Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
I wonder if that sort of thing is partly why I bristle a bit anytime people try to define Generation Y.
Daniel Burnham (via ontko)
John Maeda, via boranikolic.com
Eleanor Lavish, a novelist, in Room with a View, 1985
Man: Sorry, I was gonna ask you the same thing.
Lady: Watch where you’re going!
Man: Please leave me alone!
Lady: No! You leave me alone!
[ Pity Hillary and Obama Can’t Be Civil, via Overheard Everywhere ]
As soon as I read this conversation, I thought “Wow, that sounds very DC.” Lo and behold, it was overheard in DC.
Daniel Day-Lewis is my mother’s celebrity crush. From about eleven years old till about eighteen, that’s how I thought of him: the man my mother would stalk should my father happen to die. Since then I’ve seen him in a few films and he’s moved up in the ranks a bit to Oh Yes He’s An Actor—I particularly enjoyed his turn as Cecil in ‘Room with a View’—but despite his Oscar I never looked at his IMDB bio until today. Thank goodness I did. If you enjoy acting, or the technique of acting, you ought to read the quotes section. Day-Lewis is a thoughtful and well-spoken man, the son of a poet laureate, and is an obsessive method actor on par with the best. He also has that rare gift of being able to explain his personal quirks in a knowledgeable and easily recognizable way. Because I am fascinated with how people disparage their peers, I particularly liked this wonderful quote about his middle-class interest in the lower classes.
I came from the educated middle class but I identified with the working classes. Those were the people I looked up to. The lads whose fathers worked on the docks or in shipping yards or were shopkeepers. I knew that I wasn’t part of that world, but I was intrigued by it. They had a different way of communicating. People who delight in conversation are often using that as a means to not say what is on their minds. When I became interested in theater, the work I admired was being done by working-class writers. It was often about the inarticulate. I later saw that same thing in Robert De Niro’s early work - it was the most sublime struggle of a man trying to express himself. There was such poetry in that for me.Monty Python has a funny sketch about this sort of attitude, but what Daniel Day-Lewis said is very honest and I don’t often see it expressed so plainly. When I was in high school, we called kids “wiggers” if they liked hip-hop; when I was in college, frat boys made fun of other frat boys, and today I often see people making fun of their peers for behaving normally, and I don’t understand it by any means other than what I’ve stated before. So it is nice to see Daniel Day-Lewis, without any sense of awkwardness, say that he was intrigued by another class—or really, by anybody else at all. This is clearly not a large admission to him, but merely anecdotal to his work, and stems from his remarkably canny self-analyzation. Very lately people prefer to embrace irony over admission, but humour doesn’t have a long lifespan—so I wonder, when the irony has lost its power, can we start being as plain and honest as possible? The stripped-down prose of the great contemporary American writers is already much admired. Will that be our legacy? I hope so. I hope Daniel Day-Lewis’s clear statements are among what future generations find and repeat everywhere.