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tete a tete

Too wonderful not to post. While you're remembering Cartier-Bresson, take a look at this online peek at the exhibit Tete a Tete: Portraits by Henri Cartier-Bresson, which features some of his best-known portraits, including those of Truman Capote, William Faulkner and Carson McCullers. The Washington Post Magazine has a photo gallery from the exhibit with some of the others. Oh, they are beautiful.

I've never bought a book of Cartier-Bresson's photographs, but I own several. They've always been given to me at just the moment I needed them, by people who somehow sensed it.

Here's an excellent tiny story of Borges and Cartier-Bresson from Zone Zero Magazine, "The Gift from a Blind Poet":

One day Cartier-Bresson received a telephone call from the writer JL Borges, who wished to know whether he would be willing to accept a prize for which Borges wanted to nominate him.

The prize was offered by a rich woman who lived in Sicily. It was for artists of all kinds. What distinguished this prize from most others was that it was the previous prize winner who nominated, after two years, the next one. And today Borges wanted to give the prize to Cartier-Bresson. Why me? he asked. Because I am blind, said Borges, and I want to give it to you in recognition of your eyes.

Cartier-Bresson felt he could not refuse Borges and so he traveled to Palermo for the award ceremony. There he was put up in a highly reputed old hotel. Its name, or something about it, seemed familiar to him. Finally he found out why. It was the hotel his parents had gone to on their honeymoon. He was born nine months later. In this same hotel, where he was lodged because his eyes had won a prize, he had been conceived.


NPR story and related material from 2003
NPR story today
Guardian remembrance


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