Sections in the bookstore | Italo Calvino (1979)

Sections in the bookstore:

-Books You Haven’t Read
-Books You Needn’t Read
-Books Made for Purposes Other Than Reading
-Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong to the Category of Books Read Before Being Written
-Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered
-Books You Mean to Read But There Are Others You Must Read First
-Books Too Expensive Now and You’ll Wait Till They’re Remaindered
-Books ditto When They Come Out in Paperback
-Books You Can Borrow from Somebody
-Books That Everybody’s Read So It’s As If You Had Read Them Too
-Books You’ve Been Planning to Read for Ages
-Books You’ve Been Hunting for Years Without Success
-Books Dealing with Something You’re Working on at the Moment
-Books You Want to Own So They’ll Be Handy Just in Case
-Books You Could Put Aside Maybe to Read This Summer
-Books You Need to Go with Other Books on Your Shelves
-Books That Fill You with Sudden, Inexplicable,Curiosity, Not Easily Justified
-Books Read Long Ago Which It’s Now Time To Re-Read
-Books You’ve Always Pretended to Have Read and Now It’s Time to Sit Down and Really Read Them

Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, 1979

< Edinburgh, 1955

Not to be found in the notes | Gustav Mahler, 1860 - 1911

Gustav Mahler

"What is best in music is not to be found in the notes."

"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire."

"A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything."

"If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music."

Gustav Mahler young                                                                 Justine and Gustav Mahler

"When I have reached a summit, I leave it with great reluctance, unless it is to reach for another, higher one."

"In its beginnings, music was merely chamber music, meant to be listened to in a small space by a small audience."

"The call of love sounds very hollow among these immobile rocks."

"An operetta is simply a small and gay opera."

"Don't bother looking at the view - I have already composed it."

Santa Cecila di Roma. Mahler in rehearsal, Rome, 1910

"I beg of you... never assume an inner or an outer pose, never a disguise. Fortunately, something always remains to be harvested. So let us not be idle."

"I have become a different person. I don't know whether this person is better, he certainly is not happier."

"It's not just a question of conquering a summit previously unknown, but of tracing, step by step, a new pathway to it."

"It is strange how one feels drawn forward without knowing at first where one is going. If I weren't the way I am, I shouldn't write my symphonies."

Gustav Mahler

"Behind me the branches of a wasted and sterile existence are cracking."

"I live like a Hottentot. I cannot exchange one sensible word with anyone."

"It should be one's sole endeavor to see everything afresh and create it anew."

"I hope you will no longer accuse me of a lack of delicacy. as I now count on your understanding."

Gustav Mahler with his daughter Anna Justine Mahler (Gucki) 

"Even if people censure me, they should do so hat in hand."

"It is easier to achieve a desired result in short pieces."

"All that is not perfect down to the smallest detail is doomed to perish."

"I don't let myself get carried away by my own ideas - I abandon 19 out of 20 of them every day."

Gustav and Alma Mahler with seamen and fellow passengers

"What I wanted and what I visualized while composing has not always been realized."

"There is a world of difference between a Mahler eighth note and a normal eighth note."

"In the theatrical works we love and admire the most, the ending of the drama generally takes place offstage."

Gustav Mahler, 1860 - 1911

Gustav Mahler with Dutch colleagues, Amsterdam, 1909 
Max Rienhardt, G. Mahler, Carl Moll and Alfred Roller in the garden of the villa Carl Moll, ph. Moriz Nhr, Austria, Vienna, 1903

Gustav Mahler and his daughter Anna Justine Mahler (Gucki). Toblach (Dobbiaco), Italy, 1909
Gustav Mahler and his wife Alma Mahler, Toblach, Italy, 1909
Gustav Mahler and his wife Alma Mahler, Toblach, Italy, 1909
Gustav Mahler with friends, Prague, 1908
Alma, Maria Eberstaller-Moll, Maria Anna Mahler (Putzi), the conductor Oskar Fried and Anna Sofie Moll
S.S. Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1910

Gustav Mahler, Quartet for Piano and Strings in A minor - Allegro 
Borodin String Quartet 

Gustav Mahler with his daughter Anna Justine Mahler (Gucki) and Theodore Spiering
Zemlinsky, Schoenberg and Schreker in Prague 1912               Mahler with Ossip Gabrilowitsch and Bruno Walter, Prague, 1908

Gustav and Alma with historian Friedrich Spiro by the Appian Way, Rome, Italy 

The Empire of Light / René Magritte (1953 – 1954) | The Exorcist / William Friedkin (1973)

René Magritte, The Empire of Light, 1953-54                                                           René Magritte, The Empire of Light, 1953-54
in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium                                                                                                               in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
René Magritte, The Empire of Light, 1953-54
in the Museum of Modern Art

The Empire of Light (French: L'Empire des lumières) is a series of oil on canvas paintings by René Magritte painted between 1953 and 1954.
They depict the paradoxical image of a nighttime street, lit only by a single street light, beneath a daytime sky.
 The paintings inspired a scene in the 1973 horror film The Exorcist, which was used on the film's posters and home video releases,
in which the character Father Merrin stands in front of the MacNeil family's house.

The Exorcist, William Friedkin, 1973

Billiard Players (1900 -1962)

Wayne Miller, Two men playing pool, 1962                                                  Dan Weiner, Manhattan, 1951
 Édouard Boubat, Anvers, Belgique, 1960
Robert Doisneau, La Poule au Gibier, 1945
Frank Horvat, Teenagers Playing Billiards, London, 1954
The table is marked out with rope for a game of beach billiards in Oregon, 1938

Billiard Players (1876 -1933)

Book//mark - Tropismes | Nathalie Sarraute (1939)

Tropisms, Nathalie Sarraute, 1939

''Underneath this heat there was a great void, silence, everything seemed in suspense: the only thing to be heard, aggressive, strident, was the creaking of a chair being dragged across the tiles, the slamming of a door. In this heat, in this silence, it was a sudden coldness, a rending.
     And she remained motionless on the edge of her bed, occupying the least possible space, tense, as though waiting for something to burst, to crash down upon her in the threatening silence.''

''When the weather began to be fine, on holidays they would go walking in the suburban woods.

The scrubby underbrush was dotted with crossroads onto which straight paths converged symmetrically. The grass was sparse and trampled upon, but on the branches new leaves were beginning to appear; they had succeeded in communicating none of their luster to the surroundings, and looked like children with slightly sourish smiles like one sees wrinkling their faces to the sun in hospital wards.''

"it seemed certain that, for as long as possible, she would have to wait, remain motionless like that, do nothing, not move, that the highest degree of comprehension, real intelligence, was that, to undertake nothing, keep as still as possible, do nothing."


"He was smooth and flat, two level surfaces -- his cheeks which he presented first to one then to the other, and upon which, with their pursed lips, they pressed a kiss.

They took him and they crunched him, turned him over and over, stamped on him, rolled, wallowed on him. They made him go round and round, there, and there, and there, they showed him disquieting painted scenery with blind doors and windows, towards which he walked credulously, and against which he bumped and hurt himself.

They had always known how to possess him entirely, without leaving him a fresh spot, without a moment’s respite, how to devour him to the last crumb. They surveyed him, cut him up into dreadful building lots, into squares, traversed him in every direction; sometimes they let him run, turned him loose, but they brought him back as soon as he went too far, they took possession of him again. He had developed a taste for this devouring in childhood-- he tendered himself, relished their bittersweet odor, offered himself.

The world in which they had enclosed him, in which they surrounded him on every side, was without issue. Everywhere their frightful clarity, their blinding light that leveled everything, did away with all shadows and asperities.

They were aware of his liking for their attacks, his weakness, so they had no scruples.

They had emptied him entirely and restuffed him and they showed him everywhere other dolls, other puppets. He could not escape them. He could only turn politely towards them the two smooth surfaces of his cheeks, one after the other, for them to kiss."


She had understood the secret. She had scented the hiding-place of what should be the real treasure for everybody. She knew the ‘scale of values.’

No conversations about the shape of hats and Rémond fabrics for her.  She had profound contempt for square-toed shoes.

Like a wood-louse she had crawled insidiously towards them and maliciously found out about ‘the real thing’, like a cat that licks its chops and closes its eyes before a jug of cream it has discovered.

Now she knew it. She was going to stay there. They would never dislodge her from there again. She listened, she absorbed, greedy, voluptuous, rapacious. Nothing of what belonged to them was going to escape her: picture galleries, all the new books… She knew all that. She had begun with ‘Les Annales’, now she was veering towards Gide, soon she would be going to take notes, an eager, avid gleam in her eye,  at meetings of the ‘Union for Truth’.

She ranged over all that, sniffed everywhere, picked up everything with her square-nailed fingers; as soon as anyone spoke vaguely of that anywhere, her eyes lighted up, she stretched out her neck, agog.

For them this was unutterably repellent. Hide it from her – quick – before she scents it, carries it away, preserve it from her degrading contact… But she foiled them, because she knew everything. The Chartres Cathedral could not be hidden from her. She knew all about it. She had read what Péguy had thought of it.

In the most secret recesses, among the treasures that were the best hidden, she rummaged about with her avid fingers. Everything ‘intellectual’. She had to have it. For her. For her, because she knew now the real value of things. She had to have what was intellectual.

There were a great many like her, hungry, pitiless parasites, leeches, firmly settled on the articles that appeared, slugs stuck everywhere, spreading their mucus on corners of Rimbaud, sucking on Mallarmé, lending one another Ulysses or the Notebook of Malte Laurids Brigge, which they slimed with their low understanding.

‘It’s so beautiful,’ she said, opening her eyes in which, with a pure, inspired expression, she kindled a ‘divine spark’.

Tropismes, Nathalie Sarraute, 1939

Tropism : the responsive growth of movement of an organism toward or away from an external stimulus.

My first book is made up of a series of moments, in which, like some precise dramatic action shown in slow motion, these movements, which I called Tropisms, come into play. I gave them this name because of their spontaneous, irresistible, instinctive nature, similar to that of the movements made by certain living organisms under the influence of outside stimuli, such as light.

This first book contains in nuce all the raw material that I have continued to develop in my later works.

Nathalie Sarraute, Paris, 1962


Two Men and a Wardrobe | Roman Polanski (1958)

Roman Polański’s Two Men and a Wardrobe is a short film about two men who emerge from the sea carrying an enormous wardrobe.
After being chased away from a tram, a restaurant and a hotel, and following a fight with local hooligans, the men return to the sea.
In this several-minute long film, Polański presents a story about otherness and the entire
array of responses that arise from otherness, namely, curiosity, antipathy and aggression. >

Two Men and a Wardrobe | Roman Polanski (1958) 
Stars: Jakub Goldberg, Henryk Kluba, Andrzej Kondratiuk 
Cinematography by Maciej Kijowski 
Music by Krzysztof Komeda

It is said to be the first Polish student film to be released commercially.

Roman Polanski with assistant director Andrzej Kostenko and actor Jakub Goldberg during filming Two men and a wardrobe.
Roman Polanski & Henryk Kluba on the set of 'Two Men and a Wardrobe'


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