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.
Robert Crumb has come in for severe disapproval. In which case, the censors will hate this old video. It was recorded on April 29, 2011 at the Society of Illustrators in New York City. The laid-on soundtrack is “Pennies From Heaven,” from “Ben Webster: King of the Tenors”; a selection from Satie’s “Nocturnes,” played by Aldo Ciccolini; and “Honeysuckle Rose,” played by Count Basie & His Orchestra.
Artists and retail stores have a history. Bonwit Teller on 5th Avenue featured avant-garde art from 1929 to 1980, starting with Salvador Dali in ’29 and including Jasper Johns in 1957. Warhol in the 1950s did windows for Tiffany’s. In that tradition Cody Simon has curated a show at Sneakersnstuff-NYC featuring Clayton Patterson’s Front Door photo series. The photos, taken at his Lower East Side storefront gallery and living quarters on Essex Street, go back to the mid-1980s up through 2019. They include a large Hispanic collection and are also multigenerational. Some of Patterson’s subjects now have children older than he was when he first photographed them.
William Levy, sometimes called “the Talmudic Wizard of Amsterdam,” has died at the age of 80. A prolific expatriate American writer and editor, he left the United States in 1966 and earned a reputation as one of the leading intellectual and sexual subversives in Europe. Levy was a master of literary outrageousness, an editor of The Insect Trust Gazette, International Times, publisher and editor of Suck magazine, and producer of the Wet Dreams Film Festival, as well as a poet and radio broadcaster.
Michael Butterworth started writing short fiction in 1966 for the British science-fiction magazine New Worlds when its editor was Michael Moorcock. He was one of the younger exponents of that New Wave of science fiction, as the movement became known, and he continued contributing to New Worlds until the editions most closely associated with Moorcock came to an end in 1979. Now he has two new books out that collect the fiction of those early years which he had thought “lost for good.”
The honorees at the 2019 NY Acker Awards made some terrific statements about the history of the Lower East Side and their commitment both to the community and to the arts, but a rap performance by Power Malu about the devastation in Puerto Rico, where people are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria and from the Trumpistan government’s failure to provide proper help, was the most notable of the evening.
“In the beginning was the Word—been in You for a toolong time.I rub out the word. You in the Word and the Word in You is a word-lock like the combination of a vault or a valise. If you love your vaults, listen no further. I spin the lock on your Interior Space Kit. Prisoner: Come Out!” — Brion Gysin
As San Francisco prepares to celebrate Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s 100th birthday on Sunday, City Lights Books will be the focus of much attention. The little paperback bookshop he launched in 1953 is now so large that it occupies an entire block of storefronts and doubles as a North Beach tourist attraction. This is what the storefront […]
The Acker Awards, now in their sixth year, are a tribute given to members of the avant-garde arts community who have made outstanding contributions in their discipline in defiance of convention, or else served their fellow writers and artists in outstanding ways. The award’s novelist namesake, in her life and work, exemplified the risk-taking and […]
Keith Patchel, a New York-based composer and producer, has created a free online/mobile application called Plinkout, which he is touting as “the easiest way to teach anyone,” especially kids, how to play an instrument as well as how to learn “the core cognitive ideas of music.” He’s looking for funding to complete his project, and […]
In a world where the difference between appropriation and exploitation can be hard to figure, Gary Lee-Nova’s devotion to the cartoonist Ernie Bushmiller makes all the difference. “I’m beyond being in love with his work,” says the author of these panels. “Although he passed in 1982, I feel like I’m collaborating with him.”
‘Culture, being the broad effect of art, is rotundly irrational and as such is perpetually operating against the economic workaday structure of society. The economic structure works towards stasis centered around static needs. It is centripetal. Culture forces change centered around changing appetites. It is centrifugal.’ — Jeff Nuttall