Friday, May 11, 2012

Of record

Got to experience the long-enduring past and the futuristic present in quick succession today. First was a reception for Justus Rosenberg, a professor of literature who's taught at The New School for 51 years (he grew up in Danzig, was evacuated by his parents to Paris with the rise of Nazism, and fought in the French resistance before coming to the US) and is still going strong. Then there was a book launch party for theater legend Judith Malina, who started studying with Erwin Piscator at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in 1945, and still recalls it like it was yesterday. In those days before everything was recorded, she said, a director's work really was ephemeral, but she took careful notes of his lectures, and has now, 67 years later, published them - though the best thing was hearing her recreating his tone of voice! After this, and driving home how far we've come, it was time to see a graduating student's autobiographical senior project, which included not only scenes from films, television programs and her own documentary work but family video footage of her own birth and early birthdays. What will she remember six or seven decades from now?

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