Posts tagged things they never taught me
Posts tagged things they never taught me
also, Dearest Scott, Dearest Zelda has introduced me via footnote to Dolly Wilde, who I cannot believe I never learned about before.
She was Oscar Wilde’s niece, born when he was in prison (so she probably never met him)
She was fucking beautiful
Everybody said she was a witty conversationalist and a brilliant writer (but she didn’t write books, just letters and translations)
She was queer and in an openly polyamorous relationship with Natalie Barney until her death
SHE HIT ON ZELDA FITZGERALD IN PARIS and made Scott mad (and Zelda question her sexuality)
she sometimes dressed up as Oscar in tight pants and a ratty fur coat which could actually plausibly have been Oscar’s famous fur coat that his brother claimed to have pawned
Basically, this woman is everything I want/want to be/want from life, and if you know anything about her please tell me because I need to know.
(Consider Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story of Oscar’s Unusual Niece already ordered from amazon.)
Reblogged from matrixrefugee.
Josephine Baker, later known as ‘Bronze Venus’, ‘Black Pearl’ and ‘Créole Goddess’ was born in America in 1906 and later moved to France to become a singer, dancer, and actress. She was the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture, and became famous worldwide.
Though she grew up as a maid in wealthy white households she eventually became an exotic dancer in France, famously appearing in next to no clothing, and became a French citizen in 1937.
Ernest Hemingway referred to Baker as ‘the most sensational woman anyone ever saw’ and she received approximately 1500 marriage proposals in her life time. She became a muse for Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, and Christian Dior. She had a variety of exotic pets including a cheetah named Chiquita, a chimpanzee named Ethel, a pig named Albert, a snake named Kiki, a goat, a parrot, parakeets, fish, three cats, and seven dogs.
When WWII broke out, Baker became a volunteer spy for France, and assisted the French Resistance by smuggling messages written in invisible ink on sheet music. She made great efforts to aid those in danger of enemy attack, sent Christmas presents to French soldiers, and smuggled information she gathered in Spain back to France by pinning notes containing the information on the inside of her underwear. She was awarded the Medal of Resistance with Rosette and later named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.
Baker also aided many civil rights movements by refusing to perform to segregated audiences and storming out of a club in Manhattan with actress Grace Kelly after she was refused service. She worked with the NAACP and spoke at a Washington march alongside Martin Luther King Jr. as the only official female speaker. Baker was actually asked by Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow to take his place as leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, but Baker declined on the grounds her twelve adopted children ‘were too young to lose their mother’.
Baker died in 1975, four days after her final show, attended by such names as Mick Jagger, Shirley Bassey, and Liza Minnelli.
Oh and she was queer and had a relationship with Frida Kahlo. All around badass.
Katharine Hepburn. 1930’s.
“Life is hard. After all, it kills you.” ~Katharine Hepburn.
“The two things I want are interesting language and genuine feeling.
“And one other thing: Years and years ago I knew a very wise woman who was tremendously accomplished and who had excelled at many things, a lifetime achievement for anybody else, and I asked what was her goal now? And she didn’t hesitate for a second. ‘To love deeply.’ A lesson there… ‘Wear your heart on the page, and people will read to find out how you solved being alive.’ That was Gordon [Lish] twenty years ago, and that’s what I’m still trying to do.” —Amy Hempel
And this from me: I got to crash Amy Hempel’s surprise visit to one of Jim Shepard’s workshop classes, which just about made my life. Someone asked Amy how she avoided being sentimental while writing about many potentially sentimental subjects, in particular dogs. She suggested, for a change, to try writing the most sentimental thing, or something saturated with the thing you usually guard against. “I’m tired of being so careful all the time.” Jim demonstrated (or manifested, if you want to get critical). “Poor blind Fido,“ he crooned, while Amy doubled over laughing. “Only one paw!”)
Julie D’Aubigny was a 17th-century bisexual French opera singer and fencing master who killed or wounded at least ten men in life-or-death duels, performed nightly shows on the biggest and most highly-respected opera stage in the world, and once took the Holy Orders just so that she could sneak into a convent and shag a nun.
bisexual opera singer who killed ten men and snuck into a convent to shag a nun.