Since our last issue, one of the few surviving members of the Beat Generation passed away. Peter Orlovsky – poet, teacher and firm member of the Beats – died on May 30th, a few days before Allen Ginsberg’s birthday.
Although he will always be known as “Ginsberg’s lover,” Orlovsky deserves recognition in his own right. His place in literary history as both artist and muse is irrefutable, and he will be sorely missed.
Anne Waldman was with him in his final moments, and penned a touching description of his passing: http://www.pattismith.net/souvenance.html.
If you’re in or around London you should definitely check out a new William S. Burroughs exhibit: Dead Fingers Talk: The Tape Experiments of William S. Burroughs.
Running from 29th May to 18th July at IMT Gallery in Cambridge Heath Road, the exhibition features the audio experiments of William S. Burroughs and responses from 23 other artists.
To find out more, visit the IMT website: http://www.imagemusictext.com/project-listing/deadfingerstalk
The Rum Diary is one movie that literature fans have been awaiting for some time. Johnny Depp will be reprising his role as Hunter S. Thompson (well, actually Paul Kemp) and is joined by Amber Heard in the role of Chenault.
The movie seems to have been in the works forever, but all is developing nicely and we should see it on screen this year. News is notoriously sparse and unreliable, but for all the best updates, please check www.HSTbooks.org.
Hunter S. Thompson fans (ie all the people at Beatdom) will be delighted to know that after waiting years for The Rum Diary to be made, another Thompson story is on its way to the big screen.
“Prisoner of Denver” was an article Thompson co-wrote for the June 2004 issue ofVanity Fair. It concerned the plight of one Lisl Auman, who was wrongfully incarcerated after the murder of a police officer. Thompson launched a crusade for her release, but killed himself a month before her conviction was overturned.
The Motion Picture Corporation of America has bought the rights to the story, and has asked writers to produce a screenplay revolving around Thompson and co-author Mark Seal as “a gonzo Woodward and Bernstein.”
Perhaps of most interest to Beat fans is the supposed reincarnation of the whole On the Road movie trip. For what seems like forever (certainly going back to before I was even born) they’ve been talking about making Kerouac’s classic into a film.
Now it seems the project is all set to go, with Francis Ford Coppola (who has been linked to the project for years) producing, and Motorcycle Diaries director Walter Sales directing. Spider-man’s Kirsten Dunst and Twilight’s Kristen Stewart both starring.
Filming will begin later this year, with Salles simultaneously shooting a documentary about Jack Kerouac, titled, In Search of On the Road.
This year you might also like to take a look at William S. Burroughs: A Man Within. It made its world premiere at the 2010 Slamdance Film Festival, and is now trying to work its way into the public consciousness.
Please help support this movie by visiting their website: http://www.burroughsthemovie.com/
If you’re anywhere near Washington D.C. in the next few months, make sure to check out the first ever exhibition of Allen Ginsberg’s photography at the National Gallery of Art. It runs from May 2nd to September 10th.
Ginsberg documented the lives of his friends during the 1950s with a little Kodak camera, and inscribed the photographs with poetic descriptions. Some famous photos of Kerouac and Burroughs come from Ginsberg’s early attempts. He later returned to photograph in the 1980s, with help from his friend, Robert Frank.
Read more about Ginsberg’s foray into photography at www.NPR.org.
The Huntington Library in San Marino is set to display its Charles Bukowski collection for the first time, starting October 9th, and running into the start of next year.
The material on display comes from their Bukowski collection, which was donated by his widow, Linda Lee Bukowski. The pair married in 1985.
“Charles Bukowski: Poet on the Edge” will showcase 60 items from the library’s collection, and another 15 from his widow’s collection. These include typed manuscripts, first editions and photos of Bukowski’s private life.
For more info, please see the Huntington Library website.
If you have a spare $30,000 you might want to head over to Christie’s in New York, because on 22nd June they’re selling one of Jack Kerouac’s typewriters.
This was the last typewriter Kerouac ever owned, and was in his possession at the time of his death, in 1969. In January of that year Kerouac had the machine repaired after apparently dropping it.
If you don’t have the money for his typewriter, perhaps you might want to bid on what is perhaps a more evocative piece of Kerouacian history: his rucksack.
Kerouac was known as a great traveller, and has earned his place in American history as a sort of hobo – a man constantly “on the road.” In January 1961 – well after his famous road adventures – Kerouac visited New York City and purchased this bag.
It’s listed for sale at between $5,000-$7,000.