High Life

By Taki | The Spectator, May 11, 2013 | Go to article overview

High Life


Taki, The Spectator


Life is definitely beautiful, as long as one can see, that is, which for two miserable days last week I couldn't. Having had a glaucoma operation two months ago, I needed to use drops for a while but didn't pay attention - too many girls in their summer dresses, and things like that - and the next thing a pain started in one eye. I ignored it and went out and smoked and drank, and woke up the next day, opened my bleary eyes and felt nothing but extreme pain in both. I quickly shut them and the pain went away. I tried opening them again, and it got worse. It was the weekend and no one was around to help.

Despite the pain I tried to telephone Switzerland and the mother of my children but couldn't see the numbers on the dial.

After a Herculean effort I got through and she went to work. She told me that an ophthalmic emergency hospital was open on 2nd Avenue and 14th Street, but I didn't like the sound of it. Through a friend, Donna Acquavella of the well-known art gallery, an appointment was made with the numero uno doctor in New York, Stanley Chang, not David Tang, for Monday morning. I decided to ride it out and stayed in bed with my eyes shut. With 48 hours to go, it was a bit like being blindfolded by the Taleban, but without their horrible smells, music and religious slogans.

Mind you, as Dr Johnson said, imminent death - or blindness, in my case - concentrates the mind, so I lay around with my eyes closed and the brain working overtime.

I tried to think of the beauty of women - past and present - but it was too frustrating. So I switched to art. Edward Hopper and Childe Hassam, to be exact. No one captured American life like Hopper, the loneliness and loveliness of the seaside and its haunting aesthetic. Hopper's stillness is art at its fineness.

It engages the viewer's psyche and imagination, the latter as necessary to appreciate the artist as the eye. While his contemporaries were switching to abstract bullshit, Hopper continued to be a true painter, churning out tranquil vacation spots, gritty city scenes, and hauntingly beautiful and poignant scenes of everyday life.

Childe Hassam, who died a year before I was born, is my second-favourite artist. His Impressionist style is just right, depicting gardens, nature and - the picture I'd give 40 of the best Picassos for - Fifth Avenue on Easter Sunday, the very same canvas that got Brooke Astor's son in trouble with the Feds.

She had it hanging in her drawing room, but she was gaga and thought she was Agamemnon. Her son sold it for little and helped himself to some of the moolah that was coming to him anyway. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

High Life
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.