web analytics

Fishing for tarts

l'Inconnu de la Seine

Lots and lots of things have been fished out of the Seine. This was one of them. Maybe. If you want the long version, ask Google and spend an afternoon at it. Or go with the short version:

No-one knows who she was, really. She is called l’Inconnue de la Seine. The usual story is that she was drawn from the river in the late 1880s and the morgue attendant was so taken with her beauty and poignant expression that he called for a mask to be made.

I’m going to call bullshit on that bit, anyhow. No way this is the face of a dead woman. In fact, it would be difficult to take a cast of a living woman and catch a smile. Plaster is heavy and the dead seriously lack muscle tone. If this thing started life as the mask of a woman, it was heavily recarved afterwards (which is not at all uncommon with casts).

Anyhow, the story continues, she was put on display (in the 1880s, unclaimed bodies — up to fourteen at a time — were put in a chilled room at the morgue, fronted by plate glass. It was the most popular shop window in Paris). No-one claimed her.

Then somehow the mask escaped into the population. It was a sensation. Factories were contracted to churn out copies (in fact, one story I find plausible is that l’Inconnue was actually an entrepreneurial mask-maker’s daughter, alive and well at the time). No salon or filthy bohemian garret was complete without one. She appeared in poems, novels, baudy limericks (I’m just guessing on that last one). She was an icon of feminine beauty for decades, well into the 20th Century.

resusci-annieAnd then she really got popular. In 1958, emergency docs Peter Safar and Asmund Laerdal chose l’Inconnue for the face of the original Resusci Annie (Snopes says oui to this story). Making her, officially, the most kissed woman of all time.

Thought a little creepy story might not go amiss today, this being Hallowe’en week and everybody being utterly sick to death of poltics and all.

Comments


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 29, 2008, 2:14 pm

One of the stories centers around the woman in this photo, which supposedly turned up in Buenos Aires.

I’d like to see a larger version of that picture. It doesn’t look right to me. It looks too much like l’Inconnue — who surely was capable of more than one facial expression. I realize how hard it was to fake photos before Photoshop (believe me, I know!)…but if that was such a common plaster cast, getting a double exposure or something doesn’t seem that implausible.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 29, 2008, 2:16 pm

Oldest joke book in the world.


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: October 29, 2008, 2:39 pm

OK, that is creepy. I’ve USED Resusi-annie for training, and now I feel like a necrophiliac…… yuck.


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 29, 2008, 2:42 pm

Plaster is heavy and the dead seriously lack muscle tone.

Particularly if they’ve been immersed in water for any length of time.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 29, 2008, 2:47 pm

Heh heh, Scubafreak. I figured someone here would have gone through the course; I should have realized you would have.


Comment from Jill
Time: October 29, 2008, 2:51 pm

Scuba, define ‘used’.


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 29, 2008, 2:53 pm

“Mr. Scubafreak, I don’t think you need to clear her airway quite so enthusiastically.”


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 29, 2008, 2:57 pm

Babblefish translates that fwench as “the Unknown factor of the Seine”.

Hmmm…

Inaccurate and ‘creative’ translations are part of Babblefish’s charm. I like Baise de dame d’arachide and the re-translation to engrish, myself.


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 29, 2008, 3:25 pm

We’re being invaded by ladybugs. It’s like something from a low-budget horror movie made by Sanrio.


Comment from surly ermine
Time: October 29, 2008, 3:54 pm

I agree with you Stoaty, too lively to have been from a corpse.


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: October 29, 2008, 4:01 pm

Whups, I think the spam filter hates me….


Comment from JuliaM
Time: October 29, 2008, 4:26 pm

Fascinating!


Comment from Rescusci-Annie :^o
Time: October 29, 2008, 4:31 pm

“Oh. How nice. My brother, Crash Test Dummy told me that you post here, but I thought no, it can’t be you. So…your real name is Scubafreak, is it, and not Warren Buffett? You bastard! You said you’d call, but did you? DID YOU? I waited and waited by the phone. I lived on nothing but Domino’s Pizza and Mountain Dew for three weeks waiting for a call that never came. I did things with you that are illegal in 22 states. You said you loved me. You USED me. Warr— er, Scubafreak…how COULD you?”


Comment from Jill
Time: October 29, 2008, 4:39 pm

For me, the dead giveaway (no pun intended) that this was a life mask and not a death mask is the fact that the shape of her eyes are noticeable under the lids – that wouldn’t happen with a corpse either.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 29, 2008, 4:59 pm

Nothing caught in the filter, Scuba.


Pingback from GruntDoc » Blog Archive » Who’s the most-kissed woman of all time?
Time: October 29, 2008, 5:00 pm

[...] S. Weasel did, and her tale of the face of Annie is fascinating.  Enjoy it. [...]


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 29, 2008, 5:33 pm

Very childish. I loved it:


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: October 29, 2008, 5:53 pm

I’m so sorry Annie, but I got waylaid by identical twin mermaids on the way to your house……… ;-)


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 29, 2008, 8:50 pm

Quiet here tonight. I assume everyone’s paying rapt attention to Glorious Leader’s infomercial.

David Thompson says get jiggy with it, and I suggest you comply!


Comment from Jill
Time: October 29, 2008, 8:56 pm

Waylaid?

Mr. Freud, your slip is showing. :)


Comment from Allen
Time: October 29, 2008, 11:45 pm

Jill, hmmm, do you expect your Mr. to be “slippish?” :)

Freud indeed. Meanwhile I’m just frickin’ tired. Hey, 16 hour days are sweet, floats your groat. Do groats float?


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 30, 2008, 3:28 am

Get your Obama dildo here:

http://www.headostate.com/

Interesting word – dildo. See here:

…And I just snuck two links past Akismet. So pbbbbbt! (Raspberry sound)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dildo


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 30, 2008, 3:34 am

Akismet had the last laugh. It rejected my last edit. Just as well.


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 30, 2008, 3:46 am

Whoa. Akismet bit me.


Comment from lizardbrain
Time: October 30, 2008, 7:29 am

The most amazing part? They had modems in the nineteenth century!


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 30, 2008, 7:35 am

Sorry about that, McGoo. Ever since I upgraded it, Akismet has been…tetchy.

I assume y’all saw the item on Drudge about Sarkozy suing to try to stop sales of a voodoo doll in his likeness. It didn’t work, and I’m sure it shocked us to our first-amendment-lovin’ souls that he would try. It’s just a bit of innocent political mockery, right?

Okay, well, go read the item. It gets worse. One of the presumably hated saying of Sarkozy printed on the doll that Frenchmen can stick pins in is “work more to earn more.” Seriously, that is a SHOCKING AND HORRIFYING statement to them.

I’m no expert on Europe, but what I know of it is scary and alien. The French use “Anglo Saxon” as an insult. It means all sorts of ideas that you and I find as immutable as gravity. Like work more to earn more.

And their legal system is much more about judges and tribunals than juries of your peers.

I’m telling you guys, the Anglosphere is a very real thing. And I don’t mean a racial thing. I mean the combination of English common law and free market economics. It works everywhere it goes.


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 30, 2008, 8:58 am

France. It’s infested with ‘em.

No problemo with Akismet, Stoaty. It was bound to get me eventually, especially with those keywords in the text. Actually, while I was there I looked for The Tomb Of The Long Lost Lokki.


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: October 30, 2008, 9:07 am

…And speaking of Barney “No Teeth” Franks, here is something not politically correct from over at Kickin’ And Screamin’:

http://antzinpantz.com/kns/?p=3306


Comment from apotheosis
Time: October 30, 2008, 10:07 am

Sacre bleu, everee moment we are at work ees anozair moment we can’t wear zee striped mime shairts and smoke ze gauloises in ze cafe’!

NON!


Comment from porknbean
Time: October 30, 2008, 11:45 am

The French use “Anglo Saxon” as an insult.

So what are the French? Limp-wristed, incestuous, bug-eating, sissified, whiners? Seriously, how are they still a country?


Comment from Jill
Time: October 30, 2008, 12:29 pm

My favorite is ‘cheese-eating surrender monkeys’.

:)


Comment from porknbean
Time: October 30, 2008, 1:26 pm

Yeah, I was gonna add that too, Jill.
They are just jealous that a lot of Anglo-Saxons still have balls and won’t let them have a feel.


Comment from UGG 品質合格
Time: November 1, 2013, 11:54 pm

Your mode of describing everything in this paragraph is in fact nice, every one be capable
of effortlessly understand it, Thanks a lot.


Comment from 超安 ルイ ヴィトン バッグ
Time: November 3, 2013, 6:52 am

This is the perfect blog for anyone who hopes to understand this topic.
You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that
I really will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on
a subject that’s been discussed for decades. Wonderful stuff, just great!


Comment from 超安 ルイ ヴィトン バッグ
Time: November 3, 2013, 6:52 am

This is the perfect blog for anyone who hopes to understand
this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that
I really will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject
that’s been discussed for decades. Wonderful stuff, just great!


Comment from http://e-iklan.net/ads/member.php?action=profile&uid=108938
Time: February 4, 2014, 11:22 am

This is really interesting, You are an excessively skilled blogger.
I’ve joined your feed and look ahead to looking for extra of your fantastic post.
Additionally, I have shared your website in my social networks


Comment from Jonnie V. Goldhammer
Time: October 6, 2014, 10:24 am

My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking
for. Do you offer guest writers to write content in your case?
I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you
write about here. Again, awesome web site!

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)


Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.


<< carry me back to ol' virginny