Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm in the Philadelphia Dailiy News

A link to the article.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I and Albee

I spent the last two days with Edward Albee, whom I hosted as a "Writers House Fellow." I was able to persuade him to read my favorite speech in all of his 30 plays--the pre-elegy given by A (modeled on Albee's adoptive mother) to the audience at the very end of Three Tall Women. My second favorite (while we're on favorites...): Martin trying to describe his feelings for the goat in The Goat (Or: Who Is Sylvia?), an attempt that breaks down because such longing is an experience of non-relation. He cannot "relate" it because it doesn't not "relate to anything," a foregrounding in a surface of halting words the key double meaning of (in my view) all great writers. Relation = to connect (or--mostly--not) and to describe in words (or--mostly--not).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

coffee news

I'm somewhat necessarily in favor the results of this new research on the health of those who drink coffee.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rufus Wainwright at the Writers House

Had the pleasure of hanging out with Rufus Wainwright yesterday afternoon and evening at the Writers House. Anthony DeCurtis, above left, conducted a beautiful interview/conversation with him for an hour in front of a small audience of 50.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

surrealism's anarchic tendencies

From an interview with Gene Tanta: "Dada interests me more than Surrealism. However, within Surrealism, its anarchic tendencies seem more interesting to me than its fetishistic tendencies (which American marketing has employed with such gusto). For instance, Breton had another concept called “convulsive beauty” which transgresses the boundaries of formal logic as well as the canonical categories of Beauty. Convulsive beauty, by retooling the pathology of hysteria, queers aesthetic and political norms." For more, click here.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

'Shoah' in Iran (AP story)

Epic Holocaust film 'Shoah' to be screened in Iran via satellite TV
Filmmaker Claude Lanzmann's renowned nine-plus-hour film includes testimony from concentration-camp survivors and employees about the slaughter of millions of Jews in Europe during World War II.

By The Associated Press

PARIS - An epic French documentary about the Holocaust, dubbed into Farsi, is to be broadcast on a satellite channel in Iran as part of a campaign to promote understanding between Jews and Muslims and to fight Holocaust denial.

Filmmaker Claude Lanzmann's renowned nine-plus-hour film "Shoah" includes testimony from concentration-camp survivors and employees about the slaughter of millions of Jews in Europe during World War II.

The Aladdin Project, a Paris-based group, said the film would be shown starting yesterday over the next several days on the large Los Angeles-based satellite channel Pars. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has questioned historical accounts of the Holocaust, and called for Israel's destruction.

The Aladdin Project tried twice to get a green light from Iranian authorities to hold a press conference in Tehran about the killing of Jews during World War II, but received no response, Abe Radkin, the group's executive director, told The Associated Press.

"If the Iranian government agrees to broadcast [the film] on a public channel, we would welcome it," he said.

TV satellite dishes are outlawed in Iran, but enforcement of the ban is spotty. Many people no longer worry about concealing the dishes. In recent months, authorities have targeted some sections of Tehran to remove dishes, but the sweeps appear to be isolated.

The Aladdin Project has also dubbed the film into Arabic and Turkish. It will be shown in Turkey at the Istanbul film festival next month, then a week later on the TRT channel, Radkin said.

The group had planned to broadcast the film on an Egyptian channel, but has put the plans on hold amid unrest that ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak.

"We will wait a bit so that the political situation in Arab countries allows the broadcast of such a film," he said. "We need a peaceful atmosphere to concentrate on this message."

The Aladdin Project has backing from UNESCO, the educational and cultural arm of the United Nations.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Vanessa Place, March 24

Vanessa Place will be at the Writers House on March 24. Listen here for an announcement about the event.