Following a little detour on Shakespeare and Gregory Corso, Allen has a brief reminder for his 1980 Naropa “Rotating Shakespeare” class
AG: And I was to remind you that ‘Nanda Pivano will be teaching the Visiting Poetics class tomorrow, I think, a survey of the impact of American Literature on Europe, (particularly Italy as an anti-authoritarian culture import or something like that.
I don’t know what she’ll cover precisely but (there) will likely (be) recollections of Alice Toklas and (Ernest) Hemingway and Ezra Pound and. (to Fernanda Pivano). who else? – or what do you think you will be covering?
NP: I don’t know. I’ll try to tell about how the Fascists were forbidding American Literature, how the Italian people tried to have a multi-cultural society..
AG: Yes. It’s interesting to me because (of) suspicions latent in Beat literature that it was supposed to be set up in advance as a bulwark against American Fascism, (which was my conscious effort, back in the (19)50s and (19)60s – to leave behind some sort of literary time-bomb that would explode when people started closing down with police state, censorship, and all that, some time-bomb that was already placed in all the schoolbooks so that it would be there permanently, and, at least, stand as some sort of mental wall against American police state constriction.)
She (‘Nanda) does have the actual experience of being in a fascist state and seeing the impact of a kind of funny free-thought of Hemingway, and other American writers, on the intellectual rigidity of the Fascists and then the social rigidity. And she’s had to live through that, so she actually has a history of, in a sense, what’s going to come to us,that might be useful to know, maybe.
“..Than other princes can..” [Editorial note – Prospero to Miranda – “Here in this island we arrived; and here/Have I, thy schoolmaster, made thee more profit/Than other princes can, that have more time/For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful.”]
Yes.. what time are you doing it? what time is that?
NP: They told me six o’clock.
AG: Yes. Okay.
Student: Where does it take place?
AG: Here, It’s the Visiting Poetics, I think. What room was that?
NP: 104. They told me 104.
AG: Yes, it’s the usual.. it’ll be the last meeting of the “Visiting Poetics”.
[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately thirteen-and-a-half minutes in, and continuing to approximately sixteen minutes in]