by Kurt Vonnegut

This is about Jimmy Ernst, born in 1920 in Germany - our dear friend the painter and writer, who was killed instantly by a stroke on February 6th, 1984. He was at the peak of his powers, and of his happiness, too, by all outward signs. His stunning autobiography had just been published...

...I will say a word about his father. Max Ernst was surely the most famous artist in any field to sire a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. To reverse that equation: Jimmy Ernst is the only son of a great artist, that I can think of anyway, who reached for greatness in the self-same art.

...I am not entitled to say what his best painting was, although I have my favorite - a triptych, black on black, executed so meticulously that the paint might have been laid on by a jeweler using a magnifying glass.
I will dare to say that his spiritual masterpiece was to live without hating anyone - to forgive no one, since there was no one to forgive.


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