VLASTA DIAMANT, an artist, author, publisher
1. Socialism v. Santa, 2015-'18 (SvS)
2. This Really Happened, 2010 (TRH)
3. Once Upon Skates, 2009 (OUS)
• Painterly MONOPRINTS 1997–2007
• MASKS 1986-1997
• Ceramic JEWELRY 1974-91
Coming ATTRACTION in September 2019: publishing The Seasoned Mind, 'zine' for Seniors by Seniors
CALLING Readers and Contributors to the "The Seasoned Mind"–
an on-line (print) 'zine' for Seniors by Seniors!
WHAT to submit:
• a short, personal story of an unusual event from your or somebody else’s life
•an anecdote, or an appropriate joke (for a ‘seasoned‘ laughter)
• a short poem (doesn’t have to rhyme, but be & ring true)
•a personal drawing
•a photograph of an interesting or a common subject, taken from an interesting angle (properly exposed & focused w. or w/o a caption)
• a vignette well-told (we can help in editing)
All are welcome to submit articles in English.
First issue is scheduled for September 2019
"Socialism v. Santa"
contemporary, John Jakubiak's review
“Vlasta Diamant in her memoir Socialism v. Santa gives us an intimate view of family relations in a locale that most Americans know only from political headlines in the Cold War era, the then-Yugoslavia of Tito. Her recollections and insights are filled with warmth and humor. She applies the wisdom of a lifetime in perusing these relationships and events and provides us with a fascinating tableaux of personalities; she contrasts her memories of those times with her later experiences in this country. Altogether a very human and interesting account.”
“A debut memoir places the author’s personal history in the panoramic context of world events. ... Diamant weaves her own autobiography into the fabric of world history, furnishing a sweeping account of the troubled past of Yugoslavia. Having grown up in postwar Yugoslavia under Tito’s rule, the author portrays a nation struggling to discover, or invent, its identity. Diamant’s reflections on socialism, an ideology she eventually, if only partially, rebelled against, are philosophically provocative: “From the start, I was buffeted by contradictory influences. Socialism implanted in us notions of equality and justice for all, while everyday life demanded to either live accordingly or skirt those ideals.” She eventually left her homeland to study in West Germany, met an American in Munich whom she married, and moved to San Francisco, a hotbed of cultural vitality, in the 1970s. There, Diamant found her bearings as an artist, a development she doubted would have been possible if she hadn’t moved to the U.S. ...
The author’s writing is clear and sharp, and her vivid anecdotal reports of her life are typically accompanied by meditative reflections on a wide range of issues, from geopolitics to poverty. The book describes her childhood as “poor but not miserable,” delivering a welcome counterpoint to Western depictions of life in postwar Yugoslavia that sensationally emphasize squalor and despair. The deaths of her mother and grandmother are poignantly discussed as transformative moments in her life, as is the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the three pillars of her self-conception. The memoir’s most satisfying aspect is the artful way the author seamlessly combines the general and the particular, making her own life a microcosm of universally relevant human dramas. In response to a postcard her uncle sent in 1938, she wrote: “What existential uncertainty—both personal and of the times.” The reader will likely feel the same about this affecting remembrance.
A deep, vibrant recollection of a fascinating life lived in tumultuous times.”