Insomnia | Elizabeth Bishop, 1951

The moon in the bureau mirror
looks out a million miles
(and perhaps with pride, at herself,
but she never, never smiles)
far and away beyond sleep, or
perhaps she’s a daytime sleeper.

By the Universe deserted,
she’d tell it to go to hell,
and she’d find a body of water,
or a mirror, on which to dwell.
So wrap up care in a cobweb
and drop it down the well

into that world inverted
where left is always right,
where the shadows are really the body,
where we stay awake all night,
where the heavens are shallow as the sea
is now deep, and you love me.

 Elizabeth Bishop
Insomnia was first published in New Yorker, 23 June 1951


Goddess of the Moon | Anais Nin

Kenneth Anger, Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome, 1954. Anais Nin acted as Astarte

“I feel a little like the moon who took possession of you for a moment and then returned your soul to you. 
You should not love me. One ought not to love the moon. If you come too near me, I will hurt you.”

Anaïs Nin, Delta of Venus / published posthumously in 1977
written in the 1940s as erotica for a private collector, known simply as “Collector”.

Book//mark - The Happy Prince | Oscar Wilde, 1888 / Orson Welles, 1944 / Δημήτρης Χορν, 1977

Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince and Other Tales, 1888                Plate 1 for the first edition by Walter Crane 

“In the square below,’ said the Happy Prince, ‘there stands a little match-girl. She has let her matches
 fall in the gutter, and they are all spoiled. Her father will beat her if she does not bring home some
 money, and she is crying. She has no shoes or stockings, and her little head is bare. Pluck out 
my other eye, and give it to her, and her father will not beat her.’

‘I will stay with you one night longer,’ said the Swallow, ‘but I cannot pluck out your eye. 
You would be quite blind then.’

‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘do as I command you.’

So he plucked out the Prince’s other eye, and darted down with it. He swooped past the match-girl, 
and slipped the jewel into the palm of her hand. ‘What a lovely bit of glass,’ cried the little girl; 
and she ran home, laughing.

Then the Swallow came back to the Prince. ‘You are blind now,’ he said, ‘so I will stay 
with you always.”

“Who are you?" he said.

"I am the Happy Prince."

"Why are you weeping then?" asked the swallow; "you have quite drenched me.”

“There is no Mystery so great as Misery.”

“I am afraid that she is a coquette, for she is always flirting with the wind.”

“There is no good talking to him," said a Dragon-fly, who was sitting on the top of a large brown
 bulrush; "no good at all, for he has gone away."
"Well, that is his loss, not mine," answered the Rocket. "I am not going to stop talking to him 
merely because he pays no attention. I like hearing myself talk. It is one of my greatest pleasures.
 I often have long conversations all by myself, and I am so clever that sometimes I don't 
understand a single word of what I am saying."
"Then you should definitely lecture on Philosophy," said the Dragon-fly.”

“Surely Love is a wonderful thing. It is more precious than emeralds, and dearer than fine opals.
 Pearls and pomegranates cannot buy it, nor is it set forth in the marketplace. It may not be
 purchased of the merchants, for can it be weighed out in the balance for gold.”

“Dear Prince, I must leave you, but I will never forget you, and next spring I will bring you
 back two beautiful jewels in place of those you have given away. The ruby shall be redder 
than a red rose, and the sapphire shall be as blue as the great sea.”

“Any place you love is the world to you.”

Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince, 1888

The Happy Prince by Bing Crosby and Orson Welles of the Oscar Wilde short story,
 it was aired on CBS' > Orson Welles Show on 22 December 1944.

Adapted by Orson Welles
Directed by Victor Young
Score – Bernard Herrmann

"If you’ve been getting smothered lately in record stores with scads of children’s’ albums by everybody from Artie Shaw through Ronald Colman by way of Gene Kelly, try this one on your small son. It’s the Oscar Wilde fairy tale with a Bernard Herrmann score, and in very much better taste than anything else being turned out for the Christmas rush."

Down Beat mag

    Oscar Wilde, Ο ευτυχισμένος πρίγκηπας, 1888  / Διαβάζει ο Δημήτρης Χορν, 1977
Από την εκπομπή του Νίκου Πιλάβιου "Κάθε Σάββατο και κάτι άλλο".

Peri/od/ical: The Record Changer: The Legendary Jazz and Record Magazine from the 1940s and 1950s

The Record Changer, February 1947                                            The Record Changer, February 1952
The Record changer, March 1945                                    The Record changer, July-August 1951
The Record Changer, September 1949                                                      The Record Changer, January 1947   
The Record Changer, December 1949                                              The Record Changer,  December 1947

The Record Changer, March 1947                    The Record Changer, October 1947
  The Record Changer, March 1953                                              The Record Changer, December 1946
The Record Changer, October 1952                                        The Record Changer, March 1952
The Record Changer, July 1947                                       The Record Changer, December 1948
The Record Changer, May 1952                                                 The Record Changer, Nobember 1950
 The Record Changer, October 1948                                          The Record Changer, September 1948
 The Record Changer, January 1957                                                   The Record Changer, February 1952
 The Record Changer, September 1946                                        The Record Changer, July 1946
The Record Changer, September 1953                                          The Record Changer, February 1956
The Record Changer, June 1949                                          The Record Changer, August 1949
The Record Changer, April 1956                                          The Record Changer, February 1948 

* The magazine existed from 1942 to 1957

Antigone | Sophocles, 441 BC / Jean Anouilh, 1942

"Leave me to my own absurdity."

"I have been a stranger here in my own land: All my life."

"There is no happiness where there is no wisdom."

"You’re in love with impossibility"

"Every way
Leads but astray"

Sophocles, Antigone, 441 BC

Antigone by Jean Anouilh, 1947
Translation by Marios Ploritis
Stage direction: Karolos Koun.
Music: Manos Hadjidakis
Διανομή:  Ε. Λαμπέτη, Λ. Καλλέργης, 
Σ. ΜουσούρηςΝ. Τζόγιας, Δ. Φωτόπουλος, 
Μ. Φωκά, ΚΚαραγεωργιάδης 

"From the moment the curtain went up, she began to feel that inhuman forces 
were whirling her out of this world."

"A happy love is full of quarrels, you know."

"It bothered me that whatever was waiting wasn’t waiting for me"

"Tragedy is clean, it is restful, it is flawless."

"Nothing less than a cozy tea party with death and destiny will quench your thirst."

"He will do what he has to do, and we will do what we have to do"

"I have other plans for you. You’re going to marry Haemon; and I want you to 
fatten up a bit so that you can give him a sturdy boy."

"His afterthoughts belie his first resolve.
When from the hail-storm of thy threats I fled"

"I will not be moderate. I will not be satisfied with the bit of cake you offer me 
if I promise to be a good little girl."

"An ugly sight, a man who is afraid."

"I do not want to understand. I am here for something other than understanding. 
I am here to tell you no, and to die. To tell you no and to die."

"To say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves and plunge both hands into life up 
to the elbows. It’s easy to say no, even if it means dying."

"I didn’t say yes. I can say no to anything I say vile, and I don’t have to count the cost. But 
because you said yes, all that you can do, for all your crown and your trappings, and your 
guards—all that your can do is to have me killed."

The play was first performed in Paris at the Théâtre de l'Atelier on February 6, 1944, during the Nazi occupation. Produced under Nazi censorship, the play is purposefully ambiguous with regard to the rejection of authority (represented by Antigone) and the acceptance of it (represented by Creon). The parallels to the French Resistance and the Nazi occupation are clear, however.

Μάνος Χατζιδάκις, Θεμα για την Αντιγονη, Jean Anouilh, 1946-47

Never ask | Mikhail Bulgakov, 1928-40

Guella and Behemoth from The Master and Margarita, 2012
Darya Boldyreva as Guella
Stage director: Yekaterina Negrutsa

"You should never ask anyone for anything. Never- and especially from those who are more powerful than yourself.” 
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita, 1928-1940

Memory of the city | Thomas Pynchon, 2006

"So the city became the material expression of a particular loss of innocence – not sexual or political innocence but somehow a shared dream of what a city might at its best prove to be – its inhabitants became, and have remained, an embittered and amnesiac race, wounded but unable to connect through memory to the moment of injury, unable to summon the face of their violator.”

Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, 2006

< F. Bedrich Grunzweig, The Midtown Elevated, New York, 1954-55


Το Πράσινο Δωμάτιο στο Χαλάνδρι | Νίκος Νικολαΐδης, 2007

Maira Kalman , The Green Room, with a red chair

 ''Στο πράσινο δωμάτιο στο Χαλάνδρι όπου την έπεσα κι εγώ μια εποχή γιατί οι τύποι εκεί μέσα ήτανε πολύ περίεργοι και ξέραν πράγματα που γούσταρα πολύ και που δεν ήξερα - και ευκαιρία να τα μάθω.

 Ήταν ένα δωμάτιο όλο πράσινα χαλιά κουρτίνες μαξιλάρια φώτα πολυθρόνες πράσινες διάβαζαν Ρίλκε Μπωντελαιρ Καβάφη άκουγαν κλασσική μετά Μπρασσένς και Μουλουτζί κι όχι ροκάκια κ’ είχανε ψώνιο με την Γκρέτα Γκάρμπο και το θέατρο Το Πένθος Ταιριάζει Στην Ηλέκτα Το Τέλος της Μικρής μας Πόλης τέτοια σκηνικά κ’ ένας ντυνόταν πότε πότε Μάτα Χάρι σελινιαζότανε κι ανέμιζε χορευτικά τα χέρια του γιατί το είχε δει πως όταν πεθαίνει η Γκάρμπο στην οθόνη τον αφήνει στο πόδι της πλας πως του εμπιστεύεται τα χέρια της καπάκι να συντηρεί το καλούπι - κύριος όμως έγραφε και ωραία ποιήματα αλλά από χέρια ήταν μάπα.

 Καλά παιδιά και συντροφάκια είχανε τον δικό τους Γαλαξία και πλανητεύανε σαν αστροναύτες αλανιάρηδες το χάος το προσωπικό της ύπαρξής τους - έτσι μου ‘λεγαν και μου άρεσε.

 Κάποια στιγμή ανέβασα και την Μπέττυ στο Χαλάνδρι και γουστάρανε πολύ γιατί στο πράσινο από θηλυκό ούτε γάτα. Ο Βιθέντε την ερωτεύτηκε αμέσως και το δήλωσε ο Τάκης την πήρε περιέργως με καλό μάτι ο Σπύρος της άναβε γαλλικά χρυσά Παλλέτ ο Κωνσταντίνος την είδε σαν την αδερφή που δεν του χάρισαν ποτέ κι ο Γκρέτα Γκάρμπος της αφιέρωνε τα ποιήματά του ως και Λωτρεαμόν της δάνεισαν κ’ η Μπέττυ που το είδε κάτι προς μαμά του λόχου κάτι προς Ζουλιέτ Γκρεκό πλάκωσε ξαφνικά μαύρα πουλόβερ μαύρα νύχια φούστες μακριές και χαμηλές γοβίτσες.''

Alphabetarion # Serendipity | Julio Cortázar, 1967

Julio Cortázar, Buenos Aires, 1940

"We know that attention acts as a lightning rod. Merely by concentrating on something one 
causes endless analogies to collect around it, even penetrate the boundaries of the subject 
itself: an experience that we call coincidence, serendipity – the terminology is extensive. 
My experience has been that in these circular travels what is really significant surrounds a 
central absence, an absence that, paradoxically, is the text being written or to be written.”

Julio Cortázar, Around the Day in Eighty Worlds, 1967

* Serendipity means a "fortunate happenstance" or "pleasant surprise". It was coined 
by Horace Walpole in 1754. (...)


Stay with me | Waiting for Godot, Act II, 1949

Estragon : Don’t touch me! Don’t question me! Don’t speak to me! Stay with me!
Vladimir: Did I ever leave you?
Estragon: You let me go.
Vladimir: Look at me. (Estragon does not raise his head. Violently.) Will you look at me!

Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot, Act II, 1949

< Delmer Daves, Dark Passage (1947) 
 Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall

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