These days everybody wants to be a philosophical architect. But I have made a perfectly good living as a philosophical plumber.—John Gardner
Lesser known Rilke … Poems to Night.
Rainer Maria Rilke: Poems to Night translated by Will Stone Pushkin Press ISBN 978-1-78227-553-4 92 pp. £12.00
Rainer Maria Rilke was born in Prague and went to university there but, unlike Kafka (whose work he came to admire), he is not much memorialized there, and the city has no essential part in any of his writings. There is a sense in which Rilke, a German-speaker in Czech lands, was not only without a nation but without a home. His years of maturity were essentially Wanderjahre – mostly within Europe but also extending as far afield as Egypt. The bulk of his work is in German but he also wrote poems in French and managed a handful in (apparently rather bad) Russian. He was dependent on patrons – or, more often, patronesses, aristocratic ladies who were happy to put him up in picturesque surroundings and with whom he had extensive epistolary relationships (the letters form a large part of his oeuvre).
Johnny Cirillo photographs people on the streets of New York in the style of paparazzi (half a block away with a long lens) and posts them, with permission, to his Instagram account. From an interview with Cirillo in Vogue:
I decided early-on that if I was going to shoot candids of New Yorkers, I didn’t want it to be with a wide lens, up-close in their faces. I started using a 200mm lens so that I could be half a city block away from the subject. It’s similar to the way paparazzi shoot, and all my subjects are celebrities to me, so it’s fitting in that respect.
(via life is so beautiful)
Americans are collectively almost $15 trillion in debt, most of it related to housing (i.e. mortgage debt). For the New Yorker, Margaret Talbot shares some images from Brittany Powell’s The Debt Project, a series of 99 portraits of Americans in debt.
Powell set about photographing ninety-nine Americans who owe money (she ended up with a few more, including herself, but started with that figure as a reference to the slogan “We are the ninety-nine per cent”) and asked them to handwrite accompanying text about how much they owe, and to whom. The litany of reasons gets repetitive, because that’s how it goes — difficulty finding a job in one’s field after graduating during the recession, a bad marriage, a bad divorce, vertiginous rents in expensive cities, medical crises, many, many student loans. Occasionally, there are epic and awful variations: one woman’s mother took out credit cards in her name and, in a ten-year period, racked up “a mortgage worth of debt” to fund her “compulsive shopping and hoarding habits.”
The Debt Project is also available in book form.