Literature | Fernando Pessoa

Reading on the roof of an apartment building in New York City, 1951

“To write is to forget. Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.
Music soothes, the visual arts exhilarates, the performing arts (such as
acting and dance) entertain. Literature, however, retreats from life by turning
in into slumber. The other arts make no such retreat— some because they use
visible and hence vital formulas, others because they live from human life itself.

This isn't the case with literature. Literature simulates life. A novel is a story of
what never was, a play is a novel without narration. A poem is the expression of
ideas or feelings a language no one uses, because no one talks in verse.”

Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
(it was first published in Portuguese in 1982, 47 years after Pessoa's death) 


Ένας καλαμιώνας | Julio Cortázar, 1963

Helen Frankenthaler, Tales of Genji V, 1998

"Ανάμεσα σ’εμένα και τη Μάγα φυτρώνει ένας ολόκληρος καλαμιώνας από λέξεις, μόλις που 
μας χωρίζουν μερικές ώρες και μερικά τετράγωνα και ήδη ο πόνος μου ονομάζεται πόνος, 
ο έρωτάς μου ονομάζεται έρωτας… Όλο και πιο πολύ θα νιώθω λιγότερο και θα θυμάμαι 
περισσότερο, αλλά τι είναι η ανάμνηση αν όχι το ιδίωμα των αισθημάτων, ένα λεξικό που 
μέσα του είναι καταχωρημένα τα πρόσωπα και οι μέρες και τα αρώματα που επαναλαμβάνονται
 όπως τα ρήματα και τα επίθετα στην ομιλία, πλησιάζοντας ύπουλα το πράγμα καθεαυτό, 
θλίβοντας ή διδάσκοντάς μας με την υποκατάσταση ώσπου η ίδια μας η ύπαρξη να γίνει 
ένα υποκατάστατο, το πρόσωπο που κοίταζε προς τα πίσω ανοίγει διάπλατα τα μάτια του, το 
αληθινό πρόσωπο ξεθωριάζει λίγο-λίγο όπως στις παλιές φωτογραφίες και ο Ιανός είναι ξαφνικά
 οποιοσδήποτε από εμάς. Όλα αυτά τα λέω στον Κρέβελ, αλλά είναι με τη Μάγα που μιλάω 
τώρα που βρισκόμαστε τόσο μακριά. Και δεν της μιλάω με τις λέξεις που χρησίμευαν μόνο 
για μη συνεννοούμαστε, μα τώρα που είναι πια αργά αρχίζω να διαλέγω άλλες, τις δικές της, 
αυτές που είναι τυλιγμένες σ’ εκείνο που αυτή καταλαβαίνει και που δεν έχει όνομα: ρεύματα
 και αγωνιώδεις εντάσεις που κάνουν τον αέρα ανάμεσα σε δυο κορμιά να τρίζει και γεμίζουν
 χρυσόσκονη ένα σπίτι ή ένα στίχο."

Julio Cortázar, Το Κουτσό, 1963 
μτφ. Κώστας Κουντούρης


Portraits | Drawings by Henri Matisse, 1920-1954

Henri Matisse, Portrait, 1951                                                                     Henri Matisse, Portrait, 1949
Henri Matisse, Portrait of a Woman, 1920                    Henri Matisse, Fillette, 1944
Henri Matisse, Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, 1932                                      Henri Matisse, Portrait of  Mlle Jacqueline Leriche, 1943  
Henri Matisse, Portrait of Charles Baudelaire, 1932                                                      Henri Matisse, Portrait
Henri Matisse, Portrait of Margaret (Bibi), 1929              Henri Matisse, Portrait of a Young Girl, 1954
Henri Matisse, Catherinette, 1946                                                             Henri Matisse, Portrait  
Henri Matisse, Tête de profil , 1950                            Henri Matisse, Portrait of Paul Matisse V , 1946
Henri Matisse, Portrait of Rabelais, Nice, 1951                                  Henri Matisse, Autoportrait, 1922
Henri Matisse, Portrait                                                        Henri Matisse, Portrait 
Henri Matisse, Tête de femme, 1946                Henri Matisse, Tête de femme, 1945-50
Henri Matisse, Double Portrait de jeune femme, 1944


Hitchhiking, 1936-1977 | Photos by Robert Doisneau / Dennis Stock / Walker Evans / Maurice Ambler / Marisa Rastellini / Oskar Poss

Walker Evans, Hitchhiking near Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1936

Hitchhikers use a variety of signals to indicate they need a ride. Indicators can be physical gestures
 or displays including written signs. The physical gestures, e.g., hand signals, hitchhikers use differ
 around the world:

In some African countries, the hitchhiker's hand is held with the palm facing upwards.

In most of Europe, North America, and the United Kingdom, most hitchhikers stand with their
 back facing the direction of travel. The hitchhiker typically extends their arm towards the road 
with the thumb of the closed hand pointing upward or in the direction of vehicle travel.

In other parts of the world, such as Australia, it is more common to use the index finger to 
point at the road.

Carl Gaston, Hitchhiking, 1938
François Le Diascorn, A couple hitch-hiking along a road in Kenya
Cote d'Azur, 1955
Maurice Ambler, Two young women hitch-hiking on the French Riviera, 1954                                                    Maurice Ambler, 1954
Evening Standard, Hippies hitching a ride to a love in at Woburn Park, 1969

In Cuba, picking up hitchhikers is mandatory for government vehicles, if passenger space is 
available. Hitchhiking is encouraged, as Cuba has few cars, and hitch hikers use designated
 spots. Drivers pick up waiting riders on a first come, first served basis.

In Israel, hitchhiking is commonplace at designated locations called trempiyadas (טרמפיאדה 
in Hebrew, derived from the “German” trampen). Travelers soliciting rides, called trempists,
 wait at trempiyadas, typically junctions of highways or main roads outside of a city.

In Nepal, hitchhiking is very common in rural areas. Many do not own cars so hitchhiking 
is a common practice especially in and around villages.

Poland, 1966                                                           Dennis Stock, Road People, USA, 1971

Hitchhiking was legalised and formalised in Poland in 1957. Hitchhikers could buy booklets
 including coupons from travel agencies.These coupons were given to drivers who took 
hitchhikers. By the end of each season drivers who collected the highest number of 
coupons could exchange them for prizes and others took part in a lottery. 
This so-called “Akcja Autostop" was popular till the end of the 1970s.

Robert Doisneau, 1954
Tim Buckley hitch-hikes by the side of the road with David Peel and Lee Underwood, Germany, 1968
Oskar Poss, Germany, 1955
H. Armstrong Roberts, 1930s
Frank Capra, It Happened One Night, 1934
Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable attempt to hitchhike in It Happened One Night, 1934 / Frank Capra
Night Terror (1977) / Director: E.W. Swackhamer
Dennis Stock, Road People, USA, 1971    
  Dennis Stock, Road People, USA, 1971
Marisa Rastellini, Two young women in a low cost holiday hitchhiking in the street, Italy, 1960s 

Bobby Curtola, Hitchhiker, 1961   

   Karin Stanek - Jedziemy autostopem, 1963

The Sonics - Hitch Hike, 1966

The Lewallen Brothers, Arizona, 1960s


The Stars | Andrei Tarkovsky

Andy Warhol, So many stars (1958)

“Late this evening I looked at the sky and saw the stars.
I felt as if it was the first time I had ever looked at them. 
I was stunned.
The stars made an extraordinary impression on me” 

Andrei Tarkovsky, Journal 1970-1986

Flick Review < Suddenly Last Summer | Tennessee Williams / Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1959

“Somebody said once or wrote, once: 'We're all of us children in a vast 
kindergarten trying to spell God's name with the wrong alphabet blocks!”

Tennessee Williams, Suddenly Last Summer, 1958

Catherine Holly: Truth is the one thing I've never resisted.

“Most people's lives—what are they but trails of debris, each day more debris, more debris,
 long, long trails of debris with nothing to clean it all up but, finally, death.” 

 Tennessee Williams, Suddenly Last Summer, 1958

“The role of benefactor is worse than thankless, it's the role of a victim, Doctor, a sacrificial
 victim, yes, they want your blood, Doctor, they want your blood on the altar steps of
their outraged, outrageous egos!” 

Tennessee Williams, Suddenly Last Summer, 1958

Suddenly Last Summer, 1959
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Writers: Tennessee Williams (play), Gore Vidal (screenplay) 
Cinematography: Jack Hildyard
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift 

* Tennessee Williams was not a fan of the film and hated the way it had reworked his material.

“Man devours man in a metaphorical sense. He feeds upon his fellow creatures, without
the excuse of animals. Animals actually do it for survival, out of hunger…. I use that
 metaphor [of cannibalism] to express my repulsion with this characteristic of man, the
way people use each other without conscience: ‘We all use each other and that’s what
we think of as love.’

It horrified me, the film. [Producer] Sam Spiegel made the mistake of inviting me to a private
 screening of it in his apartment and I walked out in the middle of it. I was so offended by
the literal approach because the play was metaphorical; it was sort of a poem, I thought.
I loved Katharine Hepburn in it, but I didn’t like the film. 

…[The death by cannibalism scene] became so realistic, with the boys chasing Sebastian
 up the hill - I thought it was a travesty. It was about how people devour each other in
an allegorical sense.”

Tennessee Williams, Conversations with Tennessee Williams

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift on the set of  Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift on the set of  Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor, 1959

* Because of years of alcoholism and prescription drug abuse, Montgomery Clift was considered
 uninsurable due to chronic ill health. Ordinarily that would have meant he would have been fired 
and replaced, but his good friend Elizabeth Taylor saved his job by insisting she would not do
 the film without him.

* The allusion to Herman Melville and the Galapagos islands refers to the "The Encantadas or 
Enchanted Isles", a series of "sketches," or short prose works, about the Galapagos Islands 
written primarily from Melville's own experience sailing around the islands.

Burt Glinn: Katharine Hepburn & Montgomery Clift on the set, 1959                                  Elizabeth Taylor’s famous swimsuit scene 

Tennessee Williams, First edition cover (New Directions)                                       Suddenly Last Summer, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1959

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