Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

“It was an adventure…”

with one comment

Possibly the complex of circumstances which made the years 1950 to 1965 so decisive in the arts will not easily recur. No one can make it up, so to speak. But there were clearly years before, equally decisive, and there will no doubt be those now after. This clothesline is at best an invention of pseudohistory, and the arts do not intend to be history in this way, however much they use the traditions intimate to their practice. When [Robert] Duncan saw [Charles] Olson for the last time, in hospital a few days before his death, he said to him, “Important as history was to you, there are no followers—and as a matter of fact that isn’t what happened in poetry.” Olson grinned, and Duncan added, “It was an adventure…”

Robert Creeley, “On the Road”

Note: The ebook version of my group biography Astounding is currently on sale for $2.99. The price goes back up tomorrow, so if you’re interested in getting a copy, this would be a great time to grab it.

Written by nevalalee

December 24, 2018 at 7:30 am

One Response

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  1. To me (as one of the unwashed) this is very much an “in” thing. I may “know” what made those 16 years a “decisive adventure” but still not know what made it so for Creeley (Ginsburg? the Beats?)

    Then a clue – poetry. Except for Waits and Bukowski, as foreign a language as there is in the English-speaking world.

    Jim Susky

    December 27, 2018 at 11:08 am


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