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Meet Maxine Hong Kingston!

April 4th, 2021

  • (Photo by Judy Dater – via)

    Maxine Hong Kingston wiki

    In an interview published in American Literary History, Kingston disclosed her admiration for Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf, and William Carlos Williams, who were inspirational influences for her work, shaping her analysis of gender studies. Kingston said of Walt Whitman’s work,
    I like the rhythm of his language and the freedom and the wildness of it. It’s so American. And also his vision of a new kind of human being that was going to be formed in this country—although he never specifically said Chinese—ethnic Chinese also—I’d like to think he meant all kinds of people. And also I love that throughout Leaves of Grass he always says ‘men and women,’ ‘male and female.’ He’s so different from other writers of his time, and even of this time. Even a hundred years ago he included women and he always used [those phrases], ‘men and women,’ ‘male and female.’

    Kingston named the main character of Tripmaster Monkey (1989) Wittman Ah Sing, after Walt Whitman

    Similarly, Kingston’s praise of William Carlos Williams expresses her appreciation of his seemingly genderless work:

    I love In the American Grain because it does the same thing. Abraham Lincoln is a ‘mother’ of our country. He talks about this wonderful woman walking through the battlefields with her beard and shawl. I find that so freeing, that we don’t have to be constrained to being just one ethnic group or one gender– both [Woolf and Williams] make me feel that I can now write as a man, I can write as a black person, as a white person; I don’t have to be restricted by time and physicality.

  • Blog of Awesome Women – Maxine Hong Kingston – literary Warrior

  • April First, The Joke – Yet Another Birthday for Milan Kundera

    April 1st, 2021

  • Happy birthday Milan Kundera!

    In 1975, Kundera moved to France where The Book of Laughter and Forgetting was published in 1979. An unusual mixture of novel, short story collection, and authorial musings which came to characterize his works in exile, the book dealt with how Czechs opposed the communist regime in various ways. (via wiki)

  • In his first novel, The Joke (1967), he satirizes the totalitarianism of the Communist era. His criticism of the Soviet invasion in 1968 led to his blacklisting in Czechoslovakia and the banning of his books. (via his wiki)

  • Milan Kundera joyfully accepts Czech Republic’s Franz Kafka Prize (Last year Sept,2020)

  • Last year Milan Kundera donated his library and archive to Moravia Library in Brno

    Jacques Barzun and Friends

    March 30th, 2021
  • Jacques Barzun and Friend (American Scholar)
    What did a distinguished historian, and possibly a great man, see in an unkempt young would-be writer?
    By Arthur Krystal | March 23, 2021

    More important, he had a soothing effect on me. I was calmer in his presence, as if the world wasn’t all about struggle, competition, and jockeying for position. Somehow he seemed detached from such things, and it was a detachment that subtly transferred to me. And when I think back on how little I knew then and how well I thought of myself (the two obviously went hand-in-hand), I see that he came along at a moment when I needed someone who represented what adulthood could be like, even if I sensed that my own would be very different. And so, for 40 years, whenever I heard his distinct but slightly throaty voice, the world made a little bit more sense, and it was a pleasure to make him laugh.


  • Jacques Barzun, 30 Nov 1907 – 25 Oct 2012
    Historian & Scholar dies at 104 (NYtimes)

    Jacques Barzun (on vimeo)

    The Achievement of Jacques Barzun (The First Things)

    Cynthia Ozick – “the last of the thoroughgoing generalists,”

  • My notion about any artist is that we honor him best by reading him, by playing his music, by seeing his plays or by looking at his pictures. We don’t need to fall all over ourselves with adjectives and epithets. Let’s play him more.
    — Jacques Barzun, in an interview with John C. Tibbetts

    Barzun 100 (a blog dedicted to Barzun)

  • Darwin Marx Wagner
    (Cover by Leonard Baskin, Typography by Edward Gorey)

    Update: Endless Rewriting (Another article from American Scholar).

    When a novice writer received a letter from Jacques Barzun, asking her to write a book, how could she have known what she was in for?
    By Helen Hazen

  • Adieu, Author, Scriptwriter Jean, Claude Carrière at aged 89 (Feb 8, 2021)

    February 9th, 2021

  • (Carrière died in Paris on 8 February 2021, aged 89)

    Jean Claude Carriere, Belle de Jour, Tin Drum screenwriter (Obit from Hollywood Reporter)

    Interview on youtube

  • belle-de-jour-1966-pierre-clementi3
    Pierre Clementi from Belle de jour

    (Via wiki)

    Carrière was born in Colombières-sur-Orb, France, the son of Alice and Felix Carrière, a farmer.[2] He published his first novel, Lézard, in 1957. He was introduced to Jacques Tati, who had him write short novels based on his films. Through Tati, he met Pierre Étaix, with whom Carrière wrote and directed several films, including Heureux Anniversaire, which won them the Academy Award for Best Short Subject. His nineteen-year collaboration with Buñuel began with the film Diary of a Chambermaid (1964); he co-wrote the screenplay with Buñuel and also played the part of a village priest. Carrière and the director would collaborate on the scripts of nearly all Buñuel’s later films, including Belle de Jour (1967), The Milky Way (1969), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), The Phantom of Liberty (1974) and That Obscure Object of Desire (1977).

    He also wrote screenplays for The Tin Drum (1979), Danton (1983), The Return of Martin Guerre (1982), La dernière image (1986), The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), Valmont (1989), Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), Birth (2004), and Goya’s Ghosts (2006), and co-wrote Max, Mon Amour (1986) with director Nagisa Oshima. He also collaborated with Peter Brook on a nine-hour stage version of the ancient Sanskrit epic The Mahabharata, and a five-hour film version. In 1998 he provided the libretto for Hans Gefors’ fifth opera Clara, which was premiered at the Opéra-Comique in Paris.[3]
    His work in television includes the series Les aventures de Robinson Crusoë (1964), a French-West German production much seen overseas.

  • Thief of Paris, directed by Louis Malle, see Jean Claude Carrier in cameo appearing with Jean Paul Belmondo here.

  • Moreau as a chambermaidJeanne Moreau from the Diary of Chambermaid by Luis Bunuel.


  • In 2012, Carrière and Umberto Eco published a book of conversations on the future of information carriers.[4]
    When Jean Claude Carrier imagined the future of Books with Umberto Eco

    Umberto Eco, Previous post, We Salute the Enigma of his passing

  • 1aBDanielLena

    Daniel Day Lewis and Lena Olin from the “Unbearable Lightness of Being”, scripted by Jean Claude Carrier.

    Chinese Box 1aHKchinesebox
    (Maggie Cheung and Jeremy Iron in the Chinese Box, also starring Gong-li)

    Jean Claude Carrier assisted with scriptwriting for Wayne Wang in Chinese Box

    RIP Mary Catherine Bateson – Daughter of Mead & Bateson

    January 15th, 2021
  • Mary Catherine Bateson (wiki)

    Mary Catherine Bateson (December 8, 1939 – January 2, 2021) was an American writer and cultural anthropologist.

    MCBateson

    We Are Not What We Know but What We are Willing to Learn.

    Legacy Obit

  • Edge obit – Mary Catherine Bateson: Systems Thinker

  • Bateson & Mead

  • >

    Thank you Mary Catherine Bateson, this reader devoured her books, she was passionate.

    David Goodis Author of “Down There” & “The Moon In the Gutter”

    January 7th, 2021

  • The Moon in the Gutter – Crimson Kimono. com

    David Goodis wiki (March 2, 1917 – January 7, 1967)

  • 1aznavour2
    Shoot the Piano Player
    (Truffaut archive here)

    (Truffaut, Charles Aznavour and Marie Dubois)

  • David Goodis Bleak Beautiful Vision of humanity

    It’s difficult to find quotes from David Goodis about his own approach to writing, but the accolades and insights of others help fill the gap. Ed Gorman once said that “David Goodis didn’t write novels, he wrote suicide notes,” and if we think of the literature of the suicide note, filled with equal parts anguish, guilt, love, and attempts to understand, then David Goodis’ work would easily fit within these bounds. His characters are broken down shadows of their former selves, worried more about damaging those they love then worrying about damage to themselves; as full of weaknesses, contradictions, and surprising resistances as Goodis himself.

  • Pulp International

  • David Goodis biography – LA times

  • Our Hero, John Le Carre Showed us the World beyond England

    December 15th, 2020

  • (Photo of John Le Carre by Lord Snowdon)

    Atlantic Obit

    John le Carré Knew England’s Secrets
    He revealed more about the country’s ruling class than any political writer of his era.

    John Le Carre Com

    wiki

    Favorite Film Adaptations

  • Writers, Friends remembered John Le Carre

  • Actor Ralph Fiennes and author John Le Carre pose for photographs at an auction in aid of The Constant Gardeners’ Trust, at the Soho Hotel in London, Sunday March 12, 2006. The trust was set up to help the people of Kenya, where the book and film The Constant Gardener, was set. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA

    Ralph Fiennes, actor
    When I was approached by [producer] Simon Channing Williams in 2003 about making The Constant Gardener, I was already an enormous fan of le Carré’s books. I loved the world he created. And then I met the man, and he was so charming and generous of spirit and immediately available for conversation about the novel and the character. I must have fired all sorts of spurious questions at him but I just remember how he was very gregarious and excited about the project. (viaread more)


  • (Ralph Fiennes and Pete Postlethwaite from the Constant Gardner)
    The Constant Gardner


  • John Le Carre on Philip Seymour Hoffman

    (Philip Seymour Hoffman with German cast)

    A Most Wanted Man – Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Last film

    10 ways of getting to know John Le Carre Novels

    Update: His son revealed that John Le Carre became Irish

    Gore Vidal with Friends & Enemies

    October 2nd, 2020
  • Gore Vidal
    Born Eugene Louis Vidal
    October 3, 1925
    West Point, New York, U.S

  • (Gore Vidal with Noam Chomsky –
    Now is a great moment to listen to Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky talking in 1991)

  • Anais Nin and Gore

    Gore Vidal in Rome

  • 1abestgorevidal

    NY Magazine (Best of Enemies)

    Michael Ondaatjie

    September 12th, 2020
  • (Happy birthday Michael Ondaatjie– Sept 12)

    See photos of him from his life here
    In Ceylon

  • 76 facts you might not know about on Michael Ondaatjie

    31. Ondaatje calls his novels “cubist,” by which he means that he eschews linear narratives and experiments with the form.

  • See a photo of Ondaatjie and Ralph Fiennes here.
    Breaking the Rules

    One of his beloved books “Coming Through Slaughter” is a fictional story of New Orleans, Louisiana about 1900, very loosely based on the lives of jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden and photographer E. J. Bellocq. Winner of the 1976 Books in Canada First Novel Award.
    New Orleans and vicinity at the turn of the century is the setting for the novel. Consider the places where the action occurs: N. Joseph’s Shaving Parlor, the river, Shell Beach, the Brewitts, Webb’s cottage, the streets of Storyville, Bellocq’s studio, Bolden’s home with Nora and the children, the mental hospital.

  • Willem Dafoe interviewed Michael Ondaatjie
    He has given many interviews but the interview with William Dafoe, Michael became more open and revealing. He said, “I went into a tailspin after The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. I won an award for it in Canada and I went into this hole. So I wrote Coming Through Slaughter, which was a huge fury about fame. It was on a very small scale, but it was big enough. I mean, the thing is to continue to avoid being self-conscious. To write and forget that you wrote other books.”
    “I have a tendency to remove more and more in the process of editing. Often I’ll write the first chapter last, because it sets up the story. The last thing I wrote in Coming Through Slaughter was “His geography,” almost like a big landscape shot, with buried clues you can pick up later. ”

    On the genesis of plane crash image for English Patient:

    “WD: Where did you get the central image of the plane crash, do you even remember?
    MO: I just got the image and it was there. The artist, Joseph Beuys, was in a plane crash in the far north, not in the desert, but I already had this image in my head. It was one of those things where I’d heard about Beuys and his obsession with felt and that worked its way in too. That was enough. I didn’t need to know anymore. The medicine man… ”
    He then continues to talk about Herodotus, Charles Olson and Robert Creeley.
    “MO: I had already read some of him. Then there was a reference to him in one of the explorer’s desert journals; one guy who said, “I was responsible for our library on one of our expeditions. But our library was only one book, Herodotus” And I thought that was great, because he was an historian writing about a place where these guys are many hundreds of years later. The idea of a contemporary history and an ancient history that links up… These explorers in the 1930s were out of time. I love the idea of them checking out sand dune formations. I love historical obsessives. And I kept thinking of writers like Charles Olson and Robert Creeley in some odd way. Creeley in his toughness, brittleness and lovely guarded lyricism was a clue for me about the patient, Almasy. And this wonderful, heroic era of exploration that was then ignored, while the twentieth century became more mercenary or mercantile. Also Herodotus’ sense of history is great because it’s very much based on rumor. “

    The End Judges Everything by Herodotus (with original greek text)
    The world according to Herodotus
    Herodotus’ Histories

    Michael O. shares birthday with these two historical figures.
    Lorenzo di Medici
    9/12/1492 – 5/4/1519
    Florentine ruler (1513-9)

    Francis I
    9/12/1494 – 3/31/1547
    French king and patron of the arts and scholarship (1515-47 )

    RIP Larry Kramer – Author, Aids Activist

    May 27th, 2020
  • Larry Kramer, Aids activist dies

    Larry Kramer, groundbreaking author and Aids activist, dies aged 84

    Larry Kramer wiki

  • Mark Ruffalo Came To Love Larry Kramer While Making “The Normal Heart”

  • “Larry cried in my arms once. He was so young. I melted.” — Ken Russell

    (via Lisi Tribble)

    Larry Kramer scripted “Women in Love”

    Ken Russell – http://www.mutanteggplant.com/vitro-nasu/2011/11/28/ken-russell-the-mad-music-lover/

    Posted by Fung-Lin Hall on Monday, July 3, 2017

  • RIP Deidre Bair, Passing of Beckett Biographer

    April 24th, 2020
  • Biographer of Beckett, Beauvoir & Jung, Deirdre Bair Died (NYtimes)
    Irish Times obit

  • Wiki

    Deirdre Bair (21 June, 1935 – 17 April, 2020) was an American writer and biographer. She was the author of six works of nonfiction.
    Bair received a National Book Award for Samuel Beckett: A Biography (1978).[1][a] Her biographies of Simone de Beauvoir and Carl Jung[2] were finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her biographies of Anaïs Nin and Simone de Beauvoir were chosen by The New York Times as “Best Books of the Year”,

  • On the difficulty of convincing Samuel Beckett of just about anything

    Deirdre Bair, Biographer of Record, Recalls Their First Meeting

    (Literary Hub)


    (Photo of Samuel Beckett by Steve Schapiro)
    Samuel Becket Archive

  • Saul Steinberg

  • RIP Patricia Bosworth April, 2020.
    April 24 – birthday of Patricia Bosworth, biographer of Marlon, Monty and Diane Arbus

  • Jojo Rabbit/Screenplay

    February 21st, 2020

  • (Jojo Rabbit – Thomasin McKenzie, Roman Griffin Davies and Taika Waititi)

    Let everything happen to you
    Beauty and terror
    Just keep going
    No feeling is final

    Rainer Maria Rilke

    Page 93 from the Screenplay of Jojo Rabbit
    (Rilke was born in Prague. Jojo Rabbit was filmed in historical towns and villages in the Czech Republic. The interiors were built in the Barrandov Studios in Prague.)

    See where this screenplay showed up first.
    Jojo R Script
    (For Your Consideration)