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

Before and After #103: Howard Hughes

Before


After

3 comments :

Vanwall said...

Not far enough after - too rational looking.

Tom Sutpen said...

Undoubtedly true . . . but it's the last official portrait (from, I believe, 1958) and one of the last known photos of the man, the myth, the weirdo. After that, we're stuck with all those composite sketches magazines used to illustrate their breathless stories on Hughes' decline (the foot-long fingernails, the Kleenex hats, the 10 page handwritten instructions on opening a can of Tomato soup, etc.)

Believe me, I'd love to get some real photographic representation of the hardcore screwball years, but there just ain't none.

shahn said...

...but wow, they really show how good looking he was. it was always hard to imagine why people described him as so charming with all the other tales of crazy.