Trained first as a rabbi and then as a painter, Mr. Leiter the photographer spent the last 60 years being cyclically forgotten and rediscovered. In the end he remained very nearly the antithesis of a household name, a state of affairs that, with his lifelong craving for privacy and genial constitutional dyspepsia, he found hugely satisfying.
It’s Christmas time,
and the needle’s on the tree.
A skinny Santa is bringing something to me.
His voice is overwhelming,
but his speech is slurred,
and I only understand every other word.
Open your parachute and grab your gun,
falling down like an omen, a setting sun.
Read the part and return at five,
it’s a hell of a role if you can keep it alive.
There are things in your life that only you will see, stories that only you will hear. If you don’t write them down, if you don’t make the picture, these things will not be seen, these things will not be heard.
He took their picture every day, posing them carefully and stepping back to frame the picture, while they flashed him their brightest smiles, but he never had film in the camera and the Gypsy girls never saw a single shot of themselves, and still they had their picture taken every day and looked forward to the results like Christians to heaven.
I read plenty about Miley Cyrus, on my iPhone, late at night. And you wake up and you hate yourself. My “struggle”! The overweening absurdity of Karl Ove’s title is a bad joke that keeps coming back to you as you try to construct a life worthy of an adult.