The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose and Published by Allen and Unwin is our book clubs choice for the month of April. My heart dropped just a little, ‘A Romance’. Oh no, I cried internally. I hunted high and low to buy the book and failed. The weeks tick by, I have one week to go before the next meeting, and the library still hasn’t come up with the goods. I’m on a waiting list.
Michael asked if I was going to be turfed out of the book club if I haven’t read said book. There’s a thought.
I bemoaned this failure of mine, but the lovely talented Hannah came to my rescue. I borrowed her copy. Then I felt bad (head hung in shame) as Hannah is the host for the meeting and I have her book so if need be she can’t prepare her notes.
Of course Hannah is prepared, she is a treasure is our Hannah, a bloody fine writer to. She has a way with words and writing is her thing. I hang on to her every word in awe.
Yes the novel does have a romantic theme but not in the way I had ASSUMED or imagined. The book is fiction, sprinkled with legitimate real life characters (with permission) interwoven into the story. They are Marina Abramovic, a performance artist, her publicist and photographer. Set during her 75-day ‘The Artist is Present’, in ‘The Atrium MOMA’. If you haven’t heard about this artist, then apparently we live under a rock. I have seen bits and pieces, otherwise I was pretty ignorant.
I learnt a lot about Marina through reading the novel and from my book club buddies, as well as watching documentaries. I do abhor what Marina’s lover did to her as unfathomable. Words fell out of my mouth, and I couldn’t put them back. My mouth ran away without me. I may be banned after all.
‘He’s a prick!’ I declared
Thankfully that led to laughter. You see Marina and the Prick went on a very, very long walk. Starting from either end to meet in the middle. This took some considerable time. Enough time though for him to not be able to keep his dick in his pants. When he met Marina in the middle (may have been the great wall of China) and declared that he got this girl (tour guide) pregnant. Though upon reflection, maybe, he had already decided to call it quits for one reason or another, and I must not judge or assume. He may have kept quiet so that Marina could fulfil this dream of the bloody long walk. If so, kudos to the P.
2017 Stella Prize
Reading this 2017 Prize winning novel, in a very short time, I might add. I wanted to get it over and done with. I also thought of Marina as unstable and didn’t want to feed her presence. I have now changed my mind, seen the light of day. Since it’s been pointed out to me by my patient friends, Marina is a performance artist. Ah hah, now I get it. Marina is an artist that places herself in physical danger, for the love of her performance. She really is present. Is greatly admired and rather famous. So it must be me.
About a quarter of the way through the novel, a fascination set in and I wanted to see the character development and resolutions. The main fictional character Arky Levin a composer, a father and a husband who I read as very self absorbed.
I thought a perfect portrayal of a being who doesn’t know what to do without being told. Or should I say to be more politically correct, guided, into what to do. Arky the character is pretty confused, can’t think beyond his own needs. His daughter, I felt her exasperation. His dying wife set the scene for him to figure things out for himself. She know’s her adored husband well. Eventually he got it. Though I think too late should this have been a real tale. A regret that will sit on his shoulders as a dead weight for the rest of his life.
Oh, a sequel, I hear?
The photo of the novel at the top of the page is Hanna’s work. I returned her book without taking a photo. Thank you Hannah x