Alden Van Buskirk news flash

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Poet David Rattray reads from his own work, and that
of Alden van Buskirk, a young poet who died in his early 20s several years ago. Mr. Rattray has translated many European poets,
among them Antonin Artaud, and lives in New York, (to be re-
broadcast Friday the 17th, 2:30 p.m.)


Musica para La Raza, y los demas tambien. Antonio
Salazar hosts a program of music and guests of interest to the
Chicano community and to all.

11:00 HOUR 25: sf

Kathy Calkin, Mike Model and John Henry Thong with
science and sci-fi (pronounced skiffle) [“. . . Who was continually
crion. . . .”

This is from Pacifica Radio, KPFK in LA in August, 1973. I found this by searching “jazz poetry” and “alden van buskirk”. I was sussing out Yusef Komunyakaa, who won the Pulitzer for Poetry in 1994, and was quoted by David Wayne Hampton in his blog hillybillyinthesky, and who also borrowed a Faulkner line for his new novel, “The Slow Constellations Wheeled On”.

I had been reading “Barn Burning” from William Faulkner, from 1930, originally published in Harper’s, but I got it from “Collected Stories, Vintage, 1995, borrowed from Palo Alto Main. “Barn Burning” presages “The Hamlet” with the exception of certain aspects of Sarty Snopes described therein.

Another writer suggests the cosmological image is based on Endymion by Keats.
To me it also calls up Journey’s “Wheel in The Sky”, from 1977, but I will save that for another story.

This thread inspired by the Paul Newman double-feature at Stanford Theatre, “The Long Hot Summer”, based loosely on “Barn Burning” and a couple other Faulkner sources — although the credits don’t admit as much — and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” which of course is Tennessee Williams, both from 1958.

suddenly last week, on a hot april aft

suddenly last week, on a hot april aft

Halliwell is medium cool on each film, one star each.
Thomson is pretty harsh on Newman generally.

The director also worked with Newman on “Hud” which I guess is a better movie.

ode to last week's marquee

ode to last week’s marquee

In terms of depicting the South or being a literary adaptation, I think Robert Penn Warren “All the King’s Men” fared much better, there is a consensus. It’s not just me.

I am wondering about the new movie “Mud” starring Matthew McConaughey who is actually from Texas.

I think Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” probably gets it closer, and certainly delivers a better dramatic wallop — like a full-load to the face, Cheney-esque.

A bit off topic, but the Jimmie Rodgers song used in “Long Hot” reminded me of driving with Henry Butler from New Orleans to Huntsville, and noticing a roadsign for a Jimmie Rodgers memorial in Meridian, Mississippi, three hours from either place.

Any hoo, Professor Yusef might include Alden in his work…and yesterday was his 66th birthday, it tern’s out Whan that aprill with his shoures soote indeedy.

edita: A thing of beauty is a joy forever…but…I am not sure the value of trying to read through 992 lines of Keats “Endymion” to ascertain how much he influenced Faulkner and or indirectly ended up influencing “Wheel In the Sky” by Journey… a thread or rabbit-hole suggested by literary scholar C.D.Holmes. More scholars, pseudo-scholars, sophomores and fakers tend to cite “Ode to a Grecian Urn” as a more obvious influence, and of course MacBeth. I took a Faulkner seminar with Chauncey Loomis in 1985 but was pretty distracted from doing my best work so have only a vague residual sense of William Cuthbert, enough, however, to catch a whiff of something non-popcorn-esque the other day at Stanford, which I admit I’ve done a pretty shabby job of cleaning up after.

edita, 2: and somewhere in my latemorning to earlyafternoon ramblings, here at Coupa, as my cappuccino has been reduced to a cold milky residue, drained of its precious jolt, because the KPFK transcript went there, as I skimmed for more Rattray milk or meat, I shot off a query to an actor about an anti-war play, apropos of the news of Dao Strom setting a May release date for her cd and chap book — nothing to do with “Lami” or Faulkner, other than Dao is a Michener Fellow and genius. And a bit of the original Muse for “Plastic Alto”: 24 mentions so farit is time for a new mythology.

edita, 3: I am about two hours into this, and tiring, but I wanted to slather on this quote from a Faulkner scholar about “all-timeness”, a conflation of flashback and flash-forward; “Barn Burning” was told in a combination of real time and twenty years later; I am rationalizing the switch from a discussion of the movies per se (last week; from 1958, texts I had read or were taught mostly 1983-1885) to Van Buskirk, forever 1961, and December 2012, and NEWS TO ME, 1973:

According to [retired Redlands professor Rebecca] Rio-Jelliffe, Faulkner reinvents the conventional narrative techniques of flashback, flashforward, and the suspended moment to capture and preserve not an instant of “timelessness” but a moment of “all-timeness” (pp. 101-102). 

Although this does muck up my Dao-ism about new mythology, or not?

Or is this the world’s most occluded “Mud” preview?

To the extent that the two films, “Long hot” and “…Tin Roof” were billed as a Paul Newman feature, is either clumsy or brilliant in that indeed the scholars (Thompson and or Halliwell at least) think the two films comingled and that “Long Hot” although a Faulkner vehicle was also a reaction to the Williams masterpiece, which was making waves on Broadway and was, we presume, an anticipated Hollywood offering. So to me what is more interesting, besides marveling at a Newman who is younger than me, by far (he was 33 at the time, and I am “thirty-something”) is the respective father-son relations, between Newman and Orson Welles (b. 1915) in the faux-Faulkner and Burl Ives (1909-1959!) as Big Daddy. (Getting over that neither father-actor was actually old enough to be Newman’s father in real life). Secondary is comparing Liz Taylor to Joanne Woodward (who, of course, was married to Newman at the time).

I wonder about Ives portraying a man who is dying then actually dying soon thereafter. (scratch that, the bit about Burl Ives being sick during filming; he lived on, but made some bad commercials)

David Thomson is pretty harsh on Newman: “the emotional intensity eludes him”, “(a) young, middle-aged man wondering what could replace prettiness”, and later “so too his ‘straight’ parts seem neutered and derivative” and jumping ahead a few years “a pickled schoolboy pretending confidence in ‘The Sting'”.

Here is the Thomson book, from 2010, although I understand he has a new book, more narrative and less resourceish, and was interviewed about such by Greil Marcus last fall (and DT taught at Dartmouth but not in my era):

My Halliwell, by the way, is from 1995, which is fine with me since I am mainly interested in his views on twentieth century films, that came out before I was a viewer; Amazon is selling a 23rd edition, from 2008 (and my stance reminds me of my use of Webster’s Ninth, I sometimes mention):

Tracing from the Times obituary of Newman in 2008, I am seeking to read the comtemporaneous opinion of these films by the film critic, who is said to have been forced out soon after for not getting “Bonnie and Clyde” (displaced by Pauline Kael and her ilk, for instance).

Thompson does not even mention Welles turn in LHS in his account of the star of “Citizen Kane” and “The Third Man.”

Lee Remick coincidentally or as Fates would have it, was in a version of Faulkner’s “Sanctuary”, but “never totally convincing as Temple Drake.” She plays Eula Varner, a sexpot not entirely Faulkneresque.

Someone more thorough than me can compare these two films to “Hud”, five years later, 1963, also, like “Long…” directed by Martin Ritt and also dealing with father and sons; this one is based on a Larry McMurtry story.

edit to add: distinguishing the two Jimmy Rogers might make a nice post; the Jimmy Rodgers singing the title song for “The Long Hot Summer” is a pop singer born in Washington in 1933, while the Jimmy Rodgers of Mississippi is “Father of Country Music”, subject of a Bob Dylan tribute and died in 1933. I also traced the “Antonio Salazar” mentioned in the KPFK log in the intro to find that he had moved to the Bay Area, was active in journalism and there is now a scholarship in his name at SFSU, again, perhaps worth looking into on another day. Part of the inspiration for this piece is my discovery that although the Stanford Theatre showed “A Star is Born” as part of a Judy Garland festival, Halliwell ranks the original 1937 with Janet Gaynor as superior — I haven’t seen any of the three versions, although I recognize the Barbara Streisand song from my days as a Casey Kasem regular listener, “(Ageless and) Evergreen”(1976, by Streisand and Paul Williams). Much of this, I now see, was covered much more cogently although as an aside by Palmer and Bray in their book about Tennessee Williams, which I found by typing “Bosley Crowther” in the search-injun.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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