The Church of Man Love

  • Nov. 29th, 2010 at 8:51 AM
my_daroga: ambiguous? (batman)

Has anyone else encountered the phrase "GlamRPF" in their fandom travels and been really disappointed that it's not David Bowie/Iggy Pop/Marc Bolan/Lou Reed?

I think the reason I'm so confused is they cornered "glam" long before Adam Lambert and on top of that, there's a whole group of them, whereas as far as I can tell, GlamRPF is... Adam Lambert RPF. The problem, probably, is not enough people writing about David Bowie having sex, which is a CRIME.

Bowie's waiting...

In other news...

...I've been recognized several times as "Captain Kirk" and once, last night, as Puck. Usually while at other theatrical productions unaffiliated with the ones I was part of. Which feels awesome, actually, and despite the fact there's no value or review in "hey, I saw you," it reminds me to keep trying and that eight (or more? I've lost count) rejections in a row doesn't mean no one wants me.

Also I think I know my Halloween costume for next year. It's highly unoriginal, and quite early, but if I get started now I may indeed have procured a topcoat, baggy pants, large shoes, suspenders, a cane, and a bowler by next October.

Hollywood RPF

  • May. 25th, 2010 at 8:39 AM
my_daroga: From Powell's "Peeping Tom" (camera)
Last year, while exploring a warren of a used bookstore in Kutztown, PA, I came across two volumes of Hollywood RPF. Two flaking, bound volumes from 1942-43:

Ginger Rogers and the Riddle of the Scarlet Cloak by Lela E. Rogers, and
Betty Grable and the House with the Iron Shutters by Kathryn Heisenfelt.

Title page and verso )

I was, understandably, fascinated, so I bought them both, put them on my shelf, and promptly forget about them. Until now. Looking at them, they're that very lightweight, cheap sort of thing that I doubt would have held up in a library setting for long. I do wonder where these copies came from. (Betty Grable shows 50 copies on, from $3.79 to $88; Ginger Rogers shows 114 copies from $3.64 to $47.81, if you're curious.) The back pages list charming titles from the same publisher, segregated for girls and boys, though the page of interest reads thus: )

This website has a complete listing of the actress titles, which also include Judy Garland, Shirley Temple, Gene Tierney, and Dorothy Lamour. It also reveals that Lela E. Rogers was Ginger's mother, and lots of other stuff I don't have access to, like general information about the writing and the way in which the "real person" angle is handled. According to the site, Heisenfelt wrote half the books, all of which "read like parodies of series books":

Heisenfelt's characters nearly always encounter one or more people who are stricken by fear that is superstitious. The heroine is usually fearful as well, with the difference being that the heroine is able to control her fear enough not to make a complete fool out of herself. Every event in the story has a mysterious importance, and normal, everyday sounds, such as a shutting door or a cat's meow, are often taken to be extremely scary. The mystery usually turns out to be a fairly insignificant mystery, and in some cases would not have been a mystery had everyone communicated with each other. In short, Heisenfelt's books tend to be overly-dramatic. The entire plot of each Heisenfelt book usually occurs in a very short period of time, often in fewer than 24 hours.

It also explains that there are two groups of stories in this loosely-defined "series": books in which the main character is in fact the actress named, and "while the heroine is identified as a famous actress, the stories are entirely fictitious and center around a mystery that convenient appears while the heroine is briefly visiting a dear friend. In some of these stories, many of the other characters fail to recognize the actress in spite of her openness about her identity!" The others are AU adventures where the character has the same name and looks as the actress but is, in fact, just a regular girl. Since I have one of each here, I'll see what I can see without actually reading them cover to cover.

Betty Grable and the House With the Iron Shutters )

Ginger Rogers and the Riddle of the Scarlet Cloak )

In short: these books are not very good. Nor did they really need to be, if you think about it. And the fascination lies not in their quality, but their existence. How did people respond to the idea of RPF back then? Was this a common practice in movie mags of the time? Who authorized the use of these personae? I haven't found a link by studio or anything like that. And what else are we missing from the history of RPF, before it got a clever name? Does it even count as such, when no effort is made to make it "real" beyond the names and likenesses?


my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (Default)
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