“This worldly, richly layered adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’s 1929 novel is one of the triumphs of the storied career of director William Wyler—and that’s saying a lot.” (New York Film Festival.) The chapter about the making of “Dodsworth”—and what went on behind the scenes—also was among the most pleasurable to write for my biography of Wyler.
Once upon a time Burt Britton asked me for a self-portrait. He subsequently included it in SELF-PORTRAIT: Book People Picture Themselves. I sent him as minimal an image as I could think of. More than three decades later he put all the originals up for auction. As I wrote at the time, many went unsold—Tomi Ungerer’s, Frank Gehry’s, Jorge Luis Borges’s. Which was ridiculous. More peculiar, mine found a buyer.
The Something Else Factor: Alison Knowles, Barbara Moore, Martha Wilson and I will be participating this evening in a panel about the glory days of Something Else Press, moderated by Hannah B. Higgins, at the Emily Harvey Foundation. It’s the first of four discussions organized by Christian Xatrec and Alice Centamore. The events are free. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
The editors of the London Review of Books say their first edition of The Beast of Brexit, the late Heathcote Williams’s takedown of Boris Johnson, sold out “in a matter of weeks” just before the Brexit referendum in 2016. After it went through several reprints, the book was published in a second edition “with a […]
A transcript of this piece was published under the title “A house of dust, computer poem” in FANTASTIC ARCHITECTURE edited by Wolf Vostell and Dick Higgins (Something Else Press, 1969). The reading, on a cassette recording made ca. 1967, was salvaged from a recent basement flood at S|U’s Manhattan perch. It features four readers, including Alison Knowles and Dick Higgins. Any help identifying the two other voices would be appreciated.
Nimble as you were in your ‘hey’day, / Your ‘wow’zone resplendent, / whenever your / Writing and way claimed a mind. / Those still on the planet salute you in love, / Winking our wish through the cosmos, / Broadcasting life’s message that yours / Is the path still to find. It used to lead / To Oxford, but now, it stretches on . . . —David Erdos
Nearly three months after Colin Asher’s biography of Nelson Algren was published, and just in time for readers to take a break from serious books as they head off on vacation to escape the summer heat, our dearly beloved newspaper of record has deigned to take notice of Never a Lovely So Real. But let’s put that aside because Susan Jacoby’s review, which will appear Sunday in the print edition of The New York Times Book Review, is not only honest, clear, and well reported, it sets a judicious standard. Which gives it credibility.
Your humble blogger has published a new collection of poems. Moloko will bring it out in a bilingual English-German edition in Germany. In the meantime, however, an American edition is now available without the translations but with a complement of images. ‘All That Would Ever After Not Be Said’ is composed of forty-two deformed sonnets of mine and forty-two collages by the late Norman O. Mustill.
‘The Dark Side of Boris Johnson’: Now that he is on his way to becoming the new Prime Minister of the U.K., the staff believes this blogpost of Aug. 24, 2016 is worth reposting: Back in April, before the Brexit vote [on June 23, 2016], Heathcote Williams wrote a merciless pamphlet, subtitled “A Study in Depravity,” about the most notorious cheerleader for the British exit from the European Union.
LET US WRITE poems easy to read / simple to understand— / not the kind of thing / that Donne or Milton / wrote, nor the Bard’s / still greater brand, / the kind of thing / we make for children / who don’t know how / to read, for grownups / who forgot or never / learned to understand— / for the dead, perhaps, / to hear the damned.
“an unknown power / the glass bell of midnight / neither sends nor tracks / whatever the hour / the quivering eye / everything human / the nearness of clouds / bright sun in blue sky” — J.H.
“Pay no heed to society. Wear the mask / of the beast over your animal face. / … Breathe through the nostrils of the dead / and witness how the evening mountains / devour the entrails of the sky.” — M.R.
Folio designed by Gerard Bellaart, with detail of a painting by Constable.
Norman Ogue Mustill (1931-2013), longtime friend and collaborator, was a little-known master collagist. His collage is from ‘Flypaper,’ originally published by Beach Books, Texts and Documents, and is not intended to illustrate the deformed sonnet facing it (which owes a debt to Evelyn Waugh). Nor is the sonnet meant as commentary on the collage. The juxtaposition was determined by chance. The dialogue between them simply honors a friendship.