Strike That Pose

Preface of March 7, 2001:

Today is the feast day of Saint Stanley Kubrick, who died on March 7, 1999. The note below indicates how a belief in style rather than truth functions in the cultural scene and at Harvard. The result, as in Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" and as at Harvard on May 28, 1995, can be bloody murder.

Strike That Pose

by Steven H. Cullinane on August 2, 1995
(The fortieth anniversary of the death of Wallace Stevens)

"I don't believe in truth. I believe in style."
-- Hugh Grant in Vogue magazine, July 1995

Recommended viewing and reading:

  1. "Impromptu" (1991), starring Judy Davis and Hugh Grant. "Spirited performances and some timeless satire of culture vultures on the make." For a timeless self-portrait of George Steiner on the make, see The New Yorker, July 24, 1995, pages 85-88.
  2. "Sirens" (1994), starring Tara Fitzgerald and Hugh Grant. Best scene: Tara in church, as seen in naked splendor by the god Pan. Related reading on Tara: People magazine, June 12, 1995, pages 53-54. Related reading on Pan: My Browning Family Album, by Vivienne Browning, and the short story "Absolution," by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  3. "The Lair of the White Worm" (1988), starring Amanda Donohoe and Hugh Grant. "Strange doings... get curiouser and curiouser...." -- Leonard Maltin.
  4. Related reading:
    (A) Frank Kermode's review of Vice Versa, a book on bisexuality by Marjorie Garber, a professor of English at Harvard (New York Times Book Review, July 9, 1995)
    (B) The ensuing angry letters to the editor (New York Times Book Review, July 30, 1995), and
    (C) Murder at Harvard, as reported by People magazine, June 12, 1995, pages 40-43.

  5. Finally, in memory of Wallace Stevens, who died on August 2, 1955, a reading from The Necessary Angel, a collection of his essays published by Knopf in 1951:

"In order to see how true it is that in images of emotional origin the image partakes of the nature of the emotion, let us analyze a passage from one of the poems of Allen Tate. He is looking at a young woman dead in her bed. He says:

For look you how her body stiffly lies
Just as she left it, unprepared to stay,
The posture waiting on the sleeping eyes,
While the body's life, deep as a covered well,
Burns out a secret passageway to hell."

Page created March 7, 2001 shc759.
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