— Baudelaire, The Heroism of Modern Life
And yet one arrives somehow,
finds himself loosening the hooks of
in a strange bedroom—
feels the autumn
dropping its silk and linen leaves
about her ankles.
The tawdry veined body emerges
twisted upon itself
like a winter wind … !
William Carlos William
— La Grande Bellezza
— from Mythologies, Roland Barthes
Now the temptation of the absolute mask (the mask of antiquity, for instance) perhaps implies less the theme of the secret (as is the case with Italian half mask) than that of an archetype of the human face. Garbo offered to one’s gaze a sort of Platonic Idea of the human creature, which explains why the face is almost sexually undefined, without however leaving one in doubt.
[…]And yet in this deified face, somethign sharper than a mask is looming: a kind of voluntary and therefore human relation between the curve of the nostrils and the arch of the eybrows; a rare, individual function relating two regions of the face. A mask is but a sum of lines; a face, on the contray is above all their thematic harmony. Garbo’s face represents this fragile moment when the cinema is about to draw an existential from an essential beauty, when the archetype leans towards the fascination of mortal faces, whent eh clarity of the flesh as essence yields its place to a lyricism of a Woman.
The Face of Garbo, Roland Barthes
so we’ll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we’ll talk with them too,
Who loses and who wins; who’s in, who’s out;
And take upon’s the mystery of things,
As if we were God’s spies: and we’ll wear out,
In a wall’d prison, packs and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon.
King Lear V.iii
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
— Werner Heisenberg
We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.
A red wing rose in the darkness.
And suddenly a hare ran across the road.
One of us pointed to it with his hand.
That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive,
Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.
O my love, where are they, where are they going
The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles.
I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.
You may have heard “Blue Is the Warmest Color” contains scenes of an explicit nature. But its most explicit content may surprise you…
Opens this Friday in NY & LA!
— from Nabokov’s Good Readers and Good Writers