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OCCASIONAL COMMENTS ON THE ARTS HIGH AND LOW + AND ON HANDKE CONTROVERSIES ALSO SEE: http://handke-trivia.blogspot.com/ http://www.handke.scriptmania.com/favorite_links_1.html http://handke-discussion.blogspot.com/

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A PO PO THE NY TIMES ATROCIOUS ARTS AND LEISURE SECTION

LETTER TO NY TIMES PUBLISHER A PO PO THE NY TIMES  ATROCIOUS ARTS AND LEISURE SECTION

Dear Mr. Sulzberger, notE below links to six entirely vacuous thus superflous pieces from your soft-core Arts & Leisure section. The so far absent serious piece on Handke's theater, e.g. might have run instead





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Saturday, March 02, 2019

Edward Mendelson: Auden on No-Platforming Pound

re https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/02/27/auden-on-no-platforming-pound/


 

Fri, Mar 1, 4:22 PM (17 hours ago)
 

Dear Ed,
How wonderful to come on your account of Auden’s so rational way of dealing with the Pound/ Random House matter, if only I liked his poetry as much. Pound played a brief exemplary guiding role in my life, and a much longer and deeper one in the lives of various acquaintances of my youth – there is probably a piece though not by me on those various kids that went to visit, pay obeisance whatever to their guide post at St. Elizabeth during his years of safe keeping there. A felow by the name of Frank Versace, back at Haverford was the first.
       My real introduction to modernism occurred I suppose during my junior year abroad via a great Shakespeare scholar’s seminar at university of Munich during my first semester. The second semester, in Berlin, meant Georgy Lukacs and Brecht. In between Ionesco and Paris and a lot of theater.

Senior year I wrote the two good essays of those four years, one on the Ur-Faust; the other on Mauberly.  My affair with Pound included his early work,Personae and early cantos, but particularly his Abc of Reading, his exemplary way of assisting artists and founding magazines as centers of creativity of that kind, he sharpened my ear which had been pretty much under the influence of Whitman since I was introduced to his work at Oakwood School, by a great teacher - Yoshiro Sonbanmatsu  - who also introduced us at an early age to Funagain Finnegan,  there was a time I knew the Anna Livia Plurabellesection by heart - and it probably is still locked up in my brain and who knows what event it would take for it to burst forth to my own immense surprise. It was The Abc of Reading and Pound’s idea of a magazine that came to mind during an early winter orgy in Fairbanks in 1960 after I had dropped out of grad school  - prospect of being part of a department for the rest of my life had made me go dead – and I was dwelling on what adventure to pursue after nine months of forest fire fighting and geological surveying in that by and large immense pristine environment, and while so pondering the possibility of driving a nitroglycerine truck in the Venezuelan oil fields or diving for conches in the south sea, what I really loved, that adventure in the literary trade came to mind.  The publisher of the magazine, Michael Lebeck was one of those Poundians that had traveled to D.C and he too went mad in his way -
, - I myself had no interest and was then also not really aware of the depth of Pound's insanity and Lebeck's I might sense now that I can read certain indications   – I think folks who are mad for beauty often go mad, and I imagine that aside of whatever sufficient psychoanalytic explanation for the phenomenon there are neurological ones that go back to the moment that you found your mother the most beautiful object in the world as you were being suckled.

Metamorphosis then also published a goodly section from that progeny of well endowed Bavarian beer vessels, Fred Seidel  hisFinal Solutions, who and Pound, in his account, hit it off during his visits. So for how long was Pound mad ? Apparently in some ways forever, but then also not.  Beats me.

Cerf I met once. He dragged Frank Sinatra to Elaine’s as part of an attempt to sign up his biography - they were introduced to that hell hole by Random House author William Styron with whom I and my then best friend, fellow Elaine’s regular Frank Conroy, had become acquainted – best conversations about Faulkner, ever, and we then all sat down way in back, Frank’s friend, the painter Sven Lukin , too. Don’t remember a thing about Cerf but Sinatra was awfully well behaved, nor did his body guard need to intervene. At the end of the evening, prior for a night cap at his regular Jilly’s ,he invited those present to join him on his 707 that was going to London in another week. I who was then I think briefly the representative of Suhrkamp Verlag via the Lantz-Donation agency had to beg off, so did my date, an actress who was starring in Butterflies are Free . However , that brief and pleasant encounter with Sinatra would have the consequence about 25 years later during a heavy downpour in Santa Rosalia, Baja Sur: at a bar at a motel a distinguished Roman senator type Mexican voiced the line “old blue eyes” as a Sinatra song started up, and we fell into a conversation: as a young man this now head of the Federales de Caminos[highway police] of the state of Baja Sur had been a waiter at the 21 One Club and had served Sinatra who had been well behaved and tipped well. That encounter led to my visiting Mulege during a Todos Santos weekend and deciding to live there for some years instead of the arid Bahia des Los Angeles where I would have had little to diverge me from my work.  Best ever,
Michael Roloff-------

 


Sunday, February 24, 2019

RE; ADORNO MENTION in "Reading in an Age of Catastrophe Edward Mendelson"


Reading in an Age of Catastrophe




Dear Ed,

Your commendable Reading in an Age of Catastrophe

that touches on numerous matters that I endorse – e.g., Eleanor Roosevelt is my proudly remembered high-school graduation speaker - however rubs me at the wrong spot with its Adorno jibes . Let me explain.

I might easily have become a pianist or musician of some kind, and a happier person all around.
 We had a grand on the second floor of  our place outside Bremen


My father’s mother Omi Paula Roloff was friends with quite a few of the stars of German classical music; my father was Furtwangler’s ear that he would consult after a performance to get an honest evaluation; the one matter he took pride in  first son was my affinity to Mozart. My mother’s mother Alexandra Einsiedel-Alvensleben was a concert quality pianist married to someone –  Werner von Alvensleben - whose knowledge of music didn’t extend beyond the Radetsky March , so I was told. We had a then 40s state of the art record player and the appropriate collection. All I did was bang around the grand that no one played – Omi A. had left her bombed out apartment in Berlin and, apparently wanting to die, was bed-ridden, a wish I recall as exerting a weird and I imagine forbidding spell, as is appropriate in a child. I eventually taught myself to read music from the scores in the house but failed to ask to be taught and made no effort in that direction. There was no model.

When the US Army liberated us in Spring 1945 and the local chapter of the OSS made our place “off limits” to everybody else’s parties, this residence of long-time Hitler opponents some of whom had survived the siege of Berlin in their respective Gestapo prisons, started to resound to their  music; and there was the Radio in the American Enclave Bremen that played the blues and I was introduce not just to the jiggaboo dance music which Adorno analyzes with such blinding brilliance


but also the work of the auteurs of the time, which are not Adorno’s subject - best as I can tell he only takes a few swipes at the “soloing” that occasionally interrupts the rigidities. Adorno found, and I think it continues to hold true, that everything is syncopated in this country just about anywhere you point your ear for a listen, everything jingles.

Little, badly educated, me who may like scholarship but finds university campuses too arid readied an Adorno Reader in the late 60s as editor at Farrar, Straus, Susan Sontag was going to write the introduction. After I left the firm a nincompoop killed the project. However, I was now acquainted with the author and when we came to discuss the Jazz piece I indicated my reservations and promised to play him some of my individually beloved auteurs.  – Adorno, if you take another look at this utterly brilliant piece – I cannot imagine any American intellectual,  perhaps Fred Jameson, of being  capable of such finely analytic work – it addresses the dance music part of Jazz, and in that respect this dancer must confess to having been as much of a Jiggaboo as any of the so profoundly industrialized of the upper class in hopping around to “the Jerk” – that music's then newest iteration - in the mid-60s – at the first disco, Arthur ‘s,  as was Bobby Kennedy with someone aside Rose hopping next to him, and Jackie with one of those Russian ballet masters – a week during which so memorably I happened onto Bobby two other times, so that by the third time, he running into me waiting in the lobby of the hotel Carlisle, gave me the kind of really hard look that you might to someone who is tailing you: the day or so after Arthur’s  I had come face to face with him - nearly collided - on 8th Street as he was campaigning for Abe Beame for mayor.

An distraught and shaky Adorno while we had lobster at the Frankfurter Hof where I had been once before in fall 1950 just prior to emigrating and seen Orson Wells scoot out the moment he entered as the band struck up “The Third Man” theme that haunted him wherever the so recognizable went in Europe during those days. Adorno was shaken also by German students giving him , one of the theoreticians of their revolt, the kind of hard time that reminded him of the thirties, and so he might not have gone mountain climbing the fall of 1969 and died of a heart attack and never have the opportunity to hear me play MonkBud Powell, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Ornette Coleman, Ron Carter, Art Farmer, Freddie Hubbard, James Moody, Bud Shank, Guenter Schuller, Horace Silver,Max Roach, Herbie Hancock, Jusef Latif, Dave Brubeck,  John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Red Garland,Ahmad Jamal, Winton Kelley, Charlie Mingus, Marian McPartland, Bud Powell, Oscar Peterson,Jimmy Smith, Dexter Gordon, Charlie Parker,Kenney Dorham, Freddie Hubbard, Art Blakey and discuss the why and wherefore of atonality in some of that music. –   Negative dialectic prevails. I recall Adorno writing rather favorably of certain American classical music critics .
 I hope you find his Amorbach as touching as do I. Anyhow, what can you expect of a such a serious intellect but to come out looking a bit like Mr. McGoo! The German students knew of Adorno’s proclivity for affair with beautiful young women but apparently not of his near-sightedness, and so when they pressed a balloon figure with breasts into his arms he first thought they were giving him a bouquet. I think that’s how that story goes. Best,  Michael r.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Dear Mr. Sulzberger, happy New Year, re: Peter Handke


Dear Mr. Sulzberger, happy New Year,

re: Peter Handke's theater & your theater staff total fateful and telling innocence of his work.  Your paper did not even acknowledge his receipt of the Ibsen Prizenor of the Muehlheim as the best German play

see  https://handke-drama.blogspot.com/ for  all of these and  further drama references

There has been no mention of Handke mature dramas since

or any of the great premieres in Germany or France. Of
your reviewer rabble -Neil Genzlinger, Elisabeth VincentelliAlexis SoloskiSusan Fales-Hill, Peter Libbey, Amanda HessMichael Paulson. Brantley,  only Matt Wolf in his review of Handke director Klaus Peymann's Stuttgart KING LEAR production mentions that Handke did the translation  of the Fool's songs, and thus the sorry lot
seem entirely innocent of Handke's work and have never addressed it at the Times or theirf previous hovels of employ. 

And just look at the total incompetence of the literary critics who have murdered Handke's work in your pages

Best, 

Michael Roloff

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A MALIBU FIRE , CIRCA 1090

  =B OTH PARTS  "A" AND "B" - DESCRIPTION  OF THE  FIRE ARE POSTED BELOW.  ... BUT THAT IS ALL I WILL POST RIGHT NOW  OF AN ACCOUNT OF MY SIX YEARS IN THE MALIBU AND ITS HILLS AND ITS HILL CRITTERS!




A MALIBU WILD FIRE, CIRCA 1990

THE FIRE

A

The advertised Santana started to materialize in the evening in ever stronger bursts until turning into a fierce steady storm, between 50 and 75 miles I judged. I started to worry about the tin roof of the shed being torn off, and what then of my papers spread on the tables, and that the huge Juniper tree at the edge of the shed might snap - the soughing of wind in needles was a feature of my childhood sound scape, a re-assuring susurrus as the lapping of waves on a shore, though I could not recall having experienced this kind of wind in Northern Germany. Vornbach-am-Inn, in South-East Bavaria, at the edge of the Bohemian forest, had a visitation one winter that flattened half the fir trees in the forest – now that was impressive, however I had been secure in the fortress monastery with its three feet thick walls and had slept through the event. Sleeping during this kind of wind in present circumstances seemed impossible. - I had also heard of the famous event in Siberia that had flattened the trees in the whole huge area – I had not only heard but read about it - momentous events of that kind inscribed themselves impressively on me, I recall their making me feel awfully little, memories and thoughts of that kind infused my nervousness. However, when the roof seemed to hold and the Juniper did not snap, around midnight, I decided to take a chance and laid down on my pad in the south east corner of the main space of the shed.  If the insecure cement blocks started to cave I would have a few seconds to bound to my left and onto the kitchen area which was secure,  solid ground. – I lay down, the wind, rattling the adjacent garage door, the pepper tree whipping huge scratches on-to the tin room like a berserk drummer’s brushes, an analogy that made the sounds, the cacophony, more interesting; though I had to admit that brush work of that kind had invariably been of the most delicate kind, brushes were used to accent – compared to the amazing drum solos I had heard, from just about all the great jazz drummers of that era.
   The way I lay, my head slightly elevated my sightline, to the west-northwest, during daylight it would reach as far as the crest of Deer Creek Road, at about the spot where my dirt Houston Road diverged from it as I saw a spark, electrical, yes there was a box there on the light pole as I noticed that the electricity which had been flickering was now no more: the electric clock on my night table would show when the box blown… as a slight glow burst into flames and what became known as the Deer Creek Fire was on its way. And I stood up and went to the far west window to make out what was transpiring, an instant conflagration at the ridge that the wind swept into the canyon where it propagated itself “in leaps and bounds” was the expression, it leapfrogged in the form of red hot embers that set an array of fires – I sure had never seen or imagined anything like it.
   I had fought fires in Alaska, there the chief danger was from hot-spots that the fire dug in the permafrost when it went underground, you might step inadvertently into a hotspot – that advertised itself with white hot ash – and have your foot blown off.
I had been dropped in front of a line of advancing flames in a grass-lake, a thin wave of six foot high flames and had not been worried in the least, that was straw burning and it barely singed my eyebrows as I walked into it and beat it down. The idea of confronting a wind-driven chaparral fire in the same manner was nothing short of terrifying. Dense Chaparral brush burnt hot and thick and smokey: Would the Swiss hippie contingent at the bottom of Deer Creek Canyon who lived by a spring that was sheltered by a fine set of California Live Oak survive was an instant thought, would the fire suck up all their oxygen if the Oak Trees did not protect them? I had now gone outside to the steep edge of the DeWitt property. The wind was not driving the fire in our direction but straight down into the canyon – swiftly was not the word, I think within 15 minutes the entire canyon was aflame down to the PCH.
   B      

Having stayed up late to watch the conflagration reach PCH and leap to the ocean and then subside I woke late of course and immediately wanted to check what if anything the fire might be up to; but, on stepping outside and rounding the shed to accomplish the view from the veranda escarpment front of the main house, what if my landlord, all 6 feet 6 beanpole Ysbrand DeWitt, gun-nut and photographer of porno shoots, an oedipal case if ever I had realized the moment I saw him flinch when his father Maarten had called him while ringing the cowbell – instant transport back to the lowland farmers of my youth it had been - garden-hose in hand and spraying across the edge of the deck… Pissing to put out the fire? which I noticed was creeping up along the canyon edges, half a mile across it was midway up and threatening Dick Clark’s  TWA Kennedy airport terminal style fortress compound, though it looked as though the fortress’s immediate surround had been cleared – Dick Clark a millionaire of American Bandstand Fame our nearest wealthy neighbor, Ysbrand telling me that nonetheless Dick Clark had been observed scooting away in his car, a jeep if I recall correctly.    
   The fire obviously was no longer propelled by Santana winds from the north east, which only rolled night-times down from Nevada and Utah, accelerating all the way, but was now assisted by the ocean breeze nudging it upward both to the right and left of the canyon – if the wind would change to an easterly or westerly the fire would be driven into Ventura or the  Malibu part of Los Angeles. At Deer Creek Canyon it basically straddled county line, the big divide. We live at the mercy of the jet-stream and in Malibu at the whim of the wind.
   On our eastern side the fire was threatening perhaps the oddest of the invariably odd structures that the individualists who lived in these unincorporated parts of Ventura had erected: a three-story-high palisade tower built of logs…. not plain old log-cabin logs but of logs that had been laminated with a precious extra shiny plastic that made the tower glisten like a jewel in the year-round sun. - What was the purpose of this structure? Who had it built on seeming no-man’s land? A deer look-out? Perhaps, not many deer, but some Lynx and my beloved coyotes, I had spotted on Deer Creek Road driving my 1974 Malibu sedan.
   The fire – brush, chaparral fire –surrounded the structure on all sides. You need to appreciate the density of this chaparral, it is not navigable like ordinary woodsy brush, it is dense, great for rabbits and coyotes, not permissive of larger animals. The area around the tower had not been cleared the advisable 75 to 100 feet, but some clearing had occurred during the construction process, 20 to 40 feet which however is not enough distance to protect a structure from a chaparral fire. It is not just the flames, but the heat that an intense chaparral fire throws out that endangers everything near and dear - as it did in this instance, with the fire all around within 20 to 40 feet  the entire laminated three story structure had been baked from all sides and instantaneously burst altogether all three stories into plastic enhanced flames, in other words: the all around heat had heated the entire structure to the point where it exploded and imploded, burnt spectacularly and collapsed in a heap of cinders.
   Whoever the owner had failed to avail himself of the services of the only two useful workers in them thar hills, my friends the Sanchez brothers who made a good living bulldozing 100-foot clearings around these often hugely expensive properties that their owners wanted to protect from the inevitable wild-fire.
During my first week in them thar hills I had lived with the Peacock of the two Sanchez brothers - he was such a one and had a collection of them prancing in his property – who told me that Ysbrand DeWitt was looking for someone to look after his aging parents while he was at work. Aside the Sanchez brothers [the third had been the Mayor of nearby Oxnard which had a huge Mexican strawberry pickers populace] I could not think of a single useful person in these hills once old Maarten DeWitt, Ysbrand’s Dutch milk-boy to wealthy and lucky flower farmer, had expired of an aortic aneurism at age 88. A retired hoofer at the inception of Houston Road, whom I rather liked for her New York humor and hoofer spirit, had built herself a fairly normal two story Dutch-style big craftsman house; the retired, perverted weird primary school graduate WW II palm tree gunner Georgia beekeeper Marvin Bell whose garage I would rent in a few years, had a built a normal ranchette type house; Suzy, L.A.’s most expensive brain surgeon’s millionaire divorcee sought to turn a magnificent improbably huge Adobe structure at the edge of Breadloaf valley into a “party haven” and she and her closest girl friend both flew to Mexico on weekends to get laid {in Suzy’s own small plane}, it’s triangular guest house I occupied when she needed someone to look after the property and her two Lhasa Apsas…  I for once smart enough to avert her overtures: fucking your divorced super-horny land-lady could not end well - I loved the guest-house and the view of Breadloaf valley all the way to the the Camarillo madhouse, the top of Bony Ridge nearly toppling us each time there was a serious tremor, until it was sold from out under me and I moved a half a mile west along Boney Ridge road to Marvin Bell’s.
 Where I lived was just a hop-skip whence the Manson gang had hung out, an area rife with crack dealers. The Swiss hippies must have had foreign sources, I liked the blonde and spry head of the family, they partied at night where they resided at the bottom of Deer Creek Canyon, at the spring, the inception of the creek, under cover of the live oaks, cocaine - I had had my fill of it in New York, Ysbrand’s wife to be, a dental assistant, the hugely overweight 23 year old daughter [“I an American girl” singing}
of one of the richest men in the peninsula,
supplied the laughing gas and would be the death of poor foolish Ysbrand - I had never lived among a collection of such odd and useless folk - who found me, working 12 to 16 a day as a writer scholar [I didn’t tell them that I was pursuing a second analysis and contemplating becoming a shrink} and who did a lot of walking on the dusty chaparral paths – “bizarre” Suzy’s word for me. One of the men whom I came to know at Neptune’s Net, the local surfers’ eatery at the bottom of Yerba Buena Road, whence I dropped down for my morning coffee and the papers [an L./A. Times then ambitious to become the nation’s best] was in the business of towing cars and had the kind of tow-truck onto whose bed you could pull a car, he careened up and down exceedingly tricky dangerous Yerba Buena. Lots of folk with mishaps who ventured into these canyon roads. Neptune’s net was run by what I told myself was the “Elaine of West Virginia Crackers”, that is she was a good business woman and had a sense of humor but didn’t take any gaff, with her two cracker brothers, the aboriginal American angry whit men, they were so angry their prominent neck veins had visible stents, they were so near bursting.
On the road down to Breadloaf Valley - where the Sanchez brothers’ father had been the foreman before the farm had become part of the St. Monica Mt. Preserve - one of Hollywood’s most imaginative production designers had assembled a Shangri La of sorts, a wonderland of fantasies some of which had been part of productions, others were superfluous rejected designs. My own favorite beings in the area were the Quail – what I loved most about them was that their young seemed to roll after the mother in the dusty paths as though they were still inside their eggs.
   With the fire at most an hour I judged before it would reach the shed I decided that I better pack my computer – I had one of the earliest, a Leading Edge, and the most important manuscripts. Ysbrand objected that I ought to help him save the property. I did not feel that the German-built brick and boulder main house stood in danger, unless the surround of spruce trees caught fire. But one more garden hose was not going to save my shed or anything else. But as I was packing the Ventura County Fire department finally showed up, about 12 hours after the fire had started, and in sufficient force to stop the fire cold on both canyon sides. There were of course fires in or around Malibu nearly every year, major or minor, but the one in Deer Creek was my only dangerous call.


  



  w

 







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I had lucked out, most improbably, and found myself living in an unimaginably – I could not even have imagined a more idyllic spot: a Dutch flower-farmers former flower shed at the end of an agave-lined dirt road at 1500 feet above the Pacific Ocean, a pepper-tree sprinkling pepper corns and a Juniper dripping sap onto the tin roof; song-birds, Colibri; a south-facing beach and the swell from the south-sea storms pounding at long intervals, a distance-muffled sound that spelled what the former inhabitants of these hills, the Chumash, had called Ma-li-bu – huge carpets of water, wave-swells breaking in stages, the ultimate whale-tail slap onto the beach is was what did it. Windows at the south, ocean facing, and on the west mountain sides.
I had lucked out, most improbably by taking a side-road to escape Los Angeles Freeway madness – madness the experience of finding myself in ten-lane traffic after years it seemed in the sanity of  Wild West Billie the Kid world – dirt roads, gravel. From the pacified Wild West via Interstate 10 via and 29 Palms to unpacified traffic madness, I had been terrified. How do I get out of this and to the ocean? Ah, there was a State Route, # 23, that would do the trick, and what a tricky mountain road # 23 turned out to be that evacuated me onto PCH and the beach in Ma-li-boo; Malibu  part of an itinerary that was designed to take me North. - I had been in Malibu, nearly 20 years ago, to visit a room mate whose mother had a beach house – an experience that had not made Malibu part of prospects of mine.

.....
- 
had 


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A DEVELOPING HESSE PAGE BY ONE OF HIS TRANSLATORS

https://tinyurl.com/ybgzg5k5

also see the weekly standard's irmscher piece 
https://www.weeklystandard.com/christoph-irmscher/herman-hesse-outside-man


As the translator of three Hesse novels – Beneath the Wheel, Peter Camenzind and, with conviction, DEMIAN  – perhaps you will allow me to comment on what I regard as the customary superficial manner in which Adam Kirsch discusses the work of German language authors.
       I came to translating Hesse, via Roger KIein, Harper & Row editor, as someone who had translated some Brecht,  stylistically demanding later Ernst Juenger with Louise Bogan, and as a Musil translator [ also a dissertation subject, to whose work I was drawn notby the customary literary references but via my interest in physic, A. Mach] and thus I found Peter Camenzind as well Beneath the Wheel to be stylistically anachronistic  thus unrewarding  on the linguistic level, whereas Demian, written under the aegis of a Jungian analysis -Kirsch absolutely needed to note as much if he read the book - that familiarized this translator with the concept and practice of projection, was also stylistically more agreeable.
 Thus what I chiefly find lacking in Kirsch’s reductionism of Hesse’s life and work to an on-going adolescent revolt is not only sufficient note he takes of the development of Hesse’s lead characters from Camenzind to via Emil Sinclair and Goldmund and beyond, -by way of the wild civilizationally unhappy  Harry Haller, the Steppenwolf, who goes  - prophetically it evidently seemed to Hesse’s American followers through a wild drug- & sex filled revolt against modern life


[“ The story in large part reflects a profound crisis in Hesse's spiritual world during the 1920s while memorably portraying the protagonist's split between his humanity and his wolf-like aggression and homelessness.[1]]] Kirssch also fail to note Hesse's– his development as an artist from moderately realistic beginnings to the very considerable complexity of Steppenwolf and to the amazing formalism of Narciss and Goldmund. That is, maybe you never find another story but your adolescent trauma but you can find ever more beautiful and interesting ways of telling it & that is where your efforts and neglect of your wife are then devoted to!
 However, Kirsch is spot on in noting that Hesse never wanted followers, I recall editing a selection of Hesse letters for Farrar, Straus, a firm to which I then brought two of my translations and 20 Hesse titles after Roger Klein ended his own life prematurely, letters where Hesse keeps advising all those who beseech him that they are asking the wrong person. Hesse I think will be an author who will continue to be fruitfully read , as he was by the American kids of the 60 and 70, who project their own wishes onto a writer who certainly knew a thing of two about projecting within the on-going American night mare. Sincerely, Michael Roloff, Seattle


„Das Glasperlenspiel“. Hesse hatte mit seiner „Lebensbeschreibung des Magister Ludi Josef Knecht“ den Geist gegen die Macht, Schönheit und Wahrheit gegen eine hässliche Wirklichkeit (die der NS-Zeit) verteidigen wollen. Sein letzter, größter und schwerster Roman sollte die Summe seiner Ästhetik, Ethik und Politik werden, ein musikalisch getönter Jahrhundertroman wie Thomas Manns „Doktor Faustus“. Aber als er nach mehr als zehn Jahren Arbeit 1943 endlich in der Schweiz erschien, erreichte er, sehr zum Verdruss des Autors, nicht mehr „die Leser, für die er bestimmt war“....Als Hesse 1946 den Literaturnobelpreis erhielt, wurden auch kritische Stimmen laut, die ihm vorwarfen, er habe in seinem Idyll zu lange laviert und geschwiegen, um noch moralische und literarische Autorität beanspruchen zu können.
Das freilich war perfide. Hesses Absage an Hitler war vielleicht manchmal wirklichkeitsfremd oder sprachlos „pantomimisch“ (Thomas Mann), aber doch unmissverständlich; sein Einsatz für verfolgte Juden und gestrandete Exilautoren wie Brecht oder Peter Weiss war mutig und selbstlos. Hermann Hesse war Schöngeist, Sinnsucher, Träumer, Aussteiger, ein unruhiger, weltabgewandter Eskapist, jedenfalls mehr zum stillen Erdulden als zum Kämpfen an der Meinungsfront geschaffen. Aber das Gewissen des Magister Ludi war rein, wenn und solange er spielte.

https://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/buecher/autoren/ausstellung-in-gaienhofen-zur-ns-rezeption-von-hermann-hesse-16122428.html

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