On the French penchant for inventing things already in existence elsewhere

François Dominique Séraphin, Bourbon favourite and reputedly the father of ombres chinoises (shadow puppetry), began operating 15 years later than is generally thought, and may have copied his techniques from an itinerant Italian or a London Alsatian. Featuring the memoirs of the valet to the later Louis XVII, early descriptions of the delights of the renovated Palais Royal (including a pygmy show), jolly old Baron Grimm on the lamentable state of French opera, shadow plays, and marionettes, and William Beckford’s favourite designer of theatrical perversions.

Philip James de Loutherbourg's Eidophusikon around 1782.

“Heidi stole my voice!”

The recollections of Selica Torcal, 86, who 40 years ago started dubbing the protagonist of the Japanese series into Spanish. She didn’t like dubbing Japanese or Isao Takahata‘s animation style – “poorly done, with her mouth open all the time, it was extremely difficult” – and preferred being Lois Lane and Shirley Temple: The only…

Capilla ardiente -> Chapel burning

Via Charles Butler, fresh from laying flowers on the graves of southern Occitan economists, and slightly less fresh from whatever he does every autumn with large volumes of olives: The ex-archbishop of Barcelona, Ricard Maria Carles, has gone to translation hell, despite, as far as we know, not having done anything awful to the lambikins…

Your street organ repertoire proposals

Collected via the form. I’ve done basic arrangements of around 50 for the configuration that will be available to me and I’ll brush them up when I get hold of the instrument and can try things out. I’ll probably also post a few samples here in the interim. I’m not on Facebook any longer (yep,…