Over the years I have written four letters to The New York Times.Two of them were published which shows that my view points were taken into consideration.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

FROM AVA GARDNER TO EINSTEIN !




I must confess: I am a biograpoholic! My taste is eclectic. I am as content reading a biography of Frank Sinatra as reading the life of Abraham Lincoln. From Nancy Reagan to Evita Peron and to Zsa Zsa Gabor to Pablo Neruda. A new Ava Gardner biography is out and promises to be hot; which is not a surprise considering that she was a free- spirited woman. Sometimes I am skeptical about both autobiography and biography. In the first , I think that the author will not reveal all the dirt. In the second, maybe the author adds some dirt to push up the sales. Were Montgomery Clift and James Dean as wild as both biographies reveal ? Do wire hungers deserve to be forever identified with Miss Crawford?
Why is a biography of Albert Einstein interesting? For one thing, Einstein was a rebel and a poor student. He disliked the traditional teatching methods, preferring to explore and discover on his own. When his father asked the principal of his school what career his son should follow, the principal answered that it did not matter, because he would not be good at any. Such an irony! Sometimes we can treat a biography as fiction. My friend Herbert Zohn once wrote a letter to the New York Times asking when Nixon’s memoirs were published would the book be listed as fiction or non-fiction?

"Have you heard of the family Stein?
There’s Gert and Ep and Ein
Gert’s writing is bunk,
Ep’s sculpture is junk
And nobody undertands Ein"

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