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With his second novel, The White Bridge, Robert Rubenstein has staked his claim to historical psychiatric literary fiction. Using the weapon of parody, fantasy, and the dreamscape of horror,Robert toils to understand history, especially the roots of racism and prejudice. A friend to "Rocky and Bullwinkle," the author recognizes what role fractured fairy tales had on his arrested development. Currently teaching a college course for graduating seniors in advanced topics: the psychology of racism,

Saturday, March 10, 2012

GHOST RUNNERS and THE WHITE BRIDGE--SCRIBBLINGS OF ROB RUBENSTEIN: An Acknowledgement to Hildegarde Flanner

GHOST RUNNERS and THE WHITE BRIDGE--SCRIBBLINGS OF ROB RUBENSTEIN: An Acknowledgement to Hildegarde Flanner

An Acknowledgement to Hildegarde Flanner

The White Bridge is not unique in the annals of American literature, though it may well have been. Just yesterday, a very small, yellowish-bound, but otherwise perfectly preserved copy of a one act play arrived delicately by post from San Francisco. It cost me seven dollars, and gave me, in my hands, the connecting link with my own history. The White Bridge-A One Act Play, written in 1938 by Hildegaarde Flanner. Turns out, Hildegaarde was quite a conservationist, planter, essayist and poet and did some prolific work. Also, the copy sent me has to be rare because it was signed by her as a greeting to a reader. The date also was perhaps prophetic: December 7, 1938.
So, it was with an eerie feeling that I began reading Hildegarde's vision of what I thought was solely mine. Now, those who know my family understand our love for the southwest, indian territory, Alburquerque, and the ever quirky Gallup, New Mexico. Just now i have turnede my attention southwest while awaiting publication of my white bridge. But as soon as i turned the first few pages, i see Hildegaarde describing her bridge as mythical --like mine, as vast, as mine, as white. And the bridge is a connection over a canyon in ...the southwest. Not only that. It involves a crime and newsboys and newspapers and selling the news ... like mine.
I know after reading Herman Hesse Magister Ludi that connections between two events are very likely in the universe of matter. But i am beginning to think that people through history, unbeknownst to each other, are compatriots of the spirit and suffer from similar visions. Hildegarde, by signing her copy to a reader three years to the the most fateful day in American history until, perhaps, 911, was foreshadowing events that foretold of the war ...that spectacle that is so prevalent that is the raison d'etre of my The White Bridge. So thank you, H.F. I wonder, when I finish your play, will the white bridge stand or, eventually crumble to dust like ...that bridge in southeast Asia, over the river ...Kwai.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A.Z's Bridge

I didn't give a proper testimonial to AZ, for her extraordinary illustration that will grace the bindings of The White Bridge. In the course of our professional relationship, we quibbled, we fought, we did everything but throw spears. I had a vision; she had a passion that matched mine. It took one conversation for me to take Ginger Lee to the nth dimension. But AZ clung stubbornly to the cables and the pylons and would not leave my bridge.
"We're talking about a quintessential American piece of ass in a godless universe," I said. "Get off my bridge."
She drew a pious "old world" woman. "If you want, you can fire me," she said.
By then, I was committed to the genius that I knew lurked behind euro-sensitivities. When she talked shop, she was in another universe, far from the wordy one that inhabits my brain. Insightful, right to the point, this young woman ran rings around my creation and put up with a vicious, old man bent on his own design.
"O.kay," it's time to cast Ginger Lee," she said. She guided me along until my vision was framed by the reality of what she saw. For Anya Zelenkova really saw what I dreamed and infused it with the breadth of life that for me was a still-life creation.
When you read The White Bridge, you will remember the Remagen Bridge and the pinwheel soldier who steered tanks over the crossing to become the first American troops in Nazi Germany. That man, in reality, was my own father of blessed memory. He would not give up that bridge. Nor would Anya, hers.
AZ is a pinwheel soldier and she did battle with me, for OUR creation: a story of racism and revenge. The bridge is now Anya's. Stand, AZ, with me, toward a newer, more profound vision of justice and America..

Sunday, March 4, 2012

On Fire With Ginger Lee

“ ... there is a connection to a bridge that they draw like Jesus on a mural, in the dashboards of the American brain. It’s being built, in reality, an irresistible idea, from our country to theirs, to Nazi Germany. Verschauer’s assistant is a doctor named Josef Mengele. He has zeal to study twins. What are Nazis doing here? It’s about racism and where it is all headed; a bad seed, a party I don’t want to be at, at all, but it may be too late to do anything about the blood that is about to be spilled.”
How she envied the passion, but not the plan that had the will to believe in a cause without a care. They lynched, burned, hanged, how else could they kill? Hate, not love, was the fuel to run the engine. She had a pen and a gun, but didn’t know how to fire either effectively. She would have to really learn how to use it, she thought. She would have to have more reason to fight fire with fire. She would have to hate more to be of real service to the nation. Then she remembered the outrage to Jenny Love, and, in Stockton California, to herself. There was an evil about, skirting like a stone across the ocean that nobody could foresee because, well before Mengele came for their eyes, America already had gone blind.
What would Nelly Bly have done? She wondered. “Just get me the bullets, Buddy.”
“Ginger, Ginger Lee,” Bud Grant said, but the telephone line had already gone dead.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Last Tango With Ginger Lee

Today i let go of my gal, Ginger Lee. Well, she was never really mine, anyway. Just someone i carried along with me for about two years. maybe even longer. For i have known that fighting spirit in the eyes of my beloved nieces, two of whom are no longer here, but who hold the dedication to The White Bridge for their spirit that burst the confines of my heart, and could not sustain itself on solid earth. As they cried out for justice denied, so has my Ginger. And so i thank the memory of the young women who stay unblemished by time: Pamela and Debra. I miss you.
Next week, The White Bridge is a reality. i will recede and hope i aimed it properly ... to have told the tale ... that engulfed my heart. And so i let go to all but the memories of their laughter, and their heart that was long ago, but ever-present and unblemished in my soul. You see, D.B., i never did forget you.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I used to want to see my name in print

and when I was thirteen, I won ten dollars by picking fourteen out of fifteen football games for The New York Daily News contest. How I loved cutting out coupons and sending them in using my whole family; even one for Timothy Rubenstein, my turtle.With my latest novel about to explode, it is no longer about me. Would i publish anonymously, I don't think so. But the message is far more important than the messenger. Edwin Black had thousands of tentacles uncovering facts; the research about WW2. I found it impossible not to have visions, and focused ... well, on the eyes. I want everyone to read this book because there is injustice that begs for resolution, not because I have written some words on the subject. I''m sure, even Timothy would be proud.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The EXCITEMENT IS PALPABLE

Things are coming together fast. Zelenkova's amazing illustration is almost a replica of my mind's vision. Until the brain-child becomes published, the writer only has the belief he is somewhere between schizophrenia or the magical purple poetry of an inward journey. But when it takes corporeal form, it is akin, I suspect, to birth pangs. Though it has little conscience or remorse for the undertaking. It is soon breathes its own life. At agent's conventions, the bastards want you to describe your book in one sentence. How dare they reduce Rubenstein to one small gasp! However, if I had to, I would say this:
The White Bridge
"Ginger Lee is a cub reporter,trailing a killer through time; from Jazz Age Chicago through Nazi Germany to the grave of a beloved assassinated President. The White Bridge is very real, but for Ginger Lee to do combat with the evils of her time, she must learn to face her own demons. For her to engage them in battle,she must learn how to hate. Her enemies are able teachers."
Now how's that 4 1 sentence?