J[A-Z]Z / p1ck ( The Magnificent Thad Jones | Thad Jones, 1956

photo: Francis Wolff / design: Reid K. Miles

Recorded July 9 & 14, 1956 
at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack

  Thad Jones ‎– Thedia

Thad Jones - trumpet
Billy Mitchell - tenor saxophone
Barry Harris - piano
Percy Heath - bass
Max Roach - drums

Francis Wolff, Thad Jones near Times Square in New York in July 1956, during the shooting 
session for the cover of his album The Magnificent Thad Jones.

A pioneer in modern Indian art | Amrita Sher-Gil (1913 – 1941)

Amrita (right) with her sister Indira, as photographed by their father Umrao

Amrita Sher-Gil (1913 –1941) was an eminent Hungarian-Indian painter. She has been called 
"one of the greatest avant-garde women artists of the early 20th century" and a "pioneer" in 
modern Indian art. Drawn to painting at a young age, Sher-Gil started getting formal lessons 
in the art, at the age of eight. Sher-Gil first gained recognition at the age of 19, for her oil 
painting entitled Young Girls (1932) 

Amrita Sher-Gil, Young Girls, 1932

Sher-Gil traveled throughout her life to countries including Turkey, France, and India, 
deriving heavily from their art styles and cultures. Sher-Gil is considered an important 
woman painter of 20th-century India, whose legacy stands on a level with that of the 
pioneers of Bengal Renaissance. She was also an avid reader and a pianist. Sher-Gil's 
paintings are among the most expensive by Indian women painters today, although 
few acknowledged her work when she was alive.

Amrita Sher-Gil (1913 –1941) 

The daughter of a Sikh aristocrat and a Hungarian opera singer, painter Amrita Sher-Gil grew up 
in an unconventional household given the time and place in history.  While she was born in 
Budapest, Hungary in 1913, Amrita moved back and forth between India and Europe as a 
young girl, studying art and taking up painting along the way. At age 16,  she moved to Paris
 and settled down for a moment to attend the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. While classes proved to 
be more formal than she was used to, her rebellious nature led her to explore all that 
bohemian Paris had to offer. During these years, she openly explored her sexuality, 
having relationships with both men and women. She also experimented with her personal 
style, wearing typical 1920s Western fashions one day and traditional Indian saris the next.

with her pictures, date unknown

Sher-Gil was in France for five years, a critical cornerstone of her career and life. It was during
this rich formative period that she began to paint with oils. Her work captured the European
academic realism of France of the 1920s and 30s. She was an admirer of the French artist
Suzanne Valadon (1865–1938) and drew inspiration from her unconventional representation
of her female subjects. Valadon was known for her powerful and sometimes controversial
paintings, often of female nudes and self-portraits, and rose to the peak of her fame in the
1920s in Paris just as Sher-Gil was exploring the Parisian art scene and finding her own style.
 Valadon transformed the genre of the female nude by providing an insightful expression of
women’s experiences, which seemed just the right language for Sher-Gil in her formative
adult life as an artist.

Self-Portrait as Tahitian, 1934                                                            Amrita Sher-Gil,  Sumair (Amrita’s cousin) 1936

At around the same time as Sher-Gil, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was painting powerful self-portraits 
in Mexico. They are both considered among the greatest avant-garde women artists practicing in 
the early 20th century. The parallel artistic careers and personal lives of Sher-Gil and Kahlo are
 uncanny. Each of them obsessively painted self-portraits with an intensity that is almost hypnotic,
 drawing the viewer into the innermost psyche of the artist, where one discovers a sea of melancholy
 and tragic poetry. (...)

Amrita Sher-Gil, Untitled (In the Garden), 1938                    Self Portrait with Long Hair India, 1939
Self-Portrait, France, 1928                                  Amrita Sher-Gil, Untitled (Self-Portrait), 1931
Amrita Sher-Gil, Winter, 1939


Midnight Kiss | Ernest Hemingway / Matt Weber

Matt Weber, Midnight Kiss, 1989

"I didn’t want to kiss you goodbye — that was the trouble — I wanted to kiss you goodnight. 
And there’s a lot of difference. "

Ernest Hemingway in a letter to his first wife, Hadley Richardson

Ernest with first wife Hadley Richardson, 1921

My Gift To You | Roberto Bolaño, 1953-2003

Roberto Bolaño

My gift to you will be an abyss, she said, 
but it will be so subtle you’ll perceive it
only after many years have passed
and you are far from Mexico and me. 
You’ll find it when you need it most,
and that won’t be
the happy ending, 
but it will be an instant of emptiness and joy. 
And maybe then you’ll remember me, 
if only just a little.

Roberto Bolaño, 1953-2003
tr. Laura Healy


Book//mark - Swing Time | Zadie Smith, 2016

Swing Time, 2016                                                                                Zadie Smith  

“I was fourteen: the world was pain.”

“I remember there was always a girl with a secret, with something furtive and broken in her."

“It was like tag, but a girl was never “It,” only boys were “It,” girls simply ran and ran until we found ourselves cornered in some quiet spot, away from the eyes of dinner ladies and playground monitors, at which point our knickers were pulled aside and a little hand shot into our vaginas, we were roughly, frantically tickled, and then the boy ran away, and the whole thing started up again from the top.”

“We did not desire or dread the boys in themselves, we only desired and dreaded being wanted or not being wanted.”

“Our mothers served as our balance, as our foot-rests.”

“I don’t mean that my mother didn’t love me but she was not a domestic person: her life was in her mind. The fundamental skill of all mothers—the management of time—was beyond her. She measured time in pages.”

“My childhood took place in the widening gap.”

“Her subject was pride, in all its forms.”

“The clarity disturbed me. “She”

“My late twenties had passed in a weird state of timelessness, and I think now that not everyone could have fallen into a life like that, that I must have been somehow primed for it.”

“This light was something else again. It buzzed and held you in its heat, it was thick, alive with pollen and insects and birds, and because nothing higher than one story interrupted its path, it gave all its gifts at once, blessing everything equally, an explosion of simultaneous illumination. “What”

“I felt I was losing track of my physical location, rising above my body, viewing my life from a very distant point, hovering over it.”

“Although entrapment in this case was only another word for love.”

“The sheer beauty of the voice, its monumental dose of soul, the pain implicit within it, bypassed all my conscious opinions, my critical intelligence or sense of the sentimental,”

“The river split this finger of land in half throughout its length, and the airport was on the other side.”

“Nobody seemed sure if it was the last ferry. We waited. Time passed, the sky turned pink.”

“I was completely unreachable, for the first time in years. It gave me an unexpected but not unpleasant sense of stillness, of being outside of time: it reminded me somehow of childhood.”

“Sometimes I wonder if people don't want freedom as much as they want meaning.”

“Nostalgia is a luxury.”

“I didn’t understand yet that the beauty was part of the boredom.”

“But elegance attracted me. I liked the way it hid pain. One”

“Maybe luxury is the easiest matrix to pass through. Maybe nothing is easier to get used to than money.”

“People aren’t poor because they make bad choices. They make bad choices because they’re poor.”

“There are so many different ways to be poor.”

“No one is more ingenious than the poor, wherever you find them. When you are poor every stage has to be thought through. Wealth is the opposite. With wealth you get to be thoughtless.”

“In a flood the water goes everywhere, you don't have to think about it. In a drought, if you want water, you have to direct it carefully along each inch of its path.”

“I couldn’t afford to be offended.”

“but that coldness stopped up the sentence in my mouth. “What”

“They were touched by the same inheritance.”

“Subtle people. Two steps ahead.”

“A truth was being revealed to me: that I had always tried to attach myself to the light of other people, that I had never had any light of my own. I experienced myself as a kind of shadow.”

“Romance was beyond me: it required a form of personal mystery I couldn't manufacture and disliked in others.

“Sometimes in this life you have to take risks on other people.”

“But it’s hard, when you’re at a loose end yourself, to be happy for others,”

“Well, you can't make old friends.”

“It was the season of sex, yes, but it was also, in all the vital ways, without sex itself."

“Deal with the drops when you can see the ocean.”

“As if we were both trying to get on a see-saw at the same time—neither of us pressed too hard and a delicate equilibrium was allowed to persist.”

“Or at least I felt that within the lie there was a deeper truth.”

“Two people creating the time of their own lives, protected somehow by love, not ignorant of history but not deformed by it, either.”

“We felt we had our place in time. What person on the earth doesn’t feel this way?”

“From where I stood it was a pose that collapsed many periods in her life into one: mother and lover, big sister, best friend, superstar and diplomat, billionaire and street kid, foolish girl and woman of substance.”

“Yes, sometimes it’s the strangers that sustain you.”

“She could never simply sit somewhere and let time pass, she had to be learning something.”

“I felt a wonderful lightness in my body, a ridiculous happiness, it seemed to come from nowhere.”

''And yet the more she filled the room with this effortful light, the clearer the sense I got of the shape and proportions of the huge shadow that must, after all, hang over us. One”

“The thing I feared was no longer my parents’ authority over me but that they might haul out into the open their own intimate fears, their melancholy and regrets.”

“I could see what everyone was feeling, but I was not with them and could not feel it. “You”

“She held herself apart, always.”

“The feeling I had of moving into somebody else’s broken ambition.”

“Free-form conversations that could eat up whole days.”

“Though it was such a bizarre world, filled only with the echoing voices of people who had apparently already agreed with each other.”

“Together we entered this new space that now opened up between people, a connection with no precise beginning or end, that was always potentially open, and my mother was one of the first people I knew to understand this and exploit it fully.”

“Mainly that it was important to treat oneself as a kind of stranger, to remain unattached and unprejudiced in your own case.”

“Most e-mails sent in the mid-nineties tended to be long and letter-like: they began and ended with traditional greetings—the ones we’d all previously used on paper—and they were keen to describe the surrounding scene, as if the new medium had made of everybody a writer. (“I’m typing this just by the window, looking out to blue-gray sea, where three gulls are diving into the water.”)”

“It looks backward, at the past, and it learns from what’s gone before. Some people never learn.”

“The story was the price you paid for the rhythm.”

“You want to believe there are limits to what money can make happen, lines it can’t cross.”

“But to create a real feeling—made”

“It’s a question of what love gives you the right to do.”

“They’d met people like me before. They knew how little reality we can take.”

“Even if you fear it you’re curious to see it.”

Zadie Smith, Swing Time, 2016 

It takes its title from the 1936 George Stevens movie ''Swing Time'' starring Fred Astaire.

I Explained it when I Danced it | Margot Fonteyn, 1919-1991

Margot Fonteyn, Swan Lake                                                                           Margot Fonteyn 

"Minor things can become moments of great revelation when encountered for the first time."

"Generally speaking, we are all happier when we are still striving for achievement than when the prize is in our hands."

"Jumping for joy' is a very basic human reaction, and a child skipping down the street is simply an untrained dancer."

Roger Wood - Anya Linden, David Blair, Margot Fonteyn and Annette Page in the revival of Symphonic Variations

"All artists who would be important - painters and writers - must learn to be themselves. It takes a very long time."

"Great artists are people who find the way to be themselves in their art. Any sort of pretension induces mediocrity in art and life alike."

"Ballet is more than a profession - it is a way of life."

Margot Fonteyn, The Firebird                                              Margot Fonteyn, Daphnis and Chloe

"There is no way anything of value can be done without some framework. It might well be that the framework is discarded or 
the rules opposed; that is not important. What is essential is that they exist so that one knows when one is in opposition to them."

"Dancing was something to be taken very seriously when engaged in and otherwise put out of mind."

"Genius is another word for magic."

"Take your work seriously, but never yourself."

"I explained it when I danced it."

Margot Fonteyn  

"The world of dance is a charmed place. Some people like to inhabit it, others to behold it; either way it is rewarding."

"Traveling carries with it the curse of being at home everywhere and yet nowhere, for wherever one is some part of oneself remains on another continent."

"Life forms illogical patterns. It is haphazard and full of beauties which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return?"

"When I left the stage door and sought my orientation among real people I was in a wilderness of unpredictables in an unchoreographed world."

Margot Fonteyn, ballerina, 1919-1991

 Gordon Anthony, Margot Fonteyn, 1930s  
Margot Fonteyn, 1960s 

Margot Fonteyn 
Margot Fonteyn 
Margot Fonteyn 
Margot Fonteyn in Swan Lake
Margot Fonteyn in Swan Lake

Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, Royal Ballet, 1967
Bert Stern, Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, 1965
Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn in Giselle
Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, Romeo and Juliet, 1965

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