ailiet: (boldini)
In more remote areas overseas, the USO and the Red Cross provided soldiers with dresses and costume materials. "I was doing a version of a camp show in our spare time," recalled Ben Small, who as a gay Army Air Corpsman was stationed at an atoll near New Guinea, "a little drag number in a parachute. It was just a matter of getting guys together who liked to entertain and putting on a show for the different outfits on the island. I had the effrontery to write to the USO in San Francisco saying, 'Do you have any funny costumes?' Usually it took two months for something to arrive, [but] a couple of weeks later I got called in [to the office] and they said, 'How come you get special air mail delivery?' I said, 'I don't even know what it is' and they said, 'Open it up!' Well, it was dresses. Gold lamé. You have never seen such a collection of shit in your life! Nobody was upset; they just said, 'What the hell is this?' And I said, 'We wanted to do a show and we needed some costumes.' Well, here's everybody in the office from the lieutenant on down trying on dresses! Everybody suddenly becomes a drag queen! That's how we got costumes for the show."

-Allan Berube, Coming Out Under Fire, pg. 84

The most famous of the lesbian proprietors was Eva Kotchever, a Polish Jewish émigré who went by the name Eve Addams (also spelled Adams), an androgynous pseudonym whose biblical origins her Protestant persecutors might well have found blasphemous. Called "the queen of the third sex" by one paper and a "man-hater" by another, after the police crackdown of 1925 she opened a tearoom at 129 MacDougal Street that quickly became popular with the after-theatre crowd. A sign at the door announced "Men are admitted but not welcome."

-George Chauncey, Gay New York, pg. 240
ailiet: (amelia pond)
Natalie Diaz on the Mojave language, If What I Mean Is Hummingbird, If What I Mean Is Fall Into My Mouth.

Lost Women Found: "How did it happen that at the great cultural crossroads of postwar New York there was a lone woman writing songs on guitar with a sophistication of lyric and melody unmatched by any other folk songwriter of the time?"

Moving through Durrell's Alexandria Quartet: "We live" writes Pursewarden somewhere, "lives based upon selective fictions. Our view of reality is conditioned by our position in space and time--not by our personalities as we like to think. Thus every interpretation of reality is based upon a unique position. Two paces east or west and the whole picture is changed." -Balthazar

If your introduction almost makes me feel guilty for wanting to read the book than you're doing it wrong. Lytton Strachey's Eminent Victorians was still worth pushing past that bizarre starter. Florence Nightingale, for example:
As for her voice, it was true of it, even more than of her countenance, that it "had that in it one must fain call master." Those clear tones were in no need of emphasis: "I never heard her raise her voice," said one of her companions. Only, when she had spoken, it seemed as if nothing could follow but obedience. Once, when she had given some direction, a doctor ventured to remark that the thing could not be done. "But it must be done," said Miss Nightingale. A chance bystander, who heard the words, never forgot through all his life the irresistible authority of them. And they were spoken quietly- very quietly indeed.
ailiet: (stars)

The sky glows one side black, three sides purple.
The Yellow River's ice closes, fish and dragons die.
Bark three inches thick cracks across the grain,
Carts a hundred piculs heavy mount the river's water.
Flowers of frost on the grass are as big as coins,
Brandished swords will not pierce the foggy sky,
Crashing ice flies in the swirling seas,
And cascades hang noiseless in the mountains, rainbows of jade.

-Li Ho, translated by A.C. Graham
Poems of the Late T'ang, pg. 98

September 2014



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