Academic journal article Chicago Review

Stan Brakhage: Correspondences

Academic journal article Chicago Review

Stan Brakhage: Correspondences

Article excerpt

Somedate eve [ 1954]

Dear Robert and Jess,

Thanks-for the letters giving shock and excitement. Everything is happening and it's all wonderful, thunderful also. Majorca!-eureka!-I'm delighted for the both of you, meaning I'm glad for you and also sad dimmed a bit at the thought of your going so far away. But never mind that. You know that one of my most bothersome habits is that of holding onto the memory of something as remaining the way it was when it isn't anymore. I do worry about the cats, though, and the place which I had always said I would hold down for you if ever you should have to go away. That, of course, is now out of the question (and, most certainly, out of the answer) and, anyhell, all of this is out of the present Brakhage character which doesn't even move from place to place, anymore, but moves to be moving. Rest assured of this-I will have some sort of a roof to put over your heads when you arrive in N.Y.-and that goes for good old Harry, too. But, you must keep me informed as to date because it will require some conniving on my part to provide said ceiling. And, I won't elaborate anymore on the present Brakhage character because I don't think he has one anymore-I think he's suddenly become a character, which is a confusement that is exciting. I breath.. it's full of wonder-ment, wonderful. Enough! You'll be seeing me soon enough; and I'm grateful that we will be together again before you begin your Spanish adventure. Let me know when you are coming, how things are going-- etcetera.

As to my chronology: I moved into a place on 72nd, found Cage and Varese had left for Europe, settled down to wait for their return and to see what I could do... Went over to Virginia Admiral's for dinner, mentioned that I'd like to get to Europe; and she suggested I try for Fulbright as a cinema artist from Colo. Disinterestedly I applied (on the last day possible for next year-starting Sept '55) and found my chances were very good if I would put down Italy as a choice and invent some bullshit about why I wanted to go there...which I did. Won't know whether I get it until April. Because of no college, I needed 3 good letters of recommendation from people with names in the field of film. Amos Vogel wrote one (I've found him to be a moneybags man looking for so called "shocking" movies of which I had 2 that shock-pleased him, "Desistfilm" and "The Way to Shadow Garden,"-he's to cinema what Laughlin is to poetry) Parker Tyler wrote the second (I found him nobel and delightful and liked him, loaned him some of your poems for reading) and Hans Richter wrote the third (he was so impressed with my films that I'm now working with him on the sound track of his new film "Not For Sale" which he's been working on for the past 2 yrs with Cocteau, Tanguy, Duchamp, Milhaud, Arp, Max Ernst, Paul Bowles, etc. etc.-can't say I'm too impressed with Richter, though,-he seems totally unaware of what he's doing and overly-impressed with all the big, star-studded names he's doing it with). In the process of showing my films around, Ian Hugo saw them. I, somehow, didn't remember him and spent 1 hr. and a half talking with Anais Nin before I realized she wasn't just Mrs. Hugo. From the way she desires to be adored, I'm surprised she didn't scratch my eyes out for said faux-pas, but she seems to have taken to liking from this licking and I've found her rather sweet. I went to a show of Henry Miller's water colors with her and was disgusted by all the weeping done over poor old starving Miller. I read one chapter of Miss Nin's writing and I probably won't get around to reading more. She doesn't have much to say about you, Robert,what happened?, as if I couldn't guess. I run into people everywhere here in N.Y. that either know you, Robert, or your writing. You're better known here than in S.F. Everyone wants to know what you're doing-for instance, the husband of Denise Levertov, somebody called M.C. who's a friend of the editor of Origin and connected with Black Mtn Press; and, oh hell, I can't remember names-they've been flying at me too thick and fast. …

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