Jeanne Moreau, to Joan Juliet Buck, The Price of Illusion
“Ma chérie, it’s better to have a bad reputation than none at all.”
Jeanne Moreau, to Joan Juliet Buck, The Price of Illusion
“A good education is usually harmful to a dancer. A good calf is better than a good head.”
Agnes de Mille, Dance to the Piper
Agnes de Mille, the niece of Cecil B. deMille, rivaled her legendary uncle in terms of success in her chosen field. A choreographer, she created the innovative dream sequence in the Broadway smash hit, Oklahoma!.
Image Credit: Double Exposure: Take Two
“I always found War and Peace a help in time of trouble.”
Maxwell Perkins, Max Perkins: Editor of Genius
See Also: "Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Emma"
Image Credit: The Romantic Egoists
“Got up late and went back to sleep and I still wasn’t ready when Fred was ready to go at 1:00. Taxi to YSL’s for lunch. Fred had to lie and say that I was [handicapped] so that the driver would take us such a short distance. The driver looked me over and said, ‘Yes, I can see that.’”
Andy Warhol, The Andy Warhol Diaries, September 4, 1977
Image Credit: Warhol by Makos
"Twentieth-century science is busy proving to us that the moral world is dangerously round; and it is no use trying to fall off it by walking about it with shut eyes. From a flat world that method of escape might be possible, but not from a round. A round world has us in its grip; and it our duty as intelligent beings to face the danger and get used to it."
Laurence Housman, Echo de Paris: A Study from Life
The ideas expressed by Laurence Housman in Echo de Paris are a small but fascinating component of Stephen Calloway's opus on the design gestalt of the last century, Twentieth-Century Decoration. Through text and hundreds of illustration, Calloway makes sense of the ebbs, flows, and contradictions of 20th Century design trends and their inspirations, which include the excesses of the Gilded Age, the deprivations of war, and the many cultural upheavals of that fast-moving and turbulent century.
“A great many people in Los Angeles are on special diets that restrict their intake of synthetic foods. The reason for this appears to be a widely held belief that organically grown fruits and vegetables make the cocaine work faster.”
Fran Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader
Fran Lebowitz will be speaking later this month in Los Angeles. It is currently sold out, but the website indicates that more tickets might be made available here.
Note: Fran Lebowitz got there first (and in fewer words), but the Los Angeles Times covered the same "all-natural" paradox this past August in the op-ed, "Los Angeles, Stop Doing Cocaine."
“Got the invitation to President Carter’s inaugural. It was addressed to (laughs) ‘Mr. and Mrs. Andy Warhol.’ Don’t you love it.”
Andy Warhol, The Andy Warhol Diaries, December 27, 1976
“Excellent fit is one of the first requirements of dressing for success. Without it even the most elegant clothes look like something whipped up by loving hands at home.”
Edith Head, How to Dress for Success
Image Credit: Double Exposure: Take Three
“Everything you hear about Joan Crawford is true. If not today, tomorrow.”
Nicholas Ray, via Gavin Lambert, Mainly About Lindsay Anderson
Director Nicholas Ray is best for remembered for Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo. A year prior to Rebel, he directed Joan Crawford in Johnny Guitar, a sapphic western in which Crawford drives a Mercedes (specifically, the Mercedes was her co-star, Mercedes McCambridge, and Joan's on-set antics were driving Mercedes crazy).
Nicholas Ray was bisexual, and in 1956, he had a fling with a young British film connoisseur, Gavin Lambert. With Ray's help, Lambert immigrated to the United States and became a Hollywood insider, both socially and professionally. Though not a household name in Dubuque, those in-the-know in Santa Monica, Bel Air, and Beverly Hills were not only aware of him, they eagerly invited him to their parties.
Lambert's circle of friends included Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, George Cukor, and Natalie Wood. He penned screenplays (The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone) and wrote novels based in filmdom (Daisy Clover and The Slide Area) and biographies of Hollywood screen legends (Norma Shearer, Alla Nazimova, and Natalie Wood).
Lambert was reminded of his friend Nicholas Ray's wry comment about Joan Crawford's frequent mood changes by his own experience with her. He was hired to write a screenplay for a television project in which she was to star. Upon meeting Lambert, Joan cooed, “I just hope I can do justice to your wonderful lines.” Though later, within earshot of Gavin, she screeched to her husband, “How the [expletive] does he expect me to say a line like that?”
“I know some men get more pleasure out of one Sunday’s church-going than I have ever done in a year’s enjoyment of wine, women, and gambling. I know not how they do it. I should like to be as they are, but I cannot change my nature, and I shall go to my death as I was born.”
Anonymous, Suburban Souls: The Erotic Psychology of a Man and a Maid
Everything born in the great cities eventually makes its way to the outer suburbs. Such was the case with the erotic novel Suburban Souls, which was decidedly un-suburban when it was published in 1901. Henri Matisse's Blue Nude also made its debut in the first decade of the 20th Century, in 1907. Both were controversial, and Suburban Souls so much so that it had to be published anonymously and distributed privately. Both would seem astonishingly conventional by the end of the 20th Century (Pablo Picasso having grabbed the Cubist baton suggested by Blue Nude and dashed with it across the finishing line into art history).
Epilogue. Despite its late 20th Century acceptance, does Suburban Souls now run afoul of the 21st Century's #MeToo movement?.