The Cocktail Party

cf. LIFE, 1964

UNIDENTIFIED GUEST: Your wife has left you?

EDWARD: Without warning, of course;
Just when she’d arranged a cocktail party.
She’d gone when I came in, this afternoon.
She left a note to say that she was leaving me;
But I don’t know where she’s gone…

—T.S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party
 

Burt Bacharach · Elvis Costello – “This House Is Empty Now”

“Sure he thinks the sun shines out of your face, ma’am.”

“In the Suburbs” – On Film, Inc. (1957)

BRIGID:
(Comes towards her and leans over the back of a chair.)
Are you fretting yourself, ma’am, about anything?

BERTHA:
No, Brigid.

BRIGID:
Don’t be. He was always like that, meandering off by himself somewhere. He is a curious bird, Master Richard, and always was. Sure there isn’t a turn in him I don’t know. Are you fretting now maybe because he does be in there (pointing to the study) half the night at his books? Leave him alone. He’ll come back to you again. Sure he thinks the sun shines out of your face, ma’am.

—James Joyce, Exiles

You got that radioaction
Brighter than a sunny day…

 

12 Rods – “Radioaction”

You can’t get off this wheel of karma

cf. D.A. Sigerist, “Two men and a woman dancing three hand reel” (ca. 1905)

LAVINIA: Stop! I want you to explain the telegram.

JULIA: Explain the telegram? What do you think, Alex?

ALEX: No, Julia, we can’t explain the telegram.

LAVINIA: I am sure that you could explain the telegram.
I don’t know why. But it seems to me that yesterday
I started some machine, that goes on working,
And I cannot stop it; no, it’s not like a machine—
Or if it’s a machine, someone else is running it.
But who? Somebody is always interfering …
I don’t feel free … and yet I started it …

–T. S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party
 

Utopia – “The Wheel”

“I fell in love with James Tyrone and was so happy for a time.”

cf. Gaston Lachaise, Lachaise’s Mother Resting (ca. 1912) and
Whistler, Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (1871)

…That was in the winter of senior year. Then in the spring something happened to me. Yes, I remember. I fell in love with James Tyrone and was so happy for a time.

—Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
 

Blue by Joni Mitchell

“Open, unlidded eye of golden day! O marching light…”

CHORUS:
Now the long blade of the sun, lying
Level east to west, touches with glory
Thebes of the Seven Gates. Open, unlidded
Eye of golden day! O marching light…

—Sophocles, Antigone (Tr. by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald)

Traveling down the sandy track
Compass in hand, guitar on my back…

 


cf. photograph by Ben White via Unsplash

 

Todd Rundgren & Utopia – Sunburst Finish

“Ah, ha! Come, some music!”

“Specimen Of Platinotype After Development”
from “The Book Of Photography, Practical, Theoretic And Applied”, Paul N. Hasluck, Ed. (1907)

HAMLET:
O good Horatio, I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand pound. Didst perceive?

HORATIO:
Very well, my lord.

HAMLET:
Upon the talk of the poisoning?

HORATIO:
I did very well note him.

HAMLET:
Ah, ha! Come, some music! come, the recorders!
For if the king like not the comedy,
Why then, belike, he likes it not, perdy.
Come, some music!

Hamlet

Got one for the money
Two for the show
Three for my honey
And four to let you know that I
Let the music do the talking…

 

“Mama, I’m here. I’m grown up.”

cf. E. C. Thompson, Interior showing a dining table set with silver and crystal (ca. 1870)
and photograph by Kace Rodriguez (detail) via Unsplash

Emily: Mama, I’m here. I’m grown up. I love you all. Everything. I can’t look at everything hard enough. Good morning, Mama…

—Thornton Wilder, Our Town
 

“But I can’t go on like this!” “Would you like a radish?”

Joseph A. Horne, Children with radishes grown in the Fairlawn Avenue Victory gardens (1943)

ESTRAGON: Ah! (Pause. Despairing.) What’ll we do, what’ll we do!

VLADIMIR: There’s nothing we can do.

ESTRAGON: But I can’t go on like this!

VLADIMIR: Would you like a radish?

ESTRAGON: Is that all there is?

VLADIMIR: There are radishes and turnips.

ESTRAGON: Are there no carrots?

VLADIMIR: No. Anyway you overdo it with your carrots.

ESTRAGON: Then give me a radish.

—Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

“They have been eating muffins. That looks like repentance.”

From “American Cookery” (1914)

Scene: Morning-room at the Manor House.

[Gwendolen and Cecily are at the window, looking out into the garden.]

Gwendolen: The fact that they did not follow us at once into the house, as any one else would have done, seems to me to show that they have some sense of shame left.

Cecily: They have been eating muffins. That looks like repentance.

—Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest