The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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Walnut Form

I sold my first sculpture in 1969 to a Jewish lawyer from Manhattan. He bought it from a shop on Seventh Avenue in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. It was a nice piece, but still I was shocked. Why would someone want to pay good money for something I had carved by hand? He then commissioned a larger piece, and months later we celebrated its completion over dinner in his apartment. His wife was a musician and we listened to Schubert lieder while we ate. He was a sweet man, and after appraising me in a Woody Allen sort of way, extracted the promise that I would continue to sculpt. He knew (even though I didn’t) the kinds of difficulties and distractions a young man faces in building a family and a life. I’ve never forgotten my promise to him, and have kept it.

Here’s a form in walnut I recently created from a larger, half-finished piece that had been sitting around for years while I pondered what to do with it. It wasn’t balanced and never felt right. On impulse the other day, I brought it to my shop in the basement and took a saw to it. I like it now. I like that it’s cracked and that I had to cobble it together because it really wanted to fall apart. I like the form. It’s evocative of something buried deep in time.

July 21, 2009   Comments Off

The Half-Blood Prince

The latest in the Potter line, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is very much what you’d expect. Nothing new. Great for fans and, perhaps, rather long and uninteresting for newcomers. It ends without a climax—just a teaser for the new episodes currently under production. The CGI and special effects are quite wonderful. Still it wasn’t for me. I had to stifle yawns and the desire to flee, and was proud of myself after sitting through the two-and-a-quarter-hour affair. Not even the budding love interests of the teen-aged protagonists or the fabulous acting could bring back the charm of the original.

July 21, 2009   Comments Off