Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Do you recognise this woman?

Well, do you? Don't just gawp.
 
I'm told the photo may be connected in some way to the Man Booker Prize, so she could be an author.
 
But I have my doubts.

(Answer: Consensus is, she's a young Martha Gellhorn from the 40s - see Duncan Fallowell's recollection of her from the 90s in Russia [comments])

18 comments:

The late Steve Strange said...

Quentin Crisp. Obvious

Ciaran Rehill said...

It is a very bleached out copy of Farah?

Jonathan King said...

It's a very young Madame Arcati (the pearls are the clue). The jaw grew, she became a noted clairvoyant and helped Rex Harrison get out of a difficult situation but went on to far greater fame and glory when she created this sensational online board in which questions are posed but often not answered...

Madame Arcati said...

I know, the resemblance is uncanny; and that curious expression on her (my) face reminds me of who was under the table at the time.

I believe the young lady otherwise may be Martha Gellhorn - nothing to do with Man Booker, most probably taken in the 40s.

DRF said...

Yes, you are absolutely right. It is Martha Gellhorn. I've checked and those pearls appear in other photos of her. I met her in St Petersburg in the early 1990s, very self-contained, no charisma or originality whatsoever despite her glamorous past.

best wishes, Duncan Fallowell

Anonymous said...

What on earth was she doing in St Petersburg with Falowell?

Madame Arcati said...

DF's a literary and social Zelig. I wonder whether his memoirs are out yet.

Oh, and my thanks to Chief Inspector CH for the Gellhorn solution.

Jonathan King said...

Wasn't Zelig one of the great movies of all time? Anyone who hasn't seen it should do so, even if they normally hate Woody (whose finest role was playing a sperm in yellow plastic). I too want to know more about DF and MG in SP.

Madame Arcati said...

Zelig is a wunnerful movie, and Woody's best in my view. Woody certianly is a very plausible sperm who thinks he's something special.

Ciaran Rehill said...

Playing with sperm in yellow plastic? Describes the weekend of most of Madame Arcati's readership!

Madame Arcati said...

I'm sure Lavinia would have to disagree.

The late Martha Gellhorn said...

Julian Assange won the Martha Gellhorn Prize in 2010.

Anonymous said...

She would never talk about Hemingway.

Madame Arcati said...

From Salon...

...'Upon reading Hemingway's "Across the River and Into the Trees," she writes to a friend that "I feel quite sick, I cannot describe this to you. Shivering sick. I watch him adoring his image, with such care and such tolerance and such accuracy in detail ... I weep for the eight years I spent ... worshipping his image with him, and I weep for whatever else I was cheated of due to that time-serving." After the bitterness wore off, Gellhorn was able (in a 1969 letter to her son, Sandy) to view her relationship with Hemingway with as much wisdom and equanimity as any of his celebrated biographers:

"He hated his mother, with reason. She was solid hell. A big false lying woman; everything about her was virtuous and untrue. Now I know enough to know that no woman should ever marry a man who hated his mother ... Deep in Ernest, due to his mother, going back to the indestructible first memories of childhood, was mistrust and fear of women. Which he suffered from always, and made women suffer; and which shows in his writing." '

The late Edith Sitwell said...

Would Madame put up another mystery photo? I'm liking this.

Do The Funky Chicken said...

Duncan Fallowell does this on his Facebook page. But he gives prizes for the correct answer. Will Madame give prizes?

Madame Arcati said...

Yes, but Duncan's heir to a vast fortune - is his memoir out yet? - whereas Madame Arcati is an impoverished medium dependent on a rising incidence of fatalism.

I suppose I could give away all these bloody books I have no intention of ever reading again, such as Science & Parascience by Brian Inglis or The Fermata by Nicholson Baker (I got to page 6) or The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (actually very good on domestic detail but little purpose in reading much beyond page 100 because of schtick-exhaustion), and hundreds, perhaps thousands more.

Of course, To Noto comes with a price tag.

veritas said...

she looks very much like a good friend of mine from yonks ago. If it's her those pearls were stolen in a Bond Street heist in the 80's.