Elaine de Kooning's portraits show, opening last week at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, includes this striking one of Allen. He was always ambivalent about it, since it showed him glasses off, eyes closed. We, however, like it.
More consideration (a week or so later) of the recent pedagogy and poetry - teaching "Please Master" controversy - Here's Anne Cohen in the blog for the Jewish Daily Forward - "Why Shouldn't High School Kids Read Allen Ginsberg?"
and here's "Hermenutic" on Daily Kos - "Allen Ginsberg and The Prudes of Connecticut".
(always, interesting, in these cases, are the "Comments" section - and, incidentally, readers, how about using our "Comments" section?)
Michael Horovitz and Barry Miles' BBC Radio 4 appraisal (from December 2013), "Great Lives" (which we mentioned here) has been posted on You Tube and, in case you missed it the first time, is well worth listening to.
And on Vimeo - a new, or at least rarely seen, William Burroughs documentary (thank you Dangerous Minds for alerting us to it) - Chris Snipes' Out Town - Episode 7 - William Burroughs & Lawrence (focusing on his Lawrence, Kansas residency). Glimpses of Allen and of Marianne Faithfull, Timothy Leary, and others at the River City Reunion. James Grauerholz and other residents tell stories, Patti Smith sings to his coffin. The film may be watched in its entirety - here.
Also noted by us in the past (but given a timely reprisal by the recipients, the Paris Review), Allen's 1966 letter regarding drugs (specifically LSD) - "..No monster vibrations, no snake universe hallucinations.." . An Italian translation of the letter has just been made by Pietro Ingallina, (to be read alongside the English original), and is available here
and also the breaking news - sad news - the death, at 85, in Stockholm, this past Wednesday, of legendary music scholar, Sam Charters. We featured his Jack Kerouac talk as a three-part series back in August of last year. His New York Times obituary (by Larry Rohter) can be accessed here
"I always had the feeling that there were so few of us and the work so vast..."
"For me, the writing about black music was my way of fighting racism…"
(Sam Charters to Matthew Ismail, in Blues Discovery (2011)