Fascinating article from The New York Times about the travails of finishing up the work of the late Harvey Pekar, in particularly the innovative digital stories told online at Smith magazine’s Pekar Project. Sadly, it looks like some all-too-human jealously is threatening to derail completion of the work. What’s transpired after the writer’s death seems like, well, one of his own autobiographical tales. In fact, it’s pretty much classic Pekar:
As the Pekar Project continued, it became apparent that Ms. Brabner was displeased with one contributor in particular: Ms. Seibel, the only female artist involved, and the only one who worked face to face with Mr. Pekar.
Ms. Seibel, whose husband and three children also became acquainted with Mr. Pekar, said that Ms. Brabner would abruptly pull Mr. Pekar out of their telephone conversations, and that she tried to interfere with a Brooklyn book-signing event at which Ms. Seibel appeared with Mr. Pekar in November. Ms. Seibel said Mr. Pekar told her these conflicts were “for him to worry about,” not her. “He put it under his business,” she said. (Ms. Brabner declined to comment on these matters.)
No one in their artistic circle believes the relationship between Mr. Pekar and Ms. Seibel crossed professional boundaries, but some could see how it strained Mr. Pekar’s marriage.
“A part of him was enjoying the attention he was getting from this very good-looking young woman,” said Mr. Parker, one of the Pekar Project artists. “And, naturally, Joyce, how could she enjoy that? You don’t have to be a psychologist to see that one’s not going to be good.”
Not even Mr. Pekar’s death quelled the tensions between Ms. Seibel, who has said she spent part of his last day alive with him, and Ms. Brabner.
The Unfinished Tale of an Unlikely Hero (The New York Times)
Posted by Richard Metzger |
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