A Picture of Myself | Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, 1914

At the age of 13 was one of the first teenagers to take her own picture using a mirror to send to a friend in 1914. In the letter that accompanied the photograph, she wrote, “I took this picture of myself looking at the mirror. It was very hard as my hands were trembling.”

Using a Kodak Brownie, a camera released in 1900, and a mirror to capture her own likeness, the then 13-year-old is seen gazing at herself with curiosity.

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia (1901-1918). She was executed with her family in an extrajudicial killing by members of the Cheka, the Bolshevik secret police, on July 17, 1918.

Variations | Glenn Gould, 1956

"I couldn't imagine a life in which I would not be surrounded by music.
It shelters you from the world, protects you, and keeps you at a certain
distance from the world."

Glenn Gould

“I believe in God — Bach’s God.” 

Glenn Gould

Brilliant young Canadian pianist Glenn Gould laughing as engineers let him hear how his singing
 spoiled his recording of the Bach Goldberg Variations after which he offered to wear a gas mask
 to muffle his songs, at a Columbia recording studio.
New York, NY, March 1956. Photo by Gordon Parks

Blowing Bubbles | Helen Levitt / Izis Bidermanas / Francesc Catala-Roca

Francesc Catala-Roca
                                               c. 1950
                                                 Izis Bidermanas, 1950

Kate Moss 
 Helen Levitt, Children with soap bubbles, New York City, c. 1945

                I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

August Strindberg to Friedrich Nietzsche

Anna Bella Geiger, Brain, 1966

“Your words have entered the uterus of my brain.”

August Strindberg to Friedrich Nietzsche

Cinema | Italy / Romania / Greece (1951-1960)

Thomas Hoepker, Naples, Italy 1956 
Pietro Donzelli, Cine in Pila,Véneto, 1954

Turin, Italy, 1951
Cinema Libertatii, Bucharest, Romania, 1956
Αδελαίς, Παλαιό Φάληρο, Greece, 1960

Παρηγοριά σε ύψος δέκα χιλιάδων μέτρων | Reiner Kunze

Ἡ γῆ εἶναι σίγουρη για μας

Μόνο που η γη
δεν εἶναι σίγουρη

Ἂν ὅμως διαλυόταν
κατά την ἀπουσία μας, θα μπορούσαμε
ἀδέσμευτοι ἀπο τη βαρύτητα,

ἀμέσως να συνεχίσουμε το πέταγμα

Παρηγοριά σε ύψος 
δέκα χιλιάδων μέτρων,
Reiner Kunze

μτφ: Αντώνης Τριφύλλης

The Early Journals | Virginia Woolf, 1897-1906

Sisters Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell as children, playing cricket                                                                  Virginia Woolf at 18

“I adore looking at blossoming flowers though for the most part, it emotionally drains me. I like getting a sense of the world constantly reborn and enhanced; yet I am melancholy because such beauty is untouchable. Such beauty is chaotically intolerable.”
Virginia Woolf (aged 15)

"Activity of mind, I think, is the only thing that keeps one’s life going, unless one has a larger emotional activity of some other kind. One’s mind that’s like a restless steamer paddle urging the ship along, tho’ the wind is non-existent and the sea is as still as glass. What a force a human being is! There are worse solitudes than drift ice, and yet this eternal throbbing heat and energy of one’s mind thaws a pathway through; and open sea and land shall come in time. Think though, what man is midst fields and woods. A solitary creature dependent on winds and tides, and yet somehow suppressing the might of a spark in his brain. What nonsense to write!"

 Virginia Woolf, Journals, 1897 - 1909

Virginia Woolf and her younger brother Adrian Stephen playing cricket.

"How can I remain peaceful without turning my face completely to the world? I belong to quick, futile moments of intense feeling. Yes, I belong to moments. Not to people. In all other ways I lead a perfectly ordinary life - except that I do not like thinking and talking about anything ordinary unless one makes me."

"The inner life has its soft and gentle beauty; an abstract formlessness as well as a subtle charm. I often consider myself as a figure in a foggy painting: faltering lines, insecure distances, and a merging of greys and blacks. An emotion or a mood - a mere wisp of color - is shaded off and made to spread until it becomes one with all that surrounds it."

Virginia Woolf, Journals, 1897-1909

"After all we are a world of imitations; all the Arts that is to say imitate as far as they can the one great truth that all can see. Such is the eternal instinct in the human beast, to try and reproduce something of that majesty in paint marble or ink. Somehow ink tonight seems to me the least effectual method of all — and music the nearest to truth."

Virginia Woolf (aged 17)

"I am interested in impossible embodiments. I wish to write; I wish to write about certain things that cannot be held. I want to create a sea of freely-flowing words of no definite form and shape waves of fluent exactness."

"I need to emerge from tiny time-stopping moments; I need to exist inside dawn’s light. I need to give in to the presence of everything humble, boundlessly sincere and extraordinarily terrifying."

Virginia Woolf, Journals, 1897-1909

Sisters Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell, 1896                                      Virginia Woolf, c.1895

"But the books are the things that I enjoy — on the whole — most. I feel sometimes for hours together as though the physical stuff of my brain were expanding, larger and larger, throbbing quicker and quicker with new blood — and there is no more delicious sensation than this."

"Oh the torture of never being left alone! I find it impossible to disentangle myself from those instincts, affections, passions, attachments…which bound me…from the first moment of consciousness to other people. I need solitude; I need to feel I belong to myself. I now begin to think that reading has become my secret life and personal refuge."

Virginia Woolf, The Early Journals 1897 - 1906

Plein Air Painting / The outdoor painter | Alexis Delcroix / Edouard Manet / Paul Cezanne / J. Dekais

Alexis Delcroix, Outdoor painter, 1940, Belgium

All pictures painted inside in the studio will never be as good as the things done outside.

Paul Cezanne

J. Dekais, L’Aquarelliste, 1938, Belgium

There is only one true thing: instantly paint what you see.

Edouard Manet

Jackson Pollock and Jazz | Fats Waller / Lester Young / Louis Armstrong / Jimmy Yancey / Count Basie / Ornette Coleman

Hans Namuth, Jackson Pollock Painting, 1950
Jackson Pollock: Number 8, 1949
Hans Namuth, Jackson Pollock Painting, 1950

Fats Waller - Moppin And Boppin                       Lester Young - One O' Clock Jump 

Jackson Pollock’s house and studio in the Hamptons. The studio where Pollock painted most of his
 infamous drip paintings and worked until his untimely death in 1956.
 Pollock/Krasner House (East Hampton. New York) 

Louis Armstrong - Mahogany Hall Stomp 

 Pollock/Krasner House (East Hampton. New York) 

Jimmy Yancey – Yancey's Bugle Call
 Jackson Pollock, Greyed Rainbow, 1953

Count Basie - Jumpin' at the Woodside

J. Pollock’s studio
The White Light (1954) by Jackson Pollock appeared on Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz (1961)
The cover was a gatefold with a cutout window in the lower left corner, allowing a glimpse of the painting;
 opening the cover revealed the full artwork.

I am one of the searchers | James Kavanaugh

Bastian Kalous

“I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know - unless it be to share our laughter.

We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.

For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.”

James Kavanaugh, There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves (prologue)

Boxing Men | The Fatman and George Moore, the living skeleton, 1890

Fred Howe, the Fatman and George Moore, the living skeleton, 1890
Fred Howe, the Fatman and George Moore, the living skeleton, 1890
Fred Howe, Circus Fat Man Boxer, Columbus Ohio

The Book & the Movie: The Spiral Staircase / Some Must Watch | Ethel Lina White, 1933 / Robert Siodmak, 1946

"For some must watch, while some must sleep: 
So runs the world away." 
William Shakespeare, Hamlet

"The wind shrieked, as though a flock of witches sailed overhead, racing the moon, which spun through the torn clouds like a silver cannonball, shot into space. Down in the basement, a flickering candle in her hand, she groped amid the mice, the spiders, and the shadows. These shadows shifted before her, sliding along the pale-washed wall, as though to lead the way. Whenever she entered an office, they crouched on the other side of the door, waiting for her. She was nerved up to meet an attack which did not come, but which lurked just around the corner. It was perpetual postponement, which drew her on, deeper and deeper, into the labyrinth.”

Ethel Lina White, The Spiral Staircase / Some Must Watch (1933)

The Spiral Staircase, 1946 directed by Robert Siodmak, from a screenplay by Mel Dinelli based on Ethel Lina White's novel 
Some Must Watch (1933). The novel was adapted for a radio production starring Helen Hayes before reaching the screen.

Frédéric Chopin -Waltz Op. 34 No. 2 in A minor   (Played during the scene at the silent movie theater)
"At the back of her mind, something was worrying her...
Something forgotten--or overlooked."
"Like a rocket, shooting up through the darkness of her mind, and breaking 
into a cluster of stars, a host of questions splashed and spattered her brain."

Ethel Lina White, The Spiral Staircase / Some Must Watch (1933)

The close-ups of the killer's eyes actually show those of director Robert Siodmak

"Just imagine the horror of seeing a friendly, familiar face—like my own—
suddenly change into an unfamiliar mask—with murder glaring out of its eyes?"
The Spiral Staircase (1945) 
Director: Robert Siodmak 
Writers: Mel Dinelli (screenplay), Ethel Lina White (novel) 
Stars: Dorothy McGuire, George Brent, Ethel Barrymore

Robert Siodmak on the set of The Spiral Staircase, 1946
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