My correspondence with writers and poets of the Beat, post-Beat and Fluxus periods, along with other literary artifacts, was acquired by Northwestern University Library. In case you’re interested, the collection is described in the library’s cleverly named Jan Herman Archive.#
My literary taste in fiction writers runs to Joseph Conrad, William S. Burroughs, Nelson Algren, Graham Greene, Eric Ambler, and John Le Carre. But their books are not necessarily what I’ve been reading lately.
As a former theater reviewer, I’ve lost my taste for theater. As the biographer of a great Hollywood director, I’ve been spoiled by his movies. As a former film reviewer, I don’t know why most of today’s film critics bother. If I had to pick a movie critic to read over the long haul, it would be Roger Ebert because he’s probably the best writer of the lot — not because I agree with him or like his taste.
Favorite literary critic? Clive James. Favorite music critic? Martin Bernheimer. Favorite television critic once upon a time? Clive James.