Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ilka Chase part II

............I know I'm late, I know I know. On with the article (it gets better!)

Of course, it's pleasant if we can find time to cultivate the mind a teensy, weensy bit, too, so that if a gentleman, devastated by our beauty, addressed us, we have some comeback other than "Glug". Not, alas, that it's really necessary; if we are young enough and beautiful enough, and the gentleman is mentally inexperiences, shall we say, which frequently he is, "Glug" will sound just fine. You will hear him muttering, "That little blonde, the one with the lashes, very clever girl, bright, witty understanding". It's kind of discouraging, you join Book Clubs, you attend lectures like this, you listed to symphonies, you take a course in the drama, and what appeals to him? Glug. Sometimes the self-improvement scarcely seems worth the effort.

I think, fundamentally though, it is, and I'll tell you why, for two reasons. One is it's surprising how enjoyable learning can be. You can, yourself, personally, have an awfully good time. Learning about things can be lovely, like opening windows and seeing the most beautiful views. One may experience tremendous satisfaction. We may someday find a man wandering in that magic country, too. THAT'S the second reason. If a man and a women find each other there, thet have really entered into a secret garden. The bloom on their affection will never wither, but be constantly refreshed by quick sympathy and mutual enjoyment.

Now all this I am sincere about, but I do feel there is one pitfall we must avoid in our search for the good, the true, and the beautiful, and that is a kind of intellectual snobishness. I am thinking primarily of the world o' arts and letters, where more of it goes on than was ever seen in the haunts of duchesses.

Better be born on the wrong side of the tracks, for instance, than admit to liking the wrong piece of music, although if you cotton to the 1812 Overture, I don't know why you shouldn't come out and say so. The intellectual snobs, however, are waiting like vultures to tear you to ribbons, but don't be afraid, speak up, even if your taste isn't in accord with the experts. After you look, listen, and read for your own pleasure, not their approval. Personally, I revel in low-class literature, where everybody sins in sables and Lord Dumbarton breaks his heart over the beautiful Lady Cecily and sails away to Africa. "Good-bye, Cecily, I shall neva forget you". And Lady Cecily says "Dear Bunny, if only our lives had been different- think of me sometimes- not too harshly". And she turns away with a little sob. (GULP) Escapist literature, I think they call it, and thats for me. Remember THE GREEN HAT some years back? For sheer effulgent tripe its never been equalled, and I can think of no book I emjoyed more. And only the other day, no less a light then Miss Ethel Barrymore, the first lady of the theatah, confided to me that the only movies she ever liked were B pictures.

More tomorrow! And here's Ilka in the dress described in the last post.....

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