It is currently Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:25 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:33 am 
Offline
Formerly WheelInventor

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:55 am
Posts: 1783
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
I didn't want to bloat the other thread anymore, but we touched an old favourite topic, so here it goes.

bregalad wrote:
I can hold a simple conversation in German without much problem but I don't understand much of the intro, only a couple of words.


Swedish and german are close enough (or at least were at one point) that dictated german like in that example from Rondo of Blood, or the baryton voice in Der Doppelgänger just comes off as something that could almost be educated 19th century swedish vocabulary in literature and letters read aloud with weird pronounciation and a somewhat, um, poetic bending of grammar rules. Spoken modern everyday german on the other hand is impossible for me to follow. I guess that's a symptom of parting ways in cultural exchange, or maybe just a big difference between formal and informal german.

Example from those translations again:
ger: "ist auserstandet"
swe: "är återstånden" (you basically only see this phrase in the bible these days).
eng: "has risen again" (same value, but very different words).

"Niemand bemerkte den Schatten, der sich langsam über ihnen ausbreitete"

niemand = "ingen man" but "man" is just implied today. bemerkte = bemärkte. also archaic. today we just say "märkte". schatten = skuggan. same word. sich = sig. langsam = långsam(t). über = över. ausbreitete = utbredde.

Quote:
I feel like you're confusing the 1980s "gothic" fashion/subculture (linked with horror and everything) with the actual, gothic art style from the middle-adges

I don't think so. As a former teenage goth, i naturally spent a lot of time at the library figuring out where the name came from and how it has changed meaning through time Beginning with various more or less germanic tribes picking up the "goth" exonym as a fashion word for themselves. Since the time of the goths also was the time of collapse of the roman empire, all things gothic also came to mean "collapse into barbarism" or simply "decay". Remembering the sacking of Rome (by alleged goths), which former empire in the light of nostalgia represented a golden age for medieval thinkers, gothic became a pejorative term at this point. The new art styles emerging were first seen as degerate; hence they were called gothic architecture and art. The architecture got more extreme in its expression, and much later on it became more about romanticizing a medieval time that never really were. This is picked up by gothic romance literature starting in the 18th century with "castle of otranto - a gothic novel" which gave the subgenre of romance literature its name, also borrowing it over to more horror-oriented spins.

I'm basically trying to point out that gothic romance and gothic horror literature (and subsequently movies, fashion and music inspired by it, and in turn the usage of german as a horror prop) persistently borrows from themes of antiquity, decay and disuse, such as the theme in bram stokers' dracula. A nobleman (a social elite in decay) from long ago (medieval times) unliving in a disused remote castle (gothic architecture), coming to haunt (then) modern London and pose a symbolic threat to civilization by his socially unacceptable behaviour (not unlike the goths who sacked rome). These 18th and 19th century novels typically used heavily romanticised medieval or otherwise gloomy stage props for its story, with depictions of such buildings. Cinema naturally picked up, and goth rockers naturally picked up cinema. There's no clear separation. Only a continous flow of semantic shifts over time.

Reappropriating the gothic font is just another logical step, since it also has become antiquated. Note that the font was never used for movie posters when nosferatu the movie was new, and not in the film itself either. The intertitles has since been restored, so we can watch the more-or-less original intertitle cards from a patchwork of copies from the 20:s and 30:s. They are much rounder, more cinemaesque, and very 20:s. Even the opening scene with the hand-written book has a softer script than the gothic-inspired font we were lead to believe was there from the english edits i grew up with. So that's definitely a superposition on re-releases from later decades, which kind of aligns well with gothic horror just being an ahistorical, romantic collage of things that feel decaying and antique.

I think using the german language as a gothic horror prop in itself follows, and is not unique to Rondo of Blood. Example from the same decade, but most likely completely unrelated: Norwegian gothic metal band theatre of tragedy who in the 90:s either sung in antiquated old english, latin or -you guessed it - german. It's no wonder. A lot of gothic romance expressions in art, literature and music came either from england or germany (such as the schubert piece der doppelgänger i linked to earlier). The german tradition of gothic novels were often more horror oriented and described more violence than the english tradition. Besides, the english language can't very well be used to the same effect since it has become the dominant world language - nothing exotic about it. But i think the german language will have to put up with being linked to horror and romance. At least when it is spoken in a high-strung style as if recited from some old dusty book. ;)

_________________
http://www.frankengraphics.com - personal NES blog


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:35 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:59 pm
Posts: 1708
FrankenGraphics wrote:
ger: "ist auserstandet"

What is that supposed to mean? Do you mean "ist auferstanden"?

_________________
Available now: My game "City Trouble".
Website: https://megacatstudios.com/products/city-trouble
Trailer: https://youtu.be/IYXpP59qSxA
Gameplay: https://youtu.be/Eee0yurkIW4
German Retro Gamer article: http://i67.tinypic.com/345o108.jpg


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:26 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:49 pm
Posts: 7548
Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland
FrankenGraphics wrote:
eng: "has risen again" (same value, but very different words).

You could say "is standing again" and the same word would be used.

As for your history of "gothic"-ism well I know squat about that, but I guess the word has no real meaning, other than random people being inspired by something already called "gothic" and creating another thing, they self-procclaim is "gothic", and that in a long chain from middle-adges up to today. Basically it's one (of the many) placebo word for making something cool or interesting, just add "gothic" to it.

BTW when nosferatu came out, German was commonly written with gothic font. This was the normal way of writting German down back then. Writing using "western" latin letters, as it is done today, was probably new and cool in the contemporary view.

Also I strongly disagree German is an "exotic" language. In japan it definitely is, but in Europe.... It's extremely widespread and not much more exotic than English.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:58 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:29 am
Posts: 773
Location: Denmark (PAL)
Bregalad wrote:
As for your history of "gothic"-ism well I know squat about that, but I guess the word has no real meaning, other than random people being inspired by something already called "gothic" and creating another thing, they self-procclaim is "gothic", and that in a long chain from middle-adges up to today. Basically it's one (of the many) placebo word for making something cool or interesting, just add "gothic" to it.


Pretty much. I wouldn't ever try to apply any meaning to the word itself, only the way it's been derived by different works and cultures. Of course it's a really cool architectural style as well, but the takeaway in relation to Castlevania is obviously the genre of "gothic horror", of which the original Dracula novel is a cornerstone, along with stuff like Edgar Allan Poe, etc.
Goth music or subculture, which is what I assume Franken referred to as part of his "history", is very loosely based on that, with acts like Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Alien Sex Fiend making use of the horror theme, either as a way to set a mood, or just as a fun gimmick (contrary to popular belief, goths love to have fun).
But once again that's only the explanation for the name, as it's evolved into entirely its own thing, just like everything else. :) It's also kind of funny how Castlevania started out as a homage to classic monster movies and moved into the more "elegant" territory, with pretty-boy vampires, etc.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:21 am 
Offline
Formerly WheelInventor

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:55 am
Posts: 1783
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Dang it, a pretty well worked-on reply was just removed from a logout. Ok, retyping it quickly.

I'd definitely argue that the word has a lot of meaning, just that it changes a bit from context to context.

-Romans summarily called a bunch of distinct tribes to the north goths. Maybe one of theme where the origin of the word (there's no bullet-proof historical evidence). Some of them where given the task to control the region for the romans, which eventually backfired on Rome once the empire started to really crumble, culminating in the sacking of Rome in 410.
-Even long before the sacking, various tribes began to use the previous exonym "goth" to describe themselves, because, we can only guess, but it probably meant stealing a favorable reputation, basically saying "we're mighty".

-Medieval thinkers/historians and onwards tend to romanticize the classical age. Because the goths who sacked rome became a very convenient symbol to the end of the classical age (even if the roman empire was doomed long before that), gothic became strong pejorative term. It basically meant "barbaric", "without culture", "tasteless", "low".

-art critics that didn't like the new wave of architecture and arts described it as "gothic". Basically "this is degenerate".

-the architecture especially became self-referring, as the style spanned a very long period. But after some time, this once-new style seems very antiquated. The late renaissance and the modernity once more looks to the classical ideal and the gothic arts are thoroughly out of style.

-When the novel "castle ortranto - a gothic story" came out in 1764, it was the first time it was used for self promotion since various tribes started to call themselves goths. But the tagline specifically referred to the backdrop of old, gothic buildings as a symbol for godlessness, decay, degeneracy, and antiquity (the dark ages in particular, but antiquity is an ever-expanding concept).

-readers and critics of romance, noir, horror, schauer, räuber and ritter novels began to identify this common streak in temporary literature as gothic. This has also became self-referring, so the meaning may in part be lost on readers today unless they know exactly what gothic is meant to imply by the contemporaries of these authors. There was a similar tradition of suspenseful litterature with supernatural overtones in russia, but it wasn't classified as such until much later.

-with silent long-feature films, we saw a short-lived european wave of cinema in this style: the phantom carriage (1921) nosferatu (1922), the witch (1922), faust (1926). They're mostly tied together by dealing with the supernatural, and from a dark angle - two traits you'll see throughout all gothic fiction. There was an american short-feature forerunner: the first frankenstein 15-minute feature in 1910. The universal pictures "monster movies" adapted some of the visuals, especially in the first few ones, but largely ditched much of the serious undertones so it could be more easily digestible. The sequels are basically trope-driven pastiche fests (that's not to say they're not entertaining), which allows for a much more tounge in cheek approach than the european wave did.

-punk, then post punk, hits england. Music journalists especially does their best/worst to apply the term goth to whatever artists that seem to share a certain set of gloomy or spooky traits in music, style or lyrics or just frequent the same club (the batcave), even though it seems most of these artists did prefer to not be labeled as such. Some openly denied the categorization by journalists and fans.

-but it doesn't end there. In the 80/90s shift, a few metal bands from england from the crack between doom and death metal scenes brand themselves as gothic, marked with paradise losts' 1991 album gothic. This is another time out of quite few, when someone actively has taken the term gothic to describe something they do themselves. Gothic metal quickly spins away in more pop smart directions. Suddenly every band in the genre copies the "beauty and the beast" pastiche of having a soprano and a growler duet, and synthesizers are brought in to to make the sound more "symphonic" (also a nod to the theme of antiquity). The short-lived phenomenon more or less dies off over the course of a decade.
-suddenly you have two youth superficially like but still quite distinct subcultures both calling themselves goths. they've sort of intermingled occassionally.

Through and through, the value of the word "gothic" has remained... not intact, but at least there's still easily recognizeable traces from the middle ages. Some values has just been added to the mix (Like that of antiquity) and some have been forgotten (like being a marker for ethnicity). But the string is never really cut. it all links up somewhere along history.

sumez wrote:
But once again that's only the explanation for the name, as it's evolved into entirely its own thing, just like everything else. :) It's also kind of funny how Castlevania started out as a homage to classic monster movies and moved into the more "elegant" territory, with pretty-boy vampires, etc.


This is where i think all of the above makes a bit of sense. Castlevania 1, being a child of the 80:s, probably drew on some of the same inspiration sources as the bands and artists hanging at the batcave: univeral picture horror movies. Starting with Iga and Symphony of the night, you suddenly have the same infuences as those of gothic metal bands: over the top melodrama, a stronger emphasis on antiquity, and also - stuff like the film adaptation of "interview with the vampire" had just come out (film: 1994 - book: 1976), which at least for me marks the start of pretty-faced vampires. Maybe "lost boys" (1987) can take that crown. Anyway... Now, i'm more or less oblivious of japanese pop culture beyond games, so i'm probably missing a ton of influences, but Iga seems to be a metal fan. He also changed quite a bit of the monster parade from universal horror pictures-based to ars goetia/lesser key of Solomon - semi-biblical demons. (goetia has no semantic connection to goths or gothic - it's the old greek word for sorcery). And SoTN came out 1997, so the change in tone seems to fit the general landscape of the time in general.

As for the gothic font.. here's some comparisons. A nosferatu intertitle card restored from one of the few surviving german edits of the film:
Image
Which is a very art noveau, very 20:s font. There are some subtle traces of gothic script in the capital letters, but as has been already pointed out, this was just the normal way of writing stuff in germany.

And here is a later, english edit. It is clear that they decided to make it look a bit like blackletter/gothic script because of associations to something antiquated and, well, i guess the name "gothic" in itself. although they maintained it legible to modern readers, the title itself is more pronounced in its blackletter style.
Image
This trend is exaggerated even more on VHS and DVD covers of the film. example.

You can also look at these posters and adverts from 1922-1930 for different screenings:
http://www.brentonfilm.com/articles/nos ... ide-part-2

With the one exception being the renaming of the film as "Die zwölfte Stunde", using a pretty much off-the-shelf gothic script inspired look, so it's just typical for this time period and nothing that would've stood out at that point.

Btw when i found out that the film was renamed that way, i was immediately reminded of the art noveau artist Harry Clarke (most known for sometimes pretty grim stained glass works in churches) who with his illustration "the last hour of the night" in 1922 got selected to be on the cover of an article describin an award-winning plan for Dublins' future restoration. While the picture depicts the misery in the streets of Dublin, the central, symbolic figure is awfully nosferatu-like haha.
Image


Bregalad wrote:
Also I strongly disagree German is an "exotic" language.

I also disagree about it being "exotic", especially to any other european - but that doesn't prevent it from being a bit exploited in popular culture to denote a special flavour of otherness. And as far as gothic things go, there are reasons to believe this is somewhat rooted in the deep tradition of more or less gothic litterature. But maybe, it's mostly just that Bram Stoker (obviously non-german gothic fiction writer) used transylvania as stage prop for his story mostly because it felt exotic at that time for him. Which carries repercussions in the genre to this day.

DRW wrote:
What is that supposed to mean? Do you mean "ist auferstanden"?
Yes - I typo-ed the f.



EDIT: Totally forgot. If the jump from architecture to literal works and the bridge between seem a little flimsy, it is mainly because it has been largely forgotten that in the times before widespread literacy, as Lindsay Ellis puts it in her "hunch back of notre dame" disney adaptation post-mortem(*); "architecture was the dominant way to communicate and dogmatize big ideas on a wide scale". So, it makes a lot of sense that in 18th & early 19th century novels, when books found wholly new audiences, the descriptions of settings played a bigger, more symbolic role than we can easily digest today. So, the ruined castles and what not in gothic romances are just not spicy stage props - they were supposed to convey underlying ideas and emotions. It is similar to why, for example, in "the sorrows of young Werther", various weather phenomena demonstrate the emotion Werther is currently feeling, rather than it trying to describe it in a way more sensible to our time. If it rains in a movie when someone is also visibly sad, that may be a bit cheesy way to spice up and drive home the point, but in werther, the storm is the literal description of what werther is feeling.

_________________
http://www.frankengraphics.com - personal NES blog


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:29 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:49 pm
Posts: 7548
Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland
They says the church in my village is of "neo-gothic" style, it was built in the 1880s. What does this mean exactly ?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:42 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:12 am
Posts: 7657
Location: Seattle
Neogothic: Wikipedia:Gothic Revival architecture ( or French Wikipedia: Style néo-gothique )

Actually looking, though, Wikimedia Commons:Chexbres - Neogothic Church from 1888 really doesn't have many of the relevant style of architectural details, so I'm confused why they're claiming that it is.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group