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

Faces from the Past #16

Pinkhus Karlinsky; Supervisor of the Chernigov flood gates (1909)


estiv said...

What kind of color film was available in 1909? It doesn't look hand-tinted.

matt said...

The photo is by a photographer named Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky and it is actually a composite of 3 filtered black and white images.

There is more about the process at the Wikipedia page about Prokudin-Gorsky ( and a bunch of examples of the color composite pictures at the LOC digital collection about him and his use of the technique (

estiv said...

Thanks very much, Matt, I'll check them out.

Vanwall said...

These were some of the most vivid and amazing shots ever, anytime. I love perusing that LOC collection - life was much more colorful than B&W photos attest - they had taken over for realistic painting for that period of time, not always a good thing.