Wayne Koestenbaum with Andy Fitch

Wayne Koestenbaum

Over the summer, Andy Fitch has interviewed 60 poets about their latest books. Ugly Duckling Presse will publish these collected interviews in 2013. This interview focuses on Wayne Koestenbaum’s book The Anatomy of Harpo Marx (University of California Press). Recorded July 7. Transcribed by Maia Spotts.

Andy Fitch: If we could start with a quote from “Day by Day with Roland Barthes,” written in 1979 for Le Nouvel Observateur: “The form sought for is a brief one, or, if you prefer, a soft form: neither the solemnity of the maxim nor the harshness of the epigram; something which, at least in tendency, might suggest the Japanese haiku, the Joycean epiphany, the fragment of the journal intime: a deliberately minor form, in short—recalling, with Borges, that the minor is not a lessening, but a genre like any other.” Beside this Barthes quotes I’d like to place your own assertion (this is deep into Harpo) of an incremental poetics: “Incremental poetics involves never finishing a point, never knowing my destination, rushing through culture’s big store on sissy white roller skates, without a stunt double, and enjoying ‘generalized chromaticism’: every moment is an occasion to wave, point, bump, or stop, under the auspices of failing to speak properly. Why make such a big deal out of the ‘proper?’” I’m curious how Barthes’s soft style parallels your own compositional practice in a series of prose works, from The Queen’s Throat to Jackie to pieces in Cleavage to Hotel Theory to Harpo. Do the soft style and your incremental poetics align perfectly, overlap yet diverge, exist in blissful ignorance of each other and often of themselves?

Wayne Koestenbaum: That incremental poetics quote means a lot to me. When I gave a reading in L.A. recently that was one of three or four passages from Harpo I chose, and I’m grateful we are clairvoyant about incremental poetics. Barthes obviously remains in blissful ignorance of my existence, so that’s half the question right there. But I’d like to think that our styles, our soft styles, stand in perfect alignment minus obvious differentials imposed by decade, nationality, intellectual bent, the companies we keep, our forms of expertise and non-expertise. Maybe we align most in espousing the Schumannesque, which demands a preference for linked miniatures and retreat, forms of so-called public address that actually retreat from the public even as they try to sound seductive. Barthes’ style has a tenderness that seems to wish to be heard, but given his addiction to amateurism, his preference for the at-home and the provisional, he always retreats from a public or from audibility. Similarly, I consider this Harpo book a culmination of my soft style, perhaps the dead-end of it. “Culmination” makes it sound grandiose. I simply mean it’s the last stop on the soft-style train. It travels as far as I could go, pushing a point as hard as possible toward inanity, though not pushing these points at length, just intensifying them stylistically. And then letting it drop. Dropping it. That’s where the Schumannesque appears—a preference for caesuras and pauses and interruptions and self-sabotage. Self-sabotage as a prosody.

AF: When you describe Harpo as the end of the line, does the soft style always seem to have reached its last stop?

WK: It’s a decadent style, so if you believe in the rise and fall of civilizations or cultures, the soft style seems a late style. It’s after-coherent, not before-coherent. It shares the relationship to tonality that early Schoenberg or Berg or Scriabin embody. I think of Scriabin’s emphatic attenuation—rather than consolidation. That was only the first part of your question.

AF: While Harpo does emphasize attenuation, it also seems the most systematic of your books, in that it attempts, enacts, completes its totalizing inquiry. Did you deliberately push your incremental poetics toward the more thorough, more systematic, potentially more insane? Does an analogy to Harpo’s desire for seeking “stasis on the other side of mania” here emerge? Does this “other side” only exist once we’ve internalized what you describe as language’s dirty secret, that it does not communicate?

WK: First: yes to that. That’s a perfect reading of my intentions, if intentions matter. I certainly intended, from the get-go, for this book to provide the most ambitious and most thorough enactment of my soft style. Thorough because it all takes place within the totality of one body, Harpo’s. For Andy Warhol and Jackie, neither book presented itself as a total statement. They are shorter and keep something like a respectful distance from their subjects’ nearby monumentality (aka recently alive in New York, dominating the local scene). In Harpo’s case, his long having been dead and being minor, not to mention his being speechless and, in a way, pointless, prompted the questions: what can I gain? What can anyone gain from an anatomization of Harpo? The project seemed unnecessary, which allowed me to feel situated and, in a way, grandiose (as if I had found my Iliad or Odyssey). I sensed a negative utopia, the enormous spaciousness of the tiny. Once I had this notion I decided simply to anatomize, rather than to synthesize, Harpo, to proceed chromatically, incrementally, and to take my embroidered style focused on pointless details to its logical conclusion. It became extremely pleasurable, if not a bit suicidal-feeling, to stay so thorough. Harpo’s as close to totality as I’ll ever come. I mean that.

AF: I know. Still, on this question of totality, from the start you call this book an “experimental anatomization.” Anatomizing gets presented as the opposite of synthesizing: “Anatomizing rather than synthesizing, I bed down with entropy and disarray.” Yet it interests me that, in fact, you do seem to complete your task of analyzing every scene across Harpo’s 13 films. Your book presents itself as the anatomy of Harpo Marx, not an anatomy. Harpo remains willfully caught between the status of an Oulipo masterwork, triumphantly fulfilling its impossible promise, and a self-doubting, fragmentary, asymptotic apologia. Tracking such apparent polarities of tone, scale, potentially dubious achievement, long has appealed to you—since, at least, the twinned essays “Logorrhea” and “The Poetics of Indifference.” But within the Harpo book, does the film medium itself (with its conflation of the isolated camera still and the fluid cinematic sequence) somehow crystallize a variety of these concerns about the integral/modular nature of time, embodied experience, identity?

WK: I’m feeling waves of gratitude for being read this carefully. As Harpo says again and again: this book is my block of ice, an undeliverable message. Whatever I try to say, whatever it tries to do, that task remains uncompletable and cannot be delivered.

AF: Well there’s Nietzsche’s line “oh how you would love my ice!” Which sounds inviting in its own way. I think that’s Prince Vogelfrei.

WK: To find my block of ice received rather than thrown out the window makes me love literature again—not because of any special claim of pathos I’m making, though the thoroughness of this project, in the sense that I tried to be as clear as I could, had, not just as a side-effect, but as its consequence, a growing depression, a sense of undeliverability. This conviction got embodied in Harpo’s physical size as the text grew more bloated. The book’s current, published form provides a radical condensation of my original draft. I doubt that the initial version was any better, but if the book originally tracked an experience of flow and giddy overelaboration, it ultimately demanded a process of painful condensation. I sensed the limits of what I can do with a sentence. When I realized that each sentence probably would contain the words “Harpo” or “he,” either as the sentence’s subject or predicate or object, that became a claustrophobic enclosure I had to outwit. That’s what felt Oulipian about the process. It became a syntactic adventure, sentence by sentence, to preserve variation. Then at some point I mention that the Marx Brothers, or Harpo in particular, is funny in motion but poignant in stills. The essential inaccuracy of this book, vis-à-vis Harpo’s actual cultural contribution, is that I took the funniness away from him. Depriving Harpo of sound does not make him poignant. That increases his humor. But depriving Harpo of motion depletes the comedy.

AF: Theoretically at least, we have no temporal control over the film we watch. But that you only can speak when Harpo disappears, or that only forced film pauses allow you to say anything, means that only when Harpo’s comedy ends can yours begin.

WK: The strongest way to put this is that I raped Harpo with poignance. I wouldn’t say that’s accurate. But just as there’s always some sense of guilt writing about anybody, there’s a huge sense of guilt and shame for me surrounding this act of commentary. First: the shame of producing something undeliverable or unhearable or indigestible. The shame (or what felt like aggression) of imposing on him not my sexual fantasies, because I think he could accommodate those, but of imposing mournfulness, this heady Romantic, post-Romantic mournfulness.

AF: So have you done something similar here not just to Harpo but to film itself? Does imposing this pause on cinema demonstrate that even a bad, time-based film can make for a pretty good collage? Did you deliberately interrupt all the seamless-seeming, interstitial segues that film provides?

WK: Two things. One: that I took down film’s gaiety or festivity, film’s sense of joy, with a kind of nerdy taste for stasis. This pushing of film’s motility toward film’s stasis still felt like failing to get the point of film, in the way that Roland Barthes’s “The Third Meaning” essay (obviously the root of my whole book) talks about the poetics of the film still. Barthes’s judicious choices provide only a few images for his overreading, for his search for obtuse meanings. His whimsical choice of images adds gaiety and frivolity to Eisenstein. Here I attempt the opposite. I take a comic sense of motion and nerdily deepfreeze it. The other thing I realized was my own preference for painting over film, for poetry over novels, for contemplation over interaction (a kind of entropic poetics, or entropic temperament, saturnine), and that I wanted to make paintings or motionless, delectable compositions out of more frivolous, kinetic social events. I’ve been aware of that wish, teaching this year, when students, for good reason, resist Gertrude Stein’s or John Cage’s mandate to find meaning in everything, including random noises. More and more I find a need to defend the fact that anything you frame is beautiful and worth reading.

AF: Maybe we’ve already developed these ideas about motion and stillness enough. But I’ll think of Warhol, the Saint Vitus Dance he suffered, his temporary paralysis. And Jackie, of course, keeps her photogenic silence, stunned by the paparazzi flash. Was the Warhol book prompted by your study of Jackie? Was Harpo prompted by the study of Warhol? When you mentioned your class, I had an auditory hallucination of you speaking about some Delmore Schwartz story where the protagonist sits before a film of his parents’ early courting, and just keeps screaming “Stop stop,” and then it ends (I remember you emphasized) on the curl of a lip of snow.

WK: How do you remember that? That’s wild. The story’s called “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities.” For whatever reason I discovered it as a college freshman when my fiction teacher, my first writing teacher, said in response to the first story I ever wrote that it reminded her of Delmore Schwartz’s story. So somehow that story, beloved by many people, not just me, sits at the root of my predicament. Schwartz’s protagonist wakes on his 21st birthday and for some reason, that phrase…the windowsill holds this lip of snow. The whole story’s momentum, at least what’s important to me, is that the Oedipal or Philip Roth-like drama between a Jewish son and the disaster of his parents’ marriage arrives at the destination of this poetic metaphor. That post-cinema, post-family crystallization, waking onto the phrase “lip of snow,” seemed and seems important.

AF: I don’t want to get tangential but there’s Dickinson’s poem that ends “Rafters of Satin and Roof of Snow.” No, “Stone.”

WK: That’s my favorite poem in the world. And another version ends “Soundless as Dots on a Disc of Snow.” I quote it in Harpo, actually.

AF: If we could contextualize these questions of motion and stillness in reference to Michael Fried’s aesthetics of absorption: are there ways in which the silence of Warhol’s screen test-takers, of Harpo’s voiceless yet emphatic presence, come to stand in for the experience of the still, reflective, contemplative (and yet, according to most empirical measures, inactive) thinking subject? As I read and thought about Harpo’s muteness, I, of course, became increasingly aware of my own muteness while reading—aware that much of my time as a reader, a thinker, must seem Harpo-esque to the rest of the world. If we imagined some specialized group to whom this Harpo book would most appeal, are they more Harpo-esque than they realize?

WK: That seems a distilled and accurate statement about the link between Harpo’s silence (Harpo’s absorption in being Harpo) and a reader, or any person who pursues this vocation of the contemplative or absorbed subject. I can’t say Harpo dignifies that vocation, since he makes it seem foolish, but what I take from Fried’s attention to 18th century painting is the sense that these depictions of, say, the boy blowing a bubble, are touchstones or emblems we should imitate or emulate because they represent concentration having reached its fulfillment. If there’s a polemic or even a wish in my book, it’s to advocate experiences of absorption and concentration, to justify the mute life of the beholder, the meditator. I would even say, and perhaps this is a psychotic point, that I find in certain Harpo antics a physical literalization of the acts we undergo when we concentrate.

AF: Exactly.

WK: Harpo often squeezes his face or presses hard on something. His taste for forms of pressing, adhesion, coiling, self-consuming seem analogous to the kinds of silent, motionless theatre I undergo when I write. I don’t mean just the motions of fingers on a computer keyboard, or my knee pressing against (I think I say this in Harpo) the table’s underside. There’s the sense that when I write I’m squeezing, pushing, espressing—in the sense of espresso. And now that I spend much time painting, I’m aware that writing and reading require inner ballets of cognition, stressful pliés and pas de deux. Particularly when reading difficult literature, whether Proust or Henry James or Nietzsche, Heidegger, poetry—anything that, through condensation or excess, demands concentrating—those inner ballets of cognition I undergo seem weirdly, masochistically, thrilling in the way isometric exercise can be.

AF: For this topic of the contemplative ballet, and my further curiosity about the extent to which you’ll choreograph such sequences for the reader, I’d like to juxtapose a rhetorical question your book raises: “What’s the point of ‘book’ if it can’t include scraps? Isn’t inclusiveness the point of the big store, a warehouse of points, some insufficiently pointed?” Perhaps it’s dumb for you to answer your own question, but what’s the point of a book if it can’t include scraps? Is it scraps, specifically, that prompt the inner ballet to happen?

WK: Honestly I don’t think a lot about a reader. I’m reading my own work when writing it and thinking about how I respond to the sentences I’ve written. If I respond with displeasure or boredom or dissatisfaction, I’ll change them until they produce a pleasing reaction or at least one that doesn’t embarrass me.

AF: So you’ll try to stay aware of the affective value of sentences you’re shaping.

WK: This has to do with musicality and the operations (as a pianist and listener to music) done to my body by music I love, operations which involve abstract issues of intensification and diminishment and energy.

AF: If we also could address your performance as a reader in this book: Dostoevsky, you’re reading Dostoevsky?

WK: I definitely was. I’m reading Henry James now in the way I was reading Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky I’d approached simply because he wrote a book called The Idiot, and from what I had read, in the work of Avital Ronell and others…Dostoevsky formed part of an autodidactic program that preceded and accompanied the writing of Harpo, for which I felt I needed to make good on many unkept promises, included revisiting Dostoevsky, or Don Quixote. I just felt there were all these very major thinkers, great figures who had thought and written about pointlessness and idiocy, and I needed to spend time reading them. I wanted to avoid using my customary set of intellectual lenses on this project. I can’t say I’ve succeeded in diversifying my portfolio, but I’ve earnestly tried.

AF: When Harpo’s citations cluster around a work by Dostoevsky, by Deleuze and Guattari, by Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Ricoeur, the book appears to offer a quotidian record of your reading life.

WK: That would be accurate.

AF: But it also kept bringing back—and this is where the autodidact’s program appeals to me—Bertolt Brecht’s formulation, which I only know from Barthes, that serious intellectual inquiry involves thinking in other people’s heads and having them think in yours. Do you know that famous line?

WK: I forgot it if I ever knew it.

AF: Then relatively late into your book, you classify Harpo as an experiment in star immersion, a discourse you’ve deployed before. But how does Brecht’s formulation of interpersonal, almost telepathic or identificatory activity, how does that align to your experience of star immersion? Or when you broach the topic of autodidacticism, I’ll think of scholarship and star immersion, and wonder how Harpo triangulates these. How does Harpo’s ventriloquizing through his brothers, his suffering identity eclipse at their proximity, how does that dramatize the subject characterized by thinking or by fandom?

WK: I’d never thought through the analogy between star immersion and…

AF: Scholarly research?

WK: Right. I can answer concretely by saying that, while writing this book, I taught for the second time a Graduate Center class called “Stars.” This time around we read a philosophical text—the work had not much to do with movie stars—to accompany the theme of each week’s film and discussion (Joan Crawford, Bette Davis). I remember, for example, that for Lana Turner we read Deleuze’s The Fold. In fact I’ll go get a paragraph to show you exactly what we did. I’m going to take arbitrarily a paragraph and make substitutions. Let’s see: “Lana Turner has no windows, by which anything could come in or go out. Lana has neither openings nor doorways. We run the risk of understanding Lana Turner vaguely if we fail to determine the situation.” You just add “Lana Turner” to any sentence and this book makes sense. And so if star immersion is the fact, then the question becomes how can the richest set of tools and intensifiers be brought to bear on that immersion. Star immersion isn’t something one touristically decides to undergo, but comes closer to Benjamin and hashish—to the point of mania. So to extend the star immersion I already have, and have advertised myself having, why don’t I steer it in a more baroque, intellectual direction by applying the lens of whatever I read to Harpo? Why not present one’s own intellectual life as that of a scrap-keeper, scrap-hoarder, understanding scholarship as a process of poaching on others’ interiority, dead and living writers? Your question speaks to the porousness of boundaries between the reader and what gets read.

AF: So scholarly practice taps and doesn’t admit to tapping a similar mechanism of identification. Here Harpo’s body serves as hinge between those two libidinous identifications that drive the work.

WK: Yes. I think both you and I can’t ignore many experiences most scholarship refuses to acknowledge—its hidden agendas and pleasures. I’ve spent a lot of my life, for whatever reason, trying to admit those things.

AF: Not necessarily as a critique of scholarship, but more a rehabilitation, as if scholarship could finally come into its own.

WK: It’s sort of a post-Perestroika acknowledgment of how I’m actually constituted. It’s basically: am I going to interrupt and cancel the inner ballet of cognition, or am I going to televise it? I’ve chosen to televise.

AF: Well in terms of your own star immersion, I’m curious, when you watched Harpo’s films, did you pay close attention to non-Harpo scenes? Do you expect their absence to intrigue your own audience? What I mean is: as you thread together this 13-film span, you’ll discuss how Harpo threads together his siblings through a series of darting glances. And of course the camera does this too, right? A Hollywood film basically stitches scenes, stills, some ultimately invisible diegetic scenario together. So what’s your relation to non-Harpo scenes is one question. And another is, do you envision us as needing to be threaded together, as problematically disconnected, either from ourselves or from each other?

WK: I have all sorts of investments and pleasures in the non-Harpo scenes. Right now I’m thinking of the actress Lillian Roth, who wrote the book I’ll Cry Tomorrow, about being a drunk (which was later made into a film with Susan Hayworth). She appears as ingénue in one of Harpo’s early films. Her entire subsequent career serves as an amplifier, a way of making Harpo’s resonance resound with greater depth and unpredictability. What I’d decided, procedurally, is whenever I identified another non-Marx actor, I would give one or two weird details about their career, references to other films or to history.

AF: To the Holocaust.

WK: Yeah. My basic sense always, my working theory of stardom, is that a star intertext brings profundity and amplification of resonance (such as a cathedral brings to an organ) to the affects of cinema. To trace these folds of star intertext seems essential to plumbing the depth of conventional Hollywood films. So all the other scenes become important as part of the filaments and integuments—the stuff that makes Harpo sound. Also those scenes interest me in the way that sexual desire is, as everyone knows but Roland Barthes probably described best, a whole kaleidoscope of nuances and barriers and foreplays that don’t have much to do with other people or sex organs. All the scenes we must wade through, waiting for Harpo to appear, keep Harpo exciting for me. And your second question was am I, like Harpo, threading together? Do I have a therapeutic or recuperative process?

AF: Or a drive, an unspeakable drive, to thread together.

WK: Maybe not now, but through most of my life, I was the family mediator, the go-between. That is constitutionally what I am. I have a drive to interpretation. I’m a wacky interpreter and usually get things wrong in some basic way. There’s a lot of wish involved in my interpretations. But some part of my interpretation, I hope, contains a modicum of truth. I feel a drive to bring forward, to make audible, to explicate that one-third or one-fourth or fifth of rightness in something I see, as if correcting an imbalance in the universe. I find explication very exciting. I’ll get physically and otherwise very excited when I discover what I feel and what I see. I’ll sense immediately an infectious desire to communicate that discovery.

AF: Could we discuss a few specific images? Page 167, at the top. Here Harpo has a pallid, formless face. Do you know what’s happening?

WK: If we’re referring to the same picture, he essentially is doing skeptical duck-mouth. Barthes gives duck-mouth when he scolds doxa. Harpo scolds a policeman or whomever this guard is for his business-as-usual assumptions.

AF: OK, this should be the top of 174. You talk about Harpo’s tie as his codpiece. But don’t his pants also possess a conspicuous bulge?

WK: Oh my god, I hadn’t noticed. Right in the pocket.

AF: It could be his horn.

WK: Something that happened writing this book is that I no longer consulted the picture once I’d started working seriously on the prose. And the second is that I’d originally worked from blurry images taken with my digital camera, from the computer. For the final draft I went back and made screengrabs that show more detail. This means some pictures I originally wrote about were close-ups within close-ups. I didn’t see the still as a whole. I will even say, in some cases, because of the screen ratio I’d used…I’ll often refer to Harpo’s wide face. In digital pictures his face looks stretched out wide, but the screengrabs restored it to regular size. So I’m writing about a different set of images.

AF: That came through in the book—that the images weren’t fully linked to their descriptions. That’s interesting, again, beside questions of the still versus the fluid image, and parsing shots on your computer instead of the cinema screen. Of course page 118 provides the photo that seems “accidentally” to include your rough draft, and to expose the fact that all these photos come from your computer. What’s the narrative behind that?

WK: You’re right. That was the only instance in which I left the original picture.

AF: That’s all perfectly communicated. There’s something vaguely pornographic or obscene about this photo, because we’ll see things that should be kept out of it. It’s a perfectly executed composition. Or frame, as you said. And anything you want to say about the non-Harpo photo, da Vinci’s “John the Baptist”?

WK: There are actually several. There’s an Anna Moffo cover. There’s also this picture of a woman with a frozen face. And then there’s the final picture of the chestnut.

AF: I guess da Vinci seemed the most tangential.

WK: Yeah. I maybe feel a bit guilty da Vinci made it in, because I didn’t really rationalize why I admitted that image. I had rules underlying this book’s writing. I always have rules and procedures. The rule here was that all pictures should be of Harpo, in service to the project. I had to (like a finger in a dike) keep at bay the inundation of all the other things one could talk and think about. But John the Baptist came through. There are strange little exceptions throughout the book. And maybe, in general, I’ll always let something break the rule.

AF: I liked how this photo echoes a scholar’s gratuitous footnote that just couldn’t be stopped. It has that quality. Returning to the chestnut: do you have an available explanation for why the book gets sequenced this way—acknowledging its chronological disruptions only in the final section, and ending with A Day at the Races? Was that film’s triumphant final image the indisputable finale from the start? Here I thought of Nietzsche’s claim that we only learn to respect the individual by first revering the monarch. Did we need to see Harpo (and ourselves perhaps) as king, so that we could fully appreciate the poignance of you dropping Harpo at the end, like a lumpy chestnut?

WK: I kept the chapters in the order I had written them because the book provides a diary of autodidacticism, and its style or tone suddenly change throughout. There’s an arc of exuberance and depression I needed to keep intact. In terms of the sequence of films I chose, I’d started with The Cocoanuts because it was the first. I went with what I wanted to watch next. Then as I realized I was winding toward the end, I saved Day at the Races. One reason might be because it’s the longest film, and it became an ordeal to complete the process of notetaking. I would annotate 15 minutes of film each day. That included 15 minutes even if Harpo wasn’t in it. I always would be thrilled if Harpo wasn’t in because I’d think, I don’t have to write anything today. So I probably put off A Day at the Races because of its length, but also because I’m very fond of it, particularly its ending. The chestnut arrived as an addendum to the end of this writing process, after revision and revision, when I’d already begun mourning the book. At that point the chestnut appeared.

AF: You mentioned the lucky days that you and Harpo could take off. I’m curious about your reflective process then. Is there anything else you can say about the virtues of going blank, of seeing someone go blank, or of being seen wanting to go blank, which I guess all happen when we go to the movies?

WK: This could be where The Idiot enters. I’m aware of an uncanny and not necessarily joyful likeness between experiences of sublime attentiveness and pleasure on one hand, and experiences of traumatic deadness and catatonia. One precedes the other, or erases the other. An underground tunnel seems to connect them. So maybe the virtues of going blank come about because some of us get addicted to this sublime clarity, also because we’re loners, and weird, and like to space out, and sense that some experiences of blankness most of the world wishes to avoid are the secret passageway to states of great intensity and pleasure. That’s a working knowledge I’ve always had, which probably allows me to endure writing books, which is essentially a blank and painful process. Of course its sudden spikes of intensification are glorious. I have a tropism toward the volitionally psychotic. I’ve often courted experiences of…call them going blank. It’s how I found Gertrude Stein, or why I like difficulty, why I like endurance tests, and why I work hard. My exertions contain blankness nested within them.

 


Wayne Koestenbaum, a Distinguished Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center, has published fifteen books of poetry, criticism, and fiction, including Humiliation, The Anatomy of Harpo Marx, Blue Stranger with Mosaic Background, Hotel Theory, Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films, and Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes. His next book, My 1980s & Other Essays, will be published by FSG in 2013. His first solo exhibition of paintings will appear at White Columns in New York in Fall 2012.

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