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.


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