A New York minute in pictures brought to you by the great Saul Leiter.
Because I can’t get enough of Saul Leiter:
“There are certain people who like to be in the swing of things, but I think I’ve been out of the loop a lot of the time. When Bonnard died, one critic accused him of not participating in the great adventures of Modernism. And Matisse wrote a letter in which he defended Bonnard, saying that when he saw the Bonnards in the Phillips collection, he told Mr. Phillips, ‘Bonnard was the strongest of us all.’
I’m not like those photographers who went up to the top of the mountain and hung over and took a picture that everyone said was impossible and then went home and printed it and sold 4,000 copies of it and then went on and on with one great achievement after another.
Max Kozloff said to me one day, ‘You’re not really a photographer. You do photography, but you do it for your own purposes – your purposes are not the same as others’. I’m not quite sure what he meant, but I like that. I like the way he put it.”
“I spent a great deal of my life being ignored. I was always very happy that way. Being ignored is a great privilege. That is how I think I learnt to see what others do not see and to react to situations differently. I simply looked at the world, not really prepared for anything.”
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More from Retronaut:
The New York Times Book Review has a good piece on Alexandra Styron’s family memoir:
Rose Styron [William's wife] emerges from this memoir as a good and heroic presence, erring only on the side of excessive tolerance. There is something touching in the picture of her following her husband to Martha’s Vineyard, having been “forbidden to show up before June,” with “a mountain of summer Martha’s Vineyard dresses poised on their hangers for another season’s whirl of festivities.” Before long, deprived not only of his temper but of all self-esteem, Styron would be pleading like a child to be spared the ordeal of appearing before guests at the dinner table.
“Avoiding my father’s wrath was a complicated business,” Alexandra writes. Her memoir is part of that process. William Styron’s illness may have prevented his making an appropriate response to her novel, “All the Finest Girls” (2001). Before then, however, she wrote some stories that he did read. “Dear Al,” he told her in a fax, “you really are a very good writer. More! More!” He got more — this is it — and he was right.
[Photograph by Saul Leiter]