Alphabetarion # Words | Paula Fox, 2011

Yayoi Kusama, Interminable Nets (Green no. 53), 1953

“Words are nets through 
which all truth escapes."

Paula Fox,  News from the World: Stories and Essays, 2011


Listen | Photos by Newsha Tavakolian, 2012

Listen, Newsha Tavakolian, 2012 

Newsha Tavakolian is an Iranian photojournalist and documentary photographer.

The tree | Patricia Highsmith, 1960

Kasamatsu Shiro, In the woods, 1955

 “He ran into a tree, hurting his shoulder and the right side of his head. It was vaguely 
familiar to him, the action of running into a tree. Where? When? He went slowly back to
 the tree and put his hand on its rough, immovable trunk, confident that the tree would
 tell him an important piece of wisdom, or a secret. He felt it, but he could not find words 
for it: it had something to do with identity. The tree knew who he was really, and he had
 been destined to bump into it. The tree had a further message. It told him to be calm and 
quiet and to stay with Annabelle.
‘But you don’t know how difficult it is to be quiet,’ David said. ‘It’s very easy for you—’.”

Patricia Highsmith, This Sweet Sickness, 1960

How it feels to fly | Harriet Quimby (1875-1912) | America's First Lady of the Air

 Harriet Quimby in the Moisant monoplane, 1911

"Everyone asks me 'how it feels to fly.' It feels like riding in a high powered automobile, minus
 bumping over the rough roads, continually signaling to clear the way and keeping a watchful 
on the speedometer to see that you do not exceed the speed limit and provoke the wrath of
 the bicycle policeman or the covetous constable."

"The speed with which an aviator flies and the strong currents created by the rapidly 
revolving propeller directly in front of the diver compel the latter to be warmly clad. There 
must be no flapping ends to catch in the multitudinous wires surrounding the driver's seat. 
The feet and legs must be free, so that one can readily manipulate the steering apparatus..."

 Harriet Quimby in the cockpit of her plane in the USA, 1911

"The men flyers have given out the impression that aeroplaning is very perilous work, 
something that an ordinary mortal should not dream of attempting. But when I saw how
 easily the man flyers manipulated their machines I said I could fly."

"I was annoyed from the start by the attitude of doubt on the part of the spectators that I 
would never really make the flight. They knew I had never used the machine before, and
 probably thought I would find some excuse at the last moment to back out of the flight. 
This attitude made me more determined than ever to succeed."

 Harriet Quimby

Harriet Quimby in front of the Bleriot when she became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.
Harriet Quimby, 1912

"If a woman wants to fly, first of all she must, of course, abandon skirts and don a 
knickerbockers uniform… There must be no flapping ends to catch in the 
multitudinous wires surrouding the driver’s seat." 

Harriet Quimby

* Quimby was also known for flying in her purple satin flying suit.

Harriet Quimby (1875 – 1912) was an American pioneering aviator, journalist, and film screenwriter.

On April 16, 1912 Harriet Quimby flew from Dover to Équiphen-Plage (Pas-de-Calais), making 
her the first woman to fly an aircraft across the English channel. This gained her world-wide

There is little know about the early life from Harriet; we don't even know for sure when 
she was born. It is assumed she was born on May 1, 1875 in Coldwater, Michigan (USA). 
We do know however that by 1902, she and her family were living in California. In the
 same year, she became a writer for the journal Dramatic Review. A year later, Harriet 
moved to New York City and started working for Leslie's Weekly as a drama critic.

Harriet later became interested in aviation. She started classes at the Moisant School of 
Aviation at Hempstaed (Long Island). On August 1, 1911, Harriet became the first woman
 to qualify for a license from the Aero Club of America (the U.S. branch of the Fédération
 Aéronautique International). This made her the second licensed woman pilot in the world 
(first licensed woman: baroness de la Roche). On April 16, 1912, Harriet flew from Dover 
to the continent, making her the first woman to do so. Unfortunately, on July 1 of the same 
year, Harriet lost control when flying her Blériot over Dorchester Bay. Both she and her 
passenger were killed in this accident. Eventhough Harriet died young, she still influenced 
the role of women in aviation.

Flick Review < Ladies in retirement | Charles Vidor, 1941

Louisa – “Isn’t it funny Ellen. You can’t see the wind, you can’t touch it. But it’s there.”
Ellen – “I think you’d better have this around you dear. (She puts a wrap around 
Louisa’s shoulders) it’s getting quite chilly.”
Emily “Listen, what’s that?”
Ellen- “those are the priory bells from over the marshes”
Emily- “oh, shan’t like that.”
Louisa leans over and tells Bates that Emily hates bells.
Emily adds, “especially church bells. Ding dong ding dong ding dong”
Louisa- “Aren’t the marshes pretty?”
Emily- “the grass is too long and untidy. If I had a knife and a bit of string I’d cut it and 
tie it up in bundles.”
Bates looks horrified Louisa asks Bates, “Are there any sheep here in the marshes?”
“Yes Miss”
Louisa “I think sheep are so clever to chew their cud the way they do. It’s fairly difficult. I’ve tried.”
Bates-“you oughta be a sailor Miss, they’re always chewing tobacco.”
Louisa- “The man I was to marry was a sailor. He gave me this.(She shows him her periscope)
 it’s all I have to remember him by. He was wrecked at sea. They were all drowned.
(a dreamy smile washes over her)
Bates-“must have been a bit of sadness for you Miss.”
Louisa –“Oh no, I’ve quite forgotten what he looked like.”
Emily–“I saw a drowned man once. They took him out of the Thames. He was green.”
Louisa wide eyed like a little girl –“Frogs. There must be lots of frogs. We used to have such
 fun with them at home. We used to put them on the dining room table, and make them
 jump in the marmalade pot.”

Louisa Creed: “I hate the dark. It frightens me.”
Sister Theresa: “It shouldn’t, my dear. Don’t you believe we’re watched over?”
Louisa Creed: “Oh yes. But I’m never quite sure who’s watching us.”

Ellen Creed: “It takes a lot of courage to kill for the first time, Albert. Once you’ve sold 
your soul to the devil, murder is so much easier the second time. Much easier.”

Edith Barrett, Ida Lupino, Elsa Lanchester, 1941 

Ellen Creed: “Hell is like the kingdom of Heaven. It’s within.”

 Ladies in retirement, 1941
Director: Charles Vidor
Writers: Garrett Fort, Reginald Denham, Edward Percy ( play )
Cinematography: George Barnes
Stars: Ida Lupino, Louis Hayward, Evelyn Keyes

Ida Lupino on the set of Ladies in Retirement (1941)

“Crime drama that’s based on the play by Reginald Denham and Edward Percy–which i
n turn was based upon the true story from 1886. It’s smartly and tautly co-written by 
Denham and Garrett Fort, while the ensemble cast all give striking performances … 
The 23-year-old Lupino played the 40-year-old sinister Ellen to ice cold perfection,
 with no small help from her make-up."

Film critic Dennis Schwartz 


Images | Bert Meyers, 1981

Louise Bourgeois, Hands, 2002-2003
State III of VIII

 Hands, twin sisters
to whom everyone's
a wrinkle
that needs to be smoothed,
a stranger who should be fed.

Hands, those humble wings
that make each day
fly toward its goal;
at rest, still holding
the shape of a tool.

Bert Meyers, Images, X, 1981
(The Wild Olive Tree & The Blue Café)

The Queen Is Dead | The Smiths, 1986

 Kenneth Hall, Buckingham Palace from the Mall, 1937

Oh, take me back to dear old Blighty
Put me on the train for London Town
Take me anywhere
Drop me anywhere
In Liverpool, Leeds or Birmingham
But I don't care
I should like to see—
I don't bless them

[Intro] Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty,
Cicely Courtneidge, 1962  

(Farewell) To this land's cheerless marshes
Hemmed in like a boar between archers
Her very Lowness with her head in a sling
I'm truly sorry, but it sounds like a wonderful thing
I say, "Charles, don't you ever crave
To appear on the front of the Daily Mail
Dressed in your mother's bridal veil?
And so I checked all the registered historical facts
And I was shocked into shame to discover
How I'm the 18th pale descendent
Of some old queen or other
Oh, has the world changed or have I changed?
Oh, has the world changed or have I changed?
Some nine year old tough who peddles drugs
I swear to God, I swear I never even knew what drugs were
So I broke into the Palace
With a sponge and a rusty spanner
She said, "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
I said, "That's nothing, you should hear me play piano"
We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
And talk about precious things
But when you are tied to your mother's apron
No-one talks about castration
We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
And talk about precious things
Like love and law and poverty, oh, oh
(These are the things that kill me)
We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
And talk about precious things
But the rain that flattens my hair, oh
(These are the things that kill me)
All their lies about makeup and long hair, are still there
Past the pub that saps your body
And the church who'll snatch your money
The Queen is dead, boys
And it's so lonely on a limb
Pass the pub that wrecks your body
And the church, all they want is your money
The Queen is dead, boys
And it's so lonely on a limb
Life is very long when you're lonely

The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead -  1986

The Smiths, The Queen Is Dead Tour, 1986 poster

Alphabetarion # Kitchen | Ray Bradbury, 1957

Pablo Picasso, The Kitchen, 1948 

“Grandma, he had often wanted to say, Is this where the world began? For surely it had 
begun in no other than a place like this. The kitchen, without doubt, was the center of 
creation, all things revolved about it; it was the pediment that sustained the temple.”

Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine, 1957

Book Covers | Edward Gorey (1959 - 1964)

Henry James, Lady Barberina and Other Tales, 1961             P. M. Hubbard, Picture of Millie, 1964
H. G. Wells, War of the Worlds, 1960                         Edgar Allan Poe, Tales of the Grotesque and the Arabesque, 1960
Bernard Shaw, The Black Girl in Search of God, 1959        Anton Chekhov, St. Peter's Day and Other Tales, 1959 
Cover Design by Edward Gorey / Illustrations by John Farleigh                                                                  
Τhe Book of Courtier, Baldesar Castiglione, 1959         Selected Poems And Letters of Emily Dickinson, 1959
C.P. Snow, The masters, 1959                              Kierkegaard, Doubleday Anchor, 1960
Donald Barthelme, Come Back, Dr. Caligari, 1964              Nikolay Chernyshevsky, What Is to Be Done?, 1961


Frame Inside | The Flower Vendor (Girl with Lilies) | Diego Rivera, 1941 / Cary Grant, 1955

Cary Grant sitting in front of the 1941 painting 'Flower Vendor (Girl with Lilies)' 
by Diego Rivera, 1955. 
He bought the painting and gifted it to the Norton Simon Museum of Art in 1980.
 Diego Rivera, The Flower Vendor (Girl with Lilies), 1941

Alphabetarion # School | Mark Twain, 1835-1910

Alfred Eisenstaedt, School, Ankara, Turkey, 1934

"In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. 
Then he made school boards."

 Mark Twain, 1835-1910
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