The old avant-garde has passed and left no successors (Dwight Macdonald)

Originally posted on Biblioklept:

The old avant-garde has passed and left no successors. We continue to live off its capital but the community has broken up and the standards are no longer respected. The crisis in America is especially severe. Our creators are too isolated or too integrated. Most of them merge gracefully into Midcult, feeling they must be part of “the life of our time,” whatever that means (I should think it would be ambitious enough to try to be part of one’s own life), and fearful of being accused of snobbishness, cliqueism, negativism, or worst of all, practicing “art for art’s sake” (though for what better sake?) Some revolt, but their work tends toward eccentricity since it lacks contact with the past and doesn’t get support from a broad enough intelligentsia in the present. The two currently most prominent groups, the “action painters” and the beatnik academy of letters, differ from the…

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Gary Snyder Interview – 5-14-2014

This is an interview with Gary Synder while he was back east for a joint presentation with Wendell Berry.

The Gary Snyder Interview: Buddhism, Beat Poetry and Environmentalism

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By JONATHAN BASTIAN
Gary Snyder and WFPL’s Jonathan Bastian
Born in 1930, Gary Snyder is one of the last surviving writers of the Beat Generation — a generation that included Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.

Snyder is a naturalist, an essayist and devout Buddhist. At the age of 26, he said goodbye to the Beats in San Francisco, and lived for seven years in Japan, studying at a Zen monastery. He won the Pulitzer prize in poetry in 1974.

His most recent book is a collaborative effort featuring Kentucky’s Wendell Berry. The book is called, “Distant Neighbors: The Selected Letters of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder.” Snyder and Berry met in the 1970s, and since then, have been corresponding regularly over myriad issues, while always circling back to nature and agriculture. They will be in conversation Wednesday at the Festival of Faiths, at 7 p.m., at Actors Theatre.

Gary Snyder joined me for a conversation at our WFPL studios. We discussed his early years in Washington state, where he developed a deep connection to the land. I also asked him about his love for Buddhism, his memories meeting Jack Kerouac, and much more.