Including a Review of The Last Feast of Harlequin by Thomas Ligotti

The actor Joseph Grimaldi as Clown in the pantomime Harlequin and Friar Bacon by Bonnor and O’Keefe staged at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden London in 1820. Detail from hand-coloured etching by George Cruikshank (1792–1878), first published in the 19th century. Image in public domain.
Poster for He Who Gets Slapped. (1924) Public domain.
Illustration to a poem by Poe published 1900. Public domain.
Woodcut of “Grimaldi and Son” printed by John Arliss of Gutter Lane (so almost certainly Joseph Grimaldi and Joseph Samuel Grimaldi, who performed together as father and son Clowns about 1812 to 1820; Arliss was in partnership with Huntsman before 1809). Image Wikimedia Commons.

Karl Marx wrote, “first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” We might reverse this when it comes to art.

Clowns direct us to laugh at the right moments. When clowns fail, we never quite know whether to feel empathy or not. The movie that drives home this particular space best of all I’ve seen is Thomas Vinterberg’s masterpiece Festen, which without the right understanding will seem disgusting, and with the right understanding will come off as a very dark farce that’s absolutely hilarious.

The grave of the English actor Joseph Grimaldi located in Joseph Grimaldi Park, St. James Churchyard, Pentonville, London. Image Wikimedia Commons.
Poster for Two Thosand Maniacs! Considered fair use by Wikipedia.

Novelist, poet, a post-studio visual artist, and the founder of The Invisible Art Collective International. Recent novels include “Sundre” and “Garbage Head.”