Page 551. " she smoked, listened to Mahler and Fauré "
Gustav Mahler 1892
Public DomainGustav Mahler 1892 - Credit: Leonhard Berlin-Bieber (1841–1931)
Gustav Mahler (1860 – 1911) was an Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation. He was born in Bohemia, in what was then Austria-Hungary.  He was renowned as a conductor during his lifetime. As a composer, he gained wide popularity only after periods of neglect, including a ban on its performance in much of Europe during the Nazi era.  After 1945 his music was rediscovered and gained popularity, making Mahler one of the most frequently performed and recorded of all composers.  In 1897 he was appointed as director of the Vienna Court Opera – he converted to Catholicism from Judaism to secure the post.  Late in his life he was briefly director of New York's Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. 

Gabriel Urbain Fauré (1845 - 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. ‘Clair de lune’ is one of his best-known works. Fauré had many admirers in England, but his music, though known in other countries, took decades more to become widely accepted.

Mahler and Fauré have been described as linking the end of Romanticism with the modernism of the second quarter of the 20th century.

Page 554. " Did you think there was any chance they were going to lock you up on Rikers Island? "

Rikers Island is New York City’s main prison complex, and the name of the 413.17 acre island on which it sits.  The island lies in the East River between Queens and the Bronx, adjacent to the runways of LaGuardia Airport.  The prison complex has a staff of 7,000 officers and 1,500 civilians to control an inmate population of 14,000.

The island is thought to be named after Abraham Rycken, a Dutch settler who moved to Long Island in 1638 and whose descendants owned Rikers Island until 1884, when it was sold to the city. It has been used as a prison ever since.

 

Rikers Island from the air
Public DomainRikers Island from the air - Credit: Cdogsimmons
Rikers Island from the air 
Page 564. " which she did out of her deep love of Rene Magritte "
Pipe and Passport of René and Georgette Magritte-Berger
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePipe and Passport of René and Georgette Magritte-Berger - Credit: Michiel Hendryckx

René François Ghislain Magritte (1898–1967) was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images. His work challenges observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality.  His earliest paintings, which date from about 1915, were Impressionistic.  The paintings he produced between 1918 and 1924 are influenced by Futurism and by a form of Cubism practised by Metzinger.  He produced his first surreal painting in 1926, The Lost Jockey (Le jockey perdu).  His first exhibition was held in Brussels in 1927 but was panned by critics.  He moved to Paris, where he became friends with Andre Breton and was involved in the surrealist group.

He returned to Brussels in 1930 and resumed work in advertising, forming an agency with his brother Paul.  He remained in Brussels during the German occupation of WW2. In 1946 he renounced the violence and pessimism of his earlier work, and joined several other Belgian artists in signing the manifesto Surrealism in Full Sunlight.  His work was first exhibited in New York in 1936. 

Popular interest in Magritte's work revived in the 1960s, and his imagery has influenced pop, minimalist and conceptual art. 

Page 565. " Sometimes she felt like Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca "

Pin-up photo of Ingrid Bergman, 1945
Public DomainPin-up photo of Ingrid Bergman, 1945 - Credit: Yank, the Army Weekly
Ingrid Bergman (1915 – 1982) was a Swedish actress who starred in a variety of European and American films.  She is best remembered for her roles as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca (1942), a World War II drama co-starring Humphrey Bogart  and as Alicia Huberman in Notorious (1946), an Alfred Hitchcock thriller co-starring Cary Grant. 

She experienced a succession of tragedies in her early life – her mother died when she Ingrid was three years old, her father when she was thirteen. The aunt with whom she went to live following her father’s death died only six months later. She then moved in with another aunt, who had five children.

Despite these personal difficulties she established herself as a leading actress in Swedish films.

Ingrid Bergman in Cassablanca
Public DomainIngrid Bergman in Cassablanca - Credit: Trailer screenshot
She was brought to America by Hollywood producer David O Selznick to star in Intermezzo, an English language remake of her 1936 Swedish film of the same name, despite being able to speak very little English. The movie was a huge success, and she went on to become one of Hollywood's greatest leading actresses. 

In 1950, after a decade of stardom in American films, she starred in the Italian film Stomboli, which led to a love affair with director Roberto Rossellini, while they were both married. The affair created a scandal in Hollywood and forced her to return to Europe until 1956, when she made a successful Hollywood comeback in Anastasia. 

 

 

Page 565. " I'll bet Estes Kefauver is a terrific Max Ernst fan "

Senator C. Estes Kefauver
Public DomainSenator C. Estes Kefauver - Credit: US Federal Government
Carey Estes Kefauver (1903 – 1963) was an American politician from Tennessee.  He was a liberal-leaning member of the Democratic Party. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1939 to 1949 and in the Senate from 1949 to his death in 1963.  He twice sought his party's nomination for President of the United States.  In 1956, he was selected as running mate of presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson. 

Kefauver led an investigation into television and juvenile delinquency in the mid 1950's. This was followed by an even more intensive investigation in the early 1960s, promoted by public concerns over juvenile violence, and the possibility that this behavior was related to violent television programs.

Kefauver’s progressive stance on the issues saw him being accused by fellow Democrats as being a "fellow traveler" and of working for the "pinkos and communists" with the stealth of a raccoon.  In a televised speech in Memphis, in which he responded to the charges, Kefauver wore a raccoon skin hat. He adopted the cap as his trademark and wore it in his successive presidential campaigns.

Kefauver was unique in Tennessee politics in his outspoken liberal views, a stand that established a permanent bloc of opposition to him in the state. His constituency included many prominent citizens whose views were considerably less liberal than his but who admired him for his integrity.