‘As the steep streets bow to the river,
I have been falling through holes
for some months seeking a new underworld …’ — David Erdos
“This biography is truly exceptional in its prose and subject matter. If you are an avid movie fan, you’ll enjoy the wealth of information about a truly brilliant director. If you simply enjoy non-fiction material, this will be a great read as the writer presents a beautifully written story on so many levels. It’s the type of book you never want to finish.” — Hope Goldsmith
Recent literary scandals raise difficult questions for authors, publishers, and readers. Do they have an obligation to consider a writer’s personal conduct when making decisions about whether to publish or buy a book—or do they have an obligation not to? Ruth Franklin in conversation with Laura Marsh, Tim Duggan, Katha Pollitt, and Ian Buruma.
“He fell to thinking . . . slowly, listlessly, wrathfully. He thought of the vanity, the uselessness, the vulgar falsity of all things human. All the stages of man’s life passed in order before his mental gaze (he had himself lately reached his fifty-second year), and not one found grace in his eyes.” — Ivan Turgenev, from THE TORRENTS OF SPRING
“All drawing from the imagination I’d consider a form of automatic drawing; if it exists, it will exist only for the first time. … I think [my images] arise from the instinctive tendency to not look for semblances or analogies. Meaning, to find all that happens in spite of me—imagination versus verisimilitude. One forever seems to be looking for a dimension not directly visible and through the technique at one’s disposal express the sensation that evokes.” — Gerard Bellaart
This is a collectors alert. Open Head Press is about to release “Juggling Ghosts”, a series of pamphlets of previously published poems and essays by Heathcote Williams in a slipcased, numbered edition of 500 copies about his encounters — live and otherwise — with William Burroughs, Harold Pinter, Dylan Thomas, Sinclair Beiles, Christopher Marlowe, Lord Buckley, Christopher Smart, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Michael Lesser, Alan Turing, Diogenes of Synope, William Blake and the Tigers of Wrath.
The late poet Harold Norse, né Rosen, was a born maverick. His splendid Memoirs of a Bastard Angel is a delicious account of his life and involvement with too many literary legends to name. But what the hell, here goes: William Carlos Williams and W.H. Auden, Tennessee Williams and James Baldwin, Robert Graves and Paul Bowles, Anaïs Nin and Dylan Thomas, William S. Burroughs and Charles Bukowski. I’ll stop there. Now Clemson University Press is planning to bring out a collection of personal and scholarly essays about his poetry and his life, edited by A. Robert Lee and Douglas Field.
Few books have come my way as generous and wise about writers and writing as this one. The title takes as its model the phonebooks of long ago. But forget that. Remember this: The author, A. Robert Lee, is a British-born, globe-trotting, retired professor now living in Spain, whose heavyweight academic credentials disguise a common touch so light that reading him feels as charmed as floating on air.
Why am I getting that ad on my device? / Alexa, I want a divorce. Did you hear me? / I can’t spell it out for you. No, don’t thank me. / Don’t wipe my nose. I can brush my own teeth. … If I were paranoid, I would spin bold tales / of grand conspiracies. I love those fantasies. / But they’re not my thing, though in fact / they’re not unreal. Please Alexa, do shut up. / Please disappear. You are unwanted here.