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Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Book Report

I do love picture books – art, music, fiction, biographies, memoirs and poetry too. Gossip – yeah, bring that shit on as well. Combine all of these ('cept the fiction part) and we’ve got Catherine Lacey and Forsyth Harmon’s book, The Art of the Affair: An Illustrated History of Love, Sex, and Artistic Influence.

Holy motherfucking wow – this was a tremendous little diversion! I knew about Frida and Diego – of course – but she also had fun with Josephine Baker and Leon Trotsky! Baker, by the by,  had a fling with groundbreaking architect, Le Corbusier. Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe’s relationship is certainly no secret but I didn’t know that she not only fooled around with Sam Shepard but wrote the play Cowboy Mouth with him too. Also, Madonna and Basquiat? Jay-zus WOW

Peggy Guggenheim and my beloved Max Ernst got it on? Sheesh – I had no idea! Merce Cunningham and John Cage? Man oh man, listening to their post coital chatter would have been amazing!

The whole book is very six degrees of separation-y and left me wondering why, WHY wasn't I invited to some of these awesome parties! What's that you say? Despite my advanced years, I'm MUCH too young to have been playing find-the-throbbing-anaconda-of-love with Lucian Freud (who, so dejected by the end of his marriage to Caroline Blackwood, went on to have 100s of affairs) or Larry Rivers (who really got around). What? Rilly? Oh.

Forsyth Harmon’s illustrations are lyrically light and beautiful – they humanize, make real/almost knowable these art giants I’ve read so much about.

While in Ptown at the fabulous Provincetown Bookshop I picked up a murder mystery set in Iceland – Arnaldur Indriðason’s Reykjavik Nights. I knew it wouldn’t be packed with Carl Hiassen type oddballs and highjinks so...wouldn’t this be too sad for me right now? Ya'd think, right? The storytelling is utterly engrossing though. The relationship of the young Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson to the dead dude, (a homeless man named Hannibal – his drowning is initially thought to be an accident) is revealed bit by leisurely bit. Erlendur’s personality isn’t laid out in one neat chapter either. Everything evolves, builds slowly – sort of like Ravel’s Boléro only without the dinosaurs.

Turns out this is a prequel – there are 14 books in the series. Yea! A new author to consume!

What's next in my stack 'o' reads? Everytime I Find the Meaning of Life They Change It – philosophy and humor walk into a bar and...This is Daniel Klein's new book where he muses on some of the great philosopher's takes on LIFE. Cool!

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