Narrative Photography

In the midst of the horrific aftermath of the terrorist attack on Democracy orchestrated by the Oleaginous Don, I noticed this photograph of an altercation between T***p supporters, people concerned about fascism, and the San Diego police. I grew up in San Diego and vividly remember the location shown in the photograph.

(My aunt and uncle lived just up the street where we often visited. One night my father took us all down to see where parts of the Crystal Pier crashed into the Pacific ocean. Was there a Boney’s near-bye?)

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Vila-Matas At Documenta 13

Article-HeaderDid Enrique Vila-Matas attend Documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany? Was he an invited artist, albeit an unusual selection being a writer? Is his novel The Illogic of Kassel a fictionalized accounting of Vila-Matas experiences at Documenta 13 or is it a complete fiction? Is Documenta a McGuffin?

I did some quick research after finishing this novel and learned that most of the specifics related to Kassel and Documenta were true: characters, places, events. I was unable to verify the actual art exhibits but considering that there were almost two-hundred exhibits, I can accept that those Vila-Matas wrote about were real or at least variations on real exhibits.

But it strikes me that the reality or fictionalization of the author’s presumed experiences at Documenta 13 are irrelevant to the novel.

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While casually reading A Heart So White (Marías) I stumbled on the term “palinschematic.” Marías parenthetically states that figures of art are palinschematic if “the surface or space they inhabit illustrates a complete story.”

Uh, not only did I not understand what Marías was saying but, after a bit of internet research, almost every reference to “palinschematic” led me back to this passage in the book. I have vowed to do further research into this word or concept and I promise not to try to link it in with the wild bunch from Wasilla.

Does anyone have any familiarity with this term that can stir my muddle and help me see?

(Unfortunately, I am reading Marías’s novel on my iPad so I cannot provide a hard page number but I calculate that it is about Page 127.)