Monday, March 30, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Age of Print #11, Food #13, The Animal Kingdom #13

Twenty-First Annual Capital Bicycle Club Banquet dinner menu. (February 3, 1900)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Apocalypse #17, War #12

Robert Mitchum discusses Vietnam. (1966)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Art #19

To write something which was of enduring beauty, this was the ambition of every writer: as it was the ambition of the joiner and architect and the constructor of any kind. It was not the beauty but the endurance, for endurance was beautiful. It was also all that we could do. It was a consolation, even a high and positive joy, to make something true: some table, which, sat on, when it was meant only to be eaten off, would not splinter or shatter. It was not for the constructor that the beauty was made, but for the thing itself. He would triumph to know that some contribution had been made: some sort of consoling contribution quite timeless and without relation to his own profit. Sometimes we knew, half tipsy or listening to music, that at the heart of some world there lay a chord to which vibrating gave reality. With its reality there was music and truth and the permanence of good workmanship. To give birth to this, with whatever male travail, was not only all that man could do: it was also all that eclipsed humanity of either sex could do: it was the human contribution to the universe. Absolutely bludgeoned by jazz and mechanical achievement, the artist yearned to discover permanence, some life of happy permanence which he by fixing could create to the satisfaction of after-people who also looked.

T.H. White, The Goshawk (1951)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Alan Lomax's South #1, Music #13

Top: Handwritten on back: "Angola, Louisiana"; "N66-1"; "N67-1."

Bottom: Handwritten on back: "Prison compund No 1. Angola, La. Leadbelly in foreground."

(Photographed c. 1934)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Age of Print #10

Advertisement for the book Many a Monster in the New York Times (March 25, 1948)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Entrails of Finance #2, Manhattan #39, Architecture #37

The present-day money pit rises from an actual pit in the ground: work on 70 Pine Street, the future headquarters (from 1976 onward) of American International Group, a.k.a. AIG.
(Pictured 1930 and 1931)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Order of the Universe #21

The heavens are wrath—the thunders rattling peal
Rolls like a vast volcano in the sky
Yet nothing starts the apathy I feel
Nor chills with fear eternal destiny

My soul is apathy—a ruin vast
Time cannot clear the ruined mass away
My life is hell—the hopeless die is cast
& manhoods prime is premature decay

Roll on ye wrath of thunders—peal on peal
Till worlds are ruins & myself alone
Melt heart & soul cased in obdurate steel
Till I can feel that nature is my throne

I live in love sun of undying light
& fathom my own heart for ways of good
In its pure atmosphere day without night
Smiles on the plains the forest & the flood

Smile on ye elements of earth & sky
Or frown in thunders as ye frown on me
Bid earth & its delusions pass away
But leave the mind as its creator free

John Clare, excerpts from “Written in a Thunderstorm July 15 1841”

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Order of the Universe #20, Apocalypse #16

One of the most pathetic aspects of human history is that every civilization expresses itself most pretentiously, compounds its partial and universal values most convincingly, and claims immortality for its finite existence at the very moment when the decay that leads to death has already begun.

Reinhold Niebuhr, Beyond Tragedy: Essays on the Christian Interpretation of History (1938)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Scenes from a Life #23, Aviation #13

Buddy Holly's body lies in front of the wreckage of the Beechcraft Bonanza B35 aircraft that also carried Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. (February 3, 1959)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Entrails of Finance #1,Manhattan #38, Architecture #36

Future zombie tower: preliminary sketches for Citicorp Center. Hugh Stubbins, architect. (1970)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

My God, I Shot the Wrong Architect #2

Edward Durell Stone bestride his grilles. (1958)