Sunday, November 25, 2018

Brief mentions... Gianrico Carofiglio, Vivian Maier, New York sports...

--- Gianrico Carofiglio is an Italian crime novel writer who is a former Mafia prosecutor in Bari, Italy. Translations into English of his three notable books were published over ten years ago.  A new one, "The Cold Summer" has recently arrived here.  The deal with Carofiglio's writing is that the crime stories, while interesting, can have a routine template. They seem to be just a vehicle for his insights into how people behave, how they interact, and how they deal with stressful situations.  Just simple statements like "The fact is that most obvious solutions are usually the right ones", or "eventually the spouse always knows". and "as he was the senior person, the argument appeared unassailable, nobody felt up to objecting and the matter was settled", or the observation that "one of the unpleasant aspects of waking early, when it isn't yet light, is that you're confronted with you own anguish", all make sense in context of Carofiglio's writing and maybe a reader's individual perspective.  As this is a translation of a writer who has received awards in his home country, it is assumed here that there is more nuance in the original language.

--- "Finding Vivien Maier" is a documentary that was watched last night, courtesy of a find by Netflix.  It's the story of an eccentric woman who became a famous photographer posthumously.  In her life, her profession was as a nanny for many different families.  She never married, and seemed to have few if any close relationships, even with family.  When she died in 2009, a yard sale aficionado and art collector bought a large box of her negatives sight unseen, and began developing them.  He found other buyers from the same sale and bought everything that had been there.  There were thousands of rolls of undeveloped film as well as  many photos that had been processed.  The work compares well to other notable photographers from the 1950's and 1960's.  It is an interesting story with great photographs shown of people and places in New York, Chicago, and from a trip through Europe, Latin America, and parts of Asia at that time.

--- Wanting to be a New York sports fan can be difficult.  With all of the history of sports in this town,  the money that can be behind it,  and the media attention, how can there be teams this year like the New York Giants and New York Jets in football and the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets in basketball.  The Giants forgot to have an offensive line, the Jet's heralded the most boring new sport's "hero" Sam Darnold, the Knicks have no leaders, and the Net no stars, or vice versa.  How above it all are the management teams of these franchises, or just out it egos.  Here we get their games on television whether we want them or not. 

At least there is a new episode of Ray Donovan tonight.


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