What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
The Saint and the Singer (1914)
“What are you going to do?” Hans Castorp asked, flabbergasted.
“I am leaving,” she repeated, smiling in apparent amazement at the frozen look on his face.
“It’s not possible,” he said. “You’re joking.”
“Most certainly not. I am perfectly serious. I am leaving…”
A whole world was collapsing inside him.
— The Magic Mountain
Just Mother (1914)
How say you? Let us, O my dove,
Let us be unashamed of soul,
As earth lies bare to heaven above!
How is it under our control
To love or not to love?
— Robert Browning, Two in the Campagna (excerpt)
Wild Strawberries (1957)
“What’s happened to me?” he thought. It wasn’t a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls. A collection of textile samples lay spread out on the table — Samsa was a travelling salesman — and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame. It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who sat upright, raising a heavy fur muff that covered the whole of her lower arm towards the viewer.
— Kafka, Metamorphosis
I remember happier days…
My joking friends well they all moved away.
cf. Brief Encounter (1945)
Le feu follet (1963)
Now close the windows and hush all the fields;
If the trees must, let them silently toss;
No bird is singing now, and if there is,
Be it my loss.
It will be long ere the marshes resume,
It will be long ere the earliest bird:
So close the windows and not hear the wind,
But see all wind-stirred.
— Robert Frost
Welt am Draht (1973)
cf. American Mutoscope and Biograph Co., “Foxy Grandpa and Polly in a little hilarity” (1902)
cf. Nina Leen, “Teen-Age Girls” (LIFE, 1944)
cf. MPO Productions, “Design for Dreaming” (1956) (Digital Edit)
A Christmas Carol (1984)
cf. Thomas Eakins, The Thinker: Portrait of Louis N. Kenton (1900) and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
Your memory seems like a living thing
I never know if I’m imagining
I look at your face and I know that it’s impossible
Forgetting it’s just a dream
Now I’m hearing your voice saying anything is possible
Forgetting it’s just a dream…
Claude Monet, Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies (1899) and That Junior Miss Spirit : GM Photographic
cf. The Fire Within (Le feu follet) (1963) and Home Movie: 98927: St. Croix River and 1956 Honeymoon
“Now, you recall this memory, as if
it were someone else’s story…”
—from Margo Button, “With No Explanation”
Been breaking down
Do you want me now?
8 1/2 (1963)
Who will go drive with Fergus now,
And pierce the deep wood’s woven shade,
And dance upon the level shore?
Young man, lift up your russet brow,
And lift your tender eyelids, maid,
And brood on hopes and fear no more.
And no more turn aside and brood
Upon love’s bitter mystery;
For Fergus rules the brazen cars,
And rules the shadows of the wood,
And the white breast of the dim sea
And all dishevelled wandering stars.
—W. B. Yeats, Who goes with Fergus?
His head halted again for a moment at the top of the staircase, level with the roof:
Don’t mope over it all day, he said. I’m inconsequent. Give up the moody brooding.
His head vanished but the drone of his descending voice boomed out of the stairhead:
And no more turn aside and brood
Upon love’s bitter mystery
For Fergus rules the brazen cars.
—James Joyce, Ulysses
“For me the past is forever.”
–F. Scott Fitzgerald
Left: Solaris (1972)
Right: Bartolomeo Pinelli, Aeneas and the shade of Dido (detail)
“She probably sensed that I didn’t really love her. But now I do…”
With tears, and pray’rs, and late-repenting love…
–Virgil, The Sixth Book of the Aeneis
cf. Auguste Renoir, Bal du moulin de la Galette (1876)
And that sweet city woman,
She moves through the light…
Thomas A. Edison, Inc., Charity ball (1897)
Somehow, the summer seemed to slip by faster this time. Maybe it wasn’t this summer, but all the summers that, in this my fortieth summer, slipped by so fast. There comes a time when every summer will have something of autumn about it. Whatever the reason, it seemed to me that I was investing more and more in baseball, making the game do more of the work that keeps time fat and slow and lazy.
–A. Bartlett Giamatti, “The Green Fields of the Mind” (excerpt)
“Planning to pay him out she tiptoed very early the next morning into Lytton’s bedroom, taking a pair of scissors with which she intended to snip away his beard while he slept. It was to be one of those devastating practical jokes of which she was so fond – a perfect revenge for his audacity. But the plan misfired. As she leant over him, Lytton opened his eyes and looked at her. It was a moment of curious intimacy, and she, who hypnotized so many others, was suddenly hypnotized herself.”
—Michael Holroyd, Lytton Strachey: The New Biography
She’s a wizard with her sheers
She’s been turning heads for years…
“The Fire Within” (Le feu follet)
Since you put me down
It seems I’ve been very gloomy
You may laugh, but pretty girls look right through me
They don’t sense the faintest glimmering
That is the torch I bear…
The persuasion that I shall see her no more will kill me. My dear Brown, I should have had her when I was in health, and I should have remained well. I can bear to die — I cannot bear to leave her. Oh, God! God! God! Every thing I have in my trunks that reminds me of her goes through me like a spear. The silk lining she put in my travelling cap scalds my head. My imagination is horribly vivid about her — I see her — I hear her. There is nothing in the world of sufficient interest to divert me from her a moment. This was the case when I was in England; I cannot recollect, without shuddering, the time that I was a prisoner at Hunt’s, and used to keep my eyes fixed on Hampstead all day. Then there was a good hope of seeing her again — Now! — O that I could be buried near where she lives! I am afraid to write to her — to receive a letter from her — to see her handwriting would break my heart — even to hear of her anyhow, to see her name written, would be more than I can bear. My dear Brown, what am I to do? Where can I look for consolation or ease? If I had any chance of recovery, this passion would kill me. Indeed, through the whole of my illness, both at your house and at Kentish Town, this fever has never ceased wearing me out. When you write to me, which you will do immediately, write to Rome (poste restante)— if she is well and happy, put a mark thus +; if ——…
—Letter from John Keats to Charles Brown (November 1, 1820)
cf. Photograph by why kei via Unsplash and Like Crazy – Official Trailer [HD] – YouTube
“For auld lang syne.” The weary throat gave out,The last word wavered; and the song being done,He raised again the jug regretfullyAnd shook his head, and was again alone.There was not much that was ahead of him,And there was nothing in the town below—Where strangers would have shut the many doorsThat many friends had opened long ago.
—Edwin Arlington Robinson, “Mr. Flood’s Party”
The place was dark. Was it so late that they had all gone to bed? Had Lucinda stayed at the Westerhazys’ for supper? Had the girls joined her there or gone someplace else? Hadn’t they agreed, as they usually did on Sunday, to regret all their invitations and stay at home? He tried the garage doors to see what cars were in but the doors were locked and rust came off the handles onto his hands. Going toward the house, he saw that the force of the thunderstorm had knocked one of the rain gutters loose. It hung down over the front door like an umbrella rib, but it could be ﬁxed in the morning. The house was locked, and he thought that the stupid cook or the stupid maid must have locked the place up until he remembered that it had been some time since they had employed a maid or a cook. He shouted, pounded on the door, tried to force it with his shoulder, and then, looking in at the windows, saw that the place was empty.
—John Cheever, “The Swimmer”
I don’t know you anymore
Name and face have been obscured
Change them if you want but
I don’t know you anymore…
cf. Coronet, “Marriage Is a Partnership” (1951)
“To dreams that never will come true…”
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
—Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
I just wanna watch the girls go by
It’s like poetry in motion
Against a hot summer sky
I’m in love at least every minute or two
Until the next time a girl walks by
I think I love her too
Oh I, I can’t help myself
But I just lose my head
Every time you see ’em walkin’ by…
Summer Interlude (1951)
As imperceptibly as grief
The summer lapsed away…
Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
It was like walking on the bottom of the sea. As if I had drowned long ago…
― Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)