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filthy light thief (2)

Odd leaves from the life of a Louisiana "swamp doctor" (circa 1850)

One of the most intriguing personalities in Southern medical history of the nineteenth century is Dr. Henry Clay Lewis (1825-1850), whose fame rests not on his accomplishments in medicine, but upon his humorous writings published under the pseudonym "Madison Tensas, M.D., the Louisiana Swamp Doctor." Though Lewis was a practicing doctor, his true identity as the author of the "Southern grotesque" (previously) pieces was not known until after his death. His works pre-dated the Southern Gothic style (prev), and are unusual for their time in that "[Lewis] presents his black characters with as much pain and grotesqueness as his white characters, steering away from the time's usual stereotypes." You can read a longer biography and a summary of his style here, or just dive in and read his works, which available online in Odd leaves from the life of a Louisiana "swamp doctor", which was also published as The swamp doctor's adventures in the South-west (also available with fourteen illustrations) on Archive.org.
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 20, 2014 - 6 comments

The Young Girl From Antwerp?

Have you met my friend, Jenny Haniver? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 7, 2012 - 14 comments

Tall Tale Images from the Golden Age of Postcards

Several factors came together to bring about a Golden Age of postcards (Google books), including the introduction of inexpensive cameras and film development from Eastman Kodak. From around 1906 to 1915, the publishing of printed postcards doubled every six months. Along with pictures of real people and places, tall tale postcards were also made in increasing quantities. William H. "Dad" Martin was the first to make and sell outlandish postcards (previously), making collages of real images and photographing the result, dodging and burning the new image to make the composite images blend into something vaguely believable. Alfred Stanley Johnson, Jr. followed Martin's success, but they weren't the only ones to make tall tale postcards.
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 16, 2012 - 12 comments

He Ate Nails for Lunch and He Never Laughed

Johnny Cash (who would've been 78 yesterday) performs on Sesame Street. Nasty Dan, Five Feet High and Rising, Don't Take Your Ones To Town, Tall Tale and also spoofed as Ronnie Trash. [more inside]
posted by at the crossroads on Feb 27, 2010 - 20 comments

The Search For Count Dante

The Search For Count Dante is a documentary-in-progress by filmmaker Floyd Webb (- Youtube trailer -). Webb takes on the daunting task of exploring the (larger than) life and times of martial artist Count Dante (born John Keehan), the then self-described "Deadliest Man Alive". Some of you may remember his ad from '60's and '70's comic books. [more inside]
posted by schleppo on Mar 7, 2007 - 29 comments

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