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When we start trying to read what we're supposed to be all right what we're supposed to write or do anything we were supposed to do. We lose. The most valuable thing that. The writers say Shakespeare has to offer. And that's the experience that takes place when you read it. When. Somebody comes along and says this is important this is valuable. Sit down here and learn it. You may learn it well enough to pass all sorts of examinations on it which you may forever miss the value of it. It's like Canterbury Tales. I had two experiences with Canterbury Tales one when I was software in high school when we had to learn to live with the showers of culture that did. Understand I never got the feeling that this is a. Body while funny tale because it was supposed to be something important academic. Later on. I
got. Into it with a good translation. I started reading that it was funny it was funny. And I was different than I had been feeling about it. That feeling I think is a whole lot closer to Chaucer than. The feeling the teacher was trying to pass across. And what happens to creative writing courses then there really are so much more ordinary formulas which the instructor thinks there's a pair of courses in the rewrite. I've attended a number of writing courses only once and in all the courses are attended to date never have anything to do with writing. Malcolm Cowley the first time I was in his cars he said Downey says everybody take. Some papers with me. And he said I want you to write for two hours. So when you I don't just stop. I don't care what you write just write him words write random words he said but just don't stop just write for two hours.
And at the end of the two hours he didn't even want to see the papers. He didn't want anything to do with them. I think I learned more about writing from that experience than than any other single thing I can put my finger on. That. Writing is writing rewriting something else and that it. Indeed has to be done for the individual and not for the teacher and the other writing courses. You have a teacher. Who is particularly big on Faulkner r. R at Hemingway and very ably before the end of the Course students have. Come around to writing a great deal like the. Writer. That the writing instructor is championing and stood and and out of it is no writer of any consequence overcomes. You can't you can't teach writing by teaching.
Faulkner. You can teach writing by teaching Hemingway not for nothing. Anyway sorry writing but the Hemingway style. Thank you for the. Man's attitude that what he has to offer that is important is his own peculiar and unique way of looking at the world and that is all that he has to offer. And. To. To do that to find that for me to find my own way to look at the world. I have to find my own eyes and I Hemingway's performers of all writing structures I was. Writing in this ways is the same game that we're all trying to play one way or another is to try to find out who we are. And. What the world looks like. We're we stand and the only way I don't do that is to try to return to the idea of
who we are is important. That's why I think what I personally think is the most important thing in the world. A kid will come in our yard and say I saw a dragon in the tree. And a parent will say. You just imagined it. You only thought you saw a trick. And from. Right there for a good child there was that while I. Imagine. Well I think because it just isn't. Only it's not very important. I would like to see schools. Teachers. Who can't teach nothing but that. Not in math or reading. Or. Modeling clay. But. Establish any child. Belief that. That they are important. They are the most important. And old pro American writers is James Thomas feral who came out of
Chicago's South Side Irish neighborhoods in 1934 and hit the literary world right smack in the mouth with a novel called Young Lonigan. Other studies books followed and feral hasn't stopped writing or hitting since then. One of America's most prolific writers he's also probably one of the least appreciated doesn't bother him. Now 61 he feels that the public and the publishers are just beginning to catch up with him. Farrell was asked is Studs Lonigan an individual or does he represent a time or an era. It's fiction of an individual man. Determinism began to rise. They write the book because I decided to kill him that was the beginning and personally I think my whole life is an indication that I do not believe in the term ism in the sense that I'm supposed to believe it because I'm always attacking the impossible right
at the age of 54. I started to write 27 novels just wouldn't do that. Pharaoh was asked what his opinion is of present day novelists. Unfortunately I have to be negative. I think just has a tremendous challenge to town to be a great writer. I think-I Reese way just as they have put it together something I put together I think that Ross and Goodbye Columbus is fun. I like Flannery O'Connor I like but she don't know all the right or a car from a coach I have. I do not think that Malamute can write he has a delicatessen store in order to get the book finished. You get a brain a delicatessen store down bring in St. Francis have a reel in a phony rate and every other
question Sheree Curry Willingham wrote one good book he wrote me a letter and told me I couldn't understand his last book because I was too old to understand his techniques and maybe that true. Norman Mailer I think is very gifted but he doesn't have a great deal to say as of yet and I feel extremely sympathetic to Nora but I think that would Norman should do if it was just to be very simple and just to sit down and write every day little skits. I told her I did until he assimilates his experience instead of worrying about being a national figure garbage and I was never told by God to be a great man. Mary McCarthy I have this is a partial revision that Mary McCarthy has much more ability than I recognize. I do not believe that she has imagination but I think that she has some very good observation it's a very there's very good writing in Mary McCarthy. I think that there is a French girl who writes French and you know no publisher will
fight for her over here. Name is Michelle S. day. She wrote a book the pair Dilla So lay the fair this time there's a remarkable Greek girl who writes an English name case to see who wrote the name on the street. There's a great writer who was in Pakistan who's now in India and I spent since 1956 trying to get somebody to publish in vain in the name of squat to live high there I consider her a truly great writer. She's a young woman. I. Know this is an issue where. It. Grabs Alice and I believe he doesn't write much but he doesn't have to raft Allison is a man of great. For always asked is the present a novelist at one with these times. No I don't think he does I think he thinks that he and his generation are going to go alone and I'm perfect even
he was asked what were the early influences on him. Ring Lardner had more than grace or lines or it was inspired me I helped him at the end but Teddy dries it was a great writer but I don't see how it could be a great influence. You see I went to college and had a lot of books. I mean I was influenced by Tani's in the quiz just decided by Russell's mysticism and logic by the economic interpretation of the Constitution by the way of all flesh by used by William McFee who could never stand me. By Cher would Anderson by smoke but. Again your smoke by Epson Epson was a much stronger influence anybody knows is that drives here and I I like Dr. Read it is courage and here or there there's a touch but dries is where the vines were different. Dries his mind in my mind are different I know men he once said to me feral
Geyser was one of the worst writers on earth but you don't know what Danny Gare hai did to me when I read it in 91 and he says that after that I mean its sister Carrie said when I read Jenny here I was knocked off my feet and I said that Teddy Dreiser couldn't write couldn't think of no education and no talent never done a damn thing to recommend him but genius. And finally Carol was asked are you Studs Lonigan. Not so much it's just that is just follows things that happened in the neighborhood but I had studs Maybe I am I don't know I'm every character I write. I tried to be Dan. You know Neal I think the dandiest little bit is a lot tougher to discharge if you're nervous the way studs says a lot of fanfare with dad he's just keep boxing the hooks and he blocks the hooks into the system so I would just back in the guy got a bloody nose. I think Danny was a tougher character I know but maybe I'm sentimental and
also of course this is not of my grand fickle image. I need in order to time my work together despite everything critics say about Chicago of my not writing again I have written I have thirty two thousand pages of uncompressed work and stories about kharaj about Israel that I grow not perished. That stack of trade you know using bad baseball a bad business. I've got a vast variety of the most work I ever wrote. It's a virus that they don't like to admit it. The publishers you know Million Man tell them my period when you're pretty close to them now they're going to come.
James T ferals South Side Chicago is all changed now. The Irish are gone. The old neighborhoods are solidly negro. And yet these neighborhoods still provide inspiration for the sensitive writer. I stopped by a bar in the neighborhood to have a beer. It's a cruddy place dimly lit and dirty and drafty but not a dismal place. A lot of people live there. It's a sort of parlor for those who have none in their tenements. People sit around talk and laugh argue and drink listen or dance to the noise from the jukebox. I sat on a stool and the bartender brought me a beer. He mumbled a greeting and made a obscene complaint about how hot the day had been. I agreed with him. Then Teddy came in.
He had to spend a little time in jail. I had heard that he was out and it hoped he might turn up. Ted is a negro. Maybe 21. A school dropout. We shook hands and he sat down on the next stool. He did the talking. He was mad and bitter. He'd been back more than a week and I'd look for a job but I had everywhere been turned on. There just ain't no jobs for me man he said. There just ain't no jobs for Negroes in this town. He had been this route before. Since school he had had a few menial jobs here and there and off and on but nothing regular and nothing going anywhere. That's partly how he got into trouble. He had no job needed money and got caught trying to get some.
Now there were still no jobs for him especially with the record. Why was I born black. He blamed his mother. White men are all sons of bitches. He decided to blame white mothers instead. I listened to his long passionate hostile frustrated speech. One thing Bill. You know finally you've always been my friend. I laughed and he remembered that I'm a white man. He laughed too. And then we had another beer to celebrate. If Negroes become disillusioned if they now grow impatient and restive and aggressive if they begin to regard the promises of human recognition and acceptance
in the urban north as shop worn and less attractive than rejection of white people and white society. If they resent the intransigence of segregation in the south then they are radically disenchanted with the churches. And who is to undo their disenchantment. What is to refute their image of the churches as imperious condescending unknowing indifferent unloving hypocritical. The churches of white society in America have largely forfeited any claim to leadership in the relations between the races and to a great extent have not even seriously understood those relations in terms of the Christian faith their active concern in the last century has been in an overwhelming degree limited to the nominal pronouncements of
church assemblies and ecclesiastical authorities. But few of these pronouncements have betrayed a theological understanding of the relations of the races. Mainly they have repeated the empty dog most of humanism and the platitudes of tolerance. The churches in so far as they have addressed the racial issue in this society have either been silent or timid. Where there have been any pronouncements they have typically followed changes in the public consensus and in the status quo. The reluctance of the churches to be involved in the racial crisis beyond the point of pontification. What has happened both in the north and in the south both inside and outside the church is shows how woefully the churches have underestimated and misunderstood the gravity and vehemence and passion of the racial crisis in America. Dogs have been set upon citizens for complaining about the deprivation of their civil
rights hoses have been turned upon negroes who sought equal protection of the law. Tear gas and electric cattle prods have been used to disperse pickets. Clubs have bashed in the heads of demonstrators protesting discrimination in hiring housing and education. Children have been arrested. Jails have been so overcrowded with those seeking redress of their grievances that stables have had to be converted into makeshift prisons. The church has been bombed and the first few of what will surely be very many if the nation continues on this collision course. The first few have died. The revolution in race relations has exposed the wickedness of the churches in these last years. Nay in this past hundred years as at least a little corny if not indeed
profane when the time came for the most moderate and nonviolent civil rights leadership in the south to give form and unity to the several factions in the movement and to offer a symbol and an ideational basis. The image and ideology to which they turned was the person and philosophy of Gandhi not the figure and faith of Christ. Somehow Gandhi appealed as a more universal symbol than Christ. And if this is so it is on the heads of white Christians in America for smearing the image of Christ by making him into a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant and for making their churches into shrines for the idealization of that image of Jesus. So let no one boast. When white Americans realize that the economic survival of the whole nation depends upon the gainful employment of 20 million negroes of America and the education and opportunity
requisite to such employment they will suffer the loss of their obstinance to integration. But it is just that which is now at stake. Survival of the nation in the Negro revolution. And no white man need become involved in that revolution as has been said because he thinks of it as a good cause. He will become involved. He will support the revolution because his own life and livelihood are just as much at issue as that of the negro Stringfellow truly sensitive writer. He could be nothing less and write that for William Stringfellow is not a Negro.
Mm. Mm. Mm mm mm mm mm mm. In the country mayors and colds and old trunks split by lightning bolts in the city skates and keys whirring wheels and skinned knees the old man gets his fly rod out
and pretends he's tied into a trout. He lets his ancient fingers feel they ageless wondrous creaking creel in the days to come. The people will stand watching birds flying above the land running stream and tumbling Drene each touched by the good God's hand. It's spring again and probably no one has put it as well in the recent seasons since the bomb as Norman Corwin. There was a line in D.H. Lawrence in his book see inside India which attracted me. If I find a page of oh I'm sorry. I'll find it faster. I mean I'm there at Fig Tree. Come forth in its nudity gleaming over the dark winter is a sight to behold. If it could but answer or if we had creased speech. Well I undertook to write a few lines called
True Speech. How. On the earth. Well when the tilt of the globe awakens us each spring we extol living. We put out blossoms and scatter riches and aren't out of the cloud comes our chemistry in the lash of the storm. We grip hard whereas you. All your days you fingered coins and buttons locks and switches your pans macadam eyes piped and why and you are even with the machine. Sky's US city Sue is wait for the rains of heaven here beyond the squall of your freeways unhurried roots. PRI and Sunda rock. Constellations of fruits are planned in secret chambers leaf and need to negotiate with the nearest for growth
and green. Time is easy. What news there is is of such making as the slow explosion of the seed as wings released from chrysalis as programs in the almanac of budget cycle rhythms of the zodiac. The sentimental senescence of autumn. We're sorry for you but wish you well. It should only be the tribes of trees descend with your children to a day when the shade of the yolk spread is wider than the shadow of war. Now you say something.
Mm. Mm mm mm mm mm. Mm. Mm mm. The American Journal produced at the University of Wisconsin radio station WAGA contributing editors Jack Summerfield New York John Campbell San Francisco Jay Fitz Minneapolis and Studs Terkel who appears through the courtesy of WFAA MT Chicago original percussion pieces theme and interludes played by
The American journal
American music and writing, part 2
Producing Organization
WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on the state of American music, writing, and creativity. Features speakers include Ken Kesey, and James T. Carroll.
Series Description
This is an informal, "magazine" style interview series on the fine arts.
Broadcast Date
Fine Arts
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Composer: Voegeli, Don
Host: Schmidt, Karl
Interviewee: Kesey, Ken
Producing Organization: WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Speaker: Farrell, James T. (James Thomas), 1904-1979
Speaker: Cooper, Dennis
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 65-13-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:51
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Chicago: “The American journal; American music and writing, part 2,” 1965-03-30, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 27, 2023,
MLA: “The American journal; American music and writing, part 2.” 1965-03-30. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 27, 2023. <>.
APA: The American journal; American music and writing, part 2. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from