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
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
“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
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.