Apr 162003
 
Authors: Troy Briggs

Being Author’s Day, we at The Collegian thought

it would be interesting to make a human connection

with a real life, published writer. Lucky for us we

found one that graduated from our very own fine school

in 1999.

Brian Kaufman is a middle aged chef at The

Moot House, a great local restaurant. He is a very

pleasant man to sit down and talk with. On a second

listen to the tape; two things stuck out to me that

cannot be quoted. First of all, Kaufman has an

incredibly clear and concise voice, next to his clear

voice my sputtering seemed almost nonexistent.

Secondly, and far more telling, He has a hearty and

willing laugh. Kaufman is the author of “The Breach” a

historical novel concerning the battle of the Alamo,

seen from the Mexican perspective. Principally the

story is told through the diary of a Mexican general.

Kaufman has been writing since he was quite young but

it has become a concrete and serious part of his life

in the more recent past. He was the manager of two restaurants and was forced into bankruptcy.

While speaking about this turbulent period of his life he said “One way to get through (the chaos) would be to give myself a picture of a future that might be

more enjoyable or compelling.”

From this point on he went into writing.

He tackled his first attempt at a final version of “The Breach” and

attempted to submit it for publication. After some nibbles he realized that

he wanted to solidify his skills at CSU and resubmit.

After two years he graduated and was able to put the

ground beneath his novel where it was soon picked up to be published.

Kaufman’s next novel is a completely different form

from his first. His second novel is about a skip

tracer (a sort of cheap private eye that works over

the Internet to find lost people). The detective is

asked by a widower to find Jesus Christ to answer a

question. I was shocked when I heard this, historical

fiction to a metaphysical, Internet-based mystery?

Wow. When I asked him how he connects his desire to

create to both of these very different novels he

replied:

“The connection between any of the novels that I do

is subjectivity. I’m interested in the notion of how

we view ourselves and how when it falls apart we try

to pull it back together. So some of my characters

are fragmented and usually are going through some sort

of trauma, I thought to myself, what if I could

describe the postmodern mind that is happy with the

notion of being fragmented, that could react to it

positively, that would realize the empowerment of not

having to hold together. The empowerment of not

having to pretend to every one else that he is not the

messed up one. We all imagine that everyone else is

whole and solid and so we spend our energy trying to

hide the fact that we are not.”

Fragmentation and the search for an illusion of

solidity is at the base of our human situation.

“People put it together, when you are watching a motion

picture you are watching all of these individual

frames and your mind forces motion on it the way we

force continuity on a narrative or on a sense of our

own past,” Kaufman said.

From the chaos of bankruptcy Kaufman found safety in

expressing fragmentation. When I asked him how the

writing of his novels has effected his life growth he

responded, “I am very comfortable with being fragmented

now.”

Look for Kaufman’s first novel “The Breach” and

his upcoming novel “The Conspiracy of Weeds.” On this

Author’s Day I salute Kaufman’s drive and vision. I

salute all of you authors out there that are in the

process of expressing your world.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.