“Swatted a fly the other day and thought, Outlived you.”
Like my brother, Mark, I would start reading the New Yorker at the back, in the Critics section, with Peter Schjeldahl’s column on contemporary art. So the news that he was unable to continue writing is devastating. In his exquisite parting essay, “77 Sunset Me,” he says, “Oddly, or not, I find myself thinking about death less than I used to.” I was happy to read that line.
And this: “I like to say that contemporary art consists of all art works, five thousand years or five minutes old, that physically exist in the present. We look at them with contemporary eyes, the only kinds of eyes that there ever are.”