Friday’s Weekly Round Up – 204

Herbert Huncke Centennial Celebrations at the Beat Museum today – Laki VazakasHilary HolladayBen SchaferDennis McNally, Brenda Knight, Regina Marler and Tate Swindell look back upon and discuss Herbert Huncke’s genius.

Two weeks since the last Friday Round-Up, so a bit of catching up to do.  Here’s (talking of the Beat Museum), the meeting-up of Gerd Stern (the man erroneously accused of losing it) and Mike McQuate, the man largely responsible for saving it – tho’, as others have pointed out, Jean Spinosa should also be credited with exemplary dispersal of her father’s estate) –  Yes, more gab on the fabled “Joan Anderson Letter
Jerry Cimino‘s the moderator

More Kerouac news – The Toronto Star reports on further developments in the re-examination of Kerouac’s French-Canadian roots (for more on that particular topic – see here). Two early novels written in French – La unit est ma femme (1951) and Sur le chemin (1952) are being readied for publication. A French-Canadian editor, Gabriel Anctil, is working on the French version of the books, while the Library of America (publishers of Kerouac’s Collected Poems, not to mention  Road Novels 1957-1960), have committed to publishing the work in English translation sometime in the course of next year.

Jack Kerouac circa 1956 – Photograph by Tom Palumbo

The Hungryalists – the Beats in India– Don’t miss this BBC radio documentary (produced by Dominic Byrne) on this important critical moment in both Beat and Indian literary history (up and available for listening to on-line on the BBC’s site for just two more weeks)

Dominic Byrne interviews Hungryalist poet, Samir Roychoudhory for BBC’s Indian Beats – The Hungryalist Generation

Shig Murao, Al Bendich and Lawrence Ferlinghetti at the Howl trial – photo from Life magazine, 1957

And, finally, an historic passing to report on today – Al Bendich, the New York Times notes, “the last living member of the defense team in the “Howl” (obscenity) case” (and also the sole defender in the first of Lenny Bruce‘s obscenity trials in 1962)  died January 5, aged 85, of a heart attack. It was he who wrote up the crucial brief or legal memorandum, “a document widely considered to have brought the defence victory”. Looking back (now over half a century) to the Howl trial, the legendary Howl trial. In these times of increasing oppression, it is important, no, crucial, to remember the unsung heros of free speech.

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