Friday, March 1, 2013

Creepy Places Where Inspiration Hides

L'Inconnue de la Siene.

This is an eerie, weird, and somewhat twisted tale where reality proves once more that it can be stranger than fiction.

The story of L'Inconnue de la Siene (translated from French, "the unknown woman from the Sienna") started in the late 1880s, when the body of a young girl was found floating on the River Sienna. Her identity remained a mystery but the Parisian pathologist in charge of the body, awe-struck at her beauty, decided to make a plaster-cast death mask. And so, where the earthly life of the unknown girl finished, the bizarre, immortal existence of L'Inconnue began.

Soon, more plasters were made of her and the bust became a fashionable, morbid fixture of bohemian Paris. The beauty of L'Inconnue inspired world-renown artists and writers, such as Albert Camus and Richard LeGalliene. People wondered, based on the mask's tranquil features, what in death the girl had found and who she might've been in live. Whole generations of women shaped their images on the young girl's (dead) face, and she became the Mona Lisa of the time.

Creepy much? Wait, it gets better.

In an ironic twist the pathologist could have never foreseen, in 1958 the first CPR doll, Rescue Annie, was created using the drowning victim's cast as a model. These days L'Inconnue is also known as "the most kissed face of all time."

Books inspired by this story: The Worshiper of the Image by Richard LeGalliene, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke, The Recognitions by William Gladdis, The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan, and Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk, among many others.

But the question is, where will inspiration catch you?


Nicole said...

Definitely creeeepy!!

Lexa Cain said...

That is SO creepy! I believe it could happen in the 1880s, but the 1958 CPR doll? What's wrong with a live model? (And what's wrong with all those people?)
Great info! :-)

Julie Luek said...

I love stories like this that fire up the imagination. Almost like the Henrietta Lacks of CPR dummies.

Georgina Morales said...

It is a lovely dark story indeed, Nicole. So happy you liked it! =)

I know, right Lexa? We humans have an unhealthy fascination with death and this is the perfect example of it.

I have no idea of who Henrietta Lacks is, but you have lighted my curiosity. Thanks!! Off to research... all hail to the powerful Google!

Shelly said...

Very creepy.

Hugs and chocolate,

Michael Pierce said...

I love creepy stories like this! I like how you added the books at the bottom inspired by this story. I am now glad I've never trained on a CPR doll.

Georgina Morales said...

LOL It made me glad, too, Michael! I finished med school and many of my friends did the course, I just kept putting it off. Now, I'm thankful that I did! =)

Mina Lobo said...

Get. Outta here. I've kissed this face!!!!! Deliciously bizarre post, Gina!

Georgina Morales said...

LOL It is creepy as hell, indeed. I will never take CPR now. Good thing you didn't know before, Mina!