The Mission of "Stalking the Belle Époque"
No doubt, I’m parroting a centuries-old sentiment, but, I’m disgusted with the world. To me, the world has gotten too self-absorbed, too detached, too fast, too sloppy. At first glance, a person is hard pressed to find anything gracious, beautiful, or gentle. Where’s the civility in civilization?
So many factors have contributed to this change. And, to be sure, this is not an instant phenomenon, but rather, something that’s been hundreds of years in the making. I’m not here to analyze the reasons that men don’t wear neckties to the store anymore or women don’t wear hose. I’m not here to blame any one thing for the reason that people would rather pick a fight than extend a hand. I can’t explain why we are encouraged to insult the people around us. Nor do I have any interest in figuring out why we put more stock in the intangible than we do the permanent. I denounce nothing and I judge nothing.
Do I worship the past? No. I do, however, appreciate the past. As useful as my laptop is, a Victorian papier Mache writing slope with Mother of Pearl inlay has a lot more style. As much as I enjoy having Central Air, wasn’t a painted hand fan a lot more beautiful?
Yes, of course, I’m romanticizing it. No period of time was without its conflict. However, the fact that we have much to learn from those efforts is irrefutable. And, so, I have created a project for myself. I will be stalking The Belle Époque.
Each day, I will share something beautiful with you. And, I hope you will share with me. The rules are rather loose. We’re not confined to any one time period. We’re not confined to any genre or subject. We must however not lose sight of our goal—that is: to slow down and appreciate the world around us, the joy of being human and the pride we can feel in being kind and gracious. We must revel in the permanent and the lasting and let go of the quick and ugly.
And, also, while you're here, take a minute to read, Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square--an online novel set in London in 1853 which follows the life of a reclusive young Duke with Dissociative Identity Disorder (his alter is the famed puppet, Mr. Punch) and his partner, Dr. Robert Halifax, as they create an elegant home together, working for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. You can also read all five hundred chapters of Punch's Cousin, my previous online novel. A new chapter of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square is posted each Monday through Saturday.
To find out more about Joseph Crisalli, Bertie Wooster and Mr. Punch--our web site team, visit our "About Us" page.