Two words: Oscar Wilde

Ever since I've heard the phrase "I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying", I've been madly in love with Oscar Wilde and his works. Even such a taboo like Teleny (a homosexual romance that is so unaccepted and unknown in Hungary, it couldn't even make its way to the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde Collection, making us joke with my friend that he might have written it after his death... specko jedno) sounds beautiful to me... What I like the most about Mr. Wilde is the way he tells stories and his words, of course. Here are some of my favourite Oscar Wilde quotations. Some, like me, like it ironic but very-very wise.

“Who, being loved, is poor?”
“Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.”
“Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.”
“It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.”
“The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.”
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
“If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.”
“The heart was made to be broken.”
“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
“There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.”

I do not know what the situation is abroad (I guess it's better than here), but in Hungary there is a whole book full with selected Wilde quotations. Par excellence!


The Invitation

You might have already known it, but I'll type you a beautiful poem called The Invitation, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. It is truly touching and exceptional. Must read.

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithlessand therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, book cover

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer


House by Marc Jacobs

It is not only W magazine that decided to create itself a stylish new home (without Vogue...) - Marc Jacobs likes to add new (for him, at least) pieces to his ever-gorwing art collection that help him make his apartment even cooler and more sensitive. Where else to get obsessed with paintings than in Paris, after all??

This is what I like about style - it's not just one thing or another. It's complex. Here we have one of the most successful desingers (the one no-one is tired of waiting for when it comes to his fashion show), sitting in his library (with books, obviously, so - literature) with a 1986 painting on the wall a 'sixties Dominique table', to quote W and the picture itself is arty as well. Style is in the picture yet not every ingredient of it - that would clearly be impossible.


I love that Richard Prince piece on the wall - the writing is witty and bittersweet! It says "I waited on the corner for my blind date. When this girl walked by, I said, " Are you Linda?" She said " Are you Richard?" " I said,"yeah". She said," I'm not Linda." - if it's not readable.
You can read the article HERE and do not forget to check the slide show sonce the pics are not visible in their original width and there are more pics of his place and collection!


Samantha likes a guy...

Phew, Sex and the City seems to be everywhere nowadays, not that I am not happy for it... So I went to a store the other day to buy some stuff to my newly renovated room, found this picture and my first thought was that SatC episode (I Heart NY, last of Season 4) when Samantha was so much in love with Richard, she gave him a painting similar to this one. I must say I loved Richard's character because I thought he was perfect for her, you know, the male Samantha... But all that cheating thing was, of course, devastating and Smith turned out to be the best for her. Anyway, I know they are not the same but I find them pretty similar and it made me smile and think of my favourite series ever... and the future movie.

Sorry for the bad quality and the size, I took this pic from the episode itself and couldn't make it better.

And here is the one I ran into at Praktiker...


Jean-Luc Godard: Breathless (Á bout de souffle)

Though Godard once famously stated culture was war and he wanted to destroy it, he can't help but have a major part in popular culture (and even in high culture), if not for his whole life and art, then for Breathless. The movie came out in 1960 but was banned in numerous countries. Though French movies usually scare the hell out of me - I dislike starting to watch them, I am so afraid of them being too new wave (even the old ones), too hardly understandable, even for me who understands things no one else does around me -, it turns out I kinda like them, so maybe it's time to change my mind.

Breathless is very bohéme and funny, it's extremely good. Paris in the 1960s-1970s could be pretty good to live in, youngsters were hippies in a way but were too French to dress that ridiculously, so basically, they were stylish rebels.

It also warms my heart that Michel, the 'hero' of the movie uses the name Laszlo Kovacs as an alias - and it is a very usual Hungarian name, something like Johm Smith for Americans - there are hundreds of men called Laszlo Kovacs.
It's full of great quotes (for example, "it's silly, but I love you. I wanted to see you, to see if I'd want to see you

I won't tell you what the movie is about, but I do suggest you all to watch it - avantgarde, chic, witty and entertaining. Need more?


Elliot, oh, Elliot...

Yesterday paintings, today photography. I know I haven't been posting about fashion for a while, but as I have always believed, style is not simply fashion (even Coco Chanel agrees) and most importantly, my room is under renovation that means nothing is certain, I don't have a proper room and everything's a mess around me and in the house.

So, photography. I have many favourite photographers, but today is for someone special: Elliot Erwitt. Considering I have huge difficulties picking my favourites, visit his official site and/or check some masterpieces I have posted here. I love it that he always catches the moment that makes you think and stare for more than one moment and black&white photographs seem to be closer to me (except for fashion photography and Peter Richweisz, and... some others).

Okay, probably this last one is my favourite. Maybe because it was the first one I saw by him, I don't know. I love his pictures of dogs, they have something unique about them, something more than those pet pictures you see nowadays.
PS. If you happen to be in Tuscany (Italy) between 24 November and 16 December, don't miss the Lucca Digital Photo Fest where his works are shown.
Lucca Digital Photo Fest

(Images: various sources and definitely not my own images...)


Paintings, paintings, paintings

Being the artfreak that I am, I can assure you I am fool for paintings. So when I got asked about my favourite painting, the answer was anything but easy. It's not difficult choosing my favourite painters - Picasso and Blake, I adore them fanatically - but this time I picked some pieces NOT painted by them but by other acclaimed and great artists - paintings I like and/or can relate to for some reason.

First of all, The Swing by Fragonard. It was love at first sight, the whole atmosphere of the painting captivated me though it is not that visible and perceptible through this small size picture. For the bigger version, click HERE

The Street by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. When I first saw it, my thought was "vogue". It represents fashion, style, elegance, modernity, urbanization, everything. It's not something no-one else could paint, but it definitely has something capturing, something that makes you stare at it for minutes.

Speaking of staring at paintings for a while, here is Bertalan Székely's Self-portrait. Whenever I tell my friends I would like to go to the National Gallery in Budapest (where it hangs), their response is a quick 'I won't go there with you', because most of them are aware of the fact that to me, a visit to named gallery stands for running to the chamber where this painting is and - not kidding - staying there for hours. I scrutinize it from every angle and from every distance, I like it so much. Even the supervisor lady called for her colleague to check on me to find out what the eff I was doing in front of that picture for such a long time, and it kinda happens all the time I visit the gallery. I don't what it is, but I love this painting and I love the man who painted it and who can be seen in it.

Scream by Edvard Munch - it's pretty much like when you feel like you're screaming in a chamber crowded by people but no-one seems to notice you. It's not that crowded, but the two gentlemen behind the screaming person don't really care, at least in my opinion. It shows me solitude and despair, that's why I like it so much.
Now two non-paintings:

This lithograph by Honoré Daumier got the describing 'Nadar elevant la photographie' as a name (it means something like 'Nadar raises photography', as far as I know, I can't speak French) and it's so windy, so 1800s, even so Jim Carrey in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events that it's simply not possible for me not to like it.

Henri de Toulouse-Latrec's Jane Avril is also a lithograph and I love the bohemian vibe of it, how he manages to depict the Parisian way of (night)life towards the end of the 19th century.

Of course, these are just a few paintings (and lithographs) I like, I could go on and on for ages!


That sinking feeling

Like many others, I’ve been obsessed with Titanic for ages. Not (only) the 1997 film but the tragic end and sad stories led me to get interested – Guggenheim’s decision to die as a gentleman; the Strauss’ love; beautiful and very sad.
So when I heard the Titanic exhibition comes to my country with actual artifacts that used to go down with the ship and even a piece of the Titanic herself, it was no question if I go.

When you start your trip, you get a similar boarding pass with a passenger's name and brief story - when your visit ends, you can check if you (and those who have traveled with you) survived (I died...).
The first object visitors see is the bell that was used to inform the crew about the iceberg – it is available to examine from every angle and believe me, it is spooky.

Then there were pictures of the passengers and information on their lives (who they were, why they chose Titanic to travel to the US, etc.) and quotations from newspapers, passengers and the creators and desingers of the ship.
The objects were outstanding, the decades they had spent on the bottom of the ocean are obviously visible and the shoe and hat and letters and playcards someone once used, someone who died in the cold water, young and full with the hope of a new and better life. These words might seem corny but when you are there and think it over, it is really heartbreaking in a way.

The much anticipated piece of ice that was there to show how cold it could be for those stuck in the middle of the ocean didn’t impress me much – it wasn’t even salty water and that is colder than sweet water so it was nothing special – everyone knew ice was cold after all! But the piece of Titanic that could be touched was outstanding – now I am a part of it as well, at least according to my dreamer self.
Oh, and there is also a place where you can smell perfumes brought up from the wreck – it was carried by a passenger who survived, but the samples sank. Let me say, they are anything but good but it is definitely because they had spent about 80 years in 3800 meters of water!
The exhibition travels all around the world - it stays in Budapest until February 5.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
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