“In 1705, Emperor Peter I of Russia instituted a beard tax to modernize the society of Russia following European models. Those who paid the tax were required to carry a “beard token”. This was a copper or silver token with a Russian Eagle on one side and on the other, the lower part of a face with nose, mouth, whiskers, and beard. It was inscribed with two phrases: “the beard tax has been taken” and “the beard is a superfluous burden”.”
Briton Rivière - Una and the Lion (1880)
listen up! Todd Terje’s new album is streaming over at NPR. (“Nothing is perfect, but some things nearly are, and Todd Terje’s song “Inspector Norse” is one of them.”)
Map of the City of Williamsburg and the Town of Bushwick including Greenpoint with part of the City of Brooklyn
"She told me that I shouldn’t just take photographs of wars, but that I should document what Iranians were experiencing in public life in a big city like Tehran." Veiled Truths
— Oh, John le Carré. From Call From the Dead.
"In your mind, you’re mad. But in conversation you have the chance of not being. Your mind by itself is full of unmediated anxieties and conflicts. In conversation things can be metabolized and digested through somebody else—I say something to you and you can give it back to me in different forms—whereas you’ll notice that your own mind is very often extremely repetitive. It is very difficult to surprise one’s own mind. The vocabulary of one’s self-criticism is so impoverished and cliched. We are at our most stupid in our self-hatred."
"…they began to set greater store by facts, by what had been done and said, and to build the case for themselves and against one another."
— OUTLINE by Rachel Cusk is being published in its entirety by The Paris Review over the space of four issues. Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publish a hardcover edition in the fall. This is from part two.
Beryl Markham (1902-1986). Aviator, adventurer, writer. Of her book, West with the Night, Hemingway wrote: ”She has written so well, and marvellously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But this girl, who is to my knowledge very unpleasant and we might even say a high-grade bitch, can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers … it really is a bloody wonderful book.”
— John Berryman // The Dream Songs
From this weekend: backcountry skiing on Mittersill (at Cannon Mountain Ski Area)