March 21, 2014
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Perhaps not extraordinary, but certainly unique, and rather a has-been now, the focus of this image still occasionally manages to achieve new niches in life – most recently, for instance, the role of an Einstein’s grand-grandson. Once upon a time dubbed “the last polymath of Slovakia” (not sure about the “poly”, but certain about the “last”), a mathematician of impure orientation, a reluctant statistician, a composer of rather applied music, an actor, director, and stage-hand out of necessity, a well-disguised writer and an alternative linguist, and above all the self-promoted most significant pataphysicist of Subcarpathia, now stuck at the University of Alberta on his lifetime journey West (like his almost compatriot Eskymo Welzl in Dawson City on his way to his New Siberian Shangri-La) will still not, despite that the war is essentially lost, let them get him in his bunker without fight.
A complicated leg fracture during a school ski trip resulted in a four-month absence from junior high and not only turned him into a lifetime non-skier (and generally a despiser of any physical activity) but also put him on course for his main vocation involving numbers and sounds.
He picked up mathematics for his university study because it has no connection to reality — a virtue so much cherished during the Communist era, whose decline he had a joy to witness, and which has forever left in him deep scorn for all left and lefties.
He recently met with kids whose parents once upon a time hid his book from them — but they were able to find it in its hiding place and read it in secret. (There are no copies left. The ones in the bookshelves are those that did not sell.)
The painting hanging in the background is by one of Ivan’s close friends and collaborators, commemorating one of the big happenings in the few wonder years of anarchy right after the Communist demise. Says Ivan, “should we have had cameras in cellphones at that time, we probably would not have bothered that much.”