When Manhattan journalist, author and man-about-town Gay Talese begins his day around 7 a.m., he dresses “like I’m going to the lunch I’m not going to.” Invariably, that means he’s impeccably turned out, from his signature fedoras to his bespoke Oxford shoes. For the author of “Thy Neighbor’s Wife” and writer of many other books and fabled Esquire articles (“Frank Sinatra Has a Cold”), shoes have helped make him the man he is today: dignified, meticulous, dapper.
“Se qualcosa ci appartiene legittimamente, è proprio, credo, ciò che la natura ci ha dato. Orbene, la barba è un dono della natura e quindi la barba ci appartiene. Quanto detto è così vero che Proudhon, autore di un paradosso molto astuto sulla questione della proprietà, non si è perorato affatto di contestare quella della barba. Perché allora alcuni si sono arrogati il diritto di perseguitarla sulla base di un veto umorale e capriccioso? Siatene molto convinti, lettori; qualsiasi attentato barbicida è un attentato alla libertà di cui la barba è simbolo. Maledetti siano tutti i persecutori della barba in questo mondo! L’onnipotenza è dalla parte della barba.”—Eugène Dulac, Fisiologia e igiene di barba e baffi, 1842 [via eleapocket via Barbe d’Italia]
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of New York’s street grid, the Museum of the City of New York, in collaboration with the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, has put online the complete Randel Farm Maps for the first time ever. Made between 1818 and 1820 by John Randel, Jr., these one-of-a-kind, hand-drawn and hand-colored maps from the collection of the Office of the Manhattan Borough President document the island of Manhattan from today’s Houston Street to its northernmost tip in meticulous detail.
“Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.”—Ray Bradbury [via mrgan]
Rowing a gondola sounds very simple. You stand facing the front of the boat, one foot parallel to the oarlock that juts from its hull and the other set back a bit for stability. Then you push the shaft of the oar forward, moving the narrow blade back through the water. When your arm is as outstretched as it can get, rotate the shaft, lift the oar out of the water and swing it forward for another stroke. But as I learned during my first lesson, it is far easier said than done.
Your note of 9/19 was heartening and inspiring and also made me curious about several things. I would love to know what changes in yourself account for “And discipline is never an issue (as it was in earlier years).” I would love to know how this education of the will took place — would that you could assure that it was nothing but a matter of time natural attritive/osmotic action, but I have a grim suspicion there’s rather more to it. I’d love to know how the sentence quoted above stands in relation to “The novel is a fucking killer. I try to show it every respect.”
As I understand your terms “discipline,” “respect,” “dedication,” your thoughts have confirmed my belief that what usually presents in me as a problem with Discipline is actually probably more a problem with Dedication. I struggle very hard with my desires both to have Fun when writing and to be Serious when writing. I know that my first book was the most Fun I’ve ever had writing, but I know also that the only remotely Serious thing about it was that I very Seriously wanted the world to think I was a really good fiction-writer. I cringe, now, to look at how so much of my first stuff seems so excruciatingly obviously exhibitionistic and so Seriously approval-hungry.
“There’s a new wind blowing in government, and I don’t like it. All of a sudden there’s all this federal money coming in and Paul, the city manager, is telling us to build parks, start new community programs. It’s horrifying.”—Ron Swanson (S01E02)
“Ritengo la politica una maniera eccellente di risolvere i problemi seri della vita perlomeno quanto lo è il gioco dei tarocchi. E siccome c’è gente che vive del gioco dei tarocchi, non vedo perché non debba esistere anche la professione di politico. Tanto più che costui guadagna sempre a spese di chi non gioca. Ma è giusto che chi assiste alla partita giocata dai politici debba pur pagare qualcosa, se la sua paziente osservazione rappresenta il contenuto della sua esistenza. Se la politica non esistesse, al borghese non resterebbe altro che la sua vita interiore, vale a dire nulla che lo possa tenere occupato”—Karl Kraus, Essere uomini è uno sbaglio [via Paolo Nori]
For much of the 20th century, orchestras were a valued part of the western cultural fabric. In towns and cities on either side of the Atlantic, the cost of maintaining an 80-strong ensemble to play a diet of predominantly 19th-century music was rarely questioned. But by the 1990s the noise of popular culture had begun to drown out the sound of symphonies, and government subsidies were on the squeeze. To survive, the orchestra sought to redefine itself as an educational and recreational tool for the whole community, rather than a once-a-week concert-giver for rarefied souls in a municipal temple. Not only that, it had to advertise itself as a driver of creative excellence, so that it could justify the support it received. All this meant presenting a much wider spectrum of music, from baroque to crossover – sometimes in a less forbidding style than the concert format. To lead and personify this change, the orchestra needed a figurehead capable of appealing to a wider public than the traditional maestro did.
“I gave him [H. Harris in New York] a pair of my old London trousers [Frederick Scholte in London] and he copied them admirably. Since then, I have had my trousers made in New York and my jackets in London, an international compromise which the Duchess aptly describes as “pants across the sea.””—The Duke of Windsor [via voxsart]
“Take a view of the Royal Exchange in London, a place more venerable than many courts of justice, where the representatives of all nations meet for the benefit of mankind. There the Jew, the Mahometan, and the Christian transact together, as though they all professed the same religion, and give the name of infidel to none but bankrupts. There the Presbyterian confides in the Anabaptist, and the Churchman depends on the Quaker’s word.”—Voltaire, Letters on the English, 1734 [via Tom Palmer]
“Il cammino della storia dunque non è quello di una palla di biliardo che una volta partita segue una certa traiettoria, ma somiglia al cammino di una nuvola, a quello di chi va bighellonando per le strade, e qui è sviato da un’ombra, là da un gruppo di persone o da uno strano taglio di facciate, e giunge infine in un luogo che non conosceva e dove non desiderava andare.”—Robert Musil, L’uomo senza qualità [via Karl Kraus]
LIFE magazine’s Gjon Mili, a technical prodigy and lighting innovator, visited Pablo Picasso in the South of France in 1949. The meeting of these two marvelous minds and sensibilities was bound to result in something extraordinary. Mili showed the artist some of his photographs of ice skaters with tiny lights affixed to their skates, jumping in the dark — and Picasso’s lively mind began to race. “Picasso gave Mili 15 minutes to try one experiment,” LIFE wrote in its January 30, 1950, issue in which the images shown here first appeared. He was so fascinated by the results that he posed for five sessions.” This series of photographs, known ever since as Picasso’s “light drawings,” were made with a small electric light in a darkened room; in effect, the images vanished as soon as they were created — and yet they still live, six decades later, in Mili’s playful, hypnotic images.
The Holocaust Visual Archive collects the images and afterimages of the Holocaust disseminated in the vast landscape of visual culture, at the intersection where pop culture, cinema, memorial culture and modern art meet.