BEA Dispatch from Amanda

Wednesday

It’s been a long day and a half without internet access, but a lot has been accomplished. After arriving on Wednesday afternoon, I was able to sneak in a quick visit to the Cooper Hewitt Museum, where I spent some time viewing their Triennial exhibit — an exhibition of the best of current design. I was interested to see that the book jackets of Chip Kidd (a designer/editor who works at Random House) were part of this exhibit. It’s intriguing to think about book design being included in the same show as architecture and couture fashion.
After dinner, Megan, Kari and I went to the Emerging Leaders meeting (which I’ll leave Megan to write about), and then we jetted off to the Brooklyn Academy of Music to see a screening of The Inner Life of Martin Frost — a film written, produced and directed by indie author Paul Auster. We just hosted him in January, and he had mentioned this film during his reading, so I was curious to see it. The film centers around the character of Martin Frost (David Thewlis), who wakes in his friend’s house one morning to find a woman (Irene Jacob) lying next to him. Mysterious as she is, she inspires him in the writing of his new story. They fall in love, the story is going swimmingly, she gets sick, the story is finished, she dies. Martin Frost, in a frenzy, burns the story, and Irene Jacob’s character comes back to life. Turns out she’s his muse. The film goes on from there.
I have to admit that I was bothered by how Jacob’s character is SO yielding and passive. The most definible thing about her is that she’s totally supportive and subservient to Martin Frost. How is that inspiring? It reminded me of Francine Prose’s book on the real-life muses of artists, and how they were fascinating women in their own right. Auster’s muse doesn’t exist without the author there — she exists only to serve his needs. How interesting is that?

One thought on “BEA Dispatch from Amanda

  1. Ola

    Have you read “The Book of Illusions”? Auster usually interconnects the stories and characters between his books and “The Inner Life of Martin Frost” appears there first (as a movie, the plot of which is essential for the interpretation of the novel). As well as “Travels in the Scriptorium”, which is the title of his latest book.
    I didn’t know that he made the movie, now I will look for it. Thanks!

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