I knew a woman, lovely in her bones, When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them; Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one: The shapes a bright container can contain! Of her choice virtues only gods should speak, Or English poets who grew up on Greek (I’d have them sing in a chorus, cheek to cheek).
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?)
Did 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.