March 15, 2007

Hate was just a legend
And war was never known

Herman Leonard, Duke Ellington, Paris, 1958

* Patti Smith inducted to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! excerpt:

"Punk poet Patti Smith brought her earthy growl to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday, inducted as a member with the Ronettes, Van Halen, R.E.M. and the institution's first hip-hop act, Grandmaster Flash.

"Fighting back tears as she talked of family members, Smith recalled how her late husband, Fred (Sonic) Smith, told her before he died she would someday make the rock hall.

"'He asked me please to accept it like a lady and not to say any curse words,' she said, 'and make certain to salute new generations.'"

* Fox News at its finest.

* 30 year feud between Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel prize-winning author, and Mario Vargas Llosa, his fellow giant of Latin American literature, over?. excerpt:

"It is possibly the most famous literary feud of modern times: Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel prize-winning author, and Mario Vargas Llosa, his fellow giant of Latin American literature, have refused to talk to each other for three decades.

"Once great friends, the two writers have steadfastly refused to talk about the reasons behind their spectacular bust-up, and so have their wives.

"Now two pictures have appeared in which a youthful García Márquez shows off a black eye, and the photographer who took them has shed light on the origins of the feud. Not surprisingly, perhaps, it involves a woman.

"Rodrigo Moya, a close friend of García Marquez, took the black-and-white pictures in 1976 but has kept them secret until this week. He decided to publish them to coincide with García Marquez’s 80th birthday and has broken his silence in a tongue-in-cheek account of the night in which GarcÍa Marquez and Vargas Llosa brawled, entitled 'The Horrific Story of the Black Eye.'

"The photographs, which first appeared in La Jornadain Mexico show a shiner under GarcÍa Márquez’s left eye and a cut on his nose. In one, the Colombian novelist is looking deadly serious. In the other, he grins broadly from under his moustache, as if acknowledging that the picture would one day become a classic.

"According to Mr. Moya, various Latin American artists and intellectuals had gathered in Mexico City for a film premiére in 1976. After the film, García Márquez went to embrace his close friend, Vargas Llosa. 'Mario!' he managed to say, before receiving a 'tremendous blow' to the face from the Peruvian author.

"'How dare you come and greet me after what you did to Patricia in Barcelona!' Vargas Llosa reportedly shouted, referring to his wife.

"Amid the screams of some women, García Marquez sat on the floor with a profusely bleeding nose, as the Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska ran to get a steak for his eye. Two days later, Mr Moya took the photos of his friend’s black eye."

"After the cinema fight, however, the two stopped speaking and embarked on radically different paths. García Marquez stuck to his Leftist leanings, developing a close friendship with the Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Vargas Llosa became an ardent admirer of Margaret Thatcher and ran for President of Peru on a Right-wing platform. He has been one of President Castro’s most outspoken critics.

"Now the two appear to have buried the hatchet, with Vargas Llosa writing a prologue to a 40th anniversary edition of García Márquez’s classic work, A Hundred Years of Solitude. The text is reportedly an extract from Vargas Llosa’s laudatory book on García Márquez, written before their fall-out. The Peruvian writer is said to have blocked the book’s publication ever since.

"Despite Mr Moya’s tantalising new details, only the two men and their wives know what really led to the fight. It is rumoured that while both families were living in Barcelona, Vargas Llosa left his wife and children for a stunning Swedish woman. According to the whispered tale, Patricia sought comfort with GarcÍa Márquez and his wife, who advised her to seek a divorce. When Vargas Llosa reconciled with Patricia, she allegedly told all, leading eventually to the sucker punch.

"The long feud between the two literary heavyweights has also been one of the most colourful. The two men had been close friends – so much so that Mr García Márquez is godfather to Mr Vargas Llosa’s second son, Gabriel."

--- Other Famous Literary Feuds:

# Truman Capote and Gore Vidal feuded in interviews, on TV and in their work. Capote, Vidal said, had "raised lying into an art – a minor art". Capote’s response: "Of course, I’m always sad about Gore. Very sad that he has to breathe every day."

# Politics was at the heart of leftist playwright Lillian Hellman and novelist Mary McCarthy’s feud. "Every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the'," McCarthy said in a television interview.

* "What is surprising is that such a high percentage of those without a marked talent for any particular profession should think of writing as the solution. One would expect that a certain percentage would imagine they had a talent for medicine, a certain percentage for engineering, and so on. But this is not the case. In our age, if a boy or a girl is untalented, the odds are in favour of their thinking they want to write." -- W.H. Auden [via]


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