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.
Raymond reading “The Voice in the Closet”.