Commentary

Disciples


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Wednesday, May 13, 1891

     6:15 P.M. W. on bed—had just laid down—yet insisted now that he should go to his chair again. Complains that he gets "too fond of the bed." Adding, "I have had some visitors again—O'Donovan again, and his photographic assistant, and Eakins. And I was photoed again—various ways. Eakins says O'Donovan is setting us up high. I don't know. Don't you expect to get in to see him? He says he has been waiting for you to stop in—we talked about it—he wants to see you."

     Picked up a profile photo from a pile of papers. "Look at that. How does that touch you? That is one of the young man's results." I saw it was from nature, not from O'Donovan's work. W. then, "Yes, it is from the critter himself—a direct catch—no middlemen. And that is one point in its favor." I detected a resemblance to Morse's medallion. "Yes," said W., "I can see that. No doubt it is a good piece of work—sui generis: I know nothing like it—which establishes something, at once." I could imagine points professional photographers would criticize. "Yes, so can I, but—damn 'em! Wouldn't they, like all professionals, all

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lines, condemn any marked original work? That counts for nothing."
The copy there autographed by O'Donovan. Said W. again, "I have not learned the young man's name yet, which is queer, for me: I usually get that first thing. He seems to be in some way attached to Eakins—his entourage. All those fellows want to see you." Asked me if I thought the photo could "be processed"? And to my affirmative (entered in with explanations, etc.), "Well, try for it—see somebody at once about it. We can use it in the little books. I think the head an eminent hit—one of those curious chances, out of a thousand, which hits a close mark—not to be schemed for—not to be purposed—only discovered, revealed, we might say." I shall go up to Eakins' studio tomorrow—perhaps to get photo negative—better for use in processed pictures.

     I had brought W. four copies of book in sheets (all now printed). He was delighted with them—autographed one for me and another which I was to mail at once to Bucke. "The printing is all I could wish. And more than I had a right to expect. And I can say the same for paper—and particularly for the make-up of the pages—the form. It was a stroke on your part to get it into this shape." He forgets now his desire for narrow margins! Asked me if I had given my father Black and White? "I thought it a strong array of pictures. It occupied me long and long."

     I met Miss Belghannie at Club last night and promised to do what I could to have her see W. Thursday, when she speaks in Camden. Talked with W. and he finally asked, "So you think I should see her? Well, I will—if you say so. It is probably just for me. And so this is her fourth attempt? She deserves me, to say the least." Especially willing when I described her strong ways and noble body—music of voice—health every way. I told Miss B. to meet me at W.'s at 7:30.


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