the description of the talk focuses on Martin's acting career, and only gives a brief mention to his novel
It took only a few minutes for Solomon to alienate the audience thoroughly.
Solomon's strategy was to treat the event like a book report, covering, almost chapter by chapter, Martin's new novel about the art world, An Object of Beauty. As Martin pointed out, it was wise to assume that the percentage of spectators who had read the book, published only a few days earlier, was "zero," making in-depth discussion of the characters' foibles something less than the optimal plan. That did not stop Solomon.
92Y's status as a specifically Jewish center of culture is usually best left unmentioned during events (it is a thoroughly ecumenical center), so it seemed a breach of decorum to praise Martin for making positive characters of the Nathansons, a Jewish art-dealer couple in the book, while reserving his satirical barbs for a gentile couple named Boggs. Later, Solomon wanted to relate a complicated sequence late in the book in which a character dons Joseph Beuys's "Felt Suit."
Here is a comprehensive demolishing of the notion that non-cultured rubes in the audience are to blame... from someone who was present at the event.
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