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Preview: Arnon Grunberg - Blog

Arnon Grunberg - Blog

The day-to-day life of Arnon Grunberg



Sun, 26 Feb 2017 21:22:31 +0100



The Iceland Phallological Museum -- a vist in the late afternoon. Unlike the Museum for Modern Art this one was packed. Lots of women, giggling.
Penises and phalli everywhere. Also a few human examples. You have to declare that you belong to the Order of Don Juan in order to donate your own penis.
I myself was in awe with the penis of the grey seal and the penis of the zebra touched my heart as well.
I'm not sure if this is Freudian but after I left the museum I had a severe headache.



Sat, 25 Feb 2017 21:35:16 +0100



Today I drank coffee with the grandson of the surgeon who had operated Warhol, the grandson happend to be an author, Andri Snær Magnason, whom I had met years ago in Hungary.
Ironically enough on Friday the International NYT had published a story by Blake Gopnik about the surgeon and Warhol:

'For at least a month before his death, Warhol had been ill, but had done his best to keep up his usual exhausting pace. His terror of hospitals had prevented him from getting any serious treatment. Even once Warhol had finally ended up in the office of Bjorn Thorbjarnarson, a leading surgeon — he was known for treating the Shah of Iran — Warhol had begged for some kind of stay-at-home treatment. “I will make you a rich man if you don’t operate on me,” the artist had said, Dr. Thorbjarnarson recalled during my visit to his New Jersey home in 2014. (He is now 95 and lives in Florida.)

Dr. Thorbjarnarson refused Warhol’s entreaties and found himself justified three days later, when the sick man was at last on the operating table at New York Hospital (now NewYork-Presbyterian). The surgeon found a gallbladder full of gangrene; the organ fell to pieces as he removed it, he said.'

Read the article here.

Mr. Thorbjarnarson had also operated the Shah. I said to his grandson: "We could blame your grandfather for almost everything, the Iranian revolution, the death of Warhol, the fact that Carter lost in 1980, reagonomics."

"I think we should also blame him for Trump," Andri Snær Magnason said.

One thing struck me. Most rich people would say: "I'll make you a rich man if you can get me better."
Warhol said: "“I will make you a rich man if you don’t operate on me."

His fear must have been immense.



Sat, 25 Feb 2017 01:55:40 +0100



Dinner at Mator og Drykkur, a lot of food, but good food. I was intrigued by the Cod’s head cooked in chicken stock.
I'm not sure why it should have been cooked in chicken stock. But if they want to cook my head in chicken stock after my demise I won't make a scandal.



Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:26:21 +0100



Chaplin's "Modern Times" in The Hague with a discusion about capitalism afterwards. Slapstick wasn't mentioned, but capitalism aroused the audience. A politician compared the steel factory with Google and Facebook.
It's very superficial, I'm afraid, to live without an ongoing sense of doom.



Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:27:33 +0100



Last night polite table conversation over dinner touched on the subject of politics and right away the polite table conversation became less polite and less table conversation.
A friend said: "Let's not forget that this is a dinner party."
And I said to a woman: "Whatever your political views are you should feel welcome here."



Tue, 21 Feb 2017 19:02:58 +0100



A friend alerted me tot his quote from an article by Sarah Maslin Nir in NYT:

'“Good protests always have to think about how they look,” Ms. Byrne said. “It’s all about the meme.”'

Read the article here.

Also protest are about the looks. Whether this makes the protests less or more effective is something to be discussed. Spreading the meme, that's what revolution and counterrevolution have in common.



Tue, 21 Feb 2017 03:49:42 +0100



Last night I saw finally "The handmaiden" by Park Chan-wook. It was supposed to be a fairly erotic movie, at least that's what I had heard and my girlfriend had threatened to engage in acts that could be described as lewd while watching the movie with me.

Manohla Dargis wrote in The New York Times: "Yet beauty can be a curse; a prison, too. Hideko’s uncle has forbidden her to leave the grounds, turning her into a bird in a gilded cage. Under his steady gaze and severe hand, with the ever-present threat of violence (there are rightfully ominous allusions to a basement), she has been raised amid material plenty with luxuriously appointed rooms as well as drawers and shelves stuffed with elegant feminine frippery — gloves, hats, gowns. Mr. Park loves displaying all these goods, much like a proud merchant (or Gatsby), even as moment by moment he pushes the narrative into ugliness, scratching off the gilt to reveal a grim drama in which Hideko plays both the leading lady and slave."

Read the article here.

She ends her review with the note that "The Handmaiden" is finally "a liberation story." Yes, liberation from men, Mr. Park Chan-wook seems to be saying that sex with men is by definition a Sade-esque experience. Sex without men is sex that is free from this Sade-esque experience.

I'm sympathetic to the idea that we should chase away men out of the house of eroticism, but for the time being I'm afraid that we should live in a world that is mostly imperfect i.e. a world with men.



Sun, 19 Feb 2017 22:13:16 +0100



Dinner in Morimoto.
I had made a reservation for three people at 8:30. We arrived on time. A hostess said: "Give us a few minutes, your table will be ready soon."
Ten minuter later another hostess said: "Your table is almost ready."
Twenty minutes later a host said: "We apologize, but we will seat you within five minutes."
Thirty minutes later another host said: "Give us two more minutes. Your table is about to be ready."

I prefer bad food to incapable hosts and hostesses, and one has to admit that the food at Morimoto is above average. Also, we got some "Wiedergutmachung" -- an appetizer and a dessert from the house. You may say that I'm too harsh, but it was not enough.



Sat, 18 Feb 2017 23:21:08 +0100



Last night, Dvořák's "Rusalka" in the Met.
Libretto by the poet Jaroslav Kvapi.

Rusalka sings: "Woe him who's known the humans!"

I rest my case.



Sat, 18 Feb 2017 01:03:09 +0100


For the record

Peter Baker in NYT:

'The acrimony grew so sharp at one point that CNN’s Jim Acosta felt the need to tell Mr. Trump, “Just for the record, we don’t hate you.”''

Read the article here.

Press conferences turn into anger management therapy. More futurism than dadaism.