Friday, December 19, 2014

Nobuyoshi Araki / Sentimental Journey

by Nobuyoshi Araki

Nobuyoshi Araki (1940 - 1990 Tokyo).
Araki published a book of pictures of his wife taken during their honeymoon titled Sentimental Journey. 

Stanley Kubrick / The universe

by Stanley Kubrick

The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Russell Lee / Kids

Children playing in the gutter on 139th Street just east of St. Anne's Avenue,
Bronx, New York, 1936
by Russell Lee

Marbles is a favorite game on South Side of Chicago, Illinois, 1941

Mass jumping of rope by schoolchildren, San Augustine, Texas, 1939

Mexican children, San Antonio, Texas, 1939

Migrant keymaker's children with homemade scooters, Jefferson, Texas, 1939

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Russell Lee / People

Negro boy drawing on the sidewalk, New Iberia, Louisiana, 1938
by Russell Lee

Farm mother with children in town during the National Rice Festival, Crowley, Louisiana, 1938

Negro family with supplies in wagon ready to leave for the farm, Saturday afternoon, San Augustine, Texas, 1939

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Susanna Moore / Windows on the World

Matteo Pericoli
by Matteo Pericoli

Susanna Moore

This is the Clock Tower building. It was built in 1894 for an insurance company and it is a designated historical landmark. The facade was designed by Stanford White. It is now used by the city for criminal court. There are often fistfights and screaming matches in the alley, leading me to suspect that the court’s decisions, not surprisingly, are not always well received. I once threw a friend’s lit cigar out the window and it landed on a sleeping homeless man who subsequently caught fire, and many fire engines squeezed into the alley to extinguish the flames. He was not hurt, in part, a fireman told me, because his clothes were fire retardant. I was horrified that I had caused even the slightest burn, and we became friends (I give him a winter outfit each year, which I suspect is not inflammable).

Monday, December 15, 2014

David Byrne / Windows on the World

Matteo Pericoli
by Matteo Pericoli

by David Byrne

I think of my view as pretty typical for a New Yorker. We look out our windows at other windows. That, in a way, mirrors our lives here – we are constantly looking at each other, millions of us, on the streets and elsewhere. I know a couple of the people behind those windows across my street, but I keep my blinds up most of the time anyway. We pretend not to look. This allows us to keep the blinds up and let some light in. I’ve been to places that have ‘better’ views. I sometimes have view envy, especially now as I see hundreds of luxury condos going up everywhere – all of them with better views than mine. I suspect that most of them will remain empty in the near future, as who can afford them any more? Maybe those glass towers will be the new homesteads – cheap artists’ housing, but I doubt it.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Alejandro Zambra / Windows on the World


Windows on the World
by Alejandro Zambra
Translated from the Spanish by Harry Backlund

A series on what writers from around the world see from their windows.
The Paris Review, April 5, 2013

I’m not sure that my little studio is the best place in the house to write. It’s too hot in summer and too cold in winter. But I like this window. I like those trees crossed by power lines and that slice of available sky. The silence is never absolute, or maybe it is—maybe my idea of silence now includes the constant barking of dogs and the uneven roar of motors. I take enormous pleasure in watching passersby, the odd cyclist, the cars.
When the writing isn’t happening I just sit there, absorbing the scenery, adoring it. I’m sure those minutes, those apparently lost hours, are useful in some way, that they’re essential for writing: that my books would be very different if I had written them in another room, looking out another window. 

Matteo Pericoli is a famous drawer of cities. He is known for his witty, loving, obsessively detailed renditions of the Manhattan coastline (Manhattan Unfurled), the perimeter of Central Park (Manhattan Within), and the banks of the River Thames (London Unfurled).

Several years ago, Matteo began to draw New York from a new vantage point—from its windows. He asked artists, writers, politicians, editors, and others involved with the cultural life of the city to let him draw whatever they saw when they looked outside. These were collected in the book The City Out My Window (and the view from 62 White Street appeared on the cover of The Paris Review).

In 2010, the project grew. Matteo was commissioned by The New York Times op-ed page to draw the window views of writers around the world, and the writers were asked to describe them. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Alison MacLeod's top 10 stories about infidelity

Alison MacLeod's top 10 stories about infidelity

From classic tales of illicit passion to contemporary stories about betrayal, here are the best books about the beginning, middle and end of the affair

Madame Bovary staged performance
Radically illicit … Flaubert was tried for offences against morality and religion for his now-classic novel Madame Bovary. Photograph: The Lowry/PFP
The coup de foudre. The brief encounter. The dangerous liaison. Our usual descriptions fascinate briefly, then fizzle out. They don't reveal enough. In fiction, as in life, I'm drawn to questions of who and how we love, the losses we fear, and what we'll risk – absurdly or boldly – to feel alive under the skin.
  1. Unexploded
  2. by Alison MacLeod

    For most of us, the thrill of a story about an infidelity is less about sex than it is about intimacy, that magnetic line of connection between two bodies and their secret selves. Intimacy shared with another person is often the first real betrayal to any union, and the first plunge out of one's depth.
    In fiction, characters misjudge the depth of the fall. Others rush headlong into the stuff of life. As they do, they're laid bare – literally (almost certainly) and metaphorically (always). We see what it is to be human: to yearn, to feel joy, to suffer and to see the world transformed.

    1. Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert

    Who can forget Emma and Léon's furious cab ride through the streets of Rouen, their illicit passion concealed from view? In 1857, following publication, the Second Empire tried Flaubert for offences to morality and religion. He was acquitted, and the novel became an immediate bestseller. From the distance of the 21st century, it is easy to lose sight of just how radical Madame Bovary was when it first appeared, not only in its new "objective" style of prose, but also in its refusal to either romanticise or sermonise. Flaubert confessed to weeping at times as he wrote; he sympathised so much with Emma in her final days that he felt physically ill.