Samuel Spade’s jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting v under the more flexible v of his mouth. His nostrils curved back to make another, smaller, v. His yellow-eyes were horizontal. The v motif was picked up again by thickish brows rising outward from twin creases above a hooked nose, and his pale brown hair grew down– from high flat temples — in a point on his forehead. He looked rather pleasantly like a blond satan.

He said to Effie Perine: `Yes, sweetheart?`

The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett

 Do pictures tell? I have a Polaroid of Vance at seven and Veronica at twenty-nine traversing a rickety dry-gray bridge in Nova Scotia to board a fishing boat. The water is a deep iron smeared with plates of foam; the sky is a thin iron smeared with same; the mass of white gulls around Vance’s outstretched bread-filled hand is a cloud of plunging white V’s. Vance Vigorous, as he holds out his white little child hand, is surrounded and obscured by a cloud of living, breathing, shrieking, shitting, plunging incarnations of the letter V;  and I have it captured forever on quality film, giving me the right and power to cry whenever and wherever I please. What might that say about pictures.

– The Broom of the System, Ch. 10, /b/, David Foster Wallace 

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