RUGGED TIMES, by Lillian Ross
- “Whenever I make an appearance,” he said, “I have thirty little girls crowding around asking for my autograph. I think it’s much better when people who read your book don’t know anything about you, even what you look like. I have refused to let Life photograph me. Getting you mug in the papers is one of the shameful ways of making a living, but there aren’t many ways of making a living that aren’t shameful … … “
- Mailer has an uneasy feeling that Dostoevski and Tolstoy, between them, have written everything worth writing, but he nevertheless means to go on turning out novels. He thinks The Naked and the Dead must be a failure, because of the number of misintepretations of it that he has read. “… … The book finds man corrupted, confused to the point of helplessness, but it also finds that there are limits beyond which he cannot be pushed, and it finds that even in his corruption and sickness there are yearnings for a better world.”
GOSSIP WRITER, by St. Clair McKelway
- Winchell has written more words on the subject of friendship than any other modern gossip writer, but the people he calls his friends do not number more than seven or eight and most of these are new rather than old.
- Winchell believes, with some justification, that practically everybody reads his column every day … … A friend of Winchell’s once admitted he had not seen the column on a certain Tuesday. Winchell wanted to know with sincere concern if the friend had been ill. Another time another friend returned to New York after a trip abroad. “Jeez, Walter,” he said, “I sure did miss the column. I didn’t see it for two whole weeks.” “That’s all right,” said Winchell. “You can go over to the Mirror office tomorrow and look at the files.”
GOETHE IN HOLLYWOOD, by Janet Flanner
- It is not joke to say that the greatest study of Mann is Mann. One of his children has said it is difficult not to see his writings as “a complex of family allusions.” Unconsciously, the Mann children speak of their father as if he were an edition.
- These young Manns, already politically prescient, begged their parents not to come home because they weather was bad. Mann naively replied that the weather was bad in Switzerland, too. Erika then alluded to some terrible house-cleaning ahead. It was probably Frau Mann who realized that the weather the young Manns had described was political and that the house-cleaning might be a purging of anti-Nazis. Mann and his wife never set foot in Germany again.
- Since it was not a language he learned to read with ease when he was young, as he did French, which interests him less, Mann is today driven to revert, for his regular afternoon reading after his nap, to his favorites, the German classics. He reread Goethe’s Faust five times hand running to get himself into what he considered the correct modern equivalent of the eighteenth-century mood in which to start writing his three novels about Joseph of the Old Testaments days.
- This position, which in three years has become legendary, he acquired partly because his proud racial character has served as a magnet to a company of compatriot refugees who, sick of being ashamed of their nationality, take comfort from the pride of this German author whom they may never have seen, from this German author whose books they may never have read.
FROM WITHIN TO WITHOUT, by Geoffrey T. Hellman
- He dismissed this idea when he discovered that the bandits had removed not only his money, the loss of which he was philosophical about, but also his notes and sketches, about which he was not. For a while, he toyed with the notion that his attackers might have been partisans of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, an institution whose architectural devotion to eclecticism he had derided in many articles and books, … …
- Le Corbusier rarely relaxes. His face, mobile and animated when he is speaking, is tense even in repose. He loves to talk to people he feels are responsive. His voice is low, gentle, insistent, and musical; his characteristic expression is one of the intelligent observation. He thinks about architecture, or form and color in general, most of the time. Even when he is sitting on a beach, he manages to keep busy. He examines the architectural structure of pebbles, shells, and bits of wood. They often turn up in his paintings, though sometimes in rather abstract form. His interest in food is similarly professional; he especially admires the structure of melons, in which he sees no traces of a regrettable eclecticism. He also approves of bee cells, since bees, like himself, distinguish between the wall as an insulating factor and the wall as a supporting factor.
- “This is a funny country,” he told an American friend one night recently. “Your hospitality is Draconian, and your convictions are too tied up with finance. Money is ferocious here. Your brutality turns sensitive people into Surrealists. But the country has an extra cipher in population and money — it is alive, and everything is possible in it. All life is poisoned by the disorderliness of your cities; people look like cockroaches from your skyscrapers, and, oh, the loneliness of your large crowds, the anonymity of your cafeterias! No terrasses de cafe here, where three or four friends can talk over an aperitif — not that I ever have time for this in Paris. I was astonished by the fact that Americans never climb stairs. They will lose their legs. I’m the only man here who climbs stairs two at a time. Your escalators are undignified. New York is a turntable where you meet everyone in the world. I often ride the Third Avenue ‘L’ at two in the morning, looking at all the Negresses and Chinese dead of fatigue. I like the light here. Paris is grey — it used to be white — and Zurich is greenish, but New York is a red city — the color of blood and life. Everything in it arouses both enthusiasm and disgust; it reflects God and the Devil. Its potentiality is terrific. Your sky at night is formidable. It’s terrible to soil it with General Motors and Lucky Strike publicity. The beauty of the sky should belong to the people. I like your restaurants, and the great freshness in young people here. And how can one be bored in a city in which the young women were crowns of flowers and in which the houses are red?”
THE GREAT FOREIGNER, by Niccolo Tucci
- Then we spoke about dreams. Bice told us two symbolic dreams she had had years ago; I told the dream that the grandfather of a friend of mine had had the day before he died; Einstein told an absurd dream of his. He seemed the only one to find the conversation interesting, which it was not.
- “In the past,” said Einstein, “when man travelled by horse, he was never alone, never away from the measure of man, because” — he laughed — “well, the horse, you might say, is a human being; it belongs to man. And you could never take a horse apart, see how it works, then put it together again, while you can do this with automobiles, trains, airplanes, bicycles. Modern man is besieged by mechanics … … You can’t elect them, you can’t control them from below; their work is not of the type that may be improved by public criticism.”
- ” … … The lack of tolerance is also connected with this, but much more with the fact that American communities were religious in their origin, and religion is by its very nature intolerant. This will also help you understand another seemingly strange contradiction. For example, you will find a far greater amount of tolerance in England than over here, where to be ‘different’ is almost a disgrace, for everyone, starting with schoolboys and up to the inhabitants of small towns. But you will find far more democracy over here than in England. That, also, is a fact.”
arty: 附庸风雅; necktie: 领带; grease: 油脂; layman: 外行; opulent:富裕的; allusion: 暗示; mon vieux: 朋友; aperitif: 开胃酒
GREEK DIARY: COMMUNISTS, SOCIALISTS, AND ROYALISTS
- He [Svolos] lived in the same world as I did, where there were difficulties, doubts, confused issues, conflicts between expediency and principle. He reminded me a little of Silone, in Rome, … … Such people are anxious and intent; they are never unnaturally cheerful.
- Nor do I mean to sneer at this. How many similar people in the United States, deprived of social standing and financial independence — which is what the Greek bourgeoisie seem menaced with as no group in America is — could be sure of being able to uphold or defend the things they have been taught to admire?
THE BIRCH LEAVES FALLING, by Rebecca West
- It was the last two days of the Nuremburg trial that I went abroad to see. Those men who had wanted to kill me and my kind and who had nearly had their wish were to be told whether I and my kind were to kill them and why. Quite an occasion.
- Now, as the plane rose into the leaden sky, we looked down on a land that was recording, after this worst of summers, a disaster that restored one’s self-respect because it was not made by statesman or soldiers or any men at all but by nature. In the fields, sheaves that should have stood in harvest time like stocky golden girls and then been gathered were crouched and drab, like old scrubwomen, and would never know the honor of a barn. Half-finished ricks heeled over on their narrow bases. The pastures looked quite lustreless.
- Easy in my mind, I spent the afternoon walking incredulously about the city. I had always been a social failure in Berlin. Except in a few Jewish homes, I had been considered light-minded and flimsily dressed.
- The trees of Tiergarten have nearly all been destroyed. Some were burned in the raids; some were hit by Russian artillery during the battle for the city; most of the rest were cut down by the freezing population last winter. Now the great park is nothing but a vast potato patch, with here and there a row of other vegetables, and from this rise the statues, in an inappropriate prominence that is marble what embarrassed nakedness is to humanity.
- The women for whom this mansion was built lived inside their corsets as inside towers; their coiffures were almost as architectural; all their contours had to be preserved by an iron poise. The would have refused to believe that these ink-stained gypsies had, in fact, invaded their halls because they had been on the side of order against disorder, stability against incoherence.
- It seemed that when one has never seen a man, one does not find anything offensive about the idea of photographing him while he is being sentenced to death, but that if one has seen him often, the idea becomes unattractive … … I remember I did not care at all the first time I heard William Joyce sentenced to death, but that the second time I was stirred and astonished, and that the third time I knew awe … … It is is an intensification of the feeling we have in the fall, when the leaves drop. The leaves are nothing to us, but the melancholy, the apprehension grows.
- It was dispersed suddenly by the news of Goring’s suicide. A dozen emotions surprised me by their strength. The enormous clown, the sexual quiddity with the smile that was perhaps too wooden for mockery and perhaps not, had kicked the tray out of the hands of the servant who was carrying it; the glasses had flown into the air and splintered, the wine of humiliation we had intended him to drink had spilled on the floor.
THE BEAUTIFUL SPOILS: MONUMENTS MEN, by Janet Flanner
- The M.F.A.&A. men who followed the Allies into Aachen and the Rhineland became simply obituary writers, since dead art lay in every direction: “Cologne, circa 80 percent of monuments and churches destroyed, including St. Maria im Capitol, famous Romanesque landmark …” “Kleve, Stitskirche, mid 14th century, air bombed Oct. ’44, again Feb. ’45, an eliminating operation. Church shattered.”
- There the Dutch had stored their most valuable museum pictures, with Nazi approval. The fact that the art had been hidden by our Allies decreased the excitement of the discovery for our men, though they took sightseeing tours underground to stare at some Rembrandts — once it had been explained who and how important Rembrandts was. For the next fortnight, every Dutch daub found in a farmhouse attic was called a Rembrandt, and the nearest Monument officer was sent for, posthaste, to authenticate it.
- For nine months before the Merkers find, Monuments men had been disparagingly known in the Army as “those guys with their goddam art.” The Merkers gold and Patton’s personality had made art itself important. An art cache was thereafter known as an “art target,” and all Patton’s rivals itched to strike one too. Clearly, art finds meant publicity to any outfit’s Public Relations officer. Capturing towns was valorous and still the aim of the war, but capturing art was a glamorous new idea.
COME IN, LASSIE!, by Lilian Ross
- At some parties, the bracketed guests break up into subgroups, each eying the others with rather friendly suspicion and discussing who was or was not a guest at the White House when Roosevelt was President — one of the few criteria people in the film industry have set up for judging whether a person is or is not a Communist — and how to avoid becoming a Communist.
- Evidently, Communism is also responsible for this trouble. Power, returning from a trip abroad lately, announced that he had seen so much suffering in Europe that he had come back determined to spend his time fighting Communism. This, as interpreted by Louella Parsons, meant that he had given up Lana Turner for the cause.
- “We’ve got to resolve any conflicts between what we are and what the public has been led to believe we are,” one actor told me. “We can’t afford to have people think we’re a bunch of strong men or crusaders.”
- “A lot of people who work in pictures wouldn’t know Communism if they saw it,” she said to me. “You think that a Communist is a man with a bushy beard. He’s not. He’s an American, and he’s pretty, too.” The Congressional investigation of Hollywood, Mrs. Rogers thinks, will result in better pictures and the victory of the Republican Party in the next election … … Mrs. Rogers is also writing screen plays. I wanted to know if she was following the “Do”s and “Don’t”s of the “Screen Guide for Americans.” “You just bet I am,” she said. “My friend Ayn Rand wrote it, and sticking to it is easy as pie. I’ve just finished a shooting script about a man who learns how to live after he is dead.”
- “For years I’ve been writing scripts about a Boy Scout-type cowboy with a girl. Their fortune and happiness are threatened by a banker holding a mortgage over their heads, or by a big landowner, or by a crooked sheriff. Now they tell me that bankers are out. Anyone holding a mortgage is out. Crooked public officials are out. All I’ve got left is a cattle rustler. What the hell am I going to do with a cattle rustler?”
- At preview, in Hartford, Connecticut, of Arch of Triumph, attended by its director, Lewis Milestone, and by Charles Einfield, president of Enterprise Productions, which brought it out, the manager of the theatre asked Einfield whether it was necessary to use the word “refugees” so often in the picture. “All the way back to New York,” says Milestone, “Charlie kept muttering, ‘Maybe we mention the word “refugees” too many time?’ ‘But the picture is about refugees,’ I told him. ‘What can we do now? Make a new picture?'”
LETTER FROM WASHINGTON, by Richard Rovere
- “And now, folks, if there are any particular questions at all, please don’t heztate.” This was the line with which he ended every one of his set speeches along the way. Since he had said nothing this time to provoke questions, none were asked.
- Just as I thought it a remarkable fact that J. Edgar Hoover manages to get his important work done in an office across the hall from a public gathering place that is refilled every half hour, or less, I was deeply impressed by the knowledge that the government’s case is represented in the courts by men who do their legal research in a library in which traffic is as heavy as it is in the lobby of a large hotel.
sneer: 冷笑; sheave: 滑车轮; stocky: 敦实; crouched: 蹲在; drab: 单调; rick: 堆成垛; lustreless: 没有光泽; incredulously: 难以置信; flimsy: 单薄; stank: 发臭; stupendous: 巨大的; corset: 紧身胸衣; coiffure: 发型; birch: 桦木; recherche: 研究; billeted: 驻扎; pinup: 钉住; boiseries: 木制品; casket: 棺材; looted: 洗劫一空
PART FOUR: CHARACTER STUDIES
NOTE BY SUSAN ORLEAN
- These writers didn’t invent the Profile, but sometimes it feels as if they had. Each had a distinct voice, but their writing had in common a tone of familiarity and authority — qualities that became the mark of a New Yorker Profile.
- As a reader, you notice only the writer’s decisions — what to include, what to examine closely, what to describe. You never feel that the story has been stage-managed by the subject or by a publicist or, for that matter, by an editor with an agenda. Readers sense that the story is authentic, and that it grew out of a genuine interest on the part of the writer, rather than out of a press release. Having grown up in the age of celebrity journalism, I was used to reading articles that were very obviously directed by some interested party. The first time I read these pioneering New Yorker pieces, I remember being amazed; I couldn’t believe you could really find stories like this, in which the writer, and not the subject, set the pace.
- Ross is very much present in the story, but as the passionate observer, eager to hear and see everything that can enrich the story and help make sense of not only Franklin but also the world around him.