< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 34 OF 34 ·
|Feb-25-10|| ||Russian Grandmasters: Shane! Come back!|
|Jul-19-10|| ||jessicafischerqueen: Shane!
I mean Bill!
Your all too rare appearances are even more poignant when you are consoling people.
I really miss you- without you and <chessmoron> this site has really diminished.
By that I mean it was a million times better, and more lively, when you were here and Wilson too.
I hope things is good with you.
|Jan-10-11|| ||jessicafischerqueen: I "hopw" you are doing well too.
You've been gone way too long. What do you have to say for yourself young man!
Hugh better give an update of some kind...
|Jan-10-11|| ||WBP: Hi, <Jess>!!!
Many thanks for looking in! Yes, I've been absent from these parts a while, I guess, though I do look in from time to time. I really do miss you all and am way overdue for immersing myself in the mayhem that is <Chessgames.com>! (Oh, by the way--and I learned this the hard way: don't use emoticons on your resume. Just sayin.')
I'm teaching Literatue of the Road this spring--really looking forward to it!
How have you been? I've thought of you whenever the Korea standoff hits the news, which is often enough.
Speaking of the Road: when I turned 16 my parents tried to surprise me with a car. Luckily, I was able to jump out of the way...
|Jan-10-11|| ||achieve: High Five here from me as well, Bill - even though you just recycled a joke that was in your Bio for ages. ;)|
Check out Jess' latest three part video series on Polish Chess on YTube! Link in her bio and forum. If you already have, the I'll have to eat my tongue. Even so, always a pleasure to see you. YES??!
|Jan-10-11|| ||WBP: <Neils>!
Right back at ya'!
As for the recycled joke: "DOH!!!"
(More and more senior moments creeping in.)
I shall check out the stuff on <Jess's> page, but I have real trouble downloading stiff (I'm still on dialup; I also still use a butter churner, tell time by sundail, and decorate my home by painting on the cave wall.)
|Jan-10-11|| ||jessicafischerqueen: <Bill> the videos are on youtube you don't need to download anything.|
Speaking of youtube JINX I've just been collecting and listening to "On the Road" on youtube, as read by Jack "O' Lantern" Kerouac.
I've also been ripping the sound for my hardrive for "future reference".
What books will be on your course?
Is "The Road to Manderlay" a road movie?
|Jan-11-11|| ||WBP: <Jess> Thanks, I'll track those things--and others I know you've done--soon!|
Interesting about Jack K. reading On the Road. I love hearing writers read their own stuff (do you know about Poetry Speaks? It's a book with a short section devoted to 19th and 20th C poets that has an accompanying CD with each one reading his or her own works. Begins with Whitman and Tennyson--both of whom sound as though they're literally hollering out their words from a really deep well. Fascinating!) I've just purchased a whole bunch of CDs made from hours of film shot by Ken Kesey and his M.P's. They should arrive any day. (I loved both Cuckoos Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion.)
The class going to be a survey of the road "impulse," from Emerson and Thoreau (latter's "Walking" essay) up to some contemporary stuff. Basically, we'll be examining the road as vehicle for self-discovery and self actualization, the regenerative powers of the frontier, the discovery of the nation's history and myths, the resultant mingling of historical and personal myths, and so on. Books: Some Emerson and Thoreau, excerpts from Lewis and Clark, Parkman's The Oregon Trail, and some other frontier narratives (I'm hoping to track down some Donner Party stuff--maybe show the Burns's--Ken or Rick--docu on them), then Huckleberry Finn (the river as raod), Grapes of Wrath, On the Road, Cormac McCarthy's The Road, Sam Shepard's Fool for Love, Hunter S. Thompson's Hell's Angels, and Michael Wallis's Route 66. I'd hoped to get in Stephen Wright's (not the commedian) Going Native--a brilliant and hilarious post-modern look at the genre (have you read it?)--but it's very tough to come by.
<Road to Mandalay> Hehe. maybe we'll do a Vegas field trip, and call it "The Road to Mandalay Bay."
|Jan-12-11|| ||jessicafischerqueen: Fantastic <Bill> I'd love to take that course from you. Good idea to include <Cormac McCarthy> as all that is "page turning" fare as you know. |
I saw <Sam> acting in a film production of "Fool for Love" so I don't have to read that one.
I also enjoyed <Hell's Angels>.
You absolutely have to include the <Lewis and Clark> spotting of a Sasquatch footprint.
That may be key to the whole course, Shirley?
I haven't read Stephen Wright but I enjoyed his "conceptual" stand up on TV.
|Jan-13-11|| ||WBP: <Jess> Thanks for the boost of confidence. I'm also going to bring in some theory/critical stuff--am reading a terrific book on the ubject right now by a chap named Kris Lackey (Road Frames: The American Highway Narrative. University of Nebraska, 1997). And wish I could include the Wright book, as I want to also empahsize the dystopian elements of "the road" as much as the utopian (which The Road and the Donner Party stuff will do). And btw, the Wright of the "'conceptual' standup,' whom I also love, is not the same guy--but perhaps you know this.
Also want to explore the tensions between writing (which is passive, recollective, and/or frabricative [if such a word exists]) and experience. It seems to me that the avowed task of the American writer is, for many American writers, to give narrative the immediacy of experience (I'm thinking here especially of Hemingway; obviously Kerouac as well). This was a problem for Kesey, who abandoned writing for "experience" (he told Tom Wolfe that he'd "rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph). We'll see where that goes (I've actually begun an essay called "Experience and the American writer based on all this--we'll see where THAT goes! Hate going back to academic writing after writing fiction fo so long now.)|
L & C saw a bigfoot print? I knew that Francis Parkman describes what he thinks are grizzly bear footprints at one point in The Oregon Trail ("huge footprints, like those of a human giant") in such fashion as to suggest a bigfoot track (I wear size twelve shoes, and my footprint is for the mosy part larger than most bear tracks). I didn't remember L & C seeing one, but I'll reread the Devoto edition of their journals.
There are still <Sam> sightings here in Santa fe (he lived here in the '80s, and is apparently back from time tio time, as is Robt. Redford< who bought a house, here).
This is too long, and has NO CHESS in it!!! Man, I'm in trouble with the Chessgame folks. (Maybe I should throw in some dirty limericks as well! Snicker, snicker...)
Surely we lost a hero when Leslie passed on--I know he was one of "yours" (I believ from B.C., no?)
|Jan-13-11|| ||Annie K.: <WBP> Hello. :)
Surely Robert Pirsig's 'The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' and Jack London's 'The Road' (http://london.sonoma.edu/Writings/T...) should be included...? ;)
|Jan-13-11|| ||WBP: <Annie K.> Thanks for looking in! Yeah, those are certainly very good choices, and there are so many more--Henry Miller's The Air-Cinditioned Nightmare, Steinbeck's Travels With Charley, a whole sub-genre of African-American road works, and so on. Also a TON of road films.
My guess is that I'm going to assign some of these as outside reading--let the students do a paper on one of them, or some such...
And <Annie K.> and <Jess>: I taught a Shakespeare I class last semester, and one of my new favorite speeches in Shakespeare is Aaron's in Titus Andronicus, Act 5 Sc. 1, beginning line 124 ("Ay, that I had not done a thousand more [evil acts]...") It's hilarious, and shows the versitility and real perverse nature of Shakespeare's as yet uncultivated imagination.
STILL NO CHESS!!! I live in constant fear now that the Chessgames.com SWAT Team will knock down my front door at any minute!|
|Jan-13-11|| ||Annie K.: One question... what is this CHESS thing whereof you speak? ;s|
|Jan-13-11|| ||WBP: <Annie K.> <One question... what is this CHESS thing whereof you speak? ;s> Our forums are supposed to be about chess. (Btw, I've managed to have a forum devoted purely to worldwide revolution and mayhem, based on a posting "chess" discvussion.
|Jan-13-11|| ||achieve: <Bill> For some reason when I hear you even "list" your compulsory or recommended reading list already my mouth starts to water... (African American Road works - can you give an example?).|
I'd sign up for class immediately. Like a hungry wolf.
How many hours per week is the "study strain"? (likely ill-translated but you know what I mean..)
I'd adopt of course my own "study tempo" - but there's negotiation room, and willingness to sacrifice!
But really, I read a lot of books online (monitor) but that's neither literature (mostly) nor proper reading, which of course requires a real book with pages to turn.
|Jan-14-11|| ||jessicafischerqueen: <Weapons of Bill's Production>|
Doh! That's <David Thompson> saw the tracks of course, not <Lewis and Clark>.
However, did you know that "Lewis and Clark" were actually one person? One really tall person.
It's a fact!
Also doh! on the Stephen Wright I didn't know about the writer, only the comedian.
Kesey's "experience as writing" is a daft idea.
It's false- you either write or you don't, making a work of art out of experience isn't writing.
<Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test> was interesting I thought, primarily for the sinking feeling in Kesey that he's backed the wrong horse on Kalifornia Kounter-Kulture.
I'm not sure how intentional that feeling was in his writing but I'm sure it's there, not so obvious as in <Hunter Thompson> who was explicit about the "crest of the receding wave" when he realized the "social revolution" had turned into a bunch of bums taking drugs for no reason.
That "wave" line is from <Fear and Loathing>, surely one of the finer "road books"?
|Jan-14-11|| ||jessicafischerqueen: In case you needed to know- some in Ohio call Sasquatch|
It's a fact!
|Jan-14-11|| ||WBP: <Jess> <The Woolybarger>! Hilarious! Hilarious and cute! Wonder if there's a Woolybarger Howler? I've seen some pictures of Ralph "Sonny" Barger that depicted him rather wooly-looking. |
I'll have to look that David Thompson feller up (sad to say, it rings a Second City bell, rather than the proverbial pioneer-finds-big-footprint bell. Damn Anglo-Saxon names!
I am definitely with you on the "experience as writing" thing. Kesey's a sad case for me, since I loved both Cukoo's Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion (both written at just around 30). Then he just quit writing in favor of "experience." (Not for nothing am I starting off the class with Emerson's The American Scholar," which prvileges experience. I see this as a distinctly American trait, btw.)
Yeah, <Wolfman> was pretty tough on <The Merry Ranksters>, though he does seem to have some genuine affection for them in some ways. But he really caught the futilty and bs elements of it all, same way the <Big-Game Hunter> does in his fine books.
(All this too hastily dashed off--but I am in a rush)
Lewis and Clark were one person! And they also lyp-synced, like Milli Vanilli,who were also one person. So were the Archies.
|Jan-14-11|| ||WBP: <Neils> Ah, there you go, makin’ me blush and everything! But thanks. I am looking forward to this one. As for some selections from African-American road books, there are Carl Rowan’s South of Freedom (1954), John A. Williams’s This is My Country (1965), Chet Fuller’s I Hear Them Calling My Name (1981), Eddy Harris’s South of haunted Dreams: A Ride Through Slavery’s Old Back Yard (1993), and John Howard Griffin’s Black Like Me (1960)--Griffin was a white writer who, using dyes and a sunlamp, turned his skin nearly black in order to go through the South to experience the racism firsthand. There are others, too. Mainly, these non-fiction texts challenge (through the depiction of the racism experienced by the writers on their respective journeys) some of the idealistic assumptions and standbys of Road literature--the nearly existential creation and constant re-creation of self and identity while on the road, the “bonding” with the country, its land, its history, and its myths, and so forth. Anyways, we’ll see where it goes!
Don't quite know how to answer the "study strain" question. It will be a big reading load, but they are, as <Jess> has pointed out, mostly page-turners, so it shouldn't be too much (I hope!).|
|Jan-14-11|| ||achieve: Brilliant! Thanks <Bill> ... Whilst reading your introducing your recommendations I can't help but feel very closely to the "subject matter" through my experiences listening to Jazz and reading (a few) JAZZ biographies. There's a lot in there... Talk about "the nearly existential creation and constant re-creation of self and identity while on the road" -- that's Jazz in a nutshell... Or, flipping it around, Jazz <is> part of existential creation and constant recreation <in a nutshell> ... |
It's Life in all its "vibrancy" - never before and since matched, at least not in musical literature.
I don't think you can even "teach a course" like that (yours) without referring to musical influences and expressions, both "tonal" and lyrical.
You'll of course know of the overcoming, but first suffering and becoming heavily bruised by racism in all its inhumane and hardly spoken of detail... My hero Oscar Peterson and many of his both black and white confreres attest to this reluctantly, but still Oscar gives it ample room in his biography (Oscar Peterson died in december 2007). I'll go one step further and state that it, the oppression, forms much of the basis of his Art. Oscar says so and literally spun out of it and launched himself into an orbit that has, and never will, be emulated. Not just Peterson of course, if it wasn't for the damn drugs and booze, you'd be hard pressed to not acknowledge the heights the greats in Jazz reached as a cultural phenomenon WITHOUT PEER.
I think that is why your literary analogy hit home with me so powerfully, and why I feel the need to steer some attention to African American music, one of the superior highlights in ANY comparison, regarding 20th century culture. Pity (groce understatement!) it's been sucked dry by the egotistical and maniacal inhumane forces in- and by- commerce... Oh well.
Thank goodness for your literary equivalent and testimonial, and exposing it, at least to me personally, as you do to your students.
Perhaps this explains my "hunger" ;)
Rest assured I have already copied your recommended reading and written it down on a piece of paper; to me it's a thing of importance, for more than a few reasons.
The bonding with the land, its soil, its myths, customs, its sounds... All worth any amount of study strain if you ask me, <Bill>, and as you say most are page turners, and I am fluent enough in English to give it a go.
Thanks very much!
|Jan-15-11|| ||jessicafischerqueen: <WMD>
Yes zero points to me for mixing up <Tom Wolfe> with <Ken Kesey>.
<David Thompson> discovered the mighty Thompson River in the Pacific Northwest and logged this sasquatch report in the process:
|Jan-17-11|| ||WBP: <Neils> and <Jess> I owe you both a message, but am so strapped for time--will respond soon. And thanks!
|Jan-18-11|| ||achieve: <Bill> Time is not an issue, not on matters of this gravity. [tongue in cheek]|
I've taken Peterson's Bio: A Jazz Oddyssea - from the bookshelf, to check out once again what he writes about racism both at home and the US and abroad, and his views tie in very well with the subject you're teaching your students. Various uncanningly sharp observations and interpretations Oscar brings across the footlight, which I will not go into just right now, but surely it would be of value I think to your students to learn about, and think very deeply on them.
One anecdote I'll disclose now is the many instances <Herb Ellis> (guitar player in the famous Peterson Bass& Guitar Trio), a homegrown Texan no trace of pigment to be found, was told to sleep and eat in the WHITE section of the hotel, and of course refused, several times at gunpoint (!!) citing that he insisted on staying with his best buddies, no matter how severe the threat.... Just think about that...
Oscar would of course get hate letters from both Whites as well as negroes, in the fashion of "Hey! What's that white cat doing in your trio, he can't play nothing!"
Your account of Griffin reminds me strongly of Oscar's remarks of how he would "bleach himself" and still be able to play the way he did.
But this journey all over the world, conquering the posh concert buildings in Europe; receiving statesman-like welcomes and receptions in Japan, etc., are a testiment to his greatness and authority to speak on matters racial and most certainly on things socio-cultural, like eg national pride, and the lack of Canada's ability to "honor, or recognize [him, but equally so other canadian artists] as a great musician/pianist/artist, <at home>." Which was what Oscar longed for the most. And while saying that he was deep down more concerned with the Canadians' in-built-like minority complex which Oscar wanted for them to part with; break that spell.
|Jan-18-11|| ||achieve: *odyssea*
Not entirely sure why I spelled it "odd"
|Jan-29-11|| ||Domdaniel: *Two Lane Blacktop* is a must, though I don't think the road is really African-American.|
There's a David Thompson who, despite being English, is the world's best movie critic. He wrote a novel in which Travis Bickle turned out to be the son of George Bailey, and the Jane Fonda character from Klute was another family member. American cinema was this huge polyvocal saga about one extended family ...
Come to think of it, Pynchon does something similar. I'll explain it all in 'Hollywood and Vineland', to be started any week now...
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