odds and ends / 9.1.2021



















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Heinrich Kühn: Miss Mary and Edeltrude at the Hill Crest, ca. 1910, autochrome. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Via Venetian Red.

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Ivor Cutler, "The natural height of cloud." Via stopping off place.

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Ogata Kenzan (1663-1743), Plate. Edo period. Hatakeyama (Collection Tokyo). Via Desimone-Wayland.
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Auguste Renoir: Landscape at Vétheuil, ca. 1890. The National Gallery of Art.

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Tasseled mules by Hereu.

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Page from Ada Carlson's collection of 1,355 four-leaf clovers, collected between 1910 and the 1920s. Via Anonymous Works.

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The summers were so long that they gradually grew longer than the whole year, they stretched out slowly beyond the edges of our lives, but at every moment of their vastness they were drawing to an end, for that’s what summers mostly did: they taunted us with endings, marched always into the long shadow thrown backward by the end of vacation. 


Steven Millhauser, "Flying Carpets." The Paris Review, Issue 145, Winter 1997.

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"There are occasional moments when one feels a full affinity with a piece of art in this way, feels taught by it, deeply, in the moment, in a way that changes, and this would turn out to be one of those for me." — Aimee Bender on Jane Campion's "The Piano" and Kazuo Ishiguro's Klara and the Sun.

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Pulling a book from my shelf, it isn’t the flow or obstruction of its plot that comes to mind, but rather a representative image that has somehow absorbed the mysterious energies of that particular novel. (A serious reader submits to synecdoche. No one can remember everything.) This image I’m describing seems to float free of the novel that contains it. It becomes the novel, at least insofar as one’s private experience is concerned.


Dustin Illingworth, "The Luminous Wheel: On Fictions and Images." Obstructive Fictions, June 28, 2021. 

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Several of her friends were writers, too, and they talked about the body. Where is the body when you write? You are always writing from the body, they said. But we can’t really feel the body in your work. We don’t believe in the bodies in your stories. Your stories are all words. Bring the body into your writing, they said.

She wasn’t sure.


Danielle Dutton, "Acorn." The New Yorker, 8/26/2021. 

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If states could learn to read novels as a kind of literary seismograph, Wertheimer argues, they could perhaps identify which conflicts are on the verge of exploding into violence, and intervene to save maybe millions of lives.

Philip Olterman, "'At First I Thought This Was Crazy': The Real-Life Plan To Use Novels To Predict the Next War." The Guardian, June 26, 2021.

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It’s really clever to see how the kids are growing up on TikTok. The kids are understanding the reality they’re in. I guess that’s always shocking to every generation—how much the kids actually get the world they live in. 


Shayne Oliver, interviewed on Platform.

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What it looks like to leave social media: "I love people to think that I'm dead."

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On lying flat: "From my view down here on the carpet, I see a system that, even if it bounces back to 'normal,' I have no interest in rejoining, a system that is beginning to come undone." (NYT)

Related (also NYT): "Lying flat is justice."

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The revolutions of the future will appear in forms we don’t even recognise—in a language we can’t read. We will be looking out for twists on the old themes but not noticing that there are whole new conversations taking place. Just imagine if all the things about which we now get so heated meant nothing to those who follow us—as mysteriously irrelevant as the nuanced distinctions between anarcho-syndicalism and communist anarchism. At least we can hope for that. As the cybernetician Stafford Beer once said to me: “If we can understand our children, we’re all screwed.” So revel in your mystification and read it as a sign of a healthy future. Whatever happens next, it won’t be what you expected. If it is what you expected, it isn’t what’s happening next.


Brian Eno, "What Happens Next?" Prospect, November 26, 2010.

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"The main thing is that it happens before you drop dead."—the artist Peter Bradley, on his late-in-life comeback (NYT).

daisies














 
The dayseye hugging the earth
in August, ha! Spring is
gone down in purple,
weeds stand high in the corn,
the rainbeaten furrow
is clotted with sorrel
and crabgrass, the
branch is black under
the heavy mass of the leaves—
The sun is upon a
slender green stem
ribbed lengthwise.
He lies on his back—
it is a woman also—
he regards his former
majesty and
round the yellow center,
split and creviced and done into
minute flowerheads, he sends out
his twenty rays—a little
and the wind is among them
to grow cool there!

One turns the thing over
in his hand and looks
at it from the rear: brownedged,
green and pointed scales
armor his yellow.

But turn and turn,
the crisp petals remain
brief, translucent, greenfastened,
barely touching at the edges:
blades of limpid seashell.

William Carlos Williams, "Daisy."



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Beatrix Potter, Daisies. Watercolor and pencil, ca. 1905. Victoria & Albert Museum.

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Egyptian Daisy pendant, ca. 1390–1353 B.C.E. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Oxeye daisy cigarette card, collection of The New York Public Library.

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Necklace by Alexis Falize with the enameller Antoine Tard; cloisonné enamel and gold; France; about 1867. Victoria & Albert Museum.

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Limestone statue fragment of a left hand holding a bunch of daisies, ca. 500-450 B.C.E. Cypriot. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Woman with wreath of leaves in her hair sitting in a field of daisies, ca. 1900. Unknown photographer. The Library of Congress.

odds and ends / 7.19.2021















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Saul Steinberg, watching TV in September 1976. Saul Steinberg Papers, Beinecke Library.

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Shell House in Polperro, Cornwall: "The shells were placed there by a Mr. Samuel Puckey over five years, starting in 1937. Puckey was a retired sailor and used his collection of shells from around the world to decorate this 19th-century cottage."

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Linen chest painted by Duncan Grant, via The World of Interiors.

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Margaret Kilgallen's waves, via Austin Kleon's old Tumblr. 

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Society of Wanderers apple-check sheet.

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Horace Pippin, Two Pink Roses. 1940.

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I see in everyone emerging from lockdown a touch of the Ancient Mariner arriving at the wedding-feast, stepping into the party with his glittering eye, seizing people’s arms and murmuring: “There was a ship…”

Trouble is, there was a ship, for all of us, this last year and a half, so the bars and cafés and streets are full of glittering-eyed people seizing and murmuring, and the weddings have to wait. Or perhaps each of us was our own ship.

Glyn Maxwell, "Dark Canadee, an imagined workshop in a real lockdown." Book Post, 6/19/2021.

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We accordingly pressed on, and found ourselves in the presence of an old man and a younger one, who were working hard at a plot of ground and watering it by a channel from the spring. We stood still, divided between fear and delight. They were standing speechless, no doubt with much the same feelings. At length the old man spoke: “What are you strangers? Are you spirits of the sea, or unfortunate mortals like ourselves? As for us, we are men, bred on land; but now we have suffered a sea change, and swim about in this containing monster, scarce knowing how to describe our state; reason tells us we are dead, but instinct that we live.” This loosed my tongue in turn. “We too, father,” I said, “are men, just arrived; it is but a day or two since we were swallowed with our ship. And now we have come forth to explore the forest; for we saw that it was vast and dense. I think some heavenly guide has brought us to the sight of you, to the knowledge that we are not imprisoned all alone in this monster. I pray you, let us know your tale, who you are, and how you entered.” Then he said that, before he asked or answered questions, he must give us such entertainment as he could; so saying, he brought us to his house—a sufficient dwelling furnished with beds and what else he might need—and set before us greenstuff and nuts and fish, with wine for drink. When we had eaten our fill, he asked for our story. I told him all as it had passed, the storm, the island, the airy voyage, the war, and so to our descent into the whale.

Lucian, True History, as excerpted in Lapham's Quarterly Issue 15, "Foreigners."

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"Let's be very clear : there is no divine purpose in suffering whatsoever."

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Experience teaches, but its lessons 
may be useless. I could have done without
a few whose only by-product is grief,

which, as waste, in its final form,
isn’t good for anything.

Karen Solie, from "A Hermit." 

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In Jessi Jezewska Stevens’s The Exhibition of Persephone Q (2020) ... an encounter with the art world prompts the narrator, Percy—recently married, newly pregnant, ambivalent about both, as with most things in her life—to reckon with the extent of her own alienation. Having established Percy as “the sort of person who accepted rather than shaped her circumstances,” Stevens sets the plot in motion with the arrival of an unmarked package at her doorstep: the catalogue for an exhibition by a long-gone ex-fiancé, now a celebrated artist, revolving around a photograph of a nude woman facing away from the camera. Mulling over the exhibition text, with its authoritative assertions about what the woman thinks, feels, and represents, Percy suddenly realizes that the picture is of her, a revelation inspired only by the nagging familiarity of the objects in the room. Worse, no one believes her: “Sorry, but I don’t usually take pictures of Americans,” the artist obnoxiously offers by way of a denial; when she visits the gallery, an employee coolly declares that “it just isn’t the sort of thing the artist would do.” Percy’s estranged sense of self is surreally doubled by the art establishment’s insistence that she is necessarily wrong because the work’s narrative won’t allow it, the artwork’s identity presumed to be more internally coherent than her own.


Rachel Weltzer, "The Art of the Con." Art in America, 7/14/2021. 

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Related: she knew the story was about her life.

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Well, so you have the apparent face, the apple, hiding the visible but hidden, the face of the person. It's something that happens constantly. Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us. This interest can take the form of a quite intense feeling, a sort of conflict, one might say, between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present.


René Magritte, discussing his painting The Son of Man.

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Speaking to Penthouse magazine in 1978, Purdy said being published was like 'throwing a party for friends and all these coarse wicked people come instead, and break the furniture and vomit all over the house.' He added that, in order to protect oneself, 'a writer needs to be completely unavailable.'

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"The literary industry is just not much fun."

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Giant wave TV. (This was made for me!)

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Of my complaints about the present, one is its limited palette of miracles. Or more likely, the miracles are many and often and everywhere but as we are trained in seeing patterns, we lack adequate perception to catch the one-off, except perhaps in the periphery of our vision, after a long day and too tired to discipline ourselves. If angels show up at all, it is fleetingly and in the corners of our eyes.


Anne Boyer, "each homer of naught." M I R A B I L A R Y,  7/5/2021.

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It is true that on bright days we are happy. This is true because the sun on the eyelids effects a chemical change in the body. The sun also diminishes the pupils to pinpricks, letting the light in less. When we can hardly see we are most likely to fall in love. Nothing is commoner in summer than love and I hesitate to tell you of the commonplace but I have only one story and this is it.


Jeanette Winterson, "The Lives of Saints." The Paris Review, Fall 1993. 

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A guide to laughter meditation with Laraaji.


imaginary outfit: in the grotto




On May 12, 1838, the Kentish Mercury reported a strange discovery:
Belle Vue cottage, a detached residence, has been lately been purchased by a gentleman, who, having occasion for some alterations, directed the workmen to excavate some few feet, during which operation the work was impeded a large stone, the gentleman being immediately called to the spot, directed a minute examination, which led to the discovery of an extensive grotto, completely studded with shells in curious devices, most elaborately worked up, extending an immense distance in serpentine walks, alcoves, and lanes, the whole forming one of the most curious and interesting sights that can possibly conceived, and must have been executed by torch light. We understand the proprietor intends shortly to open the whole for exhibition, at small charge for admission.

Later, a woman named Fanny Newlove claimed that her brother had known about the existence of the underground marvel, later called the Margate Shell Grotto:

My brother found out about the underground place sometime before it was known. He never dared to tell father. He found the chalk loose at one end of the passage next to the cottage, which was built afterwards, and he opened it up by taking the stuff away, as it were in rough blocks. Then when the opening was wide enough, he crawled through and got into the Grotto. And so did I. Yes, and two or three other young girls too. We crept in through the opening, and had to scrub ourselves right through the dirty chalk, and lor, we did make a mess of ourselves. But we got in and saw it all; we had to take a candle in a lantern round somebody’s neck.
Imagine this: to be a child, playing in a field, eyes sharp for treasure—a speckled egg or special stone. To find something out of a dream or fairytale: the entrance to a suite of hidden rooms, an underground palace, encrusted with millions of shells, whorled into patterns and pictures vibrant and strange (their color was leeched away by oil lamp pollution from the crowds that came later, bleaching the shells to the color of bone.) 

No one knows exactly when or why the Margate Shell Grotto was built, though there was a positive rage in the 1700s for shell-work and shell rooms. Before she picked up her scissors to snip paper into bloom, Mary Delany arranged shells into blossoms and bouquets, encrusted chandeliers and ceilings. Writing to her sister in June 1732, she described how she was spending her days:
About half-a-mile from hence there is a very pretty green hill, one side of it covered with nut wood; on the summit of the hill is a natural grotto, with seats in it that will hold four people. We go every morning at seven o’clock to that place to adorn it with shells—the Bishop has a large collection of very fine ones; [Anne Donnellan] and I are the engineers, the men fetch and carry for us what we want, and think themselves highly honoured.

To look at pictures of these rooms is to wonder that there is a mollusk left in the sea; maybe it is to wonder at the abundance of the sea. People have been using shells for decoration so long, from temples in ancient Greece to the Renaissance follies that set the pattern for the grottos that came later.

A shell is time, layers of calcium carbonate shaped by evolution and adaptation, and shell-work is time: the collecting and the sorting, the creating of patterns, the fixing into permanence. These shell rooms remind me of xenophora, a type of marine snail that attaches the shells of other creatures to its own shell; collectors like us. I imagine a shell room of my own, here in a place far from the sea. A room cool and dark, where I can wear a gown the color of kelp with pearls dripping from my neck and fossils hanging from my ears, a room where I can put my ear to the wall and hear the dulled, dim roaring of waves.

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Altuzarra canna linen dress / Pauly et Cie Venetian grotto mirror / Victorian diamond and natural pearl necklace / Rituel de Fille celestial eye soot / Gabriella Kiss small ammonite earrings / Veronica Beard "Simone" sandal.

'the poets have sung of 'the rainbow-tinted shell' with its colors of sky and flower and gem and plant'

















Photogravure print from The Wonder and Beauty of Seashells, ca. 1903. (sourced on Etsy.)

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One of my favorite object at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: a Greek marble shell, ca. 400 B.C.E.

This work imitates a pelican's foot shell, which is common to the Mediterranean. Only a handful of marble shells are known. They must have been manufactured in the same Greek workshops that produced elegant marble vessels intended as grave offerings for the dead.

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English shell box, ca. 19th century.

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Louis Daguerre: Shells and Fossils, 1839.

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Al Jarnow's stop-motion "Seashells" for Sesame Street, ca. 1985.

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AND then I pressed the shell
Close to my ear
And listened well,
And straightway like a bell
Came low and clear
The slow, sad murmur of the distant seas ...

James Stephens, from "The Shell."

tv dinners

Whoever invented the TV dinner was a genius. This is what I find myself thinking, facing yet another meal to prepare, harassed by obdurate CSA vegetables. (Kohlrabi. So much kohlrabi.) Half-fragments of platform-filtered knowledge cast a sinister pall over every food I find appealing. Pick up a tomato. Tomato? Tomato is a nightshade, which sounds like a malevolent character lurking on the margins of the Marvel entertainment universe. Oh, the bliss of mindlessly shoving a tinfoil tray of some over-salted tasty food product that everyone will eat into the oven, then retreating to the couch to do crosswords for forty minutes. Or cereal! Whatever happened to cereal? Instead of making dinner, I spend ten minutes zoning out, remembering the bliss of a bowl of Frosted Flakes before I knew better.

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I should be making dinner. I should be. This is the refrain of my days: the things I should be doing. They include but are not limited to: working more / working less / reading / rereading / checking email / putting down the phone / scrubbing the toilet / cutting back / cleaning with vinegar / pulling weeds / playing pretend with my kid / calling my grandmothers / being present / getting the writer those notes / scheduling an appointment / capturing the moment / reading aloud / ordering groceries / saving / returning library books / checking in / exercising / dusting / picking up / dropping off / having more sex / composting / making friends / staying relevant / learning something / cooking more vegetables / eating less dairy / making do / getting outside / calling my representatives / eliminating sugar / thriving / getting involved / practicing self-care / buying insurance / making a will / watching that show / listening to that podcast / taking steps / investing / reapplying sunscreen / worrying about what is in the sunscreen / having more fun / thinking about dinner. Always thinking about dinner.

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Tracing the convoluted origins of the TV dinner, some anonymous person at the Library of Congress writes:

In 1949, Albert and Meyer Bernstein organized Frozen Dinners, Inc., which packaged frozen dinners on aluminum trays with three compartments. They sold them under the One-Eyed Eskimo label, and only to markets in the Pittsburgh area. By 1950, the company had produced over 400,000 frozen dinners. Demand continued to grow, and in 1952 the Bernstein brothers formed the Quaker State Food Corporation. They expanded distribution to markets east of the Mississippi. By 1954, Quaker State Foods had produced and sold over 2,500,000 frozen dinners!

The concept really took hold in 1954 when Swanson’s frozen meals appeared. Swanson was a well-known brand that consumers recognized, and Swanson launched a massive advertising campaign for their product. They also coined the phrase TV Dinner, which helped to transform their frozen meals into a cultural icon.

But this is where different stories begin to emerge. Until recently, the most widely credited individual inventor of the TV dinner was Gerry Thomas, a salesman for C.A. Swanson & Son in 1953. For example, the American Frozen Food Institute honored him in their “Frozen Food Hall of Fame” as the inventor of the TV dinner. However, his role as the inventor is now being disputed.

History, that ever-tangled knot of narrative threads, even when it comes to frozen foods in plastic trays.

In my memory, the TV dinners I ate were few and always a strange sensory experience: some portion viscous, some portion unexpectedly chewy, some portion unappetizingly dry. (Better were frozen pot pies.) And yet to eat a freezer dinner was an event, a rare treat in a household where home-cooking was the norm. It signaled a stop, a small glorious break in the usual pattern. Funny how breaks can help hold a thing together.

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A friend sent me Anne Helen Petersen's dissection of the nap-dress phenomenon—the seemingly inexplicable and sudden ubiquity of adult women on social media disporting themselves in smocked nightdress-looking garb. (It has been written about extensively, because picking on the aesthetic proclivities of middle-class white women never gets old). Petersen is most interested in its manifestation in mother-daughter matching outfits, tracing the trend's genesis to the world of Laura Ashley—by her account, a sinister locus of prim Victoriana, whiteness, and sexism, charmingly packaged in ditsy-floral prints. This may all be so. (My attention waned as the argument drained down to yet another invocation of the special problems of Millennials; generational frameworks sell, but wow, are they blinkered). 

What is interesting to me is how these dresses so blatantly embody a larger phenomenon: easiness. A wish for ease is not limited to any one age or group or time, though as a human being in this particular time, I see it showing up everywhere and wonder if it was always like this: the promises that if you add x or cut out y, suddenly everything becomes as effortless as twirling in an unstructured cotton dress, that tiredness will disappear, that your skin will glow, that somehow life will manifest what you want. There is ease through addition—the things you buy/eat/do to make it all somehow better—but also ease through renunciation—cutting out the stuff/meat/relationships weighing you down. There is the satisfying ease of everyone, all together, understanding simple stories furbelowed with surface complications: YA novels, comic book movies, prestige TV. The lulling ease of the endless, endless scroll, with its pretty pictures and dances anyone can do, camera tricks anyone can master. Ease is the end of all. We work so very hard to work less hard.

I think about all of this while I am cooking dinner. And I think about what happens when there isn't an easy way anymore. On the radio, someone who leads a website for folks getting ready for various disasters is explaining that prepping is all about the reality that the next few decades are going to be harder than the decades that have come before. This strikes me as indubitably true. It is also very sad. I think of my grandparents, and the blue-collar work they did and the grinding hardness of the lives they led; I think of their delight in and gratitude for giant chilled grocery stores with cavernous aisles and chain restaurants with their early bird discounts, for cars and highways and two bathrooms and a yard, all the wasteful abundance that is screwing us over. I think of myself, and the many conveniences of my life. But it seems that we have finally reached the event horizon of easy. From here on out, it all becomes harder. And despite the peppy sloganeering, I am not so sure that "we can do hard things." I've seen that "we" this past year. It's a tetchy and fractious and mutinous we, unwilling to trust, unwilling to bend or accommodate, even at the level of letting a child use whatever bathroom that makes them feel safe. Perhaps I should be buying more canned food, more jugs of water.

It's time to make the salad. I read an article about salad dressings today that filled me with ridiculous rage; the author chirpily extolling the virtues of the homemade, insisting that making a salad dressing is not that much work. But even a little bit of work is ... more work. And there is already so much to do. How to keep adding a little bit more, a little bit more. That's the question. The siren song of ease sweetens, but I suppose the only solution is to tie myself to the mast and keep sailing on, to mix the oil and vinegar, eternal opposites, and get the food on the table.

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ISTOCK photo of TV dinner found here.


odds and ends / 6.23.2021



















Migishi KōtarōButterflies Flying above Clouds, 1934.

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Arje Griegst for Royal Copenhagen shell tureen, via ssseemsss.

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Kid Cudi, performing on SNL 4/10/2021 (I love seeing men in flowers).

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Worn Dephinula lapel pin at Rennes.

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Detail from The Hug by Leslie Simpson, 1990. Found thanks to stopping off place.

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When I was going through some of my photographs last night, I saw one of [civil rights activist] Dorothy Height. I looked her up, and found this quote of hers, which is exactly how I feel about everything: ‘I am the product of many lives that have touched mine, from famous, distinguished and powerful to the little known and the poor.’

Ming Smith, interviewed by Zoe Whitely for The White Review, March 2021.

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I believe that one reason I began writing essays—a form without a form, until you make it—was this: you didn’t have to borrow from an emotionally and visually upsetting past, as one did in fiction, apparently, to write your story. In an essay, your story could include your actual story and even more stories; you could collapse time and chronology and introduce other voices. In short, the essay is not about the empirical “I” but about the collective—all the voices that made your “I.”


Hilton Als, from Alice Neel, Uptown, quoted in an interview in The Creative Independent, 10/16/2020.

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As the novel progresses, Katharina flees Leonberg to avoid arrest. Before she’s dragged back to prison, the accused visits a doctor and former executioner’s assistant who works out of the baths at Ulm. She wishes to get a second opinion as to whether or not she is a witch. “I didn’t really think I was a witch,” Katharina qualifies, “but I have never been one to be afraid of increasing my knowledge.” The doctor turns out to be just another peddler of personal intuition. “I was asked once to look at an extra nipple. There was no way to verify if it was or wasn’t used to suckle a devil,” he admits. “I have a strong sense of people. Of their true selves. That’s all I have to offer.”


Hannah Gold, "I Put a Spell on You." The Baffler, 6/17/2021.

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Steven Shapin’s previous book, A Social History of Truth, was about the sense in which—during the period covered by this new book, the late 16th and the 17th century—what people knew depended on who they knew. And who they knew, of course, and how they knew them, were largely functions of social class. In that book he set out to show ‘the ineradicable role of what others tell us and ... how reliance upon testimony achieves invisibility in certain intellectual practices.’ If all knowledge is more or less sophisticated gossip then what we believe depends on what we are in a position to hear and overhear. 


Adam Phillips, "You Have To Be Educated To Be Educated." London Review of Books,  Vol. 19, No. 7, April 3, 1997.

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What the sentimental and the gothic have in common is that they are both at root children’s literature, delineating good and evil, marching away from ambiguity. Something is missing from each of these narratives: irony.

Christian Lorentzen, "Between the Sentimental, the Gothic, and the Ironic." Bookforum, Summer 2021.

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"The film’s lack of a release is only one of its own historical tragedies—the other is that Davis hasn’t had the chance to make another feature film."

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[T]he usual response I hear when I tell someone not to use personality tests is, “oh, but it sounds so accurate, and it helped me discover who I am!” There’s actually a term for this: the Barnum effect, which is a phenomenon wherein people tend to perceive vague, abstract personality statements to be highly accurate and personally relevant, despite a lack of scientific evidence.


Stephen Zhou, "Three Warning Signs to Consider Before Using a Personality Test.Fast Company, 6/7/2021. 

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And yet what partly doomed Ethel was her perceived lack of femininity. Her refusal to court the press or the public and her stony-faced stoicism throughout the trial were taken as signs of her coldness, even masculinity. No one understood that this was, at least in part, her only protection against the onslaught she felt to her fragile being. President Eisenhower, to whom she appealed for clemency, worried about sending a young mother to the electric chair, but then absolved himself because “in this instance it is the woman who is the strong and recalcitrant character, the man is the weak one.” Is there a more revealing example of the straitjacket of postwar femininity than this outrageous comment, which helped to seal Ethel Rosenberg’s fate?


Joseph Dorman, "How Ethel Rosenberg Offered Her Own Life as a Sacrifice." NYT, 6/8/2021.

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In the evening, the three of them had long conversations. Genrikovna was amazed at the girls’ wisdom and forgiveness. “These are not ordinary children,” she liked to say, making the sign of the cross over their beds.

The two underage grandmothers slept and dreamed of finding the magical ointment for their beloved Genrikovna.

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, "Two Sisters."

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Your father,” said Saunders, “is a lost cause. He thinks those boys are great and he’s never going to think you’re anything, because you’re a girl.” 

“Well,” said Goldin, “I can’t change that.” 

“No, but you can stop wanting him to change,” said Saunders. 

Emma felt like the top of her head would fly off. Saunders got it, the whole thing. “That’s what I mean,” said Emma loudly. “That’s just what I’m talking about. We have to stop waiting around for them to love us!”


Louise Fitzhugh,  Nobody's Family Is Going to Change, quoted by Sarah Blackwood in "Children's Lib!The New York Review, 5/13/2021.

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"I have reached the heart of a word itself."