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

Artists in Action #492


James Dean stands on the edge

4 comments :

Testify said...

Picture taken by Dennis Stock, near Times Square. Stock wrote, of that time:"For a novice actor, in the fifties, New York was the place to go. The theatre was thriving, and television was alive and well. The Actors Studio, directed by Lee Strasberg, was in its heyday...in many ways Jimmy felt more at home in New York than Los Angeles."

Don't know if its deliberate, subconscious or just in the nature of this blog but it seems to throw up curious links: Mr Magoo, who appears a little further down was, of course voiced by Dean's Rebel Without A Cause co star Jim Backus and Dean himself did a homage to Magoo in that movie when he says (of children)"Drown 'em like puppys"
And, now I think of it, not so long ago we were treated to a pic of Monroe entering the Actors Studio (although that may have been the LA branch, I don't know)

Tom Sutpen said...

You have very very sharp eyes, Testify.

I won't say the various links and pathways between elements in this image and that one are always intended, but you've lurched into a series of them (an incompleat one; as it's yet to be fully played out) that were indeed planted deliberately.

When I tell people that this blog is a bit more than just a bunch of images, or even an organized survey of cultural artifacts, this is what I'm talking about.

Well done, sir!

Inukshuk said...

Was wondering where this picture was taken with this French sign "Le faisan d'or"...

New-York, of course...

(Didn't have the sharp eyes of Testify... Pretty much impressing, indeed!)

Tommy O'C said...

Great connecting-the-dots, Testify.

Stock took that photograph on West 53rd Street. In the original photo, which is larger than the one presented here, the building in the background displays the faded paint of an ad for "Brute Force." Under it, an ad for a printing and office supplies business (which is visible in this version but not legible) states that its entrance is at 66 W. 53rd Street. That places this on W. 53 between 5th and 6th Avenues, a half mile from Times Square.

The theme of Dean, Marilyn, Brando, and the Actors Studio (that's the NY branch by the way; I know the building on W. 44th) is time-honored.

In Dennis Stock's "James Dean Revisited" (1978), the accompanying caption for this photo states: "We used to roam the streets of New York together, and I liked to photograph Jimmy observing others. He had a great natural curiosity about people, was a collector of street vignettes, and I was forever amazed at the oddities he would stumble upon."

On the page opposite the photo displayed here is a photo of two girls and a dog in the doorway of a store, with Dean looking at what one of the girls was holding in her hand: "What was it? A chicken head. Only Jimmy would upon such surreal situations."

Thanks for bringing up these memories, Tom.