A Hand | Anna Kamieńska, 1962

Hand of Akhenaten making an offering to Aten - Sandstone from Ashmunein,
Egypt, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1540 - 1300 BCE

This thing is called a hand.
This thing brought closer to the eyes
covers the world.
Bigger than the sun, a horse, a house,
a cloud, a fly.
This thing of fingers.
This thing with a lovely pink surface.
It is me myself.
It’s not merely lovely.
It grabs, holds, pulls, rips off
and its other works are numberless.
It’s not merely lovely.
It directs armies,
works the soil,
murders with an axe,
spreads women’s thighs
and its other works are numberless.
Its five fingers—five crimes.
Its five fingers—one merit.

Anna Kamienska
tr. Grazyna Drabik & David Curzon

Mica Hand, Hopewell, Ross County, Ohio, c.100 BCE - 500 CE


Alphabetarion # Whisper | Virginia Woolf, 1938

André Kertész, From the beautiful Doll Marionette Show , Paris, 1929-30

"There are things I’d rather whisper and never quite say out loud." 

Virginia Woolf, diary entry, 20 July 1938

Virginia Woolf, 1920's


Alphabetarion # Memories | Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-94

Robert Louis Stevenson at age 7, 1857

"This is still the strangest thing in all man’s travelling,
that he should carry about with him incongruous memories."  

Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-94

Book//mark - Chance | Joseph Conrad, 1912

Joseph Conrad, Chance: a tale in two parts, 1912                                                                                                   Joseph Conrad

Those that hold that all things are governed by Fortune had not erred, had they not persisted there

Sir Thomas Browne

''I believe he had seen us out of the window coming off to dine in the dinghy of a fourteen-ton yawl belonging to Marlow my host and skipper. We helped the boy we had with us to haul the boat up on the landing-stage before we went up to the riverside inn, where we found our new acquaintance eating his dinner in dignified loneliness at the head of a long table, white and inhospitable like a snow bank.''

''This was the first I ever heard of it. I had never suspected that Mrs. Fyne had taken the trouble to distinguish in me the signs of sagacity or folly. The few words we had exchanged last night in the excitement--or the bother--of the girl's disappearance, were the first moderately significant words which had ever passed between us. I had felt myself always to be in Mrs. Fyne's view her husband's chess-player and nothing else--a convenience--almost an implement.
"I am highly flattered," I said. "I have always heard that there are nolimits to feminine intuition; and now I am half inclined to believe it is so. But still I fail to see in what way my sagacity, practical or otherwise, can be of any service to Mrs. Fyne. One man's sagacity is very much like any other man's sagacity. And with you at hand--"Fyne, manifestly not attending to what I was saying, directed straight at me his worried solemn eyes and struck in: "Yes, yes. Very likely. But you will come--won't you?"'

''What they said to each other in private we can imagine. She came out of her own sitting-room with red spots on her cheek-bones, which having provoked a question from her "beloved" charge, were accounted for by a curt "I have a headache coming on." But we may be certain that the talk being over she must have said to that young blackguard: "You had better take her out for a ride as usual." We have proof positive of this in Fyne and Mrs. Fyne observing them mount at the door and pass under the windows of their sitting-room, talking together, and the poor girl all smiles; because she enjoyed in all innocence the company of Charley.''

''I said perfunctorily, "Do you?" And we remained gazing at each other. The uniform paleness of her complexion was not that of an anaemic girl. It had a transparent vitality and at that particular moment the faintest possible rosy tinge, the merest suspicion of colour; an equivalent, I suppose, in any other girl to blushing like a peony while she told me that Captain Anthony had arranged to show her the ship that morning.

It was easy to understand that she did not want to meet Fyne. And when I mentioned in a discreet murmur that he had come because of her letter she glanced at the hotel door quickly, and moved off a few steps to a position where she could watch the entrance without being seen. I followed her. At the junction of the two thoroughfares she stopped in the thin traffic of the broad pavement and turned to me with an air of challenge. "And so you know."'

''The morning was clear, colourless, grey overhead; the dock like a sheet of darkling glass crowded with upside-down reflections of warehouses, of hulls and masts of silent ships. Rare figures moved here and there on the distant quays. A knot of men stood alongside with clothes-bags and wooden chests at their feet. Others were coming down the lane between tall, blind walls, surrounding a hand-cart loaded with more bags and boxes. It was the crew of the Ferndale. They began to come on board. He scanned their faces as they passed forward filling the roomy deck with the shuffle of their footsteps and the murmur of voices, like the awakening to life of a world about to be launched into space.''

''I called out to the captain that his lady was coming aboard. He answered me, but as I didn't see him coming, I went down the gangway myself to help her alight. She jumps out excitedly without touching my arm, or as much as saying "thank you" or "good morning" or anything, turns back to the cab, and then that old joker comes out slowly. I hadn't noticed him inside. I hadn't expected to see anybody. It gave me a start. She says: "My father--Mr. Franklin." He was staring at me like an owl. "How do you do, sir?" says I. Both of them looked funny. It was as if something had happened to them on the way. Neither of them moved, and I stood by waiting. The captain showed himself on the poop; and I saw him at the side looking over, and then he disappeared; on the way to meet them on shore, I expected. But he just went down below again. ''

''Devil only knows what was up between them. There she was, pale as death, talking to him very fast. He got as red as a turkey-cock--dash me if he didn't. A bad-tempered old bloke, I can tellyou. And a bad lot, too. Never mind. I couldn't hear what she was saying to him, but she put force enough into it to shake her. It seemed —it seemed, mind!—that he didn't want to go on board. ''

''There are on earth no actors too humble and obscure not to have a gallery; that gallery which envenoms the play by stealthy jeers, counsels of anger, amused comments or words of perfidious compassion. However, the Anthonys were free from all demoralizing influences. At sea, you know, there is no gallery. You hear no tormenting echoes of your own littleness there, where either a great elemental voice roars defiantly under the sky or else an elemental silence seems to be part of the infinite stillness of the universe.''

''All the warmth went out of her emotion. The very last tears turned cold on her cheek. But their work was done. She had found courage, resolution, as women do, in a good cry. With his hand covering the upper part of his face whether to conceal his eyes or to shut out an unbearable sight, he was stiffening up in his corner to his usual poker-like consistency. She regarded him in silence. His thin obstinate lips moved. He uttered the name of the cousin--the man, you remember, who did not approve of the Fynes, and whom rightly or wrongly little Fyne suspected of interested motives, in view of de Barral having possibly put away some plunder, somewhere before the smash.''

 ''It was one of those dewy, clear, starry nights, oppressing our spirit, crushing our pride, by the brilliant evidence of the awful loneliness, of the hopeless obscure insignificance of our globe lost in the splendid revelation of a glittering, soulless universe. ''

 ''Young Powell had settled down to the regular officer-of-the-watch tramp in the dense shadow of the world decorated with stars high above his head, and on earth only a few gleams of light about the ship. The lamp in the after skylight was kept burning through the night. There were also the dead-lights of the stern-cabins glimmering dully in the deck far aft, catching his eye when he turned to walk that way. The brasses of the wheel glittered too, with the dimly lit figure of the man detached, as if phosphorescent, against the black and spangled background of the horizon.
 Young Powell, in the silence of the ship, reinforced by the great silent stillness of the world, said to himself that there was something mysterious in such beings as the absurd Franklin, and even in such beings as himself. It was a strange and almost improper thought to occur to the officer of the watch of a ship on the high seas on no matter how quiet a night. Why on earth was he bothering his head? Why couldn't he dismiss all these people from his mind? It was as if the mate had infected him with his own diseased devotion. He would not have believed it possible that he should be so foolish. But he was--clearly. He was foolish in a way totally unforeseen by himself. Pushing this self-analysis further, he reflected that the springs of his conduct were just as obscure. ''

'' Luckily, people, whether mature or not mature (and who really is ever mature?), are for the most part quite incapable of understanding what is happening to them: a merciful provision of nature to preserve an average amount of sanity for working purposes in this world. ''

 ''But we, my dear Marlow, have the inestimable advantage of understanding what is happening to others,” I struck in. “Or at least some of us seem to. Is that too a provision of nature? And what is it for? Is it that we may amuse ourselves gossiping about each other’s affairs? You, for instance, seem—''

'''This was yesterday,'' added Marlow, lolling in the arm-chair lazily. “I haven’t heard yet; but I expect to hear at any moment. . . . What on earth are you grinning at in this sarcastic manner? I am not afraid of going to church with a friend. Hang it all, for all my belief in Chance I am not exactly a pagan. . . .''

Joseph Conrad, Chance: a tale in two parts / The Damsel & The Damsel Knight, 1912

[originally entitled "Dynamite" and first published by installments in the New York Herald]

J[A-Z]Z / p1ck ( Popo | Shorty Rogers & Art Pepper, 1951

Cover Photo: Don Schlitten

Recorded December 27, 1951 in Los Angeles, CA 
It was first released on LP in 1980 by Don Schlitten on his Xanadu label.

Shorty Rogers & Art Pepper, Popo, 1951

Shorty Rogers - trumpet 
Art Pepper - alto saxophone 
Frank Patchen - piano 
Howard Rumsey - bass 
Shelly Manne - drums

Alphabetarion # Walk | Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe / Sergio Larrain, 1820-1958

Sergio Larrain, London, 1958

"We all walk in mysteries. We are surrounded by an atmosphere about which we still know nothing at all.
We do not know what stirs in it and how it is connected with our intelligence. This much is certain, under
particular conditions the antennae of our souls are able to reach out beyond their physical limitations."

 Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, letter of 23 July 1820
Quoted in Shamanism and the Eighteenth Century

Flowers | Paintings by Auguste Herbin, 1904-1911

Auguste Herbin, Self-portrait, 1906                                                                            Auguste Herbin, Les trois vases, 1904
Auguste Herbin, Azalées, 1905
Auguste Herbin, Still Life with Lamp, 1905
Auguste Herbin, Flowers, 1906
  Auguste Herbin, Nature morte à la cuvette, 1909                                                                Auguste Herbin, Arum Lilies, 1911
Auguste Herbin, Nature morte aux fleurs, 1910

It was in 1908, soon after moving into the Bateau-Lavoir and taking up the adjacent studio to that of Picasso, that Auguste Herbin first adopted the principles of Cubism. In contrast to the approach of Georges Braque or indeed that of Juan Gris, Herbin was quick to reject the dogma of achromia and its strict vocabulary, preferring instead to focus on the purification and simplification of volume, the pairing of geometric forms and vibrant colors. The innovative paintings executed by Herbin between 1908 and 1912 earned him the respect and recognition of the greatest collectors of the period, including Léonce Rosenberg, Wilhelm Uhde and even Alfred Flechtheim, who all purchased work directly from the artist’s studio. (...)

Auguste Herbin, Composition au bouquet, 1909                                 Auguste Herbin (French, 1882-1960), Still LIfe, n/d
The painter Auguste Herbin in Picasso’s atelier (11 Bld. de Clichy), ca 1911 
by Pablo Picasso 

An Invention | Daphne du Maurier, 1938

Man Ray, Lee Miller sleeping, 1930

“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. 
 And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.”

Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca, 1938


The Cat | Johan van der Keuken (1968)

Johan van der Keuken (1938 – 2001) was a Dutch documentary filmmaker, author, and photographer. In a career that spanned 42 years, Van der Keuken produced 55 documentary films, six of which won eight awards. He also wrote nine books on photography and films, his field of interest. For all his efforts, he received seven awards for his life work, and one other for photography.

Depth must be hidden | Hugo von Hofmannsthal, 1874 -1929

Hugo von Hofmannsthal, 1893

“The soul is never wholly assembled, except in delight.”

“Reality lies in the greatest enchantment you have ever experienced.”

"Depth must be hidden. Where? On the surface."

"First, to be able to love, then to learn that body and spirit are one."

"How we feel is how we want to be heard."

"Singing is near miraculous because it is the mastering of what is otherwise 
a pure instrument of egotism: the human voice."

"We have fewer friends than we imagine, but more than we know."

"To grow mature is to separate more distinctly, to connect more closely."

"The most dangerous of our impulses reign in ourselves against ourselves.
 To dissolve them is a creative act."

 Hugo von Hofmannsthal, 1874 -1929 


Stereosc2pe + Bust | Pablo Picasso, 1935

Pablo Picasso, Woman with hat (Olga), 1935                              Pablo Picasso, Bust of a Woman, 1935

Alphabetarion # Dinosaurs | Steve Miller, 1954-2004

Marc Riboud, London, England, 1954

"Dinosaurs may be extinct from the face of the planet, 
but they are alive and well in our imaginations."

Steve Miller, Freaks!, 2004

Delivering dinosaurs for exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science 
 Arthur Pollock, 1984

The Voice of an Angel | Frankie Valli | from The Four Lovers to The Four Seasons,1960-67

Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, and Hank Majewski in 1954

"Jazz was my first love." 

"When I was a kid, I used to listen to my Emerson radio late at night under the covers. I started by listening 
to jazz in the late 1940s and then vocal harmony groups like the Four Freshmen, the Modernaires and the Hi-Lo's. 
I loved Stan Kenton's big band - with those dark chords and musicians who could swing cool with individual sounds."  

"I spent many a summer early morning with the radio very low, half sleeping and half listening." 

"I learned by listening to other people sing and doing impressions of them. And there are things no one can ever teach 
you, like phrasing. By listening to Sinatra, for instance - you felt that everything he sang had happened in his life. "

"Starting in my teens, I was always standing on the corner near our apartment singing harmony with friends. 
We'd also go to the park and sing under the bridge near the lake for the echo. When it was cold out, we'd stand 
in the little heated lobby in the project's administration building, where my mom paid the rent each month." 

"At school, I'd sing in groups in the locker room or in the bathroom, which was like an echo chamber. 
The problem is I didn't know how to get started singing professionally."  

The Four Lovers on The Ed Sullivan Show, 1956

"My name actually is Francesco Castaluccio."

"I went to school to learn to be a hairdresser. I worked at a wholesale florist, where I delivered to florists all over New Jersey. 
I'd come home and go out to work down at the Shore. The early jobs, I remember, were $5, $6 a night. And I lived in the 
projects right until the time I became successful."

"If I close my eyes, I can remember the first apartment where I lived with my family in Newark, N.J., in the late 1930s. 
The rooms were lined up like train cars - you had to go through one to get to another - and there wasn't any heat or hot 

"Where I grew up, in New Jersey, there was a lot of organised crime activity. It was a part of life." 

"You can take the guy out of the neighorhood but you can't take the neighborhood out of the guy." 

The Four Seasons perform on stage at the WMCA Good Guys concert, 1964,  New York

"The '60s was a magical time in the music business. So much creativity and talent. I think a lot of it came from 
the fact that we had grown up before rock n' roll. We listened to all the great songwriters and big bands, songs 
with great lyrics and melodies. I think that really influenced everybody."

"In 1967, I found out I was losing my hearing. I went 10 years without any help. I had otosclerosis - hardening 
of the bone in the middle of the ear."

"'Jersey Boys' has been the most amazing experience ever and has exposed an entire new audience to the music. 
It's great to see people of all ages coming to the show." 

"I do belong to Jersey. There's no doubt about that in my mind. They have been so loyal and so good to me; how 
could I possibly belong any place else? "

Frankie Valli 

Frankie Valli 

Frankie Valli (b.1934) was the eldest of three sons to an Italian family in the First Ward of Newark, New Jersey. His father, Anthony Castelluccio, was a barber and display designer for Lionel model trains; his mother, Mary Rinaldi, was a homemaker and beer company employee. He was inspired to take up a singing career at the age of seven after his mother took him to see the young Frank Sinatra at the Paramount Theater in New York City. His early mentor was singer "Texas" Jean Valli, from whom he obtained his last name. 

Frankie Valli began his professional singing career in 1951 with the Variety Trio (Nickie DeVito, Tommy DeVito and Nick Macioci). Valli's desire to sing in public was initially granted when, having heard Valli sing, the group offered him a guest spot when the group performed. In late 1952, the Variety Trio disbanded and Valli, along with Tommy DeVito, became part of the house band at The Strand in New Brunswick, New Jersey. For his part, Valli played bass and sang.

Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, Frankie Valli, and Nick Massi
September 1962 - Newark, NJ vocal group The Four Seasons single "Sherry" goes to #1

Frankie Valli had been hard at work trying to become a star for the better part of a decade before the Four Seasons achieved their breakthrough. They had come together as a group in several stages over the previous four years, changing their name in 1961 from the Four Lovers after failing an audition at a New Jersey bowling alley called The Four Seasons. It was keyboard player Bob Gaudio who wrote the song that would launch the group’s career. He later told Billboard magazine that he banged out “Sherry” in 15 minutes before a scheduled rehearsal. Without a tape recorder, Gaudio explained, “I drove down to rehearsal humming it, trying to keep it in my mind. I had no intention of keeping the lyrics, [but] to my surprise, everybody liked them, so we didn’t change anything.”

The Four Seasons  /  > The Wonder Who?, 1965-67

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Early Black & White | Photos by Saul Leiter, 1940-1952

"The important thing in life is not what you get, but what you throw out."
Saul Leiter
Saul Leiter, The Village, Dick and Adele, 1947
Saul Leiter, Sunday Morning, 1947
Saul Leiter, Kathy and Gloria, 1949
Saul Leiter, Daughter of Milton Abery, 1950
Saul Leiter, Faye Smoking, 1947
Saul Leiter
Barbara, 1951
Saul Leiter, 1952
Saul Leiter, New York, 1948
Saul Leiter, Mary, 1947
Saul Leiter, A Kiss In A Crowd
Saul Leiter, Jean Pearson, 1940s

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