Monday, December 24, 2007

2008: The Year of James Bond?

The man who created the seemingly immortal superspy James Bond 007 would have turned 100 next year. Born May 28, 1908 (the same birthdate he gave Bond's archenemy Ernest Stravo Blofeld in the 1961 novel Thunderball), Ian Lancaster Fleming wrote the first 007 novel Casino Royale in 1951 apparently to work off impending wedding-day jitters. Fleming (who died in August, 1964)used elements of his life as a Naval Intelligence agent during World War II and as a foreign correspondent to form the foundation for his books and short stories about the larger-than-life Bond.

According to this site, plans are afoot to celebrate Fleming's birthday. MI6 also reports on forthcoming Fleming and Bond-related events for '08. (Including a new novel!)

In addition, production is scheduled to begin next month on the latest 007 film, a direct sequel to 2006's film version of Casino Royale, once again starring Daniel Craig as James Bond. Of course the library carries Fleming's Bond novels (I recommend From Russia With Love and On Her Majesty's Secret Service)as well as the still-popular films based on the books. (Any of the films with Sean Connery , the 1969 film version of On Her Majesty's... and last year's Casino Royale are recommended for your consideration.)

For a look at Mr. Fleming's life, I recommend Andrew Lycett's Ian Fleming, the most recent (1996) biography of the author.

Happy 100th, Mr. Fleming! -Ed

Greenwich Library Closes At 1:00 Today

We'll reopen Wednesday, December 26 at 9 am.

Happy Holidaze! -Ed

Friday, December 21, 2007

Classic And Cult Television: January, 2008

On January 16, 2008, at 7:00 pm in the Meeting Room, Greenwich Library's Classic and Cult Television program will present an episode (two, if we have time) of the long-running Perry Mason series. Starring Raymond Burr as the title character, the dead serious whodunit/murder mystery series (which ran from 1957-66 on CBS) was based on the long running mystery novels and short stories by Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970)about an attorney whose clients always seemed to be accused of murder.

The show's familar but popular formula (taken from Gardner's books) usually had one of Mason's clients say or do something towards another person (often a disloyal business partner, old pal or spouse), usually in front of witnesses, then sometime later wind up charged with the latter's murder. Mason, assisted by secretary Della Street (played on the show by Barbara Hale) and private detective Paul Drake (William Hopper), would track down evidence that would exonerate the client during the trial AND get the real guilty party to confess right in the courtroom at the same time! (Sometimes this formula would be tweaked, with, say, the killer confessing after getting caught outside the courthouse and/or another location.) Mason's friendly nemesis District Attorney Hamilton Burger (William Talman), along with cynical LAPD detective Lt. Tragg (Ray Collins), both presenting the prosecution's case, would always hear the familiar words "case dismissed" (or a variation of them) at the end of every episode.

For it's time, the series was one of the best-looking shows of the period. The almost noir-ish black and white photography greatly contributed to lend a sense of mystery (especially in the night scenes, which unlike other shows at the time doesn't look shot with cheap day-for-night filters). The courtroom sequences often take up the second half of the episodes, yet the combined dynamics of deft writing (in addition to adapting Gardner's stories, original ones were used as well), acting and direction overcome any limitations such interior scenes could have and made most episodes stand out dramatically. You don't even question why any murderer would break down and confess in front of witnesses at the climax after following the story's well done build-up.

More importanly, the show worked thanks to it's appealing cast. After a horrible experience with Warner Brothers in the 30's (that studio did "comedy" movie versions of the books, with miscast actors like Warren William and Ricardo Cortez playing Mason as a hard-drinking, ladies' man type who was always broke and trying to avoid marrying his secretary), Gardner had reasonbly full creative control of the television series and personally approved of the cast.

Raymond Burr's Mason is steadfastly loyal to his clients, no matter how unstable some of them might seem. Despite facing all kinds of threats to his career and even his life, Burr's Mason keeps his cool. (One sequence in 1958's "The Case of the Lucky Loser" has Mason, after refusing to buckle under a threat by another, more influencial attorney to drop his current case, actually serve a suppoena to the bullying lawyer, ordering him to testify in court regarding the case in question!) Aided by loyal Della and Paul,who provide the investigative legwork, there's never any doubt in the audience's mind that Mason would let an innocent person take the rap. Even DA Burger & Lt. Tragg grudgingly admire and respect Mason's character and conviction, despite their losing so many cases to him. (In later years, Burger and Tragg not only sometimes assist Mason in his cases, and vice versa, but are even seen socializing with him and his associates after hours!)

More info on the Mason series can be found here. For anyone would likes a good brain-twisting mystery, the Perry Mason books (which we carry in our Mystery section on the second floor) and television series (we'll be carrying the first 15 episodes from the 1958-59 season after the Classic TV showing here next month) are recommended! -Ed

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cheap U.N.C.L.E.

If you've read my previous post & clicked on the Time Life link to view information about the massive Man From U.N.C.L.E. DVD set, you may have noticed it doesn't come cheap. (The 1967 episode "The Hot Number Affair" with guest stars Sonny & Cher, isn't even worth two cents...) But if you're fueled by nostalgia and/or just simply curious, check out AOL's In2TV site , which offers online access to selected episodes of that series & other classic TV programs that you can watch on your PC. And it's free! -Ed

Monday, December 17, 2007

Look What's Finally Out On DVD!!!

One of my all time childhood favorites, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. has finally been released on DVD!!! This tongue-in-cheek adventure spy series, which ran on NBC from 1964-68, and starrred Robert Vaughn & David McCallum as secret agents Napoleon Solo & Illya Kuryakin, was television's answer to the then-innovative (and still popular) James Bond 007 film series at the time. I'm old enough to remember both the great toys that cashed in on the show's popularity (spy briefcase containing the easy-to-assemble U.N.C.L.E. gun, the cane gun, bubble gum cards, comic books and the cool corgi cars)and the fact that the program, after the first two seasons, dipped in quality somewhat. But there's a catch to this piece of news.

You see, you'll be able to purchase the entire set online from Time-Life Video only ( (Any fan of the show might suspect this arrangement was the work of U.N.C.L.E.'s archfoes, THRUSH, but we know that can't be...)

Time Life did the same arrangement last year when it offered all five seasons of the 1965-70 spy spoof Get Smart. The company promised that by Fall of this year, the shows would be made available to retail outlets like Best Buy & Borders, but that hasn't been the case.

Anyway, if you do order the DVD set (the library probably won't, due to budget, space & distributor considerations), keep in mind that'll include getting the awful third season U.N.C.L.E. episodes (from 1966-67), which you'll have no choice but to accept. That was the period when the show switched from tongue-in-cheek/suspense to all-out comedy. Bad comedy.(You'll all love the episodes from that period. With titles like "The 'My Friend, The Gorilla' Affair", how could you not?)

So, for those fans of the show who are interested, U.N.C.L.E. is now available on DVD & yours for the taking! -Ed

Update: Here's an online review of the set.

Dummy Post

Practice Posting. To be deleted. -Ed

Winter Safety Tips

Here's a link on dos & don'ts to get through the winter. -Ed

Little Steven's Underground Garage

For the past 5-6 years, I've been listening to the syndicated Little Steven's Underground Garage radio series (aired locally on WXRQ 104.3 FM Sunday nights at 10pm), hosted by Steve Van Zandt, gutiarist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. "Little Steven"'s program focuses on "garage bands" from the birth of rock 'n' roll in the fifties to current groups. As such, a typical episode's playlist will include songs by Chuck Berry, Little Richard, the Beatles, Paul Revere & the Raiders, the Byrds, the (British) Birds, the Rascals, Graham Parker, Elvis Costello, the Clash, the Who, the Faces, the Kinks, Johnny Cash, the Ramones, the Chesterfield Kings, Prince, the Rolling Stones, the Grip Weeds, Oasis and the Stems, scattered all over the place, Van Zandt also gives listeners background information on a variety of topics, from the strange life of Brian Wilson (of the Beach Boys), the origins of Thanksgiving & Drive In Movies, and the life and works of such diverse artists as Allen Ginsberg, Frank Sinatra and Roger Corman (to name but a few).

Aside from walking down memory lane however, the Underground Garage is, next to satellite radio, practically the only source to hear new, young bands for the first time. I would not have heard of, and enjoyed, such current performers as the Kaiser Chiefs, the White Stripes and the Woggles without having first heard them via Little Steven's program. Similarly, I also rediscovered the joys of the likes of the Pretty Things, the(American)Wailers, the Sonics and Johnny Thunders.

The template for the show was obviously the classic Nuggets collections (currently available on CD by Rhino Records & carried by the library), which focused on the great unsung groups who'd meet & rehearse in somebody's garage and then try to go professional.

Little Steven's shows have been archived at his site here, so check it out! And play it LOUD! -Ed

Follow Up on I Am Legend

The third film version of I Am Legend, starring Will Smith and based on the classic novel by Richard Matheson, opened strong in first place with an estimated box office take of about $76 million. This despite some unnecessary alterations (especially in the last third)in the original plot. The film's ending is not the same as the book's. For a much darker take of the story, I again recommend the original novel. (We already have three holds on our four copies.) -Ed

Monday, December 10, 2007

From 1969! The Rascals!

From Guest Blogger David Waring:
Anyone who came of age in the mid-sixties in the New York metropolitan area would have had the opportunity to see the (Young) Rascals play live on numerous occasions. Those fortunate enough to do so would have caught a band that epitomized the excitement of rock ‘n roll, albeit with a strong, perhaps dominant, strain of r&b. Indeed, the Rascals, along with Mitch Ryder and the Righteous Brothers were the era’s prototypical “blue-eyed soul” acts. This video clip from 1969 conveys the power, tightness and dynamism of the band; including legendary drummer Dino Danelli’s propulsive stickwork and organist, Felix Cavaliere’s trademark impassioned vocals on the Rascal’s biggest hit, People Got to be Free.

(Thanks David. The first seven Rascals albums, previously issued by Atlantic Records in 1966-71, have now been remastered & reissued on CD by Collector's Choice/Warner Special Products with new, informative liner notes. In addition, the first four albums contain both stereo and mono mixes. The albums are carried by Greenwich Library and are very definitely recommended! -Ed)

More on I Am Legend

Looking over my previous post, I noticed I may have given the wrong impression and recommended the new film version of I Am Legend, which opens in theatres this Friday. Since I haven't seen the film (though I have read one review at Variety), I couldn't really recommend it in good conscience. What I was recommending was the original Richard Matheson novel the film is based on. That novel still packs a punch! (Guaranteed: after you finish the book, you'll be sleeping every night for a week with the lights on!)

I also wanted to point out that, while the new film takes some liberties with the book's plot, the casting of Will Smith is, I think, spot on. Vincent Price and Charlton Heston were two of the best actors to appear in films, but because of their theatrical backgrounds (and an occasional tendency for hamminess), neither of these guys ever struck me as playing "average joes". The protagionist of Matheson's novel is an average 9-5 guy in the proverbial gray flannel suit who quickly adapts to his surroundings as best as he can. Will Smith, in some of his previous performances, has shown he can "take it down a notch" and act in a more naturalistic manner (without being mannered), giving the sense that, yeah, he's a "regular guy" like you & me, which only makes the impact of the plot even more powerful. (What would we do in such a situation? Smith shows us one possible path by reacting the way we might in a planet where everybody else is a literal monster.) So I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Oh, and here's hoping the scenes of Neville (the book's protagionist) researching the history of what led up to his present situation by reading newspaper articles & research journals in the now-deserted local library in his neighborhood is kept in the film. (Take that Google!) We librarians have to get some good PR wherever we find it.... -Ed

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I Am Legend

Richard Matheson's classic novel from 1954 that combines the horror & science fiction genres, I Am Legend , has been adapted for the third time by filmmakers. The new IAL, starring Will Smith, comes out next week. The production made news earlier this year with tales of it's on-location shooting in New York City.

Previously adapted for film in 1964 (the Italian black & white Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price), and again, in Hollywood, seven years later (The Omega Man with Charlton Heston, this time in color), IAL is basically the horrifying saga of Robert Neville, a man who survives a world wide plague that tranforms survivors (if you can call them that) into blood sucking vampires who come out only at night. (Matheson gives a reasonably convincing pseudo-scientific explaination for this.) Neville spends his days hunting down the creatures' resting spaces to destroy them and his nights barricading himselve from their attacks on his home. Then one day... But that would be telling.

I have no idea if the new film will improve upon the previous movie versions, but even if it doesn't, at least new audiences (as well as those who remenber Matheson's work on movies like Duel and the original Twilight Zone tv series) will be exposed to a timeless thriller classic that's guranteed to keep you up nights. Check it out if you get a chance. (In addition to several copies of the novel, the library also carries the '64 movie version as part of the public domain "Horror Classics" DVD set.)

A few years back, I had recommended the book for members of the now-defunct library Science Fiction Book Club. It's nice to feel ahead of the pack on this. -Ed

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Embedded Video

Enjoy my first attempt at embedding a video. This is Jack Kerouac, nervous & slightly drunk, reading from On The Road and (I think) Visions of Cody on The Steve Allen Show in 1959. -Ed

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rawhide! With Clint Eastwood!

The intent of Greenwich Library's Classic & Cult Television series is to focus on TV series from the 50s through the 70s which are no longer being shown in reruns. Plus, as most of these old programs had or are about to be released on DVD, it made some sense to make our patrons aware of these programs' availability. Especially since cable channels like TVLand seem to think television began after 1980. (And an aside: WHY is TVLand showing movies like "Top Gun" ?!? Other than nostalgia for the 80s -which I don't share- there's no earthly reason for showing the same old stuff easily found on TNT, TBS & AMC.)

Anyway, tomorrow night Classic TV will be showing episodes of Rawhide co-starring Clint Eastwood and Cheyenne with Clint Walker. Neither series is currently being rerun in the tri-state area, so this evening's program will either be a revelation to some ("Gee, Clint sure talks a lot in these shows!") or a reunion of sorts ("I remember that episode!"). The episodes start at 7:00 pm. Information on the series can be found at and (for Cheyenne) at .

Friday, November 9, 2007

Beatific Soul: Jack Kerouac On The Road

Last night's viewing of the exhibition Beatific Soul: Jack Kerouac On The Road at the New York Public Library was like discovering the Holy Grail for anybody even remotely interested in the works & influences of Jack Kerouac. The exhibit is housed on the first floor of the museum (click on the links in the previous sentence for dates & times) in the Gottesman Hall, just next to the library's gift shop. Inside the cavernous hall are, enclosed in glass cases, dozens of written journal entries, correspondence, various drafts & outlines for novels, essays, photos, unpublished short stories, drawings & paintings and even fantasy baseball rosters all by Kerouac and/or his friends. There's even a CD player on the wall where you can listen to Kerouac's favorite classical music works, which he'd listen to while writing. There are photos of fellow Beats Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Herbert Huncke, Gary Snyder and Neil Cassidy, plus various bri-a-brac like Kerouac's first typewriter as well as a kind of Zen Buddist-like scroll with a haiku composed by Kerouac & Snyder. You'll also see (despite the dim light) photos of the various residences Kerouac, Ginsberg & the others stayed in during the 50s & 60s.

But it was The Scroll that really held the attention of the guests.

Begun in April, 1951, Kerouac began writing the work that would make him famous (or infamous, at least when it was finally published six years later after several revisions), the Beat classic On The Road. Kerouac composed the first draft on his typewriter using 12 ten foot long rolls of architectural tracing paper, forming one long continous scroll so as not to disturb the author's train of thought. Afterwards, and after many excisions & additions, Kerouac would transfer the text of the scroll onto standard sheets of paper so it could be submitted in manuscript form to publishers.
To actually see & read this amazing example of Kerouac's creative process is something else! You can "get" the sense of spontaneous thought Kerouac projected as he wrote without stopping to pause for a moment. (Corrections, such as spelling & paragraph breaks, were made after he completed the scroll.) As a testament to the creative imagination of an artist, the Original Scroll is required viewing.

(Those unable to view the Scroll at the library but want to see it are encouraged to seek out a copy of On The Road: The Original Scroll, edited by Howard Cunnell, which Viking published this past September. The library carries three copies of it. Recommended.)
The exhibit is broken up into eight sections ("On The Road:The Scroll & Its Successors"; "Fiction, Poetry & Prose"; "Confession, Reflection & Judgement") and is well worth the time.

Oh, I managed to run into Bill Morgan & his wife Jean at the exhibit. Mr. Morgan will be giving a talk on Beat poet Gregory Corso tomorrow (Saturday, November 10) at 2:00 pm in the library's Meeting Room. Professor Regina Weinreich from the School of Visual Arts, who spoke here last month on William S. Burroughs, also attented. Unfortunately, the man responsible for putting together this great exhibition, Dr. Isaac Gewirtz, was nowhere to be seen. I managed to pick up a copy of his Beatific Soul companion book in the gift shop with the hops of getting him to sign it AND offer my personal congratulations, but no luck. I did get a glimpse of Beat figure & jazz musician David Amram, as well as meeting Beat scholars like William Gargan & Gordon Ball. (Jean Morgan tried to find John Tyrell, author of the Beat retrospective Naked Angels -also carried by us- for me to meet, but to no avail.)

The Morgans both expressed their appreciation with their reception here last May when Bill spoke about Allen Ginsberg & are looking forward to coming to the library on Saturday. (Bill's biography of Ginsberg from last year, I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg, is now in paperback. Also, Bill co-edited the just-released You'll Be Okay: My Life With Jack Kerouac, a posthumouslypublished memoir by Edie Parker Kerouac, the author's first wife. Need I add Greenwich Library has copies of these too?)

Aside from not seeing Dr. Gewirtz again, my one real regret about last night is that I wish I had been allowwed to take pictures (the hall's dim lighting not withstanding)! Oh well....

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Follow Up On Kerouac Exhibition

Unless anybody objects, I'll discuss my going to tonight's Kerouac Exhibition viewing/reception in my next post. Personally I think it's great that I got invited to such an event by such a important institution like NYPL. I hope fellow staffers get similar invites to such things in the future.

Meanwhile, here's the NY Times with an article on the exhibition. My mantra has always been "the art, not the artist":


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Shameless Staffer Plug

Last March, I had invited Dr. Isaac Gewirtz, curator of the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library to be guest speaker at the second Beat Generation program held here, Focus on Jack Kerouac. Dr. Gewirtz was in the process of putting together an exhibition on the life & works of Kerouac to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of On The Road. The exhibition would include various unpublished, never-before-seen writings (including journal entries, first drafts, essays, short stories and even a fantasy baseball roster) and artwork. Dr. Gewirtz was able to put together a power point presentation of the exhibition for our program last March, giving staff and the community a great "sneak peek" at what the New York Public Library would unveil, as well as giving a terrific overview of Kerouac's life and his progression as an author. (Basically, we "scooped" other libraries on news about the exhibition.)

Well, last week I received an invitation to attend the opening reception & viewing of the NY Public Library's new exhibition Beatific Soul: Jack Kerouac On The Road. The opening will be at NY Public this Thursday night (November 8) at 6:30 pm, with the exhibition officially open to the public November 9 to March 16, 2008. Information can be glommed at or at NYPL's home page ( And Dr. Gewirtz has also finished a companion book to the exhibit, which should be out in January.

It goes without saying that without the support of staff & public alike, my Beat Discussion program would never have gotten this sort of acknowledgement. To be recognized in this way helps support & holds in high esteem the efforts of myself & my fellow programmers in fulfilling the requirements of our Library's Mission Statement, as well as expose audiences to literary artists & works they might otherwise not known of.

Thank you all for your support of this program. I promise to represent the best impression Greenwich Library can make at the reception. Provided I don't bump into any furniture...


Monday, November 5, 2007

More About Gregory Corso

This Saturday, Bill Morgan wil discuss the life & work of Beat poet Gregory Corso. Those who would like to learn something about Mr. Corso's life & body of work can go to, which features examples of his poems.


Monday, October 29, 2007

ADA -Related Article Links

Why I first got into blogs; I wanted to offer links to ADA-related articles that patrons may find interesting. See this link below:,2933,305239,00.html


Twilight Zone Episodes on Greenwich Library!

First, I'm moving away from the Beats & the related programs on them here at the library as this blog's focus. Instead, I'm going to focus not just solely on the Beat programs but also other programs & services the library can carry. To kick things off, here's a little reminder about this Wednesday's "Classic TV" event.

Starting at 7:00 pm October 31st (Halloween!), I'll be airing episodes of The Twilight Zone series, the original one that ran on CBS from 1959-1964, not the various revivals from 1985-88. It'll be shown in the second floor Meeting Room and at the moment I'm still trying to decide which ones to pick. (They're also on VHS and the tape quality is uneven.) I had hoped to show the two hour pilot film of Zone creator/writer/producer/host Rod Serling's Night Gallery from 1969 on DVd but the library copy of that is listed as 'missing'. Sigh.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bill Morgan Returns To Greenwich Library

Author/librarian/editor (and tour guide - I'll explain that shortly) Bill Morgan (pictured on top right) spoke here at the library last May on the life of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg (in the picture on the left; Ginsberg, with beard, is standing next to Gregory Corso). That went pretty well, so I arranged for him to come speak about another Beat Gen figure, poet/author Gregory Corso (1931-2001). Mr. Morgan edited a collection of letters to & from Mr. Corso & published them (via New Directions) as An Accidental Autobiography: The Selected Letters of Gregory Corso (with a foreword by Patti Smith) in 2003. Thanks to Marianne Weil & the RM department we managed to get two copies of this collection.

I won't pretend that Corso's poetry was up there with Browning, Whitman or Ginsberg. His earliest stuff (the Gasoline collection for example) had much more "oomph" & youthful vitality than his later works (for a good overview, check out Mindfield). His one novel American Express, written & published in France in 1961, is scattershot & unfocused (it only just got a domestic publication this year), but does have its moments. Mostly, as Accidental makes clear, Corso was too busy living off patrons (sponsers) and getting loaded/stoned, when he wasn't stealing the personal property of friends & colleagues, to focus on producing literary output on a consistant (or at least artistically valid) basis. His appearences in the documentaries "What Happened to Kerouac?" (1986) and "The Source" (1999) indicate that as he got older, Corso seemed to have gotten more angry & unpleasant, to the point of being personally abusive (verbally & otherwise) to said friends & colleagues. Had his personal demons not consumed him to the point that he depended more on chemical stimuli and less on expressing his stands on things via his poetry, Corso's works may have been as highly regarded during his life as say, Carl Sandburg, who, right up to his death in 1967, still had an audience eager to listen to what he wrote about next. (And no, I don't think Corso & Sandburg were in the same class, talent-wise. Corso at least didn't phone it in on his later poems the way Sandburg did with his. Corso's later work was uneven, but that anger of his I mentioned still gave his best poems an edge lacking in the works of some of his peers.)

So why devote an evening here at the library to Corso? I could go on & on about what his poems "say" or why he has a place in American letters (aside from hanging out with Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs & the other Beats - hence his inclusion here), but I can't quite get that across, especially with a large audience, all that well. I really want people not only to know of Corso, his life, and his work, but also what fired his jets. Why would a guy, who spent half his life in & out of prison, with little if any formal schooling, be able to cite the works of Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Balzac, Poe & others & use those influences to create artistic works of his own?

More importantly, if Corso could seek out these literary influences, then maybe people such as students or even our patrons, upon hearing about Corso's work & what helped form them, could seek out these works and the works of others that stimulate them, and get something rewarding out of it.

Which is why I wanted to start up the Beat program. Not just to discuss the social aspects of the Beats but also the literary aspects as well, and share them with the public.

Down the line, if we continue this program, I hope to move beyond the Beats and focus more on the writers that were influenced by them, such as Charles Bukowski. I'm also looking up info on Hunter S, Thompson (who, like the lives of Corso, Bukowski and others, personifies the meaning of the expression "judge the art, not the artist" - hey, I know none of these guys were altar boys) and hope to set something up about him.
MEANWHILE Mr. Morgan will be talking about Mr. Corso's life & works here in the Meeting Room on November 10 at 2 pm. Maybe I'll ask him for more details about the series of tours he conducts in New York & San Francisco where he shows groups the places & hangouts Corso, Kerouac & the other Beats hang out.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Naked Lunch Book Cover Via My Friend Flickr

The cover of the 2003 restored edition. As the story goes the original 1959 publication was out of order as Burroughs typed his manuscript in Tangiers (or the Beat Hotel in France), tossing the pages on the floor while still in a smack-induced haze. Others (including Kerouac) helped try to put the work together as much
as possible.
I'd love to get Barry Miles (who's in the UK) or Burroughs' former secretary James Grauerhotz (Kansas!) to come down & discuss what process they went through to restore the text, but my resources may not be enough.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

If At First...

Flickr and Explorer aren't seeing eye to eye, so, using the technique discussed on pps 22-23, I'm going to jpeg a picture instead:

William S. Burroughs

Well, I was going to show a picture of William S. Burroughs, but there seems to be a technical problem with Flickr. (Probably also with Explorer. Boy, I wish we had Firefox!) Anyway, I was able to follow the procedure as outlined in last Saturday's class pretty well. I'll give it another shot later.

UPDATE: Blogger is "aware" of the problem & is trying to fix it.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

OK The Focus is on Jack Kerouac

Owing to a rushed work schedule today, I won't have too much time to spend here. However, I've decided on a specific focus for my blog for the next two weeks. No, it won't be on spaghetti westerns -that'll be for another time. Rather, I'll be concentrating on the "Beat" period of American Literature, specifically the works of Jack Kerouac, whose seminal work, On the Road was published 50 years ago last month.

Having just gotten back from the University of MA's Lowell campus, where the "Jack Kerouac Conference" was held last week, I've become aware that 2007 is shaping up to be the rebirth of interest in the Beats. In addition to Kerouac, people are now looking into the works of his contemporaries like allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Gregory Corso. This year I began a series of lectures & films concentrating on the Beats here at the library. This Monday, October 15, my old English professor from NYU (and currently teaching at SVA) Regina Weinreich, will be giving a lecture & power point presenatation on the life & work of William S. Burroughs.

Anyway, this site will be specifically devoted to Jack Kerouac for the next two weeks. To kick off this direction, I'm going to list a couple of Kerouac-related site links(and try to practice my hyperlink skills) here:

dharma beat

the beat writers

Now I have to run up to Town Hall. Another post should be up tomorrow.

Our hero:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sartana Video Box

This is me learning to add pictures:

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Test Review

After hearing so much about it, I finally broke down & watched the 1968 Italian-French "spaghetti western" Sartana with Gianni Garko & Klaus Kinski. It was worth the wait. The DVD (which has a slight problem with its letterboxing) looks okay. I'll have a more in-depth review later. -Ed

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Second Post

Here's my second post. Just testing.

Welcome to Ed's First Blog

Hi! This is Ed's very first blog, so please be patient. More to come.