Eddie Carmel, the Jewish Giant

28 06 2008

A Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx, N.Y. 1970 must be one of the best known photographs of Diane Arbus.

A Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx, N.Y. 1970

Via Sound Portraits.org it is possible to listen to a radio documentary made in 1999, in which Jenny Carchman talks to people who knew Eddie Carmel, her cousin, and tries to fathom her family’s reluctance to talk about Eddie. It’s a fascinating half hour piece in which Jenny’s father remains angry at the focus on the tragedy of Eddie’s life, that makes it seem empty. It’s hard, though, not to be saddened by this tale of a bright young man earning a living as reluctant sideshow freak, all the time knowing his life would be very short as a result of his condition.

It’s well worth exploring the other radio documentaries available at the site too.

— Elizabeth

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