“At this time of my life–someone would say, the winter of my life, although I don’t feel cold,” Frederic Tuten, novelist, essayist, short story writer, and art critic, tells of finding a new joy in painting.  “Practically no day passes where I’m not either writing and painting or painting and writing, whichever comes first in…

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Roberta Allen: “Language is the bridge…”

“Language is the bridge…” Roberta Allen began making and exhibiting her conceptual art more than a half century ago, before she came to author eight books and more than 200 works of short fiction. Indeed, as she explains in this 2021 interview, her earliest writing was about her art. Allen had her first solo exhibition…

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Fernando del Paso: “I dream that I paint, and I paint the dream.”

With the 2015 award of the Cervantes Prize, Fernando del Paso’s place among the greatest of Spanish literary figures was cemented.  Acclaimed as both novelist and essayist, the Surrealist-influenced del Paso was also an internationally exhibited artist whose work, both in ink and paint, offers precisely rendered, dream-like images that juxtapose and merge the real and the fantastic.  

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I repeatedly tried and failed to get a ticket to The Lehman Trilogy when it was mounted at New York’s Armory and, despairing, would have settled for a streamed version, but couldn’t match the odd venues and times with my own. So I jumped at tickets on its return to Broadway, even before Covid was…

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“Unorthodox”: A Fantasy Based on a Fiction

unorthodox netflix

We all know that when a movie opens with “based on” or “inspired by” true events that what we are about to see is only remotely connected with historic truth. But we want to believe we’re getting lived reality and not just writerly invention so we’re happy to accept the fiction that follows. “Unorthodox,” the…

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Freeman Dyson, Brilliant and Wrongheaded

freeman dyson

Freeman Dyson, the legendary polymath of Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, died a week and a half ago. He leaves behind prodigious contributions in mathematics and physics and, perhaps equally important, an iconoclastic philosophy and gadfly writings that challenged consensus thinking, particularly, and rather notoriously, in the sphere of climate change. He also promoted some…

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“Parasite” is not what you’re being told it is. A review with spoilers.


“Parasite” (Bong Joon-Ho 2019) “Parasite” is not what you’re being told it is. A review with spoilers. The New York Times this morning joins other media commentators in describing this movie as a “class-struggle thriller” and, in the same post-Oscar article, as a “comedy-thriller.” These are misleading descriptives. Parasite is not about class struggle, although…

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Join Me For a Rare Look at Author Annie Proulx’s Art

Join Me For a Rare Look at Author Annie Proulx's Art by @DFriedmanAuthor #art #annieproulx #painting

Writer-Artist Five: Annie Proulx “It is a kind of pleasurable note-taking.” ~ Annie Proulx The Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, Pen-Faulkner Award, and the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction-winning novelist, short story writer, and journalist, most famous for The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain, Annie Proulx is also a painter, using her artistic skills to…

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The Story Behind This Rare Drawing by Jorge Luis Borges

The Story Behind This Rare Drawing by Jorge Luis Borges by @DFriedmanAuthor #Drawing #Artists #Writers

Writer-Artist Four: Jorge Luis Borges   Jorge Luis Borges, the great Argentinian master of both philosophical and fantasy literature, of whom Nobelist J. M. Coetzee wrote: “He, more than anyone, renovated the language of fiction,” produced little visual art. After progressive deterioration of his eyesight, he went totally blind at 55. The only surviving work…

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The Merriest of Merry Pranksters: Author Ken Kesey’s Art

The Merriest of Merry Pranksters: Author Ken Kesey's Art by @DFriedmanAuthor #Merry #KenKesey

Writer-Artist Three: Ken Kesey The Merry Prankster The merriest of the Merry Pranksters, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Sometimes a Great Notion, icon of the counterculture, Ken Kesey told me he’d been an artist since his youth and that in 1965 during a five-month imprisonment for pot possession how he’d combined…

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