“Léger died a communist, having fallen once and for all for the greatest charlatanism of all time. It may be that like many artists, he was stupid.”
In that same passage he describes the communist Norman artist’s life in a nutshell, a pistachio nutshell- one of the red ones, obviously. He is described as a man, like any one of us. Like all of us, he struggles, in Dovlatov’s depiction, to be the man he is to become. In comparison with Mayakovsky, who struggled with art and shot himself, Léger survived in some memories and in some respects. Dovlatov seems to have come by a jacket he wore, and now I know about him because of what he wrote. If we are to believe Seryozha, Léger had the dream to paint on railway cars, a dream that, half a century later, was finally authored by NYC punks. The man seems to be the birthing soup of a now-ubiquitous idea of graffiti, carried out by and large in the final analysis, however, by people who still are not very bright.
All our small ponds are lined up in such confusing adjacencies. The celebrity of rebellion and successful complacence strobed alternately provides such inconsistent lighting by which to make out each puddle’s address.
History is the Minnesota of the psyche.
Baudrillard, the narcissist, said that good and evil advance in tandem, separate- and I say that so does everything else. Algren said of Chicago “You’ll know it’s the place built out of Man’s ceaseless failure to overcome himself. Out of Man’s endless war against himself we build our successes as well as our failures.” History is cellular and closed by circles, just as confused by the aging the mystery of being inflicts on it as we are. Morons have their heroes and their archetypes and their canon as well as the intellectuals (and who, as that neutral event-spacer and place marker time goes on, can tell the difference by the results achieved by either?), and strange middling characters have their own, picked between the two, but these are cul-de-sacs adjacent to one another in the strange becoming we call time’s advance.