That’s the new and very direct and frank memoir by Marina Abramović. It is a narrative of how a very smart and insightful person can choose (almost) never to think like an economist, and how she might evolve from a naive Serbian virgin to one of the world’s most worldly, serene, and profound performers. Here is one part:
My parents’ marriage was like a war — I never saw them hug or kiss or express any affection toward each other. Maybe it was just an old habit from partisan days, but they both slept with loaded pistols on their bedside tables! I remember once, during a rare period when they were speaking to each other, my father came home for lunch and my mother said, “Do you want soup?” And when he said yes, she came up behind him and dumped the hot soup on his head. He screamed, pushed the table away, broke every dish in the room, and walked out.
As for her famed lover, the unreliable Ulay, the cause of her broken heart:
A small crowd was there to watch our meeting [on China’s Great Wall]. I wept as he embraced me. It was the embrace of a comrade, not a lover: the warmth had drained out of him. I would soon learn that he had impregnated his translator: Ding Xiao Song. They would marry in Beijing in December.
This book passed the core test that I wanted it to be much longer than it was. Here is a good Carl Swanson profile of the artist and the book, maybe the best piece I have read this week.