Sunday, August 24, 2014

Famous Ephebophile: Mozart's Don Giovanni's Passion for Youthful Beginners

Don Giovanni (1787) is considered by many to be the finest opera of all time. David Naugle opined: 
"What Plato's Republic is to political philosophy, what Michelangelo's Cistine Chapel Ceiling is to painting, and what Shakespeare's tragedies are to drama, so also is Mozart's Don Giovanni to the works and world of opera." 
And Naugle shared that Goethe said that Mozart "[...] obviously possessed deep insight into human nature [...]"

Don Giovanni was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart but was written by librettist and ephebophile Lorenzo Da Ponte. Is the opera so well known because of its music or libretto? I would argue that the "unsung hero" is Da Ponte. In addition, it is known that Don Giovanni was a libertine, who seduced over 1,000 females in Spain - not to mention other lands, but many would be surprised to realize that he specialized in nymphets. 

For example, Giovanni's servant, Leporello, explained to Donna Elvira, one of Giovanni's young spurned conquests, that Giovanni's "[...] outstanding passion is the youthful beginner [...] provided she wears a skirt." 

While pretending to be Giovanni, Leporello referred to Donna Elvira as, "Poor little girl [...] pretty little face!

During his seduction of "Little" Zerlina, a peasant girl, Giovanni told her, "[...] you are not destined to be a peasant, those roguish little eyes will win you another lot, those lovely little lips, those white and fragrant little fingers; it's like touching reeds and smelling roses." Zerlina was further described as "[...] my little dear," and as having, "[...] white and young little hands [...] that fresh complexion [...]"

And, Giovanni informed Leporello, "I met a beautiful, young, elegant girl on the street; I went up to her, I took her by the hand [...]"

38-year-old Da Ponte had two sources of inspiration for his libretto: his 16-year-old mistress and Giovanni Bertati's libretto for Don Giovanni, o sia II convitato di pietra

Da Ponte wrote in his memoir
"A beautiful girl of sixteen [...] came to my room [...] at the sound of the bell [...] She would bring me now a little cake, now a cup of coffee, now nothing just her pretty face [...] I worked twelve hours a day every day [...] and through all that time she sat in an adjoining room [...] ready to come to my aid at the first touch of the bell. Sometimes she would sit at my side without stirring, without opening her lips, or batting an eyelash, gazing at me fixedly, or blandly smiling, or now it would be a sigh, or a menace of tears. In a word, this girl was my Calliope [...] for all the verse I wrote for the next six years. 
So, why isn't Don Giovanni known as an ephebophile? Is it because it's difficult to find accomplished teen opera singers? Consequently, most performances of Don Giovanni are done by middle-age women, which causes a major theme of the opera to get lost in translation. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

ROLLA: Gervex's Painting and Musset's Poem About a Teen Prostitute

Henri Gervex (1852-1929) Rolla 1878

Henri Gervex's oil on canvas Rolla was inspired by Alfred de Musset's lengthy poem Rolla (1833). Here's the plot summary of the poem from Paris' museum Musée d'Orsay:
The text recounts the destiny of a young bourgeois, Jacques Rolla, falling into a life of idleness and debauchery. He meets with Marie, a teenager who found in prostitution an escape from misery. Rolla is seen here ruined, standing by the window, his eyes turned to the girl sleeping. He is about to commit suicide by poison.
If the scene was judged indecent [by the Beaux-Arts administration], it was not because of Marie's nudity, which in no way differs from the canonic nudes of the time. The attention of contemporaries rather turned to the still life constituted by a gown, a garter, and a hastily undone corset covered with a top hat. Gervex might have been advised by Degas to put "a corset on the floor" so that the spectator may know this woman "is not a model". Indeed, this disposition and the nature of the clothes clearly indicate Marie's consent and her status as a [teen] prostitute. Moreover, the walking stick emerging from the garments acts as a metaphor for sexual intercourse.
I learned about Rolla from Baxter's translation of Musset's Two Nights of Excess.

American Apparel's Back to School Lolita Wear

American Apparel's Lolita Wear

Time reported on the backlash that American Apparel received on social media after the company posted raunchy pictures on its Instagram account of "... a girl bending over a car, revealing her underwear and buttocks under her skirt." In addition, the company is selling Lolita mini skirts and crop tops. 

The fact that American Apparel is basing their sexy campaign on 12-year-old Lolita, whom initiated sex with H.H., her middle-aged step-father, and gave him (paid) hand-jobs while he looked alluringly upon other nymphets, is revealing. 

In reality, the campaign is a reflection of raunchy teen behavior. American Apparel is selling teens what they, teens, want. Like Douglas Rushkoff mentioned in the documentary Merchants of Cool (2001), "It's a feedback loop." (i.e., American Apparel wants to be a cool company that sells sexy clothes, and cool teens want to wear sexy clothes.) 

The Guardian reported previously:
The UK advertising watchdog has banned a campaign by the retailer American Apparel for using a partially nude model, who appeared to be under 16, in a series of images that suggested she was "stripping off for an amateur-style photo shoot". 
The Advertising Standards Authority received a complaint that it could be seen by children and inappropriate because the model seemed "young and vulnerable and [the ad] could be seen to sexualise a child"."

A spokesperson for American Apparel defended the advertisement by saying that the model is 23-years-old and that the advertisement was meant to highlight the hoodie and not the girl's cleavage and breasts. Thus, the model only looks like a nymphet and viewers should be concentrating on the Flex Fleece and not the model's tan lined breasts. 

AMERICAN MINOR (2009): Teen Boredom Leads to Masturbation

L.A. based artist, University of California fine arts instructor, and writer Charlie White's muse is the American teen. For example, White's short film, American Minor, depicts the day in the life of a 14-year-old American nymphet. Here's the film's description posted on Vimeo:
American Minor is a meditation on the popular image of the American teen girl. Through carefully created, lingering scenes, the film focuses on the external environment and internal state of a fourteen-year-old, upper-middle-class blonde girl whose world is defined through products, objects, and perpetual consumption. The film observes a single, protracted morning in the life of a picture-perfect American youth lost in the dehumanizing space that wealth, isolation, and fear can provide. By watching this American teen perform basic acts, from eating cereal, to watching television, to combing her hair, the film aims to reveal the complicated relationship between personal pleasure and politics, youth and sexuality, and class and suppression. [Emphasis added]
The film's description doesn't spoil that the references to "personal pleasure and politics, youth and sexuality" are referring to the film's depiction of the teen masturbating in the shower - in what appears to be to orgasm. 

American Minor (2009): [Edited] Trailer 

A NSFW search on TikTok and Google will confirm White's meditation of the American teen girl, and her sophisticated affair with pleasure, youth and sexuality. 

Unsurprisingly, taking into account the allure of a (wealthy American blonde) nymphet, the short film premiered in Nine Lives at the Hammer Museum (2009). and it was featured at the Sundance Film Festival (2009) and Director’s Fortnight in Cannes (2009). 

One can view American Minor here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Which Nymphets Has the Best Buttocks?

Venus Callipyge
National Archaeological Museum, Naples

The Venus Callipyge is a 1st century BC marble Roman statue. The name means "Venus (or Aphrodite) of the beautiful buttocks." The statue shows a woman, whom some consider to be Venus, performing an anasyrma to expose her buttocks. She is peering at her buttocks which further draws attention them. 

The statue conjures up the following story which can be found in Athenaeus' Deipnosophists (12.554 c–e) about two teens in Syracuse, Sicily who were trying to determine which of them had the most attractive buttocks:
"Once upon a time a farmer had two beautiful daughters. One day these girls, getting into a dispute as to which one had a more beautiful backside, went out onto the public street. And by chance a young man was passing by, the son of a rich old man. They showed themselves to him, and when he saw them he voted in favor of the older girl. And in fact, falling in love with her, when he got back to town, he took to his bed and told his younger brother everything that had happened. And the younger brother also went to the country and saw the girls, and he fell in love with the other daughter. And so when the boys' father tried to get them to marry someone of the upper classes, he couldn't persuade his sons, and so he brought the girls in from the country, with their father's permission, and married them to his sons. And so these girls were called fair-buttocked by the citizens, as Cercidas of Megalopolis says in his Iambic Verses: "There was a pair of beautiful-buttocked girls in Syracuse"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Teen Kylie Jenner's Erect Penis [Cake]

Us Weekly reported that 25-year-old rapper Tyga hosted a 17th birthday party for Kylie Jenner, which was attended by the likes of Justin Bieber.

Tyga asked Bieber to serenade Kylie, Tyga purchased birthday party hats emblazoned with nymphet's photo, and he ordered a custom made cake that was shaped like a large erect penis. 

After the festivities, the 17-year-old posted on her Instagram account: 
"Thank u everyone & T for the [large erect penis] cake & JB for singing happy bday to me. I love u guys."
In terms of Tyga and Kylie's eight-year age-gap, per Billboard, Khloe Kardashian approves, because Kylie isn't a normal teen, and she's a "special case":
"Kylie is not a normal 17-year-old. You’re not gonna say, 'Hey, so what are you doing this weekend?' and have her say, 'Having a slumber party at my girlfriend’s' or 'Going to prom.' That’s not what Kylie does. Kylie is taking business meetings and bought her first house, or she’s going on a private plane with Karl Lagerfeld to take a meeting. That’s not even what people do in their 30s. It’s a rare circumstance, so let’s treat this as a special case.”
In the end, Emily Longeretta, news editor at Hollywood Lifemay have said it best:
"But this cake is literally a penis on a cake! She's 17."