2 min

Los Angeles artist David Schoffman is the principal rascallion behind The Plausible Deniability Project™, a collective of creative pranksters devoted to keeping the embers of Dada on a low but  [+]

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Gordato Paré lost the ocular part of his vision when he was nineteen years-old. Luckily, he had a gift for second sight. He might have been precognitive or maybe even a bit psychokinetic. I never met a more intuitive or alert person in my life. He was something of a god if you believe in gods.

He was born in Madrid to an illustrious family. Paré claimed he could trace his roots to the famous Marrano scholar and merchant, Todo de Velasquez, né Shlomo Calev ben Aysav. Velasquez né Aysav was stretched like a Gumby on a Granadian strapaddo in 1509. Legend has him singing “Shema Yisrael” as both humeri popped from their shallow shoulder cavities. He refused to confess to heresy but proudly admitted to being a Jew. As if by dint of family tradition, Gordato himself was jailed by Franco, allegedly because of his casual ties to the Spanish surrealists.

He was like a father to me and like all good fathers, he withheld his love until he lay on his deathbed and could safely conceal his sentiment behind the slow drip of a morphine vial .

He counted Sartre, Hugat, Eluard, Picasso, Daudé, Carpentier and Guevara as friends. His list of enemies was no less impressive. Marquez and he never spoke. He had no truck with Bolaño nor did he care much for Malaspina or Mostel. Alberto Montañadoro broke his nose in a bar fight and would have cracked a few of his ribs had not the painter, Jorge Hoffman stepped in between the punches.

Paré lived in a bungalow on the outskirts of Cudillero. He was something of a hermit. He wrote but never published. He walked on the beach every morning before dawn with his two Ambullneo Mastiffs, Jacob and Esau. He owned neither phone nor computer and kept in touch with a handful of comrades by way of long, discursive letters written in longhand on pressed sheets of onion skinned vellum.

He had a girl-friend thirty-six years his junior. When he met Mariam Gomes she was a divinity student at the Instituto de Estudos Religiosos Frívolos in Évora. They had a child together and after a fierce and nasty scrum, presumably lasting for over six months, Mariam relented and agreed to name the boy Shlomo Zev. If this part of the story is true, the baby remained nameless for the first half year of his life. If you believe the mystics and the street prophets, a lapse like this can be fatal.

Gordato Paré died before Shlomo Zev reached maturity but I heard through friends that the nameless child grew into a prosperous man and continues to live a life of little incident.


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