Academic journal article Hecate

Portrait of Edith

Academic journal article Hecate

Portrait of Edith

Article excerpt

You can tell before she faced the camera, my grandmother had dressed all morning for the man behind the black hand-held box. Edith is tomorrow's vision, turning her face from kitchen stove to a camera that might connect a man's eye to the flash in hers. Her hair is straight, dark, homespun in a swirl at the neckline. She is sitting on an old fashioned high-backed chair, half smiling into the lens. Although her lips do not part, her features are complete. Deeper than sepia, her dark eyes dilate inside each frame of steelrims. Her thin arms hold a notebook balanced on her lap. Perhaps she stopped knitting her thoughts and hid them in the body of the book, as if in this artificial moment her collected works are caught forever. Edith sits beside a covered table. The cloth weaves a certain linen, watermelon perhaps to match the window's decoration; rose voile, flounced and lace-edged like her blouse. On old parchment, her skirt and bodice are lighter than the room, ivory, cream, or bone with tight three-quarter sleeves. …

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