Commentaries

Charles Olson reading in Berlin in 1966

Olson and his translator Klaus Reichert, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Dec. 15, 1966. This recording has by far the best version of "Maximus, to Himself." While PennSound has another recording, the quality is poor. Thanks to Norbert Lange for making this recording available to us. 

Downtown Eastside poets: Antonette Rea and Phoenix Winter

image from 'V6A" of the Downtown Eastside, by Metis architect Erick Villagomez
image from 'V6A" of the Downtown Eastside, by Metis architect Erick Villagomez

For weeks I’ve been trying to write this post on the Downtown Eastside, one of Vancouver’s oldest residential areas — historic home to many working-class immigrant communities and currently the City’s most contested and fought-for space as gentrification escalates rents and property values and poor and low-income people are displaced — anxious to do justice to a place close to my heart where much of my own history lies. How to write about the neighbourhood I have lived in for almost two decades, first as a drug user and sex worker and now as a college instructor?

The George Kuchar Reader, ed. Andrew Lampert

Primary Information has just published The George Kuchar Reader, a 336 page Kuchar extravaganza, chocked full of color and black and white images from letters, reviews, publications and including Kuchar's comics and visual art and much in Kuchar's own handwriting. It is a must have book for anyone interested in Kuchar and a great introduction for those new to his work.  The book ends with a set of emails written in Kuchar's last years that provide a glimpse into the personal life of this relatively private man, who made an essential contirbution to the art of the movies. Movies are of course the center of Kuchar's work, but this book makes clear what a great writer he was -- and what a madcap graphich artist. 

Thanks to the Primary Information, here is Andrew Lamper's introduction.  You can order the book here. 

MANIFESTEN

Witness Mirtha Dermisache

Being recognized by a stranger

The Argentinian artist Mirtha Dermisache (1940-2012) wrote her first book in 1967, 500 pages in length and not a single word. “I started writing,” she said in a 2011 interview, “and the result was something unreadable.” This sounds to me overly modest. Her skill is for distracting the onlooker’s impulse to read.