Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 645

Harry Smith, Untitled (Zodiacal hexagramscratchboard), c. 1952 © Harry Smith

It’s Harry Smith weekend this weekend in New York at the Whitney, or to put it more singularly, “My Harry”

The Museum writes:
“My Harry” is a three-day convening of some of Smith’s devoted friends and aficionados, all of whom have championed the unclassifiable artist, filmmaker, musicologist, and collector since his death in 1991. A crucial countercultural figure in twentieth-century America, Smith’s peculiar legacy has long been obscured by the vastness of his endeavors, the scarcity of his surviving work, and his own purposefully laid misdirections.
This mini-festival celebrates Smith’s eclectic life and serpentine pursuits with a series of talks, conversations, listening sessions, screenings, games, and live music. The presenters delve into Smith’s encyclopedic and esoteric interests which include the occult, paper airplanes, string figures, animation, field recordings, folk music, and so much more.”
Magick and Mysticism” kicks off the festivities this evening, (“devoted to talks and conversations about Smith’s interest in and explorations of spiritual and occult practices alongside listening sessions and screenings” – Carol Bove will make a presentation, “Fragments of A Faith Forgotten”, Charles Stein will speak on “Harry Smith and the Future of Magick”, followed by a conversation between Stein and Raymond Foye).

“Stories, Songs and Strings” is tomorrow’s focus, (“Visitors of all ages are invited to a day of musical performances, games, interactive workshops, and storytelling. This will includes a stop-motion animation studio, a paper-airplane workshop (with Bradley Eros), a singing-circle (with Ali Dineen), a string-figure workshop (with James Inoli Murphy)  and more musical mayhem from ex-Holy Modal Rounder, Peter Stampfel and his band The Atomic Meta-Pagan Posse). Saturday will also feature a presentation by Rani Singh, Director of the Harry Smith Archives, speaking on Smith’s epic film, Mahagonny, (both how it was made and how it was restored by the Getty Museum, following his death in 1991).

On Sunday, the festival concludes with “Affinities”  (“talks, conversations, listening sessions, and screenings” – Presenters include April and Lance Ledbetter of Dust-to-Digital – (“On Harry’s Trail”),  Raymond Foye (“Friendly Rivals – The Art of Jordan Belsen“), and Anne Waldman summoning up the days, “paying tribute to Smith’s unique cultural legacy”)

December 8-10

See Steven Taylor‘s notes on Harry and the Whitney celebration – here


Philip Whalen (1923-2002) – photo by Allen Ginsberg  – (c) The Estate of Allen Ginsberg

Philip Whalen – We can’t recommend too highly,  Bowed Some, Chanted A Little  the recently-published edition (edited by Brian Unger) of his journals

Pat Nolan, on his always-engaging Parole gives it an intelligent – and extensive – review – here
See also, on the same forum, Bruce  Holsapple“Poesy’s ravening violet flames” – Whalen in Ekstasis Part 1″



Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) – photo by Allen Ginsberg – (c) The Estate of Allen Ginsberg

Brian Hassett’s film-curation-creation,  Jack on Film – Take Twothat premiered this year at the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac festival at Lowell’s Luna Theatre, is now available for perusal (with significantly improved quality/resolution) on You Tube – see here
For more Brian Hassett video from this year’s LCK celebration   – see here 

and the upcoming Holly George-Warren biography?   Simon Warner over at Rock and the Beat Generation dispels any idle rumors that the biography is any way delayed.

and check out this recent note (for the Greenwich Village Society For Historical Preservation)  on Kerouac’s Catholicism –  Kerouac reassuring David Amram, who is Jewish, that he can take Communion – “It’s alright, you’re with me”.


Malay Roychoudhury (1939-2023)

Belatedly noting the death of Indian “Hungryalist” –  Malay Roychoudhury
Obituary notices here and here
Maitreyee B Roychoudhury writes about him here

Here’s “Howl” translated into Bengali and read by Malay Roychoudhury

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