About two weeks ago Simone Federman sent this message for those who used to exchange E-mails with her father Raymond Federman. I had this privilege to be one who got some genuine writing lectures that Raymond gave at any question I sent on his own books, or postmodernism, or even on Samuel Beckett. The fact is that Raymond wrote a book on Beckett before his first novel was ever printed, so he was always eager to talk about Beckett. In his last E-mail for me he sent a copy of the text he wrote for an Alt-X collective book on postmodernism. He was always a gentleman in his way to please his admirers...
Raymond Federman, who coined the word “surfiction” for his writings.
Now this lovely letter from his daughter Simone:
October 6, 2009
My father died this morning. Last night I read all of "The Voice in The Closet" to him in one breath, 75 pages: one sentence. I stopped on page 61 to cry, and then we both cried at the end.
He had not been responsive for more than 24 hours, so this was especially magical.I thanked him for all the books, all the beautiful sentences, this being the most beautiful I had ever read. I thanked him for being the best father I could ever imagine. I told him he would always be my best friend. His eyebrows told me to stop crying. So I did. I told him I understood because he had taught me about laughter.
I went to bed on the pull-out couch next to his bed. I half heard his loud heavy breathing stop and roused to call my mom, who had already had a beautiful tearful last goodbye, and the nurse. He had died. We said kaddish for him at the mortuary, and he was cremated, as he wished, like his mother, father and sisters, at about noon.
We are planning to spread some of the ashes, maybe some noodles too, at his golf course, maybe even make a drop at the casino, and then bring some to France to spread at his former apartment and Le Cimetière Marin (the one in the Valéry poem he wanted me to read to him last week).
My mother and I, my sister Robin and brothers, James and Steve are planning a memorial celebration of his life in San Diego in the coming weeks, details to come.
We are okay, feeling strong. We had a really special last few weeks with him, not to mention a really special 47 to 49 years. I apologize for the group e-mail. I just wanted you to know.
A member of Brazil's avant-garde in its heyday. Patrícia Galvão (or to use her nickname, Pagu) was extraordinary. Not only was her work among the most exciting and innovative published in the 1930s, it was unique in portraying an avant-garde woman's view of women in Sao Paulo during that audacious period. Industrial Park, first published in 1933, is Galvão's most notable literary achieve-ment. Like Döblin's portrayal of Berlin in Alexanderplatz or Biely's St Petersburg, it is a book about the voices, clashes, and traffic of a city in the middle of rapid change. It includes fragments of public documents as well as dialogue and narration, giving a panorama of the city in a sequence of colorful slices. The novel dramatizes the problems of exploitation, poverty, racial prejudice, prostitution, state repression, and neocolonialism, but it is by no means a doctrinaire tract. Galvão's ironic wit pervades the novel, aspiring not only to describe the teeming city but also to put art and politics in each other's service. Like many of her contemporaries Galvão was a member of the Brazilian Communist Party. She attracted Party criticism for her unorthodox behavior and outspokenness. A visit to Moscow in 1934 disenchanted her with the communist state, but she continued to militate for change upon returning to Brazil. She was imprisoned and tortured under the Vargas dictatorship between 1935 and 1940. In the 1940s she returned to the public through her journalism and literary activities. She died in 1962.
Dance, dance mesmo assim... Dance pelos momentos fugazes que nunca mais se repetirão... Dance pelo botão de rosa, promessa de nova vida... Dance pelos meninos e meninas de rua, que só conhecem a desesperança... Dance pelos sentimentos tardios, que nunca deram em nada... Dance pelos arrependimentos, que sufocam o pecado saudável... Dance pelo arco-íris, o coveiro da chuva de verão... Dance pelo amor eterno, aquele que um dia sempre acaba... Dance pelo primeiro beijo, que reduz o infinito a um segundo... Dance pelo vestido da Marilyn Monroe, outrora tão recheado da dona... Dance pelo final de Casablanca, o início de tantas amizades... Dance pela fabrica da Studebaker, que faliu em 1966... Dance pela tinta zarcão, que esconde a implacável ferrugem... Dance pelo anjo-da-guarda, o discreto e bom conselheiro. Dance pelo sistema plantation, que vai desertificar a Amazônia... Dance pelo instante do orgasmo, que foi, é ou um dia será... Dance por você, pensando numa salsa cubana... Dance pela humanidade, pensando num merengue paraense... Dance pelos inviáveis, num samba quadradinho e sincopado... Dance uma valsa vienense, pelo sucesso do seu vizinho... Dance, dance mesmo assim: pelo teu último sonho, pela próxima notícia, pelo sol que brilha na praia ou por uma vida nova e repleta de oportunidades... Dance pelo que você jurou que seria e que ainda pode ser, pois tudo só depende de sua dança...
Virginia Woolf died on March 28, 1941 near Rodmell, Sussex, England. She left a note for her husband, Leonard, and for her sister, Vanessa. Then, Virginia walked to the River Ouse, put a large stone in her pocket, and drowned herself. Some children found her body 18 days later.
A body that surfaced in the East River on Sunday (March 7, 2004) was identified by the city medical examiner yesterday as that of Spalding Gray, the confessional writer, monologist and actor who disappeared one month ago. The cause of death had not yet been determined, but the police were investigating reports that Mr. Gray, who had a history of depression, had committed suicide by jumping off the Staten Island ferry. (N. Y. Times, March 9, 2004)
He wrote this about Virginia´s drown:
“So one night I made a big mistake. I took Mom to see the recently released film of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She wanted to go because she had this fascination with the life and death of Virginia Woolf. I’m not sure that she knew Virginia Woolf’s books all that well, but she did know the story of how Woolf ended her life by filling her pockets with rocks and walking into a river. She seemed to know that story as well as she knew the story of how Hart Crane, one depressed morning, walked off the stern of his cruising ship in the Gulf of Mexico, never to be seen again”. (Impossible Vacation, page 28-29)
I found this while reading Impossible Vacation (written in 1992), and it seems to anticipate the event of his own moment of depression and drowning. That moment happened in the night when Spalding Gray took his kids to see Big Fish, the story of a dying old storyteller that was released in a river where he becomes a fish. After the movie, Gray left the kids at home and after that drowned himself into the East River. His body was found 20 days later. As was told Virginia’s body took 18 days to reappear. (Beto)
Disse de não, conquanto os costumes. Conservava-se de chapéu. Via-se que passara a descansar na sela — decerto relaxava o corpo para dar-se mais à ingente tarefa de pensar. Perguntei: respondeu-me que não estava doente, nem vindo à receita ou consulta. Sua voz se espaçava, querendo-se calma; a fala de gente de mais longe, talvez são-franciscano.
Disse: — "A gente tem cada cisma de dúvida boba, dessas desconfianças... Só pra azedar a mandioca..." Agradeceu, quis me apertar a mão. Outra vez, aceitaria de entrar em minha casa. Oh, pois. Esporou, foi-se, o alazão, não pensava no que o trouxera, tese para alto rir, e mais, o famoso assunto.
O que frouxo falava: de outras, diversas pessoas e coisas, da Serra, do São Ão, travados assuntos, inseqüentes, como dificultação. A conversa era para teias de aranha. Eu tinha de entender-lhe as mínimas entonações, seguir seus propósitos e silêncios. Assim no fechar-se com o jogo, sonso, no me iludir, ele enigmava: E, pá:
— "Vosmecê agora me faça a boa obra de querer me ensinar o que é mesmo que é: fasmisgerado... faz-megerado... falmisgeraldo... familhas-gerado...?
(Textos do conto FAMIGERADO do livro PRIMEIRAS ESTÓRIAS de JOÃO GUIMARÃES ROSA)
Living and working in a Bologna apartment that he shared with his three unmarried sisters, Morandi painted on models he kept all around the house: hundreds of bottles, boxes, jars, and vases… In these surroundings Morandi’s acted as a Zen master, using common objects that gave his paintings a poetic aura: “there is nothing more surreal, nothing more abstract than reality,” the painter once said…
…The objects in his paintings dissolve and reconstitute themselves before your eyes. Edges go wobbly, space pulsates. His art makes you sense Goethe's “mysterious power that all may feel and no philosophy can explain”. He painted things one sees all the time, yet portrayed things never seen before…
…Casual viewers might dismiss the narrow scope and subdued quality of Morandi's work as tedious, but a broad, fervent following has embraced those limits as virtues. The repetition offers insight into process and serves as a vehicle for a meditative, introspective practice...
…During the II World War the painter lived reclusive in Bologna. But he never stopped, even during the bad times, to sell his paintings. The curious thing is that he used to sell his paintings for a dollar a piece…
…Then someone told him that his works was selling very well in New York and that he´d been abused for the cheap price he sold them. So Morandi raised the price of his painting for two dollars a piece… What about that?
Heinz Edelmann is a German illustrator and designer, but is probably most famous for his art direction and character designs for the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine. Some people say that he bought a castle in Germany with the profit on this film. Nothing exaggerated when compared with this spectacular creation.
A summary of the film Yellow Submarine with the art of Heinz Edelmann.
Pepperland (Music by George Martin, from the film Yellow Submarine)
This story has happened three hundred and ninety three times before. This story is going backwards. There is no such thing as backwards in this story. This story is opening out like an unfurling fist. This story is crying, fighting, blaspheming. This story is lighting a cigarette. This story is climbing back inside its mother. This story is stacked in an endless domino hallway of stories. This story is dusty. This story’s eyeballs are shimmering reflections off its wide-brimmed wine glass. This story began when a slippery oval chromosome opened up, oozed and slid in a languid swim towards its free-floating family. This story has always existed. This story is failing biology. This story is a poem. This story has a s-speech impediment which is why you might not understand it fully. This story has self-referential tendencies and narcissistic proclivities. This story is falling head-first into a mud-puddle. This story is almost drowning. This story is coughing up a placenta. This story is tied to all the other stories in the world via fallopian tubing. This story is choking. This story likes choking. This story died to save Jesus’ sins. This story observes Lent bi-yearly. This story rises like a phoenix. This story drags like a heavy foot. This story receives a black box of rose truffles tied with a cream silk ribbon. This story dives like a comma into sparkling Perrier pools. This story is happy sad elated despondent apathetic engaged unmoved lighting a cigarette. This story is premature, too mature, co-dependent, independent, malcontented, pixellated. This story surges from a glass walled slow-breath incubator. This story is the incubator of your thoughts. This story is climbing back inside its mother. This story dies and is climbed inside of. This story fits like a calfskin glove. This story is probably your story.
ESTA ESTÓRIA por Roberta Lawson
Esta estória aconteceu trezentas e noventa e três vezes antes. Esta estória está indo para trás. Não há nada parecido com andar para trás nesta estória. Esta estória está se revelando como um soco bem dado. Esta estória é choro, luta, blasfêmia. Esta estória está acendendo um cigarro. Esta estória está rastejando de volta para dentro de sua mãe. Esta estória está presa num corredor infinito de dominós feitos de estórias. Esta estória é empoeirada. Os globos oculares desta estória são reflexões cintilantes de uma garrafa de vinho. Esta estória começou quando um cromossomo oval escorregadio se abriu e, tenteante, deslizou em uma natação lânguida em direção à sua família flutuante. Esta estória sempre existiu. Esta estória está sacaneando a biologia. Esta estória é um poema. Esta estória tem uma falha de di-discurso para que você não a compreenda inteiramente. Esta estória tem tendências auto-referentes e proclames narcisísticos. Esta estória está caindo de cabeça numa poça de lama. Esta estória está quase se afogando. Esta estória está escarrando uma placenta. Esta estória é atada a todas as estórias do mundo através da tubo de Falópio. Esta estória é sufocante. Esta estória gosta de sufoco. Esta estória morreu pelos pecados de Jesus. Esta estória se repete bienalmente. Esta estória renasce como uma fênix. Esta estória arrasta com pé de chumbo. Esta estória ganhou uma caixa negra de trufas cor-de-rosa amarradas com uma fita de seda creme. Esta estória mergulha como uma vírgula numa luminosa piscina de água Perrier. Esta estória é feliz triste acoplada apática comprometida exaltada estática acendendo um cigarro. Esta estória é prematura, muito madura, co-dependente, independente, malversada, pixelantada. Esta estória surge de uma incubadora cercada de vidro de lenta-respiração. Esta estória é a incubadora de seus pensamentos. Esta estória está rastejando de volta para dentro de sua mãe. Esta estória morre e é fecundada por dentro. Esta estória cabe como uma luva de pelica. Esta estória é provavelmente a sua estória.
It’s so marvelous to see young and talented people writing so well. Roberta Lawson is a member of Outsiderwriters and Full of Crow, to mention only these two sites that we also belong. Muito bom ver pessoas jovens e talentosas escrevendo tão bem. Roberta Lawson é participante do Outsiderwriters e do Full of Crow, apenas para mencionar dois sites que participamos
Acima algumas esculturas de Ulisses Davis (1914 -1990) que sempre esculpiu nas horas de folga em sua barbearia em Savannah, Geórgia, EUA. Dentre as esculturas destacam-se a série de presidentes americanos que ele esculpia com feições de negros.
Abaixo a capa do romance visionário de Monteiro Lobato, escrito em 1926, com o título de O Presidente Negro. Ele imaginou que um presidente negro iria ser eleito nos Estados Unidos em 2.228, errou por 219 anos, mas merece a consideração de um visionário com a eleição de Barack Obama. Mais abaixo o link para o texto completo do livro de Lobato.
Walking over 10,000 little iron faces that covered the floor at Jewish Museum…
FALLEN LEAVES by Menashe Kadishman
“When we recall our century, there is only one historic event we can connect to this work: the Holocaust. Nevertheless, I have to emphasize: the work of Kadishman does not deal with the Holocaust, because the artist is working mainly with the material of his personal knowledge, his individual experiences and memories, but also because the Holocaust is unimaginable. The Holocaust is the most terrible collective memory of this century.”. Marc Schepps
I once met Menashe Kadishman at Biennale of São Paulo in the eighties. He was then one of the leaders in the Transvanguard movement, a revolution in painting after Pop Art, Geometric Abstraction, Hard-edge or Conceptual Art coming up until the seventies. One could see that his painting, which mainly depicted lambs painted in primary colors, was an ideal choice for him to be exposed to harsh, desert conditions of some parts of Israel. Indeed he always looked like a shepherd himself. Now I see him in a photo with his grand-daughter and found that he barely changed in spite of all these years, and that his work also continues to look for harsh conditions to show that the desert, this time about human race, is continually spreading. (Beto)