Nam June Paik (1932-2006)

A favorite of mine is the 1974 work that has a classical Buddha statue meditating in front of a tv screen that shows the meditating Buddha. Flickering mimetic repetition or eternal return? The wheel of samsara or Nietzsche? Your pick. Nam June Paik smiles. There is a film that shows him sitting in front of this installation and patting the Buddha on the head, saying “Buddha, wake up” and … Read more Nam June Paik (1932-2006)

Gennadi Aygi Fund Set Up by PEN

Larry Siems, the PEN American Director of the Freedom to Write and International Programs, has just informed me that PEN — which is already helping Gennady with a gift from their emergency fund — would be happy to collect and pass through additional contributions from individuals. To avoid major accounting questions and get the aid to Aygi in good time, PEN has set a deadline for contributions and will … Read more Gennadi Aygi Fund Set Up by PEN

Celebrating Tom Nattell

If you missed the silent auction of Tom Nattell’s art at the Firlefanz Gallery this past weekend, don’t miss tonight’s event: if you are in Albany NY, come celebrate Tom’s life on the anniversary of his death. The TOM NATTELL MEMORIAL to benefit the TOM NATTELL PEACE POETRY PRIZE will be at Tess’ Lark Tavern on Monday, January 30, 2006, at 7:30. This event features an open mic for … Read more Celebrating Tom Nattell

Palestinian Fears

Hassan Khader, the editor of the Palestinian literary magazine Al Karmel, fears that the victory of Hamas will lead to an exodus of intellectuals from Ramallah, the cultural center of the autonomous territories. “One can imagine a scenario of mutual suspicion and enmity. The fundamentalists see our modern national culture as the decomposition of traditional values and ideology. Even the national flag is considered problematic. A leading representative of … Read more Palestinian Fears

Helping Gennady Aygi

— Some readers have contacted me about wanting to help the Shuvash poet Gennadi Aygi, on whose medical plight I reported earlier this week. I realize however that using the German PEN Club’s method — i.e. wiring money to the bank indicated — is extremely expensive for someone in this country as US banks will charge 20 to 30 dollars for making the wire transfer. I would therefore suggest … Read more Helping Gennady Aygi

Two Paul Celan Fragments

A few days ago I mentioned Mikrolithen sinds, Steinchen, the volume of Paul Celan’s posthumous prose writings that came out in 2005. Here are two fragments — from the section on poetics — in a first and still tentative translation: #152. Aesthetics demand concealment and reward it, ethics demand openness and punish concealment. #156. True poetry is antibiographical. The poet’s homeland is his poem, it changes from one poem … Read more Two Paul Celan Fragments

Mary Beach (1919-2006)

MB at Clayton Gallery & Outlaw Museum, New York City, 20 January 2005, for the opening of the “Four Octagenarians Show” who also included Taylor Mead, Herbert Huncke & Boris Lurie. Mary Beach, painter, translator, editor, writer passed away last night in Cooperstown, NY. She would have been 87 on 11 April; her husband, the poet & collagist Claude Pélieu died on Christmas eve 2002. She was born in … Read more Mary Beach (1919-2006)