Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tom T-t

Palewski was [Nancy] Mitford’s great love and influenced what she felt about art, politics and how life should be lived, but Palewski was a philanderer and probably loved no one. (Caroline Moorehead, “Toff love”, TLS January 27 2012, p.30) || She developed a sense for when Hawthorne was at the front door, feeling “just sure it was Mr. Hawthorne as if I had seen him.” She gave him a nosegay of sweet violets, which he kept in water for a week before taking one to Boston to be seet under black crystal – “enshrined from every possible harm” – and mounted on a gold brooch that he intended to wear himself. (Megan Marshall, “The Other Sister”, The New Yorker, March 21, 2005, p.44) || To understand Vauxhall’s history, they tell us, we should look not for the “political or philosphical rationales”, but to the “remarkable but flawed” nature of Tyers himself, who “seems to have had some sort of psychological imbalance, and may even have suffered from a form of bipolar disorder.” The best written evidence for this is apparently a satirical pamphlet of about 1750 which claims that Tyers has become melancholy as a result of the death of tom T-t, his “favourite Ham-shaver”. I have not been able to find this text, but it appears to suggest that Tyers had grown melancholy at the thought that a new waiter, less skilled than Tom, would carve the ham thicker and so shave his profits thinner. (John Barrell, “South bank nights”, TLS January 27 2012, p.4) || The revolutionary photographer Diane Arbus, who died in 1971, at the age of forty-eight, said, “A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.” [...] Over the years, Arbuses that I once found devastating have seemed to wait for me to change just a little, then to devastate me all over again. (Peter Schjeldahl, “Looking Back”, The New Yorker, March 21, 2005, p.78)