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The hot and steamy evening was crawling through the Piano piazza like a mountain cat.
“Art doesn’t transform. It just plain forms,” he whispered with his raspy voice, in between two gulps of beer.
I was not the slightest bit intimidated by the fame of my companion. “Oh yeah?” I said, “Why do you think the Soviet regime was so oppressive to so many books, music, movies et cetera? Yes, sir. Because art carries ideas that could transform how people think,” a sip of a well chilled late harvest Gewürztraminer pleasantly rolled down my throat, “Your definition of art is very narrow, Tovarich Roy.”
“I like to pretend that my art has nothing to do with me,” each of his words was slowly penetrating the smoke rings of his cigar.
“Your art has nothing to do with anything,” I said, “With a small exception it is all kitsch. It has no ideas, which could transform people’s minds.”
I looked at the empty bottle: for me the conversation has ended with the end of the wine. His eyes were half closed. In silence I melted into the hot Southern night.