Nouvelles de Saint-Pétersbourg.

Madama Butterfly: “Un bel dì vedremo”, Giacomo Puccini; Maria Callas: Herbert von Karajan, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano

El Castillo de Alcalá de Guadaíra (detail), David Roberts, 1833

And the man who seeks salvation in change of place like a migrating bird would find nothing anywhere, for all the world is alike to him.
Anton Chekhov, The Duel.


Staten Island Ferry Commuters by Gordon Parks, 1946 (via)

هل الورق مطفأة للذاكرة؟


Is paper
The ashtray of one’s memory?

Ahlam Mosteghanemi, من رواية ذاكرة الجسد


false consonances on architecture: renaissance stairways

“ANOTHER beautiful sort of winding stairs was made at Chambor, (a place in France) by order of the magnanimous King FRANCIS, in a palace by him erected in a wood, and is in this manner : there are four stair-cases, which have four entrances, that is, one each, and ascend the one over the other in such a manner, that being made in the middle of the fabrick, they can serve to four apartments, without the inhabitants of the one go down the stair-case of the other, without giving one another the least inconvenience : and because it is new and a beautiful invention, I have inserted it, and marked the stair-cases with letters in the plan and elevation, that one may see where they begin, and how they go up.”
The Four Books of Architecture, Andrea Palladio [tr. Isaac Ward, 1738]

Stairs became an important part of the architectural design during the Middle Ages. In Medieval churches, the altar was raised on a stepped platform, adding drama to the liturgy and making it easily visible from the back of the nave. A spiral stairway, curved around a central newel post, was the most common type used for access between floors in castles and great houses. While in Medieval castles the stairs were often designed in such a way as to make it more difficult for attackers to reach the upper storeys, during the Renaissance, they became grander and more complex.

The reliance on spiral stairs gave way to a variety of new designs, including elaborate double helixes. The main staircase in the French Renaissance Château de Chambord takes the form of a double helix, with two separate sets of spiralling stairs — a reflection of the Renaissance fascination with complex designs. The helices, illuminated from above by a lantern, ascend three storeys without ever meeting, making it possible to go up in one flight without seeing someone coming down the other.


Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson

"In the early hours of January 23, 1973, the 5000 residents of Heimaey Island awoke to a 1,500m-long wall of fire rising to the east of the town. The island, originally formed by volcanic eruptions, was hastily evacuated within a couple of days."

The Castel dell’Ovo, Naples, with Capri in the Distance, 1819 (detail), J. M. W. Turner.

Makes a cathedral, him pressing against
me, his lips at my neck, and yes, I do believe
his mouth is heaven, his kisses falling over me
like stars.
Richard Siken, excerpt of Saying Your Names


Ragnheiður Arngrímsdóttir

Holuhraun -Bárðarbunga - eruption


Felipe V de España, Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1701

Eastbourne Pier, March 2014