In late spring 1970, Gisèle Celan-Lestrange, estranged wife of the poet Paul Celan, wrote to the Austrian poet Ingeborg Bachmann, an early love and life-long friend of the poet’s: “In the night from Monday to Tuesday, 19 to 20 April, he left his apartment, never to return… ” (Bachmann-Celan Correspondence, p. 197). This makes today the fortieth anniversary of Paul Celan’s death. He left the (very noisy, as he … Read more 40 Years Ago: Paul Celan
Franz Kamin was a prolific composer whose musical works explore structural principals derived from topology, prosody, General Systems Theory, and esoteric/meditational processes in unusual combinations of genre and technique: conventional instruments and children’s toys; sound poetry and puppet theater; choreography and speaking chorus; systematic chance operations and programmed improvisation; performance scribbling and the live reading of narrative texts. Born in Milwaukee, Kamin studied composition at the University of Oklahoma … Read more Franz Kamin (1941-2010)
Haven’t commented on JD Salinger’s passing, essentially because I was never able to read any of his books; no matter how young I was, they just fell from my hands whenever I tried one of them. The yawn of that “vision” of “innocence!” But just now was reading the forthcoming translation of the Algerian writer Nabile Farès’ novel The Passenger from the West, which reprints the author’s interview with … Read more Baldwin on Salinger
C L-S died at 100 last Friday — he would have turned 101 on 28 November. Check out the obit in the NYT, here. But don’t forget to reread Tristes Tropiques and La Pensée Sauvage (The Savage Mind) — both now out as part of a Pléiade L-S volume that came out last year.
The sad news just reached me that Ray Federman has passed. And here I was thinking that if anybody would crack that immortality thing, it would be Ray! The news came via Charles Bernstein’s weblog — check it out here. And check out Federman’s site here. And here is Ray’s Resumé in his own words, making it clear that he’s still with us, & will always be: Born in … Read more Raymond Federman (1928-2009)
Poet & diarist Jim Carroll died past Friday of a heart attack. An obit in the New York Times gives the details of the life, & a lovely piece by Tom Clark on his website, here, cites Carroll on writing. Though I enjoyed the two volumes of “diaries,” I prefer the poems in Living at the Movies, & here’s one of them to counteract the sadness of one more … Read more Jim Carroll (gone @ 60)
Moroccan novelist, poet, essayist & sociologist Abdelkebir Khatibi passed away on Monday morning in Rabat. Khatibi was a major force in contemporary Moroccan writing. There are only two of his books available in English at this point, namely Love in Two Languages, translated by Richard Howard (& that one is in print probably only because Jacques Derrida’s book Monolingualism of the Other is a response to this essay by … Read more Abdelkebir Khatibi (1939-2009)