Eric Kraft: Persistence
Thursday November 10, 2011
Persistence is a rich-media fiction about an artist at a crossroads, uncertain which way to go, how to proceed, or whether to continue with his work at all. It begins with an irritant, or perhaps an inspiration: an overheard conversation. The fictional author who overhears that conversation, Bertram W. Beath, takes a fragment of the conversation and reports it in a restaurant review that appears in a glossy magazine; from that beginning, accounts of the incident grow and expand, with each version fuller and richer than the one before it. In its ultimate digital form, Persistence uses text, audio, video, photographs, drawings, diagrams, and links internal and external to explore the paralysis of self-doubt and the triumph of persistence. For one evening at the Center, you will be able to experience the richness of Persistence and its many media as an installation, moving through the story as you move through our space.
Eric Kraft grew up in Babylon, New York, on the South Shore of Long Island, where he was for a time co-owner and co-captain of a clam boat, which sank. He taught school in the Boston area for a while, moonlighting as a rock music critic for the Boston Phoenix. Since then, he has undertaken a variety of hackwork to support the Kraft ménage and the writing of The Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy, a large work of fiction composed of many interconnected parts. Its parts are the memoirs and collected works of a fictional character, Peter Leroy, who tells an alternative version of his life story; explores the effect of imagination on perception, memory, hope, and fear; holds a fun-house mirror to scenes of life in the United States; ruminates upon the nature of the universe and the role of human consciousness within it; and prods and probes the painful world of time and place in search of the niches where hilarity hides. Kraft and his wife, Madeline, have two sons, Scott and Alexis. He has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts; was, briefly, chairman of PEN New England; and was awarded the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature.