Post-modern exchange with Pam Mandel

Regarding her memoir “Same River Twice” published by Skyhorse Press and distributed by Simon and Schuster. Pam is from Palo Alto, graduated from San Jose State and makes Seattle her home base. Actual title is

The Same River Twice: A Memoir of Dirtbag Backpackers, Bomb Shelters, and Bad Travel.

The interview commenced via text, was cut-and-pasted to email then Sweded by smartphone to blog.

Meanwhile Terry started reading on Kindle but also received via Amazon a hard copy of the actual book. Or two copies, the same book, twice. 

On Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 4:12 PM mark weiss <> wrote:

1) Does the medicine I’m taking release this second self? (DeLillo, 2020 p.50)?

I don’t know the sources, plus, I’m not medicated. 

2) How might a female in the Oval Office impact the way we think about the female form? Is it truly “oval”?

By “the female form” do you mean the female body? Or something else? Honestly, history shows us that women are also capable of fascism, so I would be more specific with this question. Would Elizabeth Warren have changed the way women are perceived for the better? I think so. Would Mother Pence? Absolutely not.  

3) Marshall McLuhan said you cannot step in the same river (once). 

Did Marshall McLuhan live in a dry state?  

4) How does being an artist (BFA or MFA) inform either your travels or your writing per se?

Art teaches you how to observe and create. Increasingly, I’m not sure it matters what the medium of output is, as long as you are creating. A curiosity about art means I seek out art by others when I travel and take the time to observe it, but hey, I like museums and live music. 

 5) Terry bought your book and reads parts of it allowed/aloud. As someone who was a bachelor until age 53, I feel reading is the same as marriage; or spouse reading is the same is me buying it, unless I had an inscribed copy. 

What’s the question here?  

6) Four: do you remember The Varsity Theatre in Palo Alto as a place for movies, music, food, drink or coffee? Did you see The Dead Kennedy’s there?

I do remember this, and no I did not see the Dead Kennedys. I did see Rocky Horror there.  

7) Three: which Skyhorse title — out of thousands — troubles you more : Allen, his recent funny memoir; or Belzer, “Dead Wrong” denounced by Southern Poverty Law Center? 

Can “both” be the answer here? Because…both.  

8) Do you know David Shields i.e. “Reality Hunger”— in terms of domestic violence is a woman more likely to come out so to speak about her herstory in ways she does not confide in her friends or embellish in that, a) memory itself is a type of composition and, b) who would know the difference?! That’s one question. 

At the back of the book is a note about memory and its flaws. I didn’t know this about domestic violence, but I didn’t write the book to be an academic work about that topic, nor did I research the topic to inform my work. 

 9) Have you heard Myra Melford, band of same name? (That’s my last question — until I read more of the book and think of three or nine more)

There’s a reason there are multiple works with this title. It’s ancient, and not surprising it resonates with different people for different work. 

Can I interview you for my blog? Plastic Alto. Apropos of “Same River Twice”?  Mark Weiss and Terry Acebo Davis 

You mean more than this Q&A? 😉 

Sent from my iPhone

Hey! I have a new project called The Statesider and it’s about American travel. Sign up here

Outro: by Myra:

(note: Pam Mandel is also a musician — maybe she can jam with Myra Melford in a piano-uke duo someday)

edit to add: Anything processed by memory is fiction.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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