Skip to main content

View Diary: Books Go Boom!   The Painted Bird and Holocaust Fiction (60 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  nah, i'm not buying it (0+ / 0-)


    and I'm afraid neither did most of his then-fans.  He was a deeply troubled, and very inauthentic person.  But thanks for bringing up one of the more interesting topics I've seen this week!  cheers.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:01:16 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I've read Maus (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      I did my thesis on Holocaust literature. Many survivors of WWII were deeply inauthentic people. Liars, borderlines, and traumatized people are. There's an entire body of literature on their pyschology and how this impacts their lives and mental states, and it created an entirely new critical theory for dealing with "Trauma Fiction". I don't think you or any other fans had any right or sufficient knowledge to judge Kosinski as an inauthentic person, or to take that judgment and apply it willy-nilly to everything he ever wrote.

      Your flippant statement in response to a very carefully written response that summarily and logically pointed out the flaws in every single stage of assumption and argument that you made, is about what I expected, but still pretty irritating.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 10:28:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "to judge Kosinski as an inauthentic person"? (0+ / 0-)

        There are two quite distinct levels of authenticity to consider: The artist's work, and his public persona.

        The biographical claims and counterclaims are hard to judge clearly. I like this article, which looks particularly at the evidence of the texts themselves:

        I find Kosinski's novels to be stylistically similar. The prose is detached, flat, terse, and it has an emotional remoteness that is unique. The voice of the novels comes across as that of one person.
        I've only read Being There myself. But Routh's verdict fits what I've read others say of Kosinski's work. If so, then the art is authentic, and was woven (from disparate sources, including his own experience and imagination) by one man.

        In the wikipedia article on The Painted Bird, one quote struck me, as it provides a plausible engine behind much of the confusion about Kosinski, and how he created his famous self, and how he collapsed under the onslaught of his credibility:

        "This theory explains much: the reckless driving, the abuse of small dogs, the thirst for fame, the fabrication of personal experience, the secretiveness about how he wrote, the denial of his Jewish identity. 'There was a hollow space at the center of Kosiński that had resulted from denying his past,' Sloan writes, 'and his whole life had become a race to fill in that hollow space before it caused him to implode, collapsing inward upon himself like a burnt-out star.' On this theory, Kosiński emerges as a classic borderline personality, frantically defending himself against… all-out psychosis.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 11:36:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't like how he put that (0+ / 0-)

          but not entirely incorrect.

          "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

          by ArkDem14 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:17:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It doesn't so much make Kosinski inauthentic - (0+ / 0-)

            at least not as an artist, for such whirling hungers can drive creativity - as it helps explain why his personality felt larger-than-life, pushy, exaggerated. And why some critics who had met him, and felt that self-promotion (and his fortunate marriage and career), might resent it, and rip it apart in public.

            "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

            by Brecht on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:11:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, thanks also for the shout out, and for yet (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ArkDem14, mettle fatigue

            another diary full of compelling books, and thought-provoking angles on them. You always teach me things and get me thinking, and I enjoy your diaries very much.

            I want you to write a bi-monthly series, and look forward to it. Until you start doing that, you're very welcome to keep using the first Books Go Boom! of the month as your platform.

            "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

            by Brecht on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:15:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (143)
  • Community (62)
  • Baltimore (45)
  • Bernie Sanders (37)
  • Civil Rights (35)
  • Culture (28)
  • Elections (22)
  • Economy (21)
  • Freddie Gray (21)
  • Rescued (20)
  • Education (20)
  • Racism (20)
  • Law (20)
  • Hillary Clinton (19)
  • Labor (18)
  • Politics (17)
  • Media (16)
  • Environment (16)
  • Texas (16)
  • 2016 (15)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site