23 December 2012

Fake Picassos

A real Picasso, Girl Before a Mirror, 1932.
In an interview with Reinhold Schiller in 1974, Jewish, American, Objectivist poet Charles Reznikoff retells a story published in the New Yorker some years before:

A man was trying to sell a painting by Picasso, and the Man whom he was trying to sell it to looked at it and after a while said, "It's a fake." The man said, "A fake?" The seller said, "Look, I'm a friend of Picasso's. Let's go up there and ask him." So they took the painting, and went up to Picasso who looked at it, and said, "It's a fake." So the man who was trying to sell the painting said, "Why, I saw you paint it myself! I was in the studio when you were painting it!" Picasso says, "Well, so what? I've painted lots of fake Picassos!"

Reznikoff laughed and said:

And I can see that's true of writing, in a sense. People write, they write their best, they think they've done something very well, but it isn't as good as some of the other things they've done.

4 comments:

Matt Bennett said...

Did Reznikoff think of The Manner Music as a fake? Could that be why, though completed, he never sought to publish the novel in his lifetime? Is it a "masterpiece or a master's piece?"

Matt Bennett said...

The argument of my revision to the Reznikoff article I've been writing has come to me. Finally. Need to re-read The Manner Music.

Matt Bennett said...

"In Reznikoff, the poem attains to the condition of the photograph, in the words of Walter Benjamin, as 'the post-humous moment,' the moment rescued from time." - Michael Heller

Matt Bennett said...

"An objectivist poet, Reznikoff claims, does much the same thing as a Zen prophet: he removes himself--his own awareness of self--from what is perceived." - Randolph Chilton