Carson McCullers

she died of alcoholism

wrapped in a blanket
on a deck chair
on an ocean
steamer. 

all her books of
terrified loneliness 

all her books about
the cruelty
of loveless love 

were all that was left
of her 

as the strolling vacationer
discovered her body 

notified the captain 

and she was quickly dispatched
to somewhere else
on the ship 

as everything
continued just
as
she had written it 

-Charles Bukowski

(images source)

"All my life I have been passionately interested in monomaniacs of any kind, people carried away by a single idea. The more one limits oneself, the closer one is to the infinite; these people, as unworldly as they seem, burrow like termites into their own particular material to construct, in miniature, a strange and utterly individual image of the world."

-Chess Story, Stefan Zweig

Panel of birds (by The National Archives UK)

Panel of birds (by The National Archives UK)

I should like to be quit of all this: am more & more dissatisfied with modern lit: & the criticism thereof; envy painters, yet suspect that I must grate myself upon people to get my sense of ‘words’ dried up. … I think I shall read Chaucer: & En[glis]h poetry concurrently with French prose. But I’m word haunted. … Words words & now roast beef & apple tart. An evening alone.–

The Diaries of Virginia Woolf V. 5, October 30 1938

A bit of history to counterbalance—though not repent for—my bookish contrariness. This is amazing. You must view it large. (via)

A bit of history to counterbalance—though not repent for—my bookish contrariness. This is amazing. You must view it large. (via)

thegetty:

How to Colonize (for Kids!), as explained by this 20th century French board game:

  1. Hoist the French flag onto your newfound soil
  2. Build a hospital
  3. Erect a school
  4. Open your harbor
  5. Reap the benefits of rich natural resources from around the world and sail back to France with goodies in tow

This “trading game” is an example of the lasting mindset of the race to colonize. More from curator Isotta Poggi about this questionable game.

Trading Game: France—Colonies, 1941, O.P.I.M. (Office de publicite et d’impression), Breveté S.G.D.G. Lithograph on linen, 22 7/8 x 32 1/4 in. Getty Research Institute.

"Skeleton of Whale in NC State Museum of Natural History, no date (c.1930’s). Barden Collection, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC." (by State Archives of North Carolina)

"Skeleton of Whale in NC State Museum of Natural History, no date (c.1930’s). Barden Collection, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC." (by State Archives of North Carolina)

The Preus Museum—Norway’s national museum of photography—has a marvelous album of spirit photographs. If you can, I highly recommend enlarging these; the one on the bottom right is a work of art.

I found this collection while playing with the serendip-o-matic with search terms that had absolutely nothing to do with spirit photography! Now that’s spooky. 

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading - treading - till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through -

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum -
Kept beating - beating - till I thought
My mind was going numb -

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space - began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here -

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down -
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing - then -

—Emily Dickinson

A ubiquitous poem, I know, but for good reason:  the last two stanzas are perfection. Reading instructions:  ignore the dashes and commas and stanza breaks; pause only for breath. Then go back and try it again with respect to the punctuation. Then again, experimenting with the emphasis you place on each word:  should you let “creak” linger longer than “Soul”? Is there a way to read it without dwelling for small eternities on “Being” and “Ear”? Then again, considering silences, trying to preserve them despite the glottal explosions of all those Ks. Then again, and again, and again, and again, until its alliteration becomes a part of you. 

Aaaaaah. I adore how words are clearly so insufficient for describing her feelings about the harp! 

Trivia: the college that Joanna Newsom dropped out of was my own Mills; I was introduced to her music by a professor who had known her, had discussed with her whether or not she should drop out, and who oversaw some of my agonizing about whether or not I should leave school myself. (I stayed.) I am not sure if the timeline is accurate, but I like to pretend that if I had gone there earlier, or if she hadn’t left, we would have known each other and maybe have been friends. There are a couple of lines on The Milk-Eyed Mender that I am sure refer to Mills. They are a perfect encapsulation of the place.

She may be the only (living) artist who I feel this way about. I don’t usually create imaginary connections with people who are actually alive or real. But Joanna! Let’s be friends? 

(Source: youtube.com)

beatonna:

put your nasty knees away 

“Well I mean …. knees. (heavy sigh)”
unbearablelightness:

from ‘The Sacrifice’   Andrei Tarkovsky 

unbearablelightness:

from ‘The Sacrifice’   Andrei Tarkovsky 

thesoviette:

Vintage Japanese Industrial Expo Posters, 1926-1941

(A descent into nationalism, as evidenced by strangely compelling graphic design! Pretty much ideologically bankrupt but strangely beautiful.)

Another gem from the Library of Congress’ Performing Arts Posters Collection:  Mr. & Mrs. Herbert L. Flint’s Hypnotic Skirt Dance, c. 1895. This poster would totally have drawn me to attend the show. Time machine, please?

Another gem from the Library of Congress’ Performing Arts Posters Collection:  Mr. & Mrs. Herbert L. Flint’s Hypnotic Skirt Dance, c. 1895. This poster would totally have drawn me to attend the show. Time machine, please?