Another strange fact: 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. Jed Birmingham has also written about my literary adventures.
My taste in writers keeps changing, but these are old reliables: Joseph Conrad, William S. Burroughs, George Orwell, Nelson Algren, and Graham Greene among the dead, John Le Carré and Clive James among the living. As a former theater reviewer, I’ve lost my appreciation for most theater these days. As a biographer of William Wyler, one of Hollywood’s great directors — and as a former film reviewer — I don’t know why most of today’s film critics even bother.