Sunday, December 30, 2007

adventures in architecture

Sandro loves Anna but Anna is unhappy and causes herself to disappear. Claudia is Anna's friend and joins Sandro in what often seems an unfocused effort to find Anna. Now Sandro makes love to Anna and Anna mostly accepts this but feels guilty about Anna and is often languid in her responses. The women can talk about feelings to each other, but since Anna leaves the film so early we don't see much of this quality; the men can't talk feelingfully to each other, nor to the women. In one scene, Claudia and Sandro are in a small village; while Sandro goes looking for Anna is a (literally) hole-in-the-wall hotel, Claudia waits for him outside that wall, as the men of the town slowly circle around her, wordlessly staring.

This is Antonioni's L'Aventura of 1960. Any extraneous plot or info-providing dialogue has been cut, or, rather, was never there. The easiest thing to say about this film is that it is about ineffability.

But Sandro is an architect and the father of the unhappy Anna is what we'd today call a developer. The landscape of the film is covered with architectural forms. Very few scenes are not framed by the shapes of the built environment. Sandro and Claudia, wandering around what I suppose is Sicily, move in and out of soft- and off-white lines and shadows cast by buildings. They are caught between the old forms and the new. Since Sandro's apartment (which we see briefly at the beginning) is gorgeously modern, in a southern clime kind of way, we assume that Sandro is in favor of the New. But Anna has been lost into the Old. They are in different universes but it doesn't seem to bother Sandro at all. That's perhaps the oddest of the many odd feelings one has watching this film.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

modernism in Pittsburgh

G. David Thompson, a Pittsburgh millionaire, 61 years old in 1960, had been collecting modern art for twenty-five years by then. Klees and Giacomettis were all around the house. He owned Leger's Composition with Three Sisters. And a Juan Gris still-life: "A friend of mine owned this," he said of the Gris. "He was dying to buy a Braque but didn't have the ready cash so I bought this to help him out. No great favor--I liked the painting." At least one Mondrian. And so on.

In '59 he offered the entire collection to the city of Pittsburgh, and he threw in the house too - which the city, he said, could use as a ready-made museum.

Pittsburgh said no. Not interested. Thanks, but no thanks.

Angry and lovin' a deal, Thompson promptly sold 97 - that's 97, yes - of his Klees to a dealer for more than $1 million, and then began to buy little-known moderns. After selling the Klees, he said: "I want to enjoy once more the pleasure of bare walls waiting for new pictures."

(In '61 the Guggenheim put up a show called "One Hundred Paintings from the G. David Thompson Collection." It's easy, especially now, to gloat about the wisdom of the Guggenheim people or of the New York museum-going public: they, after all, wanted what Thompson was doing. This entry isn't meant to speak one way or the other to that. Rather, I'm thinking about what happens when a philanthropic gesture is undervalued or misunderstood. What does the philanthropist do in response? After all, he or she is typically - let's admit it - someone who is used to getting his or her way. Is pique the right reaction? Was Thompson perhaps in the wrong place? Or is it apt for him to stick it out, hoping for a better day?)

Above: Leger's "The Compass" (1926). Thompson bought this Leger from Buchholz Gallery in New York in 1953. He owned it for the rest of his life. It was sold by Parke-Bernet in '66 after Thompson's death in '65. It is now at the Art Institute of Chicago.

sources: Life May 16, 1960, with a great spread of photos from the collection; an article in Time, Jan 13, 1961.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

founded after lunch

"Personism has nothing to do with philosophy, it’s all art."

That's Frank O'Hara, of course, in his partly ironic and party straightforward "Personism" manifesto. It's personal and impersonal, chatty and abstract. It creates its own I-do-this-I-do-that history. "It was founded by me after lunch with LeRoi Jones on August 27, 1959, a day in which I was in love with someone...."

How much mock manifesto is personism? Could it be merely the aesthetic ideology of the artist who was a "coterie" of people being...well...human beings - being the sort who found (that grandiose term) movements (more grandiosity) after lunch (a key O'Hara I-am-just-a-person moment) on a day in which he is in love (another set-piece O'Hara mood)?

O'Hara dated it September 5, 1959, and it was published as "Personism: A Manifesto" in Yugen #7, 1961. EXCERPT>>>

Thanks to David Slarskey.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Berkeley Review, late 1950s

The folks who launched in the Berkeley Review did so with a bold new moderation, proudly calling themselves one-eyed poets. MORE>>>

many memorials but no memory

Geoffrey Hill's For the Unfallen: Poems 1952-1958 is published by Dufour Editions, a volume of 59 pages. Our library here has two copies, both stored away in Rare Books: first, the copy that Tom Lask, then the poetry editor at NYTBR, was sent by the press.

(The very fact that Penn's Lask collection has the book means that it was never assigned by Tom; it's a tellingly interesting collection for this very fact--it's a huge archive of poetry that NYTBR chose not to review, a kind of negative collection. And yet it's full of fantastic and important books! Valuable as an archive precisely because - at least in some cases - the Times didn't thing its contents, at the time of publication, were valuable.)

The other copy Penn has is signed by Hill.

Hill was born in Worcestershire in 1932. He taught at Leeds from 1954 until 1980. After that, some years at Cambridge. In '88 he moved to the U.S., to Boston University as a professor of literature and religion. In '06 he moved back to Cambridge.

Hill was not part of the "Movement" writers of the '50s and seems uninfluenced by his contemporaries down the years. Oddly parallel and un-part. In the later work especially his poems sometimes transcribe the idioms of public life - TV lingo, political slogans, what passes for wisdom in the media.

Three of his poems are among the most powerful responses to the Holocaust: "Two Formal Elegies for the Jews in Europe," "September Song," and "Ovid in the Third Reich."

He has defended poetic difficulty on grounds of political philosophy: what's difficut is democratic (a reversal of the charge often made against "difficult" verse).

In 1959-60 Hill taught on secondment in the U.S. - at the University of Michigan. At Leeds he and Jon Silken became friends (around this time) and a little later, in '64, Silken's Northern House press issued a pamphlet of eight Hill poems under the title Preghiere. Christopher Ricks, our Dylan critic-fan, championed Hill and is in large measure responsible for Hill's fame in England.

Hill is historical, formal (often rhyming), rhetorical, "difficult" (in the sense of dense) poet. Above all, for him, historical memory is crucial:

Still gets to me, the unfairness
and waste of survival; a nation
with so many memorials but no memory.

An online poetry book review site says of For the Unfallen: Poems 1952-1958: "Too formal, he only rarely breaks free here, and his language is also not as sledge-hammer precise as in his later work." Baffling phrase, sledge-hammer precise. But maybe it's apt after all. Here are a few lines of the finel section of "Genesis," a poem written in 1952 and published in The Unfallen in '60:

By blood we live, the hot, the cold,
To ravage and redeem the world:
There is no bloodless myth will hold.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oppen and Zukofsky, together again

From Mark Scroggins' new biography of Louis Zukofsky, The Poem of a Life, I read aloud a passage about 1958 reunion of Zukofsky and George Oppen. Oppen had been in Mexico for years and the once-intense friendship had dissipated. But now they threw themselves back together in a serious way. Have a listen:

Monday, December 17, 2007

the language is ours

Beat Girl, 1960. It is dated ’60 and was released in England that year – but in the U.S. in October ’61.

The “beat girl” is played by Gillian Hills, a pouty, pale blonde born in Cairo in 1944. Her father was Denis Hills, an Englishman born in 1913 and a writer: "My travels in Turkey" (1964), "The Man with a Lobelia Flute" (1969), "The white pumpkin" (1976), "Rebel people" (1978), "The Last Days of White Rhodesia" (1981). Ms. Hills was in “Lana: Queen of the Amazons” (1964), “Cabaret” on TV in ’62, and played Sonietta in “A Clockwork Orange” (1971) and was Glenda Kelly on TV’s Dallas in the mid-70s. And to think – she started out as a beat girl.

Now back to our movie. Dad’s been away for 3 months, picking up a young French wife (she’s 24) who is now, back home in London, a step-mother to Jennifer, the angry daughter. Angry about the divorce, angrier still to have this young step-mother around.

Dad’s house is modern and he – Paul – is explicitly a modernist. He’s an architect, talks incessantly about the "modern way we live." In the living room, otherwise appointed with modern furniture and cubistic paintings and a cool-looking recessed TV, is a large model of “City 2000,” which he keeps under a cover – perhaps only to keep himself from obsessively talking about it.

He and his daughter both say that he loves one thing unconditionally, and that's City 2000.

Step-mom – her name is Nichole - feels it’s time for someone to go upstairs and say goodnight to Jennifer; Modern Dad says “Oh, she’s used to taking care of herself” and would rather his new wife hear all about City 2000. His speech about the city includes statements such as these:

“It’s a city, lots of residents, and yet it’s easy for anyone to feel utterly alone in it.”

"None of this cluttered, hodge podge sort of design. This city is clean, clear lines, totally organized.”

Get the picture? Yes, the modernist is inhuman and committed to social theories to the exclusion of his own kin. His ideas about how people live have caused his daughter to "rebel." She embraces...a more human aesthetic which she finds in London spaces that are the opposite of City 2000, cafes (literally) in caves under the city.

At home Jennifer is cold, and she is cruel in responding to her new mom. She’s not much warmer to dad. The three, this new family, retire for the night - their first night together under one roof. But in an hour or so… Jennifer puts on her beatnik clothes and sneaks out to a cave club with loud lazy but strongly percussive jazz and at least one guy wearing Jack Kerouac’s plaid flannel shirt.

What are Jennifer’s politics? Well, the movies’ version of Beat politics. Here’s Jennifer on cold-war atomic one-ups-manship: “Next week - boom! - the world goes up in smoke. And what's the score? Zero!”

When Nichole comes to Jennifer’s art school to pick her up for lunch, she can’t find her. Another student, when asked, knows her as “that crazy girl who’s gone in for those beatniks.” Nichole doesn’t understand the term “beatnik” and asks. “Oh it’s an awful thing that’s come over here from America” and tells Nichole that Jenny can probably be found at “a café in SoHo called ‘The Off Beat’ – she’s always there.” Nichole finds Jenny and her friends at the cafe. The beat guys thing step-mom is pretty sexy, though uncool, but Nichole is mortified that dad's new wife has entered her separate scene.

One night, after Jenny has returned home late, she and Paul have a 3 AM argument. Jenny calls him a “square” and he’s incensed: “This language! These words! What do they mean?!” Jenny exclaims that such a language “is ours.” “It comes from us. We didn’t get it from our parents. We can express ourselves and they don’t know what we’re talking about.”

Paul: “Why do you need to feel so different?”

Jennifer: “It’s all we’ve got. People like you build cities, but you don’t know the first thing about us – we who have to live in them.”

Later the kids are in another cave club, apparently some reclaimed spot in the underground, a WW2-era bomb shelter. The London beat scene has set up their pads in the very places where their parents once cowered from nightly attacks by the Luftwaffe. They get to talking and one of the guys tells his story: he was literally born in an underground shelter during the war. “My old lady was bombed out, we had no place to live, so I was born here and we lived here.” He knows it’s an irony that England has come so far from those dark wartime days and yet here they are, choosing to be back down there. “Like a bunch of scared rats underground.” Does he mean their parents’ generation – scared of wartime enemies? It’s not clear. Then another beat boy muses. His mother was killed in the bombing of London; his father was an army general and now the boy feels somehow that his father was responsible for all this militarism even as he acknowledges he was in Italy fighting the Nazis. Then Jenny says, “I like it here. This is my home.”

One of the posters for this film, showing Jenny as a doped-up sexpot, reads, "Hop-Head UK School Girl Gets in Trouble." But Jenny's not hopped on anything (or if she is "hopped" it's caffeine, since at the Off Beat they drink coffee). Far from wanting to wander, she only wants a long as it's not the home of her cold modernist father dreaming of the city of the year 2000. That city is the one that he hopes will sweep away London as it really was. Jenny feels more at "home" in the underground, back at the scene of the society's moment of greatest realness and vulnerability--and, psychologically, at the point just prior to the fragmentation of the family.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

colorless green ideas sleep furiously

Noam Chomsky and his wife Carol parented three children. The first two were born during the period that interests me. Aviva (b 1957) later became an academic, like dad, but her specialty was Central American history and politics. Diane was born in 1960 and later, among other things, worked for a development agency along with her Nicaraguan companion in Managua.

Dad was made a tenured professor at MIT at the young age (for a full prof) of 33 in 1961.

B.F. Skinner, at the time of Chomsky's emergence, was the dominant theorist of language as behavior. Chomsky's repudiation of Skinner's theory came (famously) in his review of Skinner's work in 1959. (This was: "A Review of B. F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior" in the widely read linguistics journal Language.)

Readers of this blog – you're perhaps more than casually interested in what happened in 1960, at least I'm hoping – will know at least the gist of the above, particularly, I suppose, the news of Chomsky's hit on Skinner. You might not know, though, that Chomsky's father was a noted Hebrew scholar. Most people who have thought about Noam Chomsky's life and work do believe that the father's work on Hebrew as a language had a great impact on Chomsky's youthful interests. The elder Chomsky didn't just study Hebrew as a language, and of course language study and linguistics are by no means the same thing. But the old man did scholarly work on medieval and historical Hebrew grammar and young Noam knew Hebrew grammar as a child, long before he even knew that linguistics was a discipline.

Chomsky grew up with English and Hebrew. He also learned classical Arabic and some French and German a little later.

1959, at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton: Noam stood in front of a blackboard with the following two line poetic bit of didacticism behind him scrawled in his handwriting in chalk:

Colorless green ideas
sleep furiously.

There it is: syntax versus semantics, in a nutshell, in a bit of poetic synaesthesia.

The kind of linguistics Chomsky conceived in this period concerned itself with matters so utterly different from those studied by his colleagues that one could say that Chomsky invented a completely new field or that he was from the start working in a separate one. But Chomsky insisted on showing the links between what he was now saying and the ideas of others over hundreds of years. This – the effort to link his radical approach to the past – made it all the more revolutionary and disconcerting.

Skinner's 1957 book, which Chomsky reviewed in 1959, was the first large-scale effort to incorporate major aspects of linguistic behavior into the realm of behavioral psychology. The field of linguistics had to respond. That Chomsky did so clearly and dramatically – and negatively – made him instantly famous in the two fields.

What surprised Chomsky was how limited and how simplistic was the nature of the "function" producing behavior. You had to rely on knowing inputs from outside (such as they could be controlled for the purpose of study – such as reinforcements) and you had then to rely on outputs (or behaviors) and to believe you could know what the outputs are or mean or indicate. The limitation was necessary because Skinner had no access to "the internal structure of the organism" (27); he had to remain outside. His confidence was undue in general, but when he moved to linguistic behavior, the dependency on observing inputs and outputs really becomes deficient. Skinner compensates for arguing ever more adamantly (and repeatedly) that "external factors consisting of present stimulation and the history of reinforcement…are of overwhelming importance" in understanding human behavior (27-28). "The magnitude of the failure of this attempt to account for verbal behavior serves as a kind of measure of the importance of the factors omitted from consideration, and an indication of how little is really known about this remarkably complex phenomenon" (28).

Linguistic behavior – what we write, what we say, what we mean to mean – cannot be predicted by inputs, nor understood as behavior by recording outputs, especially if the latter is assumed to be understandable/translatable through conventional means (denotatively, lexicographically, etc.). Even efforts (not Skinner's – he didn't or couldn't do this, but efforts by real linguists) to create a unifying theory of language behavior from the inside, "conceal complexities" (56). Since the behavior of the speaker, listener, or learner of language constitutes the actual data for any study of language, that's where we need to go, but we also need to be skeptical of empiricist confidence of the sort Skinner evinces. "The construction of a grammar which enumerates sentences in such a way that a meaningful structural description can be determined for each sentence does not in itself provide an account of this actual behavior. It merely characterizes abstractly the ability of [a person, a regular user of the language] who has mastered the language to distinguish sentences from nonsentences, to understand new sentences (in part), to note certain ambiguities, etc. These are very remarkable abilities."

"Does not in itself provide an account…" "Very remarkable…" Grammars inevitably "conceal complexities…." Perhaps this is why Chomsky in this period so intriguingly and frustratingly chalked gnomic poems on chalkboards:

Colorless green ideas
sleep furiously.

Sources: Wolfgag Sperlich's Noam Chomsky; Robert Barsky, Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent; Chomsky's review of Skinner, Language 35, 1 (1959).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

too much like Lichtenstein

Summer of '60, breakthrough time for Andy Warhol. One night the filmmaker Emile De Antonio went over to Andy's studio and they had some drinks and Warhol began showing him two large paintings, side to side, on the wall - showing them to his friend more seriously than usual. Two pictures of Coke bottles about six feet tall. One was a "pristine" black-and-white Coke bottle. The other "had a lot of abstract expressionist marks on it." De Antonio described for Andy his preference for the "absolutely beautiful and naked" b&w canvas and told him to destroy the other.

Warhol at this point had a strong interest in American folk art and wanted to paint 20th-century folk objects like Coke bottles just the way they looked. Yet he worried that people would reject the work as that of a commercial artist. It was at this time that he began to overcome that fear.

Around '60 he began also to alter the way he spoke, now mumbling monosyllabic replies to questions. And he walked with a limp-wristed dancer's walk, what a biographer calls "a bizarre takeoff of Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe."

Ivan Karp, who was an assistant to Leo Castelli, began coming by and taking an interest in what Warhol was doing. Karp wore dark Kennedy-style suits, sunglasses, smoked cigars and called everyone "baby." He spent '60 in and out of W's studio. It wasn't until January '61 that Karp finally persuaded Castelli to come to Warhol's house. The first visit: Castelli comes to the door and Andy opens the door wearing one of his 18th-century masks.

Castelli didn't bite quite yet, though. Karp recalls: "Leo said, if we were interested in Roy [Lichtenstein], could we really be legitimately interested in Warhol?" Andy came to Leo's office a few days later and said, "You're mistaken. What I'm doing will be very different from what anybody else is doing. I really belong in your gallery." Leo said no again and Andy cried out: "Well, where should I go?" and also: "You will take me. I'll be back."

Leonard Kessler also ran into Warhol in 1960. Warhol was coming out of an art-supply store carrying paint and canvas. "Andy! What are you doing?" Without skipping a beat, Warhol said, "I'm starting pop art."

Kessler asked why. "Becauase I hate abstract expressionism. I hate it!"

A few weeks later Ted Carey praised a Rauschenberg collage at MoMA and Andy's rejoinder was: "That's nothing. That's a piece of shit!"

The term "pop art" had been around since 1958, but everyone seems to agree that Warhol began pop art for real in 1960. To do it he applied what he had learned from television and advertising. Subliminal message: sexuality without gratification. Content: dollar sign, gun, supersweet drink, fizz, etc. Do what artists are supposed to not want to do: make ads.

1960 was the year he invented pop art but it's also (perhaps not coincidentally) a time when he spent perhaps half the year having a nervous breakdown. At least that's what he called it.

Victor Bokris, in his bibliographical biography, presents this chapter title: "The Birth of Andy Warhol, 1969-61." Pop art, Bokris writes, came with it an "up attitude" and was a "tough celebration" of American culture, and he contends that its products record the early 1960s "more accurately than movies and television."

Among the sources here: Victor Bockris, The Life and Death of Andy Warhol, 1989.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

flick overview

Here's a web page that provides an overview of movies released in 1960. The image here is from The Magnificent Seven, adapted by screenwriter Walter Bernstein from the great Kurosawa film, The Seven Samurai.

Back in March of 2003, Walter Bernstein was a Writers House Fellow and I had the honor of hosting him and interviewing him. Here is the mp3 recording of that interview.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

thinking small

An announcement that something for American consumers will not change is praised as an innovation. Read on...

You know how the American auto companies announce their new year's model cars a year in advance? Well, in August of 1959 American Motors president George W. Romney--yes, that Romney, candidate for US prez in '68 and father of Mitt--announced the 1961 models. But what he had to say surprised everyone: there would be no new American Motors models. Time's issue, dated August 26, called it an "innovation"--"an innovation that rattled the U.S. auto industry." The good-selling Rambler would stay the same. (The "Rambler American" would be restyled for '61 but Romney promised no changes at all on the Rambler and no "abrupt or whimsical" changes in other models.)

"Refreshing change is one thing, but incessant change has a touch of idiocy," said Romney.

He was called "the prophet of the compact car." The shift toward smaller cars and keeping model designs "meant not only a turn to function instead of frills, but a sign that the national psychology is leaning toward 'reason and realism'."

Meantime in Germany Volkswagen made 27 changes to the VW beetle but all of them were internal and invisible--and all for improved efficiency. VW made changes every year, and even during the year, but hadn't made a "model-styling change" since...1938.

The big change that Volkwagen made was in advertising. They took us by storm with their campaign, launched in '59 with the first ads running in '60, produced by Doyle Dane Bernbach and famously called "Think Small." On a list of the top 100 advertising campaigns of the 20th century, "Think Small" is number 1. Here's a (somewhat later) video of a TV ad in the campaign: LINK.

In '62 this TV ad [YouTube video] satirized the glamorous stagey announcements of new car designs, with a drumroll as the score and portentous announcer's voice chiming: "And now, the 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962 Volkswagen!" Spotlights shimmering around this ugly little rounded-off crate of a car and then: "We never change the Volkswagen to make it look different, only to make it work better."

But Time? For them George Romney was the innovator-by-not-innovating. After all, his innovation was that his was an American automaker thinking small.

Thanks to Tim Carmody for his suggestions here.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

goodbye finally to Apollinaire

The story goes that when Manet was by the Seine near Argenteuil one day, he noticed some ladies bathing and said: "It seems I must do a nude. All right, I'll do one for the transparent air, with people like those we can see over there. They'll slay me for it but let them say what they like." The result was The Picnic or Luncheon on the Grass (Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe) of 1862-1863.

Between 1959 and 1961 Pablo Picasso did a series of sketches and paintings based on this alluring painting by Manet, and one other (Le Viex Musicien). Despite the originary tale of the painting retold above, Manet's composition of this landscape with figures had already been borrowed from Giorgione's painting (in the Louvre), La Fete champetre.

Pastoral landscape is rare for Picasso. We don't have much evidence to explain this burst of affection for Manet, nor for this obsession, which struck him at around 80 years of age, for these figures. We do know Picasso had always admired Manet, and he had even parodied Manet in his Olympia way back in 1901.

Here are three of Picasso's versions of the scene (the second I know to have been painted in '60; the third is from '61):

Much of the 1959-61 period he spent at Vauvenargues--as he was in February 1960 when he worked on this series with an energy that surprised even him. In these sketches, some of which are very large (51 x 76 inches), Manet comes and goes. In '62 an exhibit of this series was mounted in Paris, and the catalogue--stunning--is this: Peintures Vavenargues, 1959-61, Galerie Leiris, Paris.

At this time there were actually five major exhibitions. One was a show of vigor and gaiety, "Forty-five engravings on linoleum," the result of experiments and discoveries that Picasso had made in the simple process of lino-cuts.

In the fall of '60 there was a show of drawings made in the previous two years. The main themes were the "gallant picadors, favorites of the great ladies," the latter included flemenco dancers, witchy peasant women in towering mantillas, wearing flying whirling skirts, etc. Biographers talk of a new nostalgia for Spain emerging in him.

The big event at this time was a huge show honoring Picasso in London, also in '60. This was to date the largest Picasso exhibit ever. The Tate Gallery gave up more space for it than it had. Some 280 paintings by a single artist, including early pieces such as Demoiselles d'Avignon and ten canvases dating from 1900 to 1909 lent by the Russian Government. Almost half a million people visited the show in London, with the press now acclaiming Picasso unanimously as the great genis and even the Queen herself, during a private visit to the show, said Picasso was the greatest artist of the century. Picasso himself refused to go: "Why should I go? I know them all, those paintings, I did them myself." Above: the Picasso show at the Tate, 1960.

And then there was the monument for Apollinaire, who had died of the Spanish flu way back in 1918. The poet's friends and the French authorities had been haggling about this for years and years (the original commission dates to the 1920s). (Perhaps the continuing official ban on A's well-known erotic novel, The Eleven Thousand Rods [Les Onze Mille Verges], which was not lifted in France until 1970, had something to do with the delay?) The question for friends and officials both to answer was: What was the most appropriate monument to Apollinaire's memory and where should it go? Finally it was decided to accept Picasso's offer of the large bronze head of a girl, inspired by Dora Maar in 1941. Permits and formalities were complete in 1959, and with due ceremony and a great deal of emotion, the poet's old friends, Andre Salmon, Jean Cocteau, and others, including Picasso himself--and A's widow--the sculpture was unveiled at the corner of the churchyard of St. Germain de Pres on one of the shortest streets in Paris, which had been named "rue Guillaume Apollinaire." (See the map below.) One Picasso biographer puts it: "At last Picasso's tribute to the most eloquent and revolutionary friend of his youth stood modestly shaded by chestnut trees, backed by the walls of the old monastery and surrounded by children at play."*

* Roland Penrose, Picasso: His Life and Work, 440-41.
The lines quoted above are from the poem "Zone," translated by Donald Revell.