Entries from January 2011

Quote of the Day

Sargent in his studio

“Every time I paint a portrait, I lose a friend.” Sargent in his Paris studio, 1885. (Source. Via Exit Lines.)

Categories: Art    Tags: · ·

Laziness will not do

So avoid using the word very because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys: to woo women. And in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.

Dead Poet’s Society

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Zeppelin, 1924

LZ-126, Friedrichshafen, Germany, 1924

“The LZ-126 departing Friedrichshafen, Germany on October 12, 1924 for its flight across the Atlantic. Upon its arrival in Lakehurst, New Jersey, the ship entered the United States Navy as ZR-3 USS Los Angeles.” — Airships.net

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Empire State Building, opening day, 1931

Empire State Building, 1931

Photo by Samuel H. Gottscho (via)

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The embodiment of raw experience

I’ve never thought of writing as the mere arrangement of words on the page but the attempted embodiment of a vision; a complex of emotions; raw experience. The effort of memorable art is to evoke in the reader or spectator emotions appropriate to that effort.

Joyce Carol Oates, The Faith of a Writer (via)

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Photo of the Day

Launch of Frank J. Hecker

Launch of the Frank J. Hecker. St. Clair, Michigan. September 2, 1905. Via Shorpy.

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Salinger, 1952

J.D. Salinger 1952

J.D. Salinger, 1952. (via WSJ)

Categories: Writers    Tags: ·

Late Traveler

Martin Lewis - Late Traveler

Martin Lewis, “Late Traveler” (1949) (via)

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New York, 1932

Abbott - Night View

Night View by Berenice Abbott [New York at night, Empire State Building, 350 Fifth Ave., West Side, 34th and 33rd Streets], 1932. (via)

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Montgomery, Alabama, 1958

MLK arrested, 1958

Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested for loitering outside a courtroom where his friend Ralph Abernathy is appearing for a trial, Montgomery, Alabama, September 3, 1958. Photo by Charles Moore.

Making Eddie Coyle

Robert Mitchum

Robert Mitchum signs an autograph while on location in Boston filming The Friends of Eddie Coyle, autumn 1972. (via)

Don’t Do It For Anyone Else

Keith Haring letter

Via Letters of Note.

Categories: Creativity · Writing    Tags: ·

Shanghai 1990 vs. Shanghai 2010

Shanghai 1990 and 2010

Categories: Odds & Ends    Tags: ·

Record Club: Need You Tonight

“Need You Tonight” (INXS cover) – Record Club

More information about Beck’s Record Club project here.

Categories: Music    Tags: ·

Wanda Jackson: Thunder on the Mountain

Wanda Jackson – “Thunder on the Mountain” (with Jack White) (via myonetruevine)

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How To Become a Writer

So You Want to Be a Writer? - comic by Grant Snider

By Grant Snider.

Categories: Writing    Tags:

Flaubert at Work

From Frederick Brown’s definitive biography of Flaubert, a typical day during the writing of Madame Bovary in 1851-56. Flaubert was 30-35 at the time.

Flaubert, a man of nocturnal habits, usually awoke at 10 a.m. and announced the event with his bell cord. Only then did people dare speak above a whisper. His valet, Narcisse, straightaway brought him water, filled his pipe, drew the curtains, and delivered the morning mail. Conversation with Mother, which took place in clouds of tobacco smoke particularly noxious to the migraine sufferer, preceded a very hot bath and a long, careful toilette involving the regular application of a tonic reputed to arrest hair loss. At 11 a.m. he entered the dining room, where Mme. Flaubert; Liline [Flaubert’s niece]; her English governess Isabel Hutton; and very often Uncle Parain would have gathered. Unable to work well on a full stomach, he ate lightly, or what passed for such in the Flaubert household, meaning that his first meal consisted of eggs, vegetables, cheese or fruit, and a cup of cold chocolate.… In June 1852, Flaubert [wrote in a letter] that he worked from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. A year later, when he assumed partial responsibility for Liline’s education and gave her an hour or more of his time each day, he may not have put pen to paper at his large round writing table until two o’clock or later.

Categories: Writers    Tags: · ·

Malamud: “work in uncertainty”

To any writer: Teach yourself to work in uncertainty. Many writers are anxious when they begin, or try something new. Even Matisse painted some of his Fauvist pictures in anxiety. Maybe that helped him to simplify. Character, discipline, negative capability count. Write, complete, revise. If it doesn’t work, begin something else.

— Bernard Malamud (via Paris Review)

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The Duke’s Men: Either Way

The Duke’s Men of Yale – “Either Way” (2009). As a Duke’s Men alumnus (class of ’85), I couldn’t be prouder.

Categories: Music    Tags: · · ·

Enjoy the process of creation

Perhaps the most important quality, the one that is most consistently present in all creative individuals, is the ability to enjoy the process of creation for its own sake. Without this trait, poets would give up striving for perfection and would write commercial jingles, economists would work for banks where they would earn at least twice as much as they do at universities, and physicists would stop doing basic research and join industrial laboratories where the conditions are better and the expectations more predictable.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “The Creative Personality”