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Cover of Réalités magazine · №159 · February 1964 · The problem of unemployment in the West ~ Probably the most beautiful magazine cover I (BMcC) have ever seen. The picture does not quite do it justice . The miner's face is immensely powerful (the eyes are windows of the soul[1]). The text of the magazine's name at top left, and the title of the article at lower left seem perfectly sized, positioned and oriented. The text colors seem right. The two white -- actually: ivory -- areas look perfect. The whole content and layout seems perfect to me; everything is necesssary and nothing is superfluous.

There is more to this story: This is a serious article about a serious human subject. The discussion included such persons as IBM Thomas Watson. Réalités was not just selling Cadillac automobiles and American President Lines cruises, although they were doing that. (They were also selling Citroën automobiles.) Their articles went deep into many serious subjects, for instance an extended interview with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ, whom I believe was a controvertial figure in The Roman Catholic Church at the time.

The magazine was not just haute couture but also high culture. As an inmate of St. Paul's Day Carcel for Boys, in the library on a pass because as an "A" student I could spend the "period"[2] in the library instead of otherwise obligatory mass "study hall", the magazine (some rich kid's parent must have given them the subscription, along with The Illustrated London News?) "smelled" good to me. I had an innate esthetic sense of smell which was rarely intentionally cultivated by the institution or its employees whose pay my parents' money partly paid.

+2022.11.19 v001
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Footnotes

  1. See also my photograph: Misu's eyes.
  2. "Period" is a pedagogically interesting word for me (BMcC). It meant: a 50 minute clocktime interval during which a pupil was inserted into a school activity slot, for instance, Algebra II class, or, in the present case, "study hall" (which was an oppressive place in the attic of the Upper School building: a fairly large "knotty pine" panelled room like a suburban tract house's club basement" only bigger, public and a level above, not below, ground level). I think there were 7 periods in a school day. That the word also refers to a woman's bodily function (what were women?) was entirely unknown to myself as a perhaps 16 years old inmate of this institution of selective enlightenment, which, otherwise, by punitively testing me on everything they did teach, made me flee from learning anything.


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