Hôtel de Lauzun, the meeting place of the Club des Hachichins
It may be cliché to say so, but there does seem to be a strong correlation between experiments with mind-altering chemicals and some of the most intriguing experiments in literary style. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Arthur Rimbaud, William S. Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson….
Image by Fred Palumbo, made available by the Library of Congress.
Put THIS in your pocket. The Library of Congress is celebrating National Poetry Month by launching its new Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. It debuts with 50 choice poetry recordings, spanning 75 years of time.
If you have to ask what jazz is, Louis Armstrong supposedly said, you’ll never know. But the poet Langston Hughes, who in his 1955 First Book of Jazz reveals himself as a great enthusiast of Armstrong indeed, seems to have operated on a very different premise.[...]
In 2001 or 2002, guitarist and singer David Gilmour of Pink Floyd recorded a musical interpretation of William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18″ at his home studio aboard the historic, 90-foot houseboat the Astoria.[...]
Kagonada, the video-essayist behind the cinematic supercuts of Kubrick’s “One-Point Perspective” and Ozu’s “Passageways” returns with a look at mirrors in the films of Ingmar Bergman, set to a plaintive Vivaldi work for two mandolins, and a reading of Sylvia Plath’s “Mirror.[...]
Samuel Beckett: avant-garde dramatist, brooding Nobel Prize winner, poet, and…gritty television detective?
Sadly, no, but he had the makings of a great one, at least as cut together by playwright Danny Thompson, cofounder of Chicago’s Theater Oobleck.
Founded in 1931, the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University features (among other things) 6,000 recordings of poetry from the 20th and 21st centuries. There you can find some of the earliest recordings of W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, T. S.[...]
“Miranda-july-reading” by Alexis Barrera / Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.
Ah, the joys of dining at a new friend’s home, knowing sooner or later, one’s hostess’ bladder or some bit of last minute meal preparation will dictate that one will be left alone to rifle the titles on her bookshelf with abandon.
There was once a time, if you can believe it, when Allen Ginsberg could take the poetry of William Blake, sing it in a recording studio, and then MGM Records would release it as a long-playing album. I refer to the time, of course, of “the sixties,” that half-mythical era that seems to have run from around 1966 to 1972.[...]