August 18, 1985
Every once in a while Hollywood tries to make a superior film to prove that it doesn't just turn out mindless twaddle. I hear that there's a movie out about Arthur Rimbaud, but that all he does is yell and fire off machine guns and exploding arrows?! I must protest this false depiction of a great poet. True, he was a gunrunner for a time, but why dwell on this small episode and ignore the more meaningful aspects of his life? It almost makes me believe that Hollywood can't even think about making films for a literate audience.
December 17, 2000 |
More than a century after his death, the poet Arthur Rimbaud continues to fascinate, dazzle and intimidate readers and critics alike. Rimbaud was born in 1854 in the French provincial town of Charleville, where he soon made a mark as a brilliant literature student. For about four years, starting from the age of 16, Rimbaud wrote poems so powerful that they expanded ideas of what language can do in verse.
April 29, 2012 |
In the worlds of myth and literature, plenty of figures have had their "lost" years. There are, to name a few, Sherlock Holmes (after the plunge from Reichenbach Falls), the wizard Merlin (was he imprisoned in a cave or was he killed?), Shakespeare (what was his education and upbringing?) and Jesus (did he or didn't he go to India as a child?). What did they do during those years? How did they live? Such questions have lured many writers into producing books that try to fill in these tantalizing gaps with definitive evidence.
May 21, 1986 |
Mason Ruffner doesn't remember exactly who it was--maybe Carlos Santana, maybe Boz Scaggs or ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. But he remembers his reaction the first time he looked out from the stage of the Bourbon Street bar where he used to perform and saw a rock star in the audience. "It really terrified me," said the lanky Texas-born guitarist and singer. "Boy, it really shook me up. I started missin' licks. Hate to admit it, but it got the best of me." Since then, Ruffner has learned to handle it.
September 29, 2005 |
RICHARD HELL sits on a shaded restaurant patio, the chaos of First Avenue muffled by a brick wall, and slurps at a midday bowl of chicken soup as he talks about the fringe benefits of tumbling into middle age. Getting there, of course, was no small victory. In the early 1970s, Hell's torn shirts and spiked hair gave American punk its look, and at age 55 the list of Hell's dead friends and former bandmates reads like a history of 1970s rock counterculture. Johnny Thunders. Dee Dee Ramone.
May 15, 2008 |
They were cherub-cheeked kids when each landed in Greenwich Village in early 1961, drawn like moths to the flames of art, music, theater and ideas that burned so brightly in every cranny of the Big Apple's most bohemian quarter. She was 17. He was 20.