Croque-Melpomene's Amphitheatre

Croque-Melpomene's Amphitheatre

By Laura Gentile
In Croque-Melpomene's Amphitheatre, creativity and mental health go hand in hand. Arts and Humanities are quintessential to my well-being. I am a woman of letters and I express myself through my cathartic poetry and prose.
Body Decadent: Charlotte Salomon’s: “Life? or Theatre?”: In the Footsteps of Deceased Women: Obsession with Grief, the Colours of Vicious Circles & the Memorial Milestones of Misery (PART II)
"Charlotte’s grief-stricken grandmother holds her own body, sitting in a fetal position, the bereft mother, paranoid about her granddaughter’s life and fate, expecting death’s presence everywhere, the fear of losing is eating at her, and she dives back into her past, the history of her infected family tree that she deems cursed and morbid, gazing back into the roots of her loved ones’ downfall, sinking further into the inconsolable and irreparable obsession with mourning." An interpretation of several gouaches portraying Charlotte Salomon's tragic family history. Intro Music: "Etherial Choir Ascends" by Doug Maxwell / Media Right Productions If you want to have a look at the paintings analysed in this episode or find out more about Charlotte Salomon, I recommend the following books: “Charlotte Salomon: Life? Or Theatre? A Selection of 450 Gouaches” by Evelyn Benesch and Judith C. E. Belinfante “Charlotte” by David Foenkinos
15:51
April 15, 2020
Body Decadent: Charlotte Salomon’s “Life? or Theatre?”: In the Footsteps of Deceased Women: A Pattern of Mental Illness, an Obsession with Death & the Colours of Female Self-erasure (PART I)
"One woman, embedded by depressed colours, carries generations of women, their burdens, secrets, behaviours and self-destructive gestures, within her, and as she walks out of this life, her name will be inherited by one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, Charlotte Salomon." An interpretation of several gouaches portraying Charlotte Salomon's tragic family history. Intro Music: "Lost In Prayer" by Doug Maxwell If you want to have a look at the paintings analysed in this episode or find out more about Charlotte Salomon, I recommend the following books: “Charlotte Salomon: Life? Or Theatre? A Selection of 450 Gouaches” by Evelyn Benesch and Judith C. E. Belinfante “Charlotte” by David Foenkinos
17:15
April 12, 2020
Body Decadent: The Romanian Literary Prodigy Iulia Haşdeu and her Morbid Monuments
"Iulia Haşdeu, the 19th century Romanian polyglot prodigy who studied at the Sorbonne, compared herself to a deracinated flower, relocated and captured underneath a bell jar. Iulia’s poetry is haunted and liberated by the knowledge of her impending and untimely death. Her eighteen-year-old body suffers from tuberculosis. Her sickness fuels the lines she writes and as her health declines, the weight of her words flourishes. She expels death from her body before it engulfs her. And as she writes her fate out of her system and makes peace with her upcoming demise, someone close to her cannot bear the thought of losing her. Someone obsessed. Someone possessive. Someone who cannot stomach the grief that is awaiting him: her father, the philologist Bogdan Haşdeu." A poetic text about Iulia Haşdeu, the self-awareness of her fate in her literary expression and contemplation, her father's obsessive grief and the cultural occurrences related to her death. Intro music: "Lost In Prayer" by Doug Maxwell
05:08
April 9, 2020
Body Decadent: Charlotte Salomon: The Fulfilment of an Artistic Vocation
"The colours of death instilled themselves into the furniture, the familial routines, the scent within the apartments containing their generational secrets and vicious history, and from there, slowly but irrevocably into the memory of Charlotte Salomon, one of the greatest artists of the 20th century who was murdered, pregnant, in Auschwitz." A poetic text about one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, Charlotte Salomon, and her colossal body of work that overshadows the tragic end of her short life. 
04:56
April 6, 2020
Body Decadent: Mythologising Marie Antoinette
"The teenager, who would be the Habsburg’s reject and enfant inutile in her thirties, is shoved into Louis XIV’s provincial golden cage with an all-observant, stiff, corrupt, careless and bored aristocracy and burdened by an inherited and already rotting and miserable state of things nationwide." A poetic text about Marie Antoinette and her assumed historical, sexual, royal, marital, maternal and public personae. Intro Music: Guilherme Reis
03:42
April 4, 2020
Body Decadent: The Destruction of the Muse for Art’s Sake: Idealising and Immortalising Lizzie Siddal
"She entered a dreamworld where she could be anyone,  a rich imaginative sphere with no boundaries  that would materialise in the form of hundreds  of everlasting sketches, drawings and paintings." A poetic text about the Pre-Raphaelite artist, poet and model, Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal,  her mental health and creative identity, and her relationship with Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Intro Music: Guilherme Reis
04:34
March 31, 2020
Verses for the Dead: Lady Jane Grey: The Nine Days Queen
"I’ve been struck down in my teens. And yet I have lived a life, How could I have been erased so effortlessly?" A poem about the fatally short reign of Lady Jane Grey and her tragic execution.
02:32
March 22, 2020
Verses for the Dead: The Killing of Hypatia
"How did my knowledge discriminate Against you? You were convinced you could do whatever you wished to my Body because I was a woman." A poem about the nonsensical and barbaric killing of the philosopher, mathematician and astronomer, Hypatia. 
02:14
March 22, 2020
Verses for the Dead: Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe & Edgar Allan Poe: Did you Save my Soul in the End?
"Sometimes I think you need me deceased. I am the recurrent sad theme. What makes your writing golden." A poem about Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe, the poeticisation of her disease and death, and her relationship with the American writer, Edgar Allan Poe.
02:34
March 22, 2020
Verses for the Dead: Maria Benz & Paul Éluard: Against your cheek, Nusch
"I want to reside in your heartbeat. That’s where we coincide." A poem about the surrealist artist and model, Nusch (Maria Benz), and her relationship with the French poet, Paul Éluard. 
01:25
March 22, 2020
Verses for the Dead: Gala & Paul Éluard: Le sanatorium des bon vivants
"Distance is an atrocity, When the air you breathe comes from your lover’s skin." A poem about the surrealist muse Gala (Helena Diakonova) and her relationship with the French poet, Paul Éluard, before her marriage to Salvador Dalí .
03:12
March 22, 2020
Verses for the Dead: Jacqueline Roque’s Gunshot
"Did I give myself up for the way he saw me?" A poem about Jacqueline Roque's musedom dedicated to Pablo Picasso's artistry, their love and her tragic end.
02:06
March 16, 2020
Verses for the Dead: A Southern Suicide: Marie-Thérèse Walter
"I fell in love with the image you created of me in your head." A poem about Marie-Thérèse Walter's romantic and creative relationship with Pablo Picasso and her tragic end.
02:09
March 16, 2020
Verses for the Dead: Mary Shelley: Nurturing Death
"Love made me a thief,  Love made him an oath-breaker." A poem about Mary Shelley & Percy Bysshe Shelley's turbulent relationship and the tragedies in their lives.
04:29
March 15, 2020
Verses for the Dead: Mary Wollstonecraft: The birth that caused my death and my post-mortem commercialisation
"The moment you left my body I had known you your whole life." A poem about Mary Wollstonecraft's relationship with her daughter, Mary Shelley, her life and feminist legacy.
03:21
March 15, 2020
Verses for the Dead: Frankenstein: Cradling the Dead
"It was a mother’s heart that wrote Frankenstein." A poem about the interaction between Mary Shelley's sorrows and creativity.
01:27
March 15, 2020
Verses for the Dead: The Image That Would Not Rest: Jeanne Hébuterne & Amedeo Modigliani
"I couldn’t let go. Of the way you saw me. Envisioned me. Revealed me. The way you painted my face. It would all end." A poem about Jeanne's inconsolable grief after Modigliani's death and her suicide in the state of pregnancy.
01:53
March 11, 2020
Verses for the Dead: Victor Hugo & Léopoldine: La gorge de la Seine
"How many poems could save your life?" A poem about Victor Hugo's tragic loss of his daughter, Léopoldine.
02:44
March 11, 2020
Verses for the Dead: Sissi: He claimed it was not a woman he struck
"You come back to me at night, when death speeds up my penmanship." A poem about the grief-stricken and melancholic life of the Austrian Empress Sissi.
05:14
March 10, 2020
Verses for the Dead: Clara Schumann's Lament
"When I touch your skin, I sense the gallop of non-recovery." A poem about the tragic lives of and love story between the composers Clara and Robert Schumann.
02:21
March 10, 2020
Verses for the Dead: Death of a Baroness: Mary Vetsera
"I wrote you a letter, mother, didn’t I? Did it arrive too late?" A poem about the 19th Century Baroness, Mary Vetsera, and her fatal liaison with the Crown Prince, Rudolf of Austria, which ended in a murder-suicide.
04:12
March 9, 2020
Verses for the Dead: An Auriferous Patricide: Beatrice Cenci
"I want to tell you that I died young." A poem about the 16th Century Roman noblewoman Beatrice Cenci who was raped by her father and murdered him. She was executed for her revenge crime and remains a local legend symbolising the resistance against entitled aristocracy. 
02:46
March 9, 2020
Verses for the Dead: The Remains of a Woman: La Lamballe! La Lamballe!
"You used the texture of my body, my matter, my meaning, To fabricate verbal inventions, to further the propaganda machine, To render my body a tasteless disaster, a cautionary tale, A shredded daughter of France, a massacred body, endlessly sensationalised." A poem about the violent and public killing of the Princesse de Lamballe, Marie Antoinette's confidante, in the  massacres of September 1792 during the French Revolution.
03:53
March 8, 2020
Verses for the Dead: Fatherbound: Iulia Haşdeu
"Death travels across the pages of my poetry. (...) Words exited my body hand in hand with time." A poem about the literary and linguistic Romanian prodigy, Iulia Haşdeu, her tragically short life and her father's incessant, obsessed and inconsolable grief.
04:25
March 8, 2020
Verses for the Dead: An Indurated Woman: Dirce’s Transgressive Odium
"Through my hands violence flows. I explore it with curiosity, I let it grow." A poem about the cruel Dionysian woman, Dirce, stemming from Greek mythology, who mistreated Antiope and ended up being violently killed.
01:15
March 7, 2020
Verses for the Dead: The Woolgatherings of Camille Claudel
"I want to be whole. He is a thief that tears me apart." A poem about the French sculptress Camille Claudel, her tormenting relationships with her family and her tragic life.
03:08
March 7, 2020
Verses for the Dead: A Eulogy to Marie Antoinette’s Children
"They wanted to erase every trace of me in this world I lost all faith in. Plucking my children away as an extension of me." A poem about the tragic fate of Marie Antoinette and her family.
03:20
March 7, 2020
Verses for the Dead: Under J. M. Barrie’s Wings: The Death of Michael Llewelyn Davies
"We died and our bodies were found Clasped together – and yet you’re gone And I’m gone, we have disappeared, But our bodies, I think about our bodies, Rupert. We held on to one another, (did we not?)" A poem about the tragic death of Michael Llewelyn Davies.
03:28
March 7, 2020
Within Paravent Walls: A Conversation with Victoria
"Fiction should never be a prison." Sprung from vicious and dysfunctional generations, the narcissistic muse, Estefania Viennese, and the self-negating artist, Severin von Zweighaupt, succumb to the unwholesome love they harbour for each other. During Estefania's pregnancy with triplets, her mental illness resurfaces. As she degenerates, the couple grapples with a trauma-stricken family of their own creation. Gabriela, their middle child, suffers from grief and individuation within a family of controversial artists and performative megalomaniacs. She brings an antique object into their house that will irrevocably influence the course of events for years to come. This literary novel of artistry and dysfunction is not for the faint of heart. It dives deep into a family of decadents distorted by sexuality, deprivation, sickness, memory, identity and death. "Within Paravent Walls" on Goodreads.
03:47
March 6, 2020
Within Paravent Walls: Gunnar: Stuck in a Pattern
"Everything that means something to Gunnar and is of value to him is attached to women, their bodies, voices and characters." Sprung from vicious and dysfunctional generations, the narcissistic muse, Estefania Viennese, and the self-negating artist, Severin von Zweighaupt, succumb to the unwholesome love they harbour for each other. During Estefania's pregnancy with triplets, her mental illness resurfaces. As she degenerates, the couple grapples with a trauma-stricken family of their own creation. Gabriela, their middle child, suffers from grief and individuation within a family of controversial artists and performative megalomaniacs. She brings an antique object into their house that will irrevocably influence the course of events for years to come. This literary novel of artistry and dysfunction is not for the faint of heart. It dives deep into a family of decadents distorted by sexuality, deprivation, sickness, memory, identity and death. "Within Paravent Walls" on Goodreads.
01:18
March 6, 2020
Within Paravent Walls: Gunnar: A Body Apart
"Estefania treats him like a sick extension of her, the closer he comes to her the more she retreats." Sprung from vicious and dysfunctional generations, the narcissistic muse, Estefania Viennese, and the self-negating artist, Severin von Zweighaupt, succumb to the unwholesome love they harbour for each other. During Estefania's pregnancy with triplets, her mental illness resurfaces. As she degenerates, the couple grapples with a trauma-stricken family of their own creation. Gabriela, their middle child, suffers from grief and individuation within a family of controversial artists and performative megalomaniacs. She brings an antique object into their house that will irrevocably influence the course of events for years to come. This literary novel of artistry and dysfunction is not for the faint of heart. It dives deep into a family of decadents distorted by sexuality, deprivation, sickness, memory, identity and death. "Within Paravent Walls" on Goodreads.
01:03
March 6, 2020
Within Paravent Walls: Gabriela au Salon des Refusées
"Gabriela appears in her mother’s biography as a catalyst." Sprung from vicious and dysfunctional generations, the narcissistic muse, Estefania Viennese, and the self-negating artist, Severin von Zweighaupt, succumb to the unwholesome love they harbour for each other. During Estefania's pregnancy with triplets, her mental illness resurfaces. As she degenerates, the couple grapples with a trauma-stricken family of their own creation. Gabriela, their middle child, suffers from grief and individuation within a family of controversial artists and performative megalomaniacs. She brings an antique object into their house that will irrevocably influence the course of events for years to come. This literary novel of artistry and dysfunction is not for the faint of heart. It dives deep into a family of decadents distorted by sexuality, deprivation, sickness, memory, identity and death. "Within Paravent Walls" on Goodreads.
03:07
March 5, 2020
Within Paravent Walls: Gabriela: A Sexualised Child
"And yet, despite ruling out her mother as a frame of reference, Gabriela is staring into a void, a lack of female characters to look up to and identify herself with." Sprung from vicious and dysfunctional generations, the narcissistic muse, Estefania Viennese, and the self-negating artist, Severin von Zweighaupt, succumb to the unwholesome love they harbour for each other. During Estefania's pregnancy with triplets, her mental illness resurfaces. As she degenerates, the couple grapples with a trauma-stricken family of their own creation. Gabriela, their middle child, suffers from grief and individuation within a family of controversial artists and performative megalomaniacs. She brings an antique object into their house that will irrevocably influence the course of events for years to come. This literary novel of artistry and dysfunction is not for the faint of heart. It dives deep into a family of decadents distorted by sexuality, deprivation, sickness, memory, identity and death. "Within Paravent Walls" on Goodreads.
01:37
March 5, 2020
Within Paravent Walls: The Duplication of Vicious Circles
"Instead of profiting from the dead, Estefania is cornered by them, entombed in her own home." (Within Paravent Walls) Sprung from vicious and dysfunctional generations, the narcissistic muse, Estefania Viennese, and the self-negating artist, Severin von Zweighaupt, succumb to the unwholesome love they harbour for each other. During Estefania's pregnancy with triplets, her mental illness resurfaces. As she degenerates, the couple grapples with a trauma-stricken family of their own creation. Gabriela, their middle child, suffers from grief and individuation within a family of controversial artists and performative megalomaniacs. She brings an antique object into their house that will irrevocably influence the course of events for years to come. This literary novel of artistry and dysfunction is not for the faint of heart. It dives deep into a family of decadents distorted by sexuality, deprivation, sickness, memory, identity and death. "Within Paravent Walls" on Goodreads.
01:08
March 5, 2020
Within Paravent Walls: A Widow's Portrait
Reading the first chapter of my novel "Within Paravent Walls". Sprung from vicious and dysfunctional generations, the narcissistic muse, Estefania Viennese, and the self-negating artist, Severin von Zweighaupt, succumb to the unwholesome love they harbour for each other. During Estefania's pregnancy with triplets, her mental illness resurfaces. As she degenerates, the couple grapples with a trauma-stricken family of their own creation. Gabriela, their middle child, suffers from grief and individuation within a family of controversial artists and performative megalomaniacs. She brings an antique object into their house that will irrevocably influence the course of events for years to come. This literary novel of artistry and dysfunction is not for the faint of heart. It dives deep into a family of decadents distorted by sexuality, deprivation, sickness, memory, identity and death. "Within Paravent Walls" on Goodreads.
09:20
March 5, 2020
Within Paravent Walls: A Fractured Relationship: Women and their Mirrored Selves
Art and the landscape of films are ripe with the depiction of women staring into mirrors. What happens between a woman and her mirror-image? "Within Paravent Walls" on Goodreads.
10:06
March 4, 2020
Within Paravent Walls: A Word of Caution
An introduction to Estefania, the protagonist of my novel "Within Paravent Walls". Sprung from vicious and dysfunctional generations, the narcissistic muse, Estefania Viennese, and the self-negating artist, Severin von Zweighaupt, succumb to the unwholesome love they harbour for each other. During Estefania's pregnancy with triplets, her mental illness resurfaces. As she degenerates, the couple grapples with a trauma-stricken family of their own creation. Gabriela, their middle child, suffers from grief and individuation within a family of controversial artists and performative megalomaniacs. She brings an antique object into their house that will irrevocably influence the course of events for years to come. This literary novel of artistry and dysfunction is not for the faint of heart. It dives deep into a family of decadents distorted by sexuality, deprivation, sickness, memory, identity and death. "Within Paravent Walls" on Goodreads.
01:23
March 4, 2020
Within Paravent Walls: Estefania: A Framework
An introduction to Estefania, the protagonist of my novel "Within Paravent Walls". Sprung from vicious and dysfunctional generations, the narcissistic muse, Estefania Viennese, and the self-negating artist, Severin von Zweighaupt, succumb to the unwholesome love they harbour for each other. During Estefania's pregnancy with triplets, her mental illness resurfaces. As she degenerates, the couple grapples with a trauma-stricken family of their own creation. Gabriela, their middle child, suffers from grief and individuation within a family of controversial artists and performative megalomaniacs. She brings an antique object into their house that will irrevocably influence the course of events for years to come. This literary novel of artistry and dysfunction is not for the faint of heart. It dives deep into a family of decadents distorted by sexuality, deprivation, sickness, memory, identity and death. "Within Paravent Walls" on Goodreads.
01:02
March 4, 2020
Within Paravent Walls: Becoming Estefania von Zweighaupt
An introduction to Estefania, the protagonist of my novel "Within Paravent Walls". Sprung from vicious and dysfunctional generations, the narcissistic muse, Estefania Viennese, and the self-negating artist, Severin von Zweighaupt, succumb to the unwholesome love they harbour for each other. During Estefania's pregnancy with triplets, her mental illness resurfaces. As she degenerates, the couple grapples with a trauma-stricken family of their own creation. Gabriela, their middle child, suffers from grief and individuation within a family of controversial artists and performative megalomaniacs. She brings an antique object into their house that will irrevocably influence the course of events for years to come. This literary novel of artistry and dysfunction is not for the faint of heart. It dives deep into a family of decadents distorted by sexuality, deprivation, sickness, memory, identity and death. "Within Paravent Walls" on Goodreads.
01:32
March 3, 2020
Within Paravent Walls: Falling in Love with Estefania Viennese
An introduction to Estefania, the protagonist of my novel "Within Paravent Walls". Sprung from vicious and dysfunctional generations, the narcissistic muse, Estefania Viennese, and the self-negating artist, Severin von Zweighaupt, succumb to the unwholesome love they harbour for each other. During Estefania's pregnancy with triplets, her mental illness resurfaces. As she degenerates, the couple grapples with a trauma-stricken family of their own creation. Gabriela, their middle child, suffers from grief and individuation within a family of controversial artists and performative megalomaniacs. She brings an antique object into their house that will irrevocably influence the course of events for years to come. This literary novel of artistry and dysfunction is not for the faint of heart. It dives deep into a family of decadents distorted by sexuality, deprivation, sickness, memory, identity and death. "Within Paravent Walls" on Goodreads.
01:34
March 3, 2020
Within Paravent Walls: Awakening Estefania Viennese
An introduction to Estefania, the protagonist of my novel "Within Paravent Walls". Sprung from vicious and dysfunctional generations, the narcissistic muse, Estefania Viennese, and the self-negating artist, Severin von Zweighaupt, succumb to the unwholesome love they harbour for each other. During Estefania's pregnancy with triplets, her mental illness resurfaces. As she degenerates, the couple grapples with a trauma-stricken family of their own creation. Gabriela, their middle child, suffers from grief and individuation within a family of controversial artists and performative megalomaniacs. She brings an antique object into their house that will irrevocably influence the course of events for years to come. This literary novel of artistry and dysfunction is not for the faint of heart. It dives deep into a family of decadents distorted by sexuality, deprivation, sickness, memory, identity and death. "Within Paravent Walls" on Goodreads.
01:25
March 3, 2020