Alphabetarion # Specific | Theodor W. Adorno, 1903-1969

Charley Toorop, Nocturnal square with singer and strings, 1938

"The specific is not exclusive: 
it lacks the aspiration to totality." 

Theodor W. Adorno, 1903-1969

The Black Man | Sergei Yesenin, 1925

Sergei Yesenin (1895-1925)

My friend, my friend,
How sick I am. Nor do I know
Whence came this sickness.
Either the wind whistles
Over the desolate unpeopled field,
Or as September strips a copse,
Alcohol strips my brain.

My head waves my ears
Like a bird its wings.
Unendurably it looms my neck
When I walk.
The black man,
The black, black,
Black man
Sits by me on the bed all night,
Won't let me sleep.

This black man
Runs his fingers over a vile book,
And, twangling above me,
Like a sleepy monk over a corpse,
Reads a life
Of some drunken wretch,
Filling my heart with longing and despair.
The black man,
Oh black man.

"Listen, listen"–
He mutters to me –
The book is full of beautiful
Plans and resolutions.
This fellow lived
His life in a land of most repulsive
Thieves and charlatans.

And in that land the December snow
Is pure as the very devil,
And the snowstorms drive
Merry spinning-wheels.
This man was an adventurer,
Though of the highest
And the best quality.
Oh, he was elegant,
And the poet at that,
Albeit of a slight
But useful gift.
And some woman,
Of forty or so,
He called his "naughty girl,"
His "love."

Happiness–he said–
Is a quickness of hand and mind.
Slow fools are always
Known for being unhappy.
heartaches, we know,
From broken, lying gestures,

At thunder and tempest,
At the world's coldheartedness,
During times of heavy loss
And when you're sad
The greatest art on earth
Is to seem uncomplicatedly gay.

"Black man!
Don't you dare!
You do not live as
A deep-sea diver.
What's the life
Of a scandalous poet to me?
Please read this story
To someone else."

The black man
Looks me straight in the eye
And his eyes are filmed
With blue vomit–
As if he wanted to say,
I'm a thief and rogue
Who'd robbed a man
Openly, without shame.

Ah friend, my friend,
How sick I am. Now do I know
Whence came this sickness.
Either the wind whistles
Over the desolate unpeopled field,
Or as September strips a copse,
Alcohol strips my brain.

The night is freezing
Still peace at the crossroads.
I am alone at the window,
Expecting neither visitor nor friend.
The whole plain is covered
With soft quick-lime,
And the trees, like riders,
Assembled in our garden.

Somewhere a night bird,
Ill-omened, is sobbing.
The wooden riders
Scatter hoofbeats.
And again the black
Man is sitting in my chair,
He lifts his top hat
And, casual, takes off his cape.

"Listen! listen!"–he croaks,
Eyes on my face,
Leaning closer and closer.
I never saw
Any scoundrel
Suffer so stupidly, pointlessly,
From insomnia.

Well, I could be wrong.
There is a moon tonight.
What else is needed
By your sleep-drunken world?
Perhaps, "She" will come,
With her fat thighs,
In secret, and you'll read
Your languid, carrion
Verse to her.

Ah, how I love these poets!
A funny race!
I always find in them
A story known to my heart–
How a long-haired monster
Profusing sexual languor
Tells of worlds
To a pimply girl-student.

I don't know, don't remember,
In some village,
Kaluga perhaps, or
Maybe Ryazan,
There lived a boy
Of simple peasant stock,
And angel-eyed...

And he grew up,
Grew up into a poet
Of slight but
Useful talent,
And some woman,
Of forty or so,
He called his "naughty girl,"
His "love."

"Black man!
Most odious guest!
Your fame has long resounded."
I'm enraged, possessed,
Amd my cane flies
Straight across
The bridge of his nose.

The moon has died.
Dawn glimmers in the window.
Ah, night!
What, night, what have you ruined?
I stand top-hatted.
No one is with me.
I am alone...
And the mirror is broken.

Sergei Aleksandrovich Yesenin, 1925
tr. Geoffrey Hurley


Alphabetarion # Pure | Alan Hollinghurst, 2004

Alida Valli, Senso, 1954 / Director: Luchino Visconti

 “He wanted pure compliments, just as
 he wanted unconditional love.”

Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty, 2004

Landscapes | Paintings by Henri Edmond Cross, 1856-1910

Henri-Edmond Cross, Cypress, April, 1904
 Afternoon at Pardigon, Var, 1907                                                   The Iles d'Or (The Iles d'Hyeres, Var), 1892
Henri-Edmond Cross, Landscape, the Little Maresque Mountains, 1896 - 1898
Henri-Edmond Cross, Provence Landscape, 1898
Henri-Edmond Cross, Landscape, 1896 - 1899
Henri-Edmond Cross, The Evening Air, 1893-94
Henri-Edmond Cross, Chaine des Maures, 1906-1907

Henri Edmond Cross, Pink Spring, 1908-1909

Henri Edmond Cross, Boating In The Bois De Boulogne, 1900
Henri Edmond Cross, The Shipwreck, 1906 - 1907
Henri-Edmond Cross, Fisherman, 1895
Henri-Edmond Cross, The Beach, Evening, 1902

Henri-Edmond Cross ( 1856 – 1910) was a French painter and printmaker. He is most acclaimed 
as a master of Neo-Impressionism and he played an important role in shaping the second phase 
of that movement. He was a significant influence on Henri Matisse and many other artists. 
His work was instrumental in the development of Fauvism.

Art Classes | Athens / Paris / New York / Sydney / London / Lyon / St. Petersburg / Iowa / Arizona / Missouri / Washington, 1872-1961

Vassar College, New York, 1930s
Atelier Chatigny, Lyon, 1872
Dimitris Harisiadis, Athens School of Fine Arts, 1957
Art Class, Phoenix Indian School, Arizona, 1900
Harold Cazneaux, The Sydney Art School, 1931
Josef Breitenbach, Model, Sculpture Academy, Paris,1935
Maynard Owen Williams,  Etudiants de l'École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1936
Anacostia High School art class, Washington, DC, 1939
Painting class at the Imperial Academy of Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1913
Elementary Art class at LCC School, Southampton Row, London, 1911
Art class at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, 1955
University of Iowa, 1961

Blossoms | Paintings by Jan Mankes, 1910-1916

Jan Mankes,Vase with Jasmine, 1913                                                        Jan Mankes, Glass with apple blossom, 1913
Jan Mankes, Glas met lelie, 1910                                                   Jan Mankes, Camellias in glass, 1913 
Jan Mankes, Judaspenning in Japanese vase, 1915
Jan Mankes, Aronskelken, 1911                                       Jan Mankes, flowers in green pot, 1916  
Jan Mankes, 1913                                                                  Jan Mankes, Japanse vaasjes, 1911
  Jan Mankes, Still Life of Camellias in a Copper Pot, 1915                                                                                 Jan Mankes, Still life, 1913    

Jan Mankes (1889 – 1920) was a Dutch painter. He produced around 200 paintings,
 100 drawings and 50 prints before dying of tuberculosis at the age of 30.


Οι αστροναύτες στα χόρτα του κήπου | Ελένη Βακαλό, 1978

Lisa Wassmann, 2011

Φτάνοντας ξένοι και οι δυο σε ξένη για μας χώρα, γνώρισα από το 
Πακιστάν το φίλο μου που έγραφε στη χώρα του ιστορίες

Κι αυτήν που μας συνέβηκε τη γράφω παρακάτω

Στον κήπο καθόμουν
Στα χόρτα επάνω
Φωνούλες ν’ ακούω

Κοντά μου όταν ήρθαν
Φεγγάρι, τους είπα
Να πουν

Και όταν το είπαν
Φεγγάρι, τους είπα
Πως είμαι, να ’ρθουν

Ο φίλος μου απ’ το Πακιστάν αλλιώτικα την έπλασε την 
ίδια ιστορία
«Η Γυναίκα που Έφερε τ’ Άστρα» να είμαι εγώ
στον ουρανό

Το Πακιστάν χωρίστηκε, δεν ξέρω αν γραφτήκανε δυο ιστορίες ποτέ
Κι ίσως πολλά σημαίνουνε τα λίγα αυτά να πω

Τώρα να δεις, και άλλα ακόμη θα πλέξω μ’ αυτά, γιατί καθώς την ξένη γλώσσα 
ακούγοντας μιλούσα τη δική μας βαθιά, καταλάβαινα πόσο δύσκολο είναι ο 
άνθρωπος να ονομάσει τ’ αληθινά.
Κι άλλο είναι,
όπως είπαν, στα λόγια μου να έρχεσαι

Ελένη λοιπόν
Σε λένε
Σελάνα που μόνη πλανιέται
Και συ
Που κάθεσαι μόνη

Παιδική γλώσσα που έχομε όλοι αυτήν σου μιλώ

Γιατί δεν την παίζουνε
Οι φιλενάδες της

Ελένη Βακαλό, συλ. Του κόσμου, 1978

Alphabetarion # Serious | Margery Allingham, 1930

Frank Stella, Shards, 1982

 “Albert Campion: 'I’m serious!'
Lugg: 'That’s unhealthy in itself.”

Margery Allingham, Mystery Mile, 1930


Stereosc2pe + | The light | Leonard Cohen, 1992

 Helmut Newton, Bordighera, Italy, 1982                                  Horst P. Horst, Evelyn Greig, 1934

"There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in."

Leonard Cohen, Anthem, 1992


Alphabetarion # Absence | Emily St. John Mandel, 2014

Theo van Doesburg, Contra Composition XX, 1928

“Hell is the absence of the people you long for.”

 Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven, 2014 

The Wind | Robert Louis Stevenson, 1913

Ethel Spowers, Kites, 1936

I saw you toss the kites on high 
And blow the birds about the sky; 
And all around I heard you pass, 
Like ladies' skirts across the grass-- 
                  O wind, a-blowing all day long, 
                  O wind, that sings so loud a song! 

I saw the different things you did, 
But always you yourself you hid. 
I felt you push, I heard you call, 
I could not see yourself at all-- 
                 O wind, a-blowing all day long, 
                 O wind, that sings so loud a song! 

O you that are so strong and cold, 
O blower, are you young or old? 
Are you a beast of field and tree, 
Or just a stronger child than me? 
                O wind, a-blowing all day long, 
                O wind, that sings so loud a song!

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894), The Wind
A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods, 1913


Hats | Designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, 1930s-1950s

Elsa Schiaparelli by Corbis, 1949                                     Elsa Schiaparelli, Hat, 1938
Elsa Schiaparelli hat photographed by Regina Relang, 1951                                       Hand hat by Elsa Schiaparelli for Life magazine, 1953
André Caillet: Salvador Dalí's wife Gala is wearing one of Elsa's hat designs, 1938 

Schiaparelli's collaboration with Salvador Dali reached the height of Surrealist absurdity in 
this high-heeled shoe from winter, 1937-38. The idea for it, as recounted in Dilys Blum's 
authoritative book on the designer, was a photograph of Salvador Dali wearing a shoe 
on his head and another on his shoulder taken by his wife in 1933. 

Elsa Schiaparelli, Hat, 1937                                                        Elsa Schiaparelli, Hat, 1939  
 Elsa Schiaparelli, Hat, 1939
Elsa Schiaparelli, Hat, 1940                                                   Elsa Schiaparelli, Hat, 1940
Henry Clarke, Elsa Schiaparelli hat, 1950
Elsa Schiaparelli, Lobster Hat, 1939                                                            Elsa Schiaparelli, Hat,1946
Schiaparelli outfit by Horst P. Horst for Vogue, 1939                    Elsa Schiaparelli, 1930s
Bicorne hats by Elsa Schiaparelli                    Cecil Beaton - Marlene Dietrich wearing Schiaparelli, 1930s 
Erwin Blumenfeld for Vogue Paris, 1938                                                                                                                    
 Elsa Schiaparelli by Horst P. Horst, Paris, 1936                            Elsa Schiaparelli  

Elsa Schiaparelli (1890 – 1973) was an Italian fashion designer. Along with Coco Chanel, 
her greatest rival, she is regarded as one of the most prominent figures in fashion between 
the two World Wars. Starting with knitwear, Schiaparelli's designs were heavily 
influenced by Surrealists like her collaborators Salvador Dalí and Jean Cocteau. 
 Schiaparelli did not adapt to the changes in fashion following World War II and
 her couture house closed in 1954. 

Nina Leen, Elsa Schiaparelli testing out hats on the model's head, 1951


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