Kay Boyle, Duchamp, and Brâncuși

by proustitute

Mother transformed the legendary [literary and artistic] names into familiar people whose dedication to their work set them apart. I do not know how, among countless other divinations, she realized it was important to take me to the Armory Show in New York in 1913 to see Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase” and Brâncuși’s “Mlle. Pogany” and his “Bird in Space.” (But what Mother did not and could not have divined then was that exactly thirty years later Duchamp would be godfather to my son. Nor could she know that in Paris in the twenties, when Brâncuși went off to other cities where his sculptures were being shown, he would leave his snow-white Samoyed with me to care for.)

— Kay Boyle, from “The Family” in Words That Must Somehow Be Said: Selected Essays, 1927-84

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