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?)
Raymond Federman is one of those authors whose personal story is equally as fascinating as anything most writers come up with. It’s so interesting that Federman uses it as the basic of most of his own writing, with one caveat: Federman insists that he cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality. So, this Federman who is the hero of all the novels … is he the real Federman, an embellished Federman, based on Federman, Federman-like, what Federman wishes Federman was, just a horny French Jew who tells a lot of stories?
The reality is that Raymond Federman grew up in Paris as a very recognizable Jew (he calls attention to his nose constantly) until the Nazis marched into Paris and he was initially hidden and eventually smuggled to the relative safety of Vichy France. His family—mother, father, and two sisters—stayed behind and went to their deaths in the Nazi camps. Raymond, of course, did not know the fate of his family and expected to be reunited with them in Paris after the end of the conflict.
Federman’s novel, Return To Manure, tells the story of his three years working on a farm in the south of France.
I watched a documentary on the Museum of Modern Art the other day and it was not only a fascinating history of both the museum and the artists it has collected through the years but it also posed several questions about that art. Specifically questioning what is modern art? I highly recommend this documentary to everyone but I viewed it on my Roku from a long-forgotten video site so you may have to do some digging to find the video for yourself.
One thing struck me while watching the video: modern art in many ways was involved with altering the way we see things. Not just a group of prostitutes, but a collection of planes and lines, or a collection of colors, or some other way of categorizing the visible other than what might be captured in a photograph. Pablo Picasso’s Les demoiselles d’avignon was considered to be perhaps the one painting that forever changed the world of art.