker’s area began to flood. But the workers have forgotten one thing. They left their children behind!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Maria has managed to escape and runs downstairs to help save the children. [Side Note: Unemployment and inflation were so bad in Germany at the time that the producers had no trouble finding 500 malnourished children to film these flooding sequences.] Maria and Josaphat work together to get them out okay. In the machine room, Grot begins to yell at the workers. He reprimends them for letting their emotions get the best of them and killing their children. The parents freak out and march after the false Maria.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

They take False Maria and burn her at the stake. Freder is heartbroken, thinking he lost her.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

But then when she burns away, she is revealed to be the robot.

Rotwang chases the real Maria to the roof pursued by Freder. Fredersen and the workers watch from the ground. Rotwang falls to his death and Freder is able to unite the two. He [heart] ends by linking the hands of Fredersen (head) and Grot (hands) to bring them together.

Metropolis

This movie was actually supposed to be against facism and Hitler, but unfortunately Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebbels really liked this film. Fritz Lang, the director, was Jewish, but Hitler told him that in spite of his background they would make him a honorary Aryan. Lang left Germany immediately after that night.  

1927_Metropolis

halloween banner

To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

To go to the previous post, go to It’s Coming From Inside the House

halloween banner

For more on Metropolis (1927), go to Viva La Révolution

For more on dystopian futures, go to Na-Na-Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)

For more on mad scientists, go to A Halloween Hello From the Austen Men

For more on creating a monster, go to I Want Friend Like Me

For more on Harry Potter, go to Fashionably Postworthy

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Horrorfest III: The Revenge