Wednesday, September 8, 2010

how far-out Richard Fariña is

I met my librarian!

Media Announcement: Y'all go see Richard Buckner at the Shaw Center on Tuesday! Pay tribute to Television! Hail Harptallica! and other edicts can be found in this week's Record Crate.

William Parker, "The Inside Out" from I Plan to Stay a Believer: The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield (via Destination:OUT )
Matthew Shipp, Harmony and Abyss
Pinckney Benedict, Town Smokes
John Fante, Dreams from Bunker Hill

I was going to check out Richard Fariña's mad, mad poem/novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me but the little kiosk said and then the desk clerk confirmed the copy of the book in my hands did non existent, so urgently did it not exist that someone was dispatched to see what supposed unfathomable void I had pulled it. I wonder if the lights flickered at the Hadron Collider, a sign of another near miss with the Singularity. That's how far-out Richard Fariña is.

That's Richard on the dulcimer, playing along with his wife Mimi and Pete Seeger for an appearance on Seeger's "Rainbow Quest" TV show.

Toward the end of the video, old Pete attempts to make time with Mimi by waxing rhapsodic about Carmel, California where Richard met his untimely end. From Wiki:
On April 30, 1966, two days after the publication of his book, Fariña attended a book-signing at a Carmel Valley Village bookstore, the Thunderbird. Later that day, while at a party to celebrate Mimi's 21st birthday, Fariña saw a guest with a motorcycle and hitched a ride up Carmel Valley Road east toward Cachagua. At an S-turn the driver lost control. The motorcycle tipped over on the right side of the road, came back to the other side, and tore through a barbed wire fence into a field where there is now a small vineyard. The driver survived, but Fariña was killed instantly. According to Pynchon's preface to Been Down..., the police said the motorcycle must have been traveling at 90 miles per hour (140 km/h), even though "a prudent speed" would have been 30 miles per hour (48 km/h). He and his wife, Mimi, had quarreled before leaving for the bookstore signing because he hadn't given her a present on that day, her birthday. (Pictures of her at the signing show a strained smile on her face.) It was several days before she returned to their home to find flowers, dead now, that he had arranged to be delivered while they were at the book signing.[citation needed]

There were librarians stationed with trays of cookies and a sign asking "Meet You Librarian" so I did. I told them I use the hell out of this library and they seemed to like that and gave me a cookie. They were less into me when I snagged a second one on the way out. Like I suspected, I am a pain in the ass to most librarians in the long run.

I've read the bindings off this very library's copies of Fante's  Ask the Dust and The Road to Los Angeles but never have I stepped into the last part of the Arturo Bandini saga. It remains to be seen if I take to Pinckney Benedict. It looks like bus reading.

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