["We actually are all one person"] - [Photo, Coney Island, 1940 - Weegee]
Transcription from Allen's 1969 Montreal Q & A continues here and concludes this week. (Comprehension is difficult in this and on the final tape so there may be some minor errors in transcription) but...
AG: [in media res] ....more than I.. So there is no permanent fixity, and there’s not even any permanent soul, there’s just tendencies assembling and dispersing, phantom matter, so to speak. In the "Kaddish" poem, there’s a lot of… from my own unconscious, non-Buddhist, images of our selves (where that was exciting - and I kept seeing phantoms, seeing myself as giving a kind of phantom speech, (a kind of spectral sensation, which is not unpleasant, actually, because you do realize that finally nobody is going to be in pain). And so that's the sort of impression I get, actually, (aside from the.. sort of.. I suppose, if I had a different karma, or different life, or wife, family and baby, I'd forget that, you know, and be maybe a more tender fleshy.. or flesh-relationship. or meat-relationship, but still, I don’t..
But then, you see, there’s all these, these meat-dolls walking around now... So even that way has gone too far too. We’re all caught in that funny reduplication of eyes and mirrors of our own faces and looking out in every direction (and look, (even) in this room, there (is) inevitable death, you know, (a feeling) apart - or something awful like, “Why are we all here?”, and, “What are we looking for?’ - (“What am I looking for?”)
There is a kind of consciousness that we have all been born to, in this century, which is a planet-awareness, and an awareness of a common-ness of self among ourselves - that we are all the same self, I think (at this point, probably), is what is going on. Everybody recognizing it. We actually all are one person. That's the one.. that's who I’m reading to when I read, actually, because I have to loosen my belt to read to that one person that is present here, knowing he’s going to die, knowing he’s going to disappear, so it’s like a great brooding sexual present being that we are. So I’m still, like, appealing to that almost exquisite person.
AG: I can't hear - Can you speak louder please? - [Questioner is still indecipherable] -
- I still can't hear
Student: (Can you say something about (how) (Jack) Kerouac (was) during his final years?)
AG: Kerouac in his final years? He got pretty cantankerous. He came up here, I understand (and) drank up and down the French-Canadian section, had to take care of his mother who he didn’t want to "throw away to the dogs of eternity", he said, and so got hung up quite, staying on one place. He internalized some of his mother's Canadienne peasant anti-Semitism and conservative(ism) (like, he kept... his mother wanted me to cut my hair, all the time, (and) shave my beard! - but I wasn"t about to (permit them to) cut my hair. So I had to force myself into his house a few times (because, I was, like, with) my full beard..
[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately twenty-nine-and-a-quarter minutes in (fifth segment) and concluding at approximately thirty-two-and-three-quarter minutes in]