Shake It For the World, Smartass

One of my favorite books is a collection of essays by Seymour Krim called Views of a Nearsighted Cannoneer. Even putting it that way is an understatement. I first read it as a teenager (no little while ago, then) and have lost count how many times I've revisited it in the meantime. Krim put together two later volumes of his pieces -- each interesting in its way, but somewhat anticlimatic in the wake of Views, which is an extraordinary mixture of criticism, memoir, fiction, and cultural commentary.

To begin to account for its fascination, let alone to chart its effect on my sense of life, would take some while. And a blog is hardly the venue for such an effort.

But it's the right forum for recommending a new piece on his work by Mark Cohen. He treats Krim both as figure strangely missing from recent treatments of the Beat generation and as a writer deeply marked by a complicated relation to his own Jewish identity. I think the case could be made that Krim is also an important figure in the emergence of the New Journalism, but he's been pretty completely ignored in that respect as well.

It's an interesting essay, and its emphases do make sense. But I also have to say that Krim's remarks on his own Jewishness were never central to my reading of him, which always treated that as just one possible particular focus for the experience of self-consciousness and estrangement.

If you grow up in redneck fundamentalist-land and read whole bunch of Sartre, then Krim will probably speak to your condition -- margin of ethnic overlap or no..

September 28, 2007 3:15 PM | | Comments (0)


Leave a comment

Recent Work

Fidel Castro: My Life 
A review from Newsday
40 Years of "The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual" 
Marking the anniversary of Harold Cruse's great book
Style and Grace 
A review of a book by the late, great Grace Paley from ... sheesh, almost ten years ago.
Oh, Canada 
National identity -- going south?
The LaRouche Tabernacle Choir 
An interview with me about the LaRouche movement, on Pacifica radio in Los Angeles
Open Library 
An interview with Aaron Swartz, one of the developers....
Sailing From Ithaka 
The new report calling for a digital platform for scholarly publishing deserves a wide audience


Battle of the Titans 
Dinesh D'Souza and Alan Wolfe debating? Imagine a slime mold in conflict with a patch of mildew. It's just that inspiring.
To the Tehran Station 
Not about Edmund Wilson
more picks


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Quick Study published on September 28, 2007 3:15 PM.

Reading, Thinking, Purring was the previous entry in this blog.

Two, Three, Many Parties of the New Type is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Ads

AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.