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The Weight of Harold Bloom & His Western Canon

October 15th, 2019
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    Derrida and Harold Bloom

    Guardian Obit

  • Harold Bloom on the Band
    (Harold Bloom thought Levon Helm was the heart and soul of the Band)

    On Iris Murdoch

    In his edited volume on Iris Murdoch, Harold Bloom wrote that no contemporary British novelist could rival her skill. The Good Apprentice and Bruno’s Dream were both included in Bloom’s Western Canon, and he also admired The Black Prince and The Word Child.

    In his New York Times review of The Good Apprentice, Bloom wrote that “Of all her talents, the gift of plotting is the most formidable, including a near-Shakespearean faculty for intricate double plots.” He describes her as “a religious fabulist, of an original and unorthodox sort” who “thinks for herself theologically as well as philosophically,” starting out as an existentialist before turning to a kind of post-Christian Platonism.(via)

    1artirisMurdoch

    Walter Benjamin, Iris and Derrida (previous post)

    Peter Handke , the Nobel Win & the Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty Kick

    October 10th, 2019

  • (Peter Handke Moravia Night)

    (Peter Handke google image gallery)

  • A Troubling Choice, Authors criticise Peter Handke

  • Handke collaborated with director Wim Wenders on a film version of The Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty, wrote the script for Wenders’ The Wrong Move, and co-wrote the screenplay for Wenders’ Wings of Desire and The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez. He has also directed films, including from his own novels, The Left-Handed Woman and The Absence. (wiki)

    Mario Vargas Llosa and Peter Handke

    Repost from my previous post on Peter Falk below
    Peter Falk is counterweight to Peter Handke?

    Wenders had admired Peter Falk in Cassavetes’ films in the 1970’s, and it was probably from Cassavetes that he obtained Falk’s telephone number. He phoned one evening, introduced himself, told a little about the film and explained that he needed a former angel, to which Peter Falk replied after a pause: “How did you know?” When Falk asked whether a script could be sent, Wenders said that he had nothing at all in writing about this ex-angel, not even a single page. If anything, that apparently made the part even more interesting to Falk, who answered: “Ah, I’ve worked like that before with Cassavetes, and honestly I prefer working without a script.”
    Falk arrived in Berlin one Friday in November and he and Wenders spent the weekend together, developing the role on the basis of taped improvisations. All of Falk’s scenes were shot the following week, and Falk returned to Los Angeles.

    Peter Falk-les ailes du désir (Wings of Desire)

    RIP Toni Morrison, The Nobel Prize Author of Black Experience

    August 6th, 2019
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    Via

  • Time Obit

    Toni Morrison, Seminal Author Who Stirringly Chronicled the Black American Experience, Dies at 88

  • Amy Goodman – Democracy Now

    Toni Morrison Will Always Be with Us”: Angela Davis, Nikki Giovanni & Sonia Sanchez Pay Tribute

  • Toni Morrison (wiki)

  • Paris Review (Remembering Toni Morrison)

  • Toni Morrison

    Photo via

    Nelson Algren – “Never a Lovely So Real”

    March 20th, 2019

  • Nelson with Simone de Beauvoir –Paris with Sartre, Chicago with Nelson Algren

  • Chicago Man Nelson Algren
    (click to see large)

  • Nelson Algren – (Nation)

    J. Edgar Hoover sought to destroy Nelson Algren’s career — and was largely successful.

    Into this maelstrom comes the first three-pound excavation of Algren, Colin Asher’s Never a Lovely So Real: The Life and Work of Nelson Algren, which Norton is bringing out, with some fanfare, in April. Besides being larger in size and scope than any previous biography of this last celebrant of what once was called Proletarian Literature, Asher’s book is devotional and beautifully written, seven years in the making, its sentences capturing the very same mix of lyricism and street, hard truths and sentimentality that made Algren himself so special. It delves into Algren’s lifelong struggle to stay true to his credo, his soulful cry that the purpose of any writer is to stand up to power, to take the judge down from the bench, to give voice to the voiceless. And it delivers a wrenching portrait of a man who struggled to maintain his sanity and his spirit in a society that was well prepared to see its writers give up or sell out, but struggled to comprehend writers who persevered and paid the price as Algren did.

  • Photo via

  • Studs Terkel salutes a seriously funny man
    (Visit youtube on Terkel and Nelson Algren)

  • RIP Donald Keene – Enigmatic, Eminent Scholar of Japanese Literature

    February 24th, 2019
  • Japanese Literature Scholar, Translater Donald Keene died at 96.

  • 1AAAkutagawaDonaldMishima
    Akutagawa Hiroshi, Mishima and Donald Keene
    Mishima (his final performance)

  • His autobiography is an excellent read.. what an amazing life.

    Keene Observation Donald Keene (On his 84th birthday)

  • Donald Keene

  • Interesting review of his book by Colin Marshall.. Donald Keene on Familiar Terms.

  • Enigmatic Emperor Emperor Meiji

    The Passing of an Elegrant Writer/Critic , Francine Du Plessix Gray

    January 16th, 2019

  • Portrait of Francine Du Plessix Gray by Balthus and Man Ray.


  • (Francine with her parents) became a cover photo of her book “Them”.

    Francine Du Plessix Gray passed away

  • Francine du Plessix Gray (1933–2019)

    Francine du Plessix Gray, the French-American reporter, critic, novelist, and feminist known for her elegance and unsparingness in chronicling issues of the self and beyond, died in Manhattan on Sunday from complications of congestive heart failure. She was eighty-eight years old.

    Gray’s upbringing was defined by both entitlement and loss. Born to a French father and a Russian mother in Warsaw’s French embassy in 1933, Gray emigrated from France to New York with her mother, Tatiana Yakovleva, after her father’s plane was shot down by fascists near Gibraltar in 1940. In New York, Yakovleva—once a muse for the Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky—married socialite and future Condé Nast director Alexander Liberman and eventually became a prolific milliner for Saks Fifth Avenue. Gray recounted her complex childhood and family life in 2006’s Them: A Memoir of Parents, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

  • Paris Review – Francine and sorrel soup.

  • Gore Vidal on “At Home With The Marquis de Sade – (A Life) by Francine Du Plessix Gray

    “It was brilliant idea of Francine du Plessix Gray to re-create not so much the “Monster” who was to become, somber fate, an adjective but the actual man who spent so much of his time in prisons… thanks not only to his sexual capers but, also, to a real-life monster, his mother-in-law, who would have walked off with Les Liaisons Dangereuses had the author dared cast her.
    “This is an elegant, enlightend Enlightenment study of a powerful sexual imagination trapped in the mere human body, not to mention the Bastille from which it would take a revolution to free him—and us, his unborn readers.”

    Elizabeth Bishop & Robert Lowell – Turning Pain into Art

    October 6th, 2018
  • Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop – Tragic Muses

  • Elizabeth Bishop
    February 8, 1911 – October 6, 1979

    Biography 0f Bishop 2017 (Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast
    by Megan Marshall)

    One Art – see her painting + many great links (previous post)

  • Reaching for the Moon – Brazilian film on Elizabeth Bishop (trailer)

    RIP Paul Virilio, An Aesthetic Philosopher of Bunker Archeology

    September 26th, 2018
  • Frieze

    How Philosopher Paul Virilio (1932–2018) Spoke to an Age of Acceleration and Total War


  • Claude Parent and Paul Virilio


    via


  • Paul Virilio (wiki) (French: [viʁiljo]; 4 January 1932 – 10 September 2018)[3] was a French cultural theorist, urbanist, and aesthetic philosopher. He is best known for his writings about technology as it has developed in relation to speed and power, with diverse references to architecture, the arts, the city and the military.
    According to two geographers, Virilio was a “historian of warfare, technology and photography, a philosopher of architecture, military strategy and cinema, and a politically engaged provocative commentator on history, terrorism, mass media and human-machine relations

  • Bunker Archeology

    Magdalene Jetelova
    – in which she laser-projected select quotations from, what else, Paul Virilio’s Bunker Archaeology onto the half-submerged fortifications found scattered along Normandy’s beaches.

    Magdalene Jetalova (Czech artist)

  • RIP Annette Michelson, Pioneer Film Critic, Co-Founder of “October”

    September 18th, 2018

  • Annette Michelson (photo via)

  • Art News – Annette Michelsonk Pioneering Film Critic, Co-founder October dies at 96.


  • Photo by Fung Lin Hall

  • RIP Tom Clark, Poet, Biographer & Beyond the Pale Blogger

    August 20th, 2018
  • Tom Clark, 2010. Poet – photo by John Sarsgard

  • Beyond the Pale an extraordinary blog by Tom Clark.

    Tom Clark Renowned Poet and Biographer dies in North Berkeley traffic collision.

    Jacket Interview
    (Tom Clark thought Ron Padgett was a far superior poet of my generation.. )
    Ron Padgett and Paterson – (scroll down)

  • Samuel Beckett – My Family with extraordinary photos from Jakarta Indonesia here (from Tom Clark’s blog)

  • The Mystic Masseur Nobel Prized Author V.S. Naipaul Dies at 85

    August 12th, 2018

  • Portrait by Paul Emsley at the National Portrait Gallery

    The World is What it is (The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul, Patrick French, 2008 – reviewed by Agog)

    Guardian obit

    VS Naipaul, Nobel prize-winning British author, dies aged 85.

    Ian Buruma on Naipaul (the Poet of the Displaced)

    An Appraisal- NYtimes..

    V.S.Naipaul wiki
    5 things Probably Didn’t know about V.S.Naipaul

    1) He had a nervous breakdown while studying at Oxford, and spent all his money on a trip to Spain
    2)He wrote his first story collection in five weeks (read more from the above link)


  • Pat and V.S Naipaul

    V.S.Naipal and Harold Pinter here.

  • Kureishi Novel echoes Life of V. S.Naipaul

  • Paris Review

  • Naipaul’s gentle side ..

  • INTERVIEWER
    Do you ever wonder what would have become of you if you had stayed in Trinidad?
    NAIPAUL
    I would have killed myself. A friend of mine did—out of stress, I think. He was a boy of mixed race. A lovely boy, and very bright. It was a great waste.
    INTERVIEWER
    Is he the boy that you mention in the introduction to A House for Mr. Biswas?
    NAIPAUL
    Yes, he is the boy I had in mind. We shared an admiration for each other. His death was terrible.

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    MYSTIC MASSEUR, Ayesha Dharker, Om Puri, 2001(c) Think Film. . Merchant Ivory production..
    story by V.S. Naipal.
    Om Puri in Mystic Masseur

    Ken Russell, Kafka and Tom Stoppard Born on July 3.

    July 3rd, 2018
  • 1aaDevilsKen
    Ken Russell July 3rd, 1927 (The Mad music lover – previous post)

  • 1aaCrumbKafka
    (Robert Crumb – Introducing Kafka)

    Kafka Imagining (previous post)


  • Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard photographed by Arnold Newman
    Both Tom Stoppard and Franz Kafka were born in Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic today).