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

“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

“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 (edit) via Unsplash

“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

Ghosts

William MacGregor Paxton, The Breakfast (1911)

MANDERS: It almost makes me dizzy. Your whole married life, the seeming union of all these years, was nothing more than a hidden abyss!…

MRS. ALVING: I had gone on bearing with him, although I knew very well the secrets of his life out of doors. But when he brought the scandal within our own walls—

MANDERS: Impossible! Here!

MRS. ALVING: Yes; here in our own home…

MANDERS: [Moved.] And you were able to bear all this!

MRS. ALVING: I had to bear it for my little boy’s sake. But when the last insult was added; when my own servant-maid—…

–Henrik Ibsen, Ghosts

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

Photograph by Alejandra Quiroz via unsplash.com

Brigid:
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
I wear a lot of protection
Just to keep all your sun away…

 

12 Rods – “Radioaction”

I can feel it coming in the air tonight

Martinus Rørbye, View from the Citadel Ramparts in Copenhagen by Moonlight (1839)

BERNARDO:
Last night of all,
When yond same star that’s westward from the pole
Had made his course to illume that part of heaven
Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,
The bell then beating one,–

(Enter Ghost)

MARCELLUS:
Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!

BERNARDO:
In the same figure, like the king that’s dead.

MARCELLUS:
Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.

BERNARDO:
Looks it not like the king? mark it, Horatio.

HORATIO:
Most like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.

Hamlet, Act I, Scene I

“I don’t play accurately—any one can play accurately—but I play with wonderful expression”

Frédéric Bazille, Bazille’s Studio (Detail)

ACT I

SCENE I

[Morning-room in Algernon’s flat in Half-Moon Street. The room is luxuriously and artistically furnished. The sound of a piano is heard in the adjoining room.]

[Lane is arranging afternoon tea on the table, and after the music has ceased, Algernon enters.]

Algernon: Did you hear what I was playing, Lane?

Lane: I didn’t think it polite to listen, sir.

Algernon: I’m sorry for that, for your sake. I don’t play accurately—any one can play accurately—but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life.

Lane: Yes, sir.

–Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest