In January, I wrote about how even 'famous' professors aren't famous in a side-of-the-bus kind of way. In that particular anecdote, a childhood friend of my husband's had become name-on-the-side-of-the-bus famous owing to his success as a contemporary artist.
In a strange twist of fate, although my husband and I have not achieved side-of-the-bus fame in the past month, we have nevertheless both recently had unusual experiences involving the intersection of our lives with Art.
In my case, part of my research has been incorporated into a visual artwork. I am pleased by this because something that I find intellectually beautiful is now part of something that is beautiful in a different way.
In the case of my husband, the situation is more complicated: we recently learned that he is a character in book written about another childhood friend. In the book, which is semi-biographical, the author changed the spelling of my husband's name slightly, but phonetically it is the same.
I immediately acquired the book and scanned it for the juicy parts -- i.e., the parts that mention my spouse. Although I did not know him in his youth, various aspects of his personality are quite recognizable, even though he is a 5th grader when he first appears in the book.
My husband refuses to read this book. He doesn't mind if I tell him about an incident or person in the book, but he doesn't want to discuss it or give his point of view on any incident or person. He says he doesn't want to read what someone else's imagination decided he was like as a kid. I can understand that. I would be unnerved if I showed up in someone else's book, especially if, like this one, the book is a roman à clef. And who would want their tween to teenage years enshrined in Literature?
Neither of us actually had a choice about having our life/work incorporated into the Art of others, but overall, I think I got the better deal of the two of us.
6 months ago