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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Monday, June 09, 2008

narcisse noir

Harry Crosby (1898-1929) threw off his patrician Boston background for Paris and the pursuit of glorious, mad, extravagant sensation, the better to make art of his life. I discovered Harry and his wife Caresse (he renamed her; she was originally Polly) in another of the New York Review of Books Classics series, Geoffrey Wolff's Black Sun: The Brief Transit and Violent Eclipse of Harry Crosby, originally published 1976.

There is not enough room here to give any tasty idea of how excessive his life, tastes, actions, and loves all were. He wrote poetry. He drank and drugged to excess. He had crosses tattooed on the soles of his feet, and fiercely worshipped the sun as a god. Was he crazy? No, but he wanted to be.

Thing is, even with all this, he and Caresse were very good to their black whippet, Narcisse Noir. Narcisse was a male, and had his share of nice collars and soft bedding; he would sit at the table upon a red cushion. I get the impression he may well have been better behaved than the humans round him.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale has Caresse Crosby's photograph collection, and here she is holding Narcisse Noir.

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