cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values

Fake Memoirs

Some of these posts have an incredible lag-phase, in often being on topics that have been done and dusted years previously. For some reason it reminds me of The Two Ronnies Answering the Question before Last Sketch of fond memory.

But this one is a hardly perennial for readers and writers.

BBC Radio 4’s Open Book (Sunday 9 March) covered four interesting topics, including a discussion of bogus memoirs. Blake Eskin, who wrote A Life in Pieces: The Making and Unmaking of Binjamin Wilkomirski discusses the ins and outs. He takes up the story in Slate, explaining how he cames across the other classic fake, Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years, by Misha Defonseca, while doing research on Wilkomirski :Eskin is a real Wilkomirski on his mother’s side.

Jonathan Lear The Man Who Never Was (NYT, February 24, 2002)

Julia Pascal’s review of Eskin in The Independent (also 2002)

Jamais deux sans trois, there was James Frey’s, A Million Little Pieces. Note the comment about Fey’s writing style. There is no way I would read the other two, so no way of checking whether anything comparable in the style department.

A 9 March 2008 NYT Op-Ed by Daniele Mandelsohn, Stolen Suffering, covers all three fakes and mentions yet another, Love and Consequences by Margaret Seltzer, also recently exposed. He says:

In an era obsessed with “identity,” it’s useful to remember that identity is precisely that quality in a person, or group, that cannot be appropriated by others; in a world in which theme-park-like simulacra of other places and experiences are increasingly available to anyone with the price of a ticket, the line dividing the authentic from the ersatz needs to be stressed, rather than blurred. As, indeed, Ms. De Wael has so clearly blurred it, for reasons that she has suggested were pitiably psychological. “The story is mine,” she announced. “It is not actually reality, but my reality, my way of surviving.”

The Eskin might be a good read.

March 10, 2008 Posted by | fake memoirs | , | Leave a comment

You won’t believe my eyes


Strange to enjoy reading about a colour {colors/mauve : Shelley Jackson, Cabinet Magazine} without being able to see it, or to be able to distinguish it from others, to even name it ! I’m red-green colour blind and find any pale colours or diluted colours impossible to name.

I felt sure somewhere there was a patch of labelled mauve on the web that might help me appreciate the essay more. Wiki:mauve. It only helps because it is named. “Oh, that’s mauve!”: though take it and its label away and re-present it without a name….

But then the first mauve I saw on the wiki was a pale mauve, not the deeper reddish colour (as it seems to me).

A side-track into other colours which seem like the paler mauve to me. Lavender looks pretty much the same. You could give me any number of colours of a similar saturation {colourfulness }, or is it {luminance}, and I could be persuaded this was the colour which went with the mauve words in the essay.

If I hadn’t read the enchanting essay I’d never have realised it was possible to enjoy colours by having them laid out in profusion and labelled for me. It may become addictive: but I may need to stay close to the colours with the names, light mauve, mauve, opera mauve, mauve taupe. Taupe ? Taupe Grey, pale taupe, sandy taupe, rose taupe, mauve taupe….mauve taupe? Take the names away: no point looking at them.

For the first time in my life because I carefully considered one colour through words describing it and associated with it {List of colours. } I realise from looking at colour charts I can really name only two colours with certainty: {blue}. There is a yellow streak midway between green and red, but I am not confident enough to name it. I can name blue only only as dark blue bright blue and yellow the yellowest of yellows. Pale blues – periwinkle blue, powder blue, are out of my range. They could be other colours for all I know. I might guess a flower was pale blue when it was pink.

Now, too, I realise for the first time where there is a neat example where empathy might break down: colour! There’s madness and autism, but colour has all the controls in place. You can read my mind and predict my behaviour but when it comes to colour we are from different species. We are both fooled by visual illusions.

Maybe the mirror cells which activate when we are reading minds don’t fire in my brain when you report a colour!

Did you know the black birds looks black to us but is multi-coloured (blue spectrum) to other blackbirds?

This colour graph is a way of illustrating what I can see: I recognise red and blue corners but infer the green. I can’t name any colour in the middle as you probably can.

Mostafa is red-green colour-blind. But he can’t see the coloured boxes, 1-10, whereas I can, but couldn’t tell you what colour they were except bright yellow, which I think is 5.

Wiki: colour-blind has three colour tests which shows I’m deuteranopic.

In this one I see no numbers.

Same colour illusion

Works for me too…

Colours of the Mind

A cornucopia of colour delights.

February 19, 2008 Posted by | colour, Writing | , , , | Leave a comment

The Great War in Colour: Albert Kahn Archive

The Great War in Colour: The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn

is a great programme, which part is part a series. {2}

For those outside the UK, this can only be watched BBC iPlayer for a while, though if you download with the BBC download software (which you first have to download), you have a month.

February 2, 2008 Posted by | photography, World War I | , , , | Leave a comment