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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  September 7, 2009 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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>> host: i think that as part of it, y have to ask someone to be your friend sold-- >> gst: you have to applyo be someone's friend on facebook. >> host: it has been a delightful conversation. >> guest: hopefully we are going to hang out because i love your work as well. thank you very much. >> host: we will go to the casino. guest: thank you very much. eth taylor a rick kogan of "the chicago tribune." [applause] .. is because we re having studs witrawal, forhe last eight years liz and i shared that stage at the harold washington library
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with studs talking about his life, his times. liz has known him for a long time. i have known him since the daye came to wley hospital, the night i was born to take my dad out for a drink. that's a very long time. it is hard to shake studs who died on hallo the night i was born to tak my dad out for a drink. that is a very long me and it's hard to shake stu who died on halloween this year. but this book brings him back to life for me in an unexpected and on believably charmi and real way. i know you agree, liz. whose idea, who was the genius that came up with this, it's unbelievable good. yeah, i mean ihink paul bdy service i think, you know, paul
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deserves, you know, like i think a lion's share of the material. i mean, t praise for during the book. for one thing, he has taught oral history for a long time at brown university and he has for a long time been a studserkel at marra -- at meijer a i think that the work is nic too. [laughter] >> it's not all yours, eher. >> you kno i didn't mess around with his words. i didn't change anything. i just broke t text down into panels for some of the artists that apparently didn't want to work. [laughter] but paul iave been wking with on a feprojects now and he suggests somend then -- >> when he suggested ts did
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you all of a sudden -- were you excited immediately about it? >> i'm alwayexcited when i get a cnce to make more mey. [laughter] nothing t thrills me more. [laughter] but, you know, i was aware of studs terkel, and i have a connection with him. we both are interested in incipienlife and stuff. >> mostly because you let it. >> he interviewed pple about their jobs and i used to just write -- i wrote about my job like an autobiographical thing but i immediately felt an affinity f him when i became aware of him i guess in the 70's. >> did you ever meet him? >> no, i never had. >> you guys would have loved each oth. i'm serious. don't you think, tse of you -- [applause] paul, have you talked about this with studs?
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>> y know, just a little very small amount of lead through friends in speed nine's last year or two. so, i had done a bk or two with the new press, wonderful publisher, and they are responsible for bringing out studs work and so many volumes. and it seed like a natural step for me to propose a studs's comics volume because zok new press and bodies his work, b alsoecause else party suggested from my weight of yo i taught oral history for a decade at brown and when you teach oral history to college students or for that matter high school students, studs is the one and only charismatic personality in the field of oral history. there are some people who write extremely intellieently about the philosophy of it and the problems with it a so forth but there are thousands of us, me included, have do a lot of
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field work on our own htory, but wh you think o books to assign it gives students an idea what oral history can do, you invariably comeback to studs. that's true for people who teach oral history in europe and presumably asia, everywhere in the world as well a the united states. there is no figure light speed nine with an oral history, a small field, a field that has little respect within academic life. but which represents a popular approach to histo that is par excellence, that excds any other historians grip of the life. >> as well as well knows, one of e grt things about studs he is a great actor before he durham started doing oral history he fell int different radio shows and was good at that and he was the most mechanically
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inept human beg in the world. most oral historians would say please let tk and just sit there. studs wood -- >> he would always say one of his great advantages is he was an act. [laughter] and than one of his azing storie it is just i love his story. he tells of a woman in public housing -- is this the one you were talking about? public housi comedies interviewed her anher small chilfter the interview or before the interview iussing with the tape recder and the they havehe interview and the boy goes back to the tape recorder, and studs tells it much better than i, watches the cade and then suddenly the tape plays and it's the woman's voice, and she says i never knew
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i felt that way. and i feel like that is what studs i about. >> that wa the genius, wouldn't you think, paul, that he was able to and reading in this fas@ion, i don't know much -- i'm old-fashioned that we but i know graphicovels and graphic representions of words are becoming increasingly coon increasingly popular. that this is a way i fl to introduce studso that generation that ght ordinarily or might miss him. >> se, aolut it's also true the book we will be talking that tomorrow, the beets, because it is a way of getting readers mainly under 25, to look at book i thi about reading those books when they simply wouldn't come into contact with them otherwise. >>tuds has written so many
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wonderful books. the good war which iiss should be in parentheses, the good war. hard times, decision street. so how did you decide -- >> that is a great qstion. i went round and round with a new press editors about it. and i had different suggestions at different times. hard times it has ways been a fabulouslympornt book to me and i don't want to put aside staff of jazz mucians and everything most this audience could come up with, and the answer probably is pretty simple. that working as t book that i perhap better known than studs himself at this point. it just happened that steve endowment for the humanities produced litte playlets based on working 20 years ago. and it just happenedhat i was a humast and a little state of rhode island who then engaged the audience in conversation about it.
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it all sort of like an occurrence. and what "working stuff quote manage to do is to epitomize what is best in the oral history which is to say to legimate the daily lives of dinary people who would not consider themselves wory at least likely to ever be interewed and talk about their own lives in that fashion which is exactly the late liz brought up. it's not unusual i any field of history with any ordinary blue-collar or lowe class people to stay afteb the interview i never felt that way or to be inclined. that is an ordinary experience of somebody interviewing somebody in the 60's, 70's and 80's. things come up the didn't antipate speaking about and they always say to students you don't want to stop them from prying or anything because this is an experience that's terribly important to them and it validates their life in some
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fashion or another. but even though that is the oral history experience, in a way nobody so well articulated and demotrated over the last 30 ars has studs and one could say he treated the field of oral history. >> you decided to do this book to you immediately think of harvey? >> a little bit because i'd already begun working with harvey. we did a book on students for democratic socieogether. and becauseuddenly hit me maybe in the middle of the night as these things to the awakening lead at 2 a.m. that harvey in many ways was a studs terkel of a different generation and by virtue of spending 36 years in the vaospital is a file clerk inleveland had gspedne of the key points that comes up and working, at least this is key to me, a that blue-coar and
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white-coll life before the 1970's, before the 1980's perhaps was frequtly like my father's life as a cil servant it was really boring but he never took your work home with you at night andeople would say that was a good job. i don't say the world is a better or worse place in that reect now but it is a very different place. >> yeah, i was a civil servant and i was happy to get the job. the other thing i wanted to say about studs being mechanically inept that is on reason i like him so much because i never learned how to ride aike. i can't type let alone to use the computer. any of that stuff i don't see how people can do that. >> do you drive? [laughter] >> god love you. >> i is a warm feeling. >> there is a lot of editing to
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select which ones you might want. i amhiing, paul, you initially called these down, was a collabotive thing? >> it's a wonderful question. there are some artis who want to screen their own wk and studs said a free beginning a great example sabrina jones, a greek artist who intuitively went to the story the prostitute, and dealt with it in a way that seems utterly remarkable to me and bngs it to life. there are other artists who g us into their mind one certain thing they wanted and couldn't do anything else a wonderful exampl another wonderful example would be peter cooper whoid this despite pages of d magazines for 20 years but he's a very radical guy and quitnaturally he wante to do the labor organizer. and many other cases though, when it was harvey who decided
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that these are partilar storiethat came to life in a remarkable sort of way and the artists were very excited about working with harvey. want to work wh hvey and sit together, but harrey more than me, we selected the ones that were quoten quote workable and it was as pragmic as that and as political or whatever because i am perfectly convinced another selection could ha been made from "working"nd it al would have been fabulous. >> i think everything, you know, everything in "working" could, you know -- was, could have been -- you know, somebody could have done an excellent job. they are all fine pies. >> ittrikes me reading this that many of the jobs here don't exist anymore.
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bread howser, super market a box boy. that job is gone. [laughter] >> we still do in cleveland. >> you have better jobs than we do in chicago. [laughter] certain uching quality to that. and sad. >> did you see the guy that was predicting the end likshoe manufacturing and the united states? >> i think it's still one true and certainly people believe it to be true that people tell you a lot what they do with their work they put into theirork. i was thinking about this when i had my hair cut t other day by
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an 80-year-old guy in madison wisconsin, and yes, has he for almost 60 years of he was really good at cutting hr and proud of cutting hair? absolutely. has that questionpost to him in that way by anybody other than saying that it's been nice? probably never and i think that is another fabulous thing studs di is to tell you that ki of i wouldn't call whathankless but an acknowledge many jobs as you pointed out of disappeared. and ithat way for readers of studs's book aow them to value their own jobs, whether they were the same jobs or similar jobs. one of the most problematic ones in a way for an artist, an artist mick terkel son was about the garbage man because the garbageman and affect was a job
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devalued from the very beginning. by everybody. but on the other hand he knows it has to be done and he personally isn't ashamed, so it was fabulous for studs to do with and it was a problem solved for an artist to translate that in picture >> i want to read something for those of you who have working on the shelf i go back to "rking" to read a specific thing. the salesman one gets me. i ad it like every five months. inhe original introduion -- i am not going to rea much -- he says this book being about work is by itsery nature by went to the spirit awell as to th body. and jumping ahead. think about this, it is about a sear, too, for daily meeting as well as daily bread. for recognition as well as cash. for aonishment robert and barbara. in short, for a sort of life
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rather than monday through friday sort of dying perhapsf immortality, too, is parof the quest to be remembered washe wish spoken and on spoken of the heroes and heroines in this bo. that's a pretty azing sort of take on life. that doesnatter i don't care if you work for microsoft word if you are still a garbageman that resonates with me and wil ever resone with me. harvey, that is just amazing observation abo wt all of us do. i don't care how good your job is or how will your j is. >> evebody contributes someing and some people get credit and some people don't. mainly because of t income disparities. hey, i wanted to tell you a story i read. there was a chicago sports writer, i forget his name, but his stuff used to be printed in
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cleveland papers, too. and he talked about -- he said he just got mulcthis one time and was a pretty unpleasa experience. he saidow, if it wou have been studs terkel and the guy tried to mug him he quote we would have whied out his tape-recorded and tri to interview him [lauter] >> studs got a burgled -- [laughter] i've got $8, that's all i got. why do you want to rob anybody? thanhey put -- a sign o the door after this happened that would ave scared nobody. it's light doggett inse. >> andhere is a dog bowl outside. there's never any water and there's practically grass growing out of it.
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but remember he always used to say i have been a victim of a hostile takeover. [laughter] >> well, i think you can sense in this book and just see it brought to le in this kind o graphic way just tells me, and i know you know this, paul, liz, he was engaged with life, meaninof life and other people, as any human being i have ever met into his 90s. until hours before he died. you what kind of a human miracle is that? studs has been a inspiration to me and elicited, too. i feel guilty if i am watching a tv show and not listening to miles davis were reading a new book or something. it is a force of nature. liz? >> i kw -- i jus--e just
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had this capacity. in fact, ito completely informed me. we were at thi sort of fay dier last night raising money for the schools, the harold washington aboard sort of kicks off the book fair and dave eggers is e winner of the award. d we are sitting at this dinner and dave eggers, who has just done so much with ts fleeting and tutoring centers throughout the nation and has done so much for publishing, writers an kids. and i saihow did you get that way? and i heard myself, i remember so vividly that i had been sittinat studs hse with edgar e. l. doctorow and he was talking about his own half-li and studs said how did you get
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that way? an dr. -- e. l. doctorow said he's given me this view. none of my table mates thought this woman is aul. >> well, you know, intelltuals, book writers and so forth of which this conference is rightly fous, but the festiva was rightly famous, have one big fight in my onion, and that is we tend to look past people. but thinking about eas i think this is more a male vice than female vice in general what we te to look past bause we are trying to get some cind of abstractionbout them or fit th abstracon in tohem and vice versa, whereas in my view, and again, going back to my
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year and years of teaching but also during oral history, the real trick is to look straight into people and see them for what they are and take them for what they are and draw them out. it is a perctly obvious sort of thing, and yet to be able to manage that level of coentration effortlessly, seemingly effortlessly throughout an extremely long lifetime and studs's caisse requires deep egalitari or socialistic mentality that never stops in to the usu didacticism and laying it on heavy to people and uplifting and all the other things intellectuals are mistakenly doing. but to tt, i want to add that since i started reading "american splendor" comics in the middle 1970's, which were largely about hardee beinon street corners in clevend or with other perfectly ordinary people who would never be
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confused with intellectuals of any kind, were successful in any way with the exception of robert crumb. and i think of the book wos as probably the main reason it works also because the artists themselves have this wonderful, deep and intimate feeling and a sharon rudolph stopped painting because feminist radical comics looking back at history pretty much disappeared by the middle 1980's, the fees that come out of the underground coms world, the underground newspaper of the 60's and 70's was gone and that spark sort of disappeared for a lot of artists and simply stopped growing. but house sharon rudahl from the subject, she did a book i interviewed on the life of emma
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goldman which is fabulous, and the work in here that she has done or hse worker baby nurse or for worse, stecutters or so forth that she touches something that even graphic novelis wh are basically fiction novelistsnd pictures rarely manage to do and she does it from the makings of people's life. she ripted things herself but also very much by being psychologically in tuneith exactly what studs had in mind, and i sureo hope that the book is a successful enough for us to do more speeling comics because i would aspire to do that almost more than anything i could tnk of as a comic act. >> ally -- i just want to make this point. there is a guy who influenced me
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and anticipated speed sds terkel. he came from indiana from an agricultural area. he wt to purdue and then he came to chicago in the 1890's and got a job i think with the chicag record. and that time, the colombian national exhibition or exposition, you know, was taking place, and they sent him out. they sent him out in e street to just inteview. you know, he could do anythin he wanted. and so he would just interew all these different kinds o people and it was just great. he interviewed the same kind of people that studs did. >> and he did. he collaborated with the tribune, before he was at the tribune when they were both at the daily news with the famous
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illustrator, john mccutcheon, most famous for engine summer. there is a show at the chicago cultural center ase speak that's running through august of mccutcheon's work. a great deal with it he an orge need wrote and ilstrated column called stories of thetreetsnd sidewalks that is there are panels up there of this. there are two panels, i don't care how old you are or how old thes things work they are two of theinest stories. what is amazing about seeing a cade on her outside a window on e ledge of the window behind and how he runs up to try to see if the kid and he's in a panic and goes to the mother and says your cld isut -- i know, is she out there again? [laughter] she had de it 15 times, so she wasttached to a rope and she
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pulls the road and in comeshe cade but it is a burly and drawling, too. harvey, thanks for reminding me. and the only did this, it was so popular, i thinkt was a weekly, and those days it could have been leak, two or three or maybe four years they collected and in books at the end of the year and gave them, this is what newspapers used do do, gave them to tir subscribers, but i'm glad you brought that up because that is absoluly true. >> and now it continues in another generation. because rick has a column -- >> i wouldn't quit that, that's flattering. >> it's called sidewalks and it's a collaboration with a photographer -- >> i called all of us are saying is there is no such thing and studs would tell you this ere is no such thing as an ordary person. ever single person in this room extraordinary somehow. i don't care how i don't know how, i don't know all of you,
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but in conversation if you are willing to listen, as paul says, not look are mailed or through or behind people, you will get it, and it's there every day. harvey, i know you know this. it is your work. it has been your life's work. >> i go aroundooking for this stuff. [laughter] and yet, if you read the pages of the most prestigious review columns by and large, and look at the novel's or even the histories, they tend t be about great white and, numb one, and number twm, the deal very little with the lives of ordinary people of any kd whatsoever. so, althougin my own lifetime the sixties gave a big push towards a different way of history, the thing about oral history is oral historians themselves were in the streets. oral history was hardly even a profession and mean the was the practice of places like harry
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truman library where the inrviewed people in the priest the tapes so nobody would find out anything thatasn't supposed to known. that was the addition of oral history. but oral historians foing the profon such as this it is in the 60'snd0's were mainly community activists e kind or another or oddballs who wanted to docent a community that was disappearing under some kindf essure or other. so they made @ dent in, we made a dent but not such a big dent an we always come up against the formidable problem that the people who were in charge of society are not all that interested in the lives of ordinary people. we are not influential enough. >> do you worry -- use of a couple of times you mentioned how the book doin well or if it does well enough what is well enough and what nd of the zeitgeist does this have to
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catcan order for you -- >> that is a good question. as we speak i think probably lynda barry's panel has finished up, and if i were there i would have asked a question i oen k that why it is that the number of women writers and artis of comexas grown very fast and the number of women readers has fallen much more slowly. that is a pticular example. but the is a larger case which is in general people of any kind over 50 are uncomfortable with body books of cognex. i would say on till five years ago any review of comics in the new york revw would have a last paragraphpologize for having a guilty pleasure of reading comics. comics are embarrassing. they we reviewed in the 1950's not only as a threat of juvenile
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delinquency which had hearings, but also thought of as worse than television, just as the appearance of television made movies seem not so horrible the appearance of comic books made television not seem so horble. comics are worse than the btom of the worse and it is a very slow climbards respectability which are we went anywhere with really no-holds-barred, nothing since work undergrou comics of the 60's and 70's perhaps began the climb up in the u.s., ver slowly in the 1990's with art spielman's mouse,hen since 2001 perhaps a larger growing sensibility that comic art is a real form of art and can be taken seriously a form of art. onths, first time ever, the beats, sometimes is at the bottom of that list. but the rest of list is
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entirelyatman or the watch man. the in other words, the non-fictionategory of comics is pretty darn small and too much is by harvey and myself. so, we're very much hoping that, this kind of come nick will be a - comic will be a gateway drug for young people to go ahe and read the books. but also that the art which is made by comic artists will be taken seriously as a form ofrt and understood as such and appreciated as ch. it may overcome the great difficulty, these books are expensive to price bause you have toay artists. writerdon't have to be paid especially well-known these books e expensive to produce becau you have to pay urs. riders don't have to be paid the specially, and generally are not paid. artists need to be paid and secondly these boo don't
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cross so much because they can't have a heavierrice than someone under 25. these are sious disadvantages but the least in terms of wha critics are beginning to say, we seem to be going someplace. >> i think, especially younger readers ar enthusiastic for novels and they have gotten, gain the sort of cultural and critical legitimacy alisonechdel's book. it was a national book critics's berserker of prime list. for cephalus-- "persepolis." the people are reading it. >> that certainly is true. >> this book is also 3 you people in the front take a loo at this. seriously that seems unbelievably reasonable t me.
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we open this up for questns and then there meant to be questions, not your first comic book you ever read. u.s. to many questions. yousaf up there for five, i am telling a man he sat up there for five minutes last time. i am sorry, to the microphone i appreciated, you were great last time at he can monopolized the mic. >> i was wonring if some or all of you would comment on the difference between the way a book like this bk portrays noiction versus the way that perhaps our culture is becoming obsessed with reality through reality television? that is a wonderful question. >> this is a much more honorable and respeable way. >> they cl reality television. en these people go of thes ridiculous, like races around the world, what doec that have to do with rlity? [laughter] i mean, they just, i don't know where they get that from.
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i mean, they sw peoe getting mad at each other and yelling at eachther all the time and it is like conflict ald of the time. mean you know, reality is just, you know going, and eating supper or something like that. [laughter] >> or an "american splendor," complaining about the cleveland indians. [applaus hi, sir you had made a comment that he said there's no such thing as an ordinary person however with in the books to ghlight people's dinary lives with you know. >> how do you you define an ordinary life? >> exactly, it is kind of a segui to her question. if there is no such thing as an ordinary person then what do you gauge as extraordinary or ordinary and on topf that, two parts, sorry. do either of you, harvey or paul
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feel phat you are in a we romanticizing the working class as far as turnint into this isow it should be lood at instead of li harvey eating dinner is the reality of the job? >> i think that coming in know what i would like to do, i am not trying to put so-called ordinary people ahead of us, so-called extraordinary people but i just, i would like to see them you know, get raise to th same level, you knowbecae every but he, there are all kinds of essential jobs to do in society and very few people get credit for doing these jobs. so, that is-- >> you should never mistake celebrated withxtraordinary either. i don't know how good they singer britney spears is. she may be a great singer and i saw paris hton on david letterman last night. you are extraordinary.
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for what? or what? and i think it is very subjectiv, that hold you but don't mistake celebrated. i think too often we mistake celebrated for extraordinary and that is unfair to all but concern. go ahead paul, what do you think? >> i guess iould say the go througthe book and read carefully, and a number of the people you could say why don't they dropped the job and go to another job? and there is no easy answer. there also some business executivesnd others thatre by no means favorably treated in their ownords. you kn they actually think very highly of themselves but the reader that something they do very much with their hands , to his or her own conclusion from that and studs was just taking it straight on. you never have a sense of studs talking down or engaging in false uplifting and i am hoping not to have done that through my
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editing process and i don't think harvey did that either. there is an inclination toward those who are underrepresented and this comes also from my 60's social history world, to discover the likes of latino farmworkers that nobodyas been lling to tal about the fort or thato-called hillbillies from appalachian of, who aren't thought to be articulate unless they appear as murderers or drunks or whatever the usual portrait is and to let them speak for themselves. that may be a form of romantic subtilization. it is possible, but mostly, the hear the voices straightut, not to hear them through some other means, were interpreted by us is a victory for ordinary life and for the perception of ordinary life in a far more demographic wave than most literature will allow. >> anyore questions?
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go ahead, stand up. >> well, hvey and paul you guys and then three books in the last couple of years including the sds thug so i am wondering what are you working o now? other then being adi offence like this? >> he wishes me to speak. [laughter] which isery curious since i am the editor a he is the real speaker. we have been starting work on a book called yiddishand, and i am a gentile from downstate illinois and i jt stumbled into the yiddish wor history. i started interviewing octogenarians and ended up bin communities of native yiddish speaking, and ty adopted me as e grandchild when i was adopting them as grandparents and i fellnto yiddish poetry and so forth. for harvey is first language wa a yiddish so what is the story of that 800 years?
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that is not entiry on but which has an enormous richness and also had a huge impact on ameran popular culture that is rarely recognized. number two, harv has been wring about jazz for close to 50 years and everybody knows how brilliant his writing is so what we want to do after that is to do a comic about jazz various kinds of ways. it is a fabulous idea and now if on somebody will offer us some money we will do it. >> here, i will fer yo some. >> this is the precursor version. please, sir. >> thank you. i really want to honor you guys for bringing this forum to something more powerful. i just want to say that i learned that awful lot from studs terkel and the thing that i learnedhe best was how to be curious and how to be curious in a way that left space for the person i was curious about. and i hope that your book helps
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us learn better, dhat better. thank you. >> yeah, yeah. studs, as other panelist who knew him at a closer level, a fabulous personalitynd you could hardly think of not looking at it when you were in the same room with him bu just the idea you have raised, that he ceases to be the center of attention by his own detarmination and that the other person that that kind of space, that is a really marketable thing. let me connect it with one more matter. freed maleick thre these breakthrghs in communications and during, not so frequently but it has happened for five times the last two centuries and most often there is a period of t or 20 years w all kinds of so-called ateurs come in and like the first newspapers or the first radio stations before the radio was taken over by the monopolies or the first days of live television when
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studs had local television in chicago and to a degree about the webs well and i throw in comics too. we go through each one of these cases and then after the beginning phase, then these areas are corporatzed than the formuas are set and then it is ople who are grinding out the material that is expected of them and they don't have much room for creativity. i discovered probably onlyhen i began working on comics again after a long lapse that most people growing up this kid's thought comics for written, drawn and everything else by the same aist, who waffen was in the knowledge and then we learned later it is like an assembly line. that is the way that tcn marvel comics pour pduce. you mighthink, you might write but it is the job to come in and spend your hours and so on and so forth we are ithat phase now withi our comics. that is what is exciting about th. probably is because there is so ttle money in it that nobody
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wants to take it over. there's no indication anybody wants to take it over but there is an enormous amount of excitement and interest especially of artists who are der 30. there's so much more on the web and haey can talk aboutome of this that he is onnected with on the web, i am not, that is a far larger volume than ything in pried form for obvious financial reasons. represents forms of expression and especially young people finding forms of expression, creating new forms of ar which is altogether remarkable and hopefully will point a way towarda new way of saying the connections of art and life. >> this question bically is for harvey and studs, wher they gave people a voice that normally didn't have a voice, and toractice this i actually drew up in clevela, ohio so when i read "american splendor"
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i don't s you giving the ordiry person a voice but i actually see giving it a whole entire region, the city of cleveland itself t boys and i s ndering if you actually looking hindsht, the look at "american splendor," the you look at your work and see it as giving a voice to this larger region or still just the individual pson? >> well, i mean maybe both. you know, like i want, one of my concerns is toake people feel better about themsels, to not feel bad about themselves just because maybe they don't make as much moneys the other guy, but yeah cleveland is not that bad live in. [laughter] you hear stuff abo the cuyoga river catching on fire in stuff like that, but you inow, there are some nice things about it and-- >> i love i i grew up here. >> i mean, think it is okay.
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leads decent and people are fine and yeah, i have concern. i am actually writing a book, you know,ike a graphic nove about the story of cveland and how, a also like my life in it, talking about like you ow great expernces i had like when i was a little kid and the listens to the 194 world series and they broadcast. they broadcasted at school over the pa system and the indians won. it has been a long time since cleveland has won a championship [laughter] they just bombed out. like the lebron james arnold lebron james they didn't ke it to the finals of the nba championship after having the best record in the league. but i mean, i guess you know
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about the cubs you know about e indians. left's bead thank you. >> ladies and gentlemen, harvey, paul, l, me, studs, thas for coming. by this book. [applause] >> harvey pcor is the author of the autobiographical "american splendor" comic book series and the subject of the movie adapted from that work. paul buhle is a senior lecturer in history in american civilization at brown university. this talk was part of the 25th anniversary "chicago tribune" printers row lit fest. for more information to the "chicago tribune."com/about/en/printers row.
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on the first sunday of each month we invite one author to discuss their entire body of work andake your calls. in depth also includes a vit with the author to see where and how they write their books. that is what you are about to see. we have visited autr and critic stanley crouch at his home in lower manhattan. >> we are in the west built near the hudson river. and i have been living he for 20 years. >> what kind of neighborhood is this in the west millage? >> it is considered a good neighborhood, i guess you could call it middle-class, something bit of distance from the bottom. that is to say that one is not harassed by loud radio playing, people making noise in the street very often. every now and then you have got clowns coming down the street making a bit o noise but it is fair quiet, so you really
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don't have t deal with those kindsf externals, irritating external things that many other people in a lower position in society to. >> and this is, the boom where in his store office, this is where you work? >> yes, th is my office and my wife and i live next door and the other place. >> what is a typical workday like for you in here? how do you go about writing? >> i get up every day i guess about 6:00, 6:30. i come in here, i read the newspapers o the internet. theni start writing something. >> in thwriting is done on this computer here? >> yeah. whenever irite something, i've wrten six or seven versions that i might have seen in a novelre writing a passage in an essay.
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i have many different versions of that, so i will ll up these, there will be filed after file and it will ben so when so too, so-and-so thr, so-and-so forth, whatever it is and when i get to a certain int i read all of them and figure out which one is the best or beg to take things out of different parts and sometimes i am going along and iill realize that there is a phrase, no more than that, in another file and then i have to go back through all the files to search out that phrase because i don't remember it but sometim i will say no, no, no, no that is not it. it is perhaps 16 words somewhere. those 16 words can sometimes be very important. >> i s there are a lot of filing cabinets around here that have parker, a throu e. to use those are what is
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contained in those files? >> those files contain all the interviews from the long awaited charlie parker book come a long awaited because i've been waiting for for 22 years ago that is because i have been known to be writing for about 22 years. i haven't worked on it for 22 years but i am two years from completing its. i have done ny interviews. many of the peopli interviewed are now dead so i thi it is time f me to finally g the book out there because many people seem to be interested in it. parker was a reearkable character. he was extraordinarily talented. he helped make an additn to the aesthetic possibilities and advanced. i think he added another choice for players, that you could play or write in a style and he and
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his the tashman do the gillespie , not more less but did in vans, so his story, which is a short one from 1920 to 1955, crosses the depression, it osses world war ii, and it is shortly after the supreme court decision in 1954. so, there's a lot that happened during his lifetime. >> a lot of books in your room here. how do you you decide what to ke here a dyou use them when you were writing? >> well, these are me are less essentials, but there are many, there are many books that are stored in boxes down in the basement. a lot of books about jazz, a lot of books about film, about
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painting, about american culture, about race i guess, if you wanto callt that. the problems of color as the makas themselves in the united stes or in the world at large. >> host: i want to what the audience to your books so far a we have gotten a lot of calls about e of them, the wen yu collaborated on. this is essays called notes of a hanging judge, followed by the all american skin game for the decoy of race, the long and short of that 19 to 1994 then always in pursuit, fresh american perspectives 95 to 97 and the st current work a novel, don't the moon look lonesome? next up stanley crouch is going to take this on a tour of his bookshelf in his office. this book, kenneth clarke,
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what is a masterpiece? i will read this off. it is a very important book for me. because he makes it very clear he has, clark had very clear derstanding of what made the masterpiece and how the masterpiece was always connected tohe deepest aspects of the tradition, out of whh the artist came, and to the present and whh e art was made and it is the combination of the past and present that gives the masterpiece enough energy to carrit into the future. thdisuniting of america by arthurchlesinger is very, very important because i think h puts it into ctext, exactly what our problems are at this
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paicular te in terms of this idea of multiculturalism and stuff of that sort. now, this book here, divine days by leon forest i think is probably the greatest afro-american novel since invisible man. laude sterpiece though it is, the 1100 plus pages, it still has some of the deepest, richest, most well written passages in american fiction. one, to come up third on the third shelf next to the websters, thats shakespeare. he is the ongoing champ. he understood the species.
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now, there is of course, then there is the bible i have got all kds of versions of that. i have got the five books of mose i've got the comparative study of the bible. i've got the complete dead sea scrolls. now, why do i have that? and the one thing about the bible is this. you can be sure, almost positive, that any where you open it up, every now and then yoopen it up and you get a long passage of genealogy, but almost, when you don't get to that, almost anything you stumble into, i mean they are writing, the understanding, the drama, the intensity and the rhythm is there. veryew books are likehat in the bible is one of tm.
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the only one that i kno of. and i mean, you say i don't kn, you get in there and something is going on, right? ellison of course towers ove ma of us in many ways for the creati of invisible man for the extraordinary first book of essays, what a book. we have got allf ellison's stuff, everything he did. juneteenth, no good, invisible man come invisible ma excerpt from ellison to my original copy of sdow and act, and another shad and act and another invisible man which i am proud of because i think ellison, alison autographic both of these. now, here is a flawed masterpiece by philip roth.
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a writer with stunning gets. i mean it is flawed only because it seems to be that he didn't really follow@ t obvious elements of race that included, that were invold, that for more than peripheral to this story. these markers are here so i n't have to read the book again. not so i don't have to read it again but so that certain things that really struck me i can go right to them and they are the sentences, the passages. ere things that helped me understand the way in whi the stcture was organized. >> is that color coding there with the green and blue? >> sometim. sometimes it only means that iran out of blue. other times i have come at other times i will figure out when i go back that one color means the passage that i rlly liked and the others are the ones that i
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like let's and another will be the ones that i liked less than thether two. >> in depth airs like it noon stern on the first sunday of each month on booktv on c-span2. log on to for information about upcoming guests. >> stephen meyer, director of the center for science and culture at the discovery institute argues that our dna provides evidence of an intelligent designer and helps explain how life ban. the discovery institute this event that the seattle art museum. it is an hour and ten minutes. >> i had the chance t be in great briin earlier in the year and i was speaking at what i thought was shrewsbury, butt is actuay pronounced shirelles
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barry by the british and it seemed to be the place of darwin's birth and i was speaking there to give a dissenting voice on the legacy of darwin and i found there's just a tmendous amount of interest in darwin and his legacy this year. it is e 200th anniversary of dohrn's birth, the 150th anniversary of t origin of species is coming up little later in november and darwin is now so big he is even on the money. we have the queen on one side of the ten pawn node in charles on the ck and sell at around the world this anniversary, there is the question abo his legacy, what his darwin left's? what do we know because of darwin that we didn't know before and quite typically the answer to that question is, darwin refuted the design argument because he give us the idea ofvolution. he gave us the understanding of the mechanism of natural selection that according to many


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