Reverie, by Hubert Denis Etcheverry, c. 1930. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY.


Volume VIII, Number 4 | fall 2015


A king in twelfth-century-BC China enjoyed women wearing dangling pearls and jade in a “Hair-knot which Sways at Every Step”; the emperor who built the Great Wall favored the “Hair-knot which Rises Above the Clouds”; Tang women wore the “Hair-knot of the Homing Bird”; and a writer in the last years of the Manchu dynasty offered the name “Hair-knot of Disintegration and Homeless Wandering” for a style of the day. “The times are indeed out of joint!” he wrote. “I tremble to think of what is to come.”

Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

—Ecclesiastes, c. 250 BC