What first drew me to the back of the frame, to the thin membrane standing between setting and set? I think it must have been Jacques Demy’s Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (France, 1964), a film whose title draws our attention to another thin cover standing in the way of our confrontation with reality. Yet Demy’s characters do not just hide behind umbrellas; rather, like the peacock’s tail or the anglerfish’s spine, Demy’s monochrome umbrellas pull attention towards the characters’ integumental performance and to the sheltering belief we in turn form of these characters. This is a reading reinforced from the outset of the film, where after an iris opens on a ship’s horn blow, the camera tilts down and we watch from a bird’s-eye perspective umbrellas make their geometric way across the quay. The viewer, momentarily, is the down-looking raincloud (a safe reversal of the mechanics of Hitchcock’s famous shower scene), and we are kept there until the camera tilts back skyward and we cut to the garage where auto mechanic Guy Foucher works.
Umbrellas are certainly important objects in this film’s world (as important, say the credits that display the manufacturer’s “O.N.M. Paris” logo, as the costuming or styling of Catherine Deneuve’s hair). And of the wallpaper? Certainly the reason this movie first stuck in my mind was that the set performs as much as the characters do. More than récit aesthetics, more than the unruffled mise-en-scène, more even than Deneuve’s (as Geneviève Emery) wonderfully unelaborate dresses and coy blond ponytail and lines sung directly into the camera, I find myself pulled continually to the walls of her mother’s shop, to their dining room, to the area just above Geneviève’s bed. Each time a character leaves one room brings a new question: not “where are they going” but “what kind of room will they see when they get there”? And what will I see and what pleasure do I receive from these variegated rooms? I imagine that in reading the film this wallpaper accent of mine is a misdirected pleasure, that I should see that there is more to cinema than set design, and were it not Demy and art director Bernard Evein this might be true. But then on the other hand I find a tenacity in such pleasures, since the wallpaper that wraps the set also wraps the inner lives of the characters, also wraps the film’s other surfaces: the surface of respectability, of soundtrack and voice, of sadness and snow.
This is clearest when Geneviève’s mother first enters: a lavender pink dress (matching Guy’s Aunt Elise’s purple shawl in the next scene) confidently moves from lavender and orange floral paper into the showroom’s purple and grey striped (of varying widths) paper. A customer modestly requests a black umbrella. Geneviève enters after a meeting with Guy and the room becomes a flurry of intentions – stay away from Guy (Madame Emery’s), let me be a youth in love (Geneviève’s), allow me to purchase an umbrella (the customer’s), and all the while “look at how thoroughly charming this town, this shop, this room is” (Demy and Evein’s).
Wallpaper throughout: Guy’s apartment shows blue stripes in the hall, green ones in the sitting room, green and blue alternating in his bedroom; at the Emery’s there are oranges with blue leaves on a green background; pink, purple, and green stripes in the dining room; a red chinoiserie in their living room; a trellised rose chintz on a paler blue background in Geneviève’s room; a powdery blue geometric moiré at the dressmaker’s; a simple green and gold flower pattern on a rich purple backing in the hotel room Guy visits: there is more wallpaper in these rooms than is contained anywhere else in cinema. (Until we come at the end to the walls of Guy’s new Esso station; he had been threatening white, and as the rain turns to snow this is what we see.)
And so it is with such feeling that I note, sadly, that wallpaper is so conspicuously absent from the rest of cinema. Why? Why am I so often disappointed when I look at a dining room, a hallway, a foyer, and see simply white surfaces? I submit possibilities to test. The first of fiction: that in a film wallpaper is distracting, and set designers know better than to paper a room, anticipating a director or cinematographer’s imminent complaint (that the audience is easily distracted). The second of reality: that wallpaper simply does not appear often enough in the real world to motivate its presence on the screen (that the audience pays attention to detail). Would Hamlet have wallpapered his rooms? What about Bogart’s Sam Spade? Or even a character as colorful as Bruce Banner?
A Brief History of Paper
“A fashionable decoration, a grotesque and shabby invention” – Balzac
“And firstly, you must remember that it is a cheap art, somewhat easily done.” – William Morris
“Wall-paper” enters the English language in 1827, having begun in the Middle Ages with a much different purpose. In France, popular religious icons called dominos were commonly placed on walls in lower-class homes, where they “performed a double function, being both a talisman against bad luck and a covering for the cracks” in the walls (Teynac, Nolot and Vivien 9). By the seventeenth century, the domino craftsmen, or dominotiers, evolved into a guild that made increasingly artistic and decorative papers; they called these papiers de tapisserie. According to historian Françoise Teynac, unlike other guilds, which followed a strict structure, the dominotiers had a “flexible modern system, strictly capitalist,” that lent egalitarian connotations to the manufacture and use of wallpaper and “encouraged all ranks of society to use paper for decorative purposes” (21). Soon, technical achievements in the manufacture of wallpaper led to full industrialization: machine-made, “endless,” paper was produced in America in 1817; stencilling and wood-block printing techniques made possible by new inks give way to machine printing in 1840; new glues and hanging techniques changed the way wallpaper was used in the home, and “sanitary” and waterproof (washable) paper was developed to deal with fears that wallpaper trapped dirt and spread disease (cf. Frangiamore and “Health and Cleanliness”).
Apart from technological concerns were aesthetic ones; wallpaper fashion moved from its earliest religious emphasis towards a constantly shifting taste for flowers, repeating geometric patterns, political and artistic scenes and even, at the end of the eighteenth century, to panoramic and landscape wallpapers (cf. Teynac, Nolot and Vivien 102). The last significant artistic impact on the medium of wallpaper coincided with its increasing industrialization. In his wallpapers, William Morris emphasized nature and the freeing aspects of a handmade design; at the end of the nineteenth century other associated artistic movements such as the Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau, and Jugendstil share these impulses. By the time Bauhaus arrives, in 1919, the kinds of artistic design movements that had momentarily revitalized wallpapering, and interior decoration in general, were replaced by an entirely new aesthetic trend inimical to richly adorned walls; “wallpaper could have no place in the streamlined, practical and industrial world that the Bauhaus advocated” (Greysmith 165). In its place we have the drained, clean white of museum walls.
Is this why we see so little wallpaper in the cinema today? That it simply ceased to be aesthetically appealing right around the time cinema becomes commercially so? (A mere coincidence that 1919 is also the year Chaplin, Fairbanks, Pickford, and Griffith established United Artists?) There is, for instance, no paper covering the walls of the Tramp’s squalid room in Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid (U.S., 1921), although Charlie did play a much put-upon wallpaper hanger’s assistant in the earlier short Work (Chaplin, U.S., 1915, below). This film focuses on themes of domesticity (lighting a troublesome stove in order to prepare breakfast, “shaving” wallpaper paste off of his boss) as well as sexuality (“peeping” under a statue’s lampshade skirt, wallpapering a bedpost, the wife’s secret lover and jealous husband), and while none of the rooms ever get successfully papered, Chaplin does manage to right an awkward social situation the way he usually does – by first blindly wrecking everything.
This conceit was used also in 1925’s Stick Around (Ward Hayes, U.S.), where Oliver “Babe” Hardy and Bobby Ray (an early Stan Laurel-esque sideman to Hardy) play the boss and employee of Blatz and Blatz Paperhangers. A phone call interrupts the lazy and officious Hardy from pummeling the goof Ray, who has shown up late for work – the two have been hired to wallpaper a nearby sanitarium. In a scene identical to one in Work, Ray is made to carry the supply cart, recalling Chaplin’s role as the weighed-down workhorse assistant. Both films also use the trick of tilting the camera to make it look as if the actors must struggle to climb a great hill, and just as Chaplin did, when Ray gets to the job site, he has to carry everything by himself. But in Stick Around, the task of wallpapering is made ridiculous from the outset; what was legitimate Work in Chaplin’s film is now just a joke in itself – on the way to the sanitarium, the pair accidentally switch their cart with a sign hanger’s, leaving them left with a cartful of rolled circus posters. The sanitarium itself is a loony bin – one man believes it’s raining indoors, another that he is a poached egg, a third wears a beard to his knees. Hardy and Ray seem to fit right in, once they get drunk from a spiked water container (they kiss each other’s cheeks – fade to black) which sets them (or at least Ray) to industrially hanging the circus advertisements. These soon end up pasted on residents – first a monkey on a man’s face, then a skeleton on a man’s back, provoking a riot. For slapstick comedy, wallpaper means little more than burdensome and messy equipment, invading other people’s domestic space, and a pair of paperhangers – one inept, one lazy. And yet all the while wallpaper nonetheless provides focus for these characters, and the promise of a new, improved situation for the others.
Sustaining these comedic variants on the art of wallpaper hanging is a key correspondence between cinema and wallpaper: they are both replicas. Indeed, left out of the above history of wallpaper is its single most defining feature – that “the craft of wallpaper is one of illusion and trompe l’oeil” (Teynac, Nolot and Vivien 7). From its beginnings, wallpaper was a plagiarizing art, meant to simulate more luxurious wall coverings; this is why the dominotiers called them papiers de tapisserie – these were paper facsimiles of tapestries otherwise available only to a small portion of the population. How much richness is lost when one makes the shift to ersatz paper? How much reality is lost when one makes a film? Wallpaper, “being ideally suited to a decor of simulation and illusion” (Teynac, Nolot and Vivien 7), could transform a room into something more closely approximating a desired ideal, and for this power it “has always been an imitative medium, used as an inexpensive substitute for other wallcoverings such as embossed leather, tapestry, brocade, and chintz” (Facer 9). As in the cinema, the early production of this decorative medium dealt with the limitations and problems of reproducing reality in another form. For example, with wallpaper, “flocking” was developed early on as a way to texture wallcoverings; the technique involves creating a pattern on paper with glue, and then applying powdered wool or silk shavings to create a three-dimensional surface reminiscent of a tapestry or of cut velvet. For cinema, experiments with widescreen projection such as Cinéorama (1900) and Abel Gance’s three-screened Napoléon(France, 1927) were developed to engulf the spectator in reality. As with the vogue for panoramic and landscape papers at the end of the eighteenth century, these experiments worked toward a cinematic version of reality based on scale.
Unlike the reputation cinema has gained, however, wallpaper from the outset “has been considered a sham substitute” (Teynac, Nolot and Vivien 7). Wallpaper is the “poor relation of the decorative arts” (“A Short Introductory History”); it was ruined like much art by the Industrial Age, and never found a way to embrace modernism’s aesthetically restrained impulses. Wallpaper is a medium whose history has surprising shifts in popularity and unpopularity; what other decorative art has come in and out of fashion so often (certainly not printed textiles, ceramics, or furniture design, all still going strong in the twenty-first century)? It has become “the subject of derision in a unique way” (Greysmith 10) perhaps because no one could ever quite figure out what its purpose was – should wallpaper complement furniture, or introduce a pattern to enliven a room, or only be used sparingly as an accent? No wonder then that another use of the word “wallpaper” has the figurative and disparaging meaning of “an unobtrusive background,” as in the Oxford English Dictionary’s citation “they wearied me . . . They faded into a mere wall-paper of sound, and I forgot that they were there” (“Wall-paper,” def. 2). Is this what wallpaper means to us today – a background, a wash, something merely there that is not intended to be noticed in the first place (if so, imagine the possibilities – what better place to “slip something under their noses”)? Wallpaper’s early focus on “simulation and illusion” gave it “an imitative, eclectic character from which it has never quite freed itself” (Greysmith 12). It is a “poor substitute” for luxury, and for this impoverished reason “has not been preserved with any great care” (Greysmith 12). And so does wallpaper’s cheapness thus provide us with possibilities not otherwise available? Wallpaper is to me a symbol avant la lettre of the peculiarly human desire to imitate, to repeat, to endeavor incessantly to reproduce for the future in a “similar but different” form the present, most often with real disregard to the shifting cultural and moral values attached to the fidelity (or not) of these replications. Wallpaper is a cut-rate imitation of reality based on an equation of repetition and pattern, but so is Hollywood, so is Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, U.S., 1982), and so are those cultural practices analyzed by Bazin in “The Ontology of the Photographic Image.”
Is this the real reason why wallpaper is so little found in the cinema? That unlike the case of endless orphans in fairy tales, with their ersatz provenances, in the real world we know that two fakes don’t make a real? Wallpaper is time-consuming, expensive, a sign to the viewer that “care has been lavished.”1 And perhaps this effort to make the film’s world more real instead only raises objections. Wallpaper in the cinema certainly must be associated with the neorealist tradition, with the use of deep-focus photography and the concurrent invitation to look farther into the background. The invitation to look – at what you will when you will – comes at a cost, for suddenly each component of the frame becomes important. Says one film critic, “the details movies are compelled to specify – the shape of the settee on which two lovers are sitting, the distance between them, the color of the wallpaper behind them – are often inconsequential” (Leitch 160). Can that possibly be true? Perhaps as a matter of consequence (to the narrative, to the thematic elements, to the screenplay), but certainly nothing in the framed image is unimportant. Consider, for instance, the 1950s and 1960s, a time when managing images was of great consequence, since constructed film and television images addressed themselves primarily to a capitalist aesthetic – we shall dress this set with this wallpaper because we want to sell it. From the ’50s on, narratives from television and the dressing of sitcom sets gave us an aesthetic to mimic. Star studies, star fashions, film and TV as showrooms: does wallpaper make the cut?
We must not think that only the cinema gains from wallpaper, but realize also that it works the other way around as well. For instance, Teynac reports that Sir Cecil Beaton requested the exquisite wallpaper firm Cole to reprint some earlier nineteenth-century designs for use in George Cukor’s My Fair Lady (U.S., 1964). This film, released the same year as Demy’s and for which Beaton won two Oscars, evidently “contributed in large measure to starting a revival of Victorian fashion in England” (Teynac, Nolot and Vivien 173). It is some half hour until we are able to see these papers; I dare not describe them except to point out how identical they are to their room’s inner architecture: a yellow, brown, and pale green Nouveau wave mimicking the window over a door’s lintel; an almost Escher-like brown, orange, and green acanthus pattern matching Professor Higgins’ (Rex Harrison, below) wide and jumbled study; the most amazing close-grained black and white in the hallway and airy chintz in the bedroom; gray dadoed architectural papers at the embassy ball complementing the surfaces of Hepburn’s performance.
Not an Urban Pleasure
“My wallpaper is killing me – one of us must go.” – Oscar Wilde, on his deathbed
Alongside Chaplin’s Work and Hardy’s Stick Around, another crucial moment in the early history of cinematic wallcoverings comes from a Marx Brothers comedy, A Day at the Races (Sam Wood, US, 1937). Groucho, as Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush, has come to the Standish Sanitarium and is trying to work his magic on Flo Marlowe (Esther Muir) after secretly inviting her to his room for dinner (Hugo does not know that she is in truth aligned with a plan to discredit him). Chico and Harpo arrive to rescue him, but oblivious (or more likely, uncaring), Hugo foils their plans to foil his plans. The trump card, however, arrives when they burst into the room with ladders, buckets of paste (Harpo with one on his head), brushes, and assorted rolls of paper. The room’s walls, with decorative molding, are already papered in a subtle architectural pattern. As Hugo and Flo settle on a couch near the back, Harpo and Chico proceed to attack the wall above them, plastering everything in sight with overlapping, non-matching paper so that Hugo and Flo are completely hidden when villainous Mr. Whitmore arrives to try to catch them in flagrante delicto. The scene ends when Flo, storming off in a threatening huff, has her behind papered by Harpo. The manic activity surrounding this scene is partly vaudeville and partly home arts. The ladders, the workman overalls that Chico and Harpo wear, the pastebucket on Harpo’s head: from these iconographic comic elements alone we expect a purely visual bit of horseplay humor (the paste will certainly slop onto the floor, the workers will perch precariously at the top of the ladders, the poor homeowner will watch as the incompetent laborers wreak havoc in the already beautiful room). Atop this, though, the disappearing act and metaphoric layers of paper trickery used to protect our hero Groucho both address the pretense Hackenbush has used to set himself up as a legitimate doctor and simultaneously insulate him from the social pretense in place around him in the moneyed world of upper-crust society he has illegitimately entered. In this scene, wallpaper achieves its dual purpose between fake substitute and real enrichment, between imitating the old and substituting the new. Emerging behind the terribly hung paper, Hugo peels himself off as another layer of imitation – for the moment he is a successfully cheap substitute who, like modern wallpaper, conceals his origins and creates a new desire for this imitation.
Thinking about the Standish Sanitarium, introduced as a place only a short ride from the Sparkling Spring Lake train station, it strikes me that wallpaper is not an urban pleasure. It is provincial, it marks a freedom of space waiting to be covered over, sheltered, protected, wrapped in a floral pattern or safely repeating decorative motifs. With wallpaper the plains of the West are uprighted, made walls, and given a covering worthy of the name “swathes.” Wallpaper seems the cornerstone today of a certain American style, of older homes – of bathrooms especially – in the vaguely Southern regions of my memory. I would wager, without hesitation, that the rooms featured in this month’s, say, Southern Living magazine overwhelmingly have papered walls. I would bet equally as firmly that mine is the only apartment in my building with wallpaper.
I live in New York City; another reason wallpaper holds my imagination is that it represents for those of us who rent an illicit decadence. Who wallpapers a rented apartment, especially if its walls are as unevenly prewar as mine are? If you have attempted it, you know that wallpaper is a chore, and one not forgiving of mistakes. If done poorly it can look plain awful, as bad as Hugo’s room. Forewarned, I have hung three strips on a narrow dining room wall – green, distressed, outsized banana leaves, vaguely British colonial.2 I hang a large circular mirror next to this wall, even though it will face the door. Eating dinner, I imagine Jean Harlow in Red Dust (Victor Fleming, U.S., 1932), although there was no wallpaper there (and none expected – what need would rubber farmers have for wallpaper?).
There is a bar in Greenwich Village – Dove Bar (right) – that has expensive, imported cut velvet wallpaper (so says the owner; I wonder if it is not rather flocked). The bar is next door to Pluck U., a restaurant that serves mostly buffalo wings. The owner of Dove Bar tells us how he cringes when patrons touch his walls with their greasy fingers; I reach up and sneak a feel when his back is turned. I think of statues with worn-down body parts, of projectionists trimming a frame now and then from reels, of the slightly accelerated decay that I have caused the walls of the Dove Bar to undergo. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which has significant holdings in wallpapers, notes that “because it is fragile, ephemeral, and easy to replace [wallpaper] has often disappeared from the historical record” (“A Short Introductory History”). A pleasure in destruction then; wallpaper is for the present, not for history – it is meant to be replaced. And because of this again we have added negative connotations: “wallpaper becomes a metaphor for dishonesty and dissembling, for the ephemeral as opposed to the secure and lasting, and for the valuing of appearance over substance” (“A Short Introductory History”). I realize now that my sneaking rub of the Dove Bar’s cut velvet, complicit in valuing the ephemeral, did rank appearance over substance; I feel that it is my pleasure to enjoy, now, this room, and I am not beholden to any future visitors. The owner feels otherwise.
How is the fragility of these papers like the fragility of celluloid, like the fragility of the human mind, like the fragility even of the cracked walls paper is meant to hide? There is with wallpaper and cinema and the mind an enormous expenditure of artistic and technological achievement, all directed towards media of decay and impermanence. Why is preservation such a component of artistic activity? There is a culture being established, a historical continuity, like layers of wallpaper one on top the other, which provides context and depth to an otherwise depthless vocation. Why is Decasia (Bill Morrison, U.S., 2002) successful? There is in that film a documentary of decay, decades past overlaid. Of Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, Demy created three black-and-white prints from the Eastmancolor negative (one for each primary color) for preservation purposes, knowing that those colors would fade instantly (for Eastmancolor, in fact, in about five years). Demy’s effort to forestall fading in turn marks the “originality” of the filmed material more so than any actual preservation could; it creates a mythic, original vibrancy that the viewer is asked to imagine – sure the colors in the new restored prints are bright, but just imagine what they used to be. Demy’s use of the less expensive Eastmancolor process enigmatically shows more love towards reality; it memorializes the impossibility of true reproduction by already encoding reality in fragility. So too must the connoisseur of wallpaper imagine the original quality of a papered room, the new wallpaper smell which exhibits its own vulnerability.
Imitation and Integrity
“I wonder if they all come out of that wall-paper as I did?” – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Historian Robert Brent Toplin claims that “while scholars have pointed out specific inaccuracies in motion pictures, they have generally been less concerned about whether the set designers got the wallpaper right than whether the writer and director presented the past with integrity and sophistication” (338). This is how important wallpaper is to historians. But surely the “inconsequential” is as important to achieving a kind of realistic integrity as the clearly consequential. This is made apparent in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s 1892 short story “The Yellow Wall-paper,” which was adapted for the screen by Women Make Movies in 1978 (Marie Ashton, U.S.), for BBC’s Masterpiece Theatre in 1989 (John Clive, UK), by Tony Romain in 1996, and is currently in production by Logan Thomas (U.S., above).3 In the story, the unnamed narrator is imprisoned in her bed for a postpartum “rest cure” on her doctor-husband’s orders. She hates her rented room, especially the partially stripped-off wallpaper, which is in “one of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin” and has a “repellent” color, “a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight” (Gilman §1). She spends her time trying to follow the wallpaper’s strangely repeating pattern to a certain end, but she is unable to make sense of it (she describes “a kind of ‘debased Romanesque’ with delirium tremens” [Gilman §3]). She soon begins to see a subpattern – a woman moving and shaking behind the paper, and finally comes to believe that she herself has been freed from behind the yellow wallpaper.
In the movie version distributed by Women Make Movies, the filmmakers use what looks like a wood-block printed paper – the color is not as sickly a yellow as Gilman described it, but rather a sort of dirtied tan. As in Gilman’s description, there are several subpatterns: white horizontal stripes, brown entwined lines, and a red and green flower shape. Curiously, when Elizabeth tears at it, we see brown walls underneath; one would expect layers of other paper. Is this merely an objection to give the lie to Toplin’s claim above (since at the time of the story, one would likely have just papered right over the old paper)? Backing off, I realize that the unadorned walls underneath this paper point out something else I had ignored – that in Gilman’s story this particular yellow wallpaper is all alone in bearing the brunt of the heroine’s madness. Why, after all, has this woman fixated on the wallpaper? A shot at the end of Ashton’s film, where we can see the ruined room, makes this question clearer. Of all of the objects of the room that make up the oppressive regularity of her rest cure, why does the paper become the outlet for and target of her distress? Why not the dresser, or the mirror or window, or the bedclothes?
Perhaps we see so little wallpaper in the cinema since the audience is bound like Gilman’s poor heroine. Of Hollywood cinema we are continually asked to forget that there are women behind these papers as well. Is it a sign of madness to spend one’s nights staring at “dead paper”? No, not a sign of madness, but a sign of the obfuscation of, quite simply, the truth of the matter: that shut up indoors and forced to a mold of weak and literal domesticity, imaginative life strikes out (in multiple senses). For Gilman’s narrator, the oppressive regularity of the yellow wallpaper turns into an inspired screen; the silver screen turns yellow, and turns on its audience. How else to read “The Yellow Wall-paper” (a narrative not really about reading but about seeing) other than as a parable for the unrelenting visual dynamics of change and regularity? Had the wallpaper been replaced when she first asked her husband, would it have had the time to come to a life of its own? Is this also what separates “The Yellow Wall-paper” from Stick Around and A Day at the Races – that these last two sanitariums are humorous only because they are getting fresh wallpaper?
I browse June’s Southern Living. As wallpaper and cinema draw nearer each other through technology in things like digital wallpaper or ever-widening television screens (think Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 or Philip K. Dick), we ourselves move farther from the original dual purpose of both media: to satisfy our devout need to bring the spiritual into the home, and to cover over the cracks in our walls and our lives. Recall too that the guilty Raskolnikov, in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, was almost caught by two workmen, two wallpaper hangers who question him severely when he returns to the scene of his crime. “They were papering the walls with a new white paper covered with lilac flowers, instead of the dirty old yellow one. Raskolnikov for some reason felt horribly annoyed by this. He looked at the new paper with dislike, as though he felt sorry
Facer, Nick, ed. The Victoria and Albert Colour Book of Ornate Wallpapers. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1986.
Frangiamore, Catherine Lynn. Wallpapers in Historic Preservation. Washington, D.C.: Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation, 1977. National Park Service. 15 May 2007.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wall-paper.” 1892. University of Virginia Library. 18 June 2007.
Greysmith, Barbara. Wallpaper. New York: Macmillan, 1976.
“Health and Cleanliness.” Victoria & Albert Museum. 15 May 2007.
Leitch, Thomas. “Twelve Fallacies in Contemporary Adaptation Theory,” Criticism 45.2 (2003) 149-171.
Morris, William. “Some Hints on Pattern-Designing.” 1881. The William Morris Internet Archive. 20 June 2007.
“A Short Introductory History of Wallpaper.” Victoria & Albert Museum. 15 May 2007.
Teynac, Françoise, Pierre Nolot, and Jean-Denis Vivien. Wallpaper: A History. Trans. Conway Lloyd Morgan. New York: Rizzoli, 1982.
Toplin, Robert Brent. “Hollywood’s History: The Historians’ Response.” Review of Mark C. Carnes, ed. Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies. Reviews in American History 24.2 (1996): 337-343.
“Wall-paper.” Def. 2. The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989.
- Today one can change wallpapers, in a different setting, with a right-click. But this is a different story, involving an attempt to humanize (or Heimlich-ize?) technology. [↩]
- It is pattern number US20604X (right), from the book Au Naturel. [↩]
- I cannot comment on this last adaptation, except to note that the trailer (available here) gives only a glimpse of the important wallpaper; in its place are menacing dialogue and haunted house images. [↩]