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Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Writer's Life 7/3 - Night & Day

RIP Elie Wiesel, 87, survivor and chronicler of the death camps, humanitarian, advocate for the oppressed worldwide. During WWII he was incarcerated at both Auschwitz and Buchenwald. He and two sisters survived, his parents and another sibling perished. He has written scores of books, fiction and non, his most famous being Night, which has been translated into 30 languages and sold ten million copies. He has received a boatload of honors, including the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1986. The entrance of the Holocaust Museum bear his words in stone: "For the dead and the living, we must bear witness." Life has lost one of its giants.

RIP Michael Cimino, 77, who had one of the oddest careers in cinematic history. He was a successful director of commercials before he was given a chance at the big screen, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), by Clint Eastwood, the star of that odd thriller/buddy flick. His second and only great film, for which he won an Oscar, was The Deer Hunter (1978), for which he also wrote the screenplay. The rest of his movies are failures, although all have good moments. In all, he directed only eight, and wrote only nine screenplays. Heaven's Gate (1980) is always mentioned among the all-time silver screen disasters, critically and financially. From that point he lost creative control. He piled up what Wiki describes as "unrealized projects," including adaptations of Dostoevesky's Crime and Punishment, Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, and Andre Malraux's Man's Fate. He also wrote two novels: Big Jane, and Conversations en miroir, on which he collaborated, according to Wiki, with Francesca Pollock. Here's a quote attributed to him: "Nobody lives without making mistakes. I never second-guess myself. You can't look back. I don't believe in defeat. Everybody has bumps, but as Count Basie said, 'It's not how you handle the hills, it's how you handle the valleys.'" The Russian Roulette sequences in The Deer Hunter are riveting and will likely be studied by film students and enthrall movie buffs forever. Well done, sir.

Last night C.J. Cron of the Angels went six-for-six in a victory over the Red Sox. Today the Mets' Wilmer Flores did it against the Chicago Cubs.

The floating book shop stayed open an extra hour today in Park Slope. Despite an impressive array of books, it took more than three hours to attract serious attention. My thanks to Francis, a repeat customer, who purchased a huge tome on Mediterranean cooking and Ed Behr's The Artful Eater. Until that point I was seriously thinking of dropping Park Slope, allegedly the most literate neighborhood in Brooklyn, from the schedule. I'll give it another chance next Sunday.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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