Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Kerouac, Hemingway, Ginsberg, Burroughs, and more at The Paris Review

During my research on the Kerouac-Hemingway connection, I discovered that all The Paris Review's writer interviews since 1953 are available online for free!

Yup! They interviewed Jack - in 1968. See The Paris Review Interviews 1960s. You'll find an interview with Allen Ginsberg on that page as well. And William Burroughs. And William Carlos Williams. All of them beat writers or of interest to a beat aficionado (which means "a fan of bullfighting," a Hemingway connection).

If you jump to The Paris Review Interviews 1950s, you'll find an interview with Hemingway.

For each decade, there are a couple dozen interviews.

It's an amazing resource. Robert Frost is there. Kurt Vonnegut.

You'll get to read James Dickey, author of Deliverance, say about Allen Ginsberg:

I certainly hope so. I think Ginsberg has done more harm to the craft that I honor and live by than anybody else by reducing it to a kind of mean that enables the most dubious practitioners to claim they are poets because they think, If the kind of thing Ginsberg does is poetry, I can do that. They damn themselves to a life of inconsequentiality when they could have been doing something more useful. They could have been garbage collectors, or grocery-store managers.

Dickey's entitled to his opinion. And so am I. The high point of his entire career was playing the hard-ass sheriff in the movie version of his novel, wherein he sneered at Jon Voight:

Don't ever do nothin' like this again. Don't come back up here.

But I digress. As you will once you start reading the writer interviews made available by The Paris Review! Huzzah to them!!


Jonny Darko said...

There are some great interviews in there, for sure. The Ginsberg one in particular stands out for me. In it it has what I would consider to be the most definitive record of Ginsberg's "Blake vision," although I haven't quite gotten through his 1937-1952 journal yet. A very good resource indeed. And there's definitely something very ironic in Dickey's statement on Ginsberg, read in today's light.

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

Yes! Given today's view of Ginsberg, Dickey's comment is quite ironic. I guess Bush and his supporters are hoping for the same result?

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

Oh, forgot to mention that I am reading a collection of letters back and forth from Ginsberg to Gary Snyder. Quite interesting!!