80 Following

Allusion is not Illusion

You'll pry my books off my cold, dead body. By the time you shift them all I'll be flat and dessicated.

Currently reading

Winter's Tales
Karen Blixen, Isak Dinesen
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Penguin Classics)
Rebecca West, Christopher Hitchens
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Already Dead
Charlie Huston
The Rings of Saturn
W.G. Sebald, Michael Hulse
Lady Audley's Secret
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, David Skilton
Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" - And How You Can Fight Back
Thom Hartmann
The City, Not Long After
Pat Murphy
You Can Sketch: A Step-by-Step Guide for Absolute Beginners
Jackie Simmonds
Lonely Werewolf Girl
Martin Millar
Eisenstaedt on Eisenstaedt: A Self-Portrait - Alfred Eisenstaedt
Odd, this is listed as the only edition, and the publication data matches my copy, but my cover is entirely different.


Personally, I prefer my cover as I think everyone and his mother has seen Eisenstaedt's "V.J. Day at Times Square". I had not known, however, that there was no relationship between the sailor and the nurse. Eistenstaedt writes, "I saw a sailor running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight. Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn't make any difference. I was running ahead of him with my Leica looking back over my shoulder." This was the only shot that pleased him with the black/white color balance. Next time you see this shot, remember that those grannies laughing in the background got some tongue, too!

This passage is fairly representative of Eisenstaedt's chatty writing style, although this famous photo has a longer story than most of them. Typically each image gets between a couple sentences and short paragraph. Naturally, ones that have more interesting anecdotes associated get more text. In a few cases I wanted more of the story, like in what context he called Hermann Goering "plump" and who Goebbels is grinning at off-camera. Eisenstaedt sensibly left Germany in 1935.

You can always tell how Eisenstaedt felt about his subjects.
Liked: Marlene Dietrich, Joseph von Sternberg, Albert Einstein, Arturo Toscanini, Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren (Loren was actually a friend of his, so maybe that doesn't count), kids.
Disliked: Fassbinder, Nazis, snotty rich people, sloppy dressers.
Mixed feelings: Hemingway, Leni Riefenstahl.

Although he's most famous for his celebrity and political portraits, I really liked some of his scenes as well, such as this one of statues that were buried during the war being excavated.

"Garden of Bellevue Castles, West Berlin, September 1979"