Vol. 25 No. 2
Two Beautiful Anachronismskrystalroemer55
Like so many of us who have worked in visual/photographic forms, I’ve always loved Polaroids. Imagine, in the predigital world in which I evolved, the idea of near-instant, self-developing photographs, each a singular, original print! Fantastic. I still own my early 1970s automatic Model 350 Land Camera with collapsible bellows, and my sleek, silver and brown, perfectly designed SX-70—both of which can fold nearly flat to slip into a coat pocket or briefcase, both truly beautiful objects . . .
When my children were still young I’d bribe them into the double stroller with fruit popsicles so I could go on late afternoon runs. I lived in the country then, working as a consultant for a nonprofit that advised small farms on issues of sustainability and market strategy—don’t worry, this has nothing do with that—and the upside was that I was able to set my own schedule.
The popsicles would typically last the boys a mile, at which point they’d hand over the pink-stained sticks and demand their freedom. They’d ask to run beside me or to . . .
It happened a very long time ago, in another century, another country. Cell phones hadn’t been invented yet, or color TVs, and to own a city apartment was the same as to own a plane or a ship. We lived in the heart of Moscow back then, in a communal flat, with high ceilings and decorative wooden moldings that resembled garlands of laurel leaves. Before the revolution, the entire three-story structure had belonged to a famous doctor, who, fearing the imminent socialist slaughter, had escaped to Europe. The building was then divided into flats, flats into rooms, rooms into sleeping . . .
Since last I wrote, I have been visited by catastrophe, and our fortunes now lie at a precipice. There, you are apprised of the awful truth. How much I would prefer to hide it, but you—who have waited with such patience—are owed my honesty, and so, however much it pains me, I must undertake the burden of explaining to you how this catastrophe has come about. Only then can you prepare yourself, Sister. Only then can you present, directly to our Creator from your most well-guarded soul, those supplications on which . . .
Introduction to “You Are Not I”saitovparser
In the late seventies, I was enamored with the work of Paul and Jane Bowles. Their books were not always easy to find, especially Jane’s, as they went in and out of print. So when I heard in 1979 that a new collection of Paul’s short stories had been recently published by Black Sparrow Press, I ran to the only place that I knew would carry it: a small, specialized bookstore off Seventh Avenue in the West Village.
With the Collected Stories, 1939–1976 under my arm, I hurried home to dive in. “You Are Not I” . . .
You Are Not Igena_tunstall
Sara Driver adapted Paul Bowles’s 1948 story “You Are Not I” as her debut film of the same name. Cowritten and photographed by Jim Jarmusch, it was released in 1981 and subsequently named among the best films of the decade by Cahiers du Cinéma.