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356 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 uninformed personal responses that generally pass as criticism in the press. These, as opposed to the work of Gordon Vogt. But the real surprise of this volume is the afterword (fourteenpages) by Vogt's brother Bruce. For most of the period covered by these reviews, Gordon Vogt was fighting a brain tumour; it finally took his life in 1985 at the age of thirty-seven. Bruce Vogt describes the fight with pride and melancholy - the periodic relief of an improved diagnosis, the depression of a recurrence, the regret that more had notbeen accomplished, the acceptance that he had done what he could. There is liberal quotation from Gordon Vogt's letters, which provides an unusual context for a book of criticism. I found myself, first of all, wishing for more of the letters; he really was a good writer, and I wonder if there is the seed of another volume here. But I also found myself going back to the criticism to look for that very personal, physical struggle in what the world of arts and letters would call 'mere' criticism. It may be there, in the intensity of opinion, perhaps, in the urgency of the prose, and in the need to record the details of OUf most ephemeral art form, the live performance. I suppose, if we are to draw a conclusion from this afterword, it is that more critics should write as if their lives depended on their words. (STEPHEN JOHNSON) Mary Melfi, editor. Painting Moments: Art, AlDS and Nick Palazzo Guernica. 150. $20.00 Painting Moments celebrates the artistic talents and the spiritual strength of a young Italian/Canadian painter who left us too soon, but who was able, nevertheless, to demonstrate on canvas how talented he was during his short life - something which makes us wonder, as ,we look at his work, exactly how great he could have been, had he not been ravished by AIDS. Nick Palazzo died at age thirty, leaving beyond more than two thousand paintings and a diary, some of which we find in Painting Moments. Mary Melfi has sewn together a combination of excerpts from Palazzo's diaries, a series of essays and interviews, and eighteen reproductions (including front and back cover), all of which is prefaced by her own introduction. The book is divided into four parts: liMe, Disappearing,' a condensed version of Nick Palazzo's diaries; 'An Intimate Look at the Artist,' reflections by those who knew Nick Palazzo well - sister, roommate, art-gallery owner; JExpressionistic Visions/ a series of short essays by cultural critics; and'A World of Painting,' a personalized section of an interview/essay by Fulvia Caccia and a second piece by Nick Palazzo's lover, Andrej followed by more informative pieces such as an inventory of titles, a chronology, and a postscript by Mary Melfi. What comes through a reading of these various sections is the portrait of a young, energetic, and prolific artist totally, and equally, in love with life and his craft. HUMANITIES 357 The from we find deal with his love for Andre and his horrible feeling ofhaving to deal with Andre's death and the five that followed. 19831 1986, and 1990 are the of Palazzo's diaries we are to read. And AIDS is common em)m'mator the disease not only ravished Palazzo and his lover, as and also continues to ravish the lives the illness and death of relatives and friends - a disease seem to have taken off of the front burner. Most be~~mmnlgof 1986, after Andre's death: 'I'm too yOW1g to be visiting my lover's I Indeed, like many of those who have left their loved ones Nick Palazzo was also 'too young' to leave not his ones but the universe to which he felt he belonged - that world that so nourished the art that he left for us to ponder and admire Palazzo may , as some have suggested. But his an originality thatrecalls those who have come before him: Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso, Umberto Boccioni, Salvador de yes, even Edward are some of the names that come to mind. As his art was into its own as...


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