Next week in Paris (September 20-22) sees the sixth Annual Conference of the European Beat Studies Network – “The Transcultural Beat Generation” is this year’s focus “(Collaboration. Publication, Translation)”. The three days are broken down as follows: Wednesday, the 20th – “French Edition(s) and Beat Intellectual Life in Paris” – Thursday, the 21st – “Beat Translation and Collaboration” – Friday the 22nd – “Marginalized Beat Artists”.
Of the specifically Ginsbergian – Thursday-evening (6-7.30) has been given over to a panel on Allen, chaired by Anna Aublet) – (rather unfortunately, it clashes with a panel on William Burroughs (chaired by EBSN President, Oliver Harris), taking place at the same time). The participants in the Ginsberg panel are Franca Bellarsi, Bent Sorensen, and Christine Roth (Christine’s paper has an intriguing title – “Ginsberg’s Transcultural Homeland at Apollinaire’s Grave”). Also Ginsbergian, earlier in the day, Ilze Stikane (from the University of Latvia) – “7 Poems of Ginsberg – Latvian Translation of Beat Poetry in the Soviet Period”
But it’s not only Ginsberg, of course. Among the other highlights – a key-note address (on the 22nd) by Ann Charters – “Kerouac and Holmes’ Beat Existentialism”, Gerald Nicosia and Kerouac’s French translator and editor, Jean-Christophe Cloutier (Cloutier appears on a “Roundtable with Translators of Beat works” with two German translators Caroline Hartge and Michael Kellner, along with Benoit Delaune on the invaluable work of Mary Beach and Claude Pelieu)
A rare appearance by Bonnie Bremser (and much, much more) is part of the “Marginalized Beat Artists” section
A full listing (the program) can be accessed here
Jeff Tamarkin’s review of Allen’s William Blake CD in Relix is positive – if a little equivocal! – “So, is it good music? It’s fascinating, to be sure—you’ve definitely heard worse attempts at marrying poetry to song—and, at its best, Ginsberg’s intonations and somewhat droning delivery are captivating, impassioned and often haunting. While most of the tunes are under two minutes, his ability to match Blake’s words to then-happening folk-rock/jazz-based forms was uncanny, and his grasp of their inherent rhythms and melodies was irrefutable.”
Irrefutable? – We guess that’s a plus.
Hal Willner, Allen’s friend and producer (not of the Blake recordings but of the definitive Holy Soul, Jelly Roll, and The Lion For Real album) is profiled in this must-read piece in The New York Times. (in case you missed it)
We love this image of Allen and Steven Taylor that appeared recently in the Czech press (on the occasion of Beat scholar Josef Rauvolf”s recently published translation of the classic Beat Generation novel, John Clellon Holmes’ Go