Prose of Artist


To deprive a man of bread is to doom him to death, but to deprive him of spectacle is to doom him to a pigs life. I am now intensely digging into my memory trying to extract from it pieces of my childhood, like an archeologist extracting pieces of broken pottery. Here is the city Opera House, where I am heading with my father, to meet my elder brother Volodya after the matinee performance. We are in luck, the performance isnt finished yet and the ticket collector lets us in to the stalls. The "Prince Igor" opera is being performed, the auditorium is like in a gloomy cellar, but the stage .. it is lit like the sunlight from which we just emerged. The fantastic music makes the scene even more alive, festive and alluring. Here is another shard of pottery. It is moist from my bitter tears, shed at the performance of "Uncle Tom's Cabin".


" Synagogue"

I was painting the canvas "Synagogue" and thinking about the volume of years forming a chasm between my present self and that boy from house number 100 on Market Street , Odessa .

That boy, Fima, knew his routine, but how actively did he take part in the festive commotion, feeling almost physically the excitement of approaching holidays! Most probably he didn't know what events from the Jewish history were celebrated by these holidays. It was not the history he felt but himself in " Sukkot ", " Simches-Toire ", " Chanukka ", " Purim " and " Pesach ".

He didn't know what symbolised the sound extracted from the horn in the synagogue, but he was sure it was a sound of triumph. Holidays which began with the beautiful, loud peel of bells coming from the nearby Uspensky church, caused a kind of alarm, maybe curiosity, but never inspired in him the lightness of body and spirit that were brought by the Jewish holidays. All the holidays, lit up and warmed by the sun, are entangled in my memory like a ball of wool. It seems to me that in those days were was never a day of bad weather, no matter the season..

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