Leonard Cohen‘s birthday today. He would have been 84. We start the Weekly Round-Up today with a beautiful woodcut of him and Allen by George A Walker
and this note from Cohencentric – Leonard Cohen Considered – “Leonard Cohen Meets Jack Kerouac at Allen Ginsberg’s Home”
Our 2014 posting on Cohen (well worth re-visiting) may be accessed – here
and here‘s David Remnick’s haunting profile and last interview with him (for The New Yorker)
Out next month, from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, the posthumous volume – The Flame – Poems Notebooks Lyrics Drawings
“This volume contains my father’s final efforts as a poet,” writes Cohen’s son, Adam Cohen, in the foreword to the book. “It was what he was staying alive to do, his sole breathing purpose at the end.”
Uh-oh plutonium! – Anti-nuke awareness – environmental (and personal) health-watch. The Rocky Flats disaster area, now forty years on. Just this past weekend, that site was somewhat recklessly and precipitiously opened, as, of all things, a nature reserve! – the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Center!
Dan Elliott for the Associated Press reports – “The opening was in the works but was thrown into doubt Friday afternoon when Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service, said he wanted to wait for more information about safety. An hour later. the Interior Department said a review was complete and the refuge would open” – “State and federal health officials say the site is safe, but some people worry that plutonium particles eluded the clean-up and could be sprinkled over the refuge, where hikers and cyclists could stir them up or track them home. A least seven Denver-area school districts have barred school-sanctioned field trips to (the) refuge.”
Dan Boyce reports for NPR on the opening – here –
Ginsberg and ecology. We noted last week the threat to the Llanthony Valley in Wales (site of the poem Wales Visitation). We also noted last week Luke Walker‘s review of Ginsberg and Blake. More Luke Walker on Ginsberg and Blake – here (noting the Wordworthian echoes in that poem) – and more Allen on Blake (an examination of his “Tiriel”) coming here (on The Allen Ginsberg Project) – soon!
Ginsberg zeitgeist (Ginsberg eternal zeitgeist!) – Jonathan Kasdan, Star Wars scriptwriter (“Solo – A Star Wars Story”) points out the obvious hommage to Allen in the character, Moloch – from Moloch, from “Howl” – “..Allen Ginsberg’s poem, (“which you should read if you haven’t”, he declares, (adding, with considerable understatement!), “it’s a good poem”)
Jack Kerouac – a classic Jack Kerouac letter goes up for auction this month at Whitmore Rare Books in California. Writtten in 1947, ten years before the publication of On The Road, it’s, among other things, a poignant appeal to his mother, Gabrielle, (“Dear Ma”… signed “Jacky x x x”) to wire him twenty-five bucks to help him get from Denver to Colorado! Read more about it in David Barnett’s report in yesterday’s Guardian – here
Film Culture 80 has just arrived (Film Culture 79 appeared in 1996 so it’s been quite a wait!) This issue, published in conjunction with Spector Books, takes as its focus “The Legend of Barbara Rubin”. Chuck Smith’s documentary, “Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY Underground” is simultaneously just recently out. A very necessary spotlight on and re-evaluation of a remarkable pivotal figure. See our (2014) notes on Barbara – here
Bookstores – read Richard Cupidi on the late-lamented Public House Bookshop in Brighton, England. Allen, grandly and magnanimously, declared it, in its time, (high praise!, sweet hyperbole!) “better than City Lights”!
and spare a thought for Angel Tijerin, proprietor of the On the Road (sic) bookstore in Barcelona, fighting the petty civic authorities. Why can’t they just let him be?
From Film India, Satyajit Ray, An Anthology of Statements on Ray and by Ray, edited by Chidananda Das Gupta, Directorate of Film Festivals, New Delhi, 1981. The very last paragraph of the collection ends – “I would like to end this essay on an inexhaustible subject by recounting an anecdote – One day Allen Ginsberg, poet of the angry-hungry generation, came to see Ray. All through the evening, Ginsberg spoke about the cameras; Ray spoke about American poetry.”
William Blake next week.