To the Editors:
Judging by her recent review of Musa Mayer’s Night Studio: A Memoir of Philip Guston by His Daughter (September 1988), it would seem that Deborah Solomon not so much read a different book from that which I read as she concocted a new one more suitable to her spite than the original. The method employed is a combination of inaccurate and selectively edited citations.

I quote Solomon ostensibly quoting Mayer: “They [the Rothko family] seemed to have everything, I remember thinking . . . . But then, seven years later, Mark Rothko shot himself.” In her own words, Solomon continues, “Rothko didn’t shoot himself; he slit his wrists. It’s hard to know which is more offensive—this misstatement or the way the author slyly saved it for the last line of the chapter, squeezing every possible ounce of melodrama out of Rothko’s death.” In fact, Mayer’s chapter is about the longing...

 

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