The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Women #5

Clara Bow
from The New Movie Album: An Autographed Who's Who of the Screen (1931)

"To correct any inaccuracies that may have resulted from my being sometimes referred to as the 'Brooklyn Bonfire,' let me say, first off, that I was born in Brooklyn, that I was 'raised' there, and that I lived there until well along in my 'teens. I moved from Brooklyn to Hollywood. And that is my story. Of course there was the time my photograph, submitted by my father, wond for me a magazine contest. There was my little part in the Billie Dove picture, 'Beyond the Rainbow,' which was my first. I was sure at the time that it would be my last. But then, many weeks later, when I had become reconciled to a stenographic career, Elmer Clifton gave me a part in 'Down to the Sea in Ships.' I played parts in several other eastern pictures and then came to Hollywood, where B.P. Schulberg, the man really responsible for what success I have had, placed me under contract. When Mr. Schulberg joined Paramount as managing director of production he took my contract, and me, with him. I played in 'Mantrap,' 'Kid Boots,' 'Wings,' and in several other pictures before 'It' made me a star, and gave me a reputation. My last picture was 'Her Wedding Night.' My next will present me as an usherette."


Brent McKee said...

What I think is a particularly bad sho of someone who is one of my favourite silent stars. Sadly, troubled by emotional troubles going back to that early life in Brooklyn and exacerbated by being in Hollywood. And I don't care what anyone says, her voice wasn't that bad. With better mental health she could have continued on, but with better mental health would she have been "Clara Bow" in the first place?

slyboots2 said...

Thank you. She is my favorite, and I'll take this as a belated Christmas gift. She was wonderful, all that, and had it.

swac said...

I've seen the film where she's an usherette (No Limit) and she's quite charming in it. It's a decent pre-code talkie, and she's fine in it. Of course it also features Dixie "Mrs. Bing Crosby" Lee, Mischa Auer and Thelma Todd and....hey, why the hell has this never been on video?