Thursday, 4 October 2007
Laurence Sterne ... Wallace Stevens ... Allen Ginsberg ... Lilliput Review
In the latest reverberations of the current administrations' Draconian policies, the legendary New York radio station WBAI has decided to reverse their decision to play Allen Ginsberg's Howl on the air during this the 50th anniversary year of its publication. The outrage is well beyond ludicrous; one hardly can blame BAI, a public radio station around since before the Flood , since the amount of the fines now levied by the FCC for "obscenity" could threaten their very existence.
Still, one would hope that someone would take these bastards to court. I suppose the prosecution team would see their poker buddies presiding, with little chance for real justice.
In lighter fare, I'm currently reading Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne and it is, unequivocably, the funniest book I've ever read. Swift brings the laughs, but Gulliver is all about satire. Sterne brings the satire but, truly, Tristram is all about the laughs.
There is a very interesting version of Shandy up on the web here. It is a hypertext version, that takes you to criticism at specific points and all manner of interesting Sterneiana as well as e-texts on arts, fashion, history, language, music etc., all pertaining to Sterne and his times. Really, this is the web at its best, at least from a scholarly point of view.
If this, however, is all too much and you're just in it for the laughs, there is a version in Google Books (a blurry scan of a New York Public Library book, highlighting what's wrong with Google books, hence no link provided here) and a standard e-text version at Project Gutenberg. For reading purposes, I recommend the standard Penguin version, specifically for the informative notes appended.
As noted on The Writer's Almanac this week, it was the birthday of Wallace Stevens. One of the great short poems that directly shows the influence of the East and its influence on the Imagists, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird is one (or more, actually) of the truly great short poems.
The Lilliput issue of the week is #124, with a cover by the late great Harland Ristau. Here are a few highlights.
we slide her casket out-
the small loose stones
under our feet
~ Gary Hotham
Something about voyages,
how the body itself
is not the voyager
but the voyage.
~ Albert Huffstickler
A click beetle
Looks both ways
On a page of philosophy
~ Patrick Sweeney
In the house of rain
there are many mansions
~ Albert Huffstickler
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Saturday, 6 October 2007 - 14:15 EDT
Contemporary radio practices leave me ill, for a variety of reasons. The online TS is much more delightful, and very useful, though I cannot imagine reading it "cover" to "cover," as it were. Too much squinting!
Saturday, 6 October 2007 - 14:47 EDT
Evidently, BAI is going to make Howl available on their website, though I couldn't find it (Ok, I didn't look too hard).
The Internet Archive is a blessing ...