March 28, 2006

I'd be riding horses if they let me

maqbool fida husain, untitled (horses)

* Courteney Love's family curse. excerpt:

"But the family's penchant for squabbling in print predates the Oprah Book Club era. Courtney's National Book Award–winning grandmother, Paula Fox, wrote a series of novels and memoirs (Borrowed Finery) detailing her own tormented relationship with her mother. Linda calls this written history, now spanning at least four generations, 'the curse of the firstborn daughters.' It's an epic tale of maternal concern alternating with neglect, mad antics, destructive creativity, and decades of estrangements as cold as liquid nitrogen. Though it's jaw-dropping gossip, it's more than that. Courtney's warlike tribe has cut a vast swath across our culture, and her legacy raises profound questions about personal identity in the face of fate.
"The story begins with Elsie Fox; she was Linda's grandmother and Courtney's great-grandmother (see family tree), though neither one knew she existed until 13 years ago. Turns out Elsie was Courtney's intellectual wild-child doppelgänger. She partied hard with her husband, Paul Fox, and his cousin Douglas Fairbanks, and wrote screenplays so godawful that Graham Greene called one, Last Train From Madrid, 'the worst movie I ever saw.'

"'They were wild,' says Linda. 'I think what's fascinating is that Courtney has this showbiz life inside her that emerged with no knowledge that it was in her background.' Seven decades before Courtney grabbed Quentin Tarantino's Oscar for Pulp Fiction at a wild Hollywood party, Elsie was hitting the fast lane with Fairbanks, the Australopithecus of Hollywood party animals. 'Humphrey Bogart once threw my grandmother in a lake,' says Linda. Why? 'My grandmother was quite awful.' Was she simply outspoken, ahead of her times? 'No, she wasn't. She was really mean.'
"Frances comes of age amid a welter of words that tell her family's story. But what story will Frances tell about herself? Will she write the concluding chapter to the epic Curse of the Firstborn Daughters? All we have to go on is a mini-interview in Teen Vogue: "I don't want to be titled as Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain's daughter. I want to be thought of as Frances Cobain." But her forebears leave her a paradoxical legacy—example after example of heroic self definition against all odds and equal evidence that character is fate, as ineluctable as Greek tragedy. As Mark Twain put it, 'History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.' Linda thinks Frances will turn out fine because of the sturdy character she's already evinced. As Linda says, perhaps unconsciously echoing Kurt Cobain, 'I really think we come as we are.'"

Read the whole thing. who knew Paula Fox was Courteney Love's grandmother?

* Dylan and Patti Smith called in to help save poets' love nest on London's Desolation Row. excerpt:

"Musicians Bob Dylan and Patti Smith are being dragged into a fight to save one of literature's most debauched and disreputable love nests.

"The dilapidated house in Camden, north London, was the backdrop for the absinthe drinking, drug-taking and scandalous affair between the French poets Rimbaud and Verlaine who lived there in the 19th century.

"The home is now to be sold along with two adjoining houses, and campaigners fear it may be redeveloped to erase the house's literary link unless a sympathetic buyer is found. Rock literati Dylan and Smith, both admirers of the poets, have been approached to give muscle to the efforts to preserve the property."

"Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine - cited as inspirations for artists such as the Doors frontman Jim Morrison and John Lennon as well as Smith and Dylan - became lovers in the 1870s and made their base in Camden, writing some of their most famous works as they lodged on the top floor of what is now a tatty, grime-coated house. Graham Greene is also said to have an association with 8 Royal College Street."
"Both Dylan and Smith have acknowledged the inspiration of the poets in their work. In the song 'You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go' from Blood on the Tracks, Dylan sings: 'Situations have ended sad, relationships have all been bad; mine've been like Verlaine's and Rimbaud ...'

"In Smith's first single, 'Piss Factory,' she describes the salvation she found in reading a stolen copy of Rimbaud's Illuminations while she worked on an assembly line. She has also given lectures on his poems and was last year honoured by the French Culture Ministry partly for her appreciation of Rimbaud's work."

* RIP Buck Owens. Here's a video of the Beatles doing a Buck Owens song.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

didnt get the time to read your blog. but the pictures are great

10:20 AM  

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