John Audubon

I lived with a huge misapprehension having to do with a hero. I thought John Audubon possessed photographic memory. I found it amazing he had that ability and also artistic ability and also drive to use all of it together. I admired him greatly.

The fateful evening in Aspen after flipping through a coffee-table book of Audubon's work when Tom Deusterberg an older man who I had just only met told me point blank that John Audubon was bird hunter. He did not use photographic memory of glimpses of birds through his binoculars and then reconstruct the finest artistic detail in paintings from memory, say, as Mozart did music, rather he was taxidermist who shot his birds and in very large numbers and was very good at posing them. How everyone found Tom disabusing me so terribly funny. Tom shot tersely as if impatient with an idiot, "He shot them."

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