Tag Archives: Anthony Martignetti

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In Russia we have a saying which goes kinda: “If you want God to laugh - tell hime about your plans”.

So in June I planned to go to the US to be at my friends’ wedding. Of course, I had the Greater Boston on my mind. And we planned to meet with Anthony.

He wrote:

“UNE!! I plan to be much stronger in June, able to drive my car again, go places with other people in them, visit the hospital far less frequently, and be well into building some (muscle smile here) lost muscle…..and, of course, hang out with you (Pauly, Ron, Nivi, Nicolas and the of the of our friends) whom I’ve been sorely missing. Sending my hopeful heart to Russia with love, xAntoniox”

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That never happened. I came to Boston late at night because of terrible flight delays (never expected US domestic flights are so fucked up actually, huh). That was the night when we learnt that Anthony doesn’t have much time actually. Amanda and Neil headed back to the US from England at the speed of sound and light. All the closest people took a constant watch at the hospital. So I never met him again. Obviously I was not a closest friend to him, though our short acquaintance influenced me deeply and gifted me with another person whom I am proud and humbled to call friend.

I got a message about Anthony leaving us all here when I was boarding airplane to go home to Moscow, Russia. All the week I spent in Boston I tried to be of use, I tried to comfort and support nice people I met and fell in love with during my first visit (when I actually did meet Anthony). Pauly, Ron and Nivi. I do love you, seriously, I hope we will meet under some merrier circumstances in some not so distant future.

I met Anthony Martignetti once, it was a year ago. A year and a week to be precise, it was 14th of November. Days before that day were full of Art of Asking activities, it is a book Amanda Palmer wrote about life, dearth, love, hate, art and stuff. It is good, I tell you. But this is another topic. So Amanda just left Boston and went to a book tour.

WD4B5915Pauly and Nivi helped to arrange my meeting with Anthony. I felt like I am going to throw up because I was over-full with excitement and fear that I won’t be able to say anything - maybe not smart, but at least something not dumb.

We started talking from time to time via twitter and later whatsup somewhere in 2013. After Amanda explained to the world things about Anthony as the reason she cancels the tour. I wrote a blog review of the Beloved Demons. Good for me, I could get the e-book, shipping to Russian is sometimes a tricky thing.

WD4B6275Maybe it was me getting older or maybe Anthony used right words and images, and I read them at the right time, but his tales of demons and lunatics based on his own life got me deeply. I might say that before I was more a person of fiction, I considered non-fiction kind of boring thing. Not anymore, for sure. I realised that any fiction is actually a kinda costumed non-fiction. Level of this costume fanciness might be different, but still something that happened to you or not happened you re-work inside of your brains or soul and voi la - you have song, novel, poem, self-help quide, whatever.

Ah, yes, we also had a plan of a photoshoot. Anthony liked my works and wanted me to make portraits of him. We were not sure if it is going to be possible because he had this whole in his head - of medical reason. Who would want to be photographed this way? So plus to my excitement I was also nervous. Will we be making it? Or not? And if yes, will I be able to see through the sickness to his soul to make right pictures? It seems that I might achieved something, if one of the pictures from that sitting is a poster to the Memorial Evening which will be held today in Lexington. If people think it's Anthony's kind of picture and they chose it, so it means I nailed it.

So it was wonderful day. We did make pictures. We talked and asked each other questions. Anthony smiled. I even did a small special voice over with Russian accent for one of the stories. Anthony liked my Russian accent which is funny because of course I am shy of it.

We decided to make another session when I come back to the US in June. I did come back. But the second meeting was didn't happen.

My one and only meeting with Anthony Martignetti is a beautiful gem I hold close to my heart. I keep thinking if we could be friends if there was more time. I keep thinking that those people who were close to him for longer time and have more of those memory gems are extremely lucky.

I will come back to Boston, hopefully many times. This place weirdly gives me peace. It’s like a retreat secret garden.

I am thankful to Anthony for that.

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Today I sent love and prays to those who gather in Lexington for a Anthony’s memorial/tribute evening.

sorry for typos, with love,

V.

(I worked on this blog a bit, so I upload it a bit later then it was written)

It is one month before I visit the United States for the first time ever. Next week I turn 30 (huh!), so I think it is a majestic way to start another decade of my life. Yesterday I’ve read new blog post written my Amanda Palmer. You can read it HERE. The thing that amazes me about her is how she can talk about complicated things. A lot to learn from Amanda.

She wrote about many things in that particular blog. First about blogging and writing a book. Go and read it, my retelling will be not as good as her own words. I thought like wow, how come that I enjoyed blogging so much for many years (those years when livejournal was at its best). I wrote about everything. I didn’t need a purpose. There were always words to write and thoughts to explain.

But then digital world changed in a very special way. Blogging became kinda profession. Serious shit. And livejournal kinda died. I lost my habit to write easily on the blog. 

Somehow I got a BLOG WRITER’S BLOCK. Dammit. Weird as it is. It felt like my blogs should be meaningful, to deliver message, to have a theme. As if blogging was not for everybody. Yesterday I read what Amanda wrote and thought - fuck that, blog should satisfy the only person in this world and it is… me. Yes, I promote my art through it. But blog is freedom, it should not BORE me to death to write my own blog. Or SCARE me. 

The other two things Amanda wrote about were her tour (book tour and the bed shows) and Anthony’s situation. For me it is inseparable in a weird way. Through Amanda's music I get to know Anthony and his books. 

There was this live webcast by Amanda. Anthony read a story there (at 1:04:20 in the previous link). I made this print screen, how I wish to be there with my camera. It was deep night and then dawn wee hours in Moscow. My beloved man slept peacefully in our bedroom. I stood on the balcony in the living room with headphones and iPad and listened to webcast. 

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I bought e-book of Beloved Demons on the first day of release. I wrote a review on it and blogged it HERE. I wanted more people to read Anthony’s stories. Somehow we started writing to each other from time to time. Sometimes people just happen in each others lives. It is truly amazing. One day you don’t have this person close to your heart and then you do.

Anthony sent me paper copies of his books. I think I am the only person who has got Anthony’s books in Russia. I should make a picture of them on the Red Square I suppose. 

(done it - went to the Red Square and make a picture)

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Once Anthony told me he’d like me to make portraits of him. I said yes, of course, portraits is my favourite thing to do. I love human beings, through camera I discover people and say them they are awesome. Through camera I see beauty of people, their strength, their fragility. 

Also Anthony is such an enigmatic person to make portraits of. 

I thought well, yes, I should come when I have money. But one day I will do it. For sure. Later. Blah-blah-blah. Then I learnt that Anthony’s remission is over. He was about to go through chemo again. 

I applied for the visa. Got it. Bought tickets to NY on the dates when I don’t have shootings here in Russia. 

We decided that we will meet and talk no matter what. As with portraits, we will just see. 

Next day after I bought tickets Amanda tweeted that the release date of her book is the 11th of November. A bit later she informed the twitterverse that there will be a few Bed Shows from 5-8th of November.

My tickets to the States I bought the day before were from 2th to 16th of November. 

Now I have tickets to the Bed Show and to Boston book tour event. And I plan to come to Porter Square books as well. 

But honestly I can’t call this luck or anything. Because initially I got visa and tickets, because Anthony’s conditions changed. It is “weird poetry of life” as Amanda tweeted. Endless ifs, buts and whys and wtfs.

Life is complicated. Everything is connected. Endless dots. Dots. Dots.

Fuck the writer’s block. I needed to bring all this together. I feel too many feelings at the same time. It was always my thing.

Soon I will be in the United States. 

P.S: Somewhere in-between I went to Stockholm. Thanks to wonderful Neil Gaiman, I managed to give Anthony a book as a gift (HERE is a big blog with pictures). It was Master and Margarita by Mikhail Boulgakov, which is a brilliant Russian novel. HERE Anthony talks of Pilate and Jesus trial after chemo treatment and reading M&M.

What if I finally would start writing a review for Anthony Martignetti book titled “Beloved demons: confessions of an unquiet mind”? I might say that I have never written thoughtful pieces about books I’ve read. But I guess it is a right time to start doing so.

I will start with a little pre-info. C. Anthony Martignetti, PhD, is a writer and psychotherapist with a private practice in Lexington, Massachusetts. Anthony is not well-known author, but he definitely is known by some people. I would love more people to discover his books. Especially that now there is a chance to purchase an e-book which solves problem for most non-American readers.

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(that is a print screen I made while watching live stream of Amanda Palmer's salon)

“The world isn’t created of atoms and molecules, but of stories. Maybe I wanted to create a world. A new one… where I, and we, could be happy and safe.

Making stories from memories… I think it has something to do with looking back and fabricating meaning in events that, at the time, just happened” 

(from a touching and powerful story “Sign”)

“Beloved demons: confessions of an unquiet mind” is the second book of Anthony Martignetti. The first one is “Lunatic Heroes: Memories, Lies and Reflections”, I’d like to read it as well, but there are no digital copies.

To be honest I suck at using clever words and making an analyse of a literature. But that book was a profound read for me. Both like an intimate whisper and solid punch in a face. It takes you into a poignant and dark journey deep through the lanes and alleys of a human soul. A soul brave enough to let guests in without cleaning up and hiding certain things.

(it is a video from the release event of the "Beloved demons", here Neil Gaiman reads an introduction he wrote for the book and Anthony reads the story "Sign")

Did I say that “Beloved demons” is a memoir? It is a collection of stories which happened to Anthony during his adult years. It is a collection of feelings that fought with each other deep inside of his soul. It is a collection of mind twists and hungry thinking. It is a collection of people Anthony met on his way. It is a collection of things that people usually prefer to hide and pretend they are normal in a way that is acceptable by a society in general.

Thing is that each one of us (no exceptions really) is more complex and twisted from inside than rules of morality let to identify and legalise. We can’t shrink into humanity-approved size without pain. We need to be really gentle to each other. And try to get rid of assumptions and fixed schemes. Otherwise we will continue to breed demons inside of us and inside of our beloved ones.

“She had become human in the worst possible meaning of it. She shrank into life. It was the greatest example I’d ever had that the death is real. She, the mad one… she, who was always and only young… fell under the deflated world… the weight of years… money, marriage, children and cocks gone old and cold” 

(from one of my favourite stories “Mad”)

Anthony spills out his feelings, his fears, his thoughts, his regrets, first it’s suffocating. Then you start to give names to your own demons. And reading becomes painful, but very honest and cleansing. The crucial point for me was that Anthony doesn’t accuse anybody. He accepts. And shares.

I would say that we all should read such memoirs. Maybe we should privately write our own. We need to spend time thinking what excites us, what makes us go on with our lives. What made us who we are, how should we deal with who we are. We need to be curious and searching. Unquiet. Always. Otherwise our life will become “a cheerless case of utter domesticity”. It is not that I am against building families. I am against creating a family and then ceasing to live.

“And then I began to learn too much, have too much in my pile; that’s when I found one of the great rugs under which I could sweep all of it. 

The magic carpet of fantasy.

And a new life began, a secret one. And it’s been grinding in my chest and groin ever since.

A 100 percent pure life. The very best. I know, I write it myself.”

(from a very observing story “Swept”)

From birth to childhood, from childhood to teenage, from teenage to adult age we deal with everything inside us and around us. Anthony’s book spoke to me about the issue I see too much here and there lately. It is an issue of child abuse and humiliation. I never thought how deeply our childhood influences our adult life. Sometimes it is unbearable to think about. Those connections and consequences are so much bigger than us. And we go on living nevertheless.

I would say that “Beloved demons: confessions of an unquiet mind” is a song glorifying life and humanity. But it is a song from a B-side. Not everybody is patient with life and continues to listen so far, because they got stuck on the juicy bestselling tracks of an A-side.

In the very end I would love to share this indie short film after another story "Box" by Anthony Martignetti. I don't know if it was published. But I meditated over it for quite a while.